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The information given by Naturopath Russell Setright in this article is for general educational purposes only and not for the treatment of any disease or condition. Always see your Health-care Practitioner for any suspected disease accident or condition and follow there expert advice.

Russell's Clinic 02 47366567 Kingswood NSW



Free Survival Video Tips on how to survive a flood, fire, earthquake and storm

  

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TOPICS in this page


Research Reveals Why Pot Can Make People Paranoid

INSOMNIA
HOW TO GET A NATURAL NIGHT'S SLEEP

Winter flu, bronchitis and sinusitis

Are multivitamins beneficial or of no use?

Free Radicals and Health

Fish oil and blood pressure

Magnesium the Forgotten Mineral

Getting our Body Back To Normal After The Festive Season

The latest evidence on the benefits of vitamin supplements

Female dietary antioxidant intake from supplements and time to pregnancy in unexplained infertility

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements

Vitamin D and Breast Cancer is there a link ?

Enhance Athletic Performance And Muscle Strength

What You Need To Know About Heart Attacks

Nutritional insurance, Are multivitamins beneficial or of no use?

Ibuprofen or Paracetamol in the prevention, and treatment of respiratory infections

Reduce your risk of stroke

reduce your risk of skin cancer

Colds and Flu

How to choose a multivitamin

Weight loss, burn it off

What is a balanced diet

All about vitamin D3

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Female Triathletes May Face Health Problems Such as Incontinence

Women who compete in triathlons are at increased risk for pelvic floor disorders, including incontinence, and other health problems, a new study says.

"There has been a surge in popularity of high-impact sports such as triathlons, but little has been known until now about the prevalence of pelvic health and certain other issues associated with endurance training and events," study author Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald, a physiatrist at Loyola University Health System, said in a university news release.

The term "pelvic floor" refers to the muscles that support the pelvic organs, such as the uterus, bladder or bowel.

Researchers surveyed more than 300 female triathletes, with a median age range of 35 to 44. On average, they ran 3.7 days a week, cycled 2.9 days a week and swam 2.4 days a week.

One-third said they had pelvic floor disorder symptoms, such as urgency urinary incontinence (16 percent), stress urinary incontinence (37 percent), bowel incontinence (28 percent) and pelvic organ prolapse (5 percent).

The survey also revealed that 29 percent of the women had abnormal bone density, 24 percent had menstrual irregularities, and 22 percent had disordered eating. These are components of the so-called female athlete triad, according to the study, which is to be presented Thursday at an American Urogynecologic Society meeting in Washington, D.C.

While the research shows an association between triathlon training and certain health issues, it doesn't establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

Pelvic floor disorders and the female athlete triad are often ignored, study author Dr. Johnny Yi, a urogynecologist at Loyola, said in the news release. "Doctors should be aware of how common these conditions are in this group of athletes and treat patients appropriately to avoid long-term health consequences," Yi said.

Data and conclusions presented at meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

SOURCE: Loyola University Health System, news release, July 24, 2014 THURSDAY, July 24, 2014 (HealthDay News)


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Research Reveals Why Pot Can Make People Paranoid

Factors such as worrying, low self-esteem and anxiety can contribute to the condition, study says

THURSDAY, July 17, 2014 British researchers say they've identified several psychological factors that can contribute to short-term paranoia in some people who use marijuana.

The paranoia is caused by the main active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), according to the researchers.

"The study very convincingly shows that cannabis [marijuana] can cause short-term paranoia in some people," study leader Daniel Freeman, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford in England, said in a university news release.

"But more importantly it shines a light on the way our mind encourages paranoia. Paranoia is likely to occur when we are worried, think negatively about ourselves, and experience unsettling changes in our perceptions," he added.

The study included 121 volunteers, ages 21 to 50, who had used marijuana at least once before. Two-thirds of them were injected with THC and the other third received a placebo. The dose of THC was equivalent to one strong joint.

After the injections, half of those who received THC had paranoid thoughts, compared with 30 percent of those who received the placebo. The researchers concluded that THC was directly responsible for increased paranoia in one in five of those who received the drug. Paranoia declined as THC left the bloodstream.

The researchers also found that psychological factors such as worrying, low self-esteem, anxiety and experiencing a number of disturbing changes in perception caused by THC contributed to feelings of paranoia, according to the study published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.

THC also caused a number of other psychological effects, the study authors said. These included: anxiety; worry; poor mood and negative thoughts about self; poorer short-term memory; and various changes in perception, such as sounds being louder and colors brighter than normal, and altered sense of time.

"The study provides a great deal more information about the immediate effects of cannabis, but it did not investigate clinically severe disorder. The results don't necessarily have any implications for policing, the criminal justice system, or legislation," Freeman said.

"It tells us about the little-discussed paranoid-type fears that run through the minds of so many people from time to time. The implication is that reducing time spent ruminating, being more confident in ourselves, and not catastrophizing when unusual perceptual disturbances occur will in all likelihood lessen paranoia," he concluded.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about 

SOURCE: University of Oxford, news release, July 17, 2014


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INSOMNIA
HOW TO GET A NATURAL NIGHT'S SLEEP
Russell Setright

Napoleon once said that a man needs four, a woman needs six and a fool needs eight hours sleep a night. I don't believe that this is the truth; however, many people believe they need more sleep than they are actually getting. What is more important is the quality of sleep. If we are tossing and turning and waking up continuously during the night or are woken up during the deep sleep stage, then we would indeed feel run down and exhausted the next morning.
While some people may require eight hours sleep, others can be well rested and function properly with as little as four hours sleep. This depends on the physical activity and lifestyle of the individual. Other factors such as age and pregnancy also affect the length of sleep required. A young baby requires up to twenty hours sleep a day whereas someone in their seventies only requires four to six hours a night.
True insomnia results when we are unable to achieve the amount of sleep we need. In fact almost one-third of the population can be affected with this common condition. We need sleep for our nervous system to function properly. If we are deprived of sleep for long periods, we may suffer from irritability or even hallucinations and delusions.
The causes of insomnia include biochemical imbalances and psychological problems. Biochemical imbalances can be treated by diet and natural remedies.
We go through four stages of sleep.
The first stage of sleep is the lightest where there is slow eye rolling, some muscle twitching and a drop in body temperature.
Sleep deepens slightly during the second stage. EEG (electroencephalograph) measurement shows some bursts of activity.
When we reach stage three, this is a much deeper sleep and the EEG now slows to a larger wave pattern.
About forty minutes after falling asleep stage four occurs. This is when we are at our lowest ebb. We stay in this pattern for approximately forty minutes and the EEG pattern is now a slow wave. It is also at this stage that bed-wetting can occur in children.
It is possible to be easily awakened just before this very deep sleep of stage four. We may all have experienced how difficult it is to fall back to sleep if awakened at this stage.
We now return to stage one that is called REM (Rapid-Eye-Movement) sleep.  This is our dreaming phase when our breathing becomes irregular and our eyes move quickly from side-to-side although they are still closed. If we do no achieve REM phase, we can awake still feeling a need for sleep. This is also a phase where the slightest sound can wake the light sleeper. This pattern continues 4 to 5 times a night concluding with our awakening.
Exercise, dietary adjustments and the addition of herbs can help many poor sleepers achieve this normal sleep pattern, one which will make them more mentally alert, rested and active.
A combination of the herbs, valerian, Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm), Passiflora incarnata (Passion flower) and Humulus lupulus (Hops)  will help us to achieve a more restful sleep without daytime drowsiness and addiction. They are best taken about an hour before bed with a glass of warm low fat milk or soymilk.    
These herbs have been traditionally used for their sedative and gentle anxiety relieving effects. Passionflower also helps to relieve insomnia due to mental worry and anxiety, racing thoughts or "mind chatter" by helping to calm the mind.
Dietary changes can help insomniacs.
Serotonin, a natural hormone that helps regulates mood, appetite and sleep is converted from the amino acid L-tryptophan with the aid of vitamin B6. L-tryptophan is also converted into vitamin B3. To ensure that L-tryptophan (a natural occurring amino acid found in protein foods such as milk) is converted with the aid of vitamin B6 to serotonin and not vitamin B3, we may need to include extra B3 and B6 vitamins in our diet ensuring this conversion as adverse mood/emotional conditions can affect the ability to fall asleep as well as reducing sleep quality.
A warm drink of low fat milk or soymilk before bedtime can help ensure adequate intake of dietary L-tryptophan as both are sources of dietary L-tryptophan. To help adequate absorption of tryptophan into the brain, dietary protein is best minimised in the evening meal and instead substitute carbohydrates as the main component of the meal.
There are other factors that will help improve sleep. One of these is going to bed at the right time. If our bodies only require six hours sleep to be fully rested, then going to bed at 8.00 p.m. at night will result in wakefulness at approximately 2 am. in the morning. Many people unfortunately may think this is insomnia and take sleeping tablets so they can resume their sleep pattern for the rest of the night. This habit, especially when taking prescribed sleeping medication, does not give the same quality of sleep as natural sleep nor does it rest the body in the same way.
It would be much better to postpone going to bed until later in the night and enjoy the extra time by either reading or partaking in some other relaxing pastime in preparation for a good night's sleep. However one of the most important factors in being able to have a good night’s sleep is the production of melatonin (the hormone of sleep).
Melatonin the sleep hormone
Melatonin, often referred to as the sleep hormone, in humans it is produced by the pineal gland in the presence of darkness and reduced light (night time). The melatonin signal forms part of the system that regulates the sleep–wake cycle by chemically causing drowsiness and lowering the body temperature, the central nervous system (specifically the suprachiasmatic nuclei, or SCN) also plays an important part in controlling the daily cycle in most components of the paracrine and endocrine systems.
In the morning bright light (sunlight) stops the production of melatonin and is needed to wake up fully. A lack of darkness at night and or bright sunlight in the morning can interfere with your body clock.  
Bright light at night from smart phones and pads which emit a blue light interferes with your melatonin production more than other light wavelengths do. As a result this bluish light throws the body's biological clock, the circadian rhythm, out of whack and sleep suffers. Worse, research shows that it may contribute to the causation of some cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Some tips for a good night’s sleep
Go to bed at the right time to give you the hours needed for a good nights sleep, turn off or dim the lights two hours before bed.
If you need a night light, red colour light does not interfere with melatonin production and makes a good night light.
DON”T get on the smart phone and Pad in bed.
Avoid eating a large protein meal just before bedtime and also restrict the intake of caffeine found in coffee and cola drinks.
A good drink before going to bed is a cup of chamomile tea. This is relaxing and tasty and will help you sleep well and awake well rested and ready to tackle the day.
When you get up in the morning go out into the sunlight. This is very important as it will help keep your body clock in equilibrium.
Sleep well and enjoy your life more.




AUSTRALIANS OFFERED A NEW OPTION FOR WINTER WELLNESS

New Blackmores Kaloba® - clinically proven for acute bronchitis and acute sinusitis

As antibiotic resistance becomes increasingly widespread, health organisations including the NPS (National Prescribing Service) are urging people to seek advice from a health care practitioner for the best treatment option for their illness this cold and flu season.

 Acute bronchitis and acute sinusitis are two conditions that in approximately 90% of cases are viral and can be managed with a more natural option.

 New to Australia, Blackmores Kaloba® Oral Liquid is a clinically proven naturally derived option for acute bronchitis and acute sinusitis. It has been demonstrated to significantly improve recovery time of acute bronchitis and relieve symptoms of acute bronchitis and sinusitis.

 For centuries, the active ingredient in Kaloba®, herb Pelargonium sidoides, has been traditionally used in South Africa for respiratory conditions. The common name for this herb is umckaloabo which is derived from the Zulu language and means ‘heavy cough’.

 It’s probably no surprise to you that 94% of Australians claim to suffer a cold, cough or flu at least two to three times a year and they are the most prevalent contagious illnesses in Australia.

 But what you might not know is that cold and flu can develop into acute bronchitis, which is associated with substantial costs to the community in terms of absenteeism and loss of productivity.

 It is common for people suffering from acute bronchitis to go straight to their GP for a recommendation on the best course of action.  

 General Practitioner, Dr Jeff Jankelson says, “Acute bronchitis is a very common condition. It’s responsible for one out of 25 GP consultations, so that’s almost 5% of GP consultations end up with a diagnosis of acute bronchitis. It’s a very common condition and we need sensible ways of managing it.” 

