Archives for: June 2003
STUDY: Veggie Diet no Better the Flesh Diet for Type 2 Diabetes
JOURNAL: Diabetes Care 2002;25:1277-1282,1474-1476.
AUTHORS: Dr. S. Edwin Fineberg
ABSTRACT: A diet that derives protein from plant sources only has no advantage over a diet that contains animal protein for individuals with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria.
COMMENTARY: In a randomized crossover trial, Dr. S. Edwin Fineberg and colleagues from Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, compared a diet containing only plant proteins with one containing mostly animal proteins in 17 patients with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria.
After the patients had been on each diet for 6 weeks, the researchers found that there was no diet-related difference in the glomerular filtration rate, renal plasma flow, albumin excretion rate, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglyceride area under the curve (AUC), glucose and insulin AUC, HbA1c, blood pressure, or serum amino acids.
Both diets were associated with lowered cholesterol, improved HbA1c, and reduced diastolic blood pressure, according to the report in the August issue of Diabetes Care. There was no difference in dietary effects on renal function, whether or not patients were treated with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors.
Dr. Fineberg and colleagues conclude that "there appears to be no clear advantage to recommending plant protein over animal protein to improve renal function or lipid and glycemic parameters in people who have type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria."
STUDY: A dose-response relationship in which 7g of almonds lowered low-density (LDL) cholesterol levels by 1%.
JOURNAL: Circulation. 2002;106:000-000
AUTHORS: David J. A. Jenkins, MD
ABSTRACT: Although nuts have been touted to be beneficial for heart disease, some physicians have hesitated to recommend them due to their high fat content. In a calorie-controlled trial investigators demonstrated a dose-response relationship in which 7g of almonds lowered low-density (LDL) cholesterol levels by 1%.
COMMENTARY: This study suggests that replacing carbohydrates with monounsaturated fat — within the context of a diet that is low in saturated, trans fat and cholesterol — favorably affects cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk.
This three-phase, randomized, crossover design study enrolled 27 patients with high cholesterol, including 15 men and 12 postmenopausal women. Average age was 64 years, and average baseline total cholesterol level was 260 mg/dL. The three test diets, which each subject followed for one month, included an isoenergetic supplement (mean, 423 kcal/day) comprising 22.2% of caloric intake. The full-dose almond supplement consisted of about 74 g of almonds daily; the half-dose almond supplement included about 37 g or a "handful" of almonds; and the control supplement was a low-saturated fat, whole-wheat muffin.
Full-dose almonds produced the greatest reduction in blood lipid levels, and the control diet produced no significant reductions. Compared with baseline, both half- and full-dose almonds reduced LDL cholesterol (4.4% ±1.7%, P=.018, and 9.4% ±1.9%, P<.001, respectively) and ratio of LDL to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (7.8% ±2.2%, P=.001, and 12.0% ±2.1%, P<.001). Full-dose almonds reduced lipoprotein(a) by 7.8% ±3.5% (P=.034) and oxidized LDL concentrations by 14.0% ±3.8% (P<.001). There was no difference in pulmonary nitric oxide between treatments.
If you look at the ratio of LDL to HDL, the reduction was 7.8% for the half dose and 12% for the full dose by the fourth week. That ratio is very important in assessing cardiovascular risk.
It is recommended that physicians encourage patients to eat almonds as part of a healthy balanced diet, provided they are natural or "dry roasted" without added oils or salts.
The dose-response to almonds appears linear in the acceptable range of intake, with a 1% reduction in LDL cholesterol resulting from each 7g portion of almonds.
Eat a small handfull a day. Try to substitute these for an unhealthier snack that you would have eaten.
JOURNAL: Association for Cancer R; 2004 Mar;13(3) p405 - 411
AUTHORS: Horn-Ross P; Canchola A; West D; Stewart S; Bernstein L; Deapen
ABSTRACT: Alcohol consumption of approximately two drinks or more per day has been
associated with elevated breast cancer risk in the California Teachers
Study cohort as well as in many other populations.
COMMENTARY: The objective of this analysis is to examine effects of age at drinking and drinking patterns and to identify effect modifiers.
Of the 103,460 at-risk cohort members, age <85, who resided in California and completed the baseline alcohol assessment, 1,742 were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer after joining the cohort and before January 2001.
Incident breast cancers were identified through the California Cancer Registry and follow-up for death and confirmation of continued California residence used various sources. Multivariate Coxproportional hazards regression models were used to estimate relative risks (RRs).
Elevated breast cancer risk was most evident for recent drinking [RR = 1.28, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06-1.54 for >/==" BORDER="0">20g/day versus nondrinkers], with with no clear pattern for consumption during
earlier periods of life.
This elevation in risk was 32% among postmenopausal women (95% CI: 1.06-1.63) and 21% among pre/perimenopausal women (95%CI: 0.76-1.92). Highest risks associated with heavy alcohol consumption were observed among postmenopausal women with a history of biopsy-diagnosed benign breast disease (RR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.39-2.79 compared to nondrinkers without benign breast disease) or who had used combination hormone replacement therapy (HRT) (RR = 2.24, 95% CI: 1.59-3.14 compared to nondrinkers who never used HRT).
Recent alcohol consumption equivalent to two or more drinks per day increases the risk of invasive breast cancer, with the greatest RRs observed among heavy drinkers who are also postmenopausal and have a history of benign breast disease or who use HRT.
STUDY: Increased stress linked to reduced immune function.
