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Thanks for visiting! My goal here is to discuss the latest scientific research to separate the good from all that "guff" in nutritional sciences and all aspects of human health. Because the more you Know, well...the more you Know!

Looking for a specific post? You can browse the Most Read Posts, the Blog Archives, or use the Search function in top left of this page. Thanks for your support and stay healthy!

Monthly 3D Poll

2011-03-31

Toxic BPA: Just Say "Know"

Before I get started, you've GOT to check out this video: Talking twin babies. The crazy thing is, I understand them!

So today, I'll talk about a new study on bisphenol A (BPA, found in thousands of consumer goods), which thankfully, Health Canada classified as a toxic substance last year. Due to this, we'll hopefully start to see a phase out of this chemical -- at least in products that make contact with food, but ideally in all products.

BPA and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) are high-production-volume chemicals used in plastics and resins for food packaging. They have been associated with endocrine disruption in animals and in some human studies. Some link it to obesity and metabolic dysfunction, others to cancers, etc. It's just plain bad.

In this study, 20 participants from five US families (selected based on reported use of canned and packaged goods) ate their usual diets followed by consumption of exclusively fresh foods (prepared by third-party caters) over the course of three days (labelled as the “dietary intervention” phase). They then resumed their usual diets.

The researchers found that levels of the BPA and DEHP decreased significantly during the fresh food intervention -- with BPA values falling by 66% and DEHP metabolites by between 53-56%. They returned to pre-intervention levels once the participants resumed their regular diets.

Of course, since these chemicals are ubiquitous in our environment, the dietary intervention didn't eliminate all sources of exposure.

In conclusion, eat fresh. Save the canned goods for your emergency kit in your bunker.

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Source: Food packaging and BPA and DEHP - findings from a dietary intervention

2011-03-29

Vitamin K Improves Bone Mineral Density

When it comes to vitamins, right now, vitamin K is likely my favourite (along with vitamin D). There is so much more to vitamin K than what people think, and the fact that most people don't get enough (since the RDA was set too low to start with) -- compounded with some studies showing many people are deficient in this essential nutrient -- it would be wise to add this supplement to your daily routine.

Calcium supplements are one of the most popular dietary supplements, but mark my words... vitamin K2 is a MANDATORY supplement for anyone taking calcium. If you don't know by now, vitamin K is required to activate certain proteins in the body...and these proteins tell your body what to do with all that dietary & supplemental calcium.

So besides the liver, there are vitamin K-dependant proteins in both the bones, and soft tissues (especially the arteries, but also glands and organs). When these proteins are activated in the presence of vitamin K, the bones suck up calcium, and the arteries prevent calcium from building up in their walls.

Remember mass media making a big deal out of a calcium meta-analysis last year (this CBC article was one of many that covered the story)? The study showed calcium does more harm than good because it causes heart attacks and stroke (which we've known for a long time...but to mass media it was new). What they didn't tell you was that the build-up of calcium in the arteries was not necessarily because people were taking too much calcium, but that they were likely deficient in vitamin K.

Update: the same researchers published a study in April 2011, click HERE for my discussion on the calcium - heart attack link, and HERE for a discussion on what vitamin K deficiency looks like (using patients taking warfarin as an example).

You see, without enough K, your body doesn't know where to put all that calcium, and it can go into soft tissues, like the arteries (called "arterial calcification"), where it's now considered one of the greatest predictors of a heart attack.

Vitamin K2 is now considered one of the best nutrients you can take for bone health because it tells your body to take all that calcium and put it into the bones. This is exactly what this new study showed (link referenced at the end of this post). Basically, the higher your vitamin K intake, the greater your bone density was. My only critique is that it was not a controlled clinical trial, but an observation study based on diet recall.

The story is actually much more complicated than this...so if you'd like me to go into more detail, post a comment and I'll do my best to answer (see the Commenting Policy...really, it's just common sense stuff).

So my conclusion...by getting enough vitamin K, we can kill two birds (osteoporosis and arterial calcification) with one stone.
...and these aren't just any birds, they're huge, menacing, angry birds. Maybe more like fire-breathing dragons.