 “In the last decade we have learnt that nearly all cases of acute bronchitis are viral in origin. I look to prescribe a solution that is effective in reducing the duration of the symptoms and enables the person to go back to school or work,” said Jankelson.

 “I recommend Blackmores Kaloba® to certain patients with acute bronchitis and acute sinusitis in my own medical practice and I’ve found it effective in both conditions. There is a rapid onset of treatment, the person produces more mucus, there’s greater clearance from the lungs and the person’s recovery time is reduced. So there is a significant obvious change and that satisfies me as a doctor,” he said.

 Blackmores Kaloba® is a registered product and has been extensively studied. Research done on patients with acute bronchitis and acute sinusitis has shown Kaloba® to be effective, reliable and well-tolerated. It also may shorten the duration of acute bronchitis, improving recovery time. 

 Blackmores Director of Education Pam Stone says, “As a naturopath I’m always looking for natural products that support the body when ill. Blackmores Kaloba® has been shown to help reduce the number of days people feel unwell and help them get better quicker. Blackmores is proud to offer Australian families a proven, effective complementary medicine to help manage such prevalent conditions this winter.” 

 

 ABOUT KALOBA

Blackmores Kaloba® Oral liquid is registered on the ARTG (Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods), and has been reviewed for safety and efficacy. Other key features include:

  • AUST R product
  • Effective, well tolerated treatment for the family. Approved children’s doses for family members over two years (with acute bronchitis)*
  • Convenient drop dosage
  • Two pack sizes, 20 mL and 50 mL
  • Kaloba® has been used extensively in Europe since 1999 and is one of the lead selling over-the-counter preparations in its category in Europe
  • Kaloba has been extensively studied with at least 10 clinical trials (including 5 pivotal, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials)

 

*Children under 6 years should only be treated with Kaloba after previous consultation with a doctor

 

 




Setright R, Multivitamins, Are multivitamins beneficial or of no use? Setright Letter, 2014 May;03:13:1-2               

The Setright Letter

 Are multivitamins beneficial or of no use?

An Independent review of Complementary Medicine Evidence

 Russell Setright

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Introduction

Taking multivitamins is said to help the immune system, improve memory, enhance wellbeing, reduced risk of Autistic Spectrum disorder, and reduce cancer risk, birth defects, cataracts and Macular Degeneration. Some have stated that taking vitamins in any form is a waste of money and there is no evidence that they are beneficial to health. These are big statements but is there any evidence to support the use of multivitamins?

 

Although there are many studies that have found supplementation with single vitamins and/or minerals that include, fluoride for dental health, iodine for children’s intellectual development, folic acid for the prevention of certain birth defects, calcium for bone health to name but a few are beneficial in reducing the incidence of some diseases and/or adverse health conditions.

However, the statement, “there is NO evidence to support multivitamins use”, still persists.

A literature search was undertaken on the use of vitamin/mineral combinations (multivitamin formulas) and there effect on health. 

Following are few examples of clinical trials and studies that have reported the positive effects of multivitamin supplementation.


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Immune function

Basically there are two types of immune-functions; our adaptive immune system, which is activated when we mount a defence against a new invader and then retain antibodies and memory for immunity in the future. And our innate immune system, the almost immediate reaction your body has, for instance, when you get a cut or a skin infection.

In primates, this action of "turning on" an optimal response to microbial attack only works properly in the presence of adequate vitamin D.

The benefits of improved nutrition by the use of multivitamin and mineral supplementation on immune function and general wellbeing have been demonstrated.

A study found supplementation with a multivitamin containing the B group of vitamins, vitamins C and E + selenium slowed the progression of the HIV virus by half in the first two years(1)

Previous studies have also found that HIV progression is slowed in those taking multivitamin mineral formula compared to placebo (2) However, this is the first trial to look at early intervention that is before HIV infection has progressed to AIDS. The authors of the study stated that immune system support given by multivitamin + selenium combination could explain the statistically significant benefit in the reduction of HIV progression to AIDS.

 

Cancer

There are many types of cancer. The most common causes are thought to be due to immune suppression, free radical disease, poor diet, or toxic substances. However, most cancers have one thing in common. Cancer cells form tumours that destroy or compress other normal tissues. These malignant tumours are characterised by unrestrained cell growth and can spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). Up to 25% of Australians may develop some type of cancer, however, it is important to remember that cancer is a word not a death sentence. Early detection and prompt treatment combined with a good diet and improved lifestyle can make the difference between health and disease

 

An 11 year plus study, Physicians’ Health Study (PHS) II) of 14,641 male health professionals who were randomly assigned to receive a daily multivitamin or placebo has again found that vitamin supplement users receive a number of important health benefits; the study found that a daily multivitamin use may reduce the risk of developing cancer by 8% and although no significant reductions were observed for major cardiovascular events including heart attack and stroke, the study did find among a smaller number of multivitamin users who already had cardiovascular disease at the start, there was a significant reduction in the risk of dying from a heart attack by 44 per cent (3)

 

Multivitamin supplementation may also help protect women from certain cancers. A study of  7,728 women who developed invasive breast cancer was undertaken and a comparison of mortality rates revealed that women with invasive breast cancer who took multivitamin/mineral supplements were 30 percent less likely to die from their cancers than women with invasive breast cancer who hadn't taken the supplements(4)

 

Another study of 1,100 current and former smokers found that those supplementing with multivitamins had a 43 per cent reduction in gene suppression/damage (gene methylation) in the airway epithelium of smokers. Suppression of this process, such as caused by smoking, is associated with the development of cancer.

 

The authors stated the study is further evidence that nature-identical, synthetic micronutrients in multivitamins can be effective in disease risk reduction as micronutrients from vegetables and fruits(5)

 

In an animal study The authors concluded that "multivitamin and mineral supplements synergistically contribute to the cancer chemopreventative potential, and hence, regular supplements of multivitamins and minerals could reduce the risk of colon cancer(6)

 

Memory and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for around 50 per cent of all senile dementia sufferers and without doubt, as we grow older, this form of dementia is the most dreadful. This disease is distinguished by a steady and progressive loss of memory due to the deterioration of brain function and wasting. This deterioration is also associated with the presence of tangles of fibres and plaques within the brain nerve cells.

 

Alzheimer’s disease may begin at any age after forty but is most likely to affect individuals over fifty years of age. Over the years there has been a better understanding of this disease, but with all our modern technology and knowledge, modern medicine still has no answer to its treatment and/or cause.

There are many theories regarding the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, ranging from genetic deficiencies to slow acting viruses and although these may indeed have merit. Nutritional deficiencies and toxic mineral accumulation over the years may be the key to the cause of both Alzheimer’s disease memory loss and other types of senile dementia.

 

Studies have found that multivitamins supplementation may also improve memory, mood and general wellbeing.  A systematic review of randomized controlled trials was performed and a meta-analysis of 10 studies was undertaken. The results found that supplementation with multivitamins were found to enhance immediate free recall memory (7)

 

In an older Cross-sectional and prospective study of dementia among 65 years or older people were assessed in 1995 to 1997 for prevalent dementia and AD, and again in 1998 to 2000 for incident illness and supplement use was ascertained at the first contact.

 

The authors concluded that the use of vitamin E and multivitamin containing vitamin C supplements in combination is associated with reduced prevalence and incidence of AD. Antioxidant supplements merit further study as agents for the primary prevention of AD(8)

 

Wellbeing

The effects of multivitamins are most often researched in the elderly. However this study looks at multivitamin mineral supplementation and psychological functioning in healthy middle aged adults.

 

The study shows how a proprietary multivitamin and mineral supplement improves mood and mental performance while also reducing stress, mental tiredness and fatigue in healthy males.

 

In a randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study, 215 men in full-time employment aged between 30 and 55 were given either a multivitamin or a placebo for a period of 33 days. The  group reported significantly improved ratings of general mental health, reduced subjective stress and increased ratings of 'vigour', with a strong trend towards an overall improvement in mood.(9)

 

Another study found that vitamin and mineral supplements can enhance mental energy and well-being not only for healthy adults but for those prone to anxiety and depression(10)

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder

The term “Autism Spectrum Disorder” includes Autism/Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

 

ASD often causes individuals to struggle to understand and relate to other people and to their environment and this can often result in extreme behaviour, which can be seen as tantrums in children or rudeness in adults. It is the only way they have to indicate how anxious they are feeling

 

Supplementing with multivitamins peri-conventionally may help reduce the incidence. A study found that women who reported not taking a daily prenatal multivitamin immediately before and during the first month of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder as women who did take the supplements and the associated risk rose to seven times as great when combined with a high-risk genetic make-up, a study by researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute (11)

 

Macular Degeneration

The most common cause of blindness in Australia is macular degeneration (MD) with 12,000 cases of late stage MD diagnosed each year. MD affects twice as many women as men.

 

The symptoms of MD include blocked central vision or empty spaces, straight lines appear distorted or wavy and colours can be hard to distinguish. MD usually affects people over the age of 50 years and its onset has been associated with long-term exposure to sunlight, smoking and a lack of the important dietary antioxidants including vitamin C, E and the minerals zinc and copper. Studies have found that supplementing with a combination of the above antioxidants can reduce the incidence of the disease by up to 25 per cent and may reduce the progression of the degeneration resulting in vision loss by around 19 per cent. Also emerging epidemiological and clinical data for the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin and for omega-3 fatty acids.is positive(12)(13)(14)

 

Cataracts

A cataract, or a clouding on the lens, is a problem that affects people as they grow older. Vision is affected and the eyes can have a watery look. The work comes from the Greek for 'falling water'.

The cause is not fully understood but it is believed free radicals  can be one of the causes. It is more common for cataracts to develop in elderly people. Research has found supplementing with antioxidant nutrients (beta-carotene, vitamin E and C) may reduce the occurrence.

 

Daily multivitamin supplement use over a long period was found to lower cataract and ARMD risk in men, The study was part of the Physicians' Health Study II (PHS II) and was a randomized, double-blind study from 1997 to 2011 of 14,641 U.S. male doctors age 50 and older. 50 per cent took an antioxidant formula and multivitamin supplements daily. The other half took a placebo.

 

The results showed a 9 to 13 percent decrease in risk of developing cataracts for those that took the supplements(15)

 

Birth Defects

There are a number of factors that contribute to an increased risk of birth defects. These include nutritional status of the parents, sex of the infant, birth weight, and environmental factors. It is more probable that birth defects are caused by a combination of these factors, all of which should be modified in our endeavour to reduce the problem.

 

Spina bifida, one of the most prominent  neural tube defects, is  a congenital  birth defect that affects more than one in 2,000 babies. During the third and fourth weeks of embryonic life, the neural groove, which runs along the back of the embryo, fuses to form the neural tube, the forerunner of the central nervous system. If the neural tube in the spine does not  fully close during the prenatal period, this leaves the spinal cord unprotected and may result in protrusion  of part of the contents of the spinal canal through this opening. There are three forms of the condition, ranging from very slight to very severe.

 

To number of studies examine the effect of multivitamin supplementation on the incidence of children being born certain birth defects have been undertaken. One of these examined the incidence of cleft pallet and supplementing with multivitamins. Eighty-six cases and 172 controls were enrolled. The results found that mothers who took a vitamin supplement were significantly less likely to have a child with cleft pallet(16)

Another study was undertaken to determine the association between prenatal multivitamin supplementation and congenital genitourinary tract anomalies.

In this study a total of 46,850 births were registered and 122 (26/10,000) of them were identified to have a genitourinary tract anomaly.

The results found that prenatal multivitamin supplementation during the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy was associated with a reduction in the risk of these anomalies.

The authors of the study concluded that maternal prenatal multivitamins may reduce the risk of congenital genitourinary tract anomalies, not only during the first 8 weeks of gestation but also later in pregnancy(17)

Multivitamins containing folic acid appear to be more effective at preventing neural tube defects than high dose folic acid supplements, It concludes that multivitamins should contain between 0.4 - 0.8 mg of folic acid for pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects and some other congenital abnormalities.

 

This randomized and two-cohort controlled trials showed that periconceptional multivitamin supplementation can reduce the occurrence of some other structural birth defects. The first intervention trial was a randomized controlled trial involving 2,819 participants supplemented with multivitamins containing 0.8 mg of folic acid, and 2,683 unsupplemented participants. The second trial was a two-cohort controlled trial involving 3,069 participants supplemented with the same multivitamins, and 3,069 unsupplemented participants.

