Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

The first study on long-term multivitamin use

Doctors said more than one in three Americans takes a multivitamin, mostly to prevent nutrient deficiencies, but that this study suggests multivitamins may also help prevent cancer in middle-aged and older men.

The study involved 14,641 male doctors, aged at least 50, who took a daily multivitamin or a placebo. After 11 years of follow-up, researchers discovered a possible link with long-term multivitamin use: chances of cancer declined by 8 percent in men with a history of cancer.

While small, the results were significant and promising. Doctors don’t know which vitamins or minerals may help reduce cancer chances, and explained that most of the men were non-smokers, a factor that may influence results. Researchers plan a follow-up study with women, and with others whose lifestyles and health behaviors are different than the group of doctors who participated in this study.

Reference: Journal of The American Medical Association; October 2012, Electronic Prebublication

From the January 2013 newsletter

Van's Health on February - 10 - 2013
categories: Supplements, Vitamins

Kids whose moms took folic acid were more likely to develop normal speech

Doctors said folic acid may have other childhood benefits besides reducing neural tube birth defects. Researchers analyzed language development in 38,954 Norwegian boys and girls whose mothers did or did not take 400 mcg of folic acid per day, from four weeks before becoming pregnant to eight weeks afterward. Norway does not require manufacturers to fortify foods with folic acid.

Doctors measured severe language delay, which they defined as speaking only one word, or making only unintelligible sounds. In children whose moms did not take folic acid, 9 out of 1,000 had severe language delay. For children whose moms did take folic acid, the rate of severe language delay was less than half, or 4 in 1,000.

 

Multivitamin improved aerobic capacity and physical endurance

Researchers in this study gave 300 school kids, aged 7 to 10.5 years, 40 grams of chocolate malt beverage powder, with or without multivitamin fortification, or no treatment at all. The two malt powders had the same number of calories.

After four months, while the two other groups did not improve in any measure, the multivitamin group had large increases in aerobic capacity and whole-body endurance. To test endurance, kids ran continuously between two points, 66 feet apart, at increasing speed. The multivitamin group also improved in blood levels of iron, vitamin C, and the active forms of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, and B12.

Reference: Journal of the American Medical Association; 2011, Vol. 306, No. 14, 1566-73

From the April 2012 newsletter

 

Van's Health on May - 15 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins

Omega-3s plus exercise

The lower estrogen levels in postmenopause cause bone loss, and inflammation, if present, increases chances of fracture. Anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids help strengthen bone by suppressing the activity of osteoclasts, cells that remove healthy minerals from bone. In this study, 79 healthy postmenopausal women split into four groups. One group did not exercise or take supplements. A second walked and jogged only, up to 65 percent of maximum heart rate. A third group took 180 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid plus 120 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (EPA/DHA) per day, while a fourth group took theĀ omega-3s and exercised.

After 24 weeks, while there were no changes in the other groups, the exercise/omega-3 group had 40 to 80 percent lower signs of inflammation, 15 percent greater bone mineral density (BMD) in the lower back, and 19 percent more in the thigh bone and hip.

 

Copper, magnesium, zinc

In this BMD study, 224 postmenopausal women, aged 51 to 80, took a multivitamin providing adequate vitamin D, plus 600 mg of calcium alone, or 600 mg of calcium with 12 mg zinc and 2 mg copper. The women kept a food diary to measure total nutrients from food and supplements.

After two years, women who got less than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for copper, magnesium, or zinc had poorer bone health than women who got at least the minimum RDA. The RDA for copper is 0.9 mg, for magnesium 237 mg, and zinc 8 mg per day. For zinc, women who got between the minimum RDA of 8 mg per day and up to 20 mg per day; 2.5 times the RDA, had healthier bones than the women who got more or less zinc.

Reference: British Journal of Nutrition; December, 2011, Vol. 106, No. 12, 1872-9

From the March 2012 newsletter

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