The vitamins and minerals are in the news again, with all this being related to their addition to sports drinks, water and juices. Scientists suggests that consumers might be ingesting higher than necessary (and sometimes potentially harmful) amounts. When consumed in excess, water-soluble vitamins like B and C are in the urine, but fat soluble-vitamins including A, D, E and K, accumulate in tissues, posing potential risks. Some people (for example, pregnant or lactating women) will require additional vitamins and minerals, but for the majority of the population, these nutrients should be primarily acquired through daily diet. This discussion extends to antioxidants and the lack of information on the long-term supplementation effects. Scientists state that it is impossible to consume too much from foods but the exposure through supplementation may be too great. How do you counsel your patients about healthy diet and vitamin/mineral/antioxidant rich foods? For those who require supplementation, what are your typical recommendations?
According to new study from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, consuming tea and citrus juices could correspond to a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. This was the first large-scale study to determine the role of flavanoids on ovarian cancer, and followed 172,000 patients over three decades. The research team found that women who consumed flavonols and flavanones, which are two sub-types of flavanoids, experienced much less of a risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer. Since these flavanoids are found in tea and citrus juices and fruits, it is fairly easy to incorporate them to get the associated benefits. This was a promising find, as roughly 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States each year and it also happens to be the fifth leading cause of death from cancer among women. What other dietary sources of flavanoids do you recommend to your patients for health benefits?
The Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Josephine Briggs, MD shares her thoughts on a recent publication in the journal Headache by Robert Cowan, MD. Both are trying to raise awareness of what patients visiting clinicians might be utilizing in terms of conventional and complementary approaches. There are more Evidence-Based resources available to conventional practitioners on CAM than ever before. What are your thoughts on Dr. Briggs commentary?
For additional information please see, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
“Image courtesy of [Praisaeng]/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net”
The Food and Drug Administration just released Nutrition Basics reminder to help parents look at nutrition facts labels (ingredients, percent daily value, nutrients, and serving size) before buying food for their children. The main goal of this program is to fight childhood obesity with better food choices. How often do you discuss food labeling with your patients?
For additional information, please see the FDA Consumer Update .
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has published its recommendations in the latest issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (draft released in November of 2013.) The recommendations suggests that there is not enough evidence to show if there is benefit or harm in taking multivitamins to prevent heart disease and cancer, aside from two exceptions. They recommend against the use of vitamin E and beta-carotene in preventing heart disease and cancer. People who are at a high risk of lung cancer, such as smokers, had a higher chance of developing lung cancer when using beta-carotene. The task force focused only on heart disease and cancer and there are no recommendations on taking vitamins and supplements for overall health and wellness or for filling nutrition gaps.
What do you usually take and recommend vitamins and supplements for? What are your thoughts on these recommendations?How would this change the way you take or recommend vitamins?
For additional information please visit WebMD
Image Courtesy of [ Kittikun Atsawintarangkul]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Vitamin E and beta carotene consumption have been associated to the progression of premature lung tumors in high-risk patients. A study published Science Translational Medicine may uncover some of the mystery. Researchers found that mice with early lung cancer given vitamin E and N-acetylcysteine had a 2.8 times increase in lung tumors compared to mice with early lung cancer not given antioxidants. The mice supplemented with antioxidants also experienced more invasive and aggressive tumors, and expired twice as rapidly. What investigators found is that although antioxidants decrease DNA damage, the damage becomes so trivial that the cell doesn’t deploy its cancer-defense system, based on the p53 protein. Normally, when the p53 system identifies significant DNA damage, it kills the cell before it can become malignant. Antioxidants allow cancer cells to remain undetected, preventing their destruction. The scientists stressed that the results only apply to supplements, not antioxidant-rich foods.
How often do you encourage your patients to increase consumption of antioxidant rich foods? What are your thoughts on supplementation with food-based antioxidant products?
For more information visit Reuters
Photo courtesy of [Praisaeng]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A panel of experts who assess current scientific evidence for preventative medications focused on vitamins and other dietary supplements in their recent review. According to the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF), there is unclear evidence when taking nutrients (as vitamins or supplements) to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and/or cancer. The report also advises against taking beta-carotene and vitamin E for the prevention of these two conditions due to lack of evidence. Instead, the panel suggests that a well-balanced diet would be more beneficial for the body, helping it to absorb nutrients in their most natural form. What are your thoughts on these recent recommendations? How do you counsel your patients to achieve this well-balanced diet? For more information, click here
In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers found that cranberry products were not shown to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). The study consolidated the data from 13 previous studies evaluating the efficacy of cranberry products in populations like women with recurrent UTIs, pregnant women, and the elderly. Cranberry products such as the juice, tablets, capsules, and syrup did not do better compared with placebo or no treatment. The authors did note however that low adherence occurred with the cranberry products (especially the juice) and the amount of active ingredient taken was not known. How often do you recommend cranberry products? What are your thoughts about study results? What counseling points would you offer to a patient seeking cranberry products?
Please check JAMA Network for more details.
Image courtesy of [JamesBarker]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Resveratrol is the antioxidant found in red grapes used to make red wine. According to the new research resveratrol is found to block the health benefits of exercise in older men. The study was done on 27 healthy men that were nonsmokers and around 65 years of age. Resveratrol was found to offset the positive effects of exercise on blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body’s capacity to transport and use oxygen. There were previous animal studies reporting that resveratrol may improve the benefits of exercise on heart health and diabetes. What do you commonly recommend resveratrol for to your patients? How satisfied are you with the effectiveness?
For more information, click here.
Effect of green tea on reward learning in healthy individuals; a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study
The Nutrition Journal published a study regarding the effect of green tea has on reward learning in healthy individuals. Reward learning is related to situation when the brain releases dopamine after making a right choice. This is the reason why the learner feels good and repeats the action in the future. The study in 64 healthy individuals suggests that chronic use of green tea can improve reward learning, thus decrease depression symptoms. Please share your thought about this study, learning in general or use of green tea for patients with depression.
To access the full article, click here.