Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

Archive for June, 2011

More Vitamin D, Less Depression

Researchers in this study measured vitamin D levels and symptoms of depression in 7,970 U.S. men and women aged 18 to 39. Half of all participants had low levels of vitamin D, and 20 percent were deficient, with vitamin D levels of 50 nanomoles per liter of blood or less. Those with good levels of vitamin D, 75 nanomoles of vitamin D per liter or more, were 46 percent less likely to be depressed compared to those who were deficient. Doctors don’t know if depression causes or results from low vitamin D, and encourage early vitamin D testing and taking vitamin D supplements.

Reference: International Archives of Medicine; 2010, Vol. 3, No. 29, Electronic Prepublication

From the April 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on June - 23 - 2011
categories: Supplements

Managing Metabolic Syndrome

Nutrients improve chances of staying healthy

Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that can include obesity, abnormal blood fat levels, high blood pressure, and borderline high blood sugar and insulin levels, which together increase chances of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Doctors in this study described heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes as “cardiometabolic disorders” and said that recent studies have linked them to vitamin D deficiency. Researchers reviewed 28 vitamin D studies covering 99,475 participants and found that, compared to those with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D, those with the most vitamin D were 43 percent less likely to develop a cardiometabolic disorder. Chances were 33 percent lower for cardiovascular disease, 51 percent lower for metabolic syndrome, and 55 percent lower for type 2 diabetes. Doctors believe that correcting vitamin D deficiencies in adults may slow the epidemic of cardiometabolic disorders.

Researchers in another study said earlier research showed dairy foods reduced chances of obesity and hoped to find that whey protein–from dairy and rich in essential amino acids–could improve metabolic syndrome. Seventy overweight or obese people, aged 18 to 65, took 27 grams of whey protein, casein protein, or a glucose placebo, twice per day, up to 30 minutes before breakfast and the evening meal. Researchers asked participants to maintain their normal diet and physical activity, After 12 weeks, compared to placebo, those in the whey protein group had 22 percent lower blood levels of a fat known as triacyglycerol and fasting insulin levels 11 percent lower.

Reference: British Journal of Nutrition; 2010, Vol. 104, No. 5, 716-23
This article was also published in our newletter “Natural Insights for Well Being”, November 2010. Stop by Van’s Health Foods at 2148 First Street Livermore, CA or call us at 925-447-2976 to be added to our mailing list.

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Thank you,

The Van’s Health Foods Team

P.S. Please feel free to discuss this topic.  This is for our community to use.

Do not ask specific questions intended for store employees. Stop by the store or call us with your specific questions.

Van's Health on June - 22 - 2011
categories: Newsletters, Supplements

Pycnogenol Reduced Ringing in the Ears

Natural nutrient eased symptoms and improved blood flow to the ear

Researchers in this study said that impaired blood flow to the ear may be one of the main cause of ringing in the ears, or tinnitus. Doctors examined 82 people with mild to moderate tinnitus that had begun for no apparent reason and had persisted in one ear for a least two weeks. Participants were not dizzy and did not have significant hearing loss. Twenty-four people took 150 mg of Pycnogenol per day, 34 took 100 mg of Pycnogenol per day and 24 took no treatment. The three groups were similar in sex and age. After four weeks, while there were no changes in the non-treatment group, both the Pycnogenol groups had much better blood flow to the ear and reported far less severe symptoms. The higher dose group improved more in both measures than the lower dose group.

Reference: Panminerva Medica; 2010, Vol. 52, No. 2, Supplement 1, 63-7

From the April 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on June - 21 - 2011
categories: Supplements

Managing Cholesterol

Good diet and nutrient levels improve blood fats

Metabolic syndrome includes several factors such as a waist size over 35 inches in women and over 40 inches in men, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and elevated fasting blood sugar. Earlier research showed that low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diets don’t necessarily reduce blood fats, and some actually increase them.

To address this, doctors in this study added omega-3s to a typical low-fat diet. In the study, 117 people with metabolic syndrome ate a low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diet, plus 1,240 mg of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA/DHA) per day, or a sunflower oil placebo. Two other groups ate a high-saturated-fat diet or a high-monounsaturated-fat diet. After 12 weeks, those on the high-saturated fat diet had not improved. Those on the low-fat diet with placebo had higher triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels while those on the low-fat diet with EPA/DHA had lower levels. Those on the high-monounsaturated fat diet also had lower blood fat levels.

Folate may increase LDL cholesterol particle size

LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, comes in large and small particles. Large LDL particles are relatively benign, but small LDL particles can more easily oxidize and stick to artery linings, forming hardened plaques. Doctors wanted to explore a link between nutrients such as B vitamins and LDL particle size.

In this study, researchers measured blood fats and folate levels in 225 hospital workers. Scientists found a strong link; as blood levels of folate rose, LDL particle size increased; HDL, the “good” cholesterol, also increased and triglycerides decreased. Doctors believe folate may help enhance and control LDL particle size, reducing chances of hardening of the arteries.

Reference: The Journal of Nutrition; 2010, Vol. 140, No. 9, 1595-601

From the April 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on June - 20 - 2011
categories: Supplements

Strawberries Shown to Inhibit Cancerous Tumor Growth

Researchers said that earlier lab experiments found strawberries inhibited cancerous tumors and pre-cancerous cell abnormalities in the esophagus. According to doctors, one-quarter of those with low-grade abnormalities and one-half of those with high-grade abnormalities will develop esophageal cancer. In this study, 36 people with low- or high-grade cell abnormalities took 60 grams of freeze-dried strawberries per day, equal to about 21 oz of fresh fruit. After six months, the severity of abnormalities decreased in 84 percent of low-grade and in 66 percent of the high-grade group, reducing chances for cancer of the esophagus, scientists said.

Reference: American Association for Cancer Research 102nd Annual Meeting; April, 2011

From the June 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on June - 19 - 2011

Enjoy this inspired summer salad.

Organic Strawberry Salad

1 cup organic strawberries, sliced
1 LB arugula
1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated fresh
1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pistachio nuts, dry-roasted, shelled, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: Combine strawberries, arugula, Romano and goat cheeses, and nuts. Add olive oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper as you toss gently.

From June 2011 Natural Insights for Well Being Newsletter

Van's Health on June - 18 - 2011