Wednesday, December 26, 2012

CoQ10 for CHF, Prostate

Available randomized controlled trials suggest that CoQ10 may significantly improve the ejection fraction in patients with Congestive Heart Failure, according to a study in the December issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

A news study in British Journal of Nutrition found that daily supplements of coenzyme Q10 and EPA/DHA Omega-3 may offer potential prostate benefits by reducing levels of a PSA. Both Omega-3 and CoQ10 supplements independently reduced levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in normal healthy men by 30 and 33%, respectively. Steve: The dosage used in this study should only be prescribed by a licensed health professional and are not indicative of a daily maintenance dose.

Matters of the teeth

Bisphenol A (BPA), a potentially toxic compound, gets into patients' saliva and urine when composite resin restorations are placed on their teeth, a new study suggests from the December issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association. Researchers found that on average, patients had 43% more BPA in their urine 30 hours after a restoration was placed than they did before getting the restoration. However, they could not draw any conclusions about the safety of composite resin, which is the most widely used filling material in the United States, if not the world.

BPA mimics estrogen activity, and studies have shown that it can disrupt endocrine function. In addition, some epidemiological studies have shown that people with greater exposure to the compound are more likely to suffer illness.

On another note, dental professionals may want to consider whether their patients have adequate vitamin D levels when assessing them for caries, according to a new study from Nutrition Reviews. Vitamin D supplements were associated with a 47% reduction in risk for caries, according to researchers.

Vitamin D has long been known to play a role in tooth formation, but some researchers have theorized that it might have additional benefits in reducing caries through either antimicrobial or immunological effects.

Gluten-free diet dramatically affects boy with type 1 diabetes

A case report in British Medical Journal suggests that children with type 1 diabetes mellitus may benefit from a gluten free diet. Researchers reported that a 5 year-old boy diagnosed with typical type 1 diabetes mellitus followed a gluten free diet for up to 20 months without resorting to any insulin therapy and improved his diabetic condition drastically. The boy did not have celiac disease, which is often found in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Gluten free diets are often used by patients with celiac disease. The boy had 7.8% HbA1c, which is an indicator for the severity of diabetes mellitus, when starting use of the gluten free diet. The HbA1c was stabilized at 5.8 to 6.0 percent and fasting blood glucose was stabilized at 4.0 to 5.0 mmol/L, without insulin treatment, according to the authors. At 16 months after diagnosis without insulin therapy, the fasting blood glucose was maintained at 4.1 mmol/L and at 20 months, the boy still did not use insulin therapy.

Poultry farm's "innovative way" of going antibiotic-free

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Energy Drinks: JAMA lists caffeine content and adverse effects

Type 2 Diabetes Remission is Real

Bonnie and Steve: One in nine people with diabetes saw their blood sugar levels dip back to a normal or pre-diabetes level after a year on an intensive diet and exercise program, according to a new study from today's Journal of the American Medical Association. Complete remission of type 2 diabetes is still very rare, but the new study can give people with the disease hope that through lifestyle changes, they could end up getting off medication and likely lowering their risk of diabetes-related complications.

The long-term assumption is that once you have diabetes, there's no remission or cure. We have never prescribed to that assumption. This is a great reminder that adopting a healthy diet, physically-active lifestyle and reducing and maintaining a healthy weight can reverse a diabetic state.

People randomly were assigned to an intensive program and diet and exercise counseling with a goal of cutting eating and drinking back to 1200 to 1800 calories per day and increasing physical activity to just under three hours per week. After one year, 11.5 percent of them had at least partial diabetes remission, meaning that without medication their blood sugar levels were no longer above the diabetes threshold. That compared to just two percent of participants in the non-intervention group.

In a separate study from the December 10th issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, two different lifestyle interventions produced significant weight loss among overweight or obese adults in a primary care setting.

