Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

Archive for April, 2013

Omega-3s improve energy in cancer survivors

Many people treated for cancer have lingering fatigue after therapy ends, which may be aggravated by chronic inflammation, doctors said. Omega-3s have reduced inflammation in healthy people, leading doctors to examine its effect in breast cancer survivors.

In this study, doctors measured the diets of 644 survivors with stage I to stage IIIA breast cancer, and followed up 39 months after diagnosis. Overall, 42 percent complained of being chronically fatigued three years after diagnosis. Women with the highest levels of C-reative protein (CRP), a sign of inflammation, were nearly twice as likely to be fatigued as women with low CRP levels.

When doctors looked at the ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s in the diet, women who got the most omega-3s compared to omega-6s were half as likely to be chronically fatigued as women who got the least omega-3s.

Vitamin B6 may help prevent postmenopausal breast cancer

Vitamin B6 helps maintain the health of red blood cells, the nervous system, and parts of the immune system. In this study, doctors measured circulating levels of vitamin B6 in 706 postmenopausal women before they were diagnosed with breast cancer and compared them to vitamin B6 levels in 706 healthy postmenopausal women. Compared to women with the lowest levels, women with the highest circulating levels of vitamin B6 were 30 percent less likely to develop invasive breast cancer. Doctors said these results suggest a role for vitamin B6 in preventing postmenopausal breast cancer.

Reference: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; August, 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the March 2013 newsletter

Van's Health on April - 29 - 2013

Vitamin D reduces cognitive decline

Doctors in this study measured vitamin D levels and cognitive performance in 6,257 older woman still living independently in their communities. Women with the lowest levels of vitamin D–10 to 25 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL)–were much more likely to be cognitively impaired than women with 30 to 74 ng/mL of vitamin D.

Four years later, doctors found that women with less than 20 ng/mL of vitamin D were much more likely to have experienced cognitive decline compare to the start of the study, while women with higher vitamin D levels were much more likely to have maintained cognitive function.

Low vitamin D levels linked to Alzheimer’s disease

In this study, doctors measured vitamin D in the diets of 498 women who were not taking vitamin D supplements and who did not have¬†Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other dementias at the start of the study. After seven years of follow-up, researchers divided the women into three groups; those who had developed AD, those who had developed other dementias, and those who had not developed dementia.

Doctors found a direct link: as levels of vitamin D increased, chances of developing AD decreased. Women who got the most vitamin D–the top 20 percent–were 77 percent less likely to develop AD compare to all other women who got lower amounts of vitamin D.

Reference: The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences; 2012, Vol. 67, No. 10, 1092-8

From the March 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on April - 22 - 2013
categories: Vitamins

Magnesium reduces stroke

Magnesium, the forth most abundant mineral in the body is linked to better blood pressure. In the study, researchers reviewed every magnesium and stroke study from 1966 through September, 2011 covering 241,378 participants and 6,477 cases of stroke.

Researchers found a direct link: for every 100 mg increase in magnesium per day, there was a 9 percent decrease in the chances of having an ischemic stroke, where blood supply to the brain is blocked.

Discussing their findings, doctors suggested people should eat more magnesium-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains, and that further study may move the U.S. to begin recommending magnesium supplements to reduce chances of stroke. The current recommended dietary allowance for magnesium for adult men is 420 mg per day, and for adult women, 320 mg per day.

Magnesium reduces colorectal cancers

In this review, doctors analyzed eight magnesium and cancer studies involving 338,979 participants. Overall, compared to those who got the least, people who consumed the highest daily average amount of magnesium were 11 percent less likely to develop any form of colorectal cancer.

There was a direct link: for every 50 mg increase in magnesium per day, there was an average 6 percent decline in the chances for colorectal cancer, colon, or rectal cancers. Six of the studies adjusted for how much calcium was in the diet and in those studies, participants who got the most magnesium were 19 percent less likely to develop colon or rectal cancer compared to those who got the least magnesium.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2012, Vol. 95, No. 2, 362-6

From the March 2013 newsletter

Van's Health on April - 15 - 2013

Calcium for bone health

Doctors know that calcium helps protect bone but many have worried that supplementing with calcium might contribute to hardening of the arteries, also known as coronary artery calcification, a factor in heart disease. In this study from Harvard Medical School, researchers measured the diets of 1,278 men and women aged 36 to 83, and then took a CAT-scan x-ray four years later.

Those who got the most calcium from diet, from supplements, or from both, had the same coronary artery calcification scores as those who got the least calcium. Doctors said, “This study addresses a critical question about the association between calcium intake and a clinically measurable indicator of atherosclerosis in older adults. There was no increased risk of calcified arteries with higher amounts of calcium intake from food or supplements, and people who take calcium at the recommended levels for bone health can do so safely without worrying about calcifying their arteries.”

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2012, Vol. 96, No. 6, 1274-80

From the March 2013 Newsletter

Van's Health on April - 9 - 2013

CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, is a type of fatty acid doctors have been studying for immunity for several years. In this trial, 13 people with moderately active Crohn’s disease–a chronic autoimmune inflammatory gastrointestinal disorder–took 6,000 mg of CLA per day. This was an “open label” study, with everyone aware of the treatment and no placebo group. After 12 weeks, levels of several immune inflammatory molecules were much lower, and the Crohn’s disease activity index improved from “moderate” to “mild”. Participants also needed less medication and reported better overall quality of life, with most symptoms nearly receding into remission.

Reference: Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2012, Vol. 31, No. 5, 721-7

From the March 2013 newsletter

Van's Health on April - 3 - 2013
categories: Supplements