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Source: Dietary vitamin K associated with bone quantitative ultrasound measurements

2011-03-28

Omega-3 from Fish vs. Fish Oils

A new study on Native Alaskans has found that high intakes of omega-3 fatty acids (from fish) may reduce the risk of obesity-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. This we knew already. It was first discovered about 40 years ago, leading to the rise of cod liver oil supplements, and now the concentrated fish oil market.

In this study, the reduction in diabetes risk was linked to the observation that the studied population’s average consumption of omega-3s from fish is 20 times more than people in the lower 48 US states.

While this is great, I take issue with extrapolating results from an epimediological study on fish consumption, and making conclusions on the health benefits of fish oil concentrates. Why, you ask? Fish has many other substances and nutrients that are non-existent in purified, concentrated fish oils. For one, fish naturally contain phospholipids...fish oils contain zero phospholipids. But yes, I acknowledge that fish also contain dioxins, PCBs, and mercury...and fish oils contain zero (or very little of these toxins). So I guess it's a fair trade off...perhaps.

However, also consider that most fish oils on the market are still in the semi-synthetic "ethyl ester" form (not the natural triglyceride form).

These points are now becoming such as issue that I'm aware of at least one fish oil supplier on the supply side of the industry that's trying to do what the krill oil industry has done from the start -- make a "whole" fish oil, which contains phospholipids and preserve the omega-3s in the natural form (although I'd say we got to go a lot further to make an oil that is actually like eating a fish).

We may see other suppliers follow suit. The reason is that many epidemiological studies (like the one just discussed) has shown fish to offer great health benefits; however, controlled clinical trials on fish oil concentrates, are revealing that fish oils are not as health-promoting as the epidemiological studies suggest (again, the problem being inappropriate extrapolation of whole fish consumption to purified and concentrated fish oils).

So stay tuned for a (potential) evolultion of the fish oil industry to something a little more holistic and natural...some day.

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Source: Associations of obesity with triglycerides and CRP are attenuated in adults with high red blood cell EPA and DHA

Krill Oil Better than Fish or Olive Oils for Metabolic Dysfunctions

Have you ever noticed that anyone dressed in camouflage actually sticks out? Especially pink camouflage.

Well, enough of my thoughts... in yet another study showing the superiority of krill oil over other omega-3 oils, daily supplementation showed benefits to the endocannabinoid system (which influences appetite, pain sensation, and mood). The endocannabinoid system (yes, the same system activated by THC -- the compound thought to be the main psychotropic in cannabis), is tightly involved in the regulation of body composition by regulating food intake (real world evidence: the "munchies") and energy expenditure.

I just had a thought while typing this... maybe this (an overactive endocannabinoid system) is why those considered overweight/obese are stereotypically happier (or so we think).

What krill oil was shown to do in this study was decrease the activity of this system, which would help obese people eat less, and perhaps expend more energy.

The point I want to bring into focus here is that this study also had two other groups for comparison -- a fish oil group, and an olive oil group.

Results showed the only those receiving the krill oil benefited significantly, while no benefit was seen with either fish oil or olive oil (both of which are considered healthy oils, but I guess just not as healthy when compared to krill oil).

It's important to note that the results seen in this study suggest that the phospholipid form of omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil was responsible for the benefits.

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2011-03-25

Cranberry Juice Decreases Stiffness in Arteries

So, do you remember what's happening tomorrow (March 26th)? Earth Hour!

Starting at 8:30 pm (your local time), make sure you turn off as many electricity-sucking devices as possible. Even better, if you know where the main power switch to your home is, try switching that off...it'll cut ALL power to your home. This will save so much more energy than just turning off the lights.

Also, try stretching Earth "Hour" to a couple hours...or for the really ambitious people, try switching the main power off right after dinner and keep it off until you go to bed. As long as you don't open your fridge (and let the cold air out), it will keep everything fine during that time.

Ok, now one last research-related post before I go "silent" for the weekend...

Cranberry's claim to fame is its ability to reduce the incidence or duration of a urinary tract infection (UTI). It's also been shown to prevent H. pylori from adhering to the stomach lining, which can decrease the incidence of stomach ulcers and gastritis. Less known is its ability to decrease the risk of adenocarcinoma (cancer in glandular tissue) and colon cancer.

However, cranberry has also been known to be beneficial to the cardiovascular system, and this new study gives some confirmation to that thought. It was shown that a high dose of cranberry juice resulted in less arterial stiffness (or more elastic arteries). Of course, arteries are suppose to be elastic, so that's a good thing for sure.

Interestingly, no effect was seen in other measures of cardiovascular function. Also, the same effect wasn't seen once a placebo group was added. Not sure why, but nonetheless, cranberry juice (or cranberry extracts) I feel would be great to take for overall health maintenance, and can potentially provide many benefits.

How to Bribe your Doctor

Apparently it's quite simple... just give them cash or other material goods. The news that big pharma uses bribes and cash payments to get doctors to write prescriptions for their drugs is not new. But considering I haven't given the "guff" half of this blog much attention recently, it's the perfect time to cover this story. Read the Huffington Post article.

I'll conclude this short post with this quote:

"The influence that the pharmaceutical companies, the for-profits, are having on every aspect of medicine...is so blatant now you'd have to be deaf, blind, and dumb not to see it." Dr. Catherine DeAngelis (editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association)

Vitamin E can Reduce Iodine-Induced Thyroid Toxicity

In response to the nuclear disaster in Japan, countless people in North America have rushed to their local healthfood store, resulting in most stores being completely sold out of potassium iodide supplements. This new study shows that vitamin E may be another consideration. Not exactly the same though...so don't misinterpret this post as suggesting vitamin E can protect against the risk of thyroid cancer from exposure to radioactive iodine.

First, let me be clear that this was a rat study and used very high doses of vitamin E.

Excess iodine is toxic (which we all know, and why self-prescribing potassium iodide is not advised -- especially when the North American risk of radioactive iodine exposure from Japan is small). First of all, many people are sensitive to "iodides" (salts of iodine), and in these individuals, it can manifest as hives/welts, hemorrhage in the skin and mucous membranes, fever, joint pain, enlarged lymph nodes, eosiniphilia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (blood clots in blood vessels), and even fatal periarteritis (swelling of the arteries).

Second, large doses of iodine can cause many problems, including: sore teeth and gums, burning in the mouth and throat, inflammation of mucous membranes, eye irritation and eyelid swelling, pulmonary edema, skin lesions, depression. Over time, too much iodine can lead to enlargement of the thyroid gland (called goiter) and severe hypothyroidism (requiring a lifetime of thyroid hormone medication).

However, for those gung-ho on taking large doses of potassium iodide despite the warnings , taking large amounts of vitamin E may minimise the thyroid damage caused by large doses of iodine...maybe.

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Source: Vitamin E may ameliorate iodine-induced thyroid cytotoxicity

Probiotics Reduce Respiratory Infections in Athletes

Many athletes will attest to the fact that when they've exerted themselves too much, either in training or competition, it's been followed by a cold/flu (an upper respiratory tract infection, or URTI for short). Now, here's some evidence to help support the use of probiotics in athletes (outside the countless other health benefits of probiotics).

In this new study, a strain of probiotic bacteria, when ingested for 16 weeks, led to an increase in salivary IgA (an immunoglobulin, which is secreted in mucous membranes, and protects pathogens from invading and infecting). This led to a corresponding decrease in URTI as well as a decrease in the severity of symptoms if they did get sick.

While it's been known for quite some time that probiotics improve the immune system and its response, this gives us insight into one of the possible mechanisms of action.

Source: Probiotics reduce incidence of upper respiratory tract infections in athletes

Related posts:

CoQ10 Supplementation Increases Salivary Secretion

I'm back...after nearly 2 weeks of work-related travel! For those who've been visiting this blog regularly, my apologies for not having fresh material for you to feed your brain. So before I administer some delicious knowledge for your hungry brains... let's start with this appetizer. Click this sentence and follow the instructions. Right on dude, it's like virtual acid, man.