The trial design was a 3-group, randomized study that compared both a coach-led, in-person weekly group intervention and a self-directed DVD intervention with usual care. The interventions were adapted from those used in a landmark DPP trial in the 1990's, which produced a 58% reduction in the development of type 2 diabetes over the course of 3 years via modest weight loss.

The maximum weight loss achieved within the coach-led intervention was substantial, and similar in magnitude to that achieved by the DPP lifestyle intervention. Weight loss in the self-directed intervention was less pronounced, but noteworthy given its low resource requirements and high potential for dissemination. Statistically significant improvements in waist circumference and fasting plasma glucose were also seen with both interventions.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This is why we hardly ever publish supplement-backed studies

Company-sponsored studies are significantly more likely to paint a rosy picture of their drug or device than independent trials, according to a new Cochrane review in the December issue. Company-sponsored trials were more likely to report favorable efficacy results, safety profiles, and conclusions compared with non–industry sponsored studies.

Citing a need for improved transparency, the authors emphasize that their findings "resonate" with current calls for better access to raw data and information about how trials are carried out.

How grains and sugars exacerbate osteoarthitis

Inflammatory joint disease (arthritis) is affecting more and more people. One particular form of the condition is osteoarthritis, which is wear and tear on the joints. A team of researchers are focusing on glycobiology, largely unresearched, in the development of osteoarthritis. Glycobiology investigates the biological significance of sugar chains for all kinds of cells in the human body.

Researchers at the MedUni in Vienna, Austria have discovered that certain proteins known as lectins, and in particular galectins, have a role to play in the painful wear and tear of the joints. The more badly worn the cartilage of a joint is, the higher the production of galectins. Galectins set off degenerative and inflammatory processes in cartilage cells. In glycobiology, the lectins "translate" the so-called sugar code by docking to sugar chains on the cell surface and triggering a cellular signal. In this case, they cause the unwanted reactions.

These new findings, according to the vision of the MedUni Vienna researchers, could lead to galectins in future being used both in the treatment and, as bio-markers, in the disease prediction of osteoarthritis.

Bonnie: This area of study shows us that excess carbohydrates, especially in the form of refined grains and all forms of sugar, produces more galectins, thus creating or exacerbating an inflammatory state such as arthritis.

Link between food and headaches

It seems like some of mainstream medicine is catching on!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Multinutrient combo good for asthma

A supplement containing a combination of fish oil, probiotics, and extracts from fruit and vegetables may improve lung function in young asthmatics. Children taking the multi-nutrient supplement also reported significant reductions in their use of short-acting inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids, compared to placebo, according to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Scientists recruited 192 asthmatic children aged between 10 and 12 and randomly assigned them to receive the fruit plus vegetable concentrate, fish oil and probiotics supplement or placebo for 16 weeks.

Results showed that combination had significantly improved lung function measures and significantly reduced use of short-acting inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids. 

Bonnie: Any reduction in medication use could help to avoid medication side effects and to reduce medical expenditure.

Magnesium and Calcium's Dynamic Dance

by Dr. Carolyn Dean, Medical Director of the non-profit educational site, Nutritional Magnesium Association

Many people think that calcium is the only nutrient necessary for strong bones. This is a dangerous myth that needs to be addressed.

In fact, it takes 18 different nutrients to make durable bones. However, the most important bone mineral is magnesium because it activates alkaline phosphatase, the enzyme required to ensure optimal bone cell activity, as well as a strong bone matrix.

It is vitally important to understand that calcium and magnesium are in an endless and dynamic dance within our cells. These two key metabolic minerals are actually biological antagonists, and through their opposing actions, activate many of the vital functions we take for granted. But when these minerals get out of balance, due to stress-induced magnesium loss, a whole series of problems and chronic diseases unfold - most notably Heart Disease, our Number 1 killer.

