DECEMBER 2015 - Volume 2015, Issue 12                     

In This Issue….                     

  • This lipoprotein has the strongest link to heart attack in those under age 40
  • Some antioxidant supplements may augment skin cancer, suggests study
  • Is glutamine deficiency the mechanism behind cancer-related fatigue?
  • Micronutrient status of mother may alter risk of metabolic syndrome in child
  • Blood levels of vitamins fluctuate according to menstrual cycle, suggests study
  • Vitamin B12 and folate increase chances of live birth after assisted reproductive technology

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – This lipoprotein has the strongest link to heart attack in those under age 40
In this prospective study, the lipid profiles of 302 patients who were all under the age of 40 were evaluated and correlated to the incidence of myocardial infarction (heart attack). Remnant cholesterol (contained in remnant lipoproteins, which tend to be dangerous because, unlike other lipoproteins, they cause plaque and foam cell formation in the arteries without having to be oxidized) was most strongly correlated to early heart attack. This remained true even after other clinical risk factors and blood lipids were taken into account, suggesting this risk factor is particularly relevant to younger patients at risk for heart attack. (Journal of Clinical Lipidology, November 2015)
LINK to ABSTRACT Premature myocardial infarction is strongly associated with increased levels of remnant cholesterol.

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Some antioxidant supplements may augment skin cancer, suggests study
In this animal study, scientists gave two antioxidants – vitamin E and n-acetyl cysteine (NAC) – to mice with skin cancer (melanoma). In the animals given the antioxidant supplements, an increase in the spread of the cancer occurred (metastases into lymph nodes) even though the size and number of the original skin cancer tumors was not affected. The antioxidants increased the ability of the cancer cells to migrate and invade other tissues, even though the cancer cells themselves did not increase in number or size.
Authors stated that the cancer spreading “depended on new glutathione synthesis.” Since NAC is the precursor to glutathione, the results suggest that targeted supplementation is a safer approach than blind supplementation and reinforces the notion that “more is not always better” when it comes to antioxidant supplements. (Science Translational Medicine, October 2015)
LINK to ABSTRACT
 
Antioxidants can increase melanoma metastasis in mice.

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Is glutamine deficiency the mechanism behind cancer-related fatigue?
One hundred adult patients were included in this study, all of which were treated for solid tumors. Blood samples were taken during treatment of the tumors, and several clinical assessments for fatigue (both physical and cognitive) were performed on the patients. Low plasma glutamine – an abundant amino acid for anabolic processes – correlated to fatigue and inflammation. The authors conclude “that in cancer patients systemic inflammation maintains a catabolic situation leading to malnutrition symptoms and glutamine deprivation, the latter being associated with cancer related fatigue.”(Clinical Nutrition, December 2015)
LINK to ABSTRACT
Is glutamine deficiency the link between inflammation, malnutrition, and fatigue in cancer patients?

 

 CLINICAL UPDATE – Micronutrient status of mother may alter risk of metabolic syndrome in child
This review paper outlines how the micronutrient status of the mother can alter the gene expression of her child, with specific emphasis on the development of metabolic syndrome. Describing various mechanisms of action (for example, methylation), the authors explain how enzymes that regulate DNA in utero are profoundly affected by the availability of maternal micronutrients, especially certain amino acids and B vitamins. The authors suggest that targeted supplementation of micronutrients during pregnancy may permanently and beneficially alter the genes of the offspring, a process called “fetal programming.” (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, January 2016)
LINK to ABSTRACT
Nutritional epigenetics with a focus on amino acids: implications for the development and treatment of metabolic syndrome.

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Blood levels of vitamins fluctuate according to menstrual cycle, suggests study
In a group of 259 pre-menopausal women, several hormones (estradiol, testosterone, progesterone, follicle stimulating hormone) and vitamins (vitamin A, E and C) were measured at different times during their menstrual cycle. The fat-soluble vitamins A and E were associated with higher estrogen and testosterone, while vitamin C was correlated with progesterone and inversely related to follicle stimulating hormone. The authors concluded that “vitamins affect steroidogenesis even after adjustment for oxidative stress” in pre-menopausal women. (Journal of Nutrition, November 2015)
LINK to ABSTRACT
Serum Antioxidants Are Associated with Serum Reproductive Hormones and Ovulation among Healthy Women.

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin B12 and folate increase chances of live birth after assisted reproductive technology
In this registered clinical trial, one hundred women undergoing fertility treatment participated. Blood levels of vitamin B12 and folate – both known for being key nutrients in early embryonic development – were measured between the third and ninth day of fertility treatment. The women with higher than average B12 and folate levels were twice as likely to experience a live birth, according to the researchers. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2015)
LINK to ABSTRACT
Association between serum folate and vitamin B-12 and outcomes of assisted reproductive technologies.