Drop Pounds with the Press of a Button
Turns out that simply by turning your TV remote OFF, you can lose up to 12 pounds a year!
Researchers found that people who halved their daily TV time (from 5 hours to 2 1/2, on average) burned 120 more calories per day than those who continued to watch their same amount.
It's true. According to lead study author, Jennifer Otten of Stanford University Prevention Research Center, "Most increased their calorie burn through light activities like cleaning the house."
I'll tell you what - if I turn OFF the tube, and turn UP the tunes on my iPod, I'm generally more inclined to get more work done - and more "active" work like cleaning, dusting, or vacuuming.
And who couldn't stand to lose an extra 12 pounds?
Low Folate Linked to Depressive Symptoms in Women
In a study involving data collected from 2,524 adults in the United States, between the ages of 20 and 85 years, elevated depressive symptoms were found to be inversely associated with folate status, especially among women (fully adjusted odds ratio = 0.37), while no significant associations were found for vitamin B12 or tHcy. Among subjects aged 50 years or older, tHcy was positively associated with elevated depressive symptoms (fully adjusted odds ratio = 3.01). The authors conclude, "Future interventions to improve mental health outcomes among U.S. adults should take into account dietary and other factors that would increase levels of serum folate."
"Serum Folate, Vitamin B-12, and Homocysteine and Their Association With Depressive Symptoms Among U.S. Adults," Beydoun MA, Shroff MR, et al, Psychosom Med, 2010 Sept 14; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health/Intramural Research Program (M.A.B., A.B.Z.), Baltimore, Maryland, USA).
Does Your DNA Make You Look Fat?
Talk about Skinny Genes! And no, I'm not talking about the latest fashion trend.
Scientists and researchers at the University of Cincinnati, along with researchers from Eli Lilly and Company have identified one of the genes that may cause your body to store fat.
They started with mice, of course. Genetically modified ones. After 16 weeks on a high-fat, high-sugar diet the modified mice stayed slim, while the unmodified mice got FAT. The gene is called the "kappa opioid receptor."
I say, who cares what it's called - let's find out a way to block that sucker! And they may.
Only time will tell . . . In the meantime, I guess we'll all have to try to fit into our skinny jeans the old-fashioned way. Plenty of exercise and a healthy diet.
Vitamin D Deficiency And Cardiovascular Risk Factors And Diseases
In a prospective study involving 41,504 subjects, results indicate that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with prevalent and incident cardiovascular risk factors and diseases. 63.6% of the subjects showed vitamin D deficiency (<= 30 ng/mL). After adjusting for confounders, vitamin D deficiency was significantly associated with increases in the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and peripheral vascular disease. Additionally, vitamin D levels were inversely associated with coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke, as well as with incident death, heart failure, coronary artery disease/myocardial infarction, stroke, and their composite. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "we have confirmed a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the general healthcare population and an association between vitamin D levels and prevalent and incident CV risk factors and outcomes. These observations lend strong support to the hypothesis that vitamin D might play a primary role in CV risk factors and disease. Given the ease of vitamin D measurement and replacement, prospective studies of vitamin D supplementation to prevent and treat CV disease are urgently needed."
"Relation of vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular risk factors, disease status, and incident events in a general healthcare population," Anderson JL, Lappe DL, et al, Am J Cardiol, 2010; 106(7): 963-8. (Address: Cardiovascular Department, Intermountain Medical Center, Murray, Utah, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
B Vitamins that Lower Homocysteine Slow Brain Atrophy in Elderly with Mild Cognitive Impairment
In a single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 271 subjects over 70 years of age with mild cognitive impairment, supplementation with folic acid (0.8 mg/d), vitamin B(12) (0.5 mg/d), and vitamin B(6) (20 mg/d), for a period of 24 months, was found to be associated with significantly lower mean rate of brain atrophy per year (0.76%), as compared to subjects receiving placebo (1.08%). The authors point out that the treatment response was related to baseline homocysteine levels; i.e., subjects with baseline homocysteine levels > 13 micromol/L, were found to have a 53% lower rate of brain atrophy in the active treatment group. The authors conclude, "The accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment can be slowed by treatment with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins." Given that fact that, "Sixteen percent of those over 70 y old have mild cognitive impairment and half of these develop Alzheimer' s disease," these results are significant. The authors add, "Since accelerated brain atrophy is a characteristic of subjects with mild cognitive impairment who convert to Alzheimer's disease, trials are needed to see if the same treatment will delay the development of Alzheimer's disease."
"Homocysteine-lowering by B vitamins slows the rate of accelerated brain atrophy in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial," Smith AD, Smith SM, et al, PLoS One, 2010; 5(9): e12244. (Address: Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom. E-mail: email@example.com ).
Eating Almonds May Benefit Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes And Mild Hyperlipidemia
In a randomized, crossover study involving 20 Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes and mild hyperlipidemia, results indicate that eating almonds may improve adiposity, glycemic control, and lipid profile. After a two-week run-in period, patients were assigned to either a control National Cholesterol Education Program step II diet (control diet) or an almond diet ( replace 20% of total daily calorie intake; approx. 60 g/day) for 4 weeks. After a 2 week washout period the interventions were crossed over for another 4 weeks. Almond diet was associated with significant decreases in body fat, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the ratio of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, plasma apolipoprotein (apo) B levels, apo B/apo A-1 ratio, nonesterified fatty acid, fasting insulin, fasting glucose, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index, compared with control diet. Thus, the authors of this study co nclude, "Our results suggested that incorporation of almonds into a healthy diet has beneficial effects on adiposity, glycemic control, and the lipid profile, thereby potentially decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus."
"Almond consumption improved glycemic control and lipid profiles in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus," Li SC, Chen CY, et al, Metabolism, 2010 May 22; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: School of Nutrition and Health Science, Taipei Medical University, Taipei City, 110, Taiwan).
Vitamin D Supplementation May Help Protect Cardiovascular Health in Black Youth
In a randomized, blinded, controlled clinical trial involving 49 normotensive black youth (boys and girls, mean age: 16.3 years), supplementation with vitamin D (2000 IU/d) was found to increase plasma 25(OH)D levels to 33.1, 70.9, and 85.7 nmol/L at 4, 8, and 16 weeks, respectively, significantly more than levels achieved in control subjects who received only 400 IU/d vitamin D (34.0, 44.9, and 59.8 nmol/L, at 4, 8, and 16 weeks, respectively). In addition, subjects who received 2000 IU/d vitamin D were found to have a decrease in carotid-femoral PWV (5.41 m/sec to 5.33 m/sec), a measure of arterial stiffness, as compared to an increase found among subjects in the control group (5.38 m/sec to 5.71 m/sec). The authors also found that the increase in plasma 25(OH)D level in response to vitamin D supplementation was negatively modulated by adiposity. The authors conclude, "Daily 2000 IU vitamin D supplementation may be effective in optimizing vitamin D status and counte racting the progression of aortic stiffness in black youth."
"A 16-Week Randomized Clinical Trial of 2000 International Units Daily Vitamin D3 Supplementation in Black Youth: 25-Hydroxyvitamin D, Adiposity, and Arterial Stiffness," Dong Y, Stallman-Jorgensen IS, et al, J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2010 July 21; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Georgia Prevention Institute, Department of Pediatrics (Y.D., I.S.S.-J., N.K.P., R.A.H., D.K., Y.H., K.L., D.G., J.T., G.L.P., H.Z.); General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics (R.B.), and Endocrinology, Department of Medicine (J.W.), Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912; and Endocrinology, Department of Medicine (M.F.H.), Boston University Medical Center, School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA).
Perioperative Metabolic Therapy with Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium Orotate, Lipoic Acid, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Selenium Enhances Recovery in Cardiac Surgery Patients
In a randomized, double-blind study involving 117 patients (mean age: 65 years, 74% male) undergoing elective coronary artery bypass graft and/or valve surgery, perioperative metabolic therapy for an average of 76 days (consisting of supplementation with coenzyme Q10, magnesium orotate, lipoic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium) was found to increase antioxidant levels pre-operatively, attenuating the adverse effects of surgery on redox status (cardiac surgery increased oxidative stress and decreased plasma levels of key antioxidants). Reductions in plasma troponin I 24 hours post-operatively were found. Moreover, post-operative hospital stay was shortened by 1.2 days (from 8.1 to 6.9 days), and hospital costs were reduced as well. The authors conclude, "Perioperative metabolic therapy for cardiac surgery is safe and inexpensive and is associated with improved redox status, reduced myocardial damage, and shortened length of postoperative hospital stay."
"Perioperative metabolic therapy improves redox status and outcomes in cardiac surgery patients: A randomised trial," Leong JY, van der Merwe J, et al, Heart Lung Circ, 2010 July 29; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Cardiac Surgical Research Unit, Alfred Hospital, Department of Surgery Monash University, Baker IDI Institute, Melbourne, Australia).
Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
In a randomized, controlled, pilot trial involving 27 children aged 3 to 8 years, with autism spectrum disorder, experiencing hyperactivity, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids (1.3 g/d) for a period of 12 weeks was found to reduce hyperactivity (2.7 point improvement on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist, as compared to a 0.3 point improvement in the placebo group). The researchers found correlations between reductions in the levels of 5 different fatty acids and reductions in hyperactivity. The treatment was well tolerated with no significant adverse effects reported. The authors conclude, "Although this pilot study did not find a statistically significant benefit from omega-3 fatty acids, the small sample size does not rule out small to moderate beneficial effects."
"A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Autism Spectrum Disorder," Bent S, Bertoglio K, et al, J Autism Dev Disord, 2010 Aug 4; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco VAMC, 111-A1, 4150 Clement St., San Francisco, CA, 94121, USA. E-mail Stephen.Bent@ucsf.edu ).
Acupuncture Reduces Pain and Need for Medication After Coronary Bypass Surgery
In a randomized, case-control study involving 30 patients who underwent a median sternotomy for coronary artery bypass graft, treatment with acupuncture (electroacupuncture) in addition to pharmacologic analgesia, was found to statistically significantly reduce pain and need for both opioid and non-opioid medication (pethidine hydrochloride and metamizole sodium) during the first 7 days post-surgery, as compared to subjects treated with pharmacologic analgesia alone. In addition, in the acupuncture group, post-operative forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity value was higher than pre-operative levels. One patient in each group experienced post-operative complications (atelectasia). These results add to the existing body of evidence demonstrating the beneficial effects of perioperative treatment with acupuncture.
"Postoperative pain and respiratory function in patients treated with electroacupuncture following coronary surgery," Colak MC, Kavakli A, et al, Neurosciences (Riyadh), 2010 Jan; 15(1): 7-10. (Address: Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Firat University, Elazig, Turkey. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Serum Magnesium Levels Inversely Associated with Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death
In a prospective cohort study involving 14,232 subjects (aged 45 to
64 years at enrollment), results indicate an inverse association
between serum magnesium levels and risk of sudden cardiac death
(SCD). During an average of 12 years of follow-up, 264 cases of SCD
were recorded. After adjusting for potential confounders, an
inverse association was observed between serum magnesium levels and
risk of SCD, where subjects in the highest quartile of serum
magnesium showed a 38% reduced risk of SCD, compared with subjects
in the lowest quartile. Thus, the authors conclude, "This study
suggests that low levels of serum Mg may be an important predictor
of SCD. Further research into the effectiveness of Mg
supplementation for those considered to be at high risk for SCD is
Reference: "Serum magnesium and risk of sudden
cardiac death in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC)
Study," Peacock JM, Folsom AR, et al, Am Heart J, 2010; 160(3):
464-70. (Address: Division of Epidemiology and Community Health,
School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN,
Vitamin D Status May Be Associated With Depression In Older Men
In a study involving 3,369 men (mean age = 60 years) participating
in the European male Aging Study, results indicate an inverse
association between vitamin D status and depression. Depression was
screened for using the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). After
adjusting for potential confounders, a significant inverse
association was observed between serum 25(OH)D levels
(25-hydroxyvitamin D) and depression, where the risk of depression
increased by approximately 70% across decreasing quartiles of serum
25(OH)D levels. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "Our
results reveal an inverse association between 25(OH)D levels and
depression, largely independent of several lifestyle and health
factors. Further studies are required to determine whether higher
levels of vitamin D have an antidepressant effect in older
Reference: "Lower vitamin D levels are associated
with depression among community-dwelling European men," Lee DM,
Pendleton N, et al, J Psychopharmacol, 2010, Sept 7; [Epub ahead of
print]. (Address: Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit,
University of Manchester, UK).
