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In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

Archive for February, 2012

Tocotrienols raised good cholesterol levels and signs of antioxidant activity


Doctors said that most prior research has focused on tocopherols, the most common form of vitamin E, and that tocotrienols, the other major form, may have greater antioxidant capacity. Both forms of vitamin E are fat soluble, and are found in plant-based foods such as wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils for tocopherols, and palm oil, cereal grains, and rice bran for tocotrienols.

In this study, 62 healthy people–half aged 35 to 49, the other half over 50–took a 160 mg supplement containing 74 percent tocotrienols and 26 percent tocopherols, per day, or a placebo. After six months, compared to placebo, levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, were much higher in the tocotrienol group. Also, in those over 50, signs of oxidative damage were lower. Blood levels of vitamin E were significantly higher in the younger group at three months and, after six months, in the over-50 group. Researchers also saw antioxidant enzyme activity increase in those who took tocotrienols.

Reference: Nutrition and Metabolism; 2011, Vol. 8, No. 1, 42

From the November 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on February - 22 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins

What is COPD?

The lungs contain air tubes that branch into thousands of smaller, thinner tubes that end in bunches of tiny round air sacs. Small blood vessels run through the walls of the air sacs, transferring oxygen from the lungs to the blood, and exchanging carbon dioxide for the lungs to exhale. In COPD, the air tubes and sacs lose elasticity, become damaged, inflamed or destroyed and vulnerable to upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD.

Echinacea plus micronutrients

In this study, 108 men and women with COPD and URTI, average age 66, took the antibiotic ciprofloxacin for seven days and then added a daily dose of echinacea, zinc, selenium, and ascorbic acid; or a placebo. After 14 days, compared to placebo, those who took echinacea plus micronutrients had far less severe and much shorter COPD flare-ups. Some participants reported sleep disturbances, which doctors said may be due to COPD.

Vitamin D improves lungs

Doctors said that people with COPD typically are deficient in vitamin D because they don’t get outdoors much and exercise little, and that there is a link between low vitamin D and weak muscles. In this lung rehabilitation study, 50 people, average age 67, with a history of COPD flare-ups took 100,000 IU of vitamin D per month, or a placebo. After three months, while the placebo group did not change, the vitamin D group saw levels of vitamin D increase from 22 to 53 ng/mL. The vitamin D group utilized more oxygen while the placebo group utilized less, and walking distance increased 118 feet in six minutes for vitamin D compared to increasing 36 feet for placebo.

Reference: Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics; 2011, Vol. 36, No. 5, 568-76

From the December 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on February - 12 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins

What is the optimal level?

Doctors from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, said that the medical community increasingly agrees the optimal level for vitamin D is at least 30 to 32 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL). Using that measure, three in four U.S. adults are likely low, and to reach the correct level, should take a least 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day, the most beneficial form.

Pro football players

Researchers in this study measured vitamin D levels in 89 black and white National Football League players during training camp and found 81 percent were abnormally low, Twenty-seven were deficient, with levels less than 20 ng/mL; and 45 were low, with 20 to 31.9 ng/mL. Only 17 players had at least 32 ng/mL of vitamin D, which doctors now agree is the minumum optimal level. Players with muscle injuries who had missed at least one practice or game in the prior season had much lower levels of vitamin D than non-injured players; the only significant difference between them, doctors said. African Americans tend to make far less vitamin D from sunlight than whites, and 93 percent of the black players had low levels compared to 31 percent for white players. While low levels of vitamin D may not have caused the injuries, the study “highlights a potential problem”, study authors concluded.

Was Mozart deficient?

Mozart suffered many infectious diseases and controversy surrounds his death. Researchers now think Mozart may have been deficient in vitamin D because he composed much of his music at night and slept during the day. The northern latitude of Vienna, Austria prevents making vitamin D from sunlight six months per year, and Mozart died in December, 1791 in the middle of the vitamin D winter, when his levels would have been very low.

Reference: American Orthopaedic Society For Sports Medicine; July, 2011, Abstract 46

From the December 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on February - 1 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins