Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

Antioxidants and pancreatic cancer

In this large study, doctors measured the diets, food-cooking methods, and vitamin C levels of 23,658 men and women, aged 40 to 74. Over the course of 10 years of follow-up, 49 participants developed pancreatic cancer, 55 percent men. Researchers then calculated the nutrients in their diets and compared to 3,970 participants who had not developed pancreatic cancer.

Compared to those who consumed the least selenium, those who consumed the most selenium were half as likely to have developed pancreatic cancer. Those who consumed the most selenium and vitamins C and E were 67 percent less likely to develop the cancer compared to those who got the least of these antioxidants.

Discussing their findings, doctors said, “It seems the antioxidants are knocking out the pro-oxidants that are perhaps causing the damage that leads to cancer, and therefore playing a protective role.”

Magnesium and colorectal cancer

There are few studies on magnesium and colorectal cancer, doctors said, but these two new analyses suggest magnesium may help prevent this disease. In the first study, researchers compared 768 people with colorectal cancer to 709 similar people without. In a group of those who were at least age 55, with a body mass index score of 25 or higher, each 100 mg increase in magnesium per day decreased chances for colorectal cancer by 12 percent.

In the second study, doctors reviewed findings from other magnesium-colorectal cancer trials and found that for every 100 mg increase in daily magnesium, there was a 13 percent decrease in chances of pre-cancerous colorectal adenomas and 12 percent less chance of colorectal cancer.

Reference: Gut РInternational Journal of  Gastroenterology and Hepatology; July, 2012. Electronic Prepublication

From the December 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on January - 29 - 2013
categories: Supplements, Vitamins

Nutrients helped reduce recurring URTI’s

Doctors said that getting vitamins and minerals in the right amounts can boost immunity and protect against upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). In this study, 192 people with recurrent URTI’s took a daily supplement containing vitamin C, vitamin D3, folic acid, and selenium, or a placebo. Researchers followed the two groups to measure the number, intensity, and course of URTI’s.

After 16 weeks, nearly half of those in the placebo group had missed work compared to 14 percent for the supplement group. Doctors also measured circulating levels of the four nutrients and found that vitamin C, folic acid and selenium increased in the supplement group, while vitamin D declined for both groups, but declined less in the supplement group. Those in the supplement group who began the study with insufficient vitamins C or D also had improved respiratory health.

 

Vitamin D lowers chances of viral infection

Because vitamin D levels decline in the fall and winter when there is less and weaker sunlight, people may catch cold more easily, doctors said. In the first phase of this two-part study, researchers measured vitamin D levels in three healthy groups: young people aged 20 to 30, middle-aged people 31-59, and older adults aged 60 to 86, and found circulating vitamin D levels decreased with age.

In the second phase of the study, using the same group of volunteers, doctors found that the special immune receptors designed to intercept and kill viruses were more likely to function normally as levels of vitamin D increased.

Reference: Journal of Leukocyte Biology; 2012, Vol. 91, No. 5, 829-38

From the October 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on January - 5 - 2013
categories: Supplements, Vitamins

Selenium is a trace mineral essential to health that binds with proteins to form powerful antioxidant enzymes called selenoproteins. Earlier studies have linked good selenium levels to lower chances for several cancers, but few studies have tested for a link to diabetes, doctors said.

In this study, researchers analyzed the diets of 3,630 women and 3,535 men without diabetes or heart disease at the start of the study. After two years of follow-up, more than one in 10 had developed diabetes, but those with the highest level of selenium–measured in the toenail–were 24 percent less likely to have developed the condition.

Doctors said that adequate levels of selenium could come from a good diet, rich in plant-based foods such as fresh garlic, mushrooms, whole grains, wheat germ, and brewer’s yeast, as well as organ meats, tuna fish, and other seafood. Selenium levels in plant-based foods depend on the amount in soil, which varies across the U.S.

Reference: Diabetes Care; 2012, Vol. 35, No. 7. 1544-51

From the October 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on December - 9 - 2012
categories: Supplements
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