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Mannitol and Iron for Parkinson's Disease

Hope you enjoyed the first weekend of summer! Well, for my last post, I kept things short so you could start your weekend. For this post--since the weekend is over--I'm going to keep you here until the end time! :)

Here are two new studies for the prevention of Parkinson's disease. First, a study on mannitol, a sugar alcohol that is the steroisomer of sorbitol. Alpha-synuclein is a protein that leads to the development of Parkinson's. Due to this, researchers decided to first identify the structural characteristics that lead to the development of clumps of alpha-synuclein. Once they had this information, they searched for a compound that could inhibit the proteins' ability to bind together, which led them to mannitol.

To test mannitol against alpha-synuclein, they used fruit flies genetically-engineered to carry the human gene for alpha-synuclein.


B12 & Folate Reduce Risk of Macular Degeneration

I know you've got to get your weekend started, so I'll keep this one short. This study links homocysteine to yet another health condition, this time age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

This cohort study involved 1760 subjects who were 55 years and older. Results showed that elevated total serum homocysteine levels, folate deficiency, and vitamin B12 deficiency were all found to predict increased risk of AMD.


Statins Linked to Musculoskeletal Injuries

More bad news for statin users, but probably not surprising for anyone who understands the biochemistry behind these drugs. Just over a month ago, I covered a study that showed statin drugs negate the benefits of exercise, and now this new study link the use of statins with an increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries, including an increased risk of dislocations, strains, and sprains. The researchers go on to suggest that the full range of musculoskeletal adverse events might not be fully known at this time and that further studies are needed, especially in active individuals.


Vitamin D Lowers Obesity Rates

I've previously covered a couple studies linking vitamin D to body fat and weight (following the links below). Previously, Here is the latest on this topic, and it shows that vitamin D levels influence the incidence of obesity (not a consequence of obesity).

In this new study, researchers collected data from 1226 people at three different visits over a ten-year period. Results showed that rates of obesity increased over the study period, with a prevalence of 28.1, 36.2 and 39.5%, for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd visits, respectively.


Certain Foods in Mediterranean Diet Leads to Better Cognitive Function

In case we haven't heard enough of the positive benefits from the Mediterranean diet to cardiovascular and cognitive health, here's another one. However, this one was interesting because it broke down which foods were beneficial for a particular aspect of cognitive function. 

This study involved 447 subjects at high risk of cardiovascular disease (between the ages of 55 and 80 years), enrolled in the PREDIMED study (a primary prevention dietary-intervention trial). Adherence to a Mediterranean diet was found to be associated with improvements in cognitive function in the elderly subjects.