Archives for November 2011

Miraculous Magnesium

Lyle Hurd, of Total Health magazine, explains the many health benefits maganesium supplements provide the body (2007).

Magnesium

Pharmacist Max Motyka shares in this video (2008) the importance of magnesium. It plays a role in more than 400 enzyme reactions in our bodies, so we need to make sure we’re getting enough.

 

Low Vitamin C Levels May Raise Heart Failure Patients’ Risk

Low levels of vitamin C were associated with higher levels of high sensitivity C-Reactive protein (hsCRP) and shorter intervals without major cardiac issues or death for heart failure patients, in research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011.

Compared to those with high vitamin C intake from food, heart failure patients in the study who had low vitamin C intake were 2.4 times more likely to have higher levels of hsCRP, a marker for inflammation and a risk factor for heart disease.

The study is the first to demonstrate that low vitamin C intake is associated with worse outcomes for heart failure patients.

Study participants with low vitamin C intake and hsCRP over 3 milligrams per liter (mg/L) were also nearly twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease within one year of follow-up.

“We found that adequate intake of vitamin C was associated with longer survival in patients with heart failure,” said Eun Kyeung Song, Ph.D., R.N., lead author of the study and assistant professor at the Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, in the University of Ulsan in Korea.

The average age among the 212 patients in the study was 61, and about one-third were women. Approximately 45 percent of the participants had moderate to severe heart failure.

Participants completed a four-day food diary verified by a registered dietitian and a software program calculated their vitamin C intake. Bloods tests measured hsCRP.

Researchers divided participants into one group with levels over 3 mg/L of hsCRP and another with lower levels. Patients were followed for one year to determine the length of time to their first visit to the emergency department due to cardiac problems or death.

Researchers found that 82 patients (39 percent) had inadequate vitamin C intake, according to criteria set by the Institute of Medicine. These criteria allowed the researchers to estimate the likelihood that the patient’s diet was habitually deficient in vitamin C based on a four day food diary. After a year follow-up, 61 patients (29 percent) had cardiac events, which included an emergency department visit or hospitalization due to cardiac problems, or cardiac death.

The researchers found that 98 patients (46 percent) had hsCRP over 3 mg/L, according to Song.

Inflammatory pathways in heart failure patients may be why vitamin C deficiency contributed to poor health outcomes, the data suggests.

“Increased levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein means a worsening of heart failure,” Song said. “An adequate level of vitamin C is associated with lower levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. This results in a longer cardiac event-free survival in patients.”

The use of diuretics may also play a role because vitamin C is water soluble and diuretics increase the amount of water excreted from the kidneys, said Terry Lennie, Ph.D., R.N., study author and associate dean of Ph.D. studies in the College of Nursing at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.

“Diet is the best source of vitamin C,” Lennie said. “Eating the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day provides an adequate amount.”

More randomized controlled trials and longitudinal prospective studies are needed to determine the impact of other micronutrients on survival or rehospitalization, Song said.

 

Read More

Two Vitamin C Tablets Every Day Could Save 200,000 American Lives Every Year

 

Your Heart Loves Vitamin C 

Dr. Benjamin Weeks explains in this video from 2008 how vitamin C impacts the heath of the cardiovascular system.

 

Cut Poison Burn

Cut Poison Burn (2010) is a searing film that illuminates the grim truth about America’s so-called War on Cancer. This thought-provoking documentary takes on the forces that have conspired to thwart meaningful advances in cancer research and treatment over the past century. These forces include the federal government (in its effort to label and persecute innovators as quacks), drug companies eager to suppress alternative treatments and powerful industry organizations that place profit over human lives. The story centers on the Navarros, a family struggling to keep their young son alive. The war between the Navarro Family and the FDA is perhaps this country’s greatest evidence as to why there should be medical freedom. As the personal meets the political, we see how the FDA holds a vise-like grip on treatment options. Heart-wrenching and informative, the film ultimately expresses the hope that we can create a new paradigm of prevention, medical freedom and acceptance of highly-tailored therapies to usher in a more enlightened era. Over 12 years, 150 hours of footage and interviews with top oncologists, researchers, policy-makers, homeopaths and patients carry the story and reveal that we are on the brink of disaster and in desperate need of reform. Official website

 

Nutraceuticals and Headache: The Biological Basis

Headaches are a common and debilitating ailment from which most people suffer at one time or another. Common types of headaches include tension headaches, migraines, cluster headaches and sinus headaches. Headaches can have many causes, but serious causes of headaches are rare. 

This review discusses the biological basis for non-conventional or non-mainstream approaches to the treatment of migraine. Dr. Frederick Taylor discuss in this context magnesium, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, petasites, feverfew, marijuana/cannabis, and oxygen/ hyperbaric oxygen.  

 

Frederick R. Taylor

Nutraceuticals and Headache: The Biological Basis

Headache 2011; 51 (3): 484-501

 

ABSTRACT

Nutrition must affect the structure and functioning of the brain. Since the brain has very high metabolic activity, what we consume throughout the day is likely to dramatically influence both its structure and moment to moment function. It follows that nutritional approaches to all neurological disorders are being researched and entering medical practice, while nutraceutical use is a mainstay of public habits. This review discusses the biological basis for non-conventional or non-mainstream approaches to the treatment of migraine. This requires at least limited discussion of current migraine pathophysiologic theory. How nutrients and other chemicals and approaches are mechanistically involved within migraine pathways is the focus of this article. The nutraceuticals reviewed in detail are: magnesium, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, petasites, and feverfew with additional comments on marijuana and oxygen/hyperbaric oxygen. This article reviews the science when known related to the potential genetic susceptibility and sensitivity to these treatments. As we know, the basic science in this field is very preliminary, so whether to combine approaches and presumably mechanisms or use them alone or with or without conventional therapies is far from clear. Nonetheless, as more patients and providers participate in patient-centered approaches to care, knowledge of the science underpinning nutritional, nutraceutical, and complementary approaches to treatment for migraine will certainly benefit this interaction.

 

Recommended Mineral Intake

The following chart shows the recommended minimum daily intake and the recommended “not to exceed” daily maximums (tolerable upper intake levels) for minerals – as recommended for healthy adults by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy’s Institute of Medicine, USA. When there is more than one line for a mineral, the first line is for everyone, ages 14 and older, unless a second or third line specifies an age group.

It’s not necessary for your multi-vitamin-mineral to contain 100% of every nutrient. Even then, however, the recommended daily intake for calcium would not fit into a single pill (or if it did, the pill would be huge).

NK = means “not known”
Mg = milligrams
Mcg = micrograms (1,000 mcg = 1 mg)

RDI

Mineral

Women

Men

min.

max.

min.

max.

Boron NK 20mg NK 20mg
Boron(ages14-18) 17mg 17mg
Calcium 1,000mg 2,5000mg 1,000mg 2,500mg
Calcium (ages14-18) 1,300mg 1,300mg
Calcium (ages51+) 1,200mg 1,200mg
Chromium 25mcg NK 35mcg NK
Chromium (ages51+) 20mcg 30mcg
Copper 900mcg 10,000mcg 900mcg 10,000mcg
Fluoride 3mg 10mg 4mg 10mg
Iodine 150mcg 1,000mcg 150mcg 1,000mcg
Iron 18mg 45mg 8mg 45mg
Iron (ages14-18) 15mg 11mg
Iron (ages50+) 8mg
Magnesium 310mg 350mg 350mg 400mg
Magnesium (ages14-18) 360mg 410mg
Magnesium (ages31+) 320mg 420mg
Manganese 1.8mg 11mg 2.3mg 11mg
Manganese (ages14-18) 1.6mg 9mg 2.2mg 9mg
Molybdenum 45mcg 2,000mcg 45mcg 2,000mcg
Molybdenum (ages14-18) 43mcg 1,700mcg 43mcg 1,700mcg
Nickel NK 1.0mg NK 1.0mg
Phosphorus 700mg 4,000mg 700mg 4,000mg
Phosphorus (ages14-18) 1,250mg 1,250mg
Selenium 55mcg 400mcg 55mcg 400mcg
Vanadium NK 1.8mg NK 1.8mg
Zinc 8mg 40mg 11mg 40mg