Allopathic medicine is slowly recognizing the following facts about calcium and magnesium:

a. There are dozens of conditions, such as heart disease, arthritis, IBD, IBS, asthma, Alzheimer's triggered by unchecked inflammation. Even cancer is now considered an inflammatory disease.

b. All inflammation is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as the "fight or flight" response.(6)

c. The sympathetic nervous system is triggered by excess, unregulated calcium.(7) Calcium is pro-inflammatory.

d. Calcium is regulated and controlled by magnesium.(8) Magnesium is anti-inflammatory.

Let's say that again. Calcium is regulated and controlled by magnesium. You've probably never heard that before. Most doctors don't even know this foundational aspect of how our bodies actually work. I learned these critical mineral relationships in my 200 hours of biochemistry in medical school. But unfortunately our professors never translated that information into clinical application.

Here's how magnesium carries out its crucial role in calcium metabolism. All three hormones that control the level and location of calcium in our body (PTH, Calcitonin and Hormone-D (which is Vitamin D) are activated by magnesium. Which means, if you don't have enough magnesium, these hormones can't do a proper job.(9)

Medicine is also beginning to see a common basis of magnesium deficiency in heart disease.(10) When all the dust settles on research for high cholesterol, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP), Post Ventricular Contractions (PVCs), any kind of ischemia, myocardial infarct and sudden cardiac death, what they All have in common is that magnesium deficiency is the precursor to All of these cardiac conditions.(11) EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

Think of it this way. The heart is NOT an "organ," but is actually a "muscle." In fact, it's the hardest working muscle in our body.

FACT: Every 24 hours our hearts beat 103,000+ times and pushes 20,000 pounds of blood around our body.

FACT: The highest concentration of magnesium in our body is in the heart ventricles, which are the muscles that "pump" all that blood.(12)

FACT: Muscles need lots of energy to create sustained movement, and expend more energy relaxing and filling up the ventricles - prior to the "pump!"(13)

FACT: Muscle energy in our body is solely in the form of Mg2-ATP (Magnesium-adenosine triphosphate).(14)

Our heart cells (and every cell in our body) must have magnesium present in plentiful amounts to create and metabolize the ATP necessary to run all of the cell's activities. Any cell unable to create proper levels of energy becomes diseased and dies, and this is especially true of heart muscles cells. The litany of heart diseases noted above is what follows.

So, how does our heart run out of energy?

"Stress!" Pure and simple.(15) "Stress," in all its many forms leads to magnesium use, and if not curtailed, magnesium loss. An accelerated MBR (Magnesium Burn Rate) leads to electrolyte dysfunction, which results in imbalances of our key minerals. The chronic loss of magnesium leads to a relentless increase of sodium and calcium which ultimately becomes the greatest form of cellular "Stress." And how do we know this? Hans Selye, MD, PhD, ScD, who is regarded as the Father of Stress, taught the world about the devastating impact of stress on our cellular metabolism, as well as steps we can take to manage it.

In 1958 Selye published a 235-page book called The Chemical Prevention of Cardiac Necrosis(16) in which he proved that when electrolyte imbalance becomes great enough, the cell no longer has the ability to produce ATP. We now know ATP is primarily dependent on magnesium. So, cell death - cardiac necrosis is the result of a systemic shortage of magnesium. Selye showed that heart muscle cell death is followed by inflammation in order to clean up the debris from dying cells followed by fibrosis/calcification as the whole area contracts and scars down in order to isolate, repair and minimize the damage.

What Selye found in his research hasn't changed in the intervening 50 years. Cardiac disease still follows these three key steps in cellular breakdown and repair. And these very same three cellular events precede all types of chronic disease, regardless of what organ, what gland or what tissue might be involved.

Chronic stress causes magnesium loss, which then leads to cell death. And what factor accelerates this process? The cellular influx of excess, unregulated calcium(17) Period. If magnesium isn't available, the mineral ion channels in cells are left wide open and calcium floods in.

