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November 2010 - Volume 4, Issue 11


In this issue...

- Commonly tested gene not associated with heart disease

- Can vitamin E increase stroke risk?

- Correcting vitamin B12 deficiency improved vision

- Fish oil in triglyceride form is best for increasing omega 3 index

- Fish oils may help to activate anti-diabetic genes

- Copper supplementation benefits bones

- Vitamin D status affects brain function






CLINICAL UPDATE - Commonly tested gene is not associated with heart disease after all

Researchers discover that the commonly tested gene called KIF6 (kinesin-like protein 6) is not associated with coronary artery disease as previously thought, and  KIF6  apparently does not predict whether or not a patient responds favorably to statins, which was one of its main uses.  In a formal attempt to replicate initial reports that a variant of this gene is associated with heart disease, researchers looked at the genes of over 56,000 people, of which 30% had active coronary artery disease (CAD) and found no association between the carriers of one variant of the gene (called 719Arg) and CAD compared with  non-carriers.  This gene has been tested on over 150,000 people in the past two years alone.

(Journal of the American College of Cardiology, October 2010)

LINK to ABSTRACT Lack of Association Between the Trp719Arg Polymorphism in Kinesin-Like Protein-6 and Coronary Artery Disease in 19 Case-Control Studies.



CLINICAL UPDATE - can vitamin E increase stroke risk?

A recent meta-analysis that evaluated nine trials covering over 118,000 people showed that although vitamin E has no effect on the risk for total stroke, this changed when the type of stroke was included.  Specifically, vitamin E reduced the risk of ischemic stroke by 10% but increased the risk of hemorrhagic stroke stroke by 22%, causing the authors of the study to conclude that “indiscriminate widespread use of vitamin E should be cautioned against.”

(British Medical Journal,  November 2010)
LINK to ABSTRACT Effects of vitamin E on stroke subtypes: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.






CLINICAL UPDATE - Correcting vitamin B12 deficiency improved vision

Vitamin B12 deficiency was identified in three autistic children who experienced optic neuropathy and gradual vision loss as a result.  Treatment with intramuscular B12 corrected the deficiency and improved vision in all three subjects.

(Pediatrics,  October 2010)
LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin B12 Optic Neuropathy in Autism.





CLINICAL UPDATE - fish oil in triglyceride form is best for increasing omega 3 index

Fish oil omega-3s in the triglyceride form are better for boosting the omega-3 index than the ethyl ester form, says a new study from Germany.  In addition, new findings from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) suggest that  the conversion of plant-based omega-3 ALA to the long-chain EPA and DHA may be increased in vegans and vegetarians who do not eat fish, thus raising their omega 3 index possibly more than previously thought.
(European Journal of Clinical Nutrition,  November 2010)

(Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids,  September 2010)

(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,  November 2010)

(Nutrition Reviews,  June 2008)
LINK to NEWS STORY - Best fish oil for raising omega 3 index

LINK to NEWS STORY - ALA conversion to EPA and DHA

LINK to ABSTRACT Enhanced increase of omega-3 index in response to long-term n-3 fatty acid supplementation from triacylglycerides versus ethyl esters.

LINK to ABSTRACT Bioavailability of marine n-3 fatty acid formulations.

LINK to ABSTRACT Dietary intake and status of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in a population of fish-eating and non-fish-eating meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans and the precursor-product ratio of α-linolenic acid to long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: results from the EPIC-Norfolk cohort.

LINK to ABSTRACT Update on alpha-linolenic acid.





CLINICAL UPDATE - fish oils may help activate anti-diabetic genes

Polyunsaturated fatty acid fish oils may activate genes that regulate fat cell differentiation and glucose homeostatis, according to new research on mice.

(Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry,  October 2010)

LINK to ABSTRACT The function of porcine PPARγ and dietary fish oil effect on the expression of lipid and glucose metabolism related genes.





CLINICAL UPDATE - copper supplementation benefits bones

In a pilot study on sixteen female college students, supplementation for eight weeks of 2 mg of copper resulted in a 39% decrease plasma isoprostanes, a marker for oxidative stress as well as an increase in collagen crosslinking in bone,  a marker for bone health.

(Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology,  July 2010)
LINK to ABSTRACT A pilot study of copper supplementation effects on plasma F2alpha isoprostanes and urinary collagen crosslinks in young adult women.






CLINICAL UPDATE - vitamin D status affects brain function

In a prospective six-year study of 858 elderly adults, those with deficient vitamin D status were 60% more likely to experience substantial cognitive decline than those with adequate vitamin D levels.  In another study, over 3100 people were evaluated over 29 years.  Those with the highest vitamin D levels had a 67% reduction in risk for Parkinson disease compared to those with the lowest.

(Archives of Internal Medicine,  July 2010)

(Archives of Neurology,  July 2010)
LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin D and risk of cognitive decline in elderly persons.

LINK to ABSTRACT Serum vitamin D and the risk of Parkinson disease.