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December 2010 - Volume 4, Issue 12


In this issue...

- Update on vitamin D

- DHA associated with prevention but not treatment of Alzheimers

- Vitamin D deficiency impairs cognitive function in women

- Vitamin C may help prevent prostate enlargement

- Carotid intima media thickness not a good marker for heart disease

- Warnings on folic acid supplementation








CLINICAL UPDATE - update on vitamin D

The Institute of Medicine raised the recommended dietary reference intake for vitamin D to 600IU for people under the age of 70, which is slightly higher than the previous recommendations that were created in 1997.  Although many practitioners still believe these values are too low, the Institute of Medicine states that it is challenging the “more is better” philosophy when it comes to supplementation of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

(Institute of Medicine of the National Academies,  November 2010)

             LINK to SUMMARY:  Vitamin D Update

LINK to FREE FULL TEXT Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D






CLINICAL UPDATE - DHA associated with prevention but not treatment of alzheimers

In a study on 295 people with existing Alzheimer disease, patients were given either 2 grams per day of the omega 3 fatty acid DHA or placebo for 18 months.  Researchers found that although DHA consumption has been associated with a reduced incidence of Alzheimer disease, this study showed that DHA had no effect in slowing cognitive decline on those people who already had active Alzheimer disease.

(Journal of the American Medical Association, November 2010)

LINK to ABSTRACT Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation and cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease: a randomized trial.




CLINICAL UPDATE - vitamin D deficiency impairs cognitive function in women

752 women were divided into two groups based on the level of vitamin D in their blood.  The group whose 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were below 10 ng/mL showed cognitive impairment compared to those women whose vitamin D levels were higher.

(Neurology, January 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Association of vitamin D deficiency with cognitive impairment in older women: cross-sectional study.




CLINICAL UPDATE - vitamin C may help prevent prostate enlargement

When treated with testosterone, prostate cells grew rapidly but this growth was inhibited when these same cells were treated with vitamin C, indicating that vitamin C may have clinical use in treating benign prostate enlargement.

(Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, September 2010)

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin C supplementation prevents testosterone-induced hyperplasia of rat prostate by down-regulating HIF-1alpha.





CLINICAL UPDATE - carotid intima media thickness not a good marker for heart disease

In a meta-analysis of 41 trials with over 18,000 participants, researchers found that slowing the progression of carotid intima media thickness, which is commonly measured to assess the presence of atherosclerosis, did not correspond to a reduction in coronary events, shedding doubt on its use clinically.

(Journal of the American College of Cardioolgy, December 2010)

LINK to ABSTRACT Does carotid intima-media thickness regression predict reduction of cardiovascular events? A meta-analysis of 41 randomized trials.





CLINICAL UPDATE - warnings on folic acid supplementation

Two recent studies demonstrated negative effects of folic acid supplementation:  one meta-analysis concluded that in people with homocysteine levels above 12 mmol/L actually had a higher risk of clinical coronary events with folic acid supplementation.  Another study concluded that levels of folic acid were positively associated with a specific type of breast cancer.  However, three other trials on supplementation with folic acid and B vitamins showed positive results for cognitive function, depression and increased coronary circulation. The question of whether or not to supplement with folic acid emphasizes the need for individualized micronutrient assessment.

(American Journal of Cardiology, August 2010)

(Journal of Nutrition, September 2010)

(PLoS One, September 2010)

(Psychosomatic Medicine, November 2010)

(Archives of Medical Research, July 2010)

LINK to ABSTRACT Meta-Analysis of Folic Acid Supplementation Trials on Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Risk Interaction With Baseline Homocysteine Levels.

LINK to ABSTRACT Plasma Folate Concentrations Are Positively Associated with Risk of Estrogen Receptor {beta} Negative Breast Cancer in a Swedish Nested Case Control Study.


LINK to ABSTRACT Homocysteine-lowering by B vitamins slows the rate of accelerated brain atrophy in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial.


LINK to ABSTRACT Serum Folate, Vitamin B-12, and Homocysteine and Their Association With Depressive Symptoms Among U.S. Adults.

LINK to ABSTRACT Folic Acid and vitamin B12 supplementation improves coronary flow reserve in elderly subjects with vitamin B12 deficiency.