Low vitamin D levels linked to increased depression risk

Low vitamin D levels linked to increased depression risk

Related topics: Research, Vitamins & premixes, Cognitive and mental function

The likelihood of having depression is significantly increased in people with deficient level of vitamin D, compared with people with adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin, says a new study.

Data from the third US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that people with vitamin D deficiency were at a 85 percent increased risk of having current depressive episodes, compared with people with sufficient levels, according to findings published in the International Archives of Medicine .

“It is not known, whether vitamin D deficiency leads to the depression or depression leads to the vitamin D deficiency,” write the researchers from Georgia State University. “Further studies are needed in deciphering the precise role of vitamin D in psychosomatic disorders.

“Although the direction of the cause and effect relation between depression and vitamin D deficiency is not known clearly at this time, in public health perspective, the coexistence of vitamin D and depression in the US population at large is a concern,” they add.

“It is important to identify persons who are at risk for vitamin D deficiency and/or for depression and to intervene early because these two conditions have enormous negative consequences on long term health.”

D and depression

And the World Health Organization (WHO) forecasts that within 20 years more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem; it ranks depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide, with around 120 million people affected.

This is not the first time that vitamin D has been linked to symptoms of depression. Dutch scientists reported in 2008 in the Archives of General Psychiatry that low levels of the vitamin and higher blood levels of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) were associated with higher rates of depression among 1,282 community residents aged between 65 and 95.

Furthermore, a review by Bruce Ames and Joyce McCann from the Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland highlighted the role of the vitamin in maintaining brain health, noting the wide distribution of vitamin D receptors throughout the brain.

According to the review (FASEB Journal, Vol.22, pp. 982-1001), the vitamin has been reported to affect proteins in the brain known to be directly involved in learning and memory, motor control, and possibly even maternal and social behaviour. Depression in the elderly is highly prevalent and can increase the risk of medical illnesses, worsen the outcome of other medical illnesses, and may increase mortality.

New data

Vijay Ganji Ph.D., R.D and his Georgia State co-workers analysed data from 7,970 US residents aged between 15and 39. Assessments of depression were performed using the National Institute of Mental Health’s Diagnostic Interview Schedule.

Results showed that people with blood levels of vitamin D of 50 nanomoles per liter or less were at an 85 percent increased risk of having current depressive episodes in persons, compared with people blood levels of at least 75 nanomoles per liter.

“The mechanism through which vitamin D plays a role in metal health is not clearly understood,” said the researchers. “Active vitamin D enhances glutathione metabolism in neurons, therefore, promotes antioxidant activities that protect them from oxidative degenerative processes.”

The researchers also not that vitamin D is involved in gene expressions for the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine.

The researchers stress however that their results do not prove that vitamin D deficiency causes depression, and called for additional studies to decipher the association between vitamin D and depression.

Source: International Archives of Medicine
2010, 3:29 doi:10.1186/1755-7682-3-29
“Serum vitamin D concentrations are related to depression in young adult US population: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey”
Authors: V. Ganji, C. Milone, M.M. Cody, F. McCarthy, Y.T. Wang

 The original article can be found HERE

German court rejects use of negative EFSA cranberry opinions

German court rejects use of negative EFSA cranberry opinions

Post a commentBy Shane Starling, 29-Nov-2010

Related topics: Health claims, Botanicals, Regulation, Antioxidants, carotenoids, Phytochemicals, plant extracts, Women’s health

Negative European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) health claim opinions cannot be used to block claims, a German court has determined.

 

A German court affirms EFSA negative opinions are not legally binding

The court rejected an injunction request to block a cranberry player from making claims, because it found that such claim-making was not invalidated merely by an EFSA opinion, if permitted under national law.

Only when the opinions became law after member state and European Commission scrutiny and possible amendment, did the EFSA opinions become legally binding – and even then there was a six month grace period for companies to alter their marketing.

The injunction applicant had based its legal argument on the fact that EFSA’s health claims panel had rejected cranberry-urinary tract infection health claim submissions from cranberry leader Ocean Spray and others.

Milestone

Frankfurt-based lawyer, Thomas Buttner, from the firm Forstmann, Buttner, Kruger, said the decision was significant because it affirmed that EFSA opinions were just that – opinions – and not legally binding.

 

“The applicant intended to get a provision of advertising claims referring to cranberry capsules and based this application on negative EFSA opinions regarding cranberry and some applied health claims,” he told NutraIngredients.

It was the first court action, he said, where a court had been asked to rule on the use of EFSA health claim opinions, “before the EC has published a negative regulation prohibiting the health claims on the European level and before the termination of the six month transition period.”

 

“This is a milestone for the food industry and a significant setback for the intended misuse of EFSA opinions in court actions in Germany.”

Glucosamine stripped

In April another German court took a different view of EFSA health claim opinions by ordering glucosamine and chondroitin products to be stripped from shelves after negative opinions from EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA).

In a letter that formed part of a correspondence between Dutch probiotics company, Winclove Bio Industries, and the European Commission about implementation of the NHCR, Buttner claims German firms are using EFSA opinions to attack their competitors in the courts.

German firms have begun, he wrote, to, “misuse already published Scientific Opinions of EFSA to try to initiate court actions to prohibit all Health Claims which may have something in common with the Health Claim which was … evaluated by EFSA with a negative outcome.”

