An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure!

Archive for October, 2014

Low Levels of Vitamin C Increase Risk For Heart Failure Patients

Important New Research From University of Ulsan In Korea Reported.

The American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Nursing Research funded the study.

Low levels of vitamin C were associated with higher levels of high sensitivity C – Reactive protein (hsCRP) and shorter intervals without major cardiac issues or death for heart failure patients,
in research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011.

Compared to those with high vitamin C intake, heart failure patients in the study who had low vitamin C intake were 2.4 times more likely to have higher levels of hsCRP, a marker for inflammation and a risk factor for heart disease.

The study demonstrates that low vitamin C intake is associated with worse outcomes for heart failure patients.

Study participants with low vitamin C intake and hsCRP over 3 milligrams per liter (mg/L) were also nearly twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease within one year of follow-up.

“We found that adequate intake of vitamin C was associated with longer survival in patients with heart failure,” said researchers from Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, in the University of Ulsan in Korea.

The average age among the 212 patients in the study was 61, two thirds were men and about one-third were women. Approximately 45 percent of the participants had moderate to severe heart failure.

Participants completed a four-day food diary verified by a registered dietitian and a software program calculated their vitamin C intake. Bloods tests measured hsCRP.

Researchers divided participants into one group with levels over 3 mg/L of hsCRP and another with lower levels. Patients were followed for one year to determine the length of time to their first visit to the emergency department due to cardiac problems or death.

Researchers found that 82 patients (39 %) had inadequate vitamin C intake, according to criteria set by the Institute of Medicine. These criteria allowed the researchers to estimate the likelihood that the patient’s diet was habitually deficient in vitamin C based on a four day food diary.

After a year follow-up, 61 patients (29 percent) had cardiac events, which included an emergency department visit or hospitalization due to cardiac problems, or cardiac death.

The researchers found that 98 patients (46 percent) had hsCRP over 3 mg/L. Inflammatory pathways in heart failure patients may be why vitamin C deficiency contributed to poor health outcomes, the data suggests.

“Increased levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein means a worsening of heart failure,” the researchers explained. “An adequate level of vitamin C is associated with lower levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. This results in a longer cardiac event-free survival in patients.”

The use of diuretics may also play a role because vitamin C is water soluble and diuretics increase the amount of water excreted from the kidneys, explained researchers also participating in the study and co-authors from College of Nursing at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.

Vitamin C Rich Foods
“Diet is the best source of vitamin C,” the researchers said. “Eating the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables each day provides adequate amount.” More randomized controlled trials and studies are needed to determine the impact of other micro-nutrients on survival or re-hospitalization, they said.

The American Heart Association,  the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research funded the study.

Story Source: American Heart Association.

American Heart Association (2011, November 13).
“Low vitamin C levels may raise heart failure patients’ risk.”

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

Coffee Compounds Protect Pancreas Function

coffee beans, scoops  & sack

Previous studies have shown that regularly drinking coffee
may help protect against type-2 diabetes, but exactly how
has remained a mystery.

Now a new Chinese study reports that compounds in coffee may inhibit the formation of protein compounds that are known to contribute to the death of cells in the pancreas, which produces insulin.

Researchers focused on a chlorogenic acid naturally found in coffee, demonstrating in the lab “significant inhibitory effects” on the compounds linked to pancreatic cell death.

They also looked at caffeine and found a “weak inhibitory effect” on the damaging proteins and on the protection of pancreas cells.

This is the first time, scientists noted, that caffeine has been shown to have beneficial effects on the pancreas; in type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce adequate insulin or the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin.

Researchers speculated that coffee compounds might be considered for future anti-diabetes drug development.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

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

Milk Thistle Extract Stops Lung Cancer In Laboratory Mice, New Study Shows

Tissue with wound-like conditions allows tumors to grow and spread. In mouse lung cancer cells, treatment with silibinin, a major component of milk thistle, removed the molecular billboards that signal these wound-like
conditions and so stopped the spread of these lung cancers, according to a recent study published in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis.


Though the natural extract has been used for more than 2,000 years,
mostly to treat disorders of the liver and gallbladder, this is one of the first carefully controlled and reported studies to find benefit.


Milk thistle plant - flower

How it works…


Basically, in a cell there can be a chain of signals, one leading to the next, to the next, and eventually to an end product. And so if you would like to eliminate an end product, you may look to break a link in the signaling
chain that leads to it. The end products COX2 and iNOS are enzymes involved with the inflammatory response to perceived wounds — both can aid tumor growth. Far upstream in the signaling chain that leads to these
unwanted enzymes are STAT1 and STAT3.

These transcription factors allow the blueprint of DNA to bind with

proteins that continue the signal cascade, eventually leading to the production of harmful COX2 and iNOS.


Stop STAT1 and STAT3 and you break the chain that leads to COX2 and iNOS — and the growth of lung tumors along with them.


“This relatively nontoxic substance, a derivative of milk thistle silibinin was able to inhibit the upstream signals that lead to the expression of COX2 and iNOS,” say research scientists from the University of Colorado – Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the laboratory of University of Colorado Cancer Center.


In addition, the researchers compared the effects of silibinin to drugs currently in clinical trials for lung cancer. Would drugs that target other signaling pathways, other linked chains, similarly cut into the production
of COX2 and iNOS?


It turned out that inhibiting the chains of JAK1/2 and MEK in combination and also inhibiting the signaling pathways of EGFR and NF-kB in combination blocked the ability of STAT1 and STAT3 to trap the energy
they needed to eventually signal COX2 and iNOS production.


Compared to these multi-million dollar drugs, naturally-occurring silibinin blocked not only the expression of COX2 and iNOS, but also the migration of existing lung cancer cells.


“What we showed is that STAT1 and STAT3 may be promising therapeutic targets in the treatment of lung cancer, no matter how you target them,” the researchers reported. “And also that naturally-derived products like silibinin may be as effective as today’s best treatments.”
This work was supported by NCI RO1 grant CA113876.


Story Source: University of Colorado Denver.


Journal Reference:  Silibinin modulates TNF-α and IFN-γ mediated signaling to regulate COX2 and iNOS expression in tumorigenic
mouse lung epithelial LM2 cells. Molecular Carcinogenesis, 2011;


University of Colorado Denver (2011, November 15). Milk thistle extract stops lung cancer in laboratory mice, study shows.


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


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