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New Research Supports Antioxidants, Carotenoids & Vitamins For Helping To Maintain Eye Health

Olympian Labs Nutra-Vision

A daily supplement of Lutein in combination with Vitamin A may
slow vision loss associated with retinitis pigmentosa, according
to the results of a randomized, controlled, double-blind trial.

Writing in the Archives of Ophthalmology, American scientists now report that a daily supplement containing 12 milligrams of Lutein in combination with 15,000 International Units of Vitamin A is associated with a preservation of mid-peripheral vision. Rentinitis pigmentosa is a group of inherited eye diseases that affect the retina. It causes the degeneration of photoreceptor cells in the retina, bringing progressive vision loss to about one in 4,000 people worldwide. Previous studies had found that taking vitamin A slows the decline in retinal function and vision loss.

The new data indicates that 40 year olds with the condition who take
the Vitamin A plus Lutein combination would not be expected to lose
their mid-peripheral field until the age of 61, which would represent a
significant improvement compared with only 51 in people not taking
nutritional supplements.

Lutein Is a Key Nutrient for Eyes…
Lutein, a nutrient found in various foods including green leafy
vegetables and egg yolk, has a ten-year history in the dietary
supplement market as a nutrient to reduce the risk of age related
macular degeneration (ADM). It is often used in combination with
zeaxanthin and other antioxidant nutrients.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
recruited 225 non-smoking people with retinitis pigmentosa aged
between 18 and 60. The participants were randomly assigned to
receive Vitamin A only (15,000 IU, retinyl palmitate) or Vitamin A plus Lutein (12 mg per day) for four years. While no significant effect was observed for the overall decline in vision between the two groups, a significant reduction in the rate of vision loss in the mid-peripheral region was observed.

According to the researchers, the average level of mid-peripheral sensitivity for a patient aged 40 years is 375 dB. People taking the Lutein supplements lost on average 27 dB per year, while the other group lost 34 dB per year, noted the researchers.

No Safety Concerns For The Supplement…
No toxicity concerns were recorded during the study, and the
researchers noted that only non-smokers took part in their study.
“Follow-up of patients taking Lutein and Vitamin A with an oily fish diet for at least 10 years would be needed to confirm these estimates with respect to preserving midperipheral visual field,” concluded the researchers.

Source: Archives of Ophthalmology
2010, Vol. 128, Issue 4, Pages 403-411
“Clinical Trial of Lutein in Patients With Retinitis Pigmentosa
Receiving Vitamin A”

Cruciferous Vegetables May Significantly Improve Breast Cancer Survival!

more cruciferous veggies

A study by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention investigators reveals that breast cancer survivors who eat more cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, spinach and kale, as well as cabbage and cauliflower may have improved survival.

The study was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ill.

Breast cancer survivors should follow the accepted nutritional guidelines of eating vegetables daily and specifically increase intake of cruciferous vegetables including: broccoli greens, cabbage and cauliflower as part of a total healthy dietary regimen.
Researchers investigated the role of cruciferous vegetables in breast cancer survival among women in the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study, a prospective study of 4,886 Chinese breast cancer survivors who were diagnosed with stage 1 to stage 4 breast cancer from the period 2002 to 2006.

After adjusting for lifestyle factors, demographics and clinical characteristics, the researchers determined cruciferous vegetable intake during the first 36 months after breast cancer diagnosis was associated with a reduced risk for total mortality, specific breast cancer mortality and recurrence of the disease. Survival rates were influenced by vegetable consumption. Women who regularly ate more of these vegetables, their risk of death or cancer recurrence decreased.

Women who were in the highest quartiles of intake of vegetables per day had a 62 percent reduced risk of total mortality, 62 percent reduced risk of breast cancer mortality, and 35 percent reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence, compared to women with the lowest quartile of intake.

Cruciferous vegetable consumption habits  differ between China and the United States; The amount of dietary intake of these vegetables among Chinese women is much higher than that of U.S. women.

The most commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables in China include turnips, Chinese cabbage (bok choy) and greens; In the United States and other Western countries, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are the most commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables.

The key nutritional advantage of cruciferous vegetables is they contain powerful protective phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates and indoles; these appear have the beneficial protective effect against some types of cancer. The levels of these bioactive compounds, which play a key role in the anticancer effects of cruciferous vegetables, depends on the amount and type of cruciferous vegetables regularly consumed.