“Since the Scientific Opinions of EFSA will be published immediately all competitors, authorities and courts can use these scientific opinions for their decisions to evaluate advertising claims. In Germany this has already provoked a lot of court actions with the goal to stop certain health claims immediately.”

Buttner said he knew of at least two actions in Frankfurt civil courts that had succeeded in prohibiting chondroitin and glucosamine claims being made on food supplements.

 you can find the original article HERE

Tony Pantalleresco Radio Show script of the Week November-22-2010

Show of the Week November-22-2010

 

Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8-9-year-old children

Indena curcumin complex shows eye therapy potential

Recipe for Lecithin and Tumeric & Black Pepper

US Scientists Significantly More Likely to Publish Fake Research

Cholesterol—The Good-

Cholesterol Flowing 

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— Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8-9-year-old children -a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial
Donna McCann, Angelina Barrett, Alison Cooper, Debbie Crumpler, Lindy Dalen, Kate Grimshaw, Elizabeth Kitchin, Kris Lok, Lucy Porteous, Emily Prince, Prof Edmund Sonuga-Barke, Prof John O Warner and Prof Jim Stevenson  —- A randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial to test whether intake of artificial food colour and additives (AFCA) affected childhood behaviour. —-(153) 3-year-old and (144 )8/9-year-old children were included in the study. The challenge drink contained sodium benzoate and one of two AFCA mixes (A or B) or a placebo mix. The main outcome measure was a global hyperactivity aggregate (GHA), based on aggregated z-scores of observed behaviours and ratings by teachers and parents, plus, for 8/9-year-old children, a computerised test of attention. This clinical trial is registered with Current Controlled Trials (registration number ISRCTN74481308). Analysis was per protocol. —-Conclusion—-Artificial colours or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population
EFFECT
. . . The present findings, in combination with the replicated evidence for the AFCA effects on the behaviour of 3-year-old children, lend strong support for the case that food additives exacerbate hyperactive behaviours (inattention, impulsivity, and overactivity) in children at least up to middle childhood. Increased hyperactivity is associated with the development of educational difficulties, especially in relation to reading, and therefore these adverse effects could affect the child’s ability to benefit from the experience of schooling. These findings show that adverse effects are not just seen in children with extreme hyperactivity (ie, ADHD), but can also be seen in the general population and across the range of severities of hyperactivity. Our results are consistent with those from previous studies and extend the findings to show significant effects in the general population. The effects are shown after a rigorous control of placebo effects and for children with the full range of levels of hyperactivity. —We have found an adverse effect of food additives on the hyperactive behaviour of 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children. Although the use of artificial colouring in food manufacture might seem superfluous, the same cannot be said for sodium benzoate, which has an important preservative function. The implications of these results for the regulation of food additive use could be substantial.
 