A comparison of these results found multivitamins containing 0.8 mg of folic acid were more effective for the reduction of neural-tube defects than high dose folic acid supplements. Also, only multivitamins were able to reduce the prevalence at birth of obstructive defects of urinary tract, limb deficiencies and congenital pyloric stenosis. Folic acid was effective in preventing some part of rectal/anal stenosis/atresia, and high dose of folic acid had effect in preventing some orofacial clefts. 

The authors concluded that the findings are consistent that peri-conceptional multivitamin and folic acid supplementation reduce the overall occurrence of congenital abnormalities in addition to the demonstrated effect on neural-tube defects (18)

 

Multivitamins and Cardio Vascular Disease Prevention

Cardiovascular disease is the largest killer of Australians yet one of the most preventable. There is no doubt that lifestyle and diet play a significant role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease but can supplementing with multivitamins help prevent CVD?

A study of 1708 patients aged 50 years or older who had myocardial infarction (MI) at least 6 weeks earlier and had serum creatinine levels of 176.8 mol/L (2.0 mg/dL) or less. Intervention: Patients were randomly assigned to an oral, 28-component, high-dose multivitamin and multimineral mixture or placebo. The results found that high dose multivitamin supplementation benefits were not statistically significant and reported no evidence of harm or adverse events(19)

Another  study of US male physicians, taking a daily multivitamin was found  not to reduce major cardiovascular events, MI, stroke, and CVD mortality after more than a decade of treatment and follow-up. All caused mortality was only slightly (not significantly significant) reduced.

Further analysis showed that the small number of multivitamin users with CVD at the study’s start were significantly less likely to die from a heart attack, with a 44% reduction in risk.

The authors of the study acknowledge that multivitamins may play a role in populations with nutritional deficiencies, and the study results are not representative of the large number of people with marginal intakes of various vitamins and minerals(20)

 

Reported Negative studies

The following study (Women's Health Initiative clinical trials) was reported in the media as a negative, this was a misleading statement as although the results of the study were mostly not statistically significant.

The results found those who supplemented with multivitamins had a small reduction in the incidence of all the diseases studied. Also in this study, there was a modest inverse association between use of stress-type multivitamins and stomach and kidney cancer and an inverse association of multivitamins without minerals and stomach cancer (21)

Another study published in July 2011 in the European Journal of Nutrition with the purpose to prospectively evaluate the association of vitamin/mineral supplementation with mortality from cancer, cardiovascular conditions, and all-causes.

What was reported was the study found significantly increased risks of cancer and all-cause mortality among baseline non-users who started taking supplements during follow-up.

However the authors stated, “this may suggest a "sick-user effect," which researchers should be cautious of in future observational studies”.

What was not reported was, The study found that long-term users of antioxidant vitamin supplements had a 48% reduced risk of cancer mortality and 42% lower all-cause mortality(22).

 

Discussion

There is no doubt that obtaining our vitamins and minerals from food sources is best. However as a result of poor lifestyle, financial, taste and other circumstances many people are not receiving the RDA of some vitamins and minerals from their diet.

In Australia Governments have attempted to address this by mandating the addition of some vitamins and minerals to food and water; however, deficiencies still exist.

Prevention is better than cure and the data are consistent. Multivitamin supplementation may help reduce the incidence of many disease and adverse health conditions, but may not be a cure.

 

References

 

1.            Marianna K. Baum,  Adriana Campa,  et al.  Effect of Micronutrient Supplementation on Disease Progression in Asymptomatic, Antiretroviral-Naive, HIV-Infected Adults in BotswanaA Randomized Clinical Trial JAMA. 2013;310(20):2154-2163.

2.            Jiamton  S, Pepin  J, Suttent  R,  et al.  A randomized trial of the impact of multiple micronutrient supplementation on mortality among HIV-infected individuals living in Bangkok. AIDS. 2003;17(17):2461-2469

3.            Gaziano J, Sesso HD, Christen WG, et al. Multivitamins in the Prevention of Cancer in Men: The Physicians' Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, 2012; DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.14641

4..           S. Wassertheil-Smoller, A. P. McGinn, N. et al. Multivitamin and mineral use and breast cancer mortality in older women with invasive breast cancer in the women’s health initiative. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10549-013-2712-x

5. C.A. Stidley, et al.  Multi-Vitamins, Folate, and Green Vegetables Protect Against Gene Promoter Methylation in the Aerodigestive Tract of Smokers, Cancer Research 2010 Jan 15;70(2):568-74

6.            Albert Baskar Arul, Ignacimuthu Savarimuthu, et al  Multivitamin and mineral supplementation in 1,2-dimethylhydrazine induced experimental colon carcinogenesis and evaluation of free radical status, antioxidant potential, and incidence of ACF. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 2012; 90 (1): 45 DOI: 10.1139/y11-100

7.            Grima NA, Pase MP, Macpherson H, et al. The effects of multivitamins on cognitive performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Alzheimers Dis. 2012;29(3):561-9. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2011-111751.

8.            Peter P. Zandi, PhD; James C. Anthony, PhD et al. Reduced Risk of Alzheimer Disease in Users of Antioxidant Vitamin Supplements. Arch Neurol. 2004;61:82-88.

9.            Northumbria University (2010, May 20). Multivitamins can add sparkle for healthy young people News Release

10.          Panel discussion July 15 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo® held at McCormick Place.

11.          Rebecca J. Schmidt, Robin L. Hansen, et al. Prenatal Vitamins, One-carbon Metabolism Gene Variants, and Risk for Autism. Epidemiology, 2011

12.          Aslam T, Delcourt C, et al. Micronutrients in age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmologica. 2013;229(2):75-9. doi: 10.1159/000343708. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

13.          Chew EY1, Clemons TE, et al. Long-term effects of vitamins C and E, β-carotene, and zinc on age-related macular degeneration: AREDS report no. 35.  Ophthalmology. 2013 Aug;120(8):1604-11.

14.          Chew, E. Presentation at Retina Subspecialty Day, American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, Las Vegas USA, 10 Nov, 2006.

15.          William G. Christen, Robert J. Glynn, et al. Effects of Multivitamin Supplement on Cataract and Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Randomized Trial of Male Physicians. Ophthalmology, 2014; 121 (2): 525 DOI

16.          McKinney CM1, Chowchuen B et al. Micronutrients and oral clefts: a case-control study. J Dent Res. 2013 Dec;92(12):1089-94. doi: 10.1177/0022034513507452. Epub 2013 Oct 4.

17.          Fernández N1, Henao-Mejía J et al.  Association between maternal prenatal vitamin use and congenital abnormalities of the genitourinary tract in a developing country. J Pediatr Urol. 2012 Apr;8(2):121-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2011.07.005. Epub 2011 Sep 17.

18.       Czeizel AE. The primary prevention of birth defects: Multivitamins or folic acid?. Int J Med Sci 2004; 1:50-61.

19.          Lamas GA, Boineau R, Goertz C  et al. Oral high-dose multivitamins and minerals after myocardial infarction: a randomized trial., Ann Intern Med. 2013 Dec 17;159(12):797-805.

20.          Sesso HD1, Christen WG et al. Multivitamins in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in men: the Physicians' Health Study II randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2012 Nov 7;308(17):1751-60.

21.      Marian L. Neuhouser, PhD; Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, PhD et al. Multivitamin Use and Risk of Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease in the Women's Health Initiative Cohorts,  Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(3):294-304.

22.          Li K, Kaaks R, Linseisen J, Rohrmann S. Vitamin/mineral supplementation and cancer, cardiovascular, and all-cause mortality in a German prospective cohort (EPIC-Heidelberg). Eur J Nutr. 2011 Jul 22.

 

The information given by Naturopath Russell Setright in this article is for general educational purposes only and not for the treatment of any disease or condition. Always see your Healthcare Practitioner for any suspected disease accident or condition and follow there expert advice.



Free Radicals and Health

Are you confused; are free radicals good or bad?

A free radical is defined as any atom or molecule that has an unpaired electron. This means the very oxygen we breathe is a free radical. A common mistake that some make is that all free radicals are bad. It is excess free radicals that if not controlled by antioxidants that can be harmful. One example of a free radical that is beneficial is the nitric oxide radical (NO.). Nitric oxide is a gas which seems to act as a messenger between cells and as a neurotransmitter, as well as relaxing blood vessel walls and helping the flow of blood. Tobacco smoking damages the gene responsible for the production of nitric oxide while vitamin D3 and vitamin C enhances endothelial nitric-oxide synthase.

The free radical theory of disease proposes that many degenerative diseases and even ageing result from damage to our cells by activated oxygen species (AOS), which include free radicals and non-radical species. Free radicals have an unpaired electron, and because nature likes everything to be in pairs, free radicals are very reactive, and try to react with other molecules or free radicals and gain an extra electron to form a pair. Oxygen free radicals are generated in our bodies from a variety of sources, including the metabolism of the oxygen that we breathe, the destruction of pathogens in our blood stream by white blood cells (phagocytosis) and the metabolism of alcohol and other chemicals that we ingest.

Many scientists believe that single cell life may have started spontaneously around 3.5 billion years ago from basic chemicals produced from the primitive oxygen-free atmosphere by free radical reactions initiated by ionising radiation from the sun. Then about one billion years later, blue-green algae appeared and some 1.3 billion years ago the concentration of atmospheric oxygen, produced by the photosynthesising algae, had reached 1 per cent of the present value (21 per cent). Utilisation of oxygen to produce energy is highly efficient, but is not without its problems. Although good oxygenation of our tissues is absolutely essential for our health, the margin of safety is small. If the concentration of oxygen in the air we breathe is raised much above the ambient level of 21 per cent for very long, serious effects can occur as a result of the formation of high levels of activated oxygen species in our bodies.

Although these activated oxygen species are essential to life they can be dangerous if formed at too high a concentration or in the wrong place. It is our superb antioxidant defences, a range of enzymes (such as catalase) and molecular substances including vitamins A, C and E in our blood and tissues (antioxidants) which react with and help control and destroy excessive free radicals and activated oxygen species before they can cause any damage.

The main reason why the human species has the longest lifespan potential of any mammal could be our superb antioxidant defences and most of these must be obtained from the diet or when inadequate from supplements.

Free radicals can be both very beneficial and harmful depending on your antioxidant status. To help keep free radicals under control ensure the diet contains a variety of antioxidant rich foods such as berries, fruit and vegetables.

References

Ascorbic acid enhances endothelial nitric-oxide synthase activity by increasing intracellular tetrahydrobiopterin.J Biol Chem. 2000 Jun 9;275(23):17399-406

Lipoic acid and vitamin C potentiate nitric oxide synthesis in human aortic endothelial cells independently of cellular glutathione status.Redox Rep. 2002;7(4):223-7.

Vitamin D Is a Regulator of Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase and Arterial Stiffness in Mice Molecular Endocrinology Volume 28 Issue 1  January 2014


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Fish Oil can help fight cardiovascular disease and stroke.

                                                                      Russell Setright


Omega-3 fatty acids supplements again found of benefit in the fight against high blood pressure (hypertension).
Hypertension is a major risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease and stroke and any positive effects that improving lifestyle and diet has on blood pressure reduction reduces the incidence of this life threatening disease are important.
Fish oil may help
A new meta-analysis of 70 studies published in the American Journal of Hypertension March 1014, has found that supplementing with  more than 2,000mg of omega 3  fatty acids (EPA+DHA ) found in fish oil, had a positive effect in reducing both systolic ( the upper measurement) and Diastolic ( the lower measurement) blood pressure.
The strongest effects of the omega-3 supplements were observed among untreated hypertensive subjects and these reductions were found to be greater than reducing dietary salt or alcohol.
These results again show the importance of dietary omega-3 oils for maintaining cardiovascular health. Along with increasing exercise, maintenance of ideal weight and a diet low in salt and alcohol, increases in omega-3 dietary intake from oily fish or supplements could be a positive step.


Reference
Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid and Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trial Am J Hypertens (2014) doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpu024 First published online: March 6, 2014



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Magnesium the Forgotten Mineral

FACT SHEET

Russell Setright

Russell Setright is an accredited Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, Remedial Therapist and Emergency Medical Technician and an educator in Natural medicine, Advanced Life Support, First Aid, Emergency Critical Care and Rescue. Russell is a Fellow ANTA, member of ATMS, AREMT, ACRRM, the Australian Medical Writers Association and an Honorary Life Member of St John Ambulance. He was registered in the Northern Territory under the Health Practitioners and Allied Professionals Registration Act in 1986 and was the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Health Sciences and is Naturopathic consultant to Blackmores Ltd. Russell is also the author of the Get Well books.

