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August 2010 - Volume 4, Issue 08


In this issue...

- Controversy over calcium supplements – helpful or harmful?

- Selenium reduces post-partum depression

- Short telomeres predict severity of heart disease

- Specific form of vitamin B1 reduces fatigue

- Supplementation with omega 3s improve depression

- The amino acid carnitine – a super nutrient?







CLINICAL UPDATE - controversy over calcium supplements - helpful or harmful?

New meta-analysis of 15 studies that include over 12,000 people suggests that regularly taking calcium supplements might increase the risk of heart attack.  However, industry contends that the meta-analysis, which only looked at calcium supplements without vitamin D, “cherry picked” results.

(British Medical Journal, July 2010)


LINK to NEWS STORY (Rebuttal)

LINK to ABSTRACT  Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis.



CLINICAL UPDATE - selenium reduces post-partum depression

Selenium supplements (100mg per day)  were given to 83 women during their pregnancy while another 83 women received placebo.  Symptoms of postpartum depression were significantly lower in the supplemented group .

(Journal of Maternal-Fetal Neonatal Medicine, June 2010)

LINK to ABSTRACT Effect of supplementation with selenium on postpartum depression: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.





CLINICAL UPDATE - Short telomeres predict severity of heart disease

After measuring telomeres and heart disease events in 800 men and women, researchers found that the risk of heart disease for those with the shortest telomeres equated to a chronological increase in age of about 14 years.

(Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, August 2010)
LINK to ABSTRACT Cellular Aging Reflected by Leukocyte Telomere Length Predicts Advanced Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Disease Risk.

LINK to ABSTRACT Leukocyte telomere length is associated with measures of subclinical atherosclerosis.





CLINICAL UPDATE - Specific Form of vitamin B1 reduces fatigue

Two forms of vitamin B1 were compared – dicethiamine hydrochloride (DCET) and thiamine hydrochloride (VB1HCL) for anti-fatigue properties in animal swim tests.  The results indicated that the DCET form was well-absorbed into tissues and resulted in improved clinical outcomes of reduced fatigue, while the VB1HCL form did not reduce fatigue.

(European Journal of Pharmacology, June 2010)

LINK to ABSTRACT Anti-fatigue effect of dicethiamine hydrochloride is likely associated with excellent absorbability and high transformability in tissues as a Vitamin B(1).





CLINICAL UPDATE - supplementation with omega 3 improves depression

In a double blind, controlled trial, 22 women were assessed for depression after receiving 2.5 grams of omega 3 fatty acids (1/3 DHA and 2/3 EPA) daily for 8 weeks. When compared to the same number of women taking placebo, the group taking omega 3 fatty acids had fewer clinical symptoms of depression according to the quantitative Geriatric Depression Scale.   This coincided with an increase in erythrocyte omega 3 fatty acid status. In a larger study, similar results were seen after 8 weeks of supplementation on patients with more severe depressive symptoms.

(Journal of the American College of Nutrition, February 2010)

(Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, June 2010)
LINK to ABSTRACT Effect of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation on depressive symptoms and on health-related quality of life in the treatment of elderly women with depression: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.

LINK to ABSTRACT The efficacy of omega-3 supplementation for major depression: a randomized controlled trial.





CLINICAL UPDATE - The amino acid carnitine - a super nutrient?

Recent trials on the amino acid carnitine have demonstrated clinical benefits on a variety of seemingly unrelated illnesses.  Its primary role in the metabolism of fatty acids may explain its diverse clinical benefits such as reduction in alcoholism cravings, increased insulin sensitivity, improved lung and heart function, and  even reduction in the amount of valproate needed to treat hospitalized psychiatric patients.

(Alcohol and Alcoholism, June 2010)

(Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, June 2010)

(Endocrine Research, May 2010)

(Cardiology, July 2010)

(The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, June 2010)
LINK to ABSTRACT Acetyl-L-Carnitine for Alcohol Craving and Relapse Prevention in Anhedonic Alcoholics: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Trial.

LINK to ABSTRACT Caloric restriction and L-carnitine administration improves insulin sensitivity in patients with impaired glucose metabolism.

LINK to ABSTRACT Inspiratory muscle strength is correlated with carnitine levels in type 2 diabetes.

LINK to ABSTRACT L-Carnitine Treatment in Patients with Mild Diastolic Heart Failure Is Associated with Improvement in Diastolic Function and Symptoms.

LINK to ABSTRACT Clinical correlates of low serum carnitine levels in hospitalized psychiatric patients.