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Indena curcumin complex shows eye therapy potential
Curcumin complex may reduce relapses of recurrent anterior uveitis by over 80 percent, according to new research. Results of the study, published in Clinical Ophthalmology, showed that after adjunct supplementation with the Indena’s curcumin–phosphatidylcholine complex, Meriva, only 18 percent of recurrent anterior uveitis patients suffered relapses. “Our work showed for the first time that Meriva formulation permits us to reach active therapeutic levels in the eye at a common dosage of two tablets per day and is well tolerated,” stated the authors, led by Dr Pia Allegri, from the Ophthalmological Department of Lavagna Hospital, in Italy. “This is the first large and controlled clinical study that demonstrates the efficacy of curcumin in eye relapsing diseases like anterior uveitis. It confirms the important anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin,” said Giovanni Appendino, Indena Scientific Advisor.
Curcumin effects
Indena said that with more than 3000 pre-clinical investigations, curcumin is one of the best investigated natural products. Curcumin has been associated with anti-inflammatory responses, and has been successfully used to treat inflammatory conditions in experimental research and in clinical trials, wrote the authors. Like most dietary phenolics, curcumin shows a very poor oral absorption, however, these problems have now been largely overcome by phospholipid complexation of curcumin, Indena claims. Uveitis is inflammation of the interior of the eye. Symptoms of recurrent anterior uveitis (RAU) include pain, redness, photophobia, and reduced vision. After reviewing several studies on curcumin and on curcumin–phosphatidylcholine complex, some investigating its anti-inflammatory effect in eye diseases, the researchers set out to demonstrate the efficacy of curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex tablets as oral treatment of RAU.
Positive results
The authors stated that continuous and protracted treatment gave the result of a good anti-inflammatory effect and prevention of relapses. The results showed that the cumin–phosphatidylcholine complex was well tolerated, and could reduce eye discomfort symptoms and signs after a few weeks of treatment in more than 80 percent of patients. The researchers reported a total of 275 relapses one year before the treatment with curcumin complex, compared with 36 relapses at the end of the 12-month post supplementation follow-up period. This was an 88 percent improvement in RAU relapse. Moreover, the researchers reported that only one patient dropped out due to gastric intolerance to curcumin, showing that the Meriva curcumin–phosphatidylcholine complex was in the majority was well tolerated
Important role
The researchers suggested the therapeutic use of curcumin, in addition to traditional therapeutic protocols, “can play an important role in the adjunctive therapy of RAU of various origins and gives a contribution to the clinical potential efficacy of this plant-derived product in medicine.” “The success of our work suggests that curcumin’s potential anti-inflammatory effect may be useful in other chronic or relapsing ocular surface diseases, such as dry eye syndrome, allergic conjunctivitis, and blepharitis,” stated the authors.
Source: Clinical Ophthalmology
Volume 2010:4, Pages 1201-1206, doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S13271
“Management of chronic anterior uveitis relapses: efficacy of oral phospholipidic curcumin treatment. Long-term follow-up”
Authors: P. Allegri, A. Mastromarino, P. Neri
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Recipe for Lecithin and Tumeric & Black Pepper—take 2 -4 ounces of lecithin and add to a blender—add 1 tablespoon of tumeric and a ½ tsp of black pepper and blend—or take in a small bowl and mix well—add ons if you wish– Vitamin A -4 capsules or the equivalent of 100,000 IU ( add more if you like or less )and Cq10 4-5 capsules of 30-100 mg strength ( use whatever you have the lipid will make the A and Cq 10 more absorbable) then use ¼ tsp 2-3 times a day—the impact will increase the effect of the antioxidant to the liver –heart- eyes-the combination makes the Cq10 last longer in the body ( due to the piperine content of pepper) the cholesterol keeps flowing as it should and by utilizing the lecithin the cells in your body maintain a healthy integrity—Brain Support is increased due to this combination of increased Choline levels and the impact of reducing plaque—will have
As well anti cancer and anti viral impact as a result of the Vitamin A and the Tumeric and Pepper—has anti parasitical impact as well as hearing and intestinal fortification
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US Scientists Significantly More Likely to Publish Fake Research,
ScienceDaily (Nov. 17, 2010) — US scientists are significantly more likely to publish fake research than scientists from elsewhere, finds a trawl of officially withdrawn (retracted) studies, published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.—Fraudsters are also more likely to be “repeat offenders,” the study shows.–The study author searched the PubMed database for every scientific research paper that had been withdrawn — and therefore officially expunged from the public record — between 2000 and 2010.–A total of 788 papers had been retracted during this period. Around three quarters of these papers had been withdrawn because of a serious error (545); the rest of the retractions were attributed to fraud (data fabrication or falsification).—The highest number of retracted papers were written by US first authors (260), accounting for a third of the total. One in three of these was attributed to fraud.–The UK, India, Japan, and China each had more than 40 papers withdrawn during the decade. Asian nations, including South Korea, accounted for 30% of retractions. Of these, one in four was attributed to fraud.—The fakes were more likely to appear in leading publications with a high “impact factor.” This is a measure of how often research is cited in other peer reviewed journals.–More than half (53%) of the faked research papers had been written by a first author who was a “repeat offender.” This was the case in only one in five (18%) of the erroneous papers.-The average number of authors on all retracted papers was three, but some had 10 or more. Faked research papers were significantly more likely to have multiple authors.Each first author who was a repeat fraudster had an average of six co-authors, each of whom had had another three retractions.—The duplicity of some authors is cause for concern,” comments the author. Retraction is the strongest sanction that can be applied to published research, but currently, “[it] is a very blunt instrument used for offences both gravely serious and trivial.”—Story Source:—The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.—Journal Reference: R Grant Steen. Retractions in the Scientific Literature: Do Authors Deliberately Commit Research Fraud? J Med Ethics, 15 November 2010 DOI: 10.1136/jme.2010.038125
 
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Cholesterol—The Good-
ñññOptimal serum Cholesterol levels help to prevent some types of Cerebrovascular Diseases and sub-optimal Cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of Cerebrovascular Diseases. ñññ
 Cells
 Cholesterol is an essential component of Cell Membranes
 Cholesterol fine tunes Cell Membrane fluidity under constantly fluctuating conditions of dietary Fat intake.—    Caution:  excess Cholesterol can cause Cell Membranes to become too rigid.
Cholesterol is a particularly important constituent of the Myelin Sheath that insulates Neurons.
Cholesterol manufactured for use in Cell Membranes is manufactured in response to demand from the Cell Membranes themselves.
AL-721 increases the fluidity of Cell Membranes by removing Cholesterol thereby lowering the Cholesterol:Phospholipid ratio within Cells Membranes.
 Digestive System
Cholesterol’s byproducts (Cholic Acid, Chenodeoxycholic Acid and Deoxycholic Acid) are essential components of Bile.—Cholesterol facilitates the body’s absorption of dietary Fats in the Intestine.
 Immune System
 ñññLow Cholesterol levels increase the risk of Cancerñññ
Cholesterol (after its secretion by glands in the Skin) protects the Skin against infection by Detrimental Bacteria and Detrimental Fungi.
 ñññCholesterol possesses Antioxidant properties.  ñññ
 Nervous System 
ñññOptimal levels of Cholesterol are required in order to prevent Aggressiveness (excessively low Cholesterol levels increase the incidence of Aggressiveness).  ñññCholesterol is essential to the healthy function of the Brain.- ñññCholesterol helps to prevent Depression (low Cholesterol (under 160 mg/dl) is associated with an increased risk of Depression). ñññ–Optimal levels of Cholesterol are required in order to prevent Depression (excessively low Cholesterol levels increase the incidence of Depression).  ñññ-  Cholesterol indirectly counteracts excessive Stress (due to it being an essential constituent of the Adrenal Hormones – Adrenaline, Cortisol and Cortisone – that are released by the body in response to Stress):
Caution:  excessive Stress causes the production of excessive quantities of endogenous Cholesterol.
 Skin
 Cholesterol comprises 1% of human Sebum (in which it helps to protect the Skin against dehydration and accelerates the healing of Skin Tissue). ñññ
 Cholesterol Enhances the Function of these Substances
 Hormones
 ñññCholesterol is an essential precursor for the formation of all Steroid Hormones.  reñññ
 Steroids – Biochemical Pathway
 Cholesterol comprises 20% of High Density Lipoproteins (HDLs)-Cholesterol comprises 46% of Lipoprotein (a).–Cholesterol comprises 46% of Low Density Lipoproteins (LDLs)-Cholesterol comprises 22% of Very Low Density Lipoproteins (VLDLs)
 Neurotransmitters
 Cholesterol increases the number of Receptors in the Brain for Serotonin.
 Vitamins 
ñññCholesterol is an essential precursor for the endogenous production of Vitamin D (Vitamin D3 form).  ñññ
 These Substances Enhance the Function of Cholesterol
 Electromagnetic Radiation
Ultra-Violet Radiation converts the 7-Dehydrocholesterol form of Cholesterol to the Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) form of Vitamin D in the Skin: 
Minerals 
Manganese facilitates the conversion of Cholesterol into Steroid Hormones.
 ********************************************************************8
Steroid Biosynthetic Pathways
HO
O
3b-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/!5-!4-isomerase
P450-21
P450-11b
17b-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase
* P450-18
Designation Name
P450scc Cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme
P450-17a 17a-hydroxylase/17-20-lyase
P450-21 21-hydroxylase
P450-11b 11b-hydroxylase
P450-18 18-hydroxylase
P450-arom aromatase
Note that P450-17a catalyzes both reactions in the conversion
of pregnenolone to DHEA and in the conversion of
progesterone to androstenedione.

Cholesterol Flowing—

Bay Leaf — In vitro and in vivo effects of Laurus nobilis L. leaf extracts.

Kaurinovic B, Popovic M, Vlaisavljevic S.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovica 3, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia. biljana.kaurinovic@dh.uns.ac.rs

Abstract

The in vitro and in vivo antioxidant activities of different extracts of laurel leaves were studied. Free radical scavenging capacity (RSC) was evaluated measuring the scavenging activity on the DPPH, NO, O(2)(.-) and OH radicals. The effects on lipid peroxidation (LP) were also evaluated. Experimental results indicate that ethyl acetate extract of leaves has exhibited the largest RSC capacity in neutralization[U1]  of DPPH, NO, O(2)(.-) and OH radicals. The same result was obtained in investigation of extracts impact on LP. The in vivo effects were evaluated on some antioxidant systems (activities of GSHPx, LPx, Px, CAT and XOD, and GSH content) in the mice liver and blood-hemolysate after treatment with the examined laurel extracts, or in combination with carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)). On the basis of the results obtained it can be concluded that the examined extracts exhibited a certain protective effect, which is more pronounced on the liver than on blood-hemolysate parameters. The results obtained indicate toxicity of CCl(4), probably due to the radicals involved in its metabolism. Combined treatments with CCl(4) and the examined extracts showed both positive and negative synergism. Based on the experimental results, the strongest protective effect was shown by the EtOAc extract.– PMID: 20657487 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Grapefruit lowers total serum Cholesterol levels (due to the Grapefruit Pectin content of Grapefruit). 

Oranges lower total serum Cholesterol levels (primarily due to the Pectin content of Oranges). 

Pears lower total serum Cholesterol levels (due to the Pectin content of Pears).

Strawberries lower total serum Cholesterol levels (due to the Pectin content of Strawberries).

Almonds lower total serum Cholesterol levels (due to the Oleic Acid content of Almonds). 

Pecan Nuts lower total serum Cholesterol levels (due to the Beta-Sitosterol content of Pecan Nuts).

Fats that lower or Utilize Cholesterol—

Coconut Oil lowers elevated total serum Cholesterol levels (it is speculated that this occurs from Coconut Oil stimulating the conversion of Cholesterol to Pregnenolone)

Olive Oil lowers total serum Cholesterol, by preventing it from entering the bloodstream (due to the Cycloartenol content of Olive Oil). 

Rice Bran Oil lowers total serum Cholesterol levels. 

Perilla Oil lowers elevated serum Cholesterol levels (due to the high Alpha-Linolenic Acid content of Perilla Oil). 

Processed Foods & Unprocessed Foods

ñññLecithin (10,500 mg per day) lowers elevated serum Cholesterol levels (by approximately 33%).ñññ  Sunflower or Egg Lecithin Would be the Choice

Avocado lowers serum Cholesterol levels. 

Cabbage helps to lower total serum Cholesterol levels.

Carrots lower serum Cholesterol levels:  research

Consumption of 200 grams of raw Carrots lowers total serum Cholesterol levels by an average of 11%.

Celery can lower total serum Cholesterol by 7%, even at low doses (due to the 3-n-Butyl-Phthalide content of Celery). 

Garlic (and Garlic Oil) lowers total serum Cholesterol levels:  research

Aged Garlic Extract lowers total serum Cholesterol levels (by approximately 7%). 

Globe Artichoke lowers total serum Cholesterol levels (due to the Cynarin content of Globe Artichokes). 

Onions lower total serum Cholesterol levels. 

Rutabaga lowers total serum Cholesterol levels.

Sweet Potatoes lower total serum Cholesterol levels (by binding to Cholesterol).

