Drinking "Sour Tea" May Benefit Patients With Type 2 Diabetes
In a sequential, randomized, controlled, study involving 53 type II diabetics, results indicate that drinking sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) may improve blood lipid profile. The patients were randomized to consume sour tea or black tea two times a day for 1 month. At intervention end, a significant increase in mean HDLc (high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol) and significant decreases in mean total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, triglycerides, and Apo-B100, compared to baseline, were observed in the sour tea group. Thus, the authors conclude, "The results of the present study showed that ST has a significant effect on blood lipid profile in patients with diabetes."
"Effects of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on lipid profile and lipoproteins in patients with type II diabetes," Mozaffari-Khosravi H, Fatehi F, et al, J Altern Complement Med, 2009; 15(8): 899-903.
DHA Supplementation in Infant Formula May Improve Visual Acuity
In a study involving 343 formula-fed infants, consumption of formula containing DHA was found to improve visual acuity, as compared to infants fed a control formula without DHA for a period of 12 months. Infants were randomized to one of four formula groups: 1) control formula containing 0% DHA; 2) formula containing 0.32% DHA; 3) formula containing 0.64% DHA; 4) formula containing 0.96% DHA. Infants who received any of the DHA-supplemented formulas were found to have enhanced visual acuity, as compared to infants in the control group. The authors conclude, "DHA supplementation of infant formula at 0.32% of total fatty acids improves visual acuity. Higher levels of DHA supplementation were not associated with additional improvement of visual acuity."
"The DIAMOND (DHA Intake And Measurement Of Neural Development) Study: a double-masked, randomized controlled clinical trial of the maturation of infant visual acuity as a function of the dietary level of docosahexaenoic acid," Birch EE, Carlson SE, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2010 Feb 3; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Retina Foundation of the Southwest, 9900 N.Central Expressway, Suite 400, Dallas, Texas 75231, USA. E-mail: email@example.com ).
Low Serum Folate May be Linked to Increased Depressive Symptoms
In a cross-sectional study involving 313 men and 217 Japanese women between the ages of 21 and 67 years, higher serum folate was found to be associated with a decreased prevalence of depressive symptoms in men. 36.1% of men and 36.4% of women were found to have depressive symptoms. Comparing the highest to the lowest quartiles of serum folate, the multivariate-adjusted odds ratios of depressive symptoms were: 1.00, 0.53, 0.33, and 0.51, respectively. Additional date suggests a positive association between serum homocysteine levels and depressive symptoms in men. No such associations were found in women. The authors conclude, "Low serum folate may be related to an increased prevalence of depressive symptoms in Japanese men."
"Serum folate and homocysteine and depressive symptoms among Japanese men and women," Nanri A, Mizoue T, et al, Eur J Clin Nutr, 2010 Jan 20; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Epidemiology and International Health, Research Institute, International Medical Center of Japan, Tokyo, Japan).
Sodium and Salted Food Intakes and Risks of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer
In a study involving data collected from 77,500 men and women between the ages of 45 and 74 years, followed up with for 598,763 person-years, during which time 4,476 cases of cancer and 2,066 cases of cardiovascular disease were identified, higher consumption of sodium was associated with a higher risk of CVD, but not cancer (highest vs. lowest quintiles of intake: 1.19 for CVD, 1.04 for cancer), higher consumption of salted fish roe was associated with a higher risk of total cancer, and higher consumption of cooking and table salt was associated with a higher risk of CVD. The authors conclude, "Our findings support the notion that sodium and salted foods have differential influences on the development of cancer and CVD."
"Consumption of sodium and salted foods in relation to cancer and cardiovascular disease: the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study," Takachi R, Inoue M, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2010 Feb; 91(2): 456-64. (Address: Epidemiology and Prevention Division, Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening, National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan).