Probiotic Supplementation May Benefit Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease
In a 6-month, prospective, randomized, double-blind,
placebo-controlled, crossover trial involving 46 outpatients with
chronic kidney disease stages 3 and 4, oral supplementation with
probiotics (90 billion CFUs/d) was found to be associated with
reductions in BUN (blood urea nitrogen) in 29 patients (63%),
creatine in 20 patients (43%), and uric acid in 15 patients (33%).
86% of patients reported a substantial improvement in overall
quality of life. The probiotics were well-tolerated and no serious
adverse effects were reported. The authors conclude, "The main
outcomes of this preliminary trial include a significant reduction
of BUN, enhanced well-being, and absence of serious adverse
effects, thus supporting the use of the chosen probiotic
formulation for bowel-based toxic solute extraction."
Reference: "Pilot study of probiotic dietary
supplementation for promoting healthy kidney function in patients
with chronic kidney disease," Ranganathan N, Ranganathan P, et al,
Adv There, 2010 Aug 16; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Kibow
Biotech, Inc., 629 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA, 19073,
USA. E-mail: email@example.com ).
High Vitamin D Status Linked to Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer
In a nested, case-control study involving 636 women diagnosed with
incident breast cancer and 1,272 controls, increased 25(OH) vitamin
D(3) serum concentrations were associated with a decreased risk of
breast cancer (OR=0.73 for women in the highest tertile).
Furthermore, women under 53 years of age at the time of blood
sampling were found to have a significant inverse association
between vitamin D status and breast cancer, while in premenopausal
women the risk was reduced, but not significantly. The authors
state, "Randomized intervention trials with vitamin D
supplementation are required to confirm its benefits on breast
cancer risk, but the maintenance of adequate vitamin D levels
should be encouraged by public health policy."
Reference: "Serum 25(OH) Vitamin D and Risk of
Breast Cancer: A Nested Case-Control Study from the French E3N
Cohort," Engel P, Fagherazzi G, et al, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers
Prev, 2010 Sept; 19(9): 2341-50. (Address: Francoise
Clavel-Chapelon, Team 9: Nutrition, Hormones, and Women's Health,
Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health-Institut
National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale U1018, Institut
Gustave Roussy, 39 Rue Camille Desmoulins, 94805 Villejuif Cedex,
France. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Treatment of Asthma
In a study involving subjects with grass pollen allergic asthma and
19 healthy non-asthmatic controls, the ratios of omega-3/omega-6
PUFAs in erythrocyte membranes were significantly lower in all
asthmatics, as compared to controls, and levels of exhaled nitric
oxide, a surrogate for inflammation, were significantly higher in
asthmatics in the lowest quartile of PUFAs in erythrocyte
membranes, as compared to asthmatics in the highest quartile of
PUFA levels. In addition, asthmatics in the lowest quartile of PUFA
levels were found to have a trend towards higher bronchial
hyper-reactivity, after being induced by a bronchial challenge with
grass pollen. The authors conclude, "Future intervention studies
with pharmacological PUFA doses appear suitable to clarify dietary
PUFA role as an adjunctive intervention to the established
treatment of asthma."
Reference: "Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
and bronchial inflammation in grass pollen allergy after allergen
challenge," Kitz R, Rose MA, et al, Respir Med, 2010 July 14; [Epub
ahead of print]. (Address: Children's Hospital, Goethe University,
Low-Dose Fish Oil Supplementation May Lower Serum Triglycerides
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving
124 subjects, aged 65 years or more, results indicate that low-dose
supplementation with fish oil may significantly reduce serum
triglycerides. The subjects were randomized to 1 g/day fish oil
capsule (180 mg eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA; and 120 mg
docosahexaenoic acid, DHA; a total of 300 mg omega-3 fatty acids)
or placebo, for a period of 6 months. At intervention end, a
significant decrease in serum triglycerides was observed in the
fish oil group, compared with the placebo group. Thus, the authors
of this study conclude, "Supplementation with low dose omega-3
fatty acids for 6 months could significantly protect elderly
Iranians from a rise in serum triglycerides."
Reference: "The Effects of Low Dose n-3 Fatty
Acids on Serum Lipid Profiles and Insulin Resistance of the
Elderly: a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial," Fakhrzadeh H,
Larijani B, et al, Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 2010; 80(2): 107-16.