Future studies will measure the bioactive isothio-cyanate and indole compounds in these vegetables and the host factors that may influence their protective effects to improve the understanding of the association between cruciferous vegetable consumption and breast cancer outcomes.
cruciferous veggies
Reference: Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2012, April 3) “Eating cruciferous vegetables may improve breast cancer survival.”
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.

Sugar Sweetened Beverages Increase Risk Of Heart Disease

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Disease in Men
Cola Drinks
Men who drank a sugar-sweetened beverage (12-ounces) a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease compared to men who didn’t
drink any sugar-sweetened drinks, according to research published in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.

“This study adds to the growing evidence that sugary beverages are detrimental to cardiovascular health,” said researchers from the department of nutrition and epidemiology in the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. “Certainly, it provides strong justification for reducing sugary beverage consumption among patients, and more importantly, in the general population.”

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The most crucial risk factors include obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, diabetes and poor diet.
Researchers, who studied 42,883 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, found that the increase persisted even after controlling for other risk factors, including smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol use and family history of heart disease. Less frequent consumption of the sweetened beverages such as twice weekly and twice monthly  did not increase risk.
Researchers also measured different lipids and proteins in the blood, which are indicators (biomarkers) for heart disease. These included the inflammation marker C-reactive protein (CRP), harmful lipids called triglycerides and good lipids called high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Compared to non-drinkers, those who consumed sugary beverages daily had higher triglyceride and CRP and lower HDL levels.
Artificially sweetened beverages were not linked to increased risk or biomarkers for heart disease in this particular study.
Beginning in January 1986 and every two years until December 2008, participants responded to questionnaires about diet and other health habits. They also provided a blood sample halfway through the survey. Follow-up was 22 years.
Participants were primarily Caucasian men 40-75 years old. All were employed in a health-related profession.
Health habits of the men in the study may differ from those of the general public, but findings in women from the 2009 Nurses’ Health Study were comparable.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than half of discretionary calories come from added sugars . For most American men, that’s no more than 150 calories per day and 100 for most American women. Discretionary calories are those left in your “energy allowance” after consuming the recommended types and amounts of foods to meet all daily nutrient requirements.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded the analysis and the National Institutes of Health funded the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.
Story Source:  American Heart Association    Journal Reference: Sweetened Beverage Consumption, Incident Coronary Heart Disease and Biomarkers of Risk in Men. Circulation, March 12 2012
American Heart Association  Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to increased risk of heart disease in men, study 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.

High Fat Diets Associated With Diminished Fertlity In Men

The Effects of a Paleolithic Omnivore Meat bas...

The Effects of a Paleolithic Omnivore Meat based Diet. (Photo credit: Paleo-Caveman-Omnivore-LowCarb-Meat-Diet-Info)

A man’s diets, specifically the amount and type of different fats they eat, are associated with their semen quality according to the results of a study in the journal Human Reproduction.

The study of 99 men in the USA found a key association between a high total fat intake and lower total sperm count and concentration. It also found that men who ate more omega-3 polyunsaturated fats (the healthy type of fats often found in fish and plant oils) produced better quality sperm than men who ate less.

However, the researchers explained that this is a small study, and its findings need to be replicated by further research in order to be sure about the role played by fats on men’s fertility.

It is suggested that men make changes to their diets to reduce the amount of saturated fat they eat and increase their omega-3 intake. This may not only improve their general health, but could improve their reproductive health too.

At a global level, adopting these lifestyle modifications may improve general health, as high saturated fat diets are known to be a risk factor for a range of cardiovascular diseases; but, in addition, our research suggests that it could be beneficial for reproductive health worldwide.”

A number of previous studies have investigated the link between body mass index (BMI) and semen quality, with mixed results. However, little is known about the potential role of dietary fats and semen quality, the researchers investigated
the relationship in men attending a fertility clinic.

Between December 2006 and August 2010 they questioned the men about their diet and analyzed samples of their semen; they also measured levels of fatty acids in sperm and seminal plasma in 23 of the 99 men participating.

The men were divided into three groups according to the amount of fats they consumed. Those in the third with the highest fat intake had a 43% lower total sperm count and 38% lower sperm concentration than men in the third with the
lowest fat intake. “Total sperm count” is defined as the total number of sperm in the ejaculate, while “sperm concentration” is defined as the concentration of sperm (number per unit volume).

