September 2016 – Vol. 10, Issue 9

 In This Issue…                                                                            

  • CoQ10 may benefit those with neurodegenerative disease
  • Can vitamin D levels predict another stroke in patients who have already had one?
  • This form of vitamin K benefits arteries the most
  • Lipoic acid combats inflammation by helping fat metabolism
  • Folate levels linked to increased risk of breast cancer in some women
  • Consumptions of these two vitamins – C and B9 – linked to longer telomeres


CLINICAL UPDATE –CoQ10 may benefit those with neurodegenerative disease
          A total of 83 patients were included in this study – 44 with multiple system atrophy (MSA), a neurodegenerative disease that presents clinically like Parkinson’s and 39 control patients.  Blood levels of CoQ10 were measured in each person.  In addition, the gene (COQ2) that encodes an enzyme needed for biosynthesis of CoQ10 was also assessed in each person.
          After adjusting for age and sex, plasma CoQ10 levels were almost 30% lower in patients with MSA than in those without MSA.  Even in people with the same COQ2 genotype, plasma levels of CoQ10 were lower in those patients with neurodegenerative disease, suggesting “that supplementation with CoQ10 is beneficial for patients with MSA.” (Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology, August 2016)
         LINK to ABSTRACT
Plasma Coenzyme Q10 Levels in Patients With Multiple   System Atrophy.


 CLINICAL UPDATE – Can vitamin D levels predict another stroke in patients who have already had one?
          Upon admission to a hospital in China for ischemic stroke (lack of blood flow to the brain due to a clot), 349 patients’ blood levels of vitamin D were recorded.  After three months, 10% of the original stroke victims had a second stroke, and these patients had significantly lower vitamin D levels.  The association was so strong – victims of a second stroke had about half of the vitamin D levels of those who remained healthy– that authors concluded reduced levels of vitamin D “can predict the risk of early stroke recurrence in patients with first-ever ischemic stroke.”  (Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, October 2016)
         LINK to ABSTRACT
Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D predicts early recurrent stroke in ischemic stroke patients.


CLINICAL UPDATE – This form of vitamin K benefits arteries the most
         Vitamin K is known to play a key role in the prevention of arteriosclerosis by reducing calcification in the blood vessels.  However, not all forms of vitamin K demonstrate this effect.  There are three major forms of vitamin K – vitamin K1(phylloquinone), which is typically found in dark green leafy vegetables; vitamin K2 (menaquinones), which are synthesized by bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract and vitamin K3 (menadione) which is a synthetic form.
          In a cohort of over 36,000 people followed for over 12 years, those with higher intakes of vitamin K2 had an almost 30% less chance of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition in which distal arteries become calcified and cause cardiovascular disease.  In people with high blood pressure or diabetes, the difference was even more dramatic, as people with higher vitamin K2 intake had over 40% less chance of developing PAD than those with the lowest intake.  Interestingly, there was no association for vitamin K1 and arterial calcification, which reinforces former research stating vitamin K1’s main function is to produce blood clotting proteins while vitamin K2’s main function is to activate proteins(matrix Gla-protein and osteocalcin) that keep calcium out of your arteries and into your bones. (Atherosclerosis, September 2016)
          LINK to ABSTRACT
The relationship between vitamin K and peripheral arterial disease.


CLINICAL UPDATE – Lipoic acid combats inflammation by helping fat metabolism
         Previous research has demonstrated a role for alpha lipoic acid – a potent antioxidant – in quelling inflammation.  New research sheds light on the specifics of how this micronutrient works.  When mice were exposed to a known bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide), genes involved in promoting inflammation were turned on, which was expected since our bodies are designed to elicit an acute inflammatory response when exposed to pathogens in order to fight off infections.
          The endotoxin prevented the cells from being able to use fatty acids for key metabolic functions.  But the α-lipoic acid blocked this effect, thus allowing the cells access to enzymes that broke down fats.  In addition, the α-lipoic acid helped the mitochondria (energy producing part of the cell) work properly, thus aiding energy metabolism.  In doing so, the administration of α-lipoic acid counteracted the metabolic distress caused by an acute inflammatory response.(Lipids, October 2016)
          LINK to ABSTRACT
Alpha-Lipoic Acid Alleviates Acute Inflammation and Promotes Lipid Mobilization During the Inflammatory Response in White Adipose Tissue of Mice.


CLINICAL UPDATE – Folate levels linked to increased risk of breast cancer in some women
          164 women that carried the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene – a mutation that predisposes them to hormone sensitive cancers – were followed for over six years while their plasma levels of folate (also known as vitamin B9) and vitamin B6 and B12 were measured.  Although none of the women had a history of breast cancer at baseline (even though they had the higher risk genotype), 12% (20 women) developed invasive breast cancer in the six year follow-up period.
          Those with the highest folate levels had significantly increased breast cancer risk while vitamin B6 and B12 showed no correlation.  One of the biological functions of folate is to aid in cell proliferation and folate has been linked to colon cancer in previous studies.  However, this is one of the first studies to link folate to breast cancer risk in women who carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, supporting the notion that supplementation with vitamins when not deficient may do more harm than good.  (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2016)
          LINK to ABSTRACT
Plasma folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 and breast cancer risk in BRCA1- and BRCA2-mutation carriers: a prospective study.


CLINICAL UPDATE – Consumption of these two vitamins – C and B9 – linked to longer telomeres 
          In this study, dietary information was collected on 1958 middle-aged and older men and women.  Using this data, researchers assessed the consumption of thirteen nutrients – vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, E, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc –  then measured each person’s telomeres ten years later. They found that the people who consumed the most vitamin C, folate (also called vitamin B9) and potassium had the longest telomeres which “can delay biological ageing,” according to the authors. (Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, August 2016)
          LINK to ABSTRACT
Longitudinal associations between micronutrient consumption and leukocyte telomere length.