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January 2012 - Volume 6, Issue 1

 

In this issue...

- Lab testing offered by employers identifies chronic disease in 1/3 of participants

- New research says plasma levels of micronutrients not reliable indicators of deficiency

- Hypothyroidism lowers antioxidant function, even when serum levels remain constant

- Vitamin D supplements decrease CRP in patients with colorectal tumors

- Only omega 3 fatty acid supplements high in EPA benefit depression

- Lipoprotein particle number predicts hardening of the arteries

                                                                                                                                                 

 

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE - LAB TESTING OFFERED BY EMPLOYERS IDENTIFIES CHRONIC DISEASE IN 1/3 OF PARTICIPANTS

A recent study reviewed lab testing that was offered free to over 52,000 employees through their employer-sponsored health risk assessment programs.  It was found that 36% of first time participants had a newly identified chronic disease such as hyperlipidemia, diabetes or kidney disease.  Interestingly, nearly all participants had medical insurance, indicating that  employer-sponsored laboratory testing can facilitate earlier diagnosis for many chronic diseases more efficiently than conventional access to health care.

(PLoS One, December 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Value of laboratory tests in employer-sponsored health risk assessments for newly identifying health conditions: analysis of 52,270 participants.

LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

 

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE - NEW RESEARCH SAYS PLASMA LEVELS OF MICRONUTRIENTS NOT RELIABLE INDICATORS OF DEFICIENCY

Plasma levels of zinc, copper, selenium and vitamins A, B6, C and E were measured in over 1300 patients in addition to the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein.  Researchers found that as the inflammatory response increased, plasma levels of micronutrients decreased but the amount in which they decreased varied significantly from patient to patient, leading researchers to conclude that plasma levels of nutrients,on their own, are not reliable clinical indicators of deficiency.

(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Quantitative data on the magnitude of the systemic inflammatory response and its effect on micronutrient status based on plasma measurements.

 

 

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE - HYPOTHYROIDISM LOWERS ANTIOXIDANT FUNCTION, EVEN WHEN SERUM LEVELS OF ANTIOXIDANTS REMAIN CONSTANT

Hypothyroidism was induced in two different animal studies and various biomarkers of antioxidant function were measured.  Specifically, the powerful antioxidants superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and levels of vitamins A, C and E were measured as well as other functional measures of antioxidant status.  Researchers found that antioxidant function was diminished only in hypothyroid state compared to normal thyroid function, but levels of the antioxidant vitamins did not change, suggesting that functional measures of antioxidant status are more clinically relevant than serum levels.

(Polish Journal of Endocrinology, 2011)

(Experimental Physiology, August 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Elements of oxidation/reduction balance in experimental hypothyroidism.

LINK to FREE FULL TEXT 

LINK to ABSTRACT Liver glutathione S-transferase expression is decreased by 3,5,3-triiodothyronine in hypothyroid but not in euthyroid mice.

 

 

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE - VITAMIN d SUPPLEMENTS DECREASE crp IN PATIENTS WITH COLORECTAL TUMORS

In a randomized controlled clinical trial on 92 patients with benign colorectal tumors, patients were given 2grams per day of calcium and/ or 800IU per day of vitamin D.  After 6 months, C-reactive protein in the vitamin D supplemented group decreased 32% relative to placebo.  Several other markers of inflammation were also decreased in the vitamin D group compared to placebo: TNF-α, interleukin-6 and interleukin-1β and interleukin-8.

(Cancer Prevention Research, October 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Effects of supplemental vitamin D and calcium on biomarkers of inflammation in colorectal adenoma patients: a randomized, controlled clinical trial.

 

 

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE - ONLY OMEGA 3 FATTY ACID SUPPLEMENTS HIGH IN EPA BENEFIT DEPRESSION

A meta-analysis on the effects of omega 3 fatty acids on depression confirmed the hypothesis that EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is the effective ingredient against depression versus DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is more protective for cardiovascular benefits. Specifically, supplements with less than 60% EPA were ineffective against depression while supplements with over 60% EPA in dosages ranging from 200mg to 2200mg per day were effective.  Researchers suggest that this explains some of the discrepancies in trials of omega 3 fatty acids on depression – with some trials reporting positive results while other trials show no benefit.

(Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, December 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Meta-analysis of the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in clinical trials in depression.

 

 

 

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE - LIPOPROTEIN PARTICLE NUMBER PREDICTS HARDENING OF THE ARTERIES

A study on 284 asymptomatic patients at intermediate risk for heart disease showed that total LDL particle number has a stronger association with coronary artery calcification than traditional lipid testing.  In fact, patients with the highest number of LDL particles were 3.7 times more likely to have hardening in their arteries as patients in the lowest third.

(Journal of Clinical Lipidology, September 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Low-density lipoprotein particle number predicts coronary artery calcification in asymptomatic adults at intermediate risk of cardiovascular disease.