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31 January 2012

Vitamin D deficiency common in obese children

This study looked at the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in 411 obese and 87 non-overweight children in North Texas and examined the relationship between vitamin D levels and markers of abnormal glucose metabolism and blood pressure. The results showed that 92% of obese subjects had vitamin D levels below 75 nmol/liter, and 50% were below 50 nmol/liter. Among non-overweight subjects, these frequencies were 68 and 22%, respectively. Vitamin D levels were found to be negatively associated with soda intake, juice intake, skipping breakfast, insulin resistance and 2-hour glucose.

Olson ML, Maalouf NM, Oden JD, White PC, Hutchison MR. Vitamin d deficiency in obese children and its relationship to glucose homeostasis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jan;97(1):279-85.

30 January 2012

Nutriceutical accelerates recovery and inhibits recurrance of viral mucocutaneous infections

In two controlled clinical trials researchers evaluated whether the combination of coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, selenium and l-methionine are capable of accelerating recovery and inhibiting recurrances of two mucocutaneous chronic DNA-virus infections. Clinical trial 1 evaluated 68 patients with relapsing human papillomavirus skin warts treated with cryotherapy followed by 180 days of nutriceutical/placebo administration. Clinical trial 2 compared the combination of acyclovir followed by 90 days of nutriceutical administration versus acyclovir alone in patients with recurrences of herpes simplex genitalis (n = 60) or herpes zoster (n = 29). In both trials, the nutriceutical induced significantly faster healing with reduced incidence of relapses as compared to control groups, which was confirmed by decreased viral load and increased antiviral cytokine and peroxynitrite plasma levels. Plasma antioxidant capacity was higher in the experimental versus control groups.

De Luca C, Kharaeva Z, Raskovic D, Pastore P, Luci A, Korkina L. Coenzyme Q(10), vitamin E, selenium, and methionine in the treatment of chronic recurrent viral mucocutaneous infections. Nutrition. 2011 Nov 11. [Epub ahead of print]

29 January 2012

Gold kiwifruit reduces upper respiratory tract infection symptoms in older adults

The aim of this study was to determine whether regular consumption of gold kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) by older individuals reduces the incidence, duration and severity of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections in comparison to banana. A total of 32 community-dwelling people aged 65 years or older participated in a randomised crossover study, consuming the equivalent of four kiwifruit or two bananas daily for 4 weeks, with treatments separated by a 4-week washout period. Daily consumption of kiwifruit was associated with a significant reduction in the duration of a sore throat and the duration and severity of head congestion. Kiwifruit significantly increased plasma vitamin C, α-tocopherol and lutein/zeaxanthin concentrations, and erythrocyte folate concentrations, and significantly reduced plasma lipid peroxidation.

Hunter DC, Skinner MA, Wolber FM, Booth CL, Loh JM, Wohlers M, Stevenson LM, Kruger MC. Consumption of gold kiwifruit reduces severity and duration of selected upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and increases plasma vitamin C concentration in healthy older adults. Br J Nutr. 2011 Dec 15:1-11.

28 January 2012

Iron and folic acid supplements in pregnancy improves child survival in Indonesia

This study investigated whether live-born children in Indonesia less than 5 years of age born to mothers who used antenatal iron and folic acid supplements had reduced risk of death. Survival information for 52,917 singleton live-born infants and 1525 deaths of children less than 5 years of age was examined. The results showed that the risk of death of children less than 5 years of age was reduced significantly by 34% if the mother consumed any iron-folic acid supplements. This protective effect was greatest for deaths on the first day of life but was also shown for neonatal deaths on days 1-30 of life and postneonatal deaths. There was a strong dose response of greater protection from death of children less than 5 years of age with increasing numbers of iron-folic acid supplements consumed.The authors conclude "In developing countries increased use of antenatal iron-folic acid supplements will reduce deaths of children <5 y of age, especially in the first year of life".

Dibley MJ, Titaley CR, d'Este C, Agho K. Iron and folic acid supplements in pregnancy improve child survival in Indonesia. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):220-30.