Turnips lower total serum Cholesterol levels

 

 

Herb &Fungi (Mushroooms)

Caterpillar Fungus lowers total serum Cholesterol levels by an average of 17.5%.  Cordycep

Shiitake Mushrooms lower total serum Cholesterol levels (due to the Eritadenin content of Shiitake Mushrooms).  research

American Ginseng lowers total serum Cholesterol levels. 

Arjuna lowers total serum Cholesterol levels. 

Artichoke Leaf lowers total serum Cholesterol levels. 

Black Cohosh lowers serum Cholesterol levels.

Carob lowers total serum Cholesterol levels by up to 15%. 

Chillis lower total serum Cholesterol levels (due to the Capsaicin and Dihydrocapsaicin content of Chillis). 

Ginger lowers total serum Cholesterol levels. 

Ginsengs lower total serum Cholesterol levels.

Green Tea lowers total serum Cholesterol levels. 

Guggulipid (extract) lowers elevated serum Cholesterol levels (by stimulating the function of the Thyroid, inhibiting the endogenous production of Cholesterol and facilitating the excretion of Cholesterol).  This regulates T3 –T4 Conversions

Hawthorn (berries) lower total serum Cholesterol levels. 

Holy Basil lowers total serum Cholesterol levels. 

Indian Gooseberry lowers total serum Cholesterol levels. 

Jiaogulan lowers total serum Cholesterol levels.

Milk Thistle lowers elevated total serum Cholesterol levels (due to the Silymarin content of Milk Thistle). 

Skullcap inhibits increases in serum Cholesterol levels.

Turmeric lowers total serum Cholesterol levels (due to the Curcumin content of Turmeric).

Yarrow lowers total serum Cholesterol levels

Rosemary—Sage –Thyme-Bay Leaf as well work with cholesterol as to not to allow it to break down and periodize ( get broken and become sticky causing arterial stress )

AS you can see The need for Cholesterol Is A NECESSITY—and should be treated as such –as you can see based on the research without it cancer increases

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TOP E


 [U1]Here they are showing that Bay Leaf had the Highest antioxidant capcity toward fat break down –it appears to be neutralizing this

 

 

Vitamin D’s genetic effect seasonal

Vitamin D’s genetic effect seasonal

United Press International

11-26-10

 

U.S. and Brazilian researchers say genetic factors affect vitamin D levels only in winter.

Study leader Christina Karohl of Emory University in Atlanta and at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, linked 70 percent of the variation in concentrations of vitamin D levels during the winter to genetic factors.

However in the summer, 53 percent of variation in vitamin D concentrations were due to shared environmental factors and 47 percent were due to unique environmental factors.

The study, scheduled to be published in December issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests summer environmental conditions such as sun exposure trumped genetic factors in determining blood levels of vitamin D.

Karohl and colleagues looked at 510 middle-age men — 310 identical twins and 200 fraternal twins from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry. Generalized estimating equations and structural equation models were used to test the association between levels of vitamin D and other study factors.

 

Copyright United Press International 2010

 

Articles featured in Life Extension Daily News are derived from a variety of news sources and are provided as a service by Life Extension. These articles, while of potential interest to readers of Life Extension Daily News, do not necessarily represent the opinions nor constitute the advice of Life Extension.

Find the original article HERE

Growth-Factor Gel Shows Promise as Hearing-Loss Treatment

Growth-Factor Gel Shows Promise as Hearing-Loss Treatment

 

ScienceDaily (Nov. 26, 2010) — A new treatment has been developed for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), a condition that causes deafness in 40,000 Americans each year, usually in early middle-age. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Medicine describe the positive results of a preliminary trial of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), applied as a topical gel.

Takayuki Nakagawa, from Kyoto University, Japan, worked with a team of researchers to test the gel in 25 patients whose SSHL had not responded to the normal treatment of systemic gluticosteroids. He said, “The results indicated that the topical IGF1 application using gelatin hydrogels was safe, and had equivalent or superior efficiency to the hyperbaric oxygen therapy that was used as a historical control; this suggests that the efficacy of topical IGF1 application should be further evaluated using randomized clinical trials.”

At 12 weeks after the test treatment, 48% of patients showed hearing improvement, and the proportion increased to 56% at 24 weeks. No serious adverse events were observed. This is the first time that growth factors have been tested as a hearing remedy. According to Nakagawa, “Although systemic glucocorticoid application results in hearing recovery in some patients with SSHL, approximately 20% show no recovery. Topical IGF1 application using gelatin hydrogels is well tolerated and may be efficacious for these patients.”

Editor’s Note: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Find the original article HERE

Cinnamon’s anti-diabetes benefits get clinical trial boost

Cinnamon’s anti-diabetes benefits get clinical trial boost

By Stephen Daniells, 25-Nov-2010

Related topics: Research, Phytochemicals, plant extracts, Cardiovascular health, Diabetes

A daily dose of two grams of cinnamon for 12 weeks may improve blood pressure measures and blood sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes, says new research from Imperial College London.

According to findings of the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial, the spice may be considered as interesting supplement to the conventional diabetes medications.

“The two gram dose of cinnamon administered in our study was safe and well tolerated over the 12 weeks of treatment,” wrote Dr Rajadurai Akilen and his co-workers in Diabetic Medicine.

“The sustainability and durability of the effect of cinnamon has not been tested, nor has its long-term tolerability and safety, both of which will need to be determined. However, the short-term effects of the use of cinnamon for patients with Type 2 diabetes look promising.”

Exploding statistics

The study adds to a growing body of research reporting that active compounds in cinnamon may improve parameters associated with diabetes.

With the number of people are affected by diabetes in the EU 25 projected to increase to 26 million by 2030, up from about 19 million currently – or 4 per cent of the total population –approaches to reduce the risk of diabetes are becoming increasing attractive.

The statistics are even more startling in the US, where almost 24 million people live with diabetes, equal to 8 per cent of the population. The total costs are thought to be as much as $174 billion, with $116 billion being direct costs from medication, according to 2005-2007 American Diabetes Association figures.

Study details

Dr Akilen and his co-workers recruited 58 people with type-2 diabetes and an average age of 55, and randomly assigned them to receive a daily supplement containing a daily two gram dose of cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia, Holland and Barrett Ltd, UK) or placebo for 12 weeks.

At the end of the study the results indicated that the cinnamon supplement

In terms of blood sugar, the researchers noted a reduction in levels of glycated hemoglobin (used to measure blood sugar levels) over 12 weeks from 8.22 to 7.86 percent in the cinnamon group, compared with an increase in the placebo group from 8.55 to 8.68 percent over 12 weeks.

“This is the first clinical trial in the United Kingdom in a multiethnic population that has confirmed beneficial effects of 2 g cinnamon on [glycated hemoglobin] and blood pressure in Type-2 diabetes patients,” wrote the researchers.

Cinnamon and diabetes

Despite numerous studies championing the role of cinnamon for diabetes management, a recent meta-analysis questioned the potential benefits of cinnamon for type-2 diabetes. The analysis considered only five randomized placebo-controlled trials involving 282 subjects, and found no significant benefits of cinnamon supplement on glycated hemoglobin (A1C), fasting blood glucose (FBG), or other lipid parameters (Diabetes Care, 2008, Vol. 31, pp. 41-43).

Source: Diabetic Medicine
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.03079
“Glycated haemoglobin and blood pressure-lowering effect of cinnamon in multi-ethnic Type 2 diabetic patients in the UK: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial”
Authors: R. Akilen, A. Tsiami, D. Devendra, N. Robinson

 You can find the original article HERE

Prebiotic apple wedges may offer alternative for gut health boost

Prebiotic apple wedges may offer alternative for gut health boost

 

Applying prebiotic fibres to fresh-cut apple wedges may offer an alternative way for a daily boost to gut health, suggests new research from Ireland.

 

Writing in The Journal of Food Science, researchers from Ireland’s Teagasc report the development of a fresh-cut apple wedges with an edible coating containing the fibres oligofructose and inulin, and alginate.

“The addition of prebiotics could be especially appealing to consumers as they are essential to human nutrition in the context of dietary guidelines,” wrote the researchers, led by Christian Roessle.

“However, inclusion of prebiotics slightly affected the quality and sensory of the fresh-cut apple wedges, it also resulted in a variety of beneficial effects on the shelf-life, bioactive compounds, and the retention of volatiles,” they added.

Probiotics and prebiotics

The study follows similar developments in the application of probiotic bacterial strains to fresh-cut apple wedges, which was promoted as a dairy-free alternative. The previous paper, published in Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, reported the development of fresh-cut apple wedges with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, with the test samples containing the bacterial strain in sufficient quantities for a probiotic effect.

According to the FAO/WHO, probiotics are defined as ‘live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host’.

Speaking to NutraIngredients, Dr Roessle said that the rationale behind the new prebiotic-coated wedges was the same as for the probiotic apple slices.

“This product would offer a new alternative for consumers,” he explained. “Prebiotics are generally used in combination with dairy products and therefore using fresh-cut fruit as carrier might be especially appealing to people with lactose intolerance.”

Inulin and oligosaccharides

Prebiotics are defined as “nondigestible substances that provide a beneficial physiological effect on the host by selectively stimulating the favourable growth or activity of a limited number of indigenous bacteria”.

Roessle and his co-workers cut apple slices into wedges which still had the apple skin on, and dipped them into an solution containing sodium alginate (Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Seaweed Industry Co., China) and one from inulin (15 percent, Beneo-Orafti GR), oligofructose (35 percent, Beneo-Orafti P95), or a mixture of both (20/15 percent oligofructose/ inulin). The wedges were also exposed to an anti-browning agent called Natureseal AS1 (AgriCoat, UK), which is widely by the fresh-cut fruit industry.

A panel of 25 tasters was then used to measure the sensory aspects of both control and prebiotic-coated wedges. Dr Roessle explained that the alginate coating did affect the appearance and mouthfeel of the wedges. “The glossy appearance and slightly slippery mouthfeel is something the tasters did not associate with fresh-cut fruit,” he added. As such, Dr Roessle believes that the probiotic apple slices have more potential.

To conclude, the researchers wrote: “To increase the possible beneficial effects of prebiotics for the host, it could be combined with an appropriate concentration of probiotic bacteria.”

Indeed, the Dr Roessle said that a study just published in the Journal of Functional Foods combined the outcomes of the pro- and prebiotics, and concluded: “Taking all the possible health benefits into account, the synbiotic apple wedges produced could be a good alternative to dairy products currently on the market.”

The health claims issue

Looking at the health claims situation in Europe, Roessle said: “We are aware that EFSA has not yet approved health claims for the use of Beneo-Orafti (Belgium) products such as inulin and oligofructose which are still under investigation.”

“While EFSA acknowledged that a decrease in certain gut-residing pathogens could benefit health, it said the associated levels of pre- or probiotics required to deliver such benefits had not yet been ascertained in a scientifically conclusive way, according to its own criteria.

“We absolutely believe that the lack of health claims has a negative effect on the uptake of such products. While we acknowledge the work of EFSA we think that the very strict regulations will damage the industry in the future,” he added.

Sources: Journal of Food Science
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01902.x
“Alginate Coating as Carrier of Oligofructose and Inulin and to Maintain the Quality of Fresh-Cut Apples”
Authors : C. Roessle, N. Brunton, R.T. Gormley, R. Wouters, F. Butler

Journal of Functional Foods
 Published online ahead of print, doi:10.1016/j.jff.2010.09.001
“Development of potentially synbiotic fresh-cut apple slices”
Authors: C. Roessle, N. Brunton, R.T. Gormley, P.R. Ross, F. Butler

You can see the original article HERE

Blueberries linked to improved blood vessel health: Rat study

Blueberries linked to improved blood vessel health: Rat study

By Stephen Daniells, 18-Nov-2010

Supplementing the diet with wild blueberries may reduce blood pressure, suggests a new study with hypertensive rats.

 

Animals fed a diet supplemented with 8 percent wild blueberries experienced less constriction in blood vessel, compared with animals fed a control die, according to findings published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

“The unique goal and approach of our study was to examine the dietary effect of wild blueberries, and not isolated bioactive compounds, on vascular tone of the adult spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR),” wrote researchers from the University of Maine, Northwestern University, and the University of Louisville.

“Our data provide clear evidence that the 8 week dietary treatment with 8 percent wild blueberry in the adult SHR with established endothelial dysfunction results in a significant moderation of the increased aortic vascular tone,” they added.

The berries were proposed to act via the NO pathway – nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator, or compound that promotes the dilation or relaxation of blood vessels, thereby easing blood pressure.

True Blue

Blueberries, nature’s only ‘blue’ food, are a rich source of polyphenols, potent antioxidants that include phenolics acids, tannins, flavonols and anthocyanins.

The berries are said to have a number of positive health effects, including cholesterol reduction, and prevention against some cancers and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The popularity of the berry has increased in recent years with the publication of more science supporting its health benefits, and an overall consumer move towards ‘superfruits’ and all things ‘antioxidant’.

Study details

Led by Maine’s Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, the researchers fed spontaneously hypertensive rats a control or a wild blueberry diet for eight weeks. The blueberries were provided as a composite by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA), and were freeze-dried and powdered by Illinois’ FutureCeuticals.

After the eight weeks of intervention, the rats were exposed to the compound l-phenylephrine (a vasoconstrictor), with or without l-NG-monomethyl arginine, a compound known to inhibit the enzyme NO synthase (NOS).

Results showed that “the vasoconstriction elicited by l-phenylephrine was reduced in the wild blueberry group, attributed to the NO pathway, favoring a lower vascular tone under basal conditions”.

“These findings document the potential of wild blueberries to modify major pathways of vasomotor control and improve the vascular tone in the adult spontaneously hypertensive rats with endothelial dysfunction,” they concluded.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
2010, Volume 58, Issue 22, Pages 11600-11605
“A Wild Blueberry-Enriched Diet (Vaccinium angustifolium) Improves Vascular Tone in the Adult Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat”
Authors: A.S. Kristo, A.Z. Kalea, D.A. Schuschke, D.J. Klimis-Zacas

 See the original article HERE

Fish oil forms: Triglycerides better for omega-3 index increase

Fish oil forms: Triglycerides better for omega-3 index increase

Fish oil omega-3s in the triglyceride form are better for boosting the omega-3 index than the ethyl ester form, says a new study from Germany, a result which echoes recent Danish findings.

Scientists from Leibniz Universitat Hannover and Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich report that the omega-3 index – a quantification of the fatty acid status of a person – increased “faster and higher” when supplementation used omega-3s in the triglyceride form, compared with the ethyl ester form.

Writing in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the scientists report that six months of supplementation with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in the triglyceride form increased the omega-3 index by 197 percent, compared with 171 percent following supplements of EPA and DHA in their ethyl ester form.

“As the resulting omega-3 index was significantly higher after n-3 fatty acid- re-esterified triglycerides (FA-rTG) administration compared with n-3 fatty acid-ethyl ester (FA-EE), the results indicate that n-3 FA-rTG is superior to n-3 FA-EE in view of the EPA + DHA tissues incorporation following a long-term administration,” wrote the researchers, led by Leibniz’s Juliane Neubronner.

Heart health and beyond

The heart health benefits of consuming oily fish, and the omega-3 fatty acids they contain, are well-documented, being first reported in the early 1970s by Dr Jorn Dyerberg and his co-workers in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements, and improved vascular function.

Beyond heart health, omega-3 fatty acids, most notably EPA and DHA, have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health, and improved behaviour and mood.

Despite such benefits there are still problems with ensuring adequate omega-3 intakes from fatty fish. This has led to a fleet of omega-3-rich concentrates becoming available. Projections by Frost & Sullivan set annual growth for the omega-3 market at an impressive 24 per cent, and the market is estimated to be worth $1.6bn by 2014.

Omega-3 forms

Various forms of concentrated omega-3 fatty acids are available on the market, and these include free fatty acids (FFA), ethyl esters (EE) or as re-esterified triglycerides (rTG).

