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Vitamin Update Page

Your source of current published data in the field of nutrition

Asthma - Exercise, Lycopene

"Reduction of Exercise-Induced Asthma Oxidative Stress by Lycopene, a Natural Antioxidant," Neuman I, Nahum H, Ben-Amotz A, Allergy, 2000;55:1184-1189. (Address: A. Ben-Amotz, Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Res, POB 8030, Haifa 31080, Israel) 36480 ASTHMA - Exercise, Lycopene - In 13 males and 7 females who were between 10 and 43 years of age and had asthma, subjects were given 30 mg/day of lycopene or placebo for 1 week in a double-blind trial, with a 4-week washout period between each protocol. All patients given placebo showed significant postexercise reductions of more than 15% in their forced expiratory volume in 1 second. After receiving a daily dose of 30 mg of lycopene for 1 week, 55% of the subjects were significantly protected against exercise-induced asthma. Lycopene resulted in a protective effect against exercise-induced asthma in some patients, probably through its antioxidant effect. 

Bone Loss, Osteoporosis and Tooth Loss

"Osteoporosis Prophylaxis Has Dental Benefits Too," Johnson K, Family Practice News, November 15, 2000:7. 36488A In studying the risk of bone loss at the hip in 145 men and women who were 65 years of age or older, subjects were randomized to receive either calcium at 500 mg/day and vitamin D at 700 IU/day or placebo for 3 years, and then were observed for another 2 years. It was found that in the treatment group, there was a relative risk of tooth loss of 0.37, compared with the placebo group. Thirteen percent of the subjects who were treated lost at least 1 tooth compared with 24% of those who received placebo. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation may not only prevent bone loss but also prevent tooth loss. 

Copper Deficiency and Cardiovascular Disease

"Copper Deficiency and Cardiovascular Disease: Role of Peroxidation, Glycation, and Nitration," Saari JT, Can J Physiol Pharmacol, 2000;78:848-855. 

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE - Copper, Glycation, Nitration, Peroxidation - Dietary copper deficiency can result in a variety of cardiovascular deficits, which include hypertension, increased inflammation, anemia, reduced blood clotting and possibly atherosclerosis. Copper deficiency can result in structural weakness in cardiovascular structures. Copper deficiency can result in peroxidation, the interaction of oxygen-derived free radicals with lipids and proteins (possibly DNA); glycation, the nonenzymatic glycosylation of proteins; and nitration, the interaction of nitric oxide and its metabolites with peptides and proteins. These 3 mechanisms can result in significant damage to the cardiovascular system. Copper deficiency can depress antioxidant enzyme functions, which can cause free radical damage to lipids, proteins and DNA. Copper deficiency can impair carbohydrate metabolism, allowing for increases in protein glycation, which can degrade their structure and function. Copper deficiency interferes with enzymes related to nitric oxide-mediated signal transduction. The adverse cardiovascular consequences of copper deficiency are due to deficits in copper-dependent enzymes, peroxidation, glycation and alterations of nitric oxide-dependent processes. 

Cataract - Multivitamin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E

"Vitamin Supplement Use and Incident Cataracts in a Population-Based Study," Mares-Perlman JA, Lyle BJ, Klein R, Fisher AI, et al, Arch Opthalmol, November 2000;118:1556-1563.

Three thousand and eighty-nine individuals residing in a single town in Wisconsin who were between 43 and 86 years of age were evaluated for the 5-year incidence of cataract. Compared with nonusers of multivitamins or supplements containing vitamin C or E, the 5-year risk for any cataract was 60% lower among individuals who, at follow-up, reported the use of multivitamins or any supplement containing vitamin C or E for more than 10 years. Taking multivitamins during this time period reduced the risk for nuclear and cortical cataracts but not for posterior subcapsular cataracts. These data add to a body of evidence which suggests a lower risk for cataract among users of vitamin supplements and stronger associations with long-term use. Differences in lifestyles did not influence the associations, nor did dietary changes.

Exercise: Best medicine for Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Obesity, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis

"Exercise as Medication: How to Motivate Your Patients," Shahady EJ, Consultant, November, 2000:2174-2178. 36541 

Exercise increases cardiac output, redistributes blood flow and increases blood flow to muscles. For most patients, exercising at 65% to 75% of their V02max is a reasonable goal. Safe pulse ranges are between 117 and 135 beats per minute for a 40-year-old and 104 to 120 beats per minute for a 60-year-old. Exercise is extremely important for the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure. In a meta-analysis of 13 controlled studies of exercise, there was a mean reduction of 11.3 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure and 7.5 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure. Exercise can reduce insulin resistance by 40%. In diabetic patients, this is extremely important. Obese children have elevated insulin levels which can normalize with exercise. Exercise helps osteoarthritis. Exercise can reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Resistance training can improve muscle mass, flexibility, enhance balance and improve joint health. Lack of activity can lead to muscle shortening. Exercise can help prevent bone loss and increase bone strength. Exercise has been shown to change or retard several components of aging. Exercise can reduce anxiety and distress and elevate mood.

