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July 2013 - Volume 7, Issue 7

 

In this issue...

-  Omega 3s and prostate cancer - what's the whole story?

-  Low vitamin D raises risk of uterine fibroids

-  Correcting zinc deficiency may prevent cancerous cells from spreading

-  Is personalized nutrition the future of mainstream medicine?

-  B vitamin treatment effectively slowed brain atrophy seen in Alzheimer patients

 

                                                                                                                                                 

 

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE - Omega 3s and prostate cancer - what's the whole story?

A recently published paper is gaining a lot of attention this past month in both medical circles and the mainstream media because in it, the authors state that this “confirms previous reports [by same research team] of increased risk of prostate cancer risk among men with high blood concentrations of long chain omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.”   The authors suggest “that these fatty acids are involved in prostate tumorigenesis.”

            Some leading researchers on omega 3 fatty acids are criticizing these conclusions.  They point out that the difference in omega 3 fatty acid levels between non-cancer, total cancer, low grade cancer and aggressive cancer groups were 3.62%, 3.66%, 3.67% and 3.74% respectively, which they emphasize are very small and within the normal variation.  Some suggest that the authors of the study are extrapolating beyond the data. 

They also point out that the study does not look at the source of the omega 3 fatty acids.  Some critics of the conclusion that omega 3s are linked to prostate cancer state that it is possible that some component in the fish these men were consuming may be carcinogenic.  The study does not state whether the increased omega 3 fatty acids levels in the blood were due to supplements or fish intake, and they emphasize that association does not imply causation.

Finally, many scientists are pointing to an abundance of other studies that conclude omega 3 fatty acids lower prostate cancer risk, stating also that epidemiological evidence of high fish consumption countries tend to have lower prostate cancer rates. 

(Journal of the National Cancer Institute, July 2013)
(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010 and 2004)

LINK to ABSTRACT Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial.
LINK to ABSTRACT Fish consumption and prostate cancer risk: a review and meta-analysis.
LINK to ABSTRACT Dietary intake of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and the risk of prostate cancer.

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE - Low vitamin D raises risk of uterine fibroids

Finally, many scientists are pointing to an abundance of other studies that conclude omega 3 fatty acids lower prostate cancer risk, stating also that epidemiological evidence of high fish consumption countries tend to have lower prostate cancer rates. 

(Epidemiology, May 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT 
Vitamin D and risk of uterine fibroids.

 

 

 

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE - Correcting zinc deficiency may prevent cancerous cells from spreading

In this study, breast cancer cells were grown in a zinc-depleted medium and then supplemented with zinc at different levels to mimic severe zinc deficiency, moderate deficiency and adequate zinc.  Researchers found that cells with adequate zinc did not  adhere to fibronectin, a structural protein found in blood, which ultimately prevented cancerous cells from metastasizing out of breast tissue.  Since metastatis is the major cause of breast cancer mortality, these findings suggest zinc may play a preventative role against cancer.

(Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, June 2013)
LINK to ABSTRACT  Zinc inhibits magnesium-dependent migration of human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells on fibronectin.

 

 

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE - Is personalized nutrition the future of mainstream medicine?

As we gain understanding on the impact of specific nutrients on genetic expression, many are predicting that personalized medicine – at the cellular level – is the wave of the future.  Developing biomarkers to uncover individual gene-nutrient interactions and their impact on chronic disease and metabolic pathways is a focus of three recent papers on the developing field of nutrigenomics.

(European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2013)
(Proceedings of the Nutritional Society, February 2013)
(Nutrients, January 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT  Personalised nutrition: how far has nutrigenomics progressed?
LINK to ABSTRACT  Personalised nutrition: ready for practice?
LINK to ABSTRACT  Nutrigenetics and metabolic disease: current status and implications for personalised nutrition.  LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE - B vitamin treatment effectively slowed brain atrophy seen in Alzheimer patients

Elderly patients with increasing dementia were given high-dose B vitamins (folic acid, B6 and B12) for two years.  Those on B vitamin treatment, but not placebo, showed reduced brain degeneration (cerebral atrophy) in the areas of the brain specifically vulnerable in the Alzheimers patients.  However, the protective effect of B vitamins was limited to only those with high homocysteine levels (above 11μmol/L).

(Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2013)
LINK to ABSTRACT  Preventing Alzheimer's disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment.