Health and Nutrition

September 6, 2017

Magnesium

Filed under: Diet,General Health,Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 12:29 pm

July 2, 2015

Vit D and weight loss

Filed under: Cancer,Diet,General Health,Supplements — Doc Joe @ 5:33 pm

Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  1. Catherine Duggan1,*
  2. Jean de Dieu Tapsoba1
  3. Caitlin Mason1
  4. Ikuyo Imayama1,
  5. Larissa Korde1,2
  6. Ching-Yun Wang1,2, and 
  7. Anne McTiernan1,2

+Author Affiliations

  1. 1Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington.
  2. 2University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
  3. ?*Corresponding Author:
    Catherine Duggan, Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Ave N. Seattle WA 98109. Phone: 206-667-2323; Fax: 206-667-2349; E-mail: cduggan@fredhutch.org

Abstract

Obesity and vitamin D deficiency are associated with risk for several cancers, possibly through inflammation and adipokine-related pathways. Two hundred and eighteen postmenopausal women with BMI > 25 kg/m2 and low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D; ?10–<32 ng/mL), were randomized to 12 months of either (i) weight-loss intervention + 2000 IU/day oral vitamin D3 or (ii) weight-loss intervention + daily placebo. Serum adiponectin, leptin, TNF?, IL6, IL1?, IL8, and IL10, were measured by immunoassay, and a composite inflammatory biomarker score calculated. Using generalized estimating equations, mean changes in outcomes were compared between arms (intent-to-treat), adjusted for possible confounders. Analyses were also stratified by weight-loss (gained/no weight-loss; <5%; 5% to 10%; ?10%). At 12 months, there were no significant differences in analyte changes between arms. In stratified analyses, participants randomized to vitamin D3 who lost 5% to 10% of baseline weight, versus participants who gained weight/had no weight-loss, had significantly greater decreases in levels of IL6 compared with those randomized to placebo: absolute change ?0.75 pg/mL (?17.2%), placebo versus ?1.77 pg/mL (?37.3%), vitamin D, P = 0.004. Similar but attenuated results were observed for participants who lost ?10% of baseline weight: ?0.41 pg/mL (?13.6%), placebo versus ?0.67 pg/mL (?17.3%), vitamin D, P = 0.02. Effects of vitamin D3supplementation on levels of IL1? were inconsistent when stratified by weight loss. There were no intervention effects on IL10, TNF?, IL8, the composite score, adiponectin, or leptin, when stratified by weight-loss. In conclusion, vitamin D3 supplementation in combination with weight-loss of at least 5% of baseline weight was associated with significant reductions in levels of IL6. Cancer Prev Res; 8(7); 1–8. ©2015 AACR.

  • Received December 11, 2014.
  • Revision received March 18, 2015.
  • Accepted April 6, 2015.
  • ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

 

March 20, 2015

The Forgotten Longevity Benefits of Taurine

Filed under: Diet,General Health,Nutrition,Supplements — Doc Joe @ 10:02 pm

Taurine: Bountiful Benefits

  • Taurine is the most abundant amino acid you’ve never heard of; it is found throughout the body, but especially in tissues containing excitable cells, like nerves and heart muscle.
  • Strong epidemiological evidence suggests that certain groups with the longest life spans consume higher amounts of taurine than those of us in the rest of the world.
  • Taurine supplementation can prevent diabetes and obesity in animal models, and can mitigate the effects of both conditions in humans.
  • Taurine supplementation strengthens heart muscle cells, extends their life spans, and protects them from damage, while reducing many of the factors that produce atherosclerosis and its deadly consequences.
  • Taurine protects retinal and inner ear cells from damage, normalizing the flow of calcium ions they require for proper function.
  • Evidence is growing for taurine’s role in preventing epileptic seizures and liver disease, two conditions that can be attributed to toxic effects on delicate tissue.
  • If you are interested in a longer, healthier, and more active life, consider supplementing with taurine.

(more…)

Magnesium – a secret weapon against diabetes

Filed under: General Health,Nutrition,Supplements — Doc Joe @ 2:15 pm

How can magnesium help you in the fight against diabetes?

Magnesium is a mineral that is essential to good health and necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions within the body. Some of its more critical jobs include maintaining muscle and nerve function, as well as immune function and blood glucose control.

Magnesium has a close relationship with insulin. Insulin is a hormone that delivers glucose to the body’s cells. Without magnesium, insulin is unable to perform this function, resulting in high blood glucose levels. A deficiency in magnesium may create a resistance to insulin and without the necessary levels of magnesium, the larger amounts of insulin produced to maintain glucose levels are not accommodated.

People with diabetes tend to have inadequate amounts of magnesium and also have additional loss of magnesium in their urine. This can intensify the health conditions and complications

Research shows that low magnesium levels may further promote progression of diabetes. Surveys have indicated that many adults do not meet the recommended daily intake of magnesium. There are many nutrient-dense foods that contain rich amounts of magnesium in them.

Magnesium can be found in foods such as dry roasted almonds, spinach, cashews, peanut butter and baked potatoes. Skim milk also contains magnesium. Check the 2010 dietary guidelines for more information on magnesium and its recommendations. Also visit Michigan State University Extension online for more interesting and useful articles related to diabetes and nutrition.

February 11, 2015

Vitamin D status may impact stroke severity

Filed under: General Health,Nutrition,Supplements — Doc Joe @ 3:23 pm
  • APA

Past studies have already linked the vitamin D status to many diseases. US researchers have now found an association to severity of stroke and subsequent recovery. The lower the vitamin D level, the more severe the stroke and the poorer the recovery, reported scientists at the “International Stroke Conference 2015” of the American Stroke Association in Nashville (Tennessee).

The study, carried out by the University of Massachusetts in Worchester, included 96 patients who were treated between January 2013 and January 2014 after suffering a stroke. Study subjects with low vitamin D levels (25-hydroxyvitamin D below 30 nanograms per millilitre of blood) had areas of dead tissue that was twice as large as that found in patients with normal vitamin D status. This affected both patients with lacunar and with non-lacunar strokes.

The vitamin D level also affected the recovery following a stroke. For each 10 ng/ml reduction in 25-hydroxyvitamin D the chance of recovery within three months following a stroke decreased by half. Stroke severity and the age of the patients did not play a role.

Since the study only involved a small number of mainly Caucasian study participants, it was too early to draw firm conclusions, the authors conceded. Nevertheless, patients should seek advice from their physicians regarding the need for vitamin D supplementation, particularly if they have an elevated risk of stroke, the authors recommended. Further studies were needed.

 

October 25, 2014

Finally: Missing link between vitamin D, prostate cancer

Filed under: Cancer,Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 2:30 am

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Finally: Missing link between vitamin D, prostate cancer

Date:
October 22, 2014
Source:
University of Colorado Denver
Summary:
A new study offers compelling evidence that inflammation may be the link between vitamin D and prostate cancer. Specifically, the study shows that the gene GDF-15, known to be upregulated by vitamin D, is notably absent in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation.
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Prostate offers compelling evidence that inflammation may be the link between Vitamin D and prostate cancer. Specifically, the study shows that the gene GDF-15, known to be upregulated by Vitamin D, is notably absent in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation.

“When you take Vitamin D and put it on prostate cancer cells, it inhibits their growth. But it hasn’t been proven as an anti-cancer agent. We wanted to understand what genes Vitamin D is turning on or off in prostate cancer to offer new targets,” says James R. Lambert, PhD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and associate research professor in the CU School of Medicine Department of Pathology.

Since demonstrating that Vitamin D upregulates the expression of GDF-15, Lambert and colleagues, including Scott Lucia, MD, wondered if this gene might be a mechanism through which Vitamin D works in prostate cancer. Initially it seemed as if the answer was no.

“We thought there might be high levels of GDF-15 in normal tissue and low levels in prostate cancer, but we found that in a large cohort of human prostate tissue samples, expression of GDF-15 did not track with either normal or cancerous prostate tissue,” Lambert says.

But then the team noticed an interesting pattern: GDF-15 was uniformly low in samples of prostate tissue that contained inflammation.

“Inflammation is thought to drive many cancers including prostate, gastric and colon. Therefore, GDF-15 may be a good thing in keeping prostate tissue healthy — it suppresses inflammation, which is a bad actor potentially driving prostate cancer,” Lambert says.

The study used a sophisticated computer algorithm to analyze immunohistochemical (IHC) data, a task that in previous studies had been done somewhat subjectively by pathologists. With this new technique, Lambert, Lucia and colleagues were able to quantify the expression of the GDF-15 protein and inflammatory cells by IHC staining on slides taken from these human prostate samples.

Additionally encouraging is that the gene GDF-15 was shown to suppress inflammation by inhibiting another target, NFkB. This target, NFkB, has been the focus of many previous studies in which it has been shown to promote inflammation and contribute to tumor formation and growth; however, researchers have previously been unable to drug NFkB to decrease its tumor-promoting behavior.

