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31 March 2011

Vitamin B12 deficiency common in metformin-treated diabetic patients

In a Brazilian study, 144 metformin-treated diabetic patients were checked for vitamin B12 deficiency. The results showed a high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency. Serum vitamin B12 levels were low (< 125 pmol/L) in 10 patients (6.9%) and possibly low (125 - 250 pmol/L) in 53 patients (36.8%). Older patients, low vitamin B12 intake and patients in long term treatment with metformin were found to be more prone to this deficiency.

Nervo M, Lubini A, Raimundo FV, Faulhaber GA, Leite C, Fischer LM, Furlanetto TW. Vitamin B12 in metformin-treated diabetic patients: a cross-sectional study in Brazil. Rev Assoc Med Bras. 2011;57(1):46-9.

30 March 2011

Mediterranean diet reduces risk of metabolic syndrome

This study aimed to assess the effect of a Mediterranean diet on the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. The authors conducted a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies and randomized controlled trials which included 50 original research studies with 534,906 participants. The results showed that those who consumed a Mediterranean diet had a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. The Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids, primarily from olives and olive oil, and encourages daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, and low-fat dairy products; weekly consumption of fish, poultry, trees nuts, and legumes; a relatively low consumption of red meat, approximately twice per month; as well as a moderate daily consumption of alcohol, normally with meals.

Kastorini CM, Milionis HJ, Esposito K, Giugliano D, Goudevenos JA, Panagiotakos DB. The effect of mediterranean diet on metabolic syndrome and its components a meta-analysis of 50 studies and 534,906 individuals. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57(11):1299-313.

29 March 2011

Anti-hypertensive effect of Olive leaf extract equal to Captopril

This study compared the anti-hypertensive effect of Olive leaf extract and Captopril in patients with stage-1 hypertension. For a period of 8 weeks patients took either Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract at the dosage regimen of 500 mg twice daily or Captopril at a dose of 12.5-25 mg twice daily. After 8 weeks, both groups experienced a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Additionally, this study also investigated the hypolipidemic effects of Olive leaf extract and Captopril and found a significant reduction in triglyceride levels in the Olive leaf group, but not in the Captopril group.The authors concluded that Olive leaf extract "was similarly effective in lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressures in subjects with stage-1 hypertension as Captopril".

Susalit E, Agus N, Effendi I, Tjandrawinata RR, Nofiarny D, Perrinjaquet-Moccetti T, Verbruggen M. Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract effective in patients with stage-1 hypertension: comparison with Captopril. Phytomedicine. 2011;18(4):251-8

28 March 2011

Dietary intakes of essential vitamins low in elderly

In a study of 78 elderly aged 70 to 75 years, information on dietary intake of vitamins B1, B2, A and C was collected at baseline and then 10 years later. At baseline, the intake of all vitamins exceeded the lowest European Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI), with the exception of vitamin B1, for which 44% of men and 60% of women consumed less than the RDI. After a decade, those who consumed less than the RDI of vitamin B2 and vitamin A rose to 50% of the study population. Dietary vitamin C deficiency also rose in a decade from 3% to 6% in men and from 2.3% to 4.5% in women. The authors recommend "multivitamin supplementation may be necessary, even in healthy individuals, to ensure an adequate micronutrient intake in the elderly". 

Toffanello ED, Inelmen EM, Minicuci N, Campigotto F, Sergi G, Coin A, Miotto F, Enzi G, Manzato E. Ten-year trends in vitamin intake in free-living healthy elderly people: the risk of subclinical malnutrition. J Nutr Health Aging. 2011;15(2):99-103

27 March 2011

Low level of carnitine may contribute to fatigue in chronic hepatitis C

Compared with healthy subjects, patients with chronic hepatitis C are more fatigued. They were also found to have significantly lower plasma levels of total and free carnitine. In fact, those with lower carnitine levels experienced more fatigue. The authors conclude "the severity of fatigue is associated with a low level of carnitine, suggesting that an oral supplementation may be effective to relieve fatigue in chronic hepatitis C".

Anty R, Marjoux S, Bekri S, Degalleani L, Dainese R, Gelsi E, Cherikh F, Tran A, Piche T. Plasma carnitine is associated with fatigue in chronic hepatitis C but not in the irritable bowel syndrome. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

26 March 2011

Vitamin B6 recommended for West syndrome patients

In a recent review, vitamin B6 was reported to be effective for seizures, particularly associated with West syndrome (WS), an uncommon epileptic disorder in infants. Higher doses (100-400 mg) of vitamin B6 tended to have the best results. The authors comment that "high-dose oral vitamin B6 treatment is recommended in all WS patients at time of initial treatment for a minimum of 10 days".

Ohtahara S, Yamatogi Y, Ohtsuka Y. Vitamin B6 treatment of intractable seizures. Brain Dev. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

25 March 2011

Premenstrual syndrome relief with polyunsaturated fatty acids

A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 120 women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Participants were divided into three groups and treated with 1 or 2 g of polyunsaturated fatty acids (each 1 g capsule contained 210 mg of gamma linolenic acid, 175 mg oleic acid, 345 mg linoleic acid, 250 mg of other polyunsaturated acids and 20 mg vitamin E) or placebo for 180 days. The results showed significant reduction in PMS symptoms in both polyunsaturated fatty acids groups. Improvement in symptoms was higher with 2 g compared to the 1 g dose.

Rocha Filho EA, Lima JC, Pinho Neto JS, Montarroyos U. Essential fatty acids for premenstrual syndrome and their effect on prolactin and total cholesterol levels: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study. Reprod Health. 2011;8(1):2.

24 March 2011

Probiotic reduces abdominal symptoms in diverticular disease

A probiotic in association with a high-fibre diet has been found to be effective in reducing abdominal bloating and prolonged abdominal pain in symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease. The probiotic Genefilus F19© containing Lactobacillus paracasei sub. paracasei F19 was taken with a high-fibre diet for 14 days/month for 6 months.

Annibale B, Maconi G, Lahner E, De Giorgi F, Cuomo R. Efficacy of Lactobacillus paracasei sub. paracasei F19 on abdominal symptoms in patients with symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease: a pilot study. Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2011;57(1):13-22.

23 March 2011

Breast cancer patients commonly have low vitamin D levels

Low vitamin D levels have been found to be common among women with breast cancer and associated with reduced bone mineral density in the spine. In this study of 224 women diagnosed with stage 0-III breast cancer, approximately 66.5% had deficient/insufficient vitamin D levels. Deficiency/insufficiency was more common among non-Caucasians, women with later-stage disease, and those who had previously received radiation therapy. Breast cancer patients with deficient/insufficient vitamin D levels were found to have significantly lower lumbar bone mineral density.

Peppone LJ, Huston AJ, Reid ME, Rosier RN, Zakharia Y, Trump DL, Mustian KM, Janelsins MC, Purnell JQ, Morrow GR. The effect of various vitamin D supplementation regimens in breast cancer patients. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

22 March 2011

Fish and omega-3 fatty acids may reduce cognitive decline

Researchers looked at the association between intake of omega-3 fatty acids and/or fish and cognitive function evaluated 13 years after dietary assessment in 3,294 adults. The results showed that cognitive difficulties were less frequent among subjects with higher intakes of total omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and fish. The authors conclude "cognitive complaints, which may be an early indicator of cognitive decline, are less frequent among the elderly who have a high long-chain omega-3 acids intake, as assessed 13 years earlier".

Kesse Guyot E, Péneau S, Ferry M, Jeandel C, Hercberg S, Galan P. Thirteen-Year Prospective Study between Fish Consumption, Long-Chain n-3 Fatty Acids Intakes and Cognitive Function. J Nutr Health Aging. 2011;15(2):115-20.

21 March 2011

Elderly benefit from spirulina supplementation

Anemia and immunosenescence (age related decrease in immune function) are commonly found in the elderly. This study investigated whether spirulina can ameliorate anemia and immunosenescence in 40 senior citizens aged 50 years and older with no history of major chronic diseases. During 12 weeks of spirulina supplementation there was a steady increase in mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration. Older women appeared to benefit more rapidly from spirulina supplements. Furthermore, the majority of subjects were found to have increased indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase enzyme activity and white blood cell count. The authors conclude that "spirulina may ameliorate anemia and immunosenescence in older subjects".

Selmi C, Leung PS, Fischer L, German B, Yang CY, Kenny TP, Cysewski GR, Gershwin ME. The effects of Spirulina on anemia and immune function in senior citizens. Cell Mol Immunol. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

20 March 2011

Anemia during pregnancy linked to childhood asthma

This study looked at whether maternal anemia in pregnancy is associated with wheeze and asthma in early childhood. Maternal anemia was reported by 11.9% of mothers and was associated with recurrent infant wheeze in the first year, wheezing before age 3, and early-onset transient and early-onset persistent wheeze patterns. Among children of mothers with asthma, maternal anemia was associated with recurrent wheeze in year 1 and wheeze before age 3. Offspring of mothers with asthma also had increased odds of asthma diagnosis and current asthma at 6 years of age.

