An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure!

Archive for February, 2012

Re: Chlorophyl​l From Green Vegetables Can Help Prevent Cancer

A recent study at Oregon State University found that chlorophyll in green vegetables offers strong protection against cancer when tested against modest carcinogen exposure levels, most likely to be found in the environment.

Interestingly however, chlorophyll actually increases the number of tumors at very high carcinogen exposure levels.

Not only confirming the value of chlorophyll, the new research also raises serious questions about whether traditional lab studies done with mice and high levels of toxic exposure are providing accurate answers to what is a real health risk, what isn’t, and what dietary and nutritional  or pharmaceutical approaches are actually useful.

The findings, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, were done using 12,360 rainbow trout as laboratory models, instead of more commonly-used laboratory mice as subjects.

Laboratory mice studies are much more expensive, forcing the use of fewer specimens and higher carcinogen exposures.

“There’s considerable evidence in epidemiologic and other clinical studies with humans that chlorophyll and its derivative, chlorophyllin, can protect against cancer,” said researchers working at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

“This study, like others before it, found that chlorophyll can reduce tumors, up to a point,” they explained. “But at very high doses of the same carcinogen, chlorophyll actually made the problem worse. This questions the value of an approach often used in studying cancer-causing compounds.”

Oregon State University experts in recent years have become pioneers in the use of rainbow trout as a model for biomedical research. The reason, in part because the fish react in similar ways to those of rodents, but also because scientists can use thousands of them instead of dozens of laboratory mice and they’re able to conduct research and experiments that would not otherwise be possible.

This study raises questions about a fundamental premise of most medical research… Typically, expose a laboratory animal to a compound at high levels, observe the result, and predict that a proportional amount of that same result would be present at low levels of exposure.

In one part of the study, the trout were exposed to fairly moderate levels of a known carcinogen, but also given chlorophyll. This reduced their number of liver tumors by 29 to 64 percent, and stomach tumors by 24 to 45 percent.

However, in another section of the study, using much higher (and unrealistic) doses of the same carcinogen, the use of chlorophyll caused a significant increase in the number of tumors.

It is important to recognize that traditional research with small numbers of animals fed very high doses of a carcinogen might conclude that chlorophyll has the potential to increase human cancer risk. This study, and other evidence and trials, concludes just the opposite.

It also found that the protective mechanism of chlorophyll is fairly simple… It has the ability to bind with and isolate carcinogens within the gastrointestinal tract until they are eliminated from the body. At the lower carcinogen doses and cancer rates realistically relevant to humans, chlorophyll was strongly protective.

“The central assumption of such experiments is that intervention effects at high carcinogen dose will apply equally at lower carcinogen doses,” the researchers wrote in their report.

“Contrary to the usual assumption, the outcomes in the major target organ were strikingly dependent on carcinogen dose.”

Oregon State University experts have argued that in some studies rainbow trout can produce better, more accurate, real-world results compared to traditional rodent animal models and relevant to humans, because many more specimens can be used and lower doses of toxins studied.

Experiments done with fish may be about 20 times less expensive and ultimately produce more scientifically valid results, they report.

“Results derived at high carcinogen doses and high tumor responses may be irrelevant for human intervention,” the scientists said in their conclusion.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Story Source: Oregon State University

Journal Reference: Cancer chemo-prevention by dietary chlorophyll: A 12,000-animal dose-dose matrix biomarker and tumor study. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2012;

Oregon State University (2012, January 12) “Chlorophyll can help prevent cancer but study raises other questions.”

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

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Your Questions About Vitamins & Nutritiona​l Supplement​s Answered

More than 50% of Americans take dietary supplements, yet many people are not sure which ones to take, how much to take or  when to take them. Here are the answers to your most frequently asked questions about vitamins and supplements.

What time of day should I take vitamins and other nutritional supplements?

Most dietary supplements including your daily multiple vitamin, vitamins A,B Complex, C and D or Omega 3 fish oilcapsules can be consumed  any time of day,

Polski: Suplement diety - kwasy omega 3 na baz...

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preferably with your largest meal of the day. Most people prefer to take them with their breakfast or lunch. It’s important to remember that it’s better to take your supplements with food in order to help with proper digestion, absorption and optimum utilization.

However, not all supplements should be taken with food and best utilized when on an empty stomach before a meal. That’s why it’s essential to read the label directions.

As an example, plant sterols and stanols as found in products like Super Sterol Protein Complex and Cholesto-Plex should are best taken before mealtimes. If you are taking plant sterol supplements to help promote healthy cholesterol levels, try to  take them 15-30 minutes before a meal for optimal effectiveness.

How do I decide which vitamin and nutritional supplements are best for me?

Determining which supplements you should take begins with properly understanding your diet. If specific nutrients are missing from your regular diet, it’s best to consult a nutritional healthcare practitioner or talk to your primary health care provider. To help assure fulfillment of nutrient “gaps” many people choose a comprehensive daily multivitamin & mineral supplement. It’s the most convenient and effective way to assure optimal vitamin and mineral levels.

If you are looking for the most appropriate formulation for you, be sure to identify one that is formulated to meet your specific age-related, personal fitness level and basic gender needs. For example, iron requirements for women over age of 50 are typically 8 mg per day while the needs for women under 50 are 18 mg per day. Multivitamins for women over the age of 50 should contain little to no iron because 8 mg per day can usually be acquired through the regular diet.

A multivitamin for men over the age of 50 should not contain iron and may often include other ingredients that may not typically be included in a woman’s multiple vitamin such as Lycopene, L-Carnitine, L-Histidine, Saw Palmetto, etc.

Conversely, a good woman’s multi-vitamin supplement may contain ingredients not included in a man’s formula such as: Herbal Black Cohosh, Gamma Linoleic Acid, Calcium, Iron, etc.

