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21 April 2016

Combination of total glucosides of peony and leflunomide for rheumatoid arthritis

In a systematic review, researchers evaluated the efficacy and safety of the total glucosides of peony and leflunomide for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. 8 randomized controlled trials including 643 rheumatoid arthritis patients were reviewed. The levels of ESR, CRP, and RF (rheumatoid factor) in rheumatoid arthritis patients who received the combination of total glucosides of peony and leflunomide were significantly lower than those who received leflunomide therapy alone. The results also suggest that the combination of total glucosides of peony and leflunomide caused less abnormal liver function than leflunomide alone.

Feng Z, Xu J, He G, et al. The efficacy and safety of the combination of total glucosides of peony and leflunomide for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine. Vol. 2016 (2016, article id 9852793, 8 pages.

20 April 2016

Use of Chinese herbs during chemotherapy for breast cancer

This systematic review of randomized controlled trials investigated the use of Chinese herbal medicine in conjunction with chemotherapy for breast cancer. The results showed that the combined use of Chinese herbal medicine with chemotherapy may improve the immediate tumor response and reduce chemotherapy-associated adverse events. However, the studies were of poor quality and the researchers concluded that additional well-designed randomized controlled trials are warranted.

Sun X, Zhang X, Nian J-Y et al. Chinese herbal medicine as adjunctive therapy to chemotherapy for breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Vol 2016 (2016), article id 3281968, 19 pages.

10 April 2016

Mate tea improves strength recovery after exercise

In this study, researchers investigated the effect of mate tea consumption on muscle strength and oxidative stress biomarkers after eccentric exercise. In a randomised, cross-over design, 12 men were assigned to drink either mate tea or water (control) for 11 days. On the 8th day, subjects performed three sets of twenty maximal eccentric elbow flexion exercises. Maximal isometric elbow flexion force was measured before and at 0, 24, 48 and 72 h after exercise. After eccentric exercise, muscle strength was significantly reduced over time, regardless of treatments. However, mate tea improved the rate of strength recovery by 8.6% on the 1st day after exercise. Blood levels of glutathione (GSH) were significantly decreased at 48 and 72 h after exercise in control but did not change over time in mate tea. The authors conclude 'mate tea intake did not influence muscle strength at all time points assessed but hastened the strength recovery over 24 h after exercise. Mate tea also favoured the concentration of blood antioxidant compounds'.

Panza VP, Diefenthaeler F, Tamborindeguy AC, et al. Effects of mate tea consumption on muscle strength and oxidative stress markers after eccentric exerciseBr J Nutr. 2016 Feb 26:1-9.

09 April 2016

Higher intake of fibre from fruit and vegetables lowers likelihood of depressive symptoms

In a recent study of 1977 Japanese workers, researchers investigated cross-sectionally the associations of dietary intakes of total, soluble, insoluble, and sources of fiber with depressive symptomsDietary fiber intake from vegetables and fruits was significantly inversely associated with depressive symptoms. Dietary intake of total, soluble, insoluble, and cereal fiber was not associated with depressive symptoms. The authors conclude 'Higher dietary fiber intake from vegetables and fruits may be associated with lower likelihood of having depressive symptoms'.

Miki T, Eguchi M, Kurotani K, et al. Dietary fiber intake and depressive symptoms in Japanese employees: The Furukawa Nutrition and Health Study. Nutrition. 2016 May;32(5):584-9.

08 April 2016

Vitamin D significantly lowers risk of bladder cancer

Ensuring sufficient serum vitamin D concentrations appears to play an important role in decreasing the risk of bladder cancer. The serum vitamin D concentration ≥74 nmol/L in this meta-analysis was associated with a 60% lower risk of bladder cancer incidence.

Zhao Y, Chen C, Pan W, et al. Comparative efficacy of vitamin D status in reducing the risk of bladder cancer: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. Nutrition. 2016 May;32(5):515-23.

07 April 2016

Vitamin D deficiency common in Crohn's disease

In a meta-analysis, researchers have found that patients with Crohn's disease have lower serum vitamin D concentrations compared with their healthy counterparts, and more than half of them were vitamin D deficient. Moreover, there was an inverse correlation between circulating vitamin D concentrations and severity of Crohn's disease.

Sadeghian M, Saneei P, Siassi F, Esmaillzadeh A. Vitamin D status in relation to Crohn's disease: Meta-analysis of observational studies. Nutrition. 2016 May;32(5):505-14.

04 April 2016

Eating rye and oats lowers risk of heart attack

This prospective study of 54,871 Danish adults investigated the association between whole-grain intake in terms of total intake and intakes of different cereals such as wheat, rye and oats, and myocardial infarction. For both men and women with the highest total whole-grain intake showed lower risk of myocardial infarction compared to individuals with the lowest intake. When the specific grain was considered, rye and oats, but not wheat, were associated with lower myocardial infarction risk in men. No significant associations were seen in women. Rye bread (in men and women) and oatmeal (in men) were associated with significantly lower risk of myocardial infarction, whereas no significant association was shown for whole-grain bread, crispbread, and wheat. The authors conclude "In this study, we provide support for the hypothesis that whole-grain intake is related to lower risk of myocardial infarction and suggest that the cereals rye and oats might especially hold a beneficial effect".

Helnæs A, Kyrø C, Andersen I, et al. Intake of whole grains is associated with lower risk of myocardial infarction: the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Apr;103(4):999-1007.

12 March 2016

Grape juice improves memory and driving performance in working mothers

This study investigated that effect of daily consumption of Concord grape juice on cognitive function, driving performance, and blood pressure in 25 healthy, middle-aged working mothers of preteen children. Participants consumed 355 mL (12 ounces) of either Concord grape juice or an energy-, taste-, and appearance-matched placebo daily for 12 weeks according to a randomized crossover design with a 4-week washout. The results showed significant improvements in immediate spatial memory and driving performance after Concord grape juice relative to placebo. There was evidence of an enduring effect of Concord grape juice such that participants who received Concord grape juice in arm 1 maintained better performance in the placebo arm. The authors conclude 'Cognitive benefits associated with the long-term consumption of flavonoid-rich grape juice are not exclusive to adults with mild cognitive impairment. Moreover, these cognitive benefits are apparent in complex everyday tasks such as driving'.

Lamport DJ, Lawton CL, Merat N, Jamson H et al. Concord grape juice, cognitive function, and driving performance: a 12-wk, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover trial in mothers of preteen children. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Mar;103(3):775-83. 

11 March 2016

Consuming more legumes may lower prostate cancer risk

Dried lentils
In a prospective study involving just over 3000 men, researchers have found that an increased legume intake lowers risk of prostate cancer. This association was maintained after excluding soya and soya products from the legume group. No association was observed between prostate cancer risk and intakes of fruits, vegetables, potatoes and tomato products. The authors conclude "our results suggest an inverse association between legume intake and prostate cancer risk, supported by mechanistic plausibility. These results should be confirmed by large-scale observational and intervention studies".

Diallo A, Deschasaux M, Galan P, et al. Associations between fruit, vegetable and legume intakes and prostate cancer risk: results from the prospective Supplémentation en Vitamines et Minéraux Antioxydants (SU.VI.MAX) cohortBr J Nutr. 2016 Mar 7:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]

12 February 2016

Pomegranate reduces inflammation and cholesterol levels in obese patients

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 48 obese and overweight participants were randomly assigned to receive either 1000 mg of pomegranate extract, or a placebo, daily for 30 days. At baseline, and after 30 days of treatment, anthropometric parameters, dietary intake, plasma concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and hyper sensitive-C reactive protein (hs-CRP) and levels of serum lipids, glucose and insulin were assessed. Thirty days of pomegranate extract supplementation resulted in a significant decrease in mean serum levels of glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and plasma MDA, IL-6 and hs-CRP. High density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) significantly increased following the pomegranate extract versus the placebo intervention. The authors conclude 'pomegranate extract consumption may reduce complications linked with obesity'.

Hosseini B, Saedisomeolia A, Wood LG, Yaseri M, Tavasoli S. Effects of pomegranate extract supplementation on inflammation in overweight and obese individuals: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Feb;22:44-50.

27 January 2016

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

In Australia, researchers have found that an apple a day does indeed keep the doctor away! This study investigated the association of apple intake with all-cause and disease-specific mortality over 15 years in a cohort of women aged over 70 years. Secondary analyses explored relationships of other fruits with mortality outcomes. Usual fruit intake was assessed in 1456 women using a food frequency questionnaire. During 15 years of follow-up, 607 (41.7%) women died from any cause. Those who consumed an apple a day had a 35% lower risk of mortality compared to those who did not consume apples. The analysis also found that higher apple intake was associated with lower risk for cancer mortality, and that higher total fruit and banana intakes were associated lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. The authors conclude 'Our results support the view that regular apple consumption may contribute to lower risk of mortality'.

