Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

Archive for July, 2012

L-carnitine aided lung function in asthmatic kids

Chronic asthma, which inflames and constricts airways making breathing difficult, is common in children. In this study, 50 children with moderate asthma took a capsule containing 1,050 mg of L-carnitine each morning, or a placebo. After six months, compared to placebo and compared to the start of the study, children in the L-carnitine group had significantly fewer emergency room visits, total hospital admissions, and need for oral steroids.

Doctors also measured immune-system signs of allergic reaction and found that eosinophils–a type if white blood cell that increases when allergies flare–decreased significantly in the L-carnitine group, both compared to placebo and to levels before starting the study. Researchers said lung function significantly improved in those who took L-carnitine compared to those who did not, and that they believe this is the first study to investigate the benefit of L-carnitine supplements in asthmatic children.

Reference: Journal of Allergy; 2012, Article ID 509730, Electronic Prepublication

From the June 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on July - 28 - 2012
categories: Supplements

Supplement reduces cholesterol, improves insulin sensitivity

Doctors said that 3 in 10 people discontinue taking statin drugs after six months due to side effects. In this study, 80 people with high cholesterol, aged at least 75, who refused to continue taking statins or other pharmaceutical treatments, took a nutritional supplement or a placebo. The supplement contained 500 mg goldenseal, 200 mg red yeast rice, 10 mg policosanol, 2 mg coenzyme Q10, 500 mcg astaxanthin, and 200 mcg folic acid per day.

After 12 months, the supplement group saw 20 percent lower total cholesterol levels, 31 percent lower LDL cholesterol, and 10 percent less insulin resistance. Doctors said the supplement was safe and there were no side effects.

Garlic reduces total cholesterol and triglycerides

Because people are more interested in finding alternative treatments for managing lipids in the blood, doctors analyzed results from 26 garlic studies. Doses in the studies included 600 to 900 mg of garlic powder, 8 to 15 mg of garlic oil, or 1.8 to 7.2 mg of aged garlic extract per day.

Those who began the study with higher total cholesterol levels, and who continued taking garlic over a longer term saw the most benefit. Garlic powder and aged garlic extract were more effective in reducing total cholesterol levels, while garlic oil best lowered triglyceride, or total lipid levels. Overall, compared to placebo, garlic in all forms reduced total cholesterol by 5.4 percent and triglycerides by 6.5 percent. Doctors concluded that garlic therapy should benefit those who have higher chances of heart disease.

Reference: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture; January, 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the June 2012 newsletter



Van's Health on July - 19 - 2012
categories: Herbs, Supplements

Omega-3’s help slow vision loss

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited disease of the retina of the eye that first reduces peripheral, and then central vision, and makes it difficult to see at night. While there is no cure, doctors often prescribe vitamin A, which the retina needs to survive. In this study, researchers measured omega-3’s in the diets of 357 adults with RP who had been taking 15,000 IU of vitamin A palmitate per day for an average of five years, under the care of a physician.

Comprared to those who consumed low levels of omega-3’s, those who got an average of at least 200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day saw acuity for distance vision decline 40 percent more slowly annually, and central field-of-vision decline 50 percent more slowly. Doctors explained that omega-3’s help proteins in the eye transport vitamin A to the retina.


Zeaxanthin and lutein improve vision in AMD

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the loss of sight in the central field of vision, the most common form of blindness. In this study, 60 people, average age 75, with mild to moderate AMD, took 8 mg of zeaxanthin per day, alone or with 9 mg of lutein, or lutein alone. After one year, those taking zeaxanthin could read 1.5 more lines on the standard eye chart and had lost all blind spots. Those who took lutein could better detect subtle contrasts and recover from glare faster. Doctors concluded that zeaxanthin improves high-contrast vision, and lutein improves low-contrast vision and glare recovery in AMD.

Reference: Archives of Ophthamology; February, 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the June 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on July - 5 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins