Nutritional  Hormones
Cardiovascular Genetics 

In This Issue….                                                                      

-Study suggests vitamin C in this white blood cell may reflect progression of Parkinson’s disease
-Which form of B12 is best?
-Recent trial contradicts earlier results that progesterone treatment helps traumatic brain injury
-Too much or too little selenium both linked to depression
-Multivitamins and heart disease – what is the latest?
-Research sheds light on how glutamine and proline regulate cancer

CLINICAL UPDATE – Study suggests vitamin C in this white blood cell may reflect progression of Parkinson’s disease

62 Parkinson’s patients were monitored for disease progression for 5 ½ years, at which time vitamin C levels were measured in both lymphocytes (white blood cells) and plasma. Lymphocyte vitamin C levels in those with severe Parkinson’s were significantly lower than those with less severe disease progression, but this correlation was only significant for lymphocytes and not plasma.

In their paper, the authors explain how vitamin C levels in lymphocytes are typically a hundred times higher than in plasma, and they are more stable as lymphocyte vitamin C levels are not affected by transient dietary changes and circadian rhythms. The author concludes that lymphocyte vitamin C levels “may be a potentially useful biomarker for the progression of Parkinson’s disease” and may “contribute to improved diagnostic accuracy.”
(Nutrition, February 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Lymphocyte vitamin C levels as potential biomarker for progression of Parkinson's disease.

CLINICAL UPDATE – Which form of B12 is best?

Vitamin B12 has two active co-enzyme forms: methylcobalamin – which is used in folate metabolism and brain development, and adenosylcobalamin – which is used primarily in energy metabolism and the formation of myelin around nerve cells. This review suggests vitamin B12 deficiency should be treated with a combination of these two forms to achieve the best clinical results, stating also that oral versus intramuscular routes can be equally effective.
(European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency - Methylcobalamin? Cyancobalamin? Hydroxocobalamin?-clearing the confusion. 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Too little or too much selenium both linked to depression

978 young adults (age 17-25 years old) reported their mood on a standardized scale for thirteen consecutive days while blood levels of selenium were measured on each person. Those with both the lowest levels of selenium as well as the highest levels of selenium had the greatest depressive symptoms, while those in the mid-range were the least depressed, suggesting a U-shaped link between selenium and depression. Specifically, the authors concluded that those with selenium concentration around 82-85 μg/L had the lowest risk of depression.
(Journal of Nutrition, January 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Optimal Serum Selenium Concentrations Are Associated with Lower Depressive Symptoms and Negative Mood among Young Adults. 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Multivitamins and heart disease – what is the latest?

A prospective cohort of over 37,000 elderly and middle-aged women from the Women’s Health Study were monitored for cardiovascular disease and multivitamin use for an average of 16 years. Consumption of multivitamins was not associated with either an increased or decreased risk of major cardiac events or stroke, suggesting that targeted nutrient repletion may be more effective than general multivitamin consumption.(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Multivitamin use and cardiovascular disease in a prospective study of women.

CLINICAL UPDATE – Recent trial contradicts earlier results that progesterone treatment helps traumatic brain injury

In former phase 2 clinical trials, progesterone has been associated with “robust positive effects” and “clinical benefit” for traumatic brain injury. In this phase 3 placebo-controlled clinical trial, 1195 patients with severe brain trauma were given either placebo or progesterone for 120 hours starting 8 hours after the injury happened. Progesterone showed no clinical benefit in patients with severe traumatic brain injury, which stands in contrast to earlier preclinical data.

Another group of researchers published very similar findings – 882 patients with acute traumatic brain injury were given either placebo or intravenous progesterone within four hours of injury for a total of 96 hours. The trial did not show a benefit of progesterone over placebo in patients with acute brain injury.
(New England Journal of Medicine, December 2014)

LINK to ABSTRACT A clinical trial of progesterone for severe traumatic brain injury.
LINK to ABSTRACT
Very early administration of progesterone for acute traumatic brain injury.

CLINICAL UPDATE – Research sheds light on how glutamine and proline regulate cancer

In this extensive review, the link between the two amino acids – proline and glutamine – and their relationship to cancer is examined. Recent findings show that cancer tumors will preferentially use glutamine for fuel, in fact stating that when given high levels of glucose, “cultured tumor cells are ‘addicted’ to glutamine and glucose.” The scientists go on to say that “the importance of glutamine to tumor cells is due, at least in part, to its conversion of proline” since “endogenous proline is synthesized mainly from glutamine” and plays an important role in tumor cell signalling.
(Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, January 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Proline metabolism and cancer: emerging links to glutamine and collagen. LINK to FREE FULL TEXT