Nutritional  Hormones
Cardiovascular Genetics 

In This Issue….

-           Glutamine supplementation may boost weight loss
-           Can α-lipoic acid reduce triglyerides?
-           Adding vitamin C to thyroid meds improves efficacy
-           Study sheds light on estrogen metabolism and its link to breast cancer
-           Vitamin D supplements not helpful for asthmatics, says study

CLINICAL UPDATE – Glutamine supplementation may boost weight loss

In this small trial, six obese women were given either glutamine supplements or placebo for four weeks, followed by a two week washout period, then four weeks of either glutamine or placebo depending on which they received initially. No changes in diet or lifestyle were made during the trial period. Insulin levels, body weight and waist circumference declined only after glutamine supplementation but not during placebo. Researchers concluded that the data shows glutamine “enhances glucose metabolism”, possibly via its role in sensitizing muscle tissue to insulin which enhances glucose uptake into muscle.
(European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2014)

LINK to ABSTRACT Glutamine supplementation favors weight loss in nondieting obese female patients. A pilot study.
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CLINICAL UPDATE – Can α-lipoic acid reduce triglycerides?

New evidence sheds light on the mechanism by which α-lipoic acid helps reduce non-alcoholic fatty liver. After supplementation with α-lipoic acid for six months, serum triglycerides were lowered. The authors explained that this was due to the increased expression of energy regulating enzymes in the liver (sirtuin enzymes) after lipoic acid was given. The α-lipoic acid increased lipase expression in fat cells (made fat cells more readily available for energy use) and decreased fatty acid synthase expression (slowed the production of triglycerides).
(Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, July 2014)

LINK to ABSTRACT
 Alpha-lipoic acid improves high-fat diet-induced hepatic steatosis by modulating the transcription factors SREBP-1, FoxO1 and Nrf2 via the SIRT1/LKB1/AMPK pathway.
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CLINICAL UPDATE – Adding vitamin C to thyroid meds improve efficacy

31 hypothyroid patients were given levothyroxine and either placebo or 500mg vitamin C. Then each patient was given the opposite treatement (levothyroxine with vitamin C or placebo). After six months, thyroid hormones (TSH, T4 anT3) were measured and those taking vitamin C saw major improvements in the absorption of the thyroid medication. Specifically, serum TSH decreased from a median of 11.1μIU/mL to 4.2μIU/mL when vitamin C was included with levothyroxine. In 30 of 31 patients, T4 was higher while taking vitamin C. In all patients that T3 was tested, T3 was also higher while on vitamin C compared to placebo (in combination with levothyroxine).
(Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, June 2014)

LINK to ABSTRACT
 Effect of vitamin C on the absorption of levothyroxine in patients with hypothyroidism and gastritis.
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CLINICAL UPDATE – Study sheds light on estrogen metabolism and its link to breast cancer

In this study, levels of two estrogen metabolites – 2-hydroxyestrone (protective metabolite) and 16α-hydroxyestone (harmful metabolite) – were measured on 998 women, half of which (n=499) had breast cancer and half of which (n=499) did not. The researchers found that neither the level of 2-hydroxyestrone, nor its ratio to 16α-hydroxyestone were associated with breast cancer incidence, a surprising finding to many since this ratio of estrogen metabolites is considered an indicator of proper estrogen detoxification and linked with breast cancer.

However, the researchers did find a significant link between levels of 2-hydroxyestrone and incidence of ER+ (estrogen receptor) breast cancer, which is a common type of breast cancer that depends on estrogen for growth. Higher levels of 2-hydroxyestrone were protective against ER+ cancer, suggesting that estrogen metabolites are useful in predicting risk of hormone sensitive breast cancer but may not be as predictive for non-hormone sensitive cancers.
(Cancer, Epidemiology,Biomarkers and Prevention, July 2014)

LINK to ABSTRACT Circulating estrogen metabolites and risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
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CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin D supplements not helpful for asthmatics, says study

In this randomized, double-blind placebo controlled trial called VIDA Trial (Vitamin D Add-on Therapy Enhances Corticosteroid Responsiveness in Asthma), 408 patients were given oral vitamin D at an initial mega-dose followed by 4000 IU daily for 28 weeks or placebo, along with an inhaled corticosteroid medication. Treatment with vitamin D did not reduce the rate of asthma exacerbation in adults with asthma and vitamin D deficiency (defined as less than 30 ng/mL). Although the dose of ciclesonide needed to maintain asthma control was reduced in those taking vitamin D, the authors concluded that “these findings so not support a strategy of therapeutic vitamin D3 supplementation in patients with symptomatic asthma.” These results are particularly interesting in lieu of recent findings from an unrelated trial that link vitamin D insufficiency with asthma severity.
(Journal of the American Medical Association, May 2014)
(Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Research, September 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT
 Effect of vitamin D3 on asthma treatment failures in adults with symptomatic asthma and lower vitamin D levels: the VIDA randomized clinical trial. LINK to FREE FULL TEXT
LINK to ABSTRACT
 Vitamin d insufficiency and asthma severity in adults from costa rica. LINK to FREE FULL TEXT 
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