Quest Vitamins LTD,
Issue # 60.3 - Importance of Ginkgo and Calcium
Ginkgo biloba and Raynaud\'s disease
Ginkgo biloba is reputed as having an ability to improve circulation and so is often recommended in the treatment of Raynaud\'s disease - a painful condition that is episodic in its nature and is characterised by inadequate blood flow to the extremities.
The efficacy of a standardised Ginkgo biloba extract in the treatment of Raynaud\'s disease was investigated in a randomised double-blind placebo controlled trial.
After a two-week assessment period, patients received treatment with Ginkgo biloba extract or placebo over a 10-week period. Patients recorded the frequency, duration and severity of their attacks over the 12-week period.
It was concluded that Ginkgo biloba may be effective in reducing the number of attacks per week in patients suffering from Raynaud\'s disease.
Vasc Med. 2002; 7(4):265-7.
Effects of calcium supplementation and frequency of falls
The effects of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on the frequency of falls were recently investigated in an intervention study, involving 122 hospitalised women (age: 63-99 years).
Each participant was assigned to take a daily supplement of either a combination of 800iu of vitamin D and 1200mg of calcium carbonate or just calcium carbonate, over a 12-week period. Trained nurses recorded the number of falls per person 6 weeks prior to and during the supplementation phase.
The frequency of falls with calcium and vitamin D supplementation was reduced by 49% compared with calcium supplementation alone.
It was concluded that the frequency of falls is significantly reduced by 3-month supplementation with calcium and vitamin D in elderly women.
J. Bone Mineral Res. 18, 343-351, 2003.
Issue # 60.2 - Heart Health
Fish Consumption and Heart Health
The consumption of fish decreases the risk of sudden death, but because heart rate is positively associated with the risk of sudden death, a recently published study explored the relationship between fish consumption and heart rate.
9,785 men (age 50 - 59) were recruited for a cross-sectional analysis that was conducted over a period of two years between 1991 and 1993. The subjects were assigned to one of four groups, depending on the frequency of their fish consumption. Heart rate and CHD risk factors were compared among the four categories.
The results showed that fish consumption is inversely related to heart rate and it was concluded that this might explain the lower risk of sudden death among fish consumers.
Circulation. 2003 Aug 11.
The Health Benefits of Whole Grains
A recent report published by the Nutrition Society commented on the importance of consuming whole-grains and reviewed their association with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD).
The authors suggest that whole-grains may be one of the healthiest choices individuals can make to reduce the risk for ASCVD. Evidence from epidemiological studies indicates that people with the highest levels of whole-grain intake have a 29% lower risk for ASCVD than people with the lowest intake of whole-grain.
Diets rich in whole-grains may favourably modify blood pressure, antioxidant status and levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol, homocysteine and triacylglycerol.
The authors recommended that at least three daily servings of whole-grains be consumed in order for the provision of the associated benefits.
Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (2003), 62, 135-142.
Issue # 60.1- Antitoxidants Benefits
Can antioxidant supplements protect against genetic damage?
The effects of antioxidant supplementation on chromosome damage in humans were investigated in a recent 3-month supplementation trial.
A group of 28 myocardial infarction survivors and 57 controls (all males) participated in the trial, which involved daily supplementation with vitamin C (100mg), vitamin E (100mg), beta-carotene (6mg) and selenium (50mcg). Measurements of dietary antioxidants in plasma, total plasma antioxidant status and oxidative stress were taken. Lymphocytes were collected at the beginning and end of the supplementation period to assess chromosome damage.
Supplementation with antioxidants was associated with a significant decrease in chromosome damage in the control group, with the largest effect seen among those who smoked.
These results support the hypothesis that antoxidants decrease genetic damage.
Mutagenesis. 2003 Jul;18(4):371-6.
Benefits of multivitamin supplements?
Multivitamin supplements have a reputation of being able to modify certain risk factors associated with disease. The efficacy of a multivitamin supplement was recently investigated in an open label pilot investigation. Specific endpoints including blood concentration of certain vitamins, homocysteine, lipids and indices of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation were assayed in 150 subjects, at baseline, after 12 weeks and after 24 weeks.
The results showed significant increases in the blood concentrations of a range of vitamins and significant reductions in homocysteine concentration and LDL oxidation rate.
It was concluded that a multivitamin formula with antioxidant properties has significant effects on homocysteine and LDL oxidation indices.
Nutrition. 2002 Sep; 18(9):738-42.