The preceding overview gives you a new and biologically correct context for the emerging research that excess, unregulated calcium is bad for you.(18)

And how do we create a condition of calcium excess? Human biochemistry strongly favors holding onto as much calcium as possible. However, magnesium is flushed out through the urine or bowels when the body is under stress or in at times when you have saturated yourself with magnesium.(19) The likely reason is that early mankind lived near oceans with access to fish, seaweeds and thus plenty of magnesium, but with few calcium sources, like dairy and green leafy vegetables. Therefore enhancing calcium absorption and preventing magnesium excess were survival mechanisms that were encoded in our wiring millennia ago.

Research shows that the ratio of calcium to magnesium in the Paleolithic diet was 1:1, compared with a 5:1 to 15:1 ratio in present-day diets.(20) With an average of ten times more calcium than magnesium in our current diet, there is no doubt this will cause an imbalance in the minerals and electrolytes in the body. I find that people thrive on a 1:1 balance of calcium to magnesium. 


1. C Malpuech-Btugere, E Rock, C Astier, W Nowacki, A Mazur, Y Rayssiguier Exacerbated Immune Stress Response During Experimental Magnesium Deficiency Results from Abnormal Cell Calcium Homeostasis Life Sciences 1998; 63(20):1815-1822.
2. Dalderup LM: The role of magnesium in osteoporosis and idiopathic hypercalcaemia. Voeding 21:424, 1960.
3. Seelig MS The Requirement of Magnesium by the Normal Adult American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1964; 14: 342-390.
4. Watchorn, E and McCance, R A, Journal of Biochemistry 1932; 26:54-64;
Stutzman FL and Amatuzio DS Study of Serum and Cerebrospinal fluid Calcium and Magnesium in Normal Humans Archives of Biochem. Biophys 1952 Vol 39;
Karppanen H, et al Minerals, Coronary Heart Disease and Sudden Coronary Death Advanced Cardiology 1978; 25:9-24.
6. Khafif, RA Calciphylaxis & Systemic Calcinosis Archives of Internal Medicine 1990, 150:956-959.
7. Corti R, et al The Beauty and the Beast: Aspects of the Autonomic Nervous System News in Physiological Sciences 2000, June; 15(3): 125-129.
8. Abraham GE The Calcium Controversy J of Applied Nutrition 1982; 34(2): 69-73.
9. Ibid.
10. Maier JAM Endothelial Cells and Magnesium: Implications in Atherosclerosis Clinical Science 2012; 122(9):397-407;
Altura, BM et al Short term Mg Deficiency Results in Decreased Levels of Serum Sphingomyelin, Lipid Peroxidation and Apoptosis in Cardiovascular Tissues Am J Phys Heart Circ Physiol 2009; 297: H86-H92;
Wolf, FI et al Magnesium Deficiency & Endothelial Dysfunction: Is Oxidative Stress Involved? Magnesium Research 2008; 21(1): 58-64;
Resnick LM Magnesium in the Pathophysiology & Treatment of Hypertension & Diabetes Mellitus: Where Are We in 1997? Am J of Hypertension 1997; 10:368-370;
Seelig, MS Early Roots of Cardiovascular, Skeletal and Renal Abnormalities in Magnesium Deficiency in the Pathogenesis of Disease, Plenum Medical Book Publishing, New York, NY, 1980.
11. Weglicki WB et al The Role of Magnesium Deficiency in Cardiovascular & Intestinal Inflammation Magnesium Research 2010; 23(4):S199-S206;
Altura, BM Altura BT Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Magnesium: Relationships to Artherosclerosis, Ischemic Heart Disease and Hypertension Magnesium and Trace Elements 1991-92; 10:182-192;
Seelig, MS Early Roots of Cardiovascular, Skeletal and Renal Abnormalities in Magnesium Deficiency in the Pathogenesis of Disease, Plenum Medical Book Publishing, New York, NY, 1980.
12. Speich M Bousquet B and Nicola G Concentrations of Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, and Sodium in Human Heart Muscle after Myocardial Infarction Clinical Chemistry Journal 1980; 26(12);1662-1665.
13. Sinatra ST The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology. Basic Health Publications, 2008.
14. Ingwall JS ATP and the Heart. Springer, 2002; and Abraham GE, Flechas JD. Management of Fibromyalgia: Rationale for the Use of Magnesium and Malic Acid. Journal of Nutritional Medicine. 1992; 3:49-59.
15. Seelig, MS Early Roots of Cardiovascular, Skeletal and Renal Abnormalities in Magnesium Deficiency in the Pathogenesis of Disease, Plenum Medical Book Publishing, New York, NY, 1980.
16. Selye H Chemical Prevention of Cardiac Necrosis. 1958.
17. Haga H. Effects of dietary magnesium supplementation on diurnal variation of BP and plasma sodium-potassium ATPase activity in essential hypertension. Japan Heart Journal 1992;33:785-800;
Selye H Calciphylaxis, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1962.
18. Rosanoff A Rising Ca:Mg Ratio intake ratio from food in USA Adults: A Concern? Magnesium Research 2010; 23(4): S181-S193.
19. Rude RK Singer FR and Gruber HE Skeletal and Hormonal Effects of Magnesium Deficiency: Review Journal American College of Nutrition 2009; 28(2):131-141; and Seelig MS Magnesium Deficiency: Pathogenesis of Disease. Plenum Publishing, 1980.
20. Dean CFA. The Magnesium Miracle. Random House, 2006.
21. Samelson EJ, et al. Calcium intake is not associated with increased coronary artery calcification: the Framingham Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012, Dec;96(6):1473.
22. Kuanrong Li, et al. Associations of dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation with myocardial infarction and stroke risk and overall cardiovascular mortality in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EPIC-Heidelberg) Heart 2012,May;98:920-925.
23. Bolland, MJ, et al. Vascular events in healthy older women receiving calcium supplementation: randomized controlled trial. BMJ 2008, Jan; 336.
24. Bolland, MJ, et al. Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis. BMJ 2010, July; 341.
25. Bolland, MJ, et al. Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D and risk of cardiovascular events: reanalysis of the Women's Health Initiative limited access dataset and meta-analysis. BMJ, 2011, Apr; 342.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fighting cholesterol with a special source of B5