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Against DNA Damage
In a controlled, crossover study involving 18 healthy adults,
results indicate that green tea intake may protect against DNA
damage. Using a crossover design (with a 6-week washout period)
subjects were assigned to 2 x 150 ml/d (2 cups) of 1 % (w/v)
Longjing green tea or 'screw-shaped' green tea or water (control)
for a period of 4 weeks. Green tea intake was associated with a 20%
reduction in DNA damage. Thus, the authors of this study conclude,
"The results indicate that green tea has significant genoprotective
effects and provide evidence for green tea as a 'functional
Reference: "Genoprotective effects of green tea (
Camellia sinensis) in human subjects: results of a controlled
supplementation trial," Han KC, Benzie IF, et al, Br J Nutr, 2010
Sept 1; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Health
Technology and Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Kowloon, Hong Kong).
Supplementation with Vitamin D and Calcium May Benefit Periodontal Health
In a study involving 51 patients with chronic periodontitis (with
at least 2 interproximal sites with at least 3 mm clinical
attachment loss), enrolled in periodontal maintenance programs at 2
different dental clinics, supplementation with vitamin D (at least
400 IU/d) and calcium (at least 1000 mg/d) over a period of 1 year
was found to be associated with modest beneficial effects on
periodontal health. Subjects taking vitamin D and calcium were
taking on average: 1760 mg calcium and 1049 IU vitamin D, as
compared to 642 mg calcium and 156 IU vitamin D in the group of
patients not taking supplementation. While clinical parameters of
periodontal health improved in both groups, the improvements were
greater in the group supplementing with calcium and vitamin D. The
authors conclude, "Our findings support the possibility that
vitamin D may positively impact periodontal health and confirm the
need for randomized clinical trials on the effects of vitamin D on
Reference: "One-year Effects of Vitamin D and
Calcium Supplementation on Chronic Periodontitis," Garcia MN,
Hildebolt CF, et al, J Periodontol, 2010 Sept 1; [Epub ahead of
print]. (Address: Graduate Periodontics, Saint Louis University
Center for Advanced Dental Education, St. Louis, MO, USA).
High Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency In Patients With Chronic Liver Disease
In a study involving 158 outpatients with chronic liver disease,
results indicate a high prevalence of poor vitamin D status in this
population, and potential for improvement of vitamin D status, with
vitamin D supplementation. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels
[25(OH)D] were measured in the patients, and 64% of patients showed
sub-optimal levels of 25(OH)D, with 15% showing severe deficiency.
25(OH)D levels were found to increase by 60% with vitamin D
supplementation, and decrease by 25% in patients who did not
receive supplementation. Thus, the authors of this study conclude,
"Vitamin D deficiency improves with oral vitamin D supplementation
and levels fall without supplementation. Chronic liver disease
patients are at very high risk of vitamin D deficiency regardless
of etiology or severity."
Reference: "Oral vitamin D replacement is
effective in chronic liver disease, Rode A, Nicoll A, et al,
Gastroenterol Clin Biol, 2010 Aug 27; [Epub ahead of print].
(Address: Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Melbourne Hospital,
Grattan St, Parkville, VIC, 3050, Melbourne, Australia).
Acupuncture May Benefit Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
In a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled, clinical trial
involving 55 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder
(ASD), treatment with acupuncture (12 electro-acupuncture
treatments at real acupuncture points, over the course of 4 weeks)
was found to be associated with significant improvements in the
language comprehension domain of the Functional Independence
Measure for Children (WeeFIM), self-care caregiver assistant domain
of PEDI (Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory), and
Clinical Global Impression-Improvement, as compared to treatment
with "electro-acupuncture" at non-acupuncture points. In addition,
significantly better social initiation, receptive language, motor
skills, coordination, and attention span were found, according to
parental reports, among children in the real acupuncture group. The
authors conclude, "A short, four-week (12 sessions) course of
electro-acupuncture is useful to improve specific functions in
children with ASD, especially for language comprehension and
Reference: "Randomized controlled trial of
electro-acupuncture for autism spectrum disorder," Wong VC, Chen
WX, Altern Med Rev, 2010 July; 15(2): 136-46. (Address: Department
of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, The
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Email: email@example.com ).