While a multivitamin is ideal for supplementing basic vitamins and minerals, some people need more than one single multi-combination formula. For example, many people today are advised to take extra vitamin C, calcium and vitamin D. Some people cannot tolerate milk or milk products,  the most potent sources of calcium, and many people do not maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D. Although a multivitamin provides these nutrients, it may not supply enough of each to keep your levels adequate.

In addition, a multivitamin is often formulated with a combination of vitamins and minerals only, not other key nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, protein, amino acids or coenzyme Q10.

If you don’t consume at least two to three servings of fatty fish (i.e. salmon, anchovies, sardines) each week then you should consider taking a daily fish oil supplement. If you take a statin drug to lower your cholesterol levels, you may be at risk of low blood levels of coenzyme Q10, and otherbeneficial antioxidant nutrients that protect your heart. Thus, if you’ve been prescribed statin drug, taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement could be very valuable.

Again, be sure to talk to a nutritional healthcare practioner or your primary physician when deciding on a safe and effective nutritional supplement program.

Can you take too much?

Many supplements can be safely taken in amounts greater than the Recommended Daily Value (DV) or Recommended Daily allowance (RDA). The percent daily value (%DV) displayed on the label denotes what percent of the recommended intake amount for a specific nutrient is met per serving.

Numerous studies have shown that taking certain nutrients in amounts greater than 100% DV may have valuable health benefits. For example… Consuming higher levels of Vitamin C, Beta Carotene and Vitamin E may promote stronger immune function and help protect the body against free radical damage.

When taking supplements including herbs, vitamins, minerals etc. it is important to follow the suggested use, dosage and to consider which is the highest amount that can be safely consumed. Before taking any vitamin or supplement, be sure to carefully review the precautions and instructions  on the product’s label.

Can I take supplements with my prescription medications?

Be sure to inform your doctor or healthcare practitioner about all the dietary supplements you take, even if you take them occasionally. This is especially important because some dietary supplements may interfere with prescription medications and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, perhaps causing those prescriptions and OTCs to be less effective.

Conversely, some medications cause certain nutrients levels to drop and so taking supplements can help support your nutrient status and overall health when taking such drugs. Statin drugs, for example, have been known to lower blood levels of the antioxidant nutrient coenzyme Q10. To that end, individuals taking statin drugs are often advised to supplement with coenzyme Q10.

It’s important to let your doctor know the dosage and the frequency of use for all the supplements you are taking.   Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about potential nutrient depletions that may occur with your medication(s) so you can be sure to  restore those key nutrient levels with proper supplementation.

Can I take supplements after the expiration date?

When a vitamin nutritional supplement expires, it is not necessarily harmful to consume. Expiration dates on most dietary supplements are actually “best if used by” guidelines.

However, the active ingredients may no longer be up to the potency specified on the label. If in doubt about an expired product, you may want  to discard that product and purchase a fresh, new batch.

Can I cut vitamin and nutritional supplement tablets into smaller pieces if I can’t swallow them whole?

Most supplements may be cut in half, milled into powder or chewed if swallowing is a problem.

Softgels (soft gelatin capsules) that are too large for you to comfortably swallow may be punctured or cut in half to empty the contents into a spoon or food.

Two-piece hard shell gelatin capsules may be opened easily to release the contents into food or a beverage.

Be advised, the only products not recommended to cut into smaller pieces are those that are timed-release or enteric coated. Such supplements should be swallowed whole to assure the best performance.

Where is the best place to store vitamins and nutritional supplements?

Storage directions are commonly explained on a vitamin label. Most often, storing the bottles in a cool, dry place with the cap tightly sealed is recommended. Certain formulations may require special storage conditions such as refrigeration.

Always keep these products out of reach of children and pets.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

 

Prevent and Treat Nerve Damage With Omega 3 Fish Oils

Research from Queen Mary, University of London suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, have the potential to protect nerves from injury and help them to regenerate. When nerves are damaged because of an accident or injury, patients experience pain, weakness and muscle paralysis which can leave them disabled; Typically, recovery rates are poor.

The new study, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that omega-3 fatty acids could play a significant role in speeding recovery from nerve injury.

The study focused on peripheral nerve cells. Peripheral nerves are the nerves which transmit signals between the brain and spinal cord, and the rest of the body.

These nerves have the ability to regenerate but, despite advances in surgical techniques, patients usually only have good recovery when their injury is minor.

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for the body’s normal growth and development and have been widely researched for their health benefits. Because the body cannot manufacture omega-3 fatty acids, they have to be consumed in foods such as oily fish or as dietary supplements.

In this new study, researchers first examined isolated lab subjects’ nerve cells. They simulated the type of damage caused by accident or injury, by either stretching the cells or starving them of oxygen. Both types of damage killed a significant number of nerve cells but enrichment with omega-3 fatty acids in cells gave them significant protection and decreased cell death.

The researchers then studied the sciatic nerves. They found that a high level of omega-3 fatty acids helped the subjects to recover from sciatic nerve injury more quickly and more fully, and that their muscles were less likely to waste following nerve damage.

The research was carried out by a group led by Adina Michael-Titus, Professor of Neuroscience at Barts and The London Medical School and lead of the Neurotrauma and Neurodegeneration group in the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma, Queen Mary, University of London.

She explained: “Our previous research has shown that these fatty acids could have beneficial effects in a number of neurological conditions. This new study suggests that they could also have a role in treating peripheral nerve injuries.

“More work is needed but our research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids can protect damaged nerve cells, which is a critical first step in a successful neurological recovery.”

Story Source: Queen Mary, University of London.

Queen Mary, University of London (2012, January 11). Omega-3 fatty acids could prevent and treat nerve damage, research suggests.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

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