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November 2011 - Volume 5, Issue 11


In this issue...

- Vitamin status during pregnancy affects language skills of children, even at age three

- Carnitine to combat oxidative stress?

- CoQ10 protects muscles in endurance athletes

- Adding niacin to statin therapy shows no benefit says study, but critics don’t agree

- A new paradigm for the treatment of concussion

- The micronutrient – telomere interaction gains acceptance






CLINICAL UPDATE - vitamin status during pregnancy affects language skills of children, even at age three

Mothers were given questionnaires on their use of folic acid and other supplements during pregnancy in a large study in Norway.  Almost 39,000 children were evaluated for language competency and it was found that those children whose mothers took folic acid during pregnancy had about half the risk of severe language delay at three years old as those whose mothers took no supplements.

(Journal of the American Medical Association, October 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Folic acid supplements in pregnancy and severe language delay in children.





CLINICAL UPDATE - carnitine to combat oxidative stress?

A single dose of 2.0 grams of L-carnitine was given orally to 12 healthy volunteers and plasma levels of antioxidants were subsequently measured.   After carnitine was ingested, levels of the potent antioxidants increased (superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidise, and catalase) as well as total antioxidant capacity.  Antioxidant levels returned to baseline within 24 hours, but researchers concluded that L-carnitine may be a useful therapy for illnesses involving excessing oxidative stress.

(The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine, October 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Single dose administration of L-carnitine improves antioxidant activities in healthy subjects.






CLINICAL UPDATE - CoQ10 protects muscles in endurance athletes

A group of athletes were given oral coenzyme Q10 prior to running 50 kilometers and compared to athletes who also ran but received placebo.  Runners who took coQ10 had lower levels of common inflammatory markers such as isoprostanes, cell membrane hydroperoxides and TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α), thus exhibiting less muscle damage that occurs with intense physical training.

(European Journal of Nutrition, October 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q(10) supplementation ameliorates inflammatory signaling and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise.





CLINICAL UPDATE - adding niacin to statin therapy shows no benefit says study, but critics don't agree

In the large AIM-HIGH clinical trial, a total of 3414 patients with established heart disease were randomized to receive simvastatin plus either placebo or extended release niacin (Niaspan).  Although the group receiving niacin (also known as vitamin B3) showed significant improvement in HDL and triglyceride levels, researchers concluded that there was no reduction in cardiovascular events after 3 years, when the study was halted.  Critics contend that one of the biggest flaws of the study was that the placebo group was given immediate release niacin so that both the placebo and extended-release niacin would experience flushing, a common side effect of niacin treatment and therefore not know to which group they were assigned.  With both groups receiving niacin treatment, critics argue the results are not definitive and await results of the larger HPS2-THRIVE trial data (also evaluating the potential benefit of adding niacin to statin therapy) that is expected in about a year.

(New England Journal of Medicine, November 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Niacin in Patients with Low HDL Cholesterol Levels Receiving Intensive Statin Therapy.






CLINICAL UPDATE - a new paradigm for the treatment of concussion

In what may be “one of the first [papers] to suggest what may become a paradigm shift in the treatment of post concussion syndrome,” this comprehensive review presents clinical evidence on the efficacy of natural compounds such as omega 3 fatty acids, curcumin and vitamins C, D and E to treat concussion. Additional commentary(page 19) explicitly outlines the common flaws and study design errors in clinical trials of antioxidants.  Similar research shows coenzyme Q10 decreases ischemia and the harmful post-traumatic brain injury inflammatory cascade in rats. 

(Surgical Neurology International, October 2011)

(BioMed Central Neuroscience, July 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Stuck at the bench: Potential natural neuroprotective compounds for concussion.


LINK to ABSTRACTEffect of coenzyme Q10 on ischemia and neuronal damage in an experimental traumatic brain-injury model in rats.






CLINICAL UPDATE - the micronutrient-telomere interaction gains acceptance

The emerging field of nutrigenomics – the study of how individual genes interact with diet and nutrition – is gaining acceptance as science uncovers the ways in which genes are influences by specific nutrients.  In particular, research on telomeres and micronutrients such as folate shows how various nutrients are vital in protecting DNA and therefore preserving telomere length. 

(Journal of Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics, May 2011)

(Genome Integrity, August 2010)

(Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, July 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics: viewpoints on the current status and applications in nutrition research and practice.


LINK to ABSTRACT Nutriomes and nutrient arrays - the key to personalised nutrition for DNA damage prevention and cancer growth control.


LINK to ABSTRACT Telomere dynamics: the influence of folate and DNA methylation.