Only recently, Dr Dyerberg his Danish co-workers reported that the bioavailability of omega-3s in the re-esterified triglyceride was 50 percent higher than omega-3 in the form of free fatty acids or ethyl esters (Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, Vol. 83, pp. 137-141).

The new study also found that the re-esterified triglycerides form of omega-3s performed better than their ethyl ester form. The German researchers recruited 150 volunteers ad randomly assigned them to one of three groups: One group received fish oil concentrate as reesterified triglycerides (1.01g EPA + 0.67g DHA); the same doses of fish oil concentrate but as ethyl ester; or placebo (corn oil).

Results of the double-blinded placebo-controlled trial showed that EPA and DHA increases were both quicker and more when omega-3 was supplemented in its triglyceride form.

“However, whether this difference would result in differences in clinical outcomes (that is, reduction in serum TG levels, reductions in coronary heart disease events) is unclear and needs further investigations,” wrote the researchers.

“Nevertheless, these obvious differences between rTGs and EEs should be considered in the n-3 fatty acid intake recommendations,” they concluded.

Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2010.239
“Enhanced increase of omega-3 index in response to long-term n-3 fatty acid supplementation from triacylglycerides versus ethyl esters”
Authors: J. Neubronner, J.P. Schuchardt, G. Kressel, M. Merkel, C. von Schacky, A. Hahn

See the original article HERE

Researchers Train Bacteria to Convert Bio-Wastes Into Plastic

Researchers Train Bacteria to Convert Bio-Wastes Into Plastic

ScienceDaily (Nov. 21, 2010) — Researcher Jean-Paul Meijnen has ‘trained’ bacteria to convert all the main sugars in vegetable, fruit and garden waste efficiently into high-quality environmentally friendly products such as bioplastics.

There is considerable interest in bioplastics nowadays. The technical problems associated with turning potato peel into sunglasses, or cane sugar into car bumpers, have already been solved. The current methods, however, are not very efficient: only a small percentage of the sugars can be converted into valuable products. By adapting the eating pattern of bacteria and subsequently training them, Meijnen has succeeded in converting sugars in processable materials, so that no bio-waste is wasted.

The favoured raw materials for such processes are biological wastes left over from food production. Lignocellulose, the complex combination of lignin and cellulose present in the stalks and leaves of plants that gives them their rigidity, is such a material. Hydrolysis of lignocellulose breaks down the long sugar chains that form the backbone of this material, releasing the individual sugar molecules. These sugar molecules can be further processed by bacteria and other micro-organisms to form chemicals that can be used as the basis for bioplastics. The fruit of the plant, such as maize, can be consumed as food, while the unused waste such as lignocellulose forms the raw material for bioplastics.

“Unfortunately, the production of plastics from bio-wastes is still quite an expensive process, because the waste material is not fully utilized,” explains Jean-Paul Meijnen. (It should be noted here that we are talking about agricultural bio-wastes in this context, not the garden waste recycled by households.) The pre-treatment of these bio-wastes leads to the production of various types of sugars such as glucose, xylose and arabinose. These three together make up about eighty per cent of the sugars in bio-waste.

The problem is that the bacteria Meijnen was working with, Pseudomonas putida S12, can only digest glucose but not xylose or arabinose. As a result, a quarter of the eighty per cent remains unused. “A logical way of reducing the cost price of bioplastics is thus to ‘teach’ the bacteria to digest xylose and arabinose too.”

The xylose has to be ‘prepared’ before Pseudomonas putida S12 can digest it. This is done with the aid of certain enzymes. The bacteria are genetically modified by inserting specific DNA fragments in the cell; this enables them to produce enzymes that assist in the conversion of xylose into a molecule that the bacteria can deal with.

Meijnen achieved this by introducing two genes from another bacterium (E. coli) which code for two enzymes that enable xylose to be converted in a two-stage process into a molecule that P. putida S12 can digest.

This method did work, but not very efficiently: only twenty per cent of the xylose present was digested. The modified bacteria were therefore ‘trained’ to digest more xylose. Meijnen did this by subjecting the bacteria to an evolutionary process, successively selecting the bacteria that showed the best performance.

“After three months of this improvement process, the bacteria could quickly digest all the xylose present in the medium. And surprisingly enough, these trained bacteria could also digest arabinose, and were thus capable of dealing with the three principal sugars in bio-wastes.” Meijnen also incorporated other genes, from the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. This procedure also proved effective and efficient from the start.

Finally, in a separate project Meijnen succeeded in modifying a strain of Pseudomonas putida S12 that had previously been modified to produce para-hydroxybenzoate (pHB), a member of the class of chemicals known as parabens that are widely used as preservatives in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

Meijnen tested the ability of these bacteria to produce pHB, a biochemical substance, from xylose and from other sources such as glucose and glycerol. He summarized his results as follows: “This strategy also proved successful, allowing us to make biochemical substances such as pHB from glucose, glycerol and xylose. In fact, the use of mixtures of glucose and xylose, or glycerol and xylose, gives better pHB production than the use of unmixed starting materials. This means that giving the bacteria pretreated bio-wastes as starting material stimulates them to make even more pHB.”

Meijnen will be defending his doctoral thesis on this topic, which was carried out in the context of the NWO B-Basic programme, at TU Delft on Nov. 22, 2010

 

 Original Article can be found HERE.