Hodgson JM, Prince RL, Woodman RJ, et al. Apple intake is inversely associated with all-cause and disease-specific mortality in elderly women. Br J Nutr. 2016 Jan 20:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]

20 December 2015

Vitamin C and E improves lung function in exercise-induced asthma

Using a single-blind randomized crossover design researchers investigated if vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin E (α-tocopherol) supplementation would improve airway function in 8 clinically diagnosed exercise-induced asthma (EIA) subjects and 5 healthy control subjects. Subjects consumed vitamin C 500mg and vitamin E 300IU or placebo daily for three weeks, followed by a three week washout period and then three weeks of the alternative treatment. The results showed supplementation led to significant improvements in lung function in subjects with EIA.

Kurti SP, Murphy JD, Ferguson CS, Brown KR, Smith JR, Harms CA. Improved lung function following dietary antioxidant supplementation in exercise-induced asthmatics. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2015 Oct 20;220:95-101.

19 December 2015

Cholesterol lowering effect of probiotics

This meta-analysis examined the effect of probiotics on the reduction of lipid components and coexisting risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. A total of 15 studies with 788 subjects were selected for inclusion in the analysis. The results showed statistically significant effects of probiotics on total cholesterol and LDL when the medium was fermented milk or yogurt compared to capsule form, consumption was at least 8 weeks in duration, and the probiotics consisted of multiple strains rather than a single strain. A significant reduction was found in LDL in trials which contained Lactobacillus Acidophilus strain compared to other types of strains. The authors conclude 'Our findings suggest that probiotic supplementation use is effective in lowering the lipid level and coexisting factors associated with cardiovascular disease'.

Sun J, Buys N. Effects of probiotics consumption on lowering lipids and CVD risk factors: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Ann Med. 2015 Sep;47(6):430-40.

24 November 2015

Selenium supplementation leads in a higher regression rate for women with CIN1

In a recent study, researchers have found in women diagnosed with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 1 (CIN1), 200 μg of selenium (Se) daily for 6 months led to a higher rate of regression and positive changes to their metabolic profile compared to placebo. This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was carried out among 58 women diagnosed with CIN1 randomly assigned to two groups to receive 200 μg Se supplements as Se yeast (n 28) or placebo (n 28) daily for 6 months. After 6 months of taking Se supplements, 88% of women in the Se group had regressed CIN1 compared with 56% in the placebo group. Se supplementation, compared with the placebo, resulted in significant decreases in fasting plasma glucose levels, serum insulin levels, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance values and a significant elevation in quantitative insulin sensitivity check index. In addition, patients who received Se supplements had significantly decreased serum TAG and increased HDL-cholesterol levels. Plasma total antioxidant capacity and GSH was significantly increased as well as a significant decrease in malondialdehyde levels among those who took Se supplements. The authors conclude 'taking Se supplements among patients with CIN1 led to its regression and had beneficial effects on their metabolic profiles'.

Karamali M, Nourgostar S, Zamani A, Vahedpoor Z, Asemi Z. The favourable effects of long-term selenium supplementation on regression of cervical tissues and metabolic profiles of patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2015 Dec;114(12):2039-45.

    16 November 2015

    Guided imagery helps patients wean from mechanical ventilation

    This recent study assessed the effects of guided imagery on sedation levels, sedative and analgesic volume consumption, and physiological responses of patients being weaned from mechanical ventilation. 42 patients were selected from two community acute care hospitals. One hospital served as the comparison group and provided routine care (no intervention) while the other hospital provided the guided imagery intervention. The intervention included two sessions, each lasting 60 minutes, offered during morning weaning trials from mechanical ventilation. The guided imagery group had significantly improved Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale (RASS) scores and reduced sedative and analgesic volume consumption. During the second session, oxygen saturation levels significantly improved compared to the comparison group. The guided imagery group had 4.88 less days requiring mechanical ventilation and 1.4 reduction in hospital length of stay compared to the comparison group. The authors conclude 'Guided imagery appeared to be effective, safe, and feasible intervention to use in patients being weaned from mechanical ventilation. Future research is needed including a larger randomized controlled trial examining the effect of guided imagery use with a larger sample with a longer tracking period in relation to patient outcomes'.

