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September 2012 - Volume 6, Issue 9


In this issue...

-   Study reveals why magnesium deficiency can cause anxiety

-   Selenium status influences gene expression

-   CoQ10 improves blood sugar control in diabetics

-   Study shows that taking the recommended daily allowance of nutrients is not enough to correct deficiencies in obese patients

-   Folic acid reduces potential side effect of hypertension drug

-   Are antioxidants the best treatment for pre-eclampsia?






CLINICAL UPDATE - study reveals why magnesium deficiency can cause anxiety

Researchers concluded that inadequate magnesium status is linked to anxiety due to the role magnesium plays in regulating the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, which controls physical and psychological reactions to stress.   The authors concluded that “dysregulations in the HPA axis may contribute to the hyper-emotionality in response to dietary induced hypomagnesaemia.”

(Neuropharmacology, January 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT  Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: modulation by therapeutic drug treatment.





CLINICAL UPDATE - selenium status influences gene expression

255 people were included in a study where half of them received selenium supplements for 12 weeks.  All participants were tested for the gene that influences glutathione peroxidase activity, which is a selenium-dependent enzyme that has potent antioxidant properties.  The researchers found that selenium supplementation positively influenced the gene’s expression, but only in those with low selenium, stating that “a nutrient-gene interaction was observed when the baseline selenium concentration was low.”

(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Influence of the glutathione peroxidase 1 Pro200Leu polymorphism on the response of glutathione peroxidase activity to selenium supplementation: a randomized controlled trial.





CLINICAL UPDATE - CoQ10 improves blood sugar control in diabetics

In this small study, nine type 2 diabetics receiving conventional medications also took 200mg of the reduced form of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) daily for three months. Five healthy control subjects also received coQ10 supplements.  In the diabetics, blood sugar control improved (as measured by glycosylated haemoglobin) and in the healthy patients, insulin sensitivity was improved.

(Biofactors, August 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT  TThe reduced form of coenzyme Q10 improves glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: An open label pilot study.



CLINICAL UPDATE - study shows that taking the recommended daily allowance of nutrients is not enough to correct deficiencies in obese patients

In this study, obese patients were given a specific low-calorie protein-rich formulated diet plan for three months.  Prior to the trial, blood levels of several micronutrients – vitamin D, C, A, selenium, iron and lycopene – were measured.  Each patient was given the DRI (dietary reference intake) for each nutrient for three months and blood levels of the micronutrients were measured again.  Deficiencies were not corrected.  The authors concluded that “micronutrient levels remain low or become even lower, which might be explained by insufficient intake, increased demand and unbalanced dispersal of lipophilic compounds in the body.”

(Nutrition Journal, June 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Micronutrient deficiency in obese subjects undergoing low calorie diet.





CLINICAL UPDATE - folic acid reduces potential side effect of hypertension drug

In a study on 480 people with moderately high blood pressure, folic acid was given in combination with enalapril, an ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor drug for hypertension.  Since one of the potential side effects of enalapril is the development of liver injury, researchers investigated whether the addition of folic acid to enalapril treatment would protect the liver, which they found it did. When compared to enalapril alone, the addition of 0.8 mg of folic acid once daily for 8 weeks to enalapril therapy showed a beneficial effect on liver enzymes.

(European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2012)
LINK to ABSTRACT Effect of folic acid intervention on ALT concentration in hypertensives without known hepatic disease: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial.




CLINICAL UPDATE - are antioxidants the best treatment for pre-eclampsia?

In this randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 110 pregnant women were divided into two groups  – one group received antioxidant supplements; the other group served as a control.  In the supplemented group, biochemical measures of antioxidant status were much higher and there was only one case of pre-eclampsia.  In the non-supplemented group, there were eight cases of pre-eclampsia. (2% for the antioxidant group versus 15% for the control).  In a similar study on over 550 women, higher levels of vitamin C were linked to lower rates of pre-eclampsia.

(Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, September 2012)

(African Health Science, December 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACTAntioxidant supplementation in pregnant women with low antioxidant status.

LINK to ABSTRACT Plasma vitamin C concentration in pregnant women with pre-eclampsia in Mulago hospital, Kampala, Uganda. LINK to FREE FULL TEXT



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