“There’s been a lot of work on inhibiting NFkB,” says Lambert. “Now from this starting point of Vitamin D in prostate cancer, we’ve come a long way toward understanding how we might use GDF-15 to target NFkB, which may have implications in cancer types far beyond prostate.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado Denver. The original article was written by Garth Sundem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James R. Lambert, Ramon J. Whitson, Kenneth A. Iczkowski, Francisco G. La Rosa, Maxwell L. Smith, R. Storey Wilson, Elizabeth E. Smith, Kathleen C. Torkko, Hamid H. Gari, M. Scott Lucia. Reduced expression of GDF-15 is associated with atrophic inflammatory lesions of the prostate. The Prostate, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/pros.22911


September 26, 2014

Magnesium and diabetes mellitus: their relation.

Filed under: Diet,General Health,Nutrition,Supplements — Doc Joe @ 4:31 am
Clin Nutr. 2006 Aug;25(4):554-62. Epub 2006 May 11.

Abstract

The aim of this review was to elaborate a synthesis about the discussions on magnesium and diabetes mellitus, in the last 14 years. The magnesium deficiency has been associated with chronic diseases, amongst them, diabetes mellitus. Epidemiological studies had shown low levels of magnesium ingestion in the general population, as well as a relation between the ingestion of food rich in magnesium and the reduction of diabetes installation and its complications. Hypomagnesemia is frequently present in diabetic patients, however there is not an exact elucidation of the mechanism of magnesium deficiency in diabetes mellitus. On the other hand, in the presence of this illness, it is observed that inadequate metabolic control can affect the corporal concentrations of magnesium, developing hypomagnesemia, which may be still directly related with some micro and macrovascular complications observed in diabetes, as cardiovascular disease, retinopathy and neuropathy. This way, the chronic complications of diabetes can appear precociously. Based on this, the supplementation with magnesium has been suggested in patients with diabetes mellitus who have proven hypomagnesemia and the presence of its complications.

 

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August 13, 2014

Link between vitamin D, dementia risk confirmed

Filed under: General Health,Supplements — Doc Joe @ 1:53 pm

Date:
August 6, 2014
Source:
University of Exeter
Vitamin D supplements (stock image). Adults in a recent study who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 per cent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind, and the risk increased to 125 per cent in those who were severely deficient.
Credit: © brostock / Fotolia

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in older people, according to the most robust study of its kind ever conducted.

An international team, led by Dr David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School, found that study participants who were severely Vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The team studied elderly Americans who took part in the Cardiovascular Health Study. They discovered that adults in the study who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 per cent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind, and the risk increased to 125 per cent in those who were severely deficient.

Similar results were recorded for Alzheimer’s disease, with the moderately deficient group 69 per cent more likely to develop this type of dementia, jumping to a 122 per cent increased risk for those severely deficient.

The study was part-funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, and is published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. It looked at 1,658 adults aged 65 and over, who were able to walk unaided and were free from dementia, cardiovascular disease and stroke at the start of the study. The participants were then followed for six years to investigate who went on to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Dr Llewellyn said: “We expected to find an association between low Vitamin D levels and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but the results were surprising — we actually found that the association was twice as strong as we anticipated.

“Clinical trials are now needed to establish whether eating foods such as oily fish or taking vitamin D supplements can delay or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. We need to be cautious at this early stage and our latest results do not demonstrate that low vitamin D levels cause dementia. That said, our findings are very encouraging, and even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia.”

Research collaborators included experts from Angers University Hospital, Florida International University, Columbia University, the University of Washington, the University of Pittsburg and the University of Michigan. The study was supported by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Mary Kinross Charitable Trust, the James Tudor Foundation, the Halpin Trust, the Age Related Diseases and Health Trust, the Norman Family Charitable Trust, and the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Research and Care South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC).

Dementia is one of the greatest challenges of our time, with 44 million cases worldwide — a number expected to triple by 2050 as a result of rapid population aging. A billion people worldwide are thought to have low vitamin D levels and many older adults may experience poorer health as a result.

The research is the first large study to investigate the relationship between vitamin D and dementia risk where the diagnosis was made by an expert multidisciplinary team, using a wide range of information including neuroimaging. Previous research established that people with low vitamin D levels are more likely to go on to experience cognitive problems, but this study confirms that this translates into a substantial increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Vitamin D comes from three main sources — exposure of skin to sunlight, foods such as oily fish, and supplements. Older people’s skin can be less efficient at converting sunlight into Vitamin D, making them more likely to be deficient and reliant on other sources. In many countries the amount of UVB radiation in winter is too low to allow vitamin D production.