Surgeons: it's as simple as a checklist

Researchers have confirmed two simple cost-effective methods to reduce expensive postoperative complications -- communications team training and a surgical checklist. Investigators found that when surgical teams completed communications training and a surgical procedure checklist before, during, and after high-risk operations, patients experienced fewer adverse events such as infections and blood clots. The study is published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Although surgical checklists have existed for a while, they are not universally used. The study compared three groups of surgical procedures to determine whether communications training coupled with a standardized checklist could bring surgical teams into agreement and reduce patients' complications.

Study results showed that the communications training coupled with the checklist curbed complications within 30 days of the procedures. Complications included surgical site infections, vein blood clots, lung blood clots, and urinary tract infections. When surgical teams had no communications training and did not use checklist, more than 23 percent of the procedures resulted in complications within 30 days. About 16 percent of procedures by surgical teams who only participated in communications training led to complications within 30 days, and only 8.2 percent of the procedures had a 30-day complication when the surgical teams used both the communications training and the checklist.

Even small steps like making sure everyone on the team introduced themselves before the procedure helped reduce complications. The drop in postoperative complications also has implications for national health care spending because Medicare and other health insurance providers are now starting to decline reimbursement for complications that result from the clinicians' errors, especially just a month after the patient's procedure. The authors note that postoperative infections are among the most expensive medical errors, costing $14,500 per case on average.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

State of the Nutritionist 2012

Topics That Dominated the Wellness Landscape in 2012.
  • Mainstream Media's Attack on Supplements. This Will Not Cease Until Big Pharma Is Fully Invested in the Vitamin Business. Then, You Will Barely Hear a Whisper.
  • Statins Officially Linked to Diabetes Risk and Memory Impairment by the FDA. Look on Your Labels!
  • PPI and Antibiotic Overuse Identified and Taken Seriously by FDA Through Labeling and by the CDC Through Physician Awareness. 
  • Assault on Organic Food. Organic is Growing, so Now Dr. Oz, Stanford, and Others Call Those Who Choose Organic "Elitist."
  • FDA Gets Tough on Food Safety. Recalls Up Exponentially This Year.
  • Arsenic in Rice. Consumer Reports Scares the Public With Misguided Report.  
  • Excess Calcium and Heart Risk Front and Center.
  • Telomere Length As a Biomarker for Aging.
  • If You Can't Beat Em, Join Em. Big Pharma Gobbling Up Vitamin Companies.

Wellness Victories in 2012
  • SB2936 Passes in Illinois, Putting RD's in Their Place and Depriving Them of a Monopoly.
  • Many Gastros Embrace Food Intolerance as a Legitimate Reason for Digestive Disorders.
  • Stevia Takes Over As Second Most Popular Non-Caloric Sweetener.
  • Probiotics Are Darlings in Numerous Facets of Healthcare.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup Rebuffed in Attempt to Change Its Name to Corn Sugar. 

The Battle Still Rages On.
  • Food Coloring - FDA Ruled That There Was No Need for Warnings. For Colors, That Ship Has Already Sailed. Many Are Already Transitioning to Natural Colors and Flavors.
  • Neutralizing the Dr. Oz Effect. Who Knew That What Started With Good Intentions Has Now Turned Into a Sensationalist, One-Size-Fits-All, Misinformation Factory.
  • Congress Angling for an EU-Style Poison Pill for the Supplement Industry.
  • USDA Organic Seal Continues to Be Taken Advantage of and Breached by Certain Companies.
  • GMOs - Prop 37 Loss May Be a Battle Loss, but the War Will Still Be Won.
  • Removing Meaningless Diet Drugs Like the Recently Approved Belivq and Qsymia From the Market.
  • FDA Rules Against Removing BPA From Consumer Products. This Ruling Won't Last. 

What's In Store for 2013 and Beyond?  
  • Hot ingredients for 2013

    Magnesium Explosion!

    The data will start flowing similar to that of vitamin D. All we can say is that it is about time!

    Monk fruit (luo han guo)
    Zero-calorie monk fruit, which gained GRAS status in 2010, is just starting to appear in packaged foods (such as So Delicious no-sugar-added ice creams) and some supplements (such as Soothie Suckers, herbal remedy ice pops). With its simple processing, lack of side effects, non-GMO sourcing, and pure taste, it's a natural to replace high-glycemic agave and taste-problematic stevia in natural and mainstream foods.

    Coconut nectar
    Coconut sugar's precursor, coconut nectar, is an ideal liquid for food formulations that are hopping on the low-glycemic, low-fructose nutritive sweetener bandwagon.

    Sea buckthorn
    After emerging in personal care products a couple years ago, this ingredient—high in vitamin C, carotenes and rare omega-7 EFAs—is showing up in supplements. And it's not just targeting beauty-from-within, but also digestive health and combating inflammation. A new study just showed sea buckthorn leaf extracts may also boost exercise capacity and protect against oxidative damage caused by excessive exercise.


    Quinoa and amarmanth, it's time to share the spotlight with another emerging powerhouse seed that's just as tasty and nutritious. Kaniwa (pronounced ka-nyi-wah), which may be considered quinoa's smaller cousin, is packed with protein, amino acids and dietary fiber. The Peruvian mountain grain also lacks saponins, the bitter tasting coating found on quinoa, so it does not need to be rinsed before cooking. As quinoa's demand outgrows its supply, kaniwa is ready to step in as another nutrient-dense staple of a healthy diet.
  • Need Higher Quality Gluten-Free Food
    While celiacs now enjoy more choice than ever when they shop, the ingredients list on many products remains surprisingly uninspiring given the wealth of ingredients now available to formulators. Most gluten-free manufacturers stick with corn and white rice flour, tapioca and potato starch. Carob flour, yellow pea flour and bean flours are rarely used. Looking for ingredients that can provide fiber, protein and balanced nutrition as opposed to making people’s blood sugar rise should be the future.
  • The gigantic swarm of young people born between 1982 and 2001 are rising to prominence, and findings indicate that these younger consumers approach food shopping much differently. Convenience and price trump loyalty. However, millennials are more willing to invest in product attributes such as product quality, health profile and natural/organic.
  • US shoppers are looking to maintain lean muscle mass and muscle tone, across all age groups. Hunger management, not weight loss by adding fiber and protein will be key.
  • Take out the fake. Simple natural ingredients will dominate in the form of snackable mini-meals, veggie protein, healthier breakfasts and portion-controlled frozen foods.
  • Restaurants will add smaller plates and appetizers to menus while grocery stores will offer new pre-portioned snacks.
  • Supermarkets will increase their focus on men as they've become more active in shopping, meal planning and cooking.
  • Anticipate strong growth in meatless proteins including eggs, nut butters, tofu, beans and legumes.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quercetin supplementation creates body uptick

Quercetin, a flavonol in fruits and vegetables, has been demonstrated to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating influences. The purpose of a British Journal of Nutrition study was to determine if quercetin, vitamin C and niacin supplements (500 mg/d of quercetin, 125 mg/d of vitamin C and 5 mg/d of niacin OR 1000 mg/d of quercetin, 250 mg/d of vitamin C and 10 mg/d of niacin) would alter small-molecule metabolite profiles and serum quercetin conjugate levels in adults. 

Healthy adults were assigned using a randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled trial to one of three supplement groups (Q-1000, Q-500 or placebo). Overnight fasted blood samples were collected at 0, 1 and 3 months.

Quercetin supplementation was associated with significant shifts in 163 metabolites/quercetin conjugates. The top five metabolite shifts were an increase in serum guaiacol, 2-oxo-4-methylthiobutanoic acid, allocystathionine and two bile acids. 

In human subjects, long-term quercetin supplementation exerts disparate and wide-ranging metabolic effects and changes in quercetin conjugate concentrations. Metabolic shifts were apparent at the 1000 mg/d dose. Further research is required to understand the health implications of these shifts.

Bonnie: The health implications are what our clients have known forever: lower inflammation and a stronger immune system.

Chest CT scans up breast cancer risk

Use of medical imaging has surged, and a new study suggests the trend carries a risk. Having multiple cardiac and chest CT scans may increase the chances of breast cancer. The risk appears higher for younger women. A girl or young woman under age 23 who has two high-dose cardiac or chest CT scans doubles the risk of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years. The study was presented at the Radiology Society of North America annual meeting.

Nuclear medicine examinations may also contribute to breast cancer risk, the study found. Although the number of nuclear-imaging scans -- scans that use a small amount of a radioactive compound -- decreased over the 10-year period, about 84 percent of those performed in 2010 exposed the chest to radiation, according to the study.

Because breast tissue is so sensitive to radiation exposure, imaging providers should pay attention to radiation doses and use dose-reduction software wherever possible.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

High protein diet effective genetically

Recent evidence suggests that the fat mass and obesity-associated gene ( FTO) genotype may interact with dietary intakes in relation to adiposity. 742 obese adults were randomly assigned to one of four diets differing in the proportions of fat, protein, and carbohydrate. 

Researchers in the recent Diabetes study found significant modification effects for intervention varying in dietary protein on 2-year changes in fat-free mass, whole body total percentage of fat mass, total adipose tissue mass, visceral adipose tissue mass, and superficial adipose tissue mass. 

