Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Calcium pills effective for boosting bone health in teenage girls

Calcium is without a doubt important for the bones. But this study says that it's important to take calcium during puberty, when the bones reach their peak mass before it slowly diminishes with age; otherwise, the benefits disappear. Bottomline: take calcium supplements early, and stick to it for continuous benefits.

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Supplements of calcium effectively increased the build up and bone mineral content in teenage girls, but the benefits are undone if the supplementation stops, suggests a new study. An 18-month randomised trial found that a daily 792 mg calcium supplement boosted bone mineral content in girls, report the researchers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Moreover, the researchers from the University of Sheffield report that bone turnover also, measured using parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, and markers of bone resorption (weakening of the bone) also decreased as a result of the intervention.

"Calcium supplementation enhances bone mineral accrual in teenage girls, but the effect is short-lived," wrote lead author Helen Lambert.

At the end of 18 months, the bone mineral content (BMC) in the girls receiving the calcium supplements was greater at all skeletal sites except the hip. Moreover, bone mineral density (BMD) was significantly greater compared to the control group.

The girls were then followed for another two years after the end of supplementation, and the researchers report that "gains in BMC and BMD and differences in bone resorption were no longer evident."

Commenting on the mechanism, Lambert and co-workers proposed that the mineral most likely worked by suppressing bone turnover. These effects were then reversed once supplementation was discontinued.

Calcium is reported to be the biggest seller in the US supplements industry. Annual sales were about $993m (€836m) in 2004, according to the Nutrition Business Journal.

Of course, while taking calcium, it's important to take vitamin D for excellent calcium absorption in the gut, and magnesium to balance calcium, and vitamin c to promote collagen formation in the bones. Also, do not neglect physical activity. The more your stress your bones the stronger it becomes.

Lycopene's anti-cancer benefits extend to colon: study

Now, you have probably heard that lycopene is effective against certain types of cancers. Here is an article relating its benefits on the colon.

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The carotenoid lycopene from tomato may interfere with levels of a hormone associated with an increase in the risk of colorectal cancer, suggests a Dutch study. The randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded crossover study in 71 subjects showed that supplements of lycopene may increase levels of proteins that bind to insulin-like growth factor (IGF), linked with cancer risk.

The study, published late last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, extends our understanding of the potential anti-cancer benefits of lycopene, most notably linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.

"This is the first study known to show that lycopene supplementation may increase circulating IGF-binding protein(BP)-1 and IGFBP-2 concentrations, thereby potentially decreasing IGF-I bioavailability," said lead author Alina Vrieling of the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam.

"Thus, it may provide a means of ultimately reducing colorectal cancer risk, and potentially the risks of other major cancers such as prostate and pre-menopausal breast cancer."

Epidemiological evidence has suggested that tomato-based foods can protect men from prostate cancer. One study found that men eating four to five tomato based-dishes per week were 25 per cent less likely to develop prostate cancer compared to men eating tomatoes only rarely.

Such findings are boosting the lycopene market, with growth rates forecast at over 100 per cent by Frost and Sullivan, albeit from a low base of around €27m ($34m) in 2003.

Recently, researchers taking part in the Europe-wide European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) reported that increased blood levels of lycopene may reduce the risk of advanced prostate cancer by 60 per cent.

"To our knowledge, this is the largest prospective study to date of plasma carotenoids, retinol, tocopherols, and prostate cancer risk,"American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Vol. 86, pp. 672-681).

Pharmanex g3 has 70x more lycopene than tomatos. Can you imagine how much more effective that could be?

The unique combination of phytonutrients in g3 is derived from carefully selected "Super Fruits" traditionally used throughout the world for their restorative properties and whose benefits have been validated through scientific study. Chinese Lycium fruit, Siberian Pineapple, and Cili fruit work synergistically with Gac to provide exponential benefit through strong vascular and cellular protection and rejuvenation in the body.

Benefits
  • Helps support cellular rejuvenation
  • Catalytically–active–increase body’s production of SOD and Catalase
  • Slows the common effects of aging through DNA protection
  • SCS Certified™—improves Skin Carotenoid Score with the Pharmanex® BioPhotonic Scanner
  • Fortifies antioxidant defenses against vascular and cellular freeradical damage
  • Supports healthy immune function
To your Health!

Jazon Estimado

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Optimal vitamin d status for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis

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Kind of a technical report, but I'll cut here the bottomline:

Vitamin D deficiency causes muscle weakness, increasing the risk of falls and fractures, and should be aggressively treated with pharmacological doses of vitamin D. Vitamin D sufficiency can be sustained by sensible sun exposure or ingesting at least 800-1000IU of vitamin D(3) daily. Patients being treated for osteoporosis should be adequately supplemented with calcium and vitamin D to maximise the benefit of treatment.
Note that the article mentions Vitamin D3, not D2. Vitamin D2 is the kind you'll usually find in cheap supplements.

If you want it for free, there's always sunshine. ^_^

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Antioxidants and carotenoids linked to AMD improvements

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Supplements of antioxidants and carotenoids may improve retinal health in people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), suggesting a role beyond prevention, suggests a new study from Italy.

A combination of vitamins C and E, zinc, copper, lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin was found to improve the function of the central retina among 27 people with non-advanced AMD, scientists report in the journal Ophthalmology.

"Because of the small number of patients enrolled, the present trial can be considered a pilot study and caution must be taken against drawing general conclusions," wrote lead author Vincenzo Parisi. "It is necessary to confirm our findings in a larger population and with long-term follow-up."

AMD is the leading cause of legal blindness for people over 55 years of age in the Western world, according to AMD
Great! More evidence! Even if the researchers themselves consider this as a "pilot study," it only confirms what we know in theory and in many clinical trials: anti-oxidants work to prevent degenerative diseases, in this case, AMD.

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