The study also found evidence that there is a threshold level of Vitamin D circulating in the bloodstream below which the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increases. The team had previously hypothesized that this might lie in the region of 25-50 nmol/L, and their new findings confirm that vitamin D levels above 50 nmol/L are most strongly associated with good brain health.

Commenting on the study, Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society said: “Shedding light on risk factors for dementia is one of the most important tasks facing today’s health researchers. While earlier studies have suggested that a lack of the sunshine vitamin is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, this study found that people with very low vitamin D levels were more than twice as likely to develop any kind of dementia.

“During this hottest of summers, hitting the beach for just 15 minutes of sunshine is enough to boost your vitamin D levels. However, we’re not quite ready to say that sunlight or vitamin D supplements will reduce your risk of dementia. Large scale clinical trials are needed to determine whether increasing vitamin D levels in those with deficiencies can help prevent the dementia from developing.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Thomas J. Littlejohns, William E. Henley, Iain A. Lang, Cedric Annweiler, Olivier Beauchet, Paulo H.m. Chaves, Linda Fried, Bryan R. Kestenbaum, Lewis H. Kuller, Kenneth M. Langa, Oscar L. Lopez, Katarina Kos, Maya Soni, and David J. Llewellyn. Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease. Neurology, August 2014 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000755

June 10, 2012

Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

Filed under: Diet,General Health,Nutrition,Supplements — Doc Joe @ 2:13 pm

November 16, 2011

Prescription vitamin D (D2) less effective than over-the-counter vitamin D (D3) according to a meta-analysis.

Filed under: General Health,Nutrition,Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 4:38 pm

Meta-analysis looks at efficacy of D2 vs D3
Prescription vitamin D (D2) less effective than over-the-counter vitamin D (D3) according to a meta-analysis.

Written by John J. Cannell, M.D.
November 16, 2011
Permission to reprint

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA — Many people write me and ask, “My doctor prescribed Drisdol, is that OK?” Drisdol is D2 and the form of vitamin D that doctors write prescriptions for. The body doesn’t produce vitamin D2 in response to sun exposure. It is made by irradiating fungus and plant matter. When you take it, a number of metabolic forms of D2 are found in the body, and some studies show D3 (produced by the skin) is more potent, meaning it is more effective at raising blood levels than D2, while some show they are equal. However, there are few studies comparing the efficacy of D2 vs. D3. Or in other words, which form has better health outcomes, better mortality rates?

Recently, a review and meta-analysis address this question. The meta-analysis study was led by Professor Dr. Goran Bjelakovic.

Bjelakovic G, Gluud LL, Nikolova D, Whitfield K, Wetterslev J, Simonetti RG, Bjelakovic M, Gluud C. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Jul 6;(7):CD007470.

He analyzed 50 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with a total of 94,000 participants that used some form of vitamin D and reported mortality rates as either primary or secondary outcomes. Within these RCTs, 32 of the studies used D3 (74,000 subjects) and 12 of them used D2 (18,000 subjects). He found there was a 6% relative risk reduction when supplementing with vitamin D3, as opposed to a 2% relative risk increase when supplementing with vitamin D2

Amazingly, this study somehow slipped under the radar and neither the press nor I picked up this study in July. Luckily, Professor Dr. Harvey Murff of Vanderbilt University reviewed this study yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine recently, allowing the general public to examine the study once again.

Murff HJ. Review: Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) reduces mortality in adults; other forms of vitamin D do not. Ann Intern Med. 2011; 155:JC5-04.

You would think a paper that took a look at tens of thousands of subjects and analyzed the efficacy of prescription vitamin D (D2) and over-the-counter vitamin D (D3) would warrant a news story or two. To my knowledge, these papers are the first to paint such a clear picture about the efficacy between D3 and D2. While there may be explanations for D3’s superiority other than improved efficacy, for the time being, these papers send doctors a message: use D3, not D2.

Contacts:

Vitamin D Council: newsletter@vitamindcouncil.org

Professor Harvey Murff, Vanderbilt University: harvey.j.murff@vanderbilt.edu

Professor Dr Goran Bjelakovic G, University of Nis, Serbia: g.bjelakovic@ctu.rh.dk or goranb@junis.ni.ac.yu

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