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May 2013 - Volume 7, Issue 5


In this issue...

-  Vitamin D benefits athletes

-  Sleep apnea patients use up nutrients faster

- Study sheds light on vitamin B6's role in fighting inflammation

-  Is carnitine helpful or harmful to the heart? Conflicting evidence raises question.

-  Randomized trials of vitamin D gain ground

-  CoQ10 fights gum disease






CLINICAL UPDATE - Vitamin D benefits athletes

Forty-five college athletes (swimmer and divers) were given either 4000IU of vitamin D or placebo at the beginning of the college year (September).  Blood levels of vitamin D, body composition, inflammation and frequency of illness and injury were measured at the beginning, middle and end of the academic year. In males, higher vitamin D levels were positively correlated to lean body mass.  In females, higher vitamin D correlated to higher bone mineral density, leading authors to conclude that “vitamin D supplementation is an inexpensive intervention” for athletes.

(International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, March 2013)
LINK to ABSTRACT The Effects of Season-Long Vitamin D Supplementation on Collegiate Swimmers and Divers.





CLINICAL UPDATE - Sleep apnea patients use up nutrients faster

A recent study confirms that sleep apnea patients consume more antioxidants than those without sleep apnea in order to fight the oxidative stress that occurs with hypoxia (lack of oxygen to tissues) common in sufferers of sleep apnea.  A similar study found that as the severity of sleep apnea increases, vitamin D deficiency becomes more pronounced.

(Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 2013)
(Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, April 2013)
LINK to ABSTRACT Blood antioxidant status, dysglycemia and obstructive sleep apnea.
LINK to ABSTRACT Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and its association with vitamin D deficiency.





CLINICAL UPDATE - Study sheds light on vitamin B6's role in fighting inflammation

In this comprehensive review of the role of vitamin B6 (pyridoxal 5’-phosphate), authors conclude that low blood levels of B6 during inflammation occur because B6 is pulled from plasma to the site of inflammation where it can activate immune cells  and serve as a coenzyme locally.

(Nutrition Reviews, April 2013)
LINK to ABSTRACT Mechanistic perspective on the relationship between pyridoxal 5'-phosphate and inflammation.





CLINICAL UPDATE - Is carnitine helpful or harmful to the heart? Conflicting evidence raises question.

A recently published study implicates the amino acid carnitine in atherosclerosis, although the study is drawing serious criticism. It states that a compound called TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide) is produced by bacteria in the gut in response to carnitine ingestion from red meat. Critics of the study state that several foods increase TMAO, including seafood and vegetables, and that the link between TMAO and atherosclerosis is not well established.  Critics also say that because only one group in the study (omnivores) were given antibiotics, the resulting change in intestinal bacteria might be a significant confounding factor in this study’s conclusions.  Interestingly, a recent meta-analysis of carnitine and cardiovascular disease reaches the opposite conclusion – that carnitine reduces heart disease risk.

(Nature Medicine, May 2013)
(Mayo Clinic Proceedings, April 2013)
LINK to ABSTRACT Intestinal microbiota metabolism of l-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis.
LINK to ABSTRACT  L-Carnitine in the Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.




CLINICAL UPDATE - Randomized controlled trials on vitamin D gain ground

The number of controlled randomized trials on vitamin D has been increasing steadily with new studies elucidating the benefits of vitamin D on neurological, immune and metabolic diseases.  Vitamin D (1200IU per day) stabilized symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and prevented deterioration of neurological function in patients.  Vitamin D (4000IU per day) improved insulin resistance in obese adolescents.  Finally, in a comprehensive trial of Vitamin D on gene expression, researchers found that “improvement in vitamin D status will significantly affect expression of genes that have a wide variety of biologic functions of more than 160 pathways linked to cancer, autoimmune disorders and cardiovascular disease.”

(PLoS One, 2013)
(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2013)
(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2013)
LINK to ABSTRACT Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D supplement in Parkinson's disease.
LINK to ABSTRACT  Correcting vitamin D insufficiency improves insulin sensitivity in obese adolescents: a randomized controlled trial.
LINK to ABSTRACT  Influence of vitamin d status and vitamin d3 supplementation on genome wide expression of white blood cells: a randomized double-blind clinical trial. LINK to FREE FULL TEXT





CLINICAL UPDATE - CoQ10 fights gum disease

In this small trial on 30 patients with plaque induced gingivtitis, each was treated with either scaling (physical removal of plaque) or scaling plus topical coenzyme Q10 treatment of coQ10 alone.  Those who received coQ10 treatment for 28 days had “marked reduction in gingival bleeding and plaque scores.”

(Journal of Indian Society of Peridontology, October 2012)
LINK to ABSTRACT  Evaluation of Co-Q10 anti-gingivitis effect on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized controlled clinical trial.