Triche EW, Lundsberg LS, Wickner PG, Belanger K, Leaderer BP, Bracken MB. Association of maternal anemia with increased wheeze and asthma in children. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011;106(2):131-139

19 March 2011

Soy foods lower risk of colorectal cancer

The Fukuoka Colorectal Cancer Study included 816 patients with histologically confirmed colorectal cancer and 815 community controls. Intakes of soy foods and isoflavones were assessed by an in-person interview using a computer-assisted dietary method. Higher intakes of soy foods and isoflavones were found to lower risk of colorectal cancer in men and postmenopausal women, but not in premenopausal women. The authors conclude "The findings add to epidemiologic evidence for protective effects of soy foods and isoflavones in colorectal carcinogenesis".

Budhathoki S, Joshi AM, Ohnaka K, Yin G, Toyomura K, Kono S, Mibu R, Tanaka M, Kakeji Y, Maehara Y, Okamura T, Ikejiri K, Futami K, Maekawa T, Yasunami Y, Takenaka K, Ichimiya H, Terasaka R. Soy food and isoflavone intake and colorectal cancer risk: the Fukuoka Colorectal Cancer Study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2011;46(2):165-72.

18 March 2011

Vitamin E and beta carotene lower risk of Parkinson's disease

In a Japanese study, 249 patients within 6 years of onset of Parkinson's disease and 368 controls without a neurodegenerative disease completed a dietary questionnaire. The findings revealed that a higher consumption of vitamin E and beta carotene was significantly associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson's disease.

Miyake Y, Fukushima W, Tanaka K, Sasaki S, Kiyohara C, Tsuboi Y, Yamada T, Oeda T, Miki T, Kawamura N, Sakae N, Fukuyama H, Hirota Y, Nagai M; Fukuoka Kinki Parkinson's Disease Study Group. Dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins and risk of Parkinson's disease: a case-control study in Japan. Eur J Neurol. 2011;18(1):106-13.

17 March 2011

Antioxidant pecan nuts

Pecan nuts have been found to be antioxidant in a study of 16 men and women. Following consumption of whole and blended pecan nuts, antioxidant status improved significantly. Oxidized LDL and malondialdehyde triglycerides were found to be decreased. The authors conclude "These results show that bioactive constituent of pecans are absorbable and contribute to postprandial antioxidant defenses". 

Hudthagosol C, Haddad EH, McCarthy K, Wang P, Oda K, Sabaté J. Pecans acutely increase plasma postprandial antioxidant capacity and catechins and decrease LDL oxidation in humans. J Nutr. 2011;141(1):56-62.

16 March 2011

Low vitamin D levels in nonmetastatic prostate cancer patients

This study examined blood vitamin D levels in 106 patients with nonmetastatic prostate cancer. Sixty-four patients (60.4%) met the definition of vitamin D insufficiency with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) less than 75 nmol/L. Forty (37.7%), 20 (18.9%), and 2 patients (1.9%) had serum 25(OH)D less than 62.5, less than 50, and less than 25 nmol/L, respectively. The authors conclude that "vitamin D insufficiency was prevalent among patients with nonmetastatic prostate cancer".

Choo CS, Mamedov A, Chung M, Choo R, Kiss A, Danjoux C. Vitamin D insufficiency is common in patients with nonmetastatic prostate cancer. Nutr Res. 2011;31(1):21-6.

15 March 2011

Eating fish may protect against bone loss

The Framingham Osteoporosis Study looked at the association between dietary fish intakes and hip bone mineral density (BMD) in 623 adults with a mean age of 75. High intakes (≥3 servings per week) of fish were associated with maintenance of bone health. Specifically, a high intake of dark fish and tuna was associated with maintenance of femoral neck BMD in men and consumption of dark fish was associated with femoral neck BMD in women.

Farina EK, Kiel DP, Roubenoff R, Schaefer EJ, Cupples LA, Tucker KL. Protective effects of fish intake and interactive effects of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intakes on hip bone mineral density in older adults: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

14 March 2011

Happy people live longer and healthier lives

In a recent review researchers have found that high subjective wellbeing (such as life satisfaction, absence of negative emotions, optimism, and positive emotions) leads to better health and longevity. The authors add "If high subjective wellbeing adds 4 to 10 years to life compared to low subjective wellbeing, this is an outcome worthy of national attention. When one considers that the years lived of a happy person are more enjoyable and experienced with better health, the importance of the subjective wellbeing and health findings is even more compelling". 