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides a definition of “normal” total sperm count and concentration as follows: the total number of spermatozoa in the ejaculate should be at least 39 million; the concentration of spermatozoa
should be at least 15 million per ml.

The study found that the relationship between dietary fats and semen quality was affected by the consumption of saturated fats. Men consuming the most saturated fats had a 35% lower total sperm count than men eating the least, and a 38% lower sperm concentration.

“The magnitude of the association is quite dramatic and provides further support for the health efforts to limit consumption of saturated fat given their relation with other health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease,” said the researchers..

Men consuming the most omega-3 fats had slightly more sperm (1.9%) that were correctly formed than men in the third that had the lowest omega-3 intake.

It’s important to note… 71% of all the men in the study were overweight or obese, and the health effects of this could also affect semen quality. The researchers made allowances for this. “We were able to isolate the independent effects of fat intake from those of obesity using statistical models,” they explained. “Notably, the frequency of overweight and obesity among men in this study does not
differ much from that among men in the general population in the USA (74%).”

This is the largest study to date examining the influence of specific dietary fats on male fertility. The researchers concluded “Given the limitations of the current study, in particular the fact that it is a cross-sectional analysis and that it is the first report of a relation between dietary fat and semen quality, it is essential that these findings be reproduced in future work.”

Research scientists are continuing to investigate how dietary and lifestyle factors influence fertility in men and women as well as the treatment outcomes of couples undergoing fertility treatment.

Story Source: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE),

Journal Reference: Human Reproduction, 2012;

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) (2012, March 12).

 

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.

 

Obstructiv​e Sleep Apnea Affects Health and Often Indicates Metabolic Syndrome

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Metabolic Syndrome…                   

The-technology-of-sleep-or Fighting Sleep Apnea

The-technology-of-sleep-or Fighting Sleep Apnea (Photo credit: larryosan)

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea is caused by obstruction of the upper airway. It is characterized by repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep, despite the effort to breathe; It’s usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. These pauses in breathing are called apneas (meaning “without breath”) and typically last 20 to 40 seconds.

A person with OSA is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening. It is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body (sequelae). OSA is commonly accompanied with snoring.

Metabolic Syndrome is a combination of medical disorders such as increased blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels that occur together increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It affects one in five people, and prevalence increases with age. Some studies estimate the prevalence in the USA to be up to 25% of the population.

A study was undertaken to evaluate the prevalence of obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia in people with obstructive sleep apnea(OSA). Two hundred thirty-four patients  (average age = 54 years) who tested positive for obstructive sleep apnea were compared to a control group.

Patients with OSA had a body mass indexon average of 36 and the control group had a body mass index on average of 29. Thirty-one percent (31%) of patients with OSA had hyperlipidemia, 59 percent (59%) were diabetics and 86 percent (86%) had hypertension. Patients with OSA had significant levels of day time sleepiness, lack of concentration, changes in mood, morning headache, and dry mouth. Eighty percent (80%) of the patients experienced non-restorative sleep, awakening with choking, nocturnal dyspnea, insomnia, nocturia and diaphoresis.

In conclusion, patients with OSA were almost three times more at risk for obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia in comparison to the control group.

Source: Sleep and Breathing “Correlation of clinical profiles with obstructive sleep apnea and metabolic syndrome.” Sleep Breath. January, 2011.

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.

Vitamin D Shrinks Fibroid Tumors In Resaerch Study

Vitamin D!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vitamin D!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Photo credit: BaileyRaeWeaver)

Treatment with vitamin D reduced the size of uterine fibroid tumors in laboratory subjects predisposed to developing the benign tumors, reported researchers funded by the NIH (National Institutes of Health.)

Uterine fibroids are the most common noncancerous tumors in women of childbearing age. Fibroids grow within and around the wall of the uterus. Thirty percent of women 25 to 44 years of age report fibroid-related symptoms, such as lower back pain, heavy vaginal bleeding or painful menstrual periods.

Uterine fibroids also are associated with infertility and such pregnancy complications as miscarriage or preterm labor. Other than surgical removal of the uterus, there are few treatment options for women experiencing severe fibroid-related symptoms and about 200,000 U.S. women undergo the procedure each year.