So here we go... there will be a number of posts following this one as I catch up on recent nutritional research.

This new research on CoQ10 sheds light on how oral supplementation improves oral health (where CoQ10 has been shown to be great for gingivitis). While the studies showing benefits to gingivitis used topical application of CoQ10, ingestion of oral supplements have been commonly used with many reporting benefits.

Now, this study explains a possible mechanism. While this study was specifically on dry mouth, the findings support its supplemental use in gingivitis. In this study, both forms of CoQ10 (ubiquinone and ubiquinol) were used, and showed significant increases in the CoQ10 content of saliva.

In this manner (bathing the oral tissues in CoQ10-rich saliva), oral ingestion of CoQ10 may indeed benefit the gums and improve signs and symptoms of gingivitis.

Other posts discussing new CoQ10 studies:

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Source: Coenzyme Q10 supplementation increases salivary secretion

2011-03-15

Japanese Nuclear Radiation

I can't believe I'm doing this... but here I go. One thing I'm sure we ALL can't stand is the fear-mongering that spreads through mass media like the plague. However, I read the following article tonight and thought I'd share it. In no way do I want to propagate fear, but as long as this is put into context, I think it'll be alright. What context? ...the fact that odds are against the worst-case-scenario.

My disclaimer: I haven't done the research to confirm whether the information in this article is accurate or not (it's just a regular news article, not a peer-reviewed published paper). So it could be completely off-the-wall bogus to pin-point accurate...and everything in between.

Article: Radiation Risks
Have a read if you've got a few minutes. Some thoughts that come to my mind if the worst-case-scenario plays out:
  • it would be a good time to become vegetarian
  • make sure you wash all produce thoroughly
  • nutritional supplements of potassium iodide and strontium citrate are likely to be in high demand...but I highly advise AGAINST self-prescribing, as the likelihood of experiencing adverse effects from over-dosing is much more real than significant exposure to radioactive particles -- consult your healthcare practitioner
However, I have a better idea, let's all visualize and meditate on the best possible scenario. Our thoughts become our reality, so think positive -- always. Live out of peace and love, not fear.

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Fish semen...spit or swallow?

I could have easily made quite a few inappropriate jokes about this -- just as easily as you could have -- but it's probably best that I don't do it here. :)

Follow this link... Omega-3 rich mackerel semen on sale in UK

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Probiotics Improve Constipation in Children

Ever since coming back from Anaheim, the weather in the Toronto area has been great. Warm(er) and sunny. With Daylight Savings Time coming into effect over the weekend, feels like spring is finally just around the corner! That's definitely exciting...until you realize that on any given day (at least the weekdays) you spend only a few minutes outside.

So today, I'll cover yet another study on probiotics for gastrointestinal health. This time, the study aimed to determine if a strain of Bifidobacterium could increase the number of bowel movements in kids experiencing constipation.

After 4 weeks of taking a daily probiotic supplement, the children experienced significantly less abdominal pain, and significantly more bowel movements (from an average of 0.9 per week, increasing to 4.9 per week).

No side-effects were reported, as expected.

Recently I also discussed another study that showed similar results in an elderly population. So while nothing new (in my opinion) was discovered in this study, this is just more confirmation of probiotics' beneficial effects...and that's always welcome news.

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Source: Tabbers et al. 2011

2011-03-14

Olive Leaf Extract Lowers Blood Pressure as Much as Medications

Well, I just got back from the warm and sunny climate in Anaheim, California for a tradeshow. (No, I wasn't affected by the tsunami that apparently hit the West Coast following the earthquake in Japan.) It was an extremely busy show though...the busiest I've ever seen that event, which happens to be the largest natural products expo in the world.

So, I found out about this new study while I was in California, and just getting to discussing it now. This study adds to the growing body of evidence supporting olive leaf extract (OLE) for various health benefits...this time for blood pressure.

This study was a fairly well-designed study that used Captopril (a prescription drug) as the control group. After 8 weeks, both groups (OLE and Captopril) had significantly lower blood pressure, but the decrease was not significantly different between the groups. Translation: OLE lowers blood pressure as much as the prescription drug, Captopril.