Metal Filings In Your Freaking Cereal

This video by Dr. Thomas E. Levy illustrates that the nutrients present in your “enriched” foods may not be as nutritious as you thought. Manufacturers of cereals are allowed to use indigestible iron filings in breakfast cereal. These cereal products can be dangerous for children and all patients with inflammatory diseases.

 

Heavy Metals & Infertility

Professor Ingrid Gerhard, M.D.

Professor Ingrid Gerhard, M.D. and her colleagues have been seriously investigating the effect of heavy metals as well as pesticides on fertility. Associated with the University of Heidelberg Gynecological Clinic, Professor Gerhard’s group has examined more than 1,000 patients for mercury, fertility problems and symptoms. Patients were also examined for pesticide contamination. Urine mercury levels were measured after administering an oral chelating agent (Dimaval), and blood was examined for various polychlorinated compounds. The high mercury group had more hormonal disturbances, immune disturbances, recurring fungal infections, alopecia and allergies. A number of different hormonal disturbances were found, sex hormones among them. These differences were all statistically significant and some were very marked. Allergies and hair loss were 2-3 times more common in the high-mercury group. The doctors at the clinic have successfully treated fertility problems with a combination of vitamins/minerals and amalgam removal. [Excerpted from an article by Sam Ziff]

 

Ingrid Gerhard, Bondo Monga, Andreas Waldbrenner and Benno Runnebaum

Heavy metals and fertility

J Toxicol Environ Health A 1998; 54 (8): 593-611 


ABSTRACT

Heavy metals have been identified as factors affecting human fertility. This study was designed to investigate whether the urinary heavy metal excretion is associated with different factors of infertility. The urinary heavy metal excretion was determined in 501 infertile women after oral administration of the chelating agent 2,3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonic acid (DMPS). Furthermore, the influence of trace element and vitamin administration on metal excretion was investigated. Significant correlations were found between different heavy metals and clinical parameters (age, body mass index, nationality) as well as gynecological conditions (uterine fibroids, miscarriages, hormonal disorders). Diagnosis and reduction of an increased heavy metal body load improved the spontaneous conception chances of infertile women. The DMPS test was a useful and complementary diagnostic method. Adequate treatment provides successful alternatives to conventional hormonal therapy.

 

Related Video

David Kennedy, DDS discusses the study by professor Ingrid Gerhard and co-workers.

 

Study Adds Weight to Link Between Calcium Supplements and Heart Problems

Research: 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

Research published in BMJ (British Medical Journal) in April 2011 adds to mounting evidence that calcium supplements increase the risk of cardiovascular events, particularly heart attacks, in older women. The findings suggest that their use in managing osteoporosis should be re-assessed.

Calcium supplements are often prescribed to older (postmenopausal) women to maintain bone health. Sometimes they are combined with vitamin D, but it’s still unclear whether taking calcium supplements, with or without vitamin D, can affect the heart.

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study – a seven-year trial of over 36,000 women – found no cardiovascular effect of taking combined calcium and vitamin D supplements, but the majority of participants were already taking personal calcium supplements, which may have obscured any adverse effects.

So a team of researchers, led by Professor Ian Reid at the University of Auckland, re-analysed the WHI results to provide the best current estimate of the effects of calcium supplements, with or without vitamin D, on the risk of cardiovascular events.

They analysed data from 16,718 women who were not taking personal calcium supplements at the start of the trial and found that those allocated to combined calcium and vitamin D supplements were at an increased risk of cardiovascular events, especially heart attack.

By contrast, in women who were taking personal calcium supplements at the start of the trial, combined calcium and vitamin D supplements did not alter their cardiovascular risk.

The authors suspect that the abrupt change in blood calcium levels after taking a supplement causes the adverse effect, rather than it being related to the total amount of calcium consumed. High blood calcium levels are linked to calcification (hardening) of the arteries, which may also help to explain these results.

Further analyses – adding data from 13 other trials, involving 29,000 people altogether – also found consistent increases in the risk of heart attack and stroke associated with taking calcium supplements, with or without vitamin D, leading the authors to conclude that these data justify a reassessment of the use of calcium supplements in older people.

But in an accompanying editorial, Professors Bo Abrahamsen and Opinder Sahota argue that there is insufficient evidence available to support or refute the association.

Because of study limitations, they say “it is not possible to provide reassurance that calcium supplements given with vitamin D do not cause adverse cardiovascular events or to link them with certainty to increased cardiovascular risk. Clearly further studies are needed and the debate remains ongoing.”

 

Read More

Medical News: Calcium Builds Bones But May Weaken Heart – in Cardiovascular, Myocardial Infarction from MedPage TodayThe findings suggest the use of these supplements in managing osteoporosis should be re-assessed, researchers reported online today in the BMJ. In the new study, researchers analyzed data from 16,718 women who were not taking personal calcium supplements at the start of the trial and found that those allocated to combined calcium and vitamin D supplements were at an increased risk of cardiovascular events, especially MI.

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Strawberries Protect The Stomach From Alcohol

The positive effects of strawberries are linked to their antioxidant capacity.

In an experiment on rats, European researchers have proved that eating strawberries reduces the harm that alcohol can cause to the stomach mucous membrane. Published in the open access journal Plos One, the study may contribute to improving the treatment of stomach ulcers.

A team of Italian, Serbian and Spanish researchers has confirmed the protecting effect that strawberries have in a mammal stomach that has been damaged by alcohol. Scientists gave ethanol (ethyl alcohol) to laboratory rats and, according to the study published in the journal Plos One, have thus proved that the stomach mucous membrane of those that had previously eaten strawberry extract suffered less damage.

Sara Tulipani, researcher at the University of Barcelona (UB) and co-author of the study explains that “the positive effects of strawberries are not only linked to their antioxidant capacity and high content of phenolic compounds (anthocyans) but also to the fact that they activate the antioxidant defences and enzymes of the body.”

The conclusions of the study state that a diet rich in strawberries can have a beneficial effect when it comes to preventing gastric illnesses that are related to the generation of free radicals or other reactive oxygen species. This fruit could slow down the formation of stomach ulcers in humans.

Gastritis or inflammation of the stomach mucous membrane is related to alcohol consumption but can also be caused by viral infections or by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (such as aspirin) or medication used to treat against the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

Maurizio Battino, coordinator of the research group at the Marche Polytechnic University (UNIVPM, Italy) suggests that “in these cases, the consumption of strawberries during or after pathology could lessen stomach mucous membrane damage.”

The team found less ulcerations in the stomachs of those rats which had eaten strawberry extract (40 milligrams/day per kilo of weight) for 10 days before being given alcohol.

Battino emphasises that “this study was not conceived as a way of mitigating the effects of getting drunk but rather as a way of discovering molecules in the stomach membrane that protect against the damaging effects of differing agents.”

Treatments for ulcers and other gastric pathologies are currently in need of new protective medicines with antioxidant properties. The compounds found within strawberries could be the answer.

 

Reference

Alvarez-Suarez JM, Dekanski D, Ristić S, Radonjić NV, Petronijević ND, Giampieri F, Astolfi P, González-Paramás AM, Santos-Buelga C, Tulipani S, Quiles JL, Mezzetti B, Battino M. Strawberry Polyphenols Attenuate Ethanol-Induced Gastric Lesions in Rats by Activation of Antioxidant Enzymes and Attenuation of MDA Increase. Plos One 2011; 6 (10): e25878.