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Hyaluronic Acid Center, Neptune Krill Oil & Rejuvenation Science for Doctors

Friday, March 31, 2006

Garlic Prevents Inflammation, a Cause of Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a slow, progressive disease that is the building block for heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease. It affects the arteries of the brain, heart, kidneys, arms and legs by causing the buildup of plaque on the inside walls of the arteries.

Inflammation plays an important role in both the initiation of atherosclerosis and development of atherothrombotic events.

Because of this research, a focus on preventing inflammation may also hold the key to preventing atherosclerosis. Now a new study has found that this inflammatory process may be stopped by an age old heart-healthy food - garlic. Garlic contains a tremendous amount of antioxidants and possesses anti-bacterial properties.

View details on this inflammation - atherosclerosis - garlic study.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease May be Signaled by C-reactive Protein

According to recent research published in the journal Thorax, "Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have raised serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP)."

"CRP levels are raised in COPD patients without clinically relevant ischemic heart disease (IHD) and independent of cigarette smoking, and reduced in patients with COPD using inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)," concluded the authors. "CRP may be a systemic marker of the inflammatory process that occurs in patients with COPD."

Read details of this chronic obstructive pulmonary disease study.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Conjugated Linoleic Acid Inhibits Gastrointestinal Cancer Peritoneal Metastasis

According to recent research published in the International Journal of Cancer, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) inhibits peritoneal metastasis in human gastrointestinal cancer cells.

The researchers wrote, "Survival rate in mice inoculated with MKN28 or Colo320 cells was significantly recovered by CLA treatment (p=.0025 and 0.0052, respectively). Protein production in MKN28 and Colo320 cells treated with CLA showed a decrease in epidermal growth factor receptor and transforming growth factor-beta and an increase in Bax."

"These findings suggest that CLA inhibits metastasis of human gastric and colon cancer cells," concluded the authors.

Read details on this CLA peritoneal metastasis gastrointestinal cancer study.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mega Dose Vitamin C Is Safe

Scientists have published findings that verify the safety of mega dose intravenous vitamin C. In this study, a phase one clinical trial with 24 terminal cancer patients receiving between ten and sixty grams of sodium ascorbate daily for eight weeks, adverse effects were reportedly minor. "The results presented in this manuscript should allay fears about the safety of 'mega-dose' vitamin C," said Dr. Joseph Casciari, co-author of the manuscript.

Every year at least 1.4 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed. Many current cancer therapies, including chemotherapy and radiation, can cause undesirable side effects and complications.
Recently published case studies suggest that high dose intravenous vitamin C can be an effective clinical modality against cancer.
Read more about this hypertension grape seed study.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sodas Increase Risk of Hypertension

Researchers have linked the consumption of soft drinks by women to an increased risk of high blood pressure.

The long-term Nurses' Health Study looked at 33,000 women with high blood pressure and found that an increase in caffeine intake increased the risk of hypertension. But when coffee drinkers were separated from soda drinkers, the picture changed.

It seems that the more coffee the women drank, the lower their risk of developing hypertension. Those drinking only one cup per day had a very slight increased risk, but the risk decreased as the consumption increased to 2, 3, 4, 5 and even 6 cups a day.

View details on this soda hypertension study.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Vitamin E Tocotrienols Inhibit Cancer Cell Proliferation

According to researchers in Japan, “Tocotrienols, vitamin E compounds that have an unsaturated side chain with three double bonds, selectively inhibited the activity of mammalian DNA polymerase lambda (pol lambda) in vitro. Polymerases are involved in cellular DNA synthesis during cell replication.”

The study published in a recent issue of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communication, suggests that tocotrienols may act as potent anti-cancer agents by inhibiting pol lambda and angiogenesis.

“Since angiogenesis is essential for tumour growth, its strong inhibition by tocotrienols but not tocopherols, could very well provide us with a safe dietary means to prevent a cancer from becoming metastatic,” says WH Leong, Vice President for Carotech Inc.

View details on this Vitamin E tocotrienol Cancer study.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Calcium Supplements Can Reduce Complications During Pregnancy

Preeclampsia, the development of high blood pressure and protein in the urine during pregnancy and its more severe complications such as eclampsia, can threaten the lives of both mother and child. While there is no therapy to prevent preeclampsia, a link to calcium deficiency has been suggested. Researchers investigated whether a calcium supplement could reduce the complications and mortality from this condition.

