SEPTEMBER 2015 - Volume 2015, Issue 09

                                     

In This Issue….
                                                                           

  • Functional B6 deficiency in oral contraceptive users is common
  • Vitamin K may help keep breast cancer cells under control
  • Testosterone for three years neither helped nor harmed older men, says study
  • CoQ10 improves symptoms of Parkinson’s in those whose levodopa effects are wearing off
  • Is HDL only heart healthy after menopause?
  • Two nutrients – selenium and inositol – help fight gestational diabetes

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Functional B6 deficiency in oral contraceptive users is common
In this study, ten women who were taking oral contraceptives – a drug linked to vitamin B6 depletion – were given 10 mg vitamin B6 (in the form of pyridoxine HCl) daily for four weeks. The reaction rates and metabolites of methylation (specifically, homocysteine and tryptophan metabolism) were measured on the women before and after the month of B6 supplementation. Researchers found that the rates of homocysteine and tryptophan metabolism did not change. However, the metabolites of homocysteine and tryptophan methylation did change significantly, “suggesting functional vitamin B6 deficiency.” In other words, a B6 deficiency will alter the quantity but not the rate at which methylation reactions occur in the body. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Pyridoxine supplementation does not alter in vivo kinetics of one-carbon metabolism but modifies patterns of one-carbon and tryptophan metabolites in vitamin B-6-insufficient oral contraceptive users.

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin K may help keep breast cancer cells under control
Since previous research has indicated that vitamin K exhibits potent anti-tumor properties in liver and brain cancers, a group of scientists looked at the effects of vitamin K on breast cancer cells. They found “a significant dose-dependent, growth inhibitory effect” on breast cancer cells when treated with vitamin K. Specifically, tumor adhesion (tendency of tumor cells to stick to healthy tissue) and cell proliferation (growth of cancer cells) were both reduced upon treatment with vitamin K. (Nutrition Research, August 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Real-time cell analysis of the inhibitory effect of vitamin K2 on adhesion and proliferation of breast cancer cells.

 

 CLINICAL UPDATE – Testosterone for three years neither helped nor harmed older men, says study
308 men were given either placebo or testosterone gel daily for three years. Dosages for the testosterone group were adjusted in order to achieve testosterone levels of 500-900ng/dL. Atherosclerosis progression was measured using intima- media thickness and coronary artery calcium scores for both the testosterone (n=156) and placebo (n=152) groups. After three years, there was no difference between the two groups in atherosclerosis progression. Interesting, there was also no difference between the two groups in sexual function or quality of life, for which testosterone is often prescribed. The authors concluded that although testosterone administration did not increase artery blockages in the three years of the study, “these findings should not be interpreted as establishing cardiovascular safety of testosterone use in older men.” (Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Effects of Testosterone Administration for 3 Years on Subclinical Atherosclerosis Progression in Older Men With Low or Low-Normal Testosterone Levels: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – CoQ10 improves symptoms of Parkinson’s in those whose levodopa effects are wearing off
Two groups of patients that had Parkinson’s disease were included in this study – (1) Parkinson’s patients who were taking levodopa and experiencing “wearing off” which is a complication where the effects of l-dopa start wearing off after taking it for awhile and (2) Parkinson’s patients in early stages that were not yet taking levodopa. 300 mg of the reduced form of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol-10) or a placebo were given daily to both groups for either one year (group 1) or two years (group 2). At the end of the study, the coQ10 improved symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but only in the group that was taking l-dopa and experiencing the “wearing off” effect from the drug. (Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, August 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial of reduced coenzyme Q10 for Parkinson's disease.

 

 CLINICAL UPDATE – Is HDL only heart healthy after menopause?
3778 women between the ages of 30 and 74, who were initially free of coronary heart disease were followed for almost ten years. HDL-cholesterol was measured in the women and correlated to the occurrence of cardiac events. The authors conclude that in premenopausal women, an increase in HDL cholesterol – often dubbed the healthy, protective lipoprotein – correlated to an increase in risk for cardiac events. Conversely, in postmenopausal women, an increase in HDL was correlated to a decrease in cardiac risk, suggesting differential effects of HDL, depending on menopausal status. (Journal of Clinical Lipidology, July 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a protective or a risk factor for developing coronary heart disease? Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study.

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Two nutrients – selenium and inositol – help fight gestational diabetes
In one randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, 70 women with gestational diabetes were given either 200μg selenium or placebo for six weeks during the second trimester of pregnancy. The supplemented group had lower fasting glucose, lower insulin and lower hs-CRP (marker of inflammation) than the placebo group. Markers of oxidative stress were also affected – the selenium group had higher levels of the antioxidant glutathione (for which selenium is a cofactor) and lower levels of the oxidative stress marker malondialdehyde.

In an unrelated trial in obese pregnant women, a combination of myo-inositol (sometimes called vitamin B8) and folic acid or placebo were given twice a day in the first trimester of pregnancy. Of the women given inositol and folic acid (n=110), 14% developed gestational diabetes. Of the women given a placebo (n=110), 34% developed gestational diabetes, indicating that the vitamin combination may reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes.

(Nutrition, October 2015)
(Obsetrics and Gynecology, August 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Effects of selenium supplementation on glucose homeostasis, inflammation, and oxidative stress in gestational diabetes: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

LINK to ABSTRACT Myo-inositol Supplementation for Prevention of Gestational Diabetes in Obese Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.