Bone Loss & Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Effects of DHEA Replacement on Bone Mineral Density and Body Composition in Elderly Women and Men," Villareal DT, Holloszy JO, Kohrt WM, Clin Endocrinol, 2000;53:561-568. Univ Colorado Health Sci Center, Denver, CO 80262, U.S.A. 

In 10 women and 8 men (mean age of 74 and 72 years, respectively) who received 50 mg/day of DHEA for 6 months, it was shown that the bone mineral density of the total body and lumbar spine increased, fat mass decreased, and fat-free mass increased with DHEA supplementation. DHEA supplementation caused an increase in serum IGF-1 and total serum testosterone levels in both men and women.

Migraine Headache and Glucosamine?

"Glucosamine for Migraine Prophylaxis?" Russell AL, McCarty MF, Med Hypotheses, 2000;55(3):195-198. 

An anecdotal case report of a female with osteoarthritis who received glucosamine at 500 mg, 3 times daily, noted that she had relief of her migraine headaches for the first time in 20 years while on the medication, even though it did not help her osteoarthritic pain. After this case report, the author gave glucosamine at 500 to 1,500 mg, 3 times daily, to 10 other patients with therapy-refractory migraine or migraine-like headaches and noticed after 4 to 6 weeks, there was a significant reduction in the frequency and/or intensity of headaches noted. In some cases, the relief was dose-dependent, providing relief only after the initial dose of 500 mg, 3 times daily, was increased. There were no adverse side effects noted after the 6-month observation period. The authors believe that supplemental glucosamine may enhance mast cell heparin synthesis, possibly correcting a functional heparin deficiency, which may have an antiinflammatory effect and prevent neurogenic inflammation that might cause the pain in vascular headache. 

(Editors Note: If you suffer with migraine headaches, this is very interesting and worthy of a trial. Please send us your feedback using the following link :e-mail)

Bone Loss & Omega 3 Fatty Acid!

BONE LOSS – Omega-3 Fatty Acid – This article reviews the suggestion that an increase in omega-6 fatty acid intake compared with omega-3 fatty acid intake may affect the development of bone and joint diseases. The positive benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on bone health may be due, in part, to down regulating prostaglandin E2 formation and modulating prostanoid synthesis from arachidonic acid. Further data are needed to elucidate how omega-3 fatty acids alter biochemical and molecular processes that are involved in bone modeling and bone cell differentiation and, secondly, how to evaluate the potential pharmaceutical applications of these fatty acids in maintaining bone mineral status and controlling inflammatory bone/joint diseases. “Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Skeletal Health,” Watkins BA, Li Y, et al, Exp Biol Med, 2001;226(6):485-497. Lipid Chem Molec Biol Lab, Purdue Univ 

Cervical Cancer & High Homocysteine Levels!

In examining 183 cases of cervical cancer and 540 controls (age range of 20 to74 years), invasive cervical cancer risk was significantly elevated for women in the upper 3 homocysteine quartiles (homocysteine levels >6.31 umol/l). Odds ratios for these levels of homocysteine ranged from 2.4 to 3.2. Serum homocysteine was strongly and significantly predictive of invasive cervical cancer risk, which may suggest folate, vitamin B12 and/or B6 inadequacy, or a genetic polymorphism which affect one-carbon metabolism. Alterations in this pathway can disrupt DNA synthesis, repair and methylation, and the subsequent promotion of carcinogenesis. In one-carbon metabolism, homocysteine accepts a one-carbon group from folate to form methionine in a vitamin B12-dependent reaction, or homocysteine is degraded in a vitamin B6-requiring reaction. “Elevated Serum Homocysteine Levels and Increased Risk of Invasive Cervical Cancer in US Women,” Weinstein SJ, Ziegler RG, Selhub J, et al, Cancer Causes Control, 2001;12:317-324.(Editors Note: Another reason to check homocysteine levels and take those B vitamins daily!) 

Melatonin, Menopause & Thyroid?

MENOPAUSE – Melatonin – This study evaluated 25 premenopausal, 36 perimenopausal and 18 postmenopausal women (age range from 42 to 62 years) who were divided in to 2 groups (ages 42 to 49 and 50 to 62). One group received 3 mg of melatonin and the other group received a placebo between 2200-2400 hours, which was bedtime, in a randomized and double-blind fashion. In all the females who took melatonin who had low baseline levels of melatonin, at 3 and 6 months, results showed a significant increase in levels of thyroid hormones. Within 6 months of treatment, melatonin resulted in a significant reduction of luteotropic hormone in the women who were between 43 and 49 years of age, while there was no effect seen in the women who were between 50 and 62 years of age. A reduction in follicle stimulating hormone was seen in the melatonin-treated women with low baseline melatonin levels. Most of the melatonin-treated individuals reported a general improvement in mood and a significant reduction in depression. This study showed a recovery of pituitary and thyroid functions in melatonin-treated women toward more youthful patterns. “Effects of Melatonin in Perimenopausal and Menopausal Women: A Randomized and Placebo-Controlled Study,” Bellipanni G, Bianchi P, et al, Exp Gerontol, 2001;36:297-310. (Editors Note: We see a lot of sleep disturbances in hypo-thyroid patients, and this study shows that the many benefits of taking melatonin may include better thyroid function!)
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