The benefit of OLE was that it also decreased triglyceride levels, while Captopril had no effect (high triglycerides are also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease).

I would keep an eye on this botanical ingredient -- there seems to be quite a bit of buzz.

So if you've read the discussion on dark chocolate I wrote last week, I think you're starting to see how those with hypertension have natural options they can explore first. Blood pressure is a difficult condition to treat (based on my clinical experience), but there are many things that can help, including magnesium, CoQ10/ubiquinol, grape seed extracts, etc. I would try all these first, and only look to synthetic drugs as a last resort.

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Source: Susalit et al. 2011

2011-03-09

Nutrition for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Don't you get nervous every time you're exiting out of document or file you're working on, and it asks if you want to save your changes...yet, you know you haven't made a single change? Anyway...

I'm a little late on this one (study was published in December 2010), but I want to cover it today because I feel this is very relevant to many people. This was a review on previous research and clinical trials that have evaluated nutritional ingredients in brain and cognitive function.

The lead researcher says, "the rates at which brain neurons form new dendritic spines and synapses depend upon brain levels of...uridine, DHA, and choline."

The researchers explain the brain of patients with Alzheimer's are deficient in DHA and choline, and previous experiments on animals treated with uridine, DHA, and choline increased quantity of synaptic membrane in the whole brain, while a human study showed improved memory.

Keep in mind that this study only looked at three compounds, but from my own research, there are a number of other good natural brain-health ingredients. Ingredients that can improve the quantity of acetylcholine (neurotransmitters), delay acetylcholine's degradation, or improve the conduction velocity of brain signals. That's beyond the scope of this post, but maybe I'll cover it one day.

Related Alzheimer's disease posts:


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Source: Wurtman, et al. 2010 (full-text)

2011-03-08

Dark Chocolate Reduces Blood Pressure as much as Prescription Drugs

She loves that chocolate! But for this blog,
this picture is borderline inappropriate.
Viewer discretion is advised.
I love when I get to report on chocolate research, since chocolate is one of my vices (and I'm talking REAL chocolate here, not milk chocolate or -- even worse -- "candy bars"). Recently, I've been having a couple squares daily of this 90% cocoa bar...it's a delectable mix between the bitter/chocolate tastes we chocolate lovers seek, with a touch of sweetness that still allows all the chocolate flavours to shine.

Anyway, here's more good news to motivate me to continue with my chocolate therapy. This study adds more weight to chocolate's ability to reduce blood pressure. The type used in the study was 72% cocoa dark chocolate everyday for 2 weeks. This resulted in an 18% inhibition in ACE activity, which is about the same as what the pharmaceuticals can deliver (ACE inhibitors are a popular class of hypertension medications).

Yet, instead of all the side-effects typical with prescription drugs, you'll get a bunch of side-benefits with chocolate, including better cognitive health and skin characteristics.

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Source: Effects of Cocoa Extract and Dark Chocolate on Angiotensin-converting Enzyme and Nitric Oxide in Human Endothelial Cells and Healthy Volunteers–A Nutrigenomics Perspective

EpiCor up for Another Award

So today on the way to the office, my car doesn't want to move. Felt like the parking break wasn't releasing, and with my front tires on ice, I wasn't going anywhere. After I hung up the phone to get a tow, I played around with the parking brake lever, and voila, problem fixed.

That reminded me of being a kid, and maybe I'm dating myself here...but do you remember the original Nintendo game system? What would you do when it wasn't working? ...I bet the same thing every other kid in the world who had a Nintendo did... you would take the cartridge out, blow in it, and magically, that would fix the problem. Every kid I know did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet. No discussion boards. We just figured it out. Kind of like how I did this morning. :)
I just hope this car problem doesn't happen as frequently as the Nintendo problem did.

So this morning, I have no new research to discuss, but I did come across an article (link below) discussing how EpiCor is up for another award. This is exciting because when it comes to immune health, EpiCor is truly one of the best ingredients. I've used this now for the last 3 cold/flu seasons...and I haven't got sick even once. Seriously. I take a Canadian brand's product that contains EpiCor, just one daily starting in October, right through to the end of March.

