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July 2010 - Volume 4, Issue 07


In this issue...

- Is autism a vitamin D deficiency disorder?

- Chromium may improve cognition

- All foms of vitamin E protect against Alzhiemers

- Short telomeres linked to increased cancer deaths

- DHA protects against concussion

- Folate deficiency reduces efficacy of erectile dysfunction drug

- Fish oil may cut breast cancer risk







CLINICAL UPDATE - is autism a vitamin D deficiency disorder?

A group of 70 autistic children (average age of five years old) was compared to a similarly aged group of 42 non-autistic kids in the same socioeconomic status.  Children with autism has significantly lower levels of both vitamin D and calcium compared to the control group.  In a similar study, lipid profiles of autistic boys showed that autism was associated with high triglycerides compared to a non-autistic control group, suggesting the presence of dyslipidemia in boys with autism.

(Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, June2010)
(Nutrition Research, April 2010)

LINK to ABSTRACT Reduced serum levels of 25-hydroxy and 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D in Egyptian children with autism.

LINK to ABSTRACT Alterations in lipid profile of autistic boys: a case control study.





CLINICAL UPDATE - Chromium may improve cognition

In a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, 26 older adults were given either chromium picolinate or placebo for 12 weeks, then evaluated for memory ability.  Brain scans were also performed on both groups .  The supplemented group showed improved memory and increased brain scan activity.

(Nutritional Neuroscience, June 2010)

LINK to ABSTRACT  Improved cognitive-cerebral function in older adults with chromium supplementation.





CLINICAL UPDATE - all forms of vitamin e protect against alzheimers

A combination of different vitamin E forms could help prevent cognitive deterioration in advanced age, according to the results of a study from Sweden. These findings support the hypothesis that vitamin E’s protective activity seems to be related to the combination of different forms, rather than α-tocopherol alone, they concluded.

(Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, July 2010)
(Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, May 2010)

(Archives of Neurology, July 2010)

LINK to ABSTRACT High plasma levels of vitamin E forms and reduced Alzheimer's disease risk in advanced age.

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin E forms in Alzheimer's disease: a review of controversial and clinical experiences.
LINK to ABSTRACT Dietary antioxidants and long-term risk of dementia.





CLINICAL UPDATE - short telomeres linked to increased cancer deaths

Telomeres were measured on white blood cells of 787 people in a study conducted in Italy.  After 10 years, 12% of the participants had developed cancer and researchers found that not only were the people with the shortest telomeres one and half times more likely to develop cancer, but those with the shortest telomeres were also twice as likely to have more aggressive cancers with a higher fatality rate.

(Journal of the American Medical Association, July 2010)
LINK to ABSTRACT Telomere length and risk of incident cancer and cancer mortality.





CLINICAL UPDATE - DHA protects against concussion

Researchers tested the effect of DHA supplementation on brain trauma in a recent animal study.  They found that brainstems of animals receiving DHA for 30 days post-concussion showed significantly less nerve injury than those with no DHA supplementation, concluding that DHA is safe for potentially reducing the burden of traumatic brain injury. A similar study in Japan confirms this conclusion by showing maternal DHA levels may be beneficial in preventing neonatal brain injury.

(Journal of Neurotrauma, July 2010)
(Neuropathology, April 2010)
LINK to ABSTRACT Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Reduces Traumatic Axonal Injury in a Rodent Head Injury Model.

LINK to ABSTRACT Maternal docosahexaenoic acid-enriched diet prevents neonatal brain injury.





CLINICAL UPDATE - folate deficiency reduces efficacy of erectile dysfunction drug

75 men with erectile dysfunction were administered sildenafil (Viagra) for two months.  28% of the men were homozygous for the MTHFR gene, which affects folate metabolism and homocysteine levels.  Researchers concluded that the administration of sildenafil may fail if a folate deficiency exists and is not corrected in those men that carry the MTHFR gene.

(The Journal of Sexual Medicine, January 2010)
LINK to ABSTRACT Treatment of erectile dysfunction due to C677T mutation of the MTHFR gene with vitamin B6 and folic acid in patients non responders to PDE5i.





CLINICAL UPDATE - fish oil may cut breast cancer risk

Over 35,000 postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 76 who did not have a history of breast cancer were asked to complete a 24 page questionnaire on their use of specific supplements.  Those that took fish oil supplements for at least 10 years had less risk of developing breast cancer, while the use of other supplements specifically taken to treat menopausal symptoms such as black cohosh and soy were not associated with reduced risk.

(Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, July 2010)
LINK to ABSTRACT Specialty supplements and breast cancer risk in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort.