Quest Vitamins LTD,
Issue # 69.5 - Uses of CLA and Carotenoid
CLA for Weight Control
After 12 months in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation (2 groups received CLA as part of a triglyceride or as the free fatty acid, and 1 group received olive oil as placebo), 134 of the 157 participants who concluded the study were included in an open study for another 12 months. The goals of the extension study were to evaluate the safety [with clinical chemistry analyses and reported adverse events (AEs)] and assess the effects of CLA on body composition [body fat mass (BFM), lean body mass (LBM), bone mineral mass (BMM)], body weight, and BMI. All subjects were supplemented with 3.4g CLA/d in the triglyceride form. Plasma total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were reduced, whereas HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were unchanged. In conclusion, this study shows that CLA supplementation for 24 months in healthy, overweight adults was well tolerated. It confirms also that CLA decreases BFM in overweight humans, and may help maintain initial reductions in BFM and weight in the long term.
J Nutr. 2005 Apr;135(4):778-84.
Carotenoid actions and their relation to health and disease
Based on extensive epidemiological observation, fruits and vegetables that are a rich source of carotenoids are thought to provide health benefits by decreasing the risk of various diseases, particularly certain cancers and eye diseases. The carotenoids that have been most studied in this regard are beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. In part, the beneficial effects of carotenoids are thought to be due to their role as antioxidants. beta-Carotene may have added benefits due its ability to be converted to vitamin A. Additionally, lutein and zeaxanthin may be protective in eye disease because they absorb damaging blue light that enters the eye. Food sources of these compounds include a variety of fruits and vegetables, although the primary sources of lycopene are tomato and tomato products. Additionally, egg yolk is a highly bioavailable source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are available in supplement form.
Mol Aspects Med. 2005 Dec;26(6):459-516. Epub 2005 Nov 23
Issue # 69.4 - Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D and Osteoporosis
Inadequate serum vitamin D is associated with secondary hyperparathyroidism, increased bone turnover, and bone loss, which increased fracture risk. Osteomalacia has also been observed in severe cases. Indeed, vitamin D and calcium are essential components of management strategies for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Despite this, many people currently do not have adequate vitamin D levels. This problem has been documented in many studies around the world, regardless of age, health status, or latitude, and is especially common among older adults, who are also likely to have osteoporosis. Supplementation is the most effective means of correcting poor vitamin D nutrition. However, few patients with osteoporosis currently take sufficient vitamin D supplements. Greater awareness of the importance of vitamin D for skeletal health and more aggressive supplementation efforts are urgently needed to address this important public health problem.
Curr Med Res Opin. 2005 Apr;21(4):579-86
Calcium, Vitamin D and PMS
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of the most common disorders of premenopausal women. Studies suggest that blood calcium and vitamin D levels are lower in women with PMS and that calcium supplementation may reduce symptom severity, but it is unknown whether these nutrients may prevent the initial development of PMS. A high intake of calcium and vitamin D may reduce the risk of PMS. Large-scale clinical trials addressing this issue are warranted. Given that calcium and vitamin D may also reduce the risk of osteoporosis and some cancers, clinicians may consider recommending these nutrients even for younger women.
Arch Intern Med. 2005 Jun 13;165(11):1246-52
Issue # 69.3 - Herb Research
Effects of Siberian Ginseng on elderly quality of life
A feeling of fatigue and asthenia often pushes elderly patients to require any form of help. Traditional Chinese medicine suggest that Siberian ginseng could act as safe \\\"adaptogenic\\\" substance. The aim of this study was to test the effect of Siberian Ginseng administration on elderly, health related quality of life (HRQOL). 20 elderly hypertensive and digitalized volunteers over the age of 60 were randomized in a double -blind manner to Siberian Ginseng dry extract 300 mg/day or placebo for 8 weeks. A general health status questionnaire was used to access HRQOL at baseline and at 4 and 8 weeks which showed no significant difference between the groups. After 4 weeks of therapy, higher scores in social functioning scales were observed in patients randomized to Siberian Ginseng. No adverse event had been observed in both groups of patients. In conclusion, Siberian Ginseng safely improves some aspects of mental health and social functioning after 4 weeks of therapy.
Arch Gerontol Geriatr Suppl. 2004;(9):69-73.
Saw Palmetto for Prostate Health
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common health issue that affects 8% of all men at the age of 40, 60% of men in their 70s, and 90% of those greater than 80 years of age. One-fourth of these men will develop moderate to severe lower urinary tract symptoms that greatly affect their quality of life. Recent evidence suggests that the use of saw palmetto leads to improvements in urinary function for those suffering from BPH. The favorable comparison of saw palmetto with tamsulosin, a well-known first line agent in the treatment of urinary tract symptoms, demonstrates promise towards a beneficial effect of this herbal agent, with very few, if any, adverse effects.
Am J Chin Med. 2004;32(3):331-8.
Issue # 69.2 - Omega 3 + 6 For Brain/Eye Health
Fish for Depression
Several lines of evidence indicate an association between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and depression. The purpose of this review was to evaluate the evidence to date within the context of the study design and methodology used. In case-control and cohort studies, concentrations of omega-3 PUFAs were lower in participants with unipolar and postpartum depression. Fish are the major dietary source of omega-3 PUFAs, and infrequent fish consumption is associated with depression in epidemiological studies. While these findings do not appear to be the result of confounding, in some studies, failure to detect confounding may be due to a lack of power or incomplete control. In four of seven double-blind randomized controlled trials, depression was significantly improved upon treatment with at least 1 g/day of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 PUFA.