Carriers of the obesity risk allele had a greater reduction in weight, body composition, and fat distribution in response to a high-protein diet, whereas an opposite genetic effect was observed on changes in fat distribution in response to a low-protein diet. Likewise, significant interaction patterns also were observed at 6 months. Our data suggest that a high-protein diet may be beneficial for weight loss and improvement of body composition and fat distribution in individuals with the risk allele of the FTO variant rs1558902.

Milk ingredients may increase weight in kids

The effect of milk proteins in adolescents is unclear. The objective of a December 1st Journal Nutrition study was to test whether milk and milk proteins reduce body weight, waist circumference, plasma insulin, and insulin secretion in overweight adolescents aged 12–15 years. They were randomized to 1 liter per day of skim milk, whey, casein, or water for 12 weeks. All milk drinks contained 35 grams protein per liter

The researchers found greater BMI at 12 weeks in the skim milk, whey, and casein groups compared with the water and pretest control groups. These data suggest that high intakes of skim milk, whey, and casein increase adverse markers in overweight adolescents and that whey and casein increase insulin secretion. Whether the effect on body weight is primary or secondary to the increased insulin secretion remains to be elucidated.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

More Dr. Oz hypocrisy

Excerpts from the Cornucopia Institute
The agrochemical industry’s communications specialists have apparently found willing partners in major nationwide media outlets like The New York Times and Time magazine, which have recently published articles discouraging people from buying organic foods. The message is nearly always the same, as industry-friendly researchers and reporters downplay the role and harm caused by agricultural chemicals and focus instead on the differences between a handful of common nutrients. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, the conclusion is always that organic foods are not worth the extra price because the nutritional differences are minimal.

This scientific evidence about pesticides’ harmful effects, most recently reviewed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and covered in the latest issue of Pediatrics, will continue to be a major driving force behind the booming success and growth of the organic food movement.

The agrochemical industry will not win the hearts and minds (and stomachs) of Americans, especially when the health of our children is on the line. So they have turned their latest attempt to bring Americans back to blind trust in conventional foods by focusing on our collective class resentments. A more sinister message has taken hold, likening a diet of conventional foods to “The 99% Diet” and a chemical-free organic diet as “elitist.”

In Time magazine, Dr. Mehmet Oz, who once told millions of viewers, “I want you to eat organic foods” and “your kids deserve better than to be part of a national chemistry experiment,” has seemingly changed his tune and turned the decision to buy organic foods into a political and class issue.

Not only did Dr. Oz write that conventional foods are nutritionally equal to organic foods (he never mentions pesticide contamination), he calls organic foods “elitist.” Suddenly, a middle-class mother who decides to pay extra for a safe haven from pesticide contamination is called “snooty” and a “food snob” by the very same celebrity physician who once urged her to protect her children from agricultural chemicals by choosing organic.

Of course, the scientific evidence has not changed since Dr. Oz told us to buy organic. The conventional food advocates are now attempting to dissuade Americans from buying organic foods by turning the issue into one of class and privilege. The tactic is to paint food as a reflection of one’s position in society, like owning a Mercedes or fancy yacht, rather than a question of health and safety—organic food is painted not as a safe haven from pesticides, but as an elitist food for the “1%.” Would any of us 99%’ers want to be considered a “snob?”

Middle-class Americans who prioritize personal finances and choose to protect their children from harmful pesticide residues should be proud of this decision, and should not be bullied or shamed by Oz. Our children, as Dr. Oz once noted, should not serve as the human equivalents of lab rats. Rather than malign organic foods as elitist, we must recognize the very real and indisputable health benefits of organics and work to make pure, wholesome, uncontaminated foods more accessible and affordable for all.

Probiotics not just good for humans

Probiotics are not only good for people -- they are also good for fish. A new study by scientists at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology found that feeding probiotics to baby zebrafish accelerated their development and increased their chances of survival into adulthood.

This research could help increase the success of raising rare ornamental fish to adulthood. It also has implications for aquaculture, since accelerating the development of fish larvae--the toughest time for survival--could mean a more efficient and safe system for bringing fish to the dinner table.