27 January 2012

Listening to music for pain relief

In a study involving 153 healthy volunteers, researchers have revealed that engaging in music listening can reduce pain responses. The magnitude of effect was found to depend on personality factors. Participants who were anxious and became absorbed in activities easily found music listening especially effective for relieving pain.

Bradshaw DH, Donaldson GW, Jacobson RC, Nakamura Y, Chapman CR. Individual differences in the effects of music engagement on responses to painful stimulation. J Pain. 2011 Dec;12(12):1262-73.

26 January 2012

Fish oil enhances effect of strength training in elderly

Muscle force and functional capacity generally decrease with aging in the older population, although this effect can be reversed, attenuated, or both through strength training. Fish oil, which is rich in omega-3, has been shown to play a role in the plasma membrane and cell function of muscles, which may enhance the benefits of training. This study looked at the effect of strength training and fish supplementation on the muscle strength and functional capacity of older women. Forty-five women (average age of 64 years) were randomly assigned to 3 groups. One group performed strength training only for 90 days, whereas the others performed the same strength-training program and received fish oil supplementation (2 g daily) for 90 days or for 150 days (supplemented 60 days before training). The results showed that strength training increased muscle strength in elderly women. The inclusion of fish oil supplementation caused greater improvements in muscle strength and functional capacity.

Rodacki CL, Rodacki AL, Pereira G, Naliwaiko K, Coelho I, Pequito D, Fernandes LC. Fish-oil supplementation enhances the effects of strength training in elderly women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb;95(2):428-36.

25 January 2012

Magnesium reduces stroke risk

This meta-analysis looked at the evidence regarding the association between magnesium intake and stroke risk. Seven prospective studies, with 6477 cases of stroke and 241,378 participants, were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis. A modest but statistically significant inverse association between magnesium intake and risk of stroke was observed. An intake increment of 100 mg magnesium daily was associated with an 8% reduction in risk of total stroke. Magnesium intake was inversely associated with risk of ischemic stroke but not intracerebral hemorrhage or subarachnoid hemorrhage. The authors conclude "Dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with risk of stroke, specifically ischemic stroke".

Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A. Dietary magnesium intake and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb;95(2):362-6.

24 January 2012

Low vitamin D status linked to increased mortality risk

Low vitamin D status has been linked to an increase in mortality risk according to a recent meta-analysis published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The results showed a decrease in mortality risk as vitamin D levels increased with optimal concentrations around 75-87.5 nmol/L.

Zittermann A, Iodice S, Pilz S, Grant WB, Bagnardi V, Gandini S. Vitamin D deficiency and mortality risk in the general population: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):91-100.

23 January 2012

Calcium and vitamin D help reduce visceral adipose tissue

Findings from a recent study suggests calcium and vitamin D supplementation contributes to a beneficial reduction of visceral adipose tissue. In this study researchers investigated the effect of calcium and vitamin D-supplemented orange juice on weight loss and reduction of visceral adipose tissue in overweight and obese adults. The treatment group consumed three 240 mL glasses of orange juice fortified with 350 mg calcium and 100 IU vitamin D per serving, and the control group consumed unfortified orange juice. After 16 weeks, the reduction of visceral adipose tissue was significantly greater in the calcium and vitamin D group than in the control group.

Rosenblum JL, Castro VM, Moore CE, Kaplan LM. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased abdominal visceral adipose tissue in overweight and obese adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):101-8.

22 January 2012

Garlic and grape seed lower risk of hematologic malignancies

In a study involving just over 66,000 men and women, researchers have found that the use of garlic and grape seed is associated with reduced risk of hematologic malignancies. High use of garlic supplements (≥4 days per week for ≥3 years) was associated with a 45% reduced risk and ever use of grape seed supplements 43% reduction in risk of hematologic malignancies. In addition, high use (8-10 years) of multivitamins had a reduced risk of 20%. The authors comment "This is the first cohort study to suggest a possible role of these supplements in the chemoprevention of hematologic malignancies".

Walter RB, Brasky TM, Milano F, White E. Vitamin, mineral, and specialty supplements and risk of hematologic malignancies in the prospective VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Oct;20(10):2298-308.

