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December 2012 - Volume 6, Issue 12


In this issue...

-  New study says multivitamins just don't cut it when it comes to preventing heart disease

-  Vitamin C reduces fatigue and perception of effort after exercise

-  Is carnitine the answer for male infertility?

-  Vitamin D helps leg ulcers heal

-  Complexity of methylation reactions gains insight





CLINICAL UPDATE - New study says multivitamins just don't cut it when it comes to preventing heart disease

In the landmark Physician’s Health Study II, authors concluded that taking a multivitamin for over a decade did nothing to prevent cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction or stroke. The study monitored 14,641 male doctors for over eleven years who took either a daily multivitamin or placebo and no differences in cardiovascular events or mortality was found between the two groups.  Since evidence linking deficiencies to heart disease is strong (see vitamin D study below on 45,000 patients), some conclude that a multivitamin is simply not effective in correcting deficiencies and that targeted supplementation for the individual is a better approach.

(Journal of the American Medical Association, November 2012)

(American Journal of Cardiology, October 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT  Multivitamins in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in men: the Physicians' Health Study II randomized controlled trial.

LINK to ABSTRACT  Relation of vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular risk factors, disease status, and incident events in a general healthcare population.




CLINICAL UPDATE - vitamin C reduces fatigue and perception of effort after exercise

In this interesting study on twenty obese adults, each were given either 500 mg of vitamin C or placebo daily for four weeks.  Their diet was strictly controlled for vitamin C content and their heart rates and fatigue scores as well as subjective perceptions of exertion were measured after exercise.  Those taking vitamin C had lower fatigue scores and those on placebo had higher fatigue scores. Heart rates and “ratings of perceived exertion” were also improved in the vitamin C group.

(Nutrition, January 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin C status and perception of effort during exercise in obese adults adhering to a calorie-reduced diet.





CLINICAL UPDATE - is carnitine the answer for male infertility?

A group of men (n=96) who had been diagnosed as infertile for at least 18 months were given the following nutritional formulation daily for four months: L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, fructose, citric acid, selenium, coenzyme Q10, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B12 and folic acid (see abstract for exact dosages).  At the end of the study, sperm motility improved and 16 of the patients had achieved pregnancy.  The authors concluded that carnitine may be the key component of the supplement cocktail for improving sperm quality.

(Italian Archives of Urology and Andrology, September 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT  Prospective open-label study on the efficacy and tolerability of a combination of nutritional supplements in primary infertile patients with idiopathic astenoteratozoospermia.



CLINICAL UPDATE - vitamin D helps leg ulcers heal

In this double-blind, placebo controlled trial, 26 patients with leg ulcers were given either placebo or 50,000 IU vitamin D weekly for two months.  Leg ulcer size, blood levels of vitamin D and pain was measured before and after the two month trial.  In the vitamin D group, leg ulcers were reduced in size by 28% while the placebo group had only a 9% reduction in ulcer size. The authors stated “there was a trend toward better healing in those with vitamin D reposition.”

(Journal of Brazilian College of Surgeons, October 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin D and skin repair: a prospective, double-blind and placebo controlled study in the healing of leg ulcers.




CLINICAL UPDATE - complexity of methylation reactions gains insight

This review emphasizes how methyl donor nutrients such as choline, folic acid and methionine interact and how consumption (via supplement or food) of one can have sparing effect s on another – such as choline’s  sparing effect on methionine, for example.

(Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, January 2013)
LINK to ABSTRACT The nutritional burden of methylation reactions.