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June 2011 - Volume 5, Issue 6


In this issue...

- Vitamin D deficiency impairs male fertility

- B vitamin therapy lowers Lp(a) and homocysteine

- Lipoic acid improves lipid profile

- Small dense LDL predicts arterial blockage

- Carnitine - amino acid or antioxidant?

- CoQ10 therapy for fibromyalgia

- Evidence mounts for targeted supplementation








CLINICAL UPDATE - Vitamin D deficiency impairs male fertility

Sperm from 300 men was evaluated for motility and function.  In this study, 44% of the men were deficient in vitamin D.  The sperm of the men with the lowest levels of vitamin D had impaired motility and fewer normally formed sperm compared to men with high vitamin D levels.  The same study showed that adequate vitamin D levels increased intracellular calcium levels.

(Human Reproduction, June 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin D is positively associated with sperm motility and increases intracellular calcium in human spermatozoa.





CLINICAL UPDATE - b vitamin therapy lowers Lp(a) and homocysteine

Hospitalized patients with acute myocardial infarction were prescribed vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid for two months.   Lipoprotein(a) decreased by 17% and homocysteine decreased by 20% in the supplemented patients.  Despite the fact that homocysteine and Lp(a) levels were not reduced to levels seen in a healthy control group, a significant portion of patients did in fact achieve levels comparable to controls with the supplement regimen.

(Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, May 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Serum total homocysteine and lipoprotein (a) levels in acute myocardial infarction and their response to treatment with vitamins.





CLINICAL UPDATE - lipoic acid improves lipid profile

In an interventional study on 22 obese patients with impaired glucose tolerance, it was found that daily intravenous treatment with 600mg of α-lipoic acid improved insulin sensitivity.  In addition, those on the α-lipoic acid regimen had reduced triglycerides, lower levels of small, dense LDL (low density lipoproteins) and decreased oxidized LDL. Markers of oxidative stress and inflammation were also significantly reduced, while levels of the fat-burning hormone adiponectin were increased.

(Obesity, May 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Amelioration of Lipid Abnormalities by α-Lipoic acid Through Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects.





CLINICAL UPDATE - small dense ldl predicts arterial blockage

Researchers measured levels of small dense LDL on 194 patients with chest pain, typically considered a risk factor for blocked arteries.  These same patients elected to have coronary angiography and coronary CT (computer tomography) scanning to assess the degree of arterial blockage.  The proportion of small dense LDL was a strong predictor of arterial blockage (stenosis) as it correlated well with the invasive  diagnostic method of coronary angiography.

(Lipids in Health and Disease, January 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Small dense LDL particles--a predictor of coronary artery disease evaluated by invasive and CT-based techniques: a case-control study.






CLINICAL UPDATE - carnitine - amino acid or antioxidant?

In vitro research demonstrates that l-carnitine protects plasma proteins and lipids against oxidative damage.  Specifically, carnitine helped to preserve levels of the powerful antioxidants glutathione and cysteine in blood while simultaneously protecting lipids against peroxidation.

(Nutrition, June 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT  l-carnitine protects plasma components against oxidative alterations.





CLINICAL UPDATE - CoQ10 therapy for fibromyalgia

In a small study on fibromyalgia patients, those with Coenzyme q10 deficiency showed a significant reduction of symptoms after treatment with 300mg of CoQ10 for nine months.

(Mitochondrion, July 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q(10): A novel therapeutic approach for Fibromyalgia? Case series with 5 patients.





CLINICAL UPDATE - evidence mounts for targeted supplementation

Evidence from recent trials confirms that while dietary intake of nutrients often gives good clinical results, blindly supplementing patients has its drawbacks.  For example, in one study, the food and supplement intake of vitamin A and vitamin C was evaluated on 1466 men aged 30 – 79 years old.  Interestingly, those with the highest intake of vitamin A from food had over a 40% decreased risk of urinary tract symptoms.  However, intake of vitamin C from supplements, not food, was associated with an increased risk of urinary tract symptoms, challenging the “more is better” philosophy on vitamin supplements.  In another study on over 1000 women, the higher the intake of vitamins B1 and B2 from food, the lower the chance of having PMS (premenstrual syndrome).  Intake of B vitamins from supplements had no effect.

(Journal of Nutrition, February 2011)

(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Dietary, but not supplemental, intakes of carotenoids and vitamin C are associated with decreased odds of lower urinary tract symptoms in men.

LINK to ABSTRACT Dietary B vitamin intake and incident premenstrual syndrome.