Writing in the article, Jose Villar, MD, states, "This large randomized trial in populations with low calcium intake demonstrates that while supplementation with 1.5 gm calcium/day did not result in a statistically significant decrease in the overall incidence of preeclampsia, calcium significantly decreased the risk of its more serious complications, including maternal and severe neonatal morbidity and mortality, as well as preterm delivery, the latter among young women."

Read details on this pregnancy / calcium study.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ginkgo Slows Breast Cancer Growth 80%

Mice treated with an extract of Gingko biloba leaves both before and after being implanted with human breast or brain tumors had decreased expression of a cell receptor -- peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor (PBR) -- associated with invasive cancer, say researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center, in Washington, D.C.

This drop in PBR expression slowed the growth of breast tumors by 80 percent in treated vs. untreated mice. The effect lasted for as long as the mice received the Gingko biloba extract.

The other part of the research was to see if Ginkgo biloba would show any anticancer effects on these cancer cell lines, and concluded that the extract did nothing to cancers that were not invasive, but significantly slowed the growth of aggressive cancer cells.

View further details on this ginkgo biloba breast cancer study.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Scientific Integrity and the Media Fail, Not Supplements

Recent studies have reported that certain dietary supplements have not been effective when subjected to rigorous scientific testing. However, the science was not nearly as good as represented, and the limited results do not support the broad conclusions that were publicized.

For example, according to the Associated Press (AP), a new study known as the Glucosamine Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT) showed that the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin “did no better than dummy pills at relieving mild arthritis pain”. The reported ineffectiveness of these pills was national headline news in February 2006.

In this study, over 1,500 patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee were randomly assigned to receive 1,500 mg a day of glucosamine sulfate, 1,200 mg chondroitin sulfate daily, a combination of these two nutrients, 200 mg of Celebrex® or placebo for 24 weeks. The groups were stratified regarding severity of knee pain from mild to moderate to severe.

The study indicated that the placebo group with mild joint pain had symptomatic improvement by a hard-to-believe 60 percent, while the percentage of people with symptomatic improvement on glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate was approximately 67 percent, compared to the Celebrex® group (which had symptomatic improvement by about 70 percent). For those with moderate to severe pain at baseline, the combination treatment with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate was 79 percent improvement versus 54 percent improvement with placebo. Authors concluded that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, alone or in combination, did not reduce pain effectively in the overall groups with osteoarthritis of the knee.

What the research actually showed is that these joint supplements did reduce moderate-to-severe joint pain by 79%, and reduction in mild joint pain of 67%. But the study only lasted six weeks, a very short duration when compared with previous, positive studies lasting over one year. I would not have expected any good results in such a short test, with only a relatively small number of participants suffering from moderate-to-severe joint pain. The confusion came from the study parameters which allowed participants to take a "rescue medicine" - up to 4000 mg acetaminophen (tylenol) per day to reduce pain (except for the day of the exams). No wonder, those taking placebo obtained almost the same pain reduction (60%), as those taking glucosamine and chondroitin. So the very biased conclusion that glucosamine and chondroitin were not significantly more effective than placebo (without mentioning that placebo users could take up to 4000 mg acetaminophen) was grossly misleading. Whereas, it could have been presented that glucosamine and chondroitin produced a 79% and 67% pain reduction on moderate to severe and mild joint pain, which is faster than previously determined, and on more severe pain.

The USA Today article discussing the GAIT results also claims that Dr. Clegg, the lead researcher, received fees or grant support from Pfizer, maker of Celebrex, or McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, which produces Tylenol.

Other studies commented on include:
  • Saw Palmetto
  • St John's Wort
  • Echinacea
  • Vitamin E - fascinating information on the bias on this study

Why does science get reported so inaccurately when it comes to natural products and therapies? It’s bad enough that the studies are so poorly designed as to raise so many questions in the first place, but then the medical journal press release and the subsequent reporting unfairly describe the results with no context for the reader to figure out what it all means.

Don’t be fooled. Natural products often do work - typically for milder conditions and more slowly than drugs, but with fewer side effects. The inflammatory headlines do little other than sell more newspapers, or are they the evidence that a strong offense (pharma marketing campaign) is the best defense (when it comes to maintaining the status quo that drugs are the best solution to a medical problem). Digging a little deeper, one might find that the study authors and medical journals receive substantial funding from the pharma companies and insignificant advertising dollars from herb growers and vitamin formulators.

One study that contradicts many others may actually be poorly designed or inaccurately reported, but is somehow arbitrarily declared to have overturned all previous studies and proven them wrong. Misleading oversimplifications and a lack of proper perspective create much of the confusion associated with modern health reporting. This hurts people because they are convinced by these reports to forego safe, effective, scientifically proven natural therapies that may help the body to repair itself in favor of drugs or other medical therapies that are often far more toxic to the body and, perhaps, even unnecessary.

Read more about how scientific integrity and the media fail, not the supplements.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Melatonin Effective Against Tinnitus

Building upon previous research that showed promise for melatonin in the treatment of tinnitus, 10 researchers gave 24 patients 3 mg of melatonin per day for four weeks, followed by four weeks of observation. Patients had idiopathic, troublesome, unilateral or bilateral, nonpulsatile tinnitus of at least 6 months' duration.

Researchers found both the mean Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores decreased significantly during both four-week periods. And despite the study being an open-label study (where the patients knew what they were taking), the researchers concluded that “Melatonin use is associated with improvement of tinnitus and sleep”, that “there was an association between the amount of improvement in sleep and tinnitus”, and that “the impact of melatonin on sleep was greatest among patients with the worst sleep quality.”

Read details on this melatonin tinnitus study.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar

Cinnamon lowers blood sugar and raises levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, in type 2 diabetic rats, a new study has found.

“These results suggest that cinnamon extract has a regulatory role in blood glucose level and lipids,” the researchers wrote, “and it may also exert a blood glucose-suppressing effect by improving insulin sensitivity or slowing absorption of carbohydrates in the small intestine.”

Read details of this cinnamon blood sugar animal study.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Low Muscle CoQ10 in Statin-Related Myopathy

Statin drugs such as Lipitor, Mevacor, and Zocor, reduce the level of cholesterol by inhibiting the synthesis of mevalonate, an intermediary in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway. Use of statin drugs has been associated with a variety of skeletal muscle–related complaints. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, is also synthesized from mevalonate, and decreased muscle CoQ10 concentration may have a role in the pathogenesis of statin drug–related myopathy.

This study suggest that statin drug–related myopathy is associated with a mild decrease in muscle CoQ10 concentration.

Read details on this CoenzymeQ10 statin myopathy study.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

CoQ10 Improves Muscle Strength

In the January 2006 edition of the prestigious journal Neurology, physicians in Germany reported on three unrelated patients with muscle CoenzymeQ10 deficiency, ages 6, 29 and 32 years old, who presented with muscle weakness and elevation of muscle enzymes in the blood.

Muscle biopsy showed lipid storage myopathy, combined deficiency of respiratory chain complexes I and III, and CoQ10 levels below 50% of normal. Supplementation with oral high dose CoQ10 improved muscle strength dramatically and normalized the muscle enzyme in the blood.

Read this and another article CoQ10 Deficiency Causes Muscle Weakness.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Fiber Reduces Colorectal Adenoma Recurrence in Men

Fiber intake has gender-specific effects on colorectal adenoma recurrence, according to a review of data from two large clinical intervention trials.

The researchers discovered fiber intake in men was associated with statistically significantly reduced odds of colorectal adenoma recurrence; for women, no significant association was observed. The researchers concluded results of the analysis indicate men may experience more benefit from dietary fiber than do women and may help to explain some of the discrepant results reported in the literature.

View details of the fiber colorectal cancer study.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Vitamin D, Calcium Limits Falls in Older Women

Taking a combination of vitamin D and calcium for at least three years might help older ambulatory women reduce their odds of falling by as much as 65 percent, according to researchers reporting study results in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

After three years, 55 percent of men and 45 percent of women reported at least one fall; however, the vitamin D-3-calcium combination significantly reduced the odds of falling in women with more pronounced effects in less active women. The researchers concluded long-term vitamin D plus calcium supplementation reduces the odds of falling in ambulatory older women by 46 percent and in less active older women by 65 percent, but offered only a neutral effect in men, independent of their physical activity level.

Read further vitamin D - calcium falls study details.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Omega-3 Rich Diet Lowers Blood Pressure

Consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) lowers blood pressure (BP), according to results of a clinical trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In the three-month, randomized study, 162 healthy subjects followed isoenergetic diets rich in either MUFAs or in saturated fatty acids (SFA diet). In addition, test subjects from both groups were randomly assigned to receive fish oil (3.6 g/d omega-3 fatty acids) or placebo. Consumption of the MUFA diet was associated with lowered systolic blood pressure (SBP) and significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure (DBP), the SFA diet produced no change in BP.