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Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels) is probably the most underdiagnosed electrolyte deficiency. Magnesium is involved in DNA and RNA synthesis and magnesium is a cofactor for more than 300 enzyme systems and is involved in both aerobic and anaerobic energy generation.

Like calcium, much (60 per cent) of our magnesium is in our bones. Calcium and magnesium work together; magnesium helps regulate the amount of calcium that enters cells and a sufficiency of magnesium is also needed to help prevent osteoporosis. Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency may induce muscle spasms and cramps, particularly at night in bed, as well as heartbeat abnormalities, poor concentration and attention span, hyper-irritability, excitability, vertigo and twitching of a cheek and eye muscles.

 

As magnesium is part of the chlorophyll molecule, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are good sources of magnesium. The Australian adult recommended dietary intake (RDI) is around 420 mg a day for men and 320 mg a day for women. However, those who exercise regularly need more, since magne­sium is lost in sweat.

 

Studies have found that low magnesium may be a contributing factor in some breathing disorders, since magnesium relaxes smooth muscle in the lung, lowers lung hypersensitivity, and may help reduce the incidence of wheezing. Furthermore, lung function may improve by including more foods in the diet that are high in magnesium..

 

Other studies found that increased dietary magnesium may help lower blood pressure in people with mild to moderate hypertension, may also help reduce the incidence and severity of migraine headaches and since magnesium is a natural relaxant it may help induce a restful night’s sleep.

 

It has been known for some time that people living in areas where the drinking water is hard, that is, high in calcium and magnesium, have lower rates of heart disease. The cardiac protection by hard water is thought to be attributed to the enhanced magnesium intake.

 

Magnesium deficiency may also lead to a low potassium status. Most potassium in our bodies is intracellular (inside our cells). The concentration of potassium in blood plasma must be controlled with­in very narrow limits, since the correct concentration is vital to the function of the heart, the nervous system, muscles, and many other bodily functions. Potassium deficiency may cause tiredness, muscle fatigue, apathy, depression, and hypertension; in fact many of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. However, because excess potassium can be dangerous, you should not take potassium sup­plements unless they are prescribed by a qualified healthcare practitioner. Wholegrains, vegetables, and fruit are good dietary sources of potassium.

 

Magnesium depletion has also been shown to cause insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion and magnesium supplements have been reported to improve glucose tolerance and insulin response in the elderly.

 

The importance of magnesium is well documented but are we getting enough of this important mineral from our diets? This question is answered in the following studies. An analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2005–2006 found that a majority of Americans of all ages ingest less magnesium from food than their respective RDIs and Evaluation of micronutrient intakes of older Australians: The National Nutrition Survey—1995 found on average, the magnesium consumption levels of Australian men and women are also below the RDI.

 

 






Getting our Body Back To Normal After The Festive Season

FACT SHEET

Russell Setright

Russell Setright is an accredited Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, Remedial Therapist and Emergency Medical Technician and an educator in Natural medicine, Advanced Life Support, First Aid, Emergency Critical Care and Rescue. Russell is a Fellow ANTA, member of ATMS, AREMT, ACRRM, the Australian Medical Writers Association and an Honorary Life Member of St John Ambulance. He was registered in the Northern Territory under the Health Practitioners and Allied Professionals Registration Act in 1986 and was the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Health Sciences and is Naturopathic consultant to Blackmores Ltd. Russell is also the author of the Get Well books.

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Now that the festive season is coming to an end, it's time to start the process of repairing our bodies. Those extra sweets and fatty foods may have added a few kilograms. If this is the case, start eating a more healthy diet; in particular reduce the total fat content of the diet to less than twenty five per cent of your energy intake.  Studies have found that using diet (correct eating) to reduce weight is more beneficial to the body than weight loss derived from exercise alone. Regardless of whether people lost weight, following the Mediterranean-style diet resulted in a 9 per cent decrease in levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) known as "bad" cholesterol.(1)  

Add a little regular exercise in combination with a healthy Mediterranean low fat diet will not only help with good cardiovascular health but will start shedding the kilos.

If you have been overindulging in alcohol over the festive season then your liver may also need some attention.

Had a bit too much to drink? Overindulgence with alcohol often causes lethargy, depression, behaviour changes and headaches. With headaches some may take paracetamol to help relieve the pain. However, be careful, too much alcohol and or paracetamol may cause liver damage. You should never take paracetamol and alcohol together or in higher than recommended amounts, particularly if you have been drinking heavily the night before. Headaches from alcohol may also be caused by dehydration and lack of vitamin B which may be depleted by excessive alcohol intake. The answer is don’t overdo it and drink water between alcoholic drinks.

The body has a limited capacity to store most of the B-group vitamins (except B12 and folate, which are stored in the liver). If your diet has been poor for a few months this may cause B-group vitamins deficiency. For this reason, it is important that adequate amounts of these vitamins be eaten regularly as part of a well-balanced, nutritious diet(2). If you are drinking alcohol and have not been eating properly then taking a vitamin B supplement could be worthwhile.

Often over the festive season many of us may have been eating too excess and including foods that are high in sugar, saturated and trans fats, and artificial colours and flavours. These eating habits and foods combined with excess alcohol and not enough water may contribute to indigestion a sluggish liver and constipation that may contribute to poor elimination of toxins from the body. The build-up of these toxins may cause headache and lethargy. Even dermatitis and acne, could be directly related to a poor diet and a poorly functioning digestive system.

Thankfully there are some herbs and lifestyle changes that could help things get back to normal. Dandelion and milk thistle are liver tonic herbs that may help maintain a healthy liver. Milk thistle, in particular, may help protect the liver from damage caused by some toxins and alcohol(3)

Digestive bitters may also be helpful in promoting healthy liver function. These bitters stimulate the digestive juices and action of all digestive organs may help relieve the symptoms of poor digestion. Digestive bitters should be taken before meals in order to achieve the maximum benefit.

Ten Quick tips to get you back in shape, loose those extra kilos and feel great

1.      Have a positive attitude, let’s do it

2.      Eat your largest meal in the morning

3.      Reduce intake of foods high in sugar and saturated fat

4.      Don’t crash diet, it will rob you of energy, slow your metabolism and the kilos will go back on even faster when you stop.

5.      Drink more water, around 6 to 8 glasses throughout the day

6.      Get the metabolism going by taking a brisk 20 minute walk each morning before breakfast

7.      Don’t eat or drink tea or coffee just before bed

8.      Get 6 to 8 hours good uninterrupted sleep each night in the dark. This increase the production of melatonin the sleep hormone.

9.      Get your vitamin D3 levels up; walk outside in the early morning sun or take a vitamin D3 supplement. Also, sunlight shuts down the production of melatonin.

10.  Have fun

 

1.       Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions Meeting Abstract 127 – Heart-healthy diet helps men lower bad cholesterol, regardless of weight loss May 2013

2.             http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Vitamin_B?open

3.             Kostek H, Szponar J et al, Silibinin and its hepatoprotective action from the perspective of a toxicologist Przegl Lek. 2012;69(8):541-3The information given by Naturopath Russell Setright in this article is for general educational purposes only and not for the treatment of any disease or condition. Always see your Healthcare Practitioner for any suspected disease accident or condition and follow there expert advice.




Vitamins

The latest evidence on the benefits of antioxidant vitamin supplements

FACT SHEET

Russell Setright

Russell Setright is an accredited Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, Remedial Therapist and Emergency Medical Technician and an educator in Natural medicine, Advanced Life Support, First Aid, Emergency Critical Care and Rescue. Russell is a Fellow ANTA, member of ATMS, AREMT, ACRRM, the Australian Medical Writers Association and an Honorary Life Member of St John Ambulance. He was registered in the Northern Territory under the Health Practitioners and Allied Professionals Registration Act in 1986 and was the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Health Sciences and is Naturopathic consultant to Blackmores Ltd. Russell is also the author of the Get Well books. The information given by Russell in this article is for general educational purposes only and not for the treatment of any disease or condition. Always see your Healthcare Practitioner for any suspected disease, accident or condition for diagnosis and treatment and follow their expert advice. And, improving your diet and lifestyle should always be an important goal. 

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Many people take antioxidant and multivitamin supplements to help fill the gap caused by dietary deficiencies and poor lifestyle and to help improve general health and wellbeing. It is also thought that improving diet and lifestyle may help support the immune system, improve memory, delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, enhance wellbeing, reduce the risk of Autistic Spectrum disorders, reduce cancer risk and Macular Degeneration.

These are big asks, but is there any evidence? Yes there is, and following are just a few examples from clinical trials and studies that have reported the positive effects of vitamin supplementation.

Immune function,

The benefits of improved nutrition by the use of multivitamin and mineral supplementation on immune function and general wellbeing was demonstrated. This study found supplementation with a multivitamin containing the B group of vitamins, vitamins C and E + selenium slowed the progression of the HIV virus by half in the first two years(1)  Past studies have also found that HIV progression is slowed in those taking multivitamin mineral formula compared to placebo (2) However, this is the first trial to look at early intervention, that is before HIV infection has progressed to AIDS. The authors of the study explain that it is immune system support that the multivitamin + selenium combination gives that may explain the statistically significant benefit in the reduction of HIV progression to AIDS.

Cancer

Other benefits of multivitamin supplementation have found an 8 per cent reduction in overall cancer incidence in older men who supplemented with a daily multivitamin (3) However, in a follow up study that looked at CVD and multivitamin use found only a small reduction in CVD and a small reduction in total deaths among multivitamin users but these were not statistically significant(4)

Multivitamin supplementation may also help protect women from certain cancers. A study of  7,728 women who developed invasive breast cancer was undertaken and a comparison of mortality rates revealed that women with invasive breast cancer who took multivitamin/mineral supplements were 30 percent less likely to die from their cancers than women with invasive breast cancer who hadn't taken the supplements(5)

Another study examined years of multivitamin use and risk of colorectal adenoma among 43,641 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study between 1991 and 2007.

The use of multivitamins was assessed through biennial questionnaires since 1989 and the authors of the study reported that use of multivitamins is associated with lower risk of colorectal adenoma, even with relatively short duration of use(6)

Memory

Multivitamins supplementation may also improve memory, mood and general wellbeing.  a meta-analysis of 10 studies was undertaken and the results found that supplementation with multivitamins were found to enhance immediate free recall memory (7)

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

 Difficulty with activities of daily living often affect Alzheimer's patients, which is estimated to affect as many as 5.1 million Americans. These issues are among the most taxing burdens of the disease for caregivers, which total about 5.4 million family members and friends.

A Cross-sectional and prospective study of dementia among 65 years or older people  were assessed in 1995 to 1997 for prevalent dementia and AD, and again in 1998 to 2000 for incident illness and supplement use was ascertained at the first contact.

The authors concluded that the use of vitamin E and multivitamin containing vitamin C supplements in combination is associated with reduced prevalence and incidence of AD(8)

In another study, a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, multicenter trial of 341 patients with Alzheimer’s of moderate severity found there were significant delays in the time to the primary outcome for the patients treated with selegiline median time, 655 days; vitamin E 670 days or combination therapy 585 days, as compared with the placebo group 440 days.

The authors of this study concluded that in patients with moderately severe impairment from Alzheimer's disease, treatment with selegiline or alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) slows the progression of disease(9)

New research from the faculty of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai working with Veterans Administration Medical Centers suggests that alpha tocepherol, fat-soluble Vitamin E and antioxidant, may slow functional decline (problems with daily activities such as shopping, preparing meals, planning, and traveling) in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease and decrease caregiver burden. There was no added benefit for memory and cognitive testing with the vitamin.

The trial of Vitamin E and memantine in Alzheimer's Disease (TEAM-AD examined the effects of vitamin E 2,000 IU/d, 20 mg/d of memantine, the combination, or placebo on Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study/Activities of Daily Living (ADCS-ADL) Inventory Score. Cognitive, neuropsychiatric, functional, and caregiver measures were secondary outcomes. A group of 613 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease were in the study.

This trial showed that vitamin E delays progression of functional decline by 19% per year, which translates into 6.2 months benefit over placebo.

The author previously led a study on vitamin E in patients with moderately severe Alzheimer's disease(9). Which also found vitamin E supplements slowed disease progression in this group of patients as well.(10)

Wellbeing

In a randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study, 215 men in full-time employment aged between 30 and 55 were given either a multivitamin or a placebo for a period of 33 days. The  group reported significantly improved ratings of general mental health, reduced subjective stress and increased ratings of 'vigour', with a strong trend towards an overall improvement in mood.(11)

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Women who reported not taking a daily prenatal vitamin immediately before and during the first month of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder as women who did take the supplements -- and the associated risk rose to seven times as great when combined with a high-risk genetic make-up, a study by researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute (12)

Macular Degeneration

There is clinical evidence for potential benefits from vitamin C, β-carotene, vitamin E and zinc, as well as emerging epidemiological and clinical data for the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin and for omega-3 fatty acids. A survey of the literature suggests that some specific micronutrients may be of value in treating or preventing AMD(13)(14)(15)

The information given by Naturopath Russell Setright in this article is for general educational purposes only and not for the treatment of any disease or condition. Always see your Healthcare Practitioner for any suspected disease accident or condition for diagnosis and treatment and follow there expert advice.

 

1.        Marianna K. Baum,  Adriana Campa,  et al.  Effect of Micronutrient Supplementation on Disease Progression in Asymptomatic, Antiretroviral-Naive, HIV-Infected Adults in BotswanaA Randomized Clinical Trial JAMA. 2013;310(20):2154-2163.

2.       Jiamton  S, Pepin  J, Suttent  R,  et al.  A randomized trial of the impact of multiple micronutrient supplementation on mortality among HIV-infected individuals living in Bangkok. AIDS. 2003;17(17):2461-2469

3.        Gaziano J, Sesso HD, Christen WG, et al. Multivitamins in the Prevention of Cancer in Men: The Physicians' Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, 2012; DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.14641

4.       Howard D. Sesso et al. Multivitamins in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in MenThe Physicians' Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, 2012 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.14805

5.       S. Wassertheil-Smoller, A. P. McGinn, N. et al. Multivitamin and mineral use and breast cancer mortality in older women with invasive breast cancer in the women’s health initiative. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10549-013-2712-x

6.       J Massa, E Cho et al. Long-term use of multivitamins and risk of colorectal adenoma in women, British Journal of Cancer , (12 November 2013) | doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.664

7.       Grima NA, Pase MP, Macpherson H, et al. The effects of multivitamins on cognitive performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Alzheimers Dis. 2012;29(3):561-9. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2011-111751.

8.       Peter P. Zandi, PhD; James C. Anthony, PhD et al. Reduced Risk of Alzheimer Disease in Users of Antioxidant Vitamin Supplements. Arch Neurol. 2004;61:82-88.

9.       Sano M, Ernesto C, Thomas RG, et al. A controlled trial of selegiline, alpha-tocopherol, or both as treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. N Engl J Med 1997;336:1216-22.

10.    Vitamin E May Delay Decline in Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease . JAMA, JAN-1, 2014 

11.    Northumbria University (2010, May 20). Multivitamins can add sparkle for healthy young people News Release.

12.    Rebecca J. Schmidt, Robin L. Hansen, et al. Prenatal Vitamins, One-carbon Metabolism Gene Variants, and Risk for Autism. Epidemiology, 2011

13.    Aslam T, Delcourt C, et al. Micronutrients in age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmologica. 2013;229(2):75-9. doi: 10.1159/000343708. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

14.    Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. Control Clin Trials. 1999; 20 (6):573-600

15.    Chew, E. Presentation at Retina Subspecialty Day, American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, Las Vegas USA, 10 Nov, 2006.

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Female dietary antioxidant intake from supplements and time to pregnancy in unexplained infertility

 

About 10 percent of women in the USA between the ages of 15-44 have difficulty conceiving and or miscarrying, but infertility is not always a woman's problem. Both women and men can have problems that cause infertility. About one-third of infertility cases are caused by women's problems. Another one third of fertility problems are due to the man. The other cases are caused by a mixture of male and female problems or by unknown problems(1).

It is therefore important to address both partners and information and possible treatment of male fertility problem is discussed in, Male Fertility may be improved by dietary supplements, Russell Setright, FACT SHEET Dec 16, 2013.

A new study (secondary data analysis of a randomized controlled trial) examined the role of antioxidant intake from dietary supplements and time to pregnancy(TTP) was undertaken. This study found that supplements of B-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E independently and in combination improved time to pregnancy.

The authors concluded that  a shorter TTP was observed among women with BMI <25 kg/m2 with increasing vitamin C, women with BMI ≥25 kg/m2 with increasing β-carotene, women <35 y with increasing β-carotene and vitamin C, and women ≥35 y with increasing vitamin E. (2)

These data add to the positive effects of dietary antioxidants in the maintenance of good health.

1.      Infertility fact sheet, Office on Woman’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Ruder EH1, Hartman TJ et al. Female dietary antioxidant intake and time to pregnancy among couples treated for unexplained infertility Fertil Steril. 2013 Dec 16. pii: S0015-0282(13)03261-5. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.11.008. [Epub ahead of print]


Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements plus analgesic/anti-inflammatory medication may reduce symptoms of arthritis of the knee.

FACT SHEET

Russell Setright

A recent study that examined data of 600 participants looked at structural changes, cartilage volume, joint space and pain in arthritis of the knee over a two year period.

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to compare the results of supplementary glucosamine and chondroitin sulphates with or without analgesic/anti-inflammatory(NSAID) drugs on certain markers of arthritis disease progression.

The results of this study found significant improvements in some of the joint measurements. Those taking analgesic/anti-inflammatory medication plus glucosamine and chondroitin   had significantly reduced loss of cartilage volume at 24 months in the medial central plateau.

Also those who took both anti-inflammatory pain medications plus glucosamine and chondroitin supplements had a mild reduction in disease progression and less pain compared to those who took only pain/anti-inflammatory medications without the supplements.

The authors of the study reported  that the analgesic/anti-inflammatory participants who took glucosamine and chondroitin sulphates had a reduced loss of cartilage volume over 24 months in subregions when assessed with MRI, which could not be identified by normal X-rays(1)

This study adds positive data to the complementary medicine approach in the management of osteoarthritic conditions where anti-inflammatory supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, Lyprinol and krill oil) (2)(3) and analgesic /anti-inflammatory herbs including  White willow  bark are often recommended in combination and been found to have considerable potential in the symptomatic treatment of rheumatic disorders (4)(5).

The combination of glucosamine and chondroitin plus anti-inflammatory dietary supplements and herbs may be a good combination in helping relieve the symptoms and indeed the progression of some osteoarthritic conditions without the side-effects of NSAID's


Glucosamine-Sulfate-1000



  • Effective for osteoarthritic pain relief
  • Helps reduce cartilage wear
  • Contains the most scientifically validated form of glucosamine; glucosamine sulfate sodium chloride complex
  • Results expected after 2-4 weeks


Lyprinol_2

  • Symptomatic relief of osteoarthritis.
  • Temporary relief of the pain of osteoarthritis.
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties.






References

1.        Johanne Martel-Pelletier, Camille Roubille1 et al.  First-line analysis of the effects of treatment on progression of structural changes in knee osteoarthritis over 24 months: data from the osteoarthritis initiative progression cohort , Ann Rheum Dis doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203906

2.        Sheila A. Doggrell, Lyprinol—Is It a Useful Anti-Inflammatory Agent? Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011: 307121. Published online 2011 August 11. doi:  10.1093/ecam/nep030

3.        Chi-Ho Lee,1 John Hon-Kei Lum et al. Pain Controlling and Cytokine-regulating Effects of Lyprinol, a Lipid Extract of Perna Canaliculus, in a Rat Adjuvant-induced Arthritis Model, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 June; 6(2): 239–245. Published online 2007 September 26. doi:  10.1093/ecam/nem100

4.        Ernst E, Chrubasik S. Phyto-anti-inflammatories. A systematic review of randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2000;26(1):13-27.

5.        Schmid B, Ludtke R, Selbmann HK, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of a standardized willow bark extract in patients with osteoarthritis: randomized placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trial.Phytother Res. 2001 Jun;15(4):344-50

The information given by Naturopath Russell Setright in this article is for general educational purposes only and not for the treatment of any disease or condition. Always see your Healthcare Practitioner for any suspected disease accident or condition and follow there expert advice.

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         Vitamin D and Breast Cancer is there a link ?

A study of 972 women with newly diagnose invasive breast cancer and 1,135 randomly selected healthy controls were evaluated to assess vitamin D / sun exposure variables and found that increased exposure to sunlight during adolescence was associated with a 35 per cent reduction in the risk of breast cancer  later in life.

The researches concluded that there is strong evidence to support the hypothesis that vitamin D could help prevent breast cancer. However, their results suggest that exposure earlier in life, particularly during breast development, maybe most relevant
(Knight J et al. "Vitamin D and Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Case-Control Study"Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention March 2007, Volume 16, Pages 422-429)

Another study conducted by Harvard Medical School examined data on more than 10,500 premenopausal and 21,000 postmenopausal women over 45 years of age and the incidence of breast cancer. The study included information on supplementation and dietary sources of vitamin D and calcium over an average of ten years.

The results reported that a high dietary intake of vitamin D was associated with a 30 per cent reduction in the risk of breast cancer among premenopausal women. However, postmenopausal women didn’t experience the same reduction. This may be the result of reduced ability of vitamin D synthesis from sun exposure with aging and its contribution to overall vitamin D status. Sunlight exposure was not taken into account in this study. (Lin J et al. Intakes of Calcium and Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk in Women Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:1050-1059).

Also, Women with breast cancer who had adequate serum vitamin D levels (72+ nmol/mL) double the survival rate after 12 years of follow-up than vitamin D deficient (<50 nmol/mL) women. (Fig. 3)

 (Study Sees Link Between Vitamin D, Breast Cancer Prognosis A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2008 Sep/Oct ;58:264-265)                               

These studies have found that maintaining vitamin D levels from an early age may reduce the incidence of breast cancer by around 35 per cent. And if breast cancer is diagnosed may increase 12 year Survival by around 50 per cent.

Also, In a recent study that evaluated dietary and supplementary vitamin D and calcium  intake among 3,101 breast cancer patients and 3,471 healthy controls.

The researchers found no relationship between dietary vitamin D or calcium intake and breast cancer risk. However, women who reported taking supplemets of vitamin D, at least 400iu daily were at 24 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.

(Anderson L et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online April 14, 2010).

Governments and Health Care Professionals urgently need to examine the role that vitamin D deficiency plays in their disease treatment and prevention plans and consider supplementation and dietary changes as an effective alternative to dangerous sun exposure practises

                 

The information given by Naturopath Russell Setright in this article is for general educational purposes only and not for the treatment of any disease or condition. Always see your Healthcare Practitioner for any suspected disease accident or condition and follow there expert advice.

                    


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A Nutritional Approach To Enhance Athletic Performance And Muscle Strength

FACT SHEET

Russell Setright

Russell Setright is an accredited Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, Remedial Therapist and Emergency Medical Technician and an educator in Natural medicine, Advanced Life Support, First Aid, Emergency Critical Care and Rescue. Russell is a Fellow ANTA, member of ATMS, AREMT, ACRRM, the Australian Medical Writers Association and an Honorary Life Member of St John Ambulance. He was registered in the Northern Territory under the Health Practitioners and Allied Professionals Registration Act in 1986 and was the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Health Sciences and is Naturopathic consultant to Blackmores Ltd. Russell is also the author of the Get Well books.

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Do athletes, joggers, regular exercisers, body builders and people who do heavy physical work require special dietary needs?

Athletes may need in addition to a well-balanced diet, extra protein and nutritional supplements to meet the extra nutritional requirements needed when pushing their bodies beyond the normal limit.

 

Antioxidants; Heavy workouts build up lactic acid in the muscles, which produces free radicals which can cause cell damage and damage to all major membranes of muscle tissue, caused by free radicals, following heavy athletic activity.  The dietary antioxidants containing beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C may help prevent this damage.