Prev Med. 2005 Dec 6;
Relation between dietary n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and clinically diagnosed dry eye syndrome in women
Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a prevalent condition, but information on risk or protective factors is lacking. This study aimed to determine the association between the dietary intake and ratio of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids (FAs) and DES occurrence. 32470 female health professionals in the Women\\\'s Health Study aged 45-85 years old, provided information on diet and DES and were cross-sectionally studied. They assessed FA intakes by using a validated food-frequency questionnaire and assessed DES by using self-reports of clinically diagnosed cases. Results showed that a higher ratio of n-6 to n-3 FA consumption was associated with a significantly increased risk of DES. In addition, tuna consumption was inversely associated with DES. These results suggest that a higher dietary intake of n-3 FAs is associated with a decreased incidence of DES in women.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Oct;82(4):887-93.
Nutrition and Depression
Adequate nutrition is needed for countless aspects of brain functioning. Poor diet quality, may be a modifiable risk factor for depression. The objective was to review and synthesize the current knowledge of the role of nutrition in depression, and address implications for childbearing-aged women. Poor omega-3 fatty acid status increases the risk of depression. Fish oil and folic acid supplements each have been used to treat depression successfully. Folate deficiency reduces the response to antidepressants. Deficiencies of folate, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and selenium tend to be more common among depressed than nondepressed persons. Dietary antioxidants have not been studied rigorously in relation to depression. Childbearing-aged women are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of poor nutrition on mood because pregnancy and lactation are major nutritional stressors to the body. The depletion of nutrient reserves throughout pregnancy and a lack of recovery postpartum may increase a woman\\\'s risk of depression.
Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Jul 22
Omega 3 and Brain Development
Evidence suggests that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids play an integral role in cell membrane function and development of the brain and eyes. Optimising intake appears to confer many benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and possibly a reduced likelihood of behavioural problems, depression and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Although there is some disagreement on what level of intake is optimal, British diets are low in omega-3 fatty acids. Good sources include oily fish and novel sources include fortified eggs and oils derived from microalgae.
Nurs Stand. 2004 Aug 11-17;18(48):38-42
Issue # 69.1: Probiotics For Stomach Ulcers
Probiotics and Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an acute and chronic inflammatory bowel disease of unknown aetiology, although bacterial species belonging to the normal colonic microbiota are known to be involved in its initiation and maintenance. Several organisms have been linked to the disease; however, mucosa-associated bacteria are more likely to be involved than their luminal counterparts, due to their close proximity to the host epithelium. Complex bacterial communities were found in both groups, with significant reductions in bifidobacterial numbers in UC, which suggested that they might have a protective role in the disease. Accordingly, a therapy for treating UC was designed, with the aim of modifying the mucosal microbiota to increase bifidobacterial colonisation and reduce inflammation. A synbiotic comprising a probiotic (Bifidobacterium longum) isolated from healthy rectal mucosa combined with a prebiotic was developed. The treatment was used in a randomised controlled trial involving eighteen patients with active UC, for a period of 1 month. Rectal biopsies were collected at the beginning and end of the study. Results demonstrated that short-term synbiotic treatment resulted in increased bifidobacterial colonisation of the rectal mucosa and induced significant reductions in the expression UC.
Br J Nutr. 2005 Apr;93 Suppl 1:S67-72
B.longum for Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory disease of the large bowel with an unknown cause. The immune response against normal commensal microorganisms is believed to drive inflammatory processes associated with UC. Therefore, modulation of bacterial communities on the gut mucosa, through the use of probiotics and prebiotics, may be used to modify the disease state. A synbiotic was developed for use in UC patients combining a probiotic, Bifidobacterium longum, isolated from healthy rectal epithelium, and a prebiotic, a preferential inulin-oligofructose growth substrate for the probiotic strain. Treatment was employed in a double blinded randomised controlled trial using 18 patients with active UC for a period of one month. The results showed that short term synbiotic treatment of active UC resulted in improvement of the full clinical appearance of chronic inflammation in patients receiving this therapy.
Gut. 2005 Feb;54(2):242-9
Probiotics Inhibit H.Pylori
Literature reporting activity of probiotics in infections due to Helicobacter pylori has been reviewed to assess their value in combating such infections. Several in vitro studies show that lactobacilli or their cell-free cultures inhibit or kill H. pylori, prevent its adhesion to mammalian epithelial cells and prevent IL8 release. In vivo models demonstrate that pre-treatment with a probiotic can prevent H. pylori infections and/or that administration of probiotics markedly reduced an existing infection. Thirteen clinical trials have been published. In six (180 patients), a probiotic was used alone; five of these had an encouraging result-in three there were significantly reduced breath test readings and in two others some patients were cleared of infection. In seven further trials (682 patients), probiotics were added to a therapeutic regimen of antibiotics, resulting in an increased cure rate in two studies, and reduced side-effects in four. The results suggest that probiotics may have a place as adjunctive treatment in H. pylori infections and possibly in prophylaxis.
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2003 Oct;22(4):360-6.