Read more about this Omega-3 diet blood pressure study.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Omega-3s Inhibit Bone Loss

Intake of omega-3 fatty polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) slows loss of bone mineral density (BMD) associated with aging, according to a clinical trial published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

At the end of the treatment period, all test groups had a lower BMD than at baseline. However, rats fed the Omega-3 (n-3) diet had less bone loss (as measured by BMD) compared with animals fed the n-6 and control n-6 + n-3 diets.

Read details of this Omega-3 bone mineral density study.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Benfotiamine Alleviates Oxidative Stress in Brains of Diabetic Rodents

Benfotiamine, a derivative of thiamine, reduces the free radical caused oxidative damage that occurs in the brains of diabetic mice, according to a study published February 2006 in Neuroscience Letters.

Four weeks after diabetes was induced in the animals, the mice suffered from hyperglycemia, enhanced cerebral oxidative stress and elevated TNF-alpha and AGE levels. In the diabetic animals treated with benfotiamine, however, the diabetes-induced cerebral oxidative stress was significantly reduced without affecting levels of AGEs or TNF-alpha.

Read details on this benfotamine oxidative stress study.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

COX-II Drug for Arthritis - Celebrex - Doubles Heart Attack Risk

A study by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand and published in the March issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine found an increased risk of heart attack in patients taking Celebrex, a COX-2 inhibitor used to treat arthritis pain.

The research included two meta analysis. In the first, 4,422 patients in four placebo-controlled studies showed a 2.25 times greater risk of heart attack taking celebrex than placebo. The second meta analysis included six studies of 12,780 patients and found almost double (1.88X) greater risk of heart attacks when Celebrex was compared with other treatments, including ibuprofen and paracetamol. Two other COX-2 drugs, Pfizer's Bextra and Merck's Vioxx, have been withdrawn from the market because of safety concerns.

Alternatives which lubricate the joints, increase cartilage growth, and increase cushioning in the joints include cetyl myristoleate (CMO), glucosamine and chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid.

Read COX-II doubles heart attack details.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Relationship Between Hypertension and Glaucoma

In a recent study of people with glaucoma, about 29 percent also had high blood pressure, making hypertension much more common in this group than in the general population and causing researchers to speculate that hypertension may play a role in the development of glaucoma.

If you have high blood pressure, control it with weight management, healthy eating, regular exercise, nutritional supplements such as olive leaf extract, CoenzymeQ10, lycopene, and doctor prescribed drugs, and ask your doctor about eye screenings.

Read details on this hypertension glaucoma study.

Friday, March 10, 2006

US Consumers Eat an Average 460 Calories Added Sugar Daily

  • No wonder obesity is becoming an epidemic
  • Added Dietary Sugars Are Now Easily Identified
U.S. consumers eat about 74 pounds of added sugars per year, according to 1999-2002 survey data analyzed by researchers at the BHNRC's Community Nutrition Research Group. That's about 23 teaspoons of added sugars every day--or 460 calories that supply no additional nutrients.

In the new table, added sugars are defined as those sugars added to foods and beverages during processing or home preparation. The data reported are estimated values based on the added sweeteners listed under "ingredients" on the package labels of processed foods and beverages. Some added sugars listed under ingredients include honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn sweetener, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup and malt syrup.

Read more about this new USDA added sugar database.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Astaxanthin Promotes Significant Reduction in Systemic Inflammation

C-Reactive Protein levels cut over 20% in subjects taking Astaxanthin. C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is one of the acute phase proteins that increase during systemic inflammation. Testing CRP levels in the blood may be a new way to assess cardiovascular disease risk, according to the American Heart Association.

The double-blind study of 15 subjects taking astaxanthin and eight subjects taking placebo found that subjects who took astaxanthin for 56 days showed an average decrease in their measured CRP levels of over 20%. Subjects who took placebo showed no such decrease.

Read more on this astaxanthin inflammation study.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Combo Arginine and Glutamine Improve Athletes' Training Efficiency

Researchers in Japan have determined that consuming the amino acids L-arginine and glutamine improves training efficiency in athletes.

The researchers noted that the subjects consuming the amino acids experienced a quicker recovery from the muscle fatigue that followed eccentric exercise training. In subjects consuming either 2.2, 4.4, or 6.6 grams of the amino acids per day for 1 month, the highest dose was linked to increased blood oxygen-carrying capacity and decreased muscle damage at the end of the trial.

Read more on this L-Arginine and Glutamine athlete study.

Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Content Declines up to 38%

Data collected by the federal government shows that the nutritional content of America's vegetables and fruits has declined over the last 50 years -- in some cases dramatically.

Of 13 major nutrients in fruits and vegetables tracked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1950 to 1999, six showed noticeable declines. The six declining nutrients are protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and vitamin C. The declines were 6 percent for protein, 15 percent for iron, 20 percent for vitamin C, and 38 percent for riboflavin.

This study shows that people need to eat more vegetables and fruits, and not less. "Vegetables are extraordinarily rich in nutrients and beneficial phytochemicals. They are still there, and vegetables and fruits are our best sources for these."

Readf details on this fruit and vegetable nutrient study.

Monday, March 06, 2006

CoQ10 and Pine Bark Synergistically Enhance Cardiovascular Health

A recently published review demonstrates the symbiotic effect of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and pine bark extract for promoting cardiovascular health. In the research overview, the data show patients who supplemented with the pine tree bark extract known as Pycnogenol® and CoQ10 in combination benefited from the collaborative antioxidant effects.

Joint research conducted at Showa Medical University of Tokyo, Japan and the State University of New York, Buffalo, indicate the co-action of Pycnogenol and CoQ10 protect 53 percent of blood lipids from oxidation as opposed to less than 30 percent as individual ingredients. Study results show these two antioxidant ingredients have synergistic effects on the body and work to protect and enhance the entire vascular system including blood vessel integrity, blood lipid values, circulation, blood pressure and platelet function.

Read further analysis of this CoQ10 pine tree bark study.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

51% of Prescriptions Have Possible Severe Side Effects

From pain to depression to infection, there seems to be a pill for just about everything; it's no surprise then that prescription use is at an all time high in the U.S. A recent study, however, revealed that inappropriate medications are often prescribed to the elderly, putting them at risk for many adverse side effects.

Alarmingly, 51 percent of the prescriptions filled were known to have possible severe side-effects. Before your next trip to the drug store, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of your prescriptions, and ask about those with fewer side effects to avoid suffering potentially severe consequences. Or better yet, ask about nonprescription alternatives to treatment.

Read more about this tragedy.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Support the Health of Bipolar Individuals

Ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the omega-3 fatty acid derived from fish, reduced depression in subjects with bipolar disorder when given in conjunction with standard bipolar treatment, a new study has found.

After treatment with ethyl-EPA, the subjects’ scores on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and Clinical Global Impression Scale significantly improved compared to subjects taking a placebo. One gram per day of ethyl-EPA was as effective as two grams per day. Both doses were well tolerated.

View details on this Omega-3 Bipolar study.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Olive Leaf Extract Lowers Blood Pressure

Olive leaf extract dose-dependently reduces blood pressure, according to a study conducted on human twins and presented at the Phytopharmaka and Phytotherapy 2005 Congress in Berlin, Germany.

In Group 1, systolic blood pressure decreased by six mmHg and diastolic blood pressure decreased by 13 mmHg. Greater reductions in blood pressure were observed in Group 2 (19 mmHg and 10 mmHg, respectively). Both groups experienced significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

Read olive leaf blood pressure study details.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Antioxidants Cut Stomach Cancer Risk

High dietary intake of antioxidants decreases the risk of gastric (stomach) cancer, even in people with an active Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, according to a recent report from researchers in South Korea.

High dietary intake of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as beta-carotene, was associated with a decreased risk of gastric cancer. In individuals with H. pylori infection, high dietary intake of vitamins C and E was associated with protection against gastric cancer. Specifically, subjects in the highest tertiles of vitamin C and E intake had 90% and 84% reduced risks of gastric cancer, respectively. By contrast, participants in the lowest tertile of combined vitamin C and E intake had a greater than fourfold increased risk of gastric cancer.

Read details on this antioxidant stomach cancer study.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Heart Attack Patients Undergoing Bypass Surgery Improve with D-Ribose

Performing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery without the use of a heart-lung machine on patients with acute myocardial infarction has gained acceptance in recent years. Research shows that treating patients with D-Ribose prior to off-pump cardiac revascularization can improve post-operative cardiac function.

The patients treated with D-Ribose showed a 49% greater increase in cardiac indices after surgery. "Those attending the FASEB conference showed considerable interest in these findings, and with good reason," said Dr. Perkowski. "This study shows that ribose can improve the outcome for many patients facing revascularization, and that more patients may qualify for an 'off-pump' procedure."

Read heart attach bypass surgery study with CoQ10 and pine tree bark.