    Spica L, Hart PL, Gallagher E et al. The Effects of Guided Imagery on Patients Being Weaned from Mechanical Ventilation. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 802865, 9 pages

    04 November 2015

    Type 2 diabetics benefit from Tai Chi

    In a small study with 8 participants, researchers investigated the effects of an 8-week, 3 hour per week Tai Chi intervention on peripheral somatosensation in older adults with type 2 diabetes. After the 8 weeks the participants showed improvements in ankle proprioception, fitness and decreased plantar pressure in the forefoot. The authors conclude 'study results suggest that Tai Chi may be beneficial for older adults with diabetes as it improves ankle proprioception; however, study findings need to be confirmed in a larger sample size randomized controlled trial'.

    Cavegn EI, Riskowski JL. The effects of tai chi on peripheral somatosensation, balance, and fitness in hispanic older adults with type 2 diabetes: a pilot and feasibility study. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2015 (2015), article ID 767213, 9 pages.

    03 November 2015

    Dietary folate and vitamin B6 protective for nasopharyngeal carcinoma

    In this study researchers investigated the dietary intake of four nutrients, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and methionine, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) risk in Chinese adults. The results showed a higher dietary folate or vitamin B6 intake was associated with a lower risk for NPC. The authors conclude 'this study suggests that dietary folate and vitamin B6 may be protective for NPC in a high-risk population'.

    Zeng FF, Liu YT, Lin XL, Fan YY, Zhang XL, Xu CH, Chen YM. Folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and methionine intakes and risk for nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Chinese adults: a matched case-control study. Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 30:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]

    07 May 2015

    Boron reduces severity and duration of menstrual pain

    Primary dysmenorrhea refers to painful menstrual cramps without pelvic pathology. The condition is highly prevalent among women and exerts negative effects on their quality of life. This study looked at the effects of Boron supplementation on the severity and duration of menstrual pain in 113 female university students. The case group consumed 10 mg/day Boron from two days before the menstrual flow until its third day. The control group received placebo capsules. All subjects were asked to take the capsules for two consecutive menstrual cycles. Pain severity (measured on a visual analog scale) and duration (in hours) were measured at baseline and during the two cycles. The two groups had no significant differences in the severity and duration of pain at baseline. After the intervention, however, the severity and duration of pain were significantly lower in the case group than in the control group. The authors conclude "Based on our findings, Boron supplementation can reduce the severity and duration of menstrual pain through exerting anti-inflammatory effects".

    Nikkhah SDolatian MNaghii MRZaeri FTaheri SM. Effects of boron supplementation on the severity and duration of pain in primary dysmenorrheaComplement Ther Clin Pract. 2015 Apr 4. [Epub ahead of print]

    06 May 2015

    Ginkgo effective for ADHD

    Ginkgo biloba has been found to be an effective complementary therapy for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children and adolescents with ADHD received methylphenidate (20-30 mg/day) plus either G. biloba (80-120 mg/day) or placebo for 6 weeks. Parent and teacher forms of the ADHD Rating Scale-IV (ADHD-RS-IV) were completed at baseline, week 2, and week 6. Treatment response was defined as 27% improvement from baseline in the ADHD-RS-IV. Compared with placebo, more reduction was observed with G. biloba regarding ADHD-RS-IV parent rating inattention score and total score as well as teacher rating inattention score. Response rate was higher with G. biloba compared with placebo based on parent rating (93.5% vs. 58.6%).

    Shakibaei FRadmanesh MSalari EMahaki B. Ginkgo biloba in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. A randomized, placebo-controlled, trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2015 Apr 18. [Epub ahead of print]

    05 March 2015

    l-carnitine reduces inflammation in coronary artery disease patients

    This study investigated the effect of l-carnitine supplementation (1000 mg/d) for 12 weeks on inflammation markers in 47 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). The results showed after l-carnitine supplementation, the levels of inflammation markers were significantly reduced compared with the baseline and those in the placebo group.

    Lee BJ, Lin JS, Lin YC, Lin PT. Antiinflammatory effects of l-carnitine supplementation (1000 mg/d) in coronary artery disease patients. Nutrition. 2015 Mar;31(3):475-9.