Nutritional  Hormones
Cardiovascular Genetics 

In This Issue….                                                                      

-           Measuring serum vitamin D during acute inflammatory response may be misleading
-           Serine may help the liver detoxify alcohol
-           Study concludes telomere length is associated to zinc status
-           Vitamin D increases glutathione
-           Recent finding suggest testosterone therapy in men not harmful to prostate

CLINICAL UPDATE – Measuring serum vitamin D during acute inflammatory response may be misleading
In this systematic review, the authors found in six different studies that vitamin D levels in serum decreased when they were measured immediately after an inflammatory insult, indicating that vitamin D measured during an acute-phase response “should be interpreted with care.” In the two studies reviewed that did not show a decrease in vitamin D, the levels were measured not immediately but days after the inflammatory insult, implying that low vitamin D may be both a cause and a consequence of inflammation.
(Nutrition Research, February 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Does serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D decrease during acute-phase response? A systematic review. 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Serine may help the liver detoxify alcohol
In this trial, binge alcohol was administered to animals at a level that caused hepatic triglycerides (liver fats) to increase by five fold. When the same levels of alcohol were administered with the amino acid serine, the triglyceride levels in the liver were reduced by 48% and homocysteine was reduced by 60% compared to those with only alcohol and no serine. Serine also increased levels of the powerful antioxidant glutathione by 94% compared to the alcohol only group suggesting that serine may significantly ameliorate alcoholic fatty liver.
(Journal of Nutrition, February 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT l-Serine Supplementation Attenuates Alcoholic Fatty Liver by Enhancing Homocysteine Metabolism in Mice and Rats. 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Study concludes telomere length is associated to zinc status
This first study of telomere length and micronutrients in healthy children measured telomeres of 437 healthy children and correlated that to blood levels of micronutrients. After adjusting for several variables (age, sex, even parental education level), an inverse association of telomere length and zinc was found. Although the mechanism of action for better zinc status preserving telomeres is not completely understood, the authors suggest it may be due the role zinc plays in combating oxidative stress.(Nutrition, February 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Plasma micronutrient levels and telomere length in children. 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin D increases glutathione
Fasting blood samples were taken from 79 type II diabetics and 22 healthy controls. Levels of vitamin D, glutathione and the precursor to glutathione, L-cysteine were measured. There was a “significant positive correlation” between vitamin D, cysteine and glutathione. In addition, cysteine and glutathione showed a negative correlation to triglycerides, suggesting that some of the beneficial effects of vitamin D for metabolism may be caused in part by its effect at increasing the antioxidant glutathione.
(European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2014)

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin D and L-cysteine levels correlate positively with GSH and negatively with insulin resistance levels in the blood of type 2 diabetic patients. LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

CLINICAL UPDATE – Recent finding suggests testosterone therapy in men not harmful to prostate
In a recently published study, 1023 hypogonadal men who received testosterone therapy were monitored for an average of 5 years for prostate cancer. The authors concluded that “testosterone therapy in hypogonadal men does not increase the risk of prostate cancer” although the authors did explicitly note that there was not control group in this study of men not taking testosterone.

Similar conclusions were reported in a different review of a testosterone replacement therapy in men, although the effect of testosterone on cardiovascular disease and events was much less clear. Whether or not to treat men with testosterone remains equivocal, as highlighted in the clinical decisions case study listed below.
(Journal of Urology, January 2015)
(Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety, October 2014)
(New England Journal of Medicine, November 2014)

LINK to ABSTRACT Incidence of prostate cancer in hypogonadal men receiving testosterone therapy: observations from 5-year median followup of 3 registries.
Adverse effects of testosterone replacement therapy: an update on the evidence and controversy. LINK to FREE FULL TEXT
Clinical decisions. Testosterone-replacement therapy.