Over the years, I've tried most of the immune products on the market, and I'll say with a high degree of confidence, EpiCor will not disappoint. I've even ate my son's leftovers with his fork when he was sick, and I remained healthy. It's almost like I'm invincible when taking EpiCor.

So if you can find this ingredient in an immune product, I highly recommend it.

Source: NPI Article

2011-03-07

Probiotics Improve Bowel Movements in Elderly

First, word up to Vietnam! I'm not sure who's following my posts over there, but page views originating from Vietnam is 3rd (behind the US, with Canada WAY out in front). Hope it's all legit, and if it is, thanks for your interest in this blog.

Ok, so now let's get down to business... this new study actually didn't find anything "new" as we already knew about probiotics' ability to regulate bowel movements. However, I'll cover it here anyway as a reminder.

Here's my "lazy man's summary" ...in hospitalized, elderly patients, probiotics significantly lowered the incidence of diarrhea. For those on the other end of the bowel movement spectrum, probiotics also lowered laxative use.

Short and sweet.

Source: Probiotics improve bowel movements in hospitalized elderly patients

Update: Shortly after this post, I posted another similar study, but this time on kids.

Related posts:

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War on Drugs? What War?

So this morning I got an email from a friend linking to this YouTube video. It's a trailer for a documentary call The Marketing of Madness. From the trailer, looks like something I want to see, and something we should all probably see. It's about the pharmaceutical industry and the deception and unethical practices that occur, all in the name of pushing drugs to the masses.

War on drugs? We're losing... and it's big pharma that's winning.

I still wonder how and why such a benign natural substance like marijuana continues to be illegal (yet study after study, repeatedly show it's less damaging to human health and society than alcohol). What's even more upsetting is that our governments spend billions of our hard-earned tax dollars on its prohibition -- yet big pharma (subsidized by our tax dollars) gets away with murder...literally.

Pushing amphetamines to elementary grade students for ADHD? Rat poison for atrial fibrillation? ...I could write a novel on this crap, but just thinking about this destruction in the name of profit gives me a brain bubble.

If you've got time, google "Death by Medicine" and read the article. It provides statistics that show conventional medicine can realistically be considered the leading cause of death in the US. That's absolute bonkers, if not eye opening for those just waking up to this reality.

Anyway, click this link to watch the trailer on YouTube...The Marketing of Madness

On a side note, I want to express my gratitude for all your support. Last week, being the first week of this blog saw about 420 visits. The day with highest traffic saw about 87 visits. Amazing! This project was a bit of a learning curve for me, and I'm still learning. Hopefully my posts will just get more interesting with each new entry. If you have any suggestions on how to make this blog better, please let me know.

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2011-03-04

PMS Symptoms Reduced by B Vitamins

Since most B vitamins are required to produce neurotransmitters that are potentially involved in PMS, the authors of a new study sought to determine if B vitamins from foods and/or supplements can reduce the incidence of PMS or its symptoms.

To make a long story short, what they found was the high intakes of thiamine (B1) and riboflavin (B2) from food sources were found to lower the incidence of PMS. They did not, however, find any benefit from supplements or the other B vitamins.

Source: Dietary B vitamin intake and incident premenstrual syndrome

Yes, an interesting study, but this is a great opportunity for me to discuss another supplement that has been shown to provide incredible benefits for PMS sufferers -- krill oil. Now this study is almost a decade old, but still very relevant... I guess as long as PMS is around, it'll always be relevant.

In this study, 2 g/day of krill oil (in comparison to 2 g/day of fish oil) resulted in huge benefits after 3 months. Most notable improvements were a decrease in irritability, breast tenderness, depression, stress, abdominal pain, weight gain, and bloating.

Source: Krill oil for PMS and dysmenorrhea

Now for a different discussion... so yesterday, I got asked twice, "why 'guff?'" No, it's not pronounced "goof" as in goofy, or you're a goof. So to clarify any misconceptions, here is a definition: "empty or foolish talk; nonsense."

