August 2016 – Vol. 10, Issue 8

 In This Issue…                                                                            

  • CoQ10 may keep ovarian egg cells healthy by preserving mitochondrial function
  • Calcium and vitamin D play biological balancing act in quelling intestinal inflammation
  • Can antioxidant supplements compromise cell defense systems
  • Vitamin D may improve symptoms of eczema
  • Correcting vitamin A deficiency resolves vision loss in patient: Case Report

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – CoQ10 may keep ovarian egg cells healthy by preserving mitochondrial function
          In this study, female mice were given either a normal diet or a diet high in sugar and fat.  After a few weeks, mice on the high sugar diet weighed significantly more than the mice on the normal diet – an expected effect – and levels of oxidative stress (specifically, the amount of reactive oxygen species) in their reproductive egg cells (oocytes) was also much higher, indicating the existence of obesity-induced defects in mitochondrial function.
          After several weeks, half of the mice were randomly assigned to receive coenzyme Q10 injections.  Although the coQ10 did not prevent weight gain in the mice on the high sugar diet, coQ10, which is known to play a key role in cellular respiration, did completely prevent the mitochondrial abnormalities in egg cells of the obese mice, suggesting follow up studies to evaluate the “therapeutic potential of CoQ10 in women’s reproductive health”, according to the authors.   (Human Reproduction, September 2016)
          LINK to ABSTRACT
Obesity-induced oocyte mitochondrial defects are partially  prevented and rescued by supplementation with co-enzyme Q10 in a mouse model.

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Calcium and vitamin D play biological balancing act in quelling intestinal inflammation
          For one month, researchers divided  people on a typical American style diet into one of four groups:  (1) those taking two grams daily of calcium carbonate only, (2) those taking no calcium, (3) those taking two grams daily calcium plus vitamin D and (4) those taking only vitamin D.  Gene expression was measured in all groups.    
         Those taking vitamin D showed an upregulation of the genes involved in immune response and inflammation specifically in the colon wall (mucosa).  The vitamin D, which is known to upregulate adaptive immunity, enhanced the inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract.  However, calcium supplementation reversed this effect suggesting the two nutrients work to balance certain inflammatory pathways in the colon.  (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2016)
          LINK to ABSTRACT
Calcium and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 modulate genes of immune and inflammatory pathways in the human colon: a human crossover trial.

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Can antioxidant supplements compromise cell defense systems?
          Evidence in this study suggests that the reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are generated within a cell in response to oxidative stress actually enable the cell to activate robust cellular stress response pathways. By extension, authors suggest that quashing these cellular stress signals by quelling the thing that sets them off – ROS – may actually be detrimental to the cell.
          Specifically, when a cysteine molecule is altered by reactive oxygen species inside a cell, it activates a protein called IRE-1 (inositol requiring enzyme 1).  This protein then activates the cellular stress response, which ultimately increases the stress resistance and lifespan of the cell.  Some researchers go so far as to theorize that this may be a major reason why antioxidant supplementation trials have historically yielded disappointing results. (Molecular Cell, August 2016)
         
LINK to ABSTRACT
Cysteine Sulfenylation Directs IRE-1 to Activate the SKN-1/Nrf2 Antioxidant Response.

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin D may improve symptoms of eczema
          A meta-analysis on studies in which vitamin D supplementation was given to patients experiencing atopic dermatitis (eczema) was conducted.  Although vitamin D may not wholly prevent dermatitis, when compared to placebo, vitamin D reduced the severity of symptoms (itching, dryness, etc) in patients with eczema and can be considered “a safe and tolerable therapy” according to this review. (Nutrition, September 2016)
          LINK to ABSTRACT
Vitamin D and atopic dermatitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

 

 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Correcting vitamin A deficiency resolves vision loss in patient: Case Report
          A 67 year old male presented with vision loss and inability to adjust sight to low light, also known as night blindness (nyctalopia).  This patient had undergone bariatric surgery fifteen year prior which is commonly associated with nutrient deficiencies, so vitamin A deficiency was suspected and subsequently confirmed.
          Since vitamin A combines with a  protein (rhodopsin) to create the light absorbing cells in the eye, severe vitamin A deficiency will often manifest clinically as night blindness.  The patient began supplementation of vitamin A and within one month, experienced a complete remission of visual symptoms.  In addition, sophisticated topography imaging confirmed an increase in the macular thickness of the eye, an area that is particularly important to low light vision capability. (Medicine, February 2016)
          LINK to ABSTRACT
Optical Coherence Tomography Assessment Before and After Vitamin Supplementation in a Patient With Vitamin A Deficiency: A Case Report and Literature Review.  LINK to FREE FULL TEXT