Studies have found that strenuous exercise can also damage the DNA. This damage to the DNA can be a pre-cursor of many diseases including cancer, and if the DNA of the sperm is damaged then this could be a contributing factor to some types of birth defects. Antioxidants may also help prevent this damage and are therefore important for the serious athlete to include foods high in these nutrients in the diet(1) 

 

Protein; Protein intake plays an integral part in muscle health and in a recent study(2)the authors propose an intake of 1.0-1.2 g/kg of body weight per day as optimal for skeletal muscle and bone health. Extra dietary protein is required if you are engaging in heavy, muscle-ripping exercises.  Amino acids, found in protein, are the building blocks of life needed to repair muscle tissue damaged during heavy exercise. If you don't relieve the required amount of protein from the diet then don't expect any muscle growth, in fact, without the required amount of protein the muscles will decrease in size following heavy exercise.  There are 8 essential amino acids which must be obtained from your diet.  Eggs and dairy products are the best sources.  Use egg whites and skim milk as these will not increase cholesterol. Also, protein (muscle building) powders are an easy way of adding that extra protein to the diet. These powders also contains the antioxidant vitamins E & C, CoQ10 and branch-chain amino.

 

Branch-chain amino acids; (BCAA) that include leucine, isoleucine and valine may also help improve performance. Athletes supplementing with these BCAA demonstrated an improvement in exercise performance(3) and supplementation may also help reduce muscle breakdown in athletes(4)

 

Vitamin D: many studies indicate a positive role for supplementary vitamin D3 in the development and preservation of muscle mass and function in all age groups.

 

Co enzyme Q10

This oil-soluble, vitamin-like substance and is a component of the electron transport chain and participates in aerobic cellular respiration, generating energy in the form of ATP. Ninety-five per cent of the human body’s energy is generated this way coenzyme Q10 is synthesized by the body, it can also be obtained from the diet, with the richest sources being meat, poultry, fish, soybean and canola oils, and nuts

A study found that daily supplementation of 300 mg Co Q10 for 6 weeks significantly enhanced physical performance measured as maximum power output versus placebo in young healthy trained German Olympic athletes(5)

 

 

1.        Sureda A, Ferrer MD et al, Prevention of neutrophil protein oxidation with vitamins C and e diet supplementation without affecting the adaptive response to exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2013 Feb;23(1):31-9

 

 

2.      Mithal, A. et al. Impact of nutrition on muscle mass, strength, and performance in older adults. Osteoporosis International, 2012

 

3.        . De Palo EF, Metus P et al. Branched chain amino acids chronic treatment and muscular exercise performance in athletes: a study through plasma acetyl-carnitine levels. Amino Acids. 1993 Oct;4(3):255-66. doi: 10.1007/BF00805827.

 

4.      Blomstrand, E et al Effect of Branch-Chain Amino Acids Supplementation on the Exercise-Induced Change in Aromatic Amino Acid Concentration in Human Muscle, , ACTA Physiol Scand, 1992;146:293-298

 

5.      Dietmar Alf Michael E Schmidt et al. Ubiquinol supplementation enhances peak power production in trained athletes: a double-blind, placebo controlled study Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013, 10:24 doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-24

 

 

 

The information given by Naturopath Russell Setright in this article is for general educational purposes only and not for the treatment of any disease or condition. Always see your Healthcare Practitioner for any suspected disease accident or condition and follow there expert advice.

What You Need To Know About Heart Attacks

FACT SHEET

Russell Setright

In Australia our survival out of hospital for cardiac arrest is decreasing for Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and is a leading cause of death, with an estimated 15,000 people suffering a cardiac arrest in Australia every year. Only 6% to13% of cardiac arrest victims in Australia will survive more than one year past the event(1)

Certain types of cardiac arrest only respond effectively to defibrillation and if delivered quickly, up to 75% can survive. Success declines at a rate of 10% with each minute delayed.(1) If you wait for the Ambulance then the chance or leaving hospital alive is less that 5 per cent and with the average survival for in-hospital cardiac arrest at only 10 per cent. This is in contrast with a 71 per cent survival and discharge from hospital if the cardiac arrest was at Melbourne Cricket Ground(2)  

 

What many don’t know is that many of the emergency drugs used in-hospital and by Paramedics is that there is no convincing evidence that these drugs including atropine, amiodarone, lidocaine, procainamide, bretylium. Buffers, calcium, hormones or fibinolytics during human CPR increases survival to hospital discharge(3)

 

The greatest chance of survival, up to 75 per cent, is when CPR / BLS and defibrillation are administered by the nearest person, although CPR is only attempted for about 30% (1) of patients and only 1 in 10 Australians know what to do and 1 in 3 of those perform CPR.

 

Prevention is the best way to survive a heart attack.

1.      Keeping cholesterol and weight under control, don’t smoke, limit alcohol intake, exercise for 20 minutes three time weekly, increase intake of omega-3 (found in fish oil), foods high in the B group of vitamins, plant sterols and Co-EnzymeQ10.

2.      Have regular check-ups with your Healthcare practitioner.

3.      Ensure you and all the people you associate with, know how to perform CPR.  

 

Almost 80 percent of the symptoms occurred between four weeks and one hour before the sudden cardiac arrest.

The new research is part of the 11-year-old Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study, which involves 1 million people in the Portland metro area. Researchers gathered information about the symptoms and health history of men 35 to 65 years old who had out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in 2002-12.

KNOW THE SIGNS

If you have any of these signs see your doctor or go to hospital now

Among 567 men who had out-of-hospital cardiac arrests,

53 percent had symptoms prior to the cardiac arrest. Of those with symptoms,

56 percent had chest pain,

13 percent had shortness of breath and

4 percent had dizziness, fainting or palpitations.

Most men had coronary artery disease, but only about half had been tested for it before their cardiac arrest(4)

Suspected Heart Attack

If you think you or someone is having a heart attack call 000 now and get ready to start CPR

If they have fallen unconscious

1 Check for danger to yourself and the casualty

2. Check for a response with a loud voice and a squeeze at the shoulders.

3. If there is no response call 000 now

4. Check for  normal breathing for 10 seconds, if not present. Don't waste time start CPR.

1. Start with 30 chest compressions pushing  in the centre of the chest on the lower half of the breast bone. Push hard and fast at the rate of 100 per minute compressing the chest 1/3rd. two hands for an adult one for a child and two fingers for a baby.

2. followed by two quick breaths, mouth to mouth,  and start compressions again

3. send someone to find an AED defibrillator, Clubs usually will have one, turn on and follow the voice instructions. It is easy and the AED will not cause any problem to you or the casualty, there are very safe.

4. Continue CPR until the Ambulance arrives and continue following the instructions from the AED.

YOU CAN SAVE A LIFE learn CPR for help contact us 

The faster you start CPR the better the chances and any CPR is better that no CPR

1.       Australian Resuscitation Council report

2.       Resuscitation. 2000 Apr;44(2):97-104. Cardiac arrest outcomes at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and shrine of remembrance using a tiered response strategy-a forerunner to public access defibrillation.

3.       Australian Resuscitation Council Guideline 11.5 December 2010

4.       Many sudden cardiac arrests preceded by warning signs American Heart Association Meeting Report: Abstract 18987 (Hall F, Core 4, Poster Board: 4051) November 19, 2013

 

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Multivitamins

Nutritional insurance, Are multivitamins beneficial or of no use?

FACT SHEET

Russell Setright

Russell Setright is an accredited Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, Remedial Therapist and Emergency Medical Technician and an educator in Natural medicine, Advanced Life Support, First Aid, Emergency Critical Care and Rescue. Russell is a Fellow ANTA, member of ATMS, AREMT, ACRRM, the Australian Medical Writers Association and an Honorary Life Member of St John Ambulance. He was registered in the Northern Territory under the Health Practitioners and Allied Professionals Registration Act in 1986 and was the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Health Sciences and is Naturopathic consultant to Blackmores Ltd. Russell is also the author of the Get Well books.

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Taking multivitamins is said to help the immune system, improve memory, enhance wellbeing, reduced risk of Autistic Spectrum disorder, reduce cancer risk and Macular Degeneration. These are big statements but is there any evidence? Yes there is and I have included just a few examples of clinical trials and studies that have reported the positive effects of multivitamin supplementation.

Immune function,

The benefits of improved nutrition by the use of multivitamin and mineral supplementation on immune function and general wellbeing was demonstrated in a new study. This study  found supplementation with a multivitamin containing the B group of vitamins, vitamins C and E + selenium slowed the progression of the HIV virus by half in the first two years(1)  Past studies have also found that HIV progression is slowed in those taking multivitamin mineral formula compared to placebo (2) However, this is the first trial to look at early intervention, that is before HIV infection has progressed to AIDS. The authors of the study explain that it is immune system support that the multivitamin + selenium combination gives that may explain the statistically significant benefit in the reduction of HIV  progression to AIDS.

Cancer

Other benefits of multivitamin supplementation have found an 8 per cent reduction in overall cancer incidence in older men who supplemented with a daily multivitamin (3) However, in a follow up study that looked at CVD and multivitamin use found only a small reduction in CVD and a small reduction in total deaths among multivitamin users but these were not statistically significant(4)

Multivitamin supplementation may also help protect women from certain cancers. A study of  7,728 women who developed invasive breast cancer was undertaken and a comparison of mortality rates revealed that women with invasive breast cancer who took multivitamin/mineral supplements were 30 percent less likely to die from their cancers than women with invasive breast cancer who hadn't taken the supplements(5)

Memory

Multivitamins supplementation may also improve memory, mood and general wellbeing.  a meta-analysis of 10 studies was undertaken and the results found that supplementation with multivitamins were found to enhance immediate free recall memory (6)

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

 A Cross-sectional and prospective study of dementia among 65 years or older people  were assessed in 1995 to 1997 for prevalent dementia and AD, and again in 1998 to 2000 for incident illness and supplement use was ascertained at the first contact.

The authors concluded that the use of vitamin E and a multivitamin containing vitamin C supplements in combination is associated with reduced prevalence incidence of AD. Antioxidant supplements merit further study as agents for the primary prevention of AD(7)

Wellbeing

In a randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study, 215 men in full-time employment aged between 30 and 55 were given either a multivitamin or a placebo for a period of 33 days. The  group reported significantly improved ratings of general mental health, reduced subjective stress and increased ratings of 'vigour', with a strong trend towards an overall improvement in mood.(8)

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Women who reported not taking a daily prenatal vitamin immediately before and during the first month of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder as women who did take the supplements -- and the associated risk rose to seven times as great when combined with a high-risk genetic make-up, a study by researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute (9)

Macular Degeneration

There is clinical evidence for potential benefits from vitamin C, β-carotene, vitamin E and zinc, as well as emerging epidemiological and clinical data for the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin and for omega-3 fatty acids. A survey of the literature suggests that some specific micronutrients may be of value in treating or preventing AMD(10)(11)(12)

The information given by Naturopath Russell Setright in this article is for general educational purposes only and not for the treatment of any disease or condition. Always see your Healthcare Practitioner for any suspected disease accident or condition and follow there expert advice.

 

1.        Marianna K. Baum,  Adriana Campa,  et al.  Effect of Micronutrient Supplementation on Disease Progression in Asymptomatic, Antiretroviral-Naive, HIV-Infected Adults in BotswanaA Randomized Clinical Trial JAMA. 2013;310(20):2154-2163.

2.       Jiamton  S, Pepin  J, Suttent  R,  et al.  A randomized trial of the impact of multiple micronutrient supplementation on mortality among HIV-infected individuals living in Bangkok. AIDS. 2003;17(17):2461-2469

3.        Gaziano J, Sesso HD, Christen WG, et al. Multivitamins in the Prevention of Cancer in Men: The Physicians' Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, 2012; DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.14641

4.       Howard D. Sesso et al. Multivitamins in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in MenThe Physicians' Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, 2012 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.14805

5.       S. Wassertheil-Smoller, A. P. McGinn, N. et al. Multivitamin and mineral use and breast cancer mortality in older women with invasive breast cancer in the women’s health initiative. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10549-013-2712-x

6.       Grima NA, Pase MP, Macpherson H, et al. The effects of multivitamins on cognitive performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Alzheimers Dis. 2012;29(3):561-9. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2011-111751.

7.       Peter P. Zandi, PhD; James C. Anthony, PhD et al. Reduced Risk of Alzheimer Disease in Users of Antioxidant Vitamin Supplements. Arch Neurol. 2004;61:82-88.

8.       Northumbria University (2010, May 20). Multivitamins can add sparkle for healthy young people News Release.

9.       Rebecca J. Schmidt, Robin L. Hansen, et al. Prenatal Vitamins, One-carbon Metabolism Gene Variants, and Risk for Autism. Epidemiology, 2011

10.    Aslam T, Delcourt C, et al. Micronutrients in age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmologica. 2013;229(2):75-9. doi: 10.1159/000343708. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

11.    Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. Control Clin Trials. 1999; 20 (6):573-600

12.    Chew, E. Presentation at Retina Subspecialty Day, American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, Las Vegas USA, 10 Nov, 2006.

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Why Complementary Medicine is better than Ibuprofen or Paracetamol in the prevention, and treatment of respiratory infections (common cold and Flu)

FACT SHEET

Russell Setright

 

Most people at one time or another will catch a common cold or flu. Many different types of viruses cause these infections and it is these viruses that infect the nose, throat and upper respiratory tract causing pain, congestion and fever.

Common sense tells us that keeping warm and avoiding sudden temperature changes, such as, leaving a warm home or office for the cold outdoors will reduce the chances of catching a cold or flu. Always don warm clothing when moving from a warm to a cold environment as these sudden changes in temperature lower resistance to infection without adequate protection.

Unfortunately many people just continue doing work and play without rest and use analgesics and other cold formula to just “push on through”. Although these may ease the aches and pains associated with respiratory infections they don’t reduce your spreading the cold to others and in fact may worsen the symptoms and increase time needed till recovery. Although in some cases we just may need something to get through an important event taking analgesics may help, but prevention and a reduction of the duration and symptoms of a respiratory infection is the best way and complementary medicine may just have the answer.

There are many herbs, vitamins and minerals that have a positive effect in reducing the incidence, duration and symptoms of respiratory infection and following is factual information on the most commonly used.

The evidence

Paracetamol and Ibuprofen

Paracetamol and or Ibuprofen could prolong the symptoms of respiratory infections

A new study found patients were more likely to come back within a month with worsening symptoms or new symptoms if they were prescribed ibuprofen or ibuprofen with paracetamol for the symptoms of the common cold. Between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of participants in this study who were prescribed ibuprofen or ibuprofen with paracetamol had elongation and worsening of the symptoms that required returning to their doctor.(1)

.

 

Vitamin D3

Low vitamin D status is associated with higher rate of respiratory infections

A large study of 18,883 people reported strong association between low blood levels of vitamin D (25OHVitD)and increased respiratory infections. Those with the lowest blood vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or flu and the risks were even higher for those with chronic respiratory disorders, including asthma and COPD. Those with low vitamin D levels were nearly 40 per cent more likely to have had a respiratory infection than those with adequate vitamin D levels (2).

Other findings support the concept of vitamin D possessing important pleiotropic actions outside of calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism. In children, an association of nutritional rickets with respiratory compromise has long been recognized. Epidemiologic studies clearly demonstrate the link between vitamin D deficiency and the increased incidence of respiratory infections (3)

Vitamin D3 supplements found to reduce the incidence of influenza in School children

A recent randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled trial among School Children in Japan was conducted. The Children were randomly divided into two groups: One group received daily supplements of 1200iu daily of vitamin D3, while the other group received a placebo. The children were then assessed for the incidence of influenza over the 2008 to 2009 winter period. 

The study found that the incidence of influenza was 10.8 per cent in the vitamin D3 supplemented group, compared with 18.6 per cent in the placebo group; this reduction was even greater for those who had low vitamin D (25OHVitD), with a 74 per cent reduction in the incidence of influenza.

Also, asthma attacks were significantly reduced in asthmatic children in the vitamin D3 supplemented group(4)

Vitamin C

Vitamin C reduces the symptoms and duration of respiratory infections (common cold)

Correct nutrition is also a necessity, we should always endeavour to include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in the daily diet as these are a good source of vitamin C.

Studies and clinical trials have shown that supplementing with vitamin C and vitamin E can help strengthen the immune system reducing the incidence and symptoms of colds and flu (5)

Vitamin C supplementation can start with bottle fed babies. Blackcurrant and rose hip formulas high in vitamin C are readily available. These fruit juice formulas should be included in baby’s daily feeding routine. Children over two years of age can either have a crushed Children's Chewable Vitamin C tablet added to their food or chew one tablet twice daily and adults should take between 1,000 mg and 2,000mg daily. In six trials with participants exposed to short periods of extreme physical or cold stress or both (including marathon runners and skiers) vitamin C reduced the common cold risk by half. (6)

In thirty-one comparisons studies that examined the effect of regular vitamin C  supplementation on common cold duration (9745 episodes). In adults the duration of colds was reduced by 8% (3% to 12%) and in children by 14% (7% to 21%). In children, 1 to 2 g/day vitamin C shortened colds by 18%. The severity of colds was also reduced by regular vitamin C administration(7)

Echinacea

Echinacea found to reduce the incidence   and the duration of respiratory infections

Echinacea is one of the most commonly used herbal products, but controversy exists about its benefit in the prevention and treatment of the common cold. A  meta-analysis evaluating the effect of echinacea on the incidence and duration of the common cold was undertaken. The meta-analysis included   14 studies were where Incidence of the common cold was reported

The results found that Echinacea decreased the odds of developing the common cold by 58% and the duration of a cold by 1·4 days . The authors concluded that published evidence supports echinacea's benefit in decreasing the incidence and duration of the common cold.(8)

Lactoferrin

Lactoferrin found to reduce the incidence of the common cold

Lactoferrin is a compound that is naturally produced in the body by immune cells and it is particularly prevalent in secretions of the upper airways, eyes and stomach.  Bovine lactoferrin supplementation has been shown to boost the activity of certain immune cells. One study found that the total number of cold-associated symptoms reported by participants that received a Lactoferrin/whey compound (Lf/IgF) was significantly less than those in the placebo group. Also, total days sick with a cold and cold severity were reduced over the clinical trial period for Lf/IgF over placebo, but the trend was not significant(9)

Health Department Warning

 

Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 (Australia) if a child, young person or adult has taken more paracetamol or ibuprofen than is recommended. Paracetamol is often taken by people who intend to harm themselves (suicide attempts). Paracetamol in large doses can cause severe liver damage

Use in the elderly

 

Ibuprofen should not be taken by adults over the age of 65 without careful consideration of co-morbidities and co-medications because of an increased risk of adverse effects, in particular heart failure, gastro-intestinal ulceration and renal impairment.

Use in pregnancy

Category C: Ibuprofen inhibits prostaglandin synthesis and, when given during the latter part of pregnancy, may cause closure of the foetal ductus arteriosus, foetal renal impairment, inhibition of platelet aggregation and may delay labour and birth. Use of ibuprofen is thus contraindicated during the third trimester of pregnancy, including the last few days before expected birth

 

References;

1.        P. Little, M. Moore, et al. Ibuprofen, paracetamol, and steam for patients with respiratory tract infections in primary care: pragmatic randomised factorial trial. BMJ, 2013; 347 (oct25 2)

2.        Adit A. Ginde, MD, MPH; Jonathan M. et al.  Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch.  Intern.  Med. 2009;169(4):384-390.

3.        Walker VP, Modlin RL.  The vitamin D connection to pediatric infections and immune function. Pediatr Res. 2009 May;65(5 Pt 2):106R-113R.

4.         Urashima U, et al. “Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 10, 2010.

5.        Hemila, H. “Vitamin C and the Common Cold” Br. J. Nutrition” 67(1);316, January, 1992

6.        Hemilä H, et al. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007

7.         Harri Hemilä1, et al. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold Editorial Group: Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group, Published Online: 31 JAN 2013

8.        Sachin A Shah PharmD a c, Stephen Sander PharmD et al. Evaluation of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common cold: a meta-analysis The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Volume 7, Issue 7, Pages 473 - 480, July 2007

9.        Luis Vitettaemail, Samantha Coulson et al, The clinical efficacy of a bovine lactoferrin/whey protein Ig-rich fraction (Lf/IgF) for the common cold: A double blind randomized study, Complementary Therapies in Medicine Volume 21, Issue 3 , Pages 164-171, June 2013

 


The risk of Stroke may be reduced by taking antioxidants found in coffee, green tea and vitamin E supplements.


As life expectancy and  the incidence of stroke in Australia is increasing, it would appear that as we get older, dietary and supplementary antioxidants may have an important roll in stroke prevention.


Coffee and Green tea

A study that collected data on 83,000 men and women, 45 to 74 years old, on green tea and coffee consumption.

During an average of 13 years of follow-up, they found that those who had one cup of coffee a day lowered their risk for stroke about 20 percent.

And, compared to people who rarely drank green tea, people who drank two to three cups a day had a 14 percent lower risk of stroke and people who drank at least four cups lowered their risk by 20 percent.

The risk for a type of stroke called a haemorrhagic stroke, in which a blood vessel in the brain bursts and blood floods part of the brain was cut by 32 percent among those who drank a cup of coffee or two cups of green tea daily. About 13 percent of strokes are haemorrhagic strokes.

Vitamin E and C

In another study found that the antioxidants vitamin E and C reduced death including stroke and CVD, by 24% when participants were 71 or older. The study among 2,284 men with higher dietary vitamin C intakes above the median who smoked less than a pack of cigarettes per day, vitamin E supplements extended lifespan by 2 years

Reference

1.       Yoshihiro Kokubo, M.D., Ph.D., chief doctor, department of preventive cardiology, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Osaka, Japan; Ralph Sacco, M.D., past president, American Heart Association, and chairman, neurology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; March 14, 2013, Stroke, online.

2.        Harri Hemilä and  Jaakko Kaprio, Vitamin E may affect the life expectancy of men, depending on dietary vitamin C intake and smoking Age Ageing (2011) 40 (2): 215-220.



Could supplementary fish oil, vitamin D3 and aspirin intake have a major affect on reducing the incidence and progression of skin cancer? A short review.

Russell Setright

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and even with the increased compliance with the sun-safe message and the increased use of sun block products the incidence of skin cancer in Australia is increasing with the total number of Non-melanoma skin cancer treatments estimated to double by 2015 compared to 1997(1). Are there additional messages that should be given?

UV exposure from the Sun is a risk factor for squamous cell carcinoma and other non-melanoma skin cancers. However, the evidence that moderate sun exposure causes melanoma is inconclusive(2)  

There is some evidence that non-burning regular sun exposure such as obtained in the early morning and later in the afternoon seems to have a protective effect against skin cancer(3) and that progression of malignant melanoma is associated with  significantly reduced 25(OH)vit D serum levels  that adds to the growing body of evidence that 25(OH)vit D serum levels may be of importance for pathogenesis and progression of malignant melanoma(4)

Ultra violet radiation from the sun  initiates DNA damage in skin cells and suppresses cell-mediated immunity, allowing sun damaged cells and cancer cells to escape immune destruction(5) therefore controlling this immune destruction and resulting inflammation may be a key preventative measure in skin cancer prevention(6).

Emerging data suggest that fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids), vitamin D status and the use of aspirin may have a positive effect in reducing the incidence of both melanoma and other non-malignant skin cancers. These data are discussed in the following.

FISH OIL AND SKIN CANCER RISK

Studies have reported that high dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil are associated with reduced skin cancer risk. These polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce the suppression of cell-mediated immunity after UV exposure(5)(6)

A new study (Pilkington SM 2013) examined 5g of supplementary fish oil (omega -3s) in humans in a 3 month clinical trial. After exposing the participants to various doses of UV exposure, it was found those in the supplemented omega-3 group had significantly less photo-immunosuppression compared to the placebo group. Photo-immunosuppression describes the suppression of cell-mediated immunity on the skin in response to UV. The authors concluded that Oral omega−3 PUFAs appear to abrogate photo-immunosuppression in human skin, providing additional support for their chemopreventive role(5)

VITAMIN D AND SKIN CANCER

Cancers diagnosed in the summer and autumn had a significantly better prognosis than cancers diagnosis in the winter and spring. This was tentatively attributed to sun-induced vitamin D. It seems that vitamin D mainly affects tumour progression.