Eating Citrus Fruits May Help Protect Against Cancer
In a prospective study involving 42,470 Japanese adults (40-79 years of age) in the Ohsaki National Health Insurance Cohort, results indicate that citrus consumption may exert a preventive effect against cancer, particularly in individuals who drink green tea. During 8 years of follow-up, 3,398 incident cases of cancer were recorded. Using Cox proportional-hazard models adjusted for potential confounders, daily consumption of citrus was associated with a 17% reduced risk of all-cancer in patients who drank a cup of green tea daily. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "These findings suggest that citrus consumption is associated with reduced all-cancer incidence, especially for subjects having simultaneously high green tea consumption. Further work on the specific citrus constituents is warranted and clinical trials are ultimately necessary to confirm the protective effect.
"Citrus consumption and cancer incidence: The Ohsaki Cohort Study, Li WQ, Tsuji I, et al, Int J Cancer, 2010 Jan 26; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Division of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Forensic Medicine, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1 Seiryou-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980-8575, Japan).
Supplementation with Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce All-Cause Mortality Risk in Elderly Men at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
In a randomized, placebo-controlled, 2x2 factorial study involving 563 Norwegian men, aged 64 to 76 years, at high-risk of cardiovascular disease, results indicate that long-term supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality. The men were randomized to placebo or 2.4 g omega-3 PUFA/d, with or without diet counseling, for a period of 3 years. During the intervention period, 38 deaths and 68 cardiovascular events were recorded. After adjusting for potential confounders, the omega-3 group showed a 47% reduced risk of all-cause mortality and an 11% reduced risk of cardiovascular events, compared with the placebo group. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "We observed a tendency toward reduction in all-cause mortality in the omega-3 PUFA groups that, despite a low number of participants, reached borderline statistical significance. The magnitude of risk-reduction suggests that a larger trial sh ould be considered in similar populations."
"A randomized clinical trial on omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation and all-cause mortality in elderly men at high cardiovascular risk," Einvik G, Hjerkinn EM, et al, Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil, 2010 Apr 10; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: University of Oslo, Departments of Preventive Cardiology and Cardiology, Oslo University Hospital Ulleval, Oslo, Norway).
Coenzyme Q10 May Protect Against Cataract Formation - In Vitro Results are Promising
In an in vitro study involving human lens epithelial cells (LEC), pre-incubation with coenzyme Q10 prior to exposure to white light (known to induce stress and apoptotic cell death) was found to significantly reduce phototoxic cell death and apoptosis, and reduce the light exposure-induced decrease in Bcl-2 expression and increase in BAX expression, as compared to cells that were not pre-incubated with coenzyme Q10. In other words, "CoQ10 significantly reduced light-induced LEC-damage and attenuated phototoxic effects on BAX and Bcl-2 expression." These results suggest that supplementation with coenzyme Q10 may help to prevent the death of human lens epithelial cells and the formation of cataracts. Considering that cataract is "one of the most prevalent eye disease and a major cause for legal blindness in the world," these results are promising and warrant additional research.
"Coenzyme Q10 prevents human lens epithelial cells from light-induced apoptotic cell death by reducing oxidative stress and stabilizing BAX / Bcl-2 ratio," Kernt M, Hirneiss C, et al, Acta Ophthalmol, 2010 April 1; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Ophthalmology, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany).
Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reduce Fasting Triglycerides
In this review, the authors set out to determine if the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, reduced fasting serum triglycerides in a dose-dependent manner, and if so, how much of a reduction in fasting serum triglycerides was attained through supplementation with 200-500 mg/d (recommended intakes). The reviewers conclude, "Using the equation of the dose-response curve, predicted reductions in fasting serum TG levels at the recommended long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intakes of 200-500 mg/day are 3.1 to 7.2%."
"Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid dose-dependently reduce fasting serum triglycerides," Musa-Veloso K, Binns MA, et all, Nutr Rev, 2010; 68(3): 155-67. (Address: Cantox Health Sciences International, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Vitamin D Deficiency, Calcium Insufficiency, Low Bone Mass and Increased Fractures Found in Pediatric Cancer Patient Survivors
In a study involving 52 consecutive pediatric patients in complete remission of solid tumor (30 boys, 22 girls), calcium intake was inadequate in 75% of patients, vitamin D reserves were low in 61.5% of patients, bone mineral density was low at the spine in 32.7% of patients, and BMD was low at the femur in 24% of patients, when assessed after completion of cancer treatment. Ten of the patients were found to have fractures, not associated with BMD. Femoral BMD Z-score was significantly associated with changes in BMI, urinary calcium/creatinine ratio, and time since treatment completion, and significantly negatively associated with treatment duration. When patients were assessed 1 year later (n=21), no improvements in these areas were found. The authors conclude, "Survivors of childhood solid cancer have high rates of insufficient calcium intake, vitamin D deficiency, low bone mass and fractures."
"Low Bone Mineral Density and High Incidences of Fractures and Vitamin D Deficiency in 52 Pediatric Cancer Survivors," Bilariki K, Anagnostou E, et al, Horm Res Paediatr, 2010 April 15; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Endocrinologie Pediatrique, Hopital Necker Enfants Malades, AP-HP, Universite Paris Descartes, Paris, France).
Vitamin D Supplementation and Breast Cancer Risk
In a study involving 3,101 women with breast cancer (between 25 and 74 years of age), and 3,471 controls, intake of supplemental vitamin D (>10 mug/d or 400 IU/d) was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer (adjusted OR=0.76), and a significant inverse trend was found between calcium supplement intake and breast cancer risk. The authors conclude, "Further research is needed to investigate the effects of higher doses of vitamin D and calcium supplements."
"Vitamin D and calcium intakes and breast cancer risk in pre- and postmenopausal women," Anderson LN, Catterchio M, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2010 April 14; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Population Studies Surveillance Cancer Care, Ontario, Toronto Canada).
Alpha-Lipoic Acid in the Treatment of Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
In a study involving 6 lean, nondiabetic patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), supplementation with a controlled-release formulation of alpha-lipoic acid (600 mg, twice/day) for a period of 16 weeks was found to be associated with a 13.5% improvement in insulin sensitivity, determined by use of a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp. In addition, reductions in triglycerides and a shift in LD particles towards the larger, more buoyant LDL subclass fraction were found. Of the 6 subjects, 2 that were not on oral contraceptives experienced an increased number of menstrual cycles. The authors conclude, "These data suggest that the CRLA has positive effects on the PCOS phenotype."
"Effects of Controlled-Release Alpha Lipoic Acid In Lean, Nondiabetic Patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome," Masharani U, Gjerde C, et al, J Diabetes Sci Technol, 2010 March; 4(2): 359-364. (Address: Diabetes Center, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, Mt. Zion Medical Center, San Francisco, California, USA).
Vitamin D May Prevent Seasonal Flu in Children and Reduce Asthma Attacks
In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study involving 334 schoolchildren, supplementation with vitamin D (1200 IU/d vitamin D3) was found to be associated with a significantly reduced risk of seasonal influenza A. While 31 of 167 children in the placebo group developed influenza A, only 18 of 167 in the vitamin D group did (RR=0.58). The reduced risk was even greater among children who had not been taking other vitamin D supplements (RR=0.36), those with low levels of vitamin D at the start of the study, and among those who started nursery school after the age of 3 years (RR=0.36). Furthermore, previously diagnosed asthmatic children were found to have a reduced risk of asthma attacks while receiving vitamin D3. Specifically, while 12 children in the placebo group had asthma attacks during the study period, only 2 in the vitamin D3 group did. The authors conclude, "This study suggests that vitamin D(3) supplementation during the winter may reduce the incidence of influenza A, especially in specific subgroups of schoolchildren."
"Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren," Urashima M, Segawa T, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2010 March 10; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: M Urashima, Division of Molecular Epidemiology, Jikei University School of Medicine, Nishi-shimbashi 3-25-8, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan. E-mail: email@example.com ).