Diener E, Chan MY. Happy people live longer: subjective well-being contributes to health and longevity. Applied Psychology: Health and Wellbeing. 2011;3(1):1-43.

13 March 2011

Acupressure helps traumatic brain injury survivors

Acupressure uses fingertips to stimulate acupoints on the skin. This study assessed the effects of acupressure (8 treatments over 4 weeks) on cognitive impairment following traumatic brain injury. The results showed an enhancement in working memory function in the acupressure group compared to placebo.

McFadden KL, Healy KM, Dettmann ML, Kaye JT, Ito TA, Hernández TD. Acupressure as a non-pharmacological intervention for traumatic brain injury (TBI). J Neurotrauma. 2011;28(1):21-34.

12 March 2011

Sugar-sweetened drinks increase blood pressure

Sugar-sweetened drinks have been found to increase blood pressure. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake higher than 355mL per day was associated with increases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Brown IJ, Stamler J, Van Horn L, Robertson CE, Chan Q, Dyer AR, Huang CC, Rodriguez BL, Zhao L, Daviglus ML, Ueshima H, Elliott P; for the International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure Research Group. Sugar-Sweetened Beverage, Sugar Intake of Individuals, and Their Blood Pressure: International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure. Hypertension. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

11 March 2011

Low antioxidant status in asthmatics

Antioxidant status was measured in blood samples of 47 Saudi asthmatic patients and the results were compared with samples from age-matched controls. The findings showed that asthmatic patients have significantly decreased antioxidant status and higher levels of oxidative stress.

Al-Afaleg NO, Al-Senaidy A, El-Ansary A. Oxidative stress and antioxidant status in Saudi asthmatic patients. Clin Biochem. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

10 March 2011

Calcium from vegetables lowers risk of osteoporosis

Adequate nutrition, especially calcium intake, plays a major role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. In Korea dietary calcium is consumed mainly from vegetables as they tend not consume a large amount of dairy products. In this study of 144 postmenopausal Korean women with osteoporosis and age-matched controls, high dietary intake of calcium, especially plant calcium, reduced the risk of osteoporosis and increased bone mineral density. The authors conclude that "vegetables may be an important source of calcium and may also provide vitamins and minerals that exert additional beneficial effects on the bone".

Park HM, Heo J, Park Y. Calcium from plant sources is beneficial to lowering the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal Korean women. Nutr Res. 2011;31(1):27-32.

09 March 2011

Zinc reduces risk of prostate cancer mortality

Zinc is involved in many essential cellular functions, including DNA repair and immune system maintenance. The objective of this study was to determine whether dietary zinc assessed near the time of prostate cancer diagnosis is associated with improved disease-specific survival. Study participants, 525 men with a diagnosis of prostate cancer, completed self-administered food-frequency questionnaires, and zinc intake was derived from nutrient databases. With a median follow-up of 6.4 years, 218 (42%) men died of prostate cancer and 257 (49%) died of other causes. High dietary zinc intake was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality in the study population. The association was stronger in men with localised tumours compared to men at an advanced disease stage at diagnosis. Zinc intake was not associated with mortality from other causes.

Epstein MM, Kasperzyk JL, Andrén O, Giovannucci EL, Wolk A, Håkansson N, Andersson SO, Johansson JE, Fall K, Mucci LA. Dietary zinc and prostate cancer survival in a Swedish cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(3):586-93.

08 March 2011

Multivitamin and mineral supplementation normalise trace element levels in women undergoing IVF

In a study involving 30 women undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and 13 age-matched non-pregnant controls, daily supplementation with a multivitamin and mineral tablet for 45 days was found to normalise the levels of trace elements in the serum and follicular fluids of these women. Women undergoing IVF were found to have decreased levels of selenium, zinc, and copper in both the serum and follicular fluid, as compared to controls. Supplementation normalised these levels.

Özkaya MO, Nazıroğlu M, Barak C, Berkkanoglu M. Effects of multivitamin/mineral supplementation on trace element levels in serum and follicular fluid of women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011;139(1):1-9.

07 March 2011

Higher iron intake during pregnancy increases birthweight

This study was performed in the UK, where iron supplements are not routinely recommended during pregnancy, to investigate the association between iron intake in pregnancy and size at birth. Dietary and supplement intake was ascertained in 1274 pregnant women aged 18-45 years. The results showed that 80% reported dietary iron intake below the UK Reference Nutrient Intake of 14.8 mg/day. Those reported taking iron-containing supplements in the first, second and third trimesters were 24, 15 and 8%, respectively. Women with a higher total iron intake, from food and supplements, in early pregnancy were found to be more likely to have a baby with a larger birthweight.

Alwan NA, Greenwood DC, Simpson NA, McArdle HJ, Godfrey KM, Cade JE. Dietary iron intake during early pregnancy and birth outcomes in a cohort of British women. Hum Reprod. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

06 March 2011

Probiotic relieves constipation in children

Twenty children aged between 3 and 16 years participated in a study to determine if the probiotic Bifidobacterium breve is effective in the treatment of childhood constipation. During 4 weeks, participants received one sachet of powder daily, containing 108- 1010 CFU Bifidobacterium breve. The findings showed that Bifidobacterium breve is effective in increasing stool frequency, has a positive effect with respect to stool consistency, decreases the number of faecal incontinence episodes and diminishes abdominal pain.

Tabbers MM, de Milliano I, Roseboom MG, Benninga MA. Is Bifidobacterium breve effective in the treatment of childhood constipation? Results from a pilot study. Nutr J. 2011;10(1):19. [Epub ahead of print]

05 March 2011

Vitamin B1 and vitamin B2 lowers risk of premenstrual syndrome

Researchers have evaluated whether B vitamin intake from food sources is associated with the initial development of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). They observed a significantly lower risk of PMS in women with high intakes of thiamine (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) from food. For example, women with the highest riboflavin intake 2-4 years before the diagnosis of PMS had a 35% lower risk of developing PMS than did those with the lowest intake.

Chocano-Bedoya PO, Manson JE, Hankinson SE, Willett WC, Johnson SR, Chasan-Taber L, Ronnenberg AG, Bigelow C, Bertone-Johnson ER. Dietary B vitamin intake and incident premenstrual syndrome. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

04 March 2011

Excessive infant crying associated with lower vitamin B12 status during pregnancy

This study investigated whether maternal vitamin B12 status during pregnancy is associated with excessive infant crying, defined as crying 3 or more hours per day on average in the past week, at 3 months of age. The results found that a lower maternal vitamin B12 status during pregnancy was associated with excessive infant crying.

Goedhart G, van der Wal MF, van Eijsden M, Bonsel GJ. Maternal vitamin B-12 and folate status during pregnancy and excessive infant crying. Early Hum Dev. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

03 March 2011

Fish oil increases chemotherapy efficacy

Palliative chemotherapy is aimed at increasing survival and palliating symptoms. However, the response rate to first-line chemotherapy in patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is less than 30%. This study evaluated whether the combination of fish oil and chemotherapy (carboplatin with vinorelbine or gemcitabine) provided a benefit over standard of care (SOC) on response rate and clinical benefit from chemotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC. Forty-six patients completed the study, 31 in the SOC group and 15 in the fish oil group (2.5g EPA and DHA daily). Patients in the fish oil group had an increased response rate and greater clinical benefit compared with the SOC group. One-year survival also tended to be greater in the fish oil group.

Murphy RA, Mourtzakis M, Chu QS, Baracos VE, Reiman T, Mazurak VC. Supplementation with fish oil increases first-line chemotherapy efficacy in patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer. Cancer. 2011  [Epub ahead of print]

02 March 2011

Vitamin D levels lower in children with allergies

Researchers have found an association between vitamin D deficiency (<15 ng/mL) and insufficiency (15-29 ng/mL) and allergic sensitization measured by serum IgE levels in a sample of 3136 children and adolescents. In children and adolescents allergic sensitization to 11 of 17 allergens was found to be more common in those with vitamin D deficiency. Compared with sufficient vitamin D levels of greater than 30 ng/mL, vitamin D levels of less than 15 ng/mL were associated with peanut, ragweed, and oak allergies.  

Sharief S, Jariwala S, Kumar J, Muntner P, Melamed ML Vitamin D levels and food and environmental allergies in the United States: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

01 March 2011

Probiotic improves quality of life in irritable bowel syndrome patients

The probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii has been found to improve quality of life in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Sixty seven patients with irritable bowel syndrome were randomised either to receive Saccharomyces boulardii or placebo daily for 4 weeks. The overall improvement in irritable bowel syndrome quality of life was found to be higher in the Saccharomyces boulardii group than placebo.

Choi CH, Jo SY, Park HJ, Chang SK, Byeon JS, Myung SJ. A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Multicenter Trial of Saccharomyces boulardii in IrritableBowel Syndrome: Effect on Quality of Life. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]