 There is evidence that excessive sun exposure increases the risk of skin damage, ageing and skin cancers. Excessive exposure to sunlight causing sunburn at any time in life increases a person's risk of developing skin cancer. However, people who experience intermittent exposure to high levels of UV radiation such as tanning on the beach on the weekend, appear to be at greater risk while those who experience continual exposure to lower levels even if the total dose of UV radiation is the same, have the lowest incidence of melanoma. That is, non-burning regular sun exposure such as obtained in the early morning and later in the afternoon seems to have a protective effect against skin cancer And, a moderate amount of unblocked sunlight may actually be beneficial to most people, and could reduce the risk of many other diseases – including, paradoxically, melanoma itself(3)

Supplementary vitamin D3 and calcium; one study involving 1,200 healthy postmenopausal women who took daily supplements of calcium (1,400 mg or 1,500 mg) and vitamin D3  1,100 IU or a placebo for 4 years. The results found women who took the supplements had a 60 per cent lower overall incidence of cancer(6)(7)

ASPIRIN AND SKIN CANCER

A study that included 59,806 Caucasian women found, after adjusting for co-factors,  those who took aspirin were less likely to develop melanoma skin cancer during a follow up of  12 years . This study reported that women who used aspirin had a 21 per cent lower risk of melanoma relative to non-users. Also, the use of aspirin more than five years had a 30 per cent lower melanoma risk(8)

DISCUSSION

It would appear that immune modulation and inflammation control is an important risk management strategy in reducing the risk of skin cancer development and progression.

In addition to sensible and non-burning sun exposure, the roll of supplementary vitamin D3, fish oil and aspirin in cancer risk reduction is becoming more evident, and although further research is always needed, the data to date is compelling.

 

1.       Marloes Fransen, et al. Non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia. Med J Aust 2012; 197 (10): 565-568.

2.       Garland FC. et al. Occupational sunlight exposure and melanoma in the U.S. Navy. Arch Environ Health. 1990 Sep-Oct;45(5):261-7.

3.       Article, Prevention & Early Detection, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre 2008

4.       Nürnberg B, et al. Progression of malignant melanoma is associated with reduced 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum levels.Exp Dermatol. 2008 Jul;17(7):627

5.       Pilkington SM et al. Randomized controlled trial of oral omega-3 PUFA in solar-simulated radiation-induced suppression of human cutaneous immune responses. AJCN, 2013

6.       Setright R, Is There A Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic In Australia, And If So, Is This A Major Contributing Factor To Disease? Setright Letter, 2010 April;05:12:1-10

7.       Lappe JM, Travers-Gustafson D, Davies KM, et al. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: Results of a randomized trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007; 85(6):1586–1591.

8.       Christina A. Gamba et al. Aspirin is associated with lower melanoma risk among postmenopausal Caucasian women. Cancer, 2013

COLDS AND FLU

Most people at one time or another will catch a common cold or flu. Many different types of viruses cause these infections and it is these viruses that infect the nose, throat and upper respiratory tract causing pain, congestion and fever.

Common sense tells us that keeping warm and avoiding sudden temperature changes, such as, leaving a warm home or office for the cold outdoors will reduce the chances of catching a cold or flu. Always don warm clothing when moving from a warm to a cold environment as these sudden changes in temperature lower resistance to infection without adequate protection.

Vitamin C

Correct nutrition is also a necessity, we should always endeavour to include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in the daily diet as these are a good source of vitamin C.

Studies and clinical trials have shown that supplementing with vitamin C and vitamin E can help strengthen the immune system reducing the incidence and symptoms of colds and flu (Hemila, H. “Vitamin C and the Common Cold” Br. J. Nutrition” 67(1);316, January, 1992)

Vitamin C supplementation can start with bottle fed babies. Blackcurrant and rose hip formulas high in vitamin C are readily available. These fruit juice formulas should be included in baby’s daily feeding routine. Children over two years of age can either have a crushed Children's Chewable Vitamin C tablet added to their food or chew one tablet twice daily and adults should take between 1,000 mg and 2,000mg daily. In six trials with participants exposed to short periods of extreme physical or cold stress or both (including marathon runners and skiers) vitamin C reduced the common cold risk by half. (Hemilä H, et al. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007)

 

Herbal medicine can help;

Herbs can be used to treat and prevent infections. These herbs include echinacea, garlic, astragalus and andrographis.

These herbs have anti-viral properties and also stimulate the immune system and when used in combined they may help the body destroy many types of invading bacteria and viruses.

Another herb, Holy basil has also been traditionally been used as a remedy for colds and the flu in Ayurvedic medicine. It helps to help clear mucus from the lungs and upper respiratory tract. Holy basil also has mild anti-pyretic properties that assists in lowering the temperature.

Willow bark (Salix alba) contains the active constituent salicin, Willow bark is the natural forerunner of a commonly used pain relieving medication Aspirin and shares many of its analgesic properties. Willow bark has antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and is indicated for conditions associated with common cold and influenza.

 

Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil is another nutrient that has been used for decades in the treatment of colds and flu. This fish oil contains n-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation, making breathing easier. Also cod liver oil is a good source of vitamin A which is needed to help strengthen the mucous membranes and vitamin D3 that helps the immune system.(Expectant mothers should not take more than 2,500 iu of preformed vitamin A)

A review published in the medical Journal, Can Fam Physician 2011 Jan;57(1):31-6, reported; For prevention, vitamin C demonstrated benefit effects  in a large meta-analysis, with possibly increased benefit in patients subjected to cold stress.

For treatment, Echinacea purpurea is the most consistently useful variety; it was effective in 5 of 6 trials and Zinc lozenges were effective in 5 of 9 trials.

 

Vitamin D3

Studies show promise that vitamin D may be effective in protecting against swine flu. Vitamin D promotes the production of antimicrobial substances that have the ability to neutralize the activity of various disease-causing agents, including the influenza virus

(Doss M et al. Journal of Immunology 2009 Jun 15; 182(12): 7878-87)
A study of 19,000 individuals and found that those who had lowest levels of vitamin D (25OHVitD) were about 40 percent more likely to have recent respiratory infection, including flu, compared to those who had higher levels of vitamin D

(Ginde AA et al. Archives of Internal Medicine 2009 Feb 23; 169(4): 384-90)
 A recent randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled trial among School Children in Japan was conducted. The Children were randomly divided into two groups: One group received daily supplements of 1200iu daily of vitamin D3, while the other group received a placebo. The children were then assessed for the incidence of influenza over the 2008 to 2009 winter period. 

The study found that the incidence of influenza was 10.8 per cent in the vitamin D3 supplemented group, compared with 18.6 per cent in the placebo group; this reduction was even greater for those who had low vitamin D (25OHVitD), with a 74 per cent reduction in the incidence of influenza.

Also, asthma attacks were significantly reduced in asthmatic children in the vitamin D3 supplemented group. (Urashima U, et al. “Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 10, 2010).

Given this type of information the Canadian Government, Public Health Agency is investigating the use of vitamin D as a protective measure against Swine flu; just as our Grandmothers did using cod liver oil.

A vaporiser is of great help at night when you or your child is sleeping. Don't forget grandmother's remedy of a few drops of eucalyptus on the pillow at night and on a handkerchief in the day to clear the nose and make breathing easier.

Lactoferrin

Lactoferrin is a compound that is naturally produced in the body by immune cells and it is particularly prevalent in secretions of the upper airways, eyes and stomach.  Bovine lactoferrin supplementation has been shown to boost the activity of certain immune cells.

 

SUPPLEMENTS

There are a lot of individual supplements in the following list; the good news is that most of these can be found in combination from your health food store or pharmacy.

 

TO BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM AND RELIEVE GENERAL SYMPTOMS

   Vitamin C                                                                           1,000mg twice daily

Vitamin D3                                                                           1,000iu

Lactoferrin                                                                           100mg twice daily

Echinacea ACE plus Zinc                                                    1 three times daily

 

FOR DAY AND NIGHT RELIEF

Blackmores Cold and Flu Day/Night (contains)

Echinacea equiv to fresh                                                     4.2g

Ocimum tenuiflorum (Holy basil)                                          1.5g

Salix alba (Willow Bark)                                                                       } three times daily

extract equiv. to dry stem bark                                            1.6g

and for night contains eucalyptus oil and hops for night relief

 

FOR A SORE THROAT AND CHEST COUGH

Echinacea Citrus Throat Lozenges                                                dissolve one in mouth ever 3 to hours

(also contains eucalyptus)

and

Olive leaf extract                                                               5ml every 4 hours                  

 

Cold Tablet formulas                                                       follow directions on bottle

iron phosphate and

potassium chloride                                                               follow directions on bottle








RUSSELL'S TIPS ON HOW TO CHOOSE A MULTIVITAMIN

Many people have asked me which multivitamin I should take, as with so many brands and types on the shelves it is difficult to choose.

Here are some tips;

       1.         All brands that are manufactured and available in Australia are made under TGA good manufacturing practise regulations; this is NOT the case in many other countries. Only buy Australian!

       2.             Is the multivitamin made buy a company that has a long and trusted reputation? Blackmores has been voted the most trusted brand (Australia).

       3.         Does the formula meet your lifestyle expectations such as; Women’s over 50, Children’s multi, Men’s performance or a general feeling more Alive formula.

       4.         Finally can you speak or email directly to a Health Care Practitioner at the Company about your needs and the product.

If the manufacturer meets all of the above and the product is within your budget go for it and start feeling more Alive!

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WEIGHT LOSS Burn That Weight Off

Russell Setright

Losing weight can be very difficult for many people, while for others, the problem is how to put weight on, even when lifestyle and eating habits are balanced. The difference between these types of people is that their individual metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn up kilojoules) varies.

There are foods that can actually increase your metabolism and help improve weight loss, while other foods can slow down the rate of weight loss and the metabolism by acting on the thyroid gland's production of hormones which are involved in our body's metabolic process.

 Hot spices including chilli, mustard or peppers can help you lose weight! Yes, the latest studies using chilli, mustard seeds and spices showed that weight loss can be increased by as much as 25% when these spices are added to a calorie controlled diet. Chillies, or cayenne pepper as it is more commonly known, have been used for hundreds of years as a remedy for intestinal wind, poor digestion and to improve circulation. Today it is still included in many people's diet in order to obtain these benefits.

Scientists now believe that two of the chemicals found in cayenne could increase weight loss by their action upon the thyroid hormone. A study carried out at the University of Tasmania found that the metabolic rate of four out of six people was increased after one meal which contained one tablespoon of tabasco.

The thyroid gland also requires iodine to function properly. Increasing your intake of seafoods, or take a kelp or an iodine supplement. Iodine deficiency causes a decrease in the production of thyroid hor­mones, especially thyroxine (T4). This caus­es an under-active thyroid gland that results in weight gain, poor memory, reduced intellectual development in children and reduces energy levels.

To speed up weight loss add a little of the "HOT STUFF " to your meals either by sprinkling it on or adding it when cooking. Cayenne pepper can be bought from your health food store in bulk and it is not expensive; however it is hot, so only use a little at first and build up to a quarter of a teaspoon at each meal. This should do the trick. If you can't stand the heat, then take an empty capsule and half fill it with cayenne pepper. You should then take one with each meal. It is important to include any hot spices with food as this will help prevent irritation the lining of the stomach. If you experience an upset stomach then reduce the amount, or discontinue their use.

 If you are serious about weight loss then don't eat junk foods. Foods that are high in fat and or sugar as part of the daily diet will still put on weight, even if you do add chilli. Increase the amount of vegetables other than cabbage, as this vegetable can have an adverse affect on the metabolism, increasing weight gain. Eat fruit whole, not dried or juiced as these are usually high in sugar. Include whole grains, lean meat and low fat dairy products in your diet. Water is a must, drink between 6 to 8 glasses daily. This is not only needed for good health but also reduces the desire to pick between meals.

Always have breakfast and reduce the size of the night's meal. This will also help keep you away from the junk foods during the day.

Include extra protein in the diet to help control hunger; in all animals including humans we will continue to eat until our optimum dietary protein has been reached. Evidence suggests that protein-rich foods and diets may have a greater effect than high fat foods on our feelings of being satisfied and full after a meal. Increasing protein intake will help reduce cravings while supporting muscle and bone health.

Weight loss can be achieved without difficult or FAD diets. Just a change to healthier foods, a little chilli, a protein meal replacement and regular exercise can really make a difference.

If craving for sweet foods is a problem taking a chromium supplement may help. Studies have found that a lack of the mineral chromium can cause sugar cravings. Chromium and the mineral zinc are co-enzymes, and one of their roles is to help regulate blood sugar levels.

The Ayurvedic herb Coleus forskohlii, has been used traditionally as a digestive tonic and help support normal thyroid function and metabolism

Another