Nutritional  Hormones
Cardiovascular Genetics 

In This Issue….                                                              

  • Study shows that certain probiotics lower the harmful lipoprotein RLP
  • Folic acid – good or bad for colon cancer? New study suggests timing is everything.
  • Is vitamin D3 more effective than D2?
  • Vitamin B1 may help recovery from alcoholism
  • Researchers discover how vitamin C deficiency causes liver inflammation

CLINICAL UPDATE – Study shows that certain probiotics lower the harmful lipoprotein RLP
In this study, twelve hypercholesterolemic people who were otherwise healthy and had normal blood pressure, were given a high dose probiotic (56 billion colony forming units) twice daily for eight weeks. Of all cardiovascular markers measured – which included total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, lipoprotein particles, RLP, ApoB100, Lp(a), hs-CRP, homocysteine, fibrinogen and insulin – no significant changes were seen with the exception of RLP (remnant lipoprotein), a dangerous lipoprotein that is the precursor to arterial plaque. Levels of RLP were decreased by 15.5%.

The authors noted that previous studies have not looked at the effects of probiotics on lipoprotein particles, but only looked at their effects on cholesterol. Although the mechanism is not totally understood, the authors suggest that probiotics may work by assimilating triglyceride-rich RLP into the cell membrane of probiotic species.
(Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, May 2015)

Effect of the Probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii on Cholesterol and Lipoprotein Particles in Hypercholesterolemic Adults: A Single-Arm, Open-Label Pilot Study.

CLINICAL UPDATE – Folic acid – good or bad for colon cancer? New study suggests timing is everything.
Research on folic acid and colon cancer has been conflicting – some reports suggest folic acid deficiency is linked to colon cancer while other reports suggest high folic acid levels may actually increase cancer risk. New research helps clarify apparently conflicting results. The authors demonstrate that a deficiency in folic acid reduces the ability of colorectal cancer cells to proliferate into a mass called a colonosphere (pre-cancerous type lesion). It seems that folic acid supplementation before the cancer is initiated seems to be protective, but folic acid supplementation after cancer neoplasms exist may actually feed cancer cells.

This research highlights the fallacy that more-is-always-better when it comes to micronutrient supplementation, suggesting that supplementation when no deficiency exists can be harmful. Authors conclude that this research “is an important step in characterizing a potentially problematic relationship between oversupplementation and cancer progression.” (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, August 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT The effects of folic acid on global DNA methylation and colonosphere formation in colon cancer cell lines. LINK to FREE FULL TEXT 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Is vitamin D3 more effective than D2?
To determine which form of vitamin D is more effective at maintaining 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels over time, a group of healthy volunteers (n=33) were given either D2, D3 or placebo. A large pharmacokinetic dose of 100,000IU was given initially and then followed by 4800IU daily for 20 days. Serum levels of vitamin D were measured weekly for 11 weeks. Initially, D2 and D3 were equally effective at raising serum vitamin D levels but over time, the vitamin D3 group sustained higher levels than both the D2 and placebo groups, which were similar.
(European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2015)

 Vitamin D3 seems more appropriate than D2 to sustain adequate levels of 25OHD: a pharmacokinetic approach.

CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin B1 may help recovery from alcoholism
85 adult men with confirmed diagnosis of alcoholism were given 600mg of the vitamin B1 analog benfotiamine for six months. Psychiatric symptoms – especially depression – were significantly reduced in supplemented men but not placebo. B1 deficiency, which is associated with negative effects on mood and cognition is particularly common among alcoholics. This study concludes that vitamin B1 can “reduce psychiatric distress and facilitate recovery in severely affected males with a lifetime alcohol use disorder.”
(Drug and Alcohol Dependence, July 2015)

Change in psychiatric symptomatology after benfotiamine treatment in males is related to lifetime alcoholism severity.

CLINICAL UPDATE – Researchers discover how vitamin C deficiency causes liver inflammation
A team of Japanese scientists discovered that in the presence of vitamin C deficiency, certain proteins that are very small in size are increased in the blood. These proteins called cytokines (specifically interleukin -β and interleukin-6) cause cells to communicate to other cells and initiate a chain reaction of inflammation that extends not just into liver, but also the spleen and lungs. These inflammatory cytokines travel to the liver (via the portal vein) and consequently affect gene expression in the liver in such a way that addition inflammatory (acute phase) proteins are created, thus perpetuating the inflammatory cycle. (Nutrition , February 2015)

Ascorbic acid deficiency increases endotoxin influx to portal blood and liver inflammatory gene expressions in ODS rats.