21 January 2012

High protein diet improves weight loss and glucose metabolism in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

In a controlled 6 month trial involving 57 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), researchers compared the effect of a high-protein diet (>40% of energy from protein and 30% of energy from fat) to a standard-protein diet (<15% of energy from protein and 30% of energy from fat). The results showed that the high-protein diet produced greater weight loss and body fat loss than the standard-protein diet after 6 months. Waist circumference was reduced more by the high-protein diet than by the standard-protein diet. The high-protein diet produced greater decreases in glucose than did the standard-protein diet, which persisted after adjustment for weight changes. However, adjustment for weight changes led to significantly lower testosterone concentrations in the standard-protein diet group than in the high-protein diet group. The authors conclude "Replacement of carbohydrates with protein in ad libitum diets improves weight loss and improves glucose metabolism by an effect that seems to be independent of the weight loss and, thus, seems to offer an improved dietary treatment of PCOS women".

Sørensen LB, Søe M, Halkier KH, Stigsby B, Astrup A. Effects of increased dietary protein-to-carbohydrate ratios in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):39-48.

20 January 2012

Ear acupuncture effectively reduces anxiety before dental treatment

The objective of this study was to analyse whether auricular acupuncture, acupuncture at the outer ear, could reduce state anxiety before dental treatment. This prospective, randomised patient-blinded study with 182 patients compared anxiety before dental treatment following auricular acupuncture at the relaxation-, tranquillizer- and master cerebral points (auricular acupuncture group) versus acupuncture at sham points (finger-, shoulder- and tonsil points; sham group) and a non-intervention control group. The results showed that auricular acupuncture reduced state anxiety score more effectively than sham acupuncture. In contrast, state anxiety in the control group increased. The authors suggest "Auricular acupuncture could be an option for patients scheduled for dental treatment, who experience an uncomfortable degree of anxiety and request an acute intervention for their anxiety".

Michalek-Sauberer A, Gusenleitner E, Gleiss A, Tepper G, Deusch E. Auricular acupuncture effectively reduces state anxiety before dental treatment-a randomised controlled trial. Clin Oral Investig. 2012 Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print]

19 January 2012

Improvement in Parkinson's Disease with coenzyme Q10

In a systematic review, researchers assessed the evidence from randomized controlled trials on the efficacy and safety of treatment with coenzyme Q10 compared to placebo in patients with early and midstage Parkinson's disease. Four randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials with a total of 452 patients met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The results showed improvements in activities of daily living (ADL) unified Parkinson's Disease rating scale (UPDRS) and Schwab and England for coenzyme Q10 at 1200 mg daily for 16 months versus placebo.

Liu J, Wang L, Zhan SY, Xia Y. Coenzyme Q10 for Parkinson's disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Dec 7;12:CD008150.

18 January 2012

Low vitamin D associated with metabolic syndrome in children

This study looked at the association between circulating vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D3) levels and metabolic syndrome in 452 (304 overweight/obese and 148 healthy, normal weight) Caucasian children. The results found that higher vitamin D levels was significantly associated with a reduced presence of metabolic syndrome. Obesity, central obesity, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL-cholesterol, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome were all associated with increased odds of having low vitamin D levels.

Pacifico L, Anania C, Osborn JF, Ferraro F, Bonci E, Olivero E, Chiesa C. Low 25(OH)D3 levels are associated with total adiposity, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension in Caucasian children and adolescents. Eur J Endocrinol. 2011 Oct;165(4):603-11.

17 January 2012

An apple a day may keep stroke away

The color of the edible portion of fruits and vegetables reflects the presence of pigmented bioactive compounds (eg, carotenoids, anthocyanidins, and flavonoids). This study involving 20,069 men and women looked at associations between consumption of fruit and vegetable color groups with 10-year stroke incidence. The results showed that a higher intake of white fruits and vegetables was inversely associated with incident stroke. Each 25 g per day increase in white fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with a 9% lower risk of stroke. Apples and pears were the most commonly consumed white fruit and vegetables (55%).

Oude Griep LM, Verschuren WM, Kromhout D, Ocké MC, Geleijnse JM. Colors of fruit and vegetables and 10-year incidence of stroke. Stroke. 2011 Nov;42(11):3190-5.

16 January 2012

Improvement in atopic dermatitis symptoms with acupressure

This study evaluated the effectiveness of acupressure on the severity of atopic dermatitis. 15 patients with atopic dermatitis were randomised to an intervention group (acupressure with standard of care) or a control group (standard of care alone). Subjects in the intervention group performed acupressure using a 1.2 mm acupellet at the LI11 point, applying pressure for 3 min three times per week for 4 weeks. The severity of itching and atopic dermatitis at baseline and at 4 weeks were measured on a visual analogue scale (VAS), the Investigator's Global Assessment (IGA) and the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI). The results found in the acupressure group there was a decrease in the VAS score and EASI lichenification, although without significant change in the overall EASI score. There was no significant change between baseline and follow-up survey scores within the control group. Comparison of the scores between groups showed a greater decrease in VAS in the experimental group than in the control group, and a decrease in the IGA and EASI lichenification score.

Lee KC, Keyes A, Hensley JR, Gordon JR, Kwasny MJ, West DP, Lio PA. Effectiveness of acupressure on pruritus and lichenification associated with atopic dermatitis: a pilot trial. Acupunct Med. 2011 Dec 28. [Epub ahead of print]

15 January 2012

Low vitamin D levels associated with threatened premature delivery

In a study involving 93 pregnant Japanese women, results found those who experienced threatened premature delivery had significantly lower vitamin D levels (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D) compared with women who had a normal delivery. Low vitamin D levels (equal to or less than 20 ng/ml) was found to be highly prevalent, effecting 89.5% of women in this study.

Shibata M, Suzuki A, Sekiya T, Sekiguchi S, Asano S, Udagawa Y, Itoh M. High prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in pregnant Japanese women with threatened premature delivery. J Bone Miner Metab. 2011 Sep;29(5):615-20.

14 January 2012

Probiotic yogurt improves fasting blood glucose and antioxidant status in type 2 diabetes

This clinical trial assessed the effects of probiotic and conventional yogurt on blood glucose and antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic patients. Sixty-four patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, 30-60 years old, were assigned to two groups: the intervention group consumed 300 g daily of probiotic yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus La5 and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 and the control group consumed 300 g daily of conventional yogurt for 6 weeks. The results founds that probiotic yogurt significantly decreased fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c and increased erythrocyte superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities and total antioxidant status compared with the control group. In addition, the serum malondialdehyde concentration significantly decreased compared with the baseline value in both groups. The authors conclude "The consumption of probiotic yogurt improved fasting blood glucose and antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic patients. These results suggest that probiotic yogurt is a promising agent for diabetes management".

Ejtahed HS, Mohtadi-Nia J, Homayouni-Rad A, Niafar M, Asghari-Jafarabadi M, Mofid V. Probiotic yogurt improves antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic patients. Nutrition. 2011 Nov 28. [Epub ahead of print]

13 January 2012

Multivitamin plus healthy diet and lifestyle improve breast cancer survival

This study assessed the effect of multivitamin use in 2,236 women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. Overall, 54 and 72% of the cohort reported using multivitamins pre- and post-diagnosis, respectively. The results showed that women who consistently used multivitamins before and after diagnosis and ate more fruits & vegetables and were more physically active had better overall survival.

Kwan ML, Greenlee H, Lee VS, Castillo A, Gunderson EP, Habel LA, Kushi LH, Sweeney C, Tam EK, Caan BJ. Multivitamin use and breast cancer outcomes in women with early-stage breast cancer: the Life After Cancer Epidemiology study. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Nov;130(1):195-205.

12 January 2012

Raw fruit and vegetables help protect against stroke

Recent research indicates a high intake of raw fruit and vegetables may protect against stroke. In a prospective cohort study involving just over 20,000 men and women, researchers found that the incidence of stroke was 30% lower for participants with a high intake of raw fruit and vegetables compared with a low intake.

Oude Griep LM, Verschuren WM, Kromhout D, Ocké MC, Geleijnse JM. Raw and processed fruit and vegetable consumption and 10-year stroke incidence in a population-based cohort study in the Netherlands. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jul;65(7):791-9.

11 January 2012

Antioxidant activity of coenzyme Q10 in coronary artery disease patients

Coenzyme Q10 at a dose of 150 mg per day has been found to decrease oxidative stress and increase antioxidant enzyme activity in patients with coronary artery disease. 51 coronary artery disease patients participated and the results showed that after 8 weeks of coenzyme Q10 supplementation malondialdehyde levels were significantly lower, and after 12 weeks catalase and superoxide dismutase activity were significantly higher compared to the placebo group.

Lee BJ, Huang YC, Chen SJ, Lin PT. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation reduces oxidative stress and increase antioxidant enzyme activity in patients with coronary artery disease. Nutrition. 2011 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print]

10 January 2012

Micronutrient supplement improves sperm quality and pregnancy rate

In a study involving 132 sub-fertile men, those receiving micronutrient supplementation for 3 months were found to have significantly improved semen analysis results compared to control. The micronutrient supplement was taken twice daily and contained: L-carnitine 440 mg, L-arginine 250 mg, zinc 40 mg, vitamin E 120 mg, glutathione 80 mg, selenium 60 µg, coenzyme Q10 15 mg and folic acid 800 µg. After 3 months of supplementation medium ejaculatory volume increased by 33.3%, sperm cell density by 215.5%, sperm motility progressive by 83.1% and total by 36.4%, and normal morphology rate by 23%. In the supplement group a total of 34 pregnancies were reported after 6 months follow-up whereas 11 were reported in the control group.

Imhof M, Lackner J, Lipovac M, Chedraui P, Riedl C. Improvement of sperm quality after micronutrient supplementation. e-SPEN, the European e-journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. 2011 (article in press)

09 January 2012

Green tea catechins reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels

This systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials evaluated the relationship between Green tea catechins and serum lipid levels, including total, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides. Twenty trials involving 1,415 participants were included and the results showed that Green tea catechins at doses ranging from 145 to 3,000 mg per day taken for 3 to 24 weeks reduced total and LDL cholesterol compared to control. Green tea catechins did not significantly alter HDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Kim A, Chiu A, Barone MK, Avino D, Wang F, Coleman CI, Phung OJ. Green tea catechins decrease total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Nov;111(11):1720-9.

08 January 2012

Micronutrient supplementation in women undergoing ovulation induction improves pregnancy rates

This study investigated whether subfertile women undergoing ovulation induction using standard treatment regimens with clomiphene citrate/gonadotrophins have higher pregnancy rates when on an adjuvant multiple micronutrient (MMN) nutritional supplement compared with folic acid alone. A prospective randomized controlled trial was conducted in a teaching-hospital fertility clinic on 58 subfertile women, of which 56 women completed the study. Women undergoing ovulation induction were allocated to either receive adjuvant MMN supplementation or folic acid. Clinical pregnancy rates and blood nutrient concentrations were assessed after the third treatment attempt or as soon as the women achieved pregnancy. The results showed that women on adjuvant MMN supplementation had a significantly higher cumulative clinical pregnancy rate (66.7%) compared with those on folic acid (39.3%). The ongoing pregnancy rate in women on MMN supplementation was 60% versus 25% in the folic-acid group. Further, women who were on MMN supplementation had significantly fewer attempts to achieve pregnancy compared with women on folic acid.

Agrawal R, Burt E, Gallagher AM, Butler L, Venkatakrishnan R, Peitsidis P. Prospective randomized trial of multiple micronutrients in subfertile women undergoing ovulation induction: a pilot study. Reprod Biomed Online. 2011 Oct 14. [Epub ahead of print]

07 January 2012

French maritime pine bark extract improves cognitive function in students

This study compared the effects of supplementation with French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol® for 8 weeks on cognitive function, attention and mental performance in 53 healthy students. The results revealed that Pycnogenol® supplementation improved sustained attention, memory, executive functions and mood ratings in the students. University examination performance in the Pycnogenol® group was also found to be better when compared to the control group. The authors conclude "This study indicates a role for Pycnogenol® to improve cognitive function in normal students".

Luzzi R, Belcaro G, Zulli C, Cesarone MR, Cornelli U, Dugall M, Hosoi M, Feragalli B. Pycnogenol® supplementation improves cognitive function, attention and mental performance in students. Panminerva Med. 2011 Sep;53(3 Suppl 1):75-82.