JOURNAL: Int J Cancer 2002;100:347-354
AUTHORS: Dr. Shimon Pollack
ABSTRACT: Stress experienced by the daughters of breast cancer patients may further increase their risk for developing breast cancer, as indicated by measurements of immune function and stress hormones.
COMMENTARY: Daughters of breast cancer patients are under persistent increased emotional distress. This, in turn, has affected some of their immune functions and the secretion of stress hormones (cortisol and catecholamines).
As a result, one of the main immune surveillance mechanisms, namely natural cytotoxic activity against cancer (natural killer-resistant) cells, is severely impaired. This may contribute to the established increased risk of daughters of breast cancer patients to develop breast cancer.
Compared with controls, daughters of breast cancer patients had significantly higher emotional distress scores. Levels of stress hormones were higher, and in vitro secretions of interleukin-2, interleukin-12 and interferon-gamma were lower, among daughters of breast cancer patients compared with controls.
Natural cytotoxic activity against natural killer-resistant and natural killer-sensitive cell lines were significantly lower and were augmented much less by in vitro preincubation with interleukin-2 or interleukin-12 among daughters of breast cancer patients compared with controls.
The bottom line here folks is to concentrate on lowering your stress levels. This is even more important for people who are undergoing a great deal of stress at a given time.
Do exercises and utilize supplements to lower your cortisol or catecholamine levels like Catechol or Cortiguard.
Do whatever it takes to keep you balanced and to keep your immune system in tip top shape.
STUDY: Once-daily treatment cuts in half the risk of passing on the infection
JOURNAL: American Society for Microbiology
AUTHORS: Dr. Lawrence Corey
ABSTRACT: For the first time, a drug widely used to treat genital herpes has been shown to prevent its spread as well, offering a new way of curbing an infection already carried by one in five Americans.
COMMENTARY: A study released Friday found that a once-daily Valtrex — known generically as valacyclovir cut in half the risk of passing on the infection when taken by people with herpes simplex virus type 2, the primary cause of genital herpes.
Until now, the only advice for avoiding herpes during sex has been to use condoms. While no one knows which is more effective, condoms are clearly not foolproof, since the virus spreads by contact with herpes sores, and condoms may not cover them all.
The latest research suggests a new use for Valtrex in so-called discordant couples — those in which one partner is infected and one is not. The drug is already widely prescribed to prevent and treat herpes flare-ups.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 45 million American teenagers and adults are infected with the type 2 virus, which is almost always spread during sexual contact. The other herpes simplex virus, type 1, is much more common and causes cold sores. However, it too can cause genital infections if spread through oral-genital contact.
Usually, the type 2 virus causes only mild symptoms or no obvious sores at all. In fact, 90 percent of infected people do not realize they have it. Nevertheless, an unlucky minority suffers recurring painful genital sores.
STUDY: No Link with Vit A and Bone Loss
JOURNAL: Journal of Nutrition 2002;132:1169–72
ABSTRACT: Contrary to a report published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, supplementation with moderate amounts of vitamin A does not cause bone loss, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition (2002;132:1169–72).
COMMENTARY: In the new study, 80 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 58 years were given a vitamin A supplement (25,000 IU per day) or placebo for six weeks. Blood tests taken at the beginning and end of the study revealed that vitamin A supplementation had no effect on various measures of bone breakdown and bone formation.
Thus, at least in the short term, taking a moderate amount of vitamin A is unlikely to promote bone loss.
Previous studies showed that increasing vitamin A intake is associated with an increased risk of hip fracture; however, the relevance of those studies is questionable. The main sources of vitamin A in the diet are vitamin A-fortified foods such as margarine, sugary breakfast cereals, and milk and circumstantial evidence suggests that some or all of these foods can promote the development of osteoporosis for reasons unrelated to their vitamin A content. If that is the case, then vitamin A was a victim of “guilt by association.”
Although taking too much vitamin A can cause a wide range of adverse effects (including neurological disease, liver damage, and even death), bone loss has not been mentioned as a consequence of chronic vitamin A poisoning.
Studies suggest that a safe level of intake of vitamin A is 25,000 IU per day for most healthy adults and 15,000 IU per day for individuals over the age of 65. Larger amounts, which are used by some doctors to treat acne, some cancers, menstrual irregularities, or other problems, should be taken only with medical supervision. Early warning signs of vitamin A excess include headaches, joint pain, muscle aches, bone pain, dry skin, and hair loss. These signs disappear if the vitamin is discontinued.
Preliminary research suggests that pregnant women should not take more than 10,000 IU per day, though not all studies agree on this point. Although the body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, taking large amounts of beta-carotene does not lead to vitamin A toxicity. That is because there is a limit to the amount of beta-carotene that can be converted to vitamin A.
STUDY: You can't believe anything anymore
ABSTRACT: -- Coca-Cola's brand of bottled water, Dasani, was pulled from shelves in Britain Saturday when it was found to contain bromate, a cancer-causing chemical.
COMMENTARY: Earlier this month, it was revealed the advertised "pure" water in Britain was nothing more than tap water taken from the bottling plant in Kent.
The legal limits are set to have a wide margin of safety, and the Food Standards Agency said that while Dasani contained illegal levels of bromate, it did not present an immediate risk to the public, the Guardian reported Saturday.
"Any increased cancer risk is likely to be small. However, the levels are higher than legally permitted in the U.K. and present an unnecessary risk. Some consumers may chose not to drink any Dasani they purchased prior to its withdrawal given the levels of bromate in it," the FSA said.