Chocolate Consumption Reduces Cardiovascular Disease Risk by Lowering Blood Pressure
In a study involving 19,357 subjects between the ages of 35 and 65 years free of myocardial infarction and stroke, not using anti-hypertensive medication, consumption of chocolate (average 7.5 g/d) was found to be associated with lower blood pressure. Specifically, subjects in the top quartile of chocolate consumption were found to have a mean systolic BP that was 1.0 mmHg lower and a mean diastolic BP that was 0.9 mmHg lower than subjects in the lowest quartile of chocolate consumption (average 1.7 g/d). Over the course of an 8 year follow up, 166 cases of myocardial infarction and 136 cases of stroke were identified. Comparing the top quartile of chocolate consumption to the bottom quartile, the relative risk (RR) of the combined outcome of MI and stroke was 0.61, with a stronger inverse relationship found for stroke. The authors point out that baseline blood pressure explained 12% of this lower risk. The authors conclude, "Chocolate consumption appears to lower C VD risk, in part through reducing BP."
"Chocolate consumption in relation to blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease in German adults," Buijsse B, Weikert C, et al, Eur Heart J, 2010 March 30; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE) Potsdam-Rehbrucke, Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116, 14558 Nuthetal, Germany).
Probiotics in Diverticular Disease of the Colon
In a prospective, randomized, open-label study involving 46 patients (36 women, 10 men, mean age: 62.5 years) previously affected by symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease of the colon, supplementation with SCM-III, a symbiotic mixture (probiotics, prebiotics) 10 ml, three times/day, was found to help prevent recurrence of symptoms in such patients, particularly those with constipation-predominant features. After the 6th month of treatment, 68% (n=31) of patients were still symptom free. More than 78% of patients deemed treatment with the symbiotic mixture to be "effective" or "very effective". As compared to baseline, significant increases in lactobacilli and bifidobacteria were found, as was a decrease in clostridia. The authors conclude, "The present symbiotic mixture seems to be effective in preventing recurrence of symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease of the colon, especially in those patients with constipation-predominant features."
"Probiotics in diverticular disease of the colon: an open label study," Lamiki P, Tsuchiya J, et al, J Gastrointestin Liver Disease, 2010 March; 19(1): 31-6. (Address: TMC Hospital, Shizuoka, Japan; Prof. F. Marotta, MD, PhD; Piazza Firenze, 12, 20154 Milano, Italy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Dietary Vitamin K Intake Linked to Reduced Risk of Cancer
In a prospective cohort study (EPIC-Heidelberg) involving 24,340 subjects between the ages of 35 and 64 years, free of cancer at enrollment, followed up with for an average of > 10 years, during which time 1,755 incident cases of cancer occurred of which 458 were fatal, dietary intake of menaquinones (vitamin K2) was found to be inversely associated with overall incidence of cancer (for highest vs. lowest quartile HR=0.86), and cancer mortality (HR=0.72). The reduction in risk associated with increasing intake of menaquinones was even greater in men than in women, specifically seen with prostate and lung cancers. No association was found for phylloquinone (vitamin K1) intake. The authors conclude, "These findings suggest that dietary intake of menaquinones, which is highly determined by the consumption of cheese, is associated with a reduced risk of incident and fatal cancer."
"Dietary vitamin K intake in relation to cancer incidence and mortality: results from the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Heidelberg)," Nimptsch K, Rohrmann S, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2010 March 24; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: J Linseisen, Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen, German Research Centre for Environmental Health, Ingolstadter Landstr. 1, D-85746 Neuherberg, Germany. E-mail: email@example.com ).
L-Carnitine May Improve Exercise Performance and Reduce Oxidative Stress in Patients with Renal Disease
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, counterbalanced, crossover study involving 12 hemodialysis patients, intravenous treatment with L-carnitine (20 mg/kg) for a period of 8 weeks was found to increase blood carnitine levels at rest and after performing an exercise test. Moreover, supplementation with L-carnitine was associated with increased time-to-fatigue (22%), and decreased post-exercise lactate (37%), submaximal heart rate, and respiratory quotient. In addition, increases in GSH/GSSG (2.7-fold at rest, 4-fold post-exercise), GPX activity (4.5% at rest, 10% post-exercise), and decreases in MDA (19% at rest and post-exercise) and protein carbonyl (27% at rest, 40% post-exercise) were found. VO2peak was not affected. These results suggest that treatment with L-carnitine may benefit patients with renal disease on hemodialysis. Reference: "L-carnitine Effects on Oxidative Stress Responses in Patients With Renal Disease," Fatouros IG, Douroudos I, et al, Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2010 March 8; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, Komotini, Greece).
Drinking Grape Juice May Alleviate Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study involving 77 patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, results indicate that drinking grape juice daily may help protect against chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). The patients were randomized to 4 oz. of grape juice or placebo prior to meals for one week following each of four chemotherapy treatment cycles. Nausea and vomiting frequency, duration, and distress were lower for patients in the grape juice group, compared to patients in the placebo group. However, due to a high attrition rate, the authors recommend further studies to evaluate the efficacy of grape juice intake in alleviating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Reference: "Effect of concord grape juice on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: results of a pilot study," Ingesoll GL, Berry C, et al, Oncol Nurs Forum, 2010; 37(2): 213-21. (Address: University of Rochester Medical Center, New York, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vitamin D Supplementation May Benefit Patients With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
In a retrospective study involving 221 chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients, results indicate a significantly high prevalence of low vitamin D status. Serum 25-OH vitamin D levels were measured in the patients and found to be moderately to severely suboptimal in CFS patients, with a mean of 44.4 nmol/L (optimal levels >75 nmol/L). The mean serum vitamin D levels were observed to be significantly lower than a control group of patients attending a hospital for other chronic conditions, and to a large British longitudinal survey of 45-year old women. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "This data supports the recommendation made in recent NICE guidelines that all patients with moderate to severe CFS should be encouraged to obtain adequate sun exposure and eat foods high in vitamin D. Oral or intramuscular vitamin D supplementation should be considered for those whose levels remain suboptimal." Reference: "Serum 25-hydroxy Vitamin D Levels in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a Retrospective Survey," Berkovitz S, Thurgood S, et al, Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 2009; 79(4): 250-4. (Address: Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK).
Quercetin Supplementation Improves Exercise Endurance in Untrained Subjects
In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study involving 12 healthy but untrained (in physical exercise) subjects, supplementation with quercetin (500 mg, twice daily, dissolves in vitamin-enriched Tang) for a period of 7 days was found to enhance maximal aerobic capacity and delay fatigue during prolonged exercise. Increases in VO2max (3.9%) and bicycle ride time to fatigue (13.2%) were found in subjects given the quercetin. The authors conclude, "This apparent increase in fitness without exercise training may have implications beyond that of performance enhancement to health promotion and disease prevention." Reference: "The Dietary Flavonoid Quercetin Increases VO2max and Endurance Capacity," Davis JM, Carlstedt CJ, et al, Int J Sports Nutr Exerc Metab, 2010; 20(1): 56-62. (Address: Div. of Applied Physiology, Dept. of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA).
Vitamin D Status and Body Mass Index
In a multi-part study involving a longitudinal, population-based, multipurpose study involving 2,656 subjects, a cross-sectional study involving 10,229 subjects, and a one-year, randomized, placebo-controlled, intervention trial involving 93 subjects supplemented with 40,000 IU/week, serum 25(OH)D levels were found to be strongly associated with body mass index (BMI). Results of the cross-sectional study found a significant inverse association between serum 25(OH)D and BMI through all seasons (despite the fact that serum 25(OH)D varied but BMI did not). Results of the longitudinal study found that change in BMI was a significant negative predictor of change in serum 25(OH)D. Finally, results of the intervention study found that after 1 years of supplementation with vitamin D, the increase in serum 25(OH)D was significant and was inversely associated with the BMI levels from baseline. The authors conclude, "We have confirmed the strong association between serum 25(OH) D and BMI. The very obese need higher vitamin D doses than lean subjects to achieve the same serum 25(OH)D levels." Reference: "Cross-sectional and longitudinal relation between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and body mass index: the Tromso study," Jorde R, Sneve M, et al, Eur J Nutr, 2010 March 4; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromso, Tromso, Norway. E-mail: email@example.com ).