What I wanted to do with this blog was not only discuss positive research on nutrition and human health, but also point out some of the nonsense that takes place...you know, when the media gets hold of a study, takes it out of context, misinterprets it, and presents it to the public in a way just to grab headlines.

However, thankfully, that doesn't happen all the time...so effective immediately, if there is no guff to discuss from the academic/research side, I'll just talk some guff myself. :)

Like today, on the way to the office, I was stuck behind a cop, who was stuck behind another vehicle doing the speed limit (obviously due to the presence of the cop behind him/her). But I started wondering if cops ever get impatient with these slow-pokes? Cops are just like everyone else, they would probably prefer to go at least 10 km/hr over the speed limit. I think going the speed limit would raise suspicions. If I was a cop, I'd probably pull people over for going the speed limit...and search their car. They must be hiding something.

So please, people, just drive normally. We all have places to go, things to do...and the cops probably do too.

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2011-03-02

Ubiquinol (Reduced CoQ10) Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Another study adding to the small, yet growing database of human clinical trials for ubiquinol -- the antioxidant form of CoQ10.

In this study, 150 mg/day was able to decrease LDL ("bad" cholesterol) levels by 12.7% in only 2 weeks! Further, the effect was most pronounced in the small, dense LDL particles, which have a greater impact on atherosclerosis (plaque formation) than other types of LDL cholesterol.

In addition, induction of gene expression patterns involved in inflammation, cellular differentiation and death were observed (suggesting possible mechanisms for CoQ10's observed anti-cancer effects).

While this is a great study, it had a relatively small sample size and no control group. Even though this is typical for "pilot" studies, I would love to see the next step be a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Nonetheless, my experience with ubiquinol has been nothing short of amazing, and anecdotal reports all over the world are suggesting that this is the form of CoQ10 people would get the most therapeutic benefit from.

One last thing I should point out... ubiquinol (but not CoQ10 as ubiquinone) is considered an extremely powerful antioxidant. Why is this important? LDL cholesterol is usually not a problem until it becomes oxidized. By preventing its oxidation (with ubiquinol), even if LDL is present in amounts greater than desired, you essentially neutralize its potential harmful, plaque-forming abilities.

If you're looking to buy a ubiquinol product, just make sure you buy from a reputable brand that guarantees its stability (as ubiquinol is an unstable molecule).

Other posts discussing new CoQ10 studies:


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Source: Ubiquinol-induced gene expression signatures are translated into altered parameters of erythropoiesis and reduced low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in humans

Mom's Vitamin D Status During Pregnancy and its Effects on the Child

A study looking into the consequences to children born to vitamin D deficient mothers has given more weight to the need for vitamin D supplementation (as if there wasn't already enough).

This study found that exposure to low vitamin D concentrations in utero was associated with less muscle mass and higher insulin resistence in children.

Source: www.ajcn.org/content/93/3/628.abstract

In my opinion, I feel pregnant women should supplement with at least 2000 IU (50 mcg) daily of vitamin D3. I also highly recommend vitamin K2 as an excellent complementary nutrient.

Related posts:

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2011-03-01

Fish Oil Boosts Effectiveness of Chemotherapy

In a new Canadian study on lung cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, fish oil supplementation at 2500 mg/day (EPA+DHA), improved response rate and one-year survival rate compared to chemotherapy alone.

Source: Supplementation with fish oil increases first-line chemotherapy efficacy in patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer

Study Shows Magnesium's Metabolic Benefits

Some may already know my favourite mineral is magnesium...has been for quite some time now. While magnesium is involved in 100s of biochemical reactions (everything from energy production to cardiovascular protection), here is study that sheds some light on a possible mechanism of action for the metabolic benefits seen.

Supplementation with 500 mg of magnesium (in the citrate form) for only 4 weeks reduced the levels of a protein called C-peptide (which is a measure of insulin sensitivity), in addition to down-regulating certain genes related to metabolic and inflammatory pathways.

This could be why we've seen magnesium to be of such great benefit to Type 2 Diabetics in the regulation of insulin and blood glucose.

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Source: www.ajcn.org/content/93/2/463