A recent analysis by NIH scientists estimated that the economic cost of fibroids to the United States, in terms of health care expenses and lost productivity, may exceed $34 billion a year.

Fibroids are three to four times more common in African-American women than in white women. Moreover, African-American women are roughly 10 times more likely to be deficient in vitamin D than are white women. In previous research, the study authors found that vitamin D inhibited the growth of human fibroid cells in laboratory cultures.

“The study results provide a promising new lead in the search for a non-surgical treatment for fibroids that doesn’t affect fertility,” said research scientists from the Reproductive Sciences Branch of the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which funded the study.

The findings appeared online in the journal “Biology of Reproduction.”

For the study, the researchers tested the vitamin D treatment on a strain of laboratory subjects genetically predisposed to developing fibroid tumors. After examining the subjects and confirming the presence of fibroids in 12 of them, the researchers divided the subjects into two groups of six each: those that would receive vitamin D and those that would not.

In the first group, small pumps implanted under the skin delivered a continuous dose of vitamin D for three weeks. The researchers then examined the subjects in both groups.

Fibroids increased in size in the untreated subjects, but, in the subjects receiving vitamin D, the tumors had shrunk dramatically. On average, uterine fibroids in the group receiving vitamin D were 75 percent smaller than those in the untreated group.

 

The amount of vitamin D the subjects received each day was equivalent to a human dose of roughly 1,400 international units.

The recommended amount of vitamin D for teens and adults age 70 and under is 600 units daily, although up to 4,000 units is considered safe for children over age 9, adults, and for pregnant and breast-feeding females.

“Additional research is needed to confirm vitamin D as a potential treatment for women with uterine fibroids,” said the scientists. “But it is also an essential nutrient for the health of muscle, bone and the immune system, and it is important for everyone to receive an adequate amount of the vitamin.”

Vitamin D is  produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight reach the skin. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are the best natural food sources of the vitamin. Supplements are often recommended because very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Fortified milk and other fortified foods are the most common to provide an additional source.

Story Source: NIH / National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Journal Reference: 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Treatment Shrinks Uterine Leiomyoma Tumors. Biology of Reproduction, 2012;

 

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.

Folate (Folic Acid) Reported To Help Reduce Pre-Menopa​usal Breast Cancer Risk

Specific Vitamins & Minerals Continue To Be Studied For Cancer Risk Reduction And Supporting Optimum Health…

Increased intakes of folate (folic acid) may reduce the risk of breast cancer, but the benefits may be linked to a woman’s menopausal state, suggests a new study.

Pre-menopausal women with the highest average intakes of folate from the diet are at a 40 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer, according to new findings published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The study was conducted with women in China where there’s no mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid, during the course of the study. In the US, grain products have been fortified with folic acid since 1998.

As a result, only 13 percent of the Chinese women had folate levels that matched or exceeded the US recommended dietary allowance, wrote researchers from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and the Shanghai Cancer Institute.

“Thus, it is possible that the relation with folate intake among pre- menopausal women may be due to a difference in folate insufficiency versus sufficiency.

“In support of this possibility, the present study appeared to have a threshold effect for folate intake that was achieved between the first and second quintiles of intake, with no added benefit beyond that level, ” the researchers explained.

Over one million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, with the highest incidences in the US and the Netherlands. China has the lowest incidence and mortality rate of the disease.

Hormone-sensitive estrogen-receptor (ER) positive and progesterone-receptor (PR) positive tumors are said to be the most common type diagnosed among breast cancer patients in the US. These tumors are stimulated to grow by the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Study Details

Data from Shanghai Women’s Health Study (1997-2008) for 72,861 participants aged between 40 and 70 was used to assess potential relationships between intakes of folate, niacin, and vitamin B6 and B12 and incidence of breast cancer.

During the course of the study 718 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed. After analyzing the numbers, the researchers report no link between vitamin B6 and B12 intakes and the risk of breast cancer in both pre- and post-menopausal women.

Only folate intake was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer and this was limited to premenopausal women. Specifically, average intakes of 404 micrograms per day were associated with a 42 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer, compared with average intakes of 194 micrograms per day.

Source: American Journal of Epidemiology

2011, Volume 173, Issue 10 (Pages 1171-1182)

“Dietary B Vitamin and Methionine Intakes and Breast Cancer Risk Among Chinese Women”

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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