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?
A recently concluded study published in the British Journal of Medicine compiled and evaluated 343 peer-reviewed studies that focus on the nutrient differences between organic and non-organic foods. The evaluation concluded that the organic food had a higher concentration of antioxidants, and lower levels of cadmium and pesticide residues. Antioxidants are known to play a part in reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, and cadmium, in high levels, is a potential neurotoxin. What this translates to for consumers is a possible protective health benefit. How familiar are your patients with Environmental Working Group Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen? How often do you discuss organic vs non-organic foods with them?
Find out more from Environmental Working Group
Image in courtesy of [kratuanoiy]/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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
A new study published in the journal Circulation Research looked at 67 men drinking two glasses of non-alcoholic red wine daily and discovered potential benefits to their heart health. Researchers noticed that polyphenols in the red wine dilate the blood vessels, while the alcohol narrows them. Together, they may cancel out each other’s effects. The findings suggest that non-alcoholic red wine lowers blood pressure enough to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 14% and the risk for stroke by 20%. What other ways of controlling blood pressure without medications do you recommend to your patients?
For more information, visit Circulation Research.
In a cohort study published in the journal Gut, researchers analyzed food diaries of more than 23,000 patients aged 40 to 74. The study found that patients whose diets had higher amounts of vitamins C, E and selenium had a decreased risk in the development of pancreatic cancer. What are your favorite dietary sources or products containing antioxidants?
For additional information, please click here.