06 January 2012

Mediterranean diet promotes longevity

This study looked at the association between consuming a Mediterranean diet and total mortality in 1,037 seventy-year-old subjects. The results revealed that a higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet pattern, especially by consuming wholegrain cereals, foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, and a limited amount of alcohol, predicted increased longevity in the elderly.

Tognon G, Rothenberg E, Eiben G, Sundh V, Winkvist A, Lissner L. Does the Mediterranean diet predict longevity in the elderly? A Swedish perspective. Age (Dordr). 2011 Sep;33(3):439-50.

05 January 2012

Cognitive functioning improved with folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation

This randomized controlled trial aimed to determine whether daily oral folic acid (400 μg) and vitamin B12 (100 μg) supplementation for 2 years prevented cognitive decline in 900 adults aged 60 to 75 years with elevated psychological distress. The results showed that supplementation promoted improvement in cognitive functioning after 2 years, particularly in immediate and delayed memory performance.

Walker JG, Batterham PJ, Mackinnon AJ, Jorm AF, Hickie I, Fenech M, Kljakovic M, Crisp D, Christensen H. Oral folic acid and vitamin B-12 supplementation to prevent cognitive decline in community-dwelling older adults with depressive symptoms--the Beyond Ageing Project: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):194-203.

04 January 2012

Vitamin D insufficiency associated with peripheral neuropathy in diabetics

This study evaluated the association between vitamin D insufficiency and peripheral neuropathy in a nationally representative sample of adults with diagnosed diabetes. The results showed that in 81% of adults with diabetes had vitamin D insufficiency. Vitamin D insufficiency was more common among Hispanics (92%) and non-Hispanic black people (98%) than among non-Hispanic white people (76%). Vitamin D insufficiency was found to be associated with self-reported peripheral neuropathy symptoms such as numbness, loss of feeling, pain or tingling in hands and feet.

Soderstrom LH, Johnson SP, Diaz VA, Mainous AG 3rd. Association between vitamin D and diabetic neuropathy in a nationally representative sample: results from 2001-2004 NHANES. Diabet Med. 2012 Jan;29(1):50-5.

03 January 2012

Smokers who quit have less weight gain by eating fruit and vegetables

In this large study involving over 350,000 participants from 10 European countries, researchers assessed the association between the baseline consumption of fruit and vegetables and weight change after 5 years in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. The results found that baseline fruit and vegetable intakes were inversely associated with weight change in men and women who quit smoking during follow-up. The authors conclude that higher baseline fruit and vegetable intakes "could help to reduce risk of weight gain in persons who stop smoking".

Vergnaud AC, Norat T, Romaguera D, et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and prospective weight change in participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Physical Activity, Nutrition, Alcohol, Cessation of Smoking, Eating Out of Home, and Obesity study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):184-93.

02 January 2012

Low vitamin D associated with reduced cognitive functioning in elderly

In a recent German study, low levels of vitamin D has been found to be associated with reduced cognitive functioning in the elderly. Vitamin D levels were measured and cognitive function assessed at baseline and at follow-up 5 years later in 1639 participants aged over 65 years of age. The findings revealed that women with the lowest vitamin D levels showed an on average 2.1 units lower COGTEL score than women with the highest levels. A similar, albeit slightly weaker, association was seen in males. The authors comment "Given the central role dementia-related disorders are likely to play in health care systems and society in the near future, further dissecting their relationships with potentially modifiable vitamin D levels appears imperative".

Breitling LP, Perna L, Müller H, Raum E, Kliegel M, Brenner H. Vitamin D and cognitive functioning in the elderly population in Germany. Exp Gerontol. 2012 Jan;47(1):122-7.

01 January 2012

Low intake of omega-3 associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease

This study investigated the association between intake of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the risk of cardiovascular disease in a prospective cohort of 48,627 women. The findings showed that a low omega-3 intake was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Strøm M, Halldorsson TI, Mortensen EL, Torp-Pedersen C, Olsen SF. Fish, n-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Diseases in Women of Reproductive Age: A Prospective Study in a Large National Cohort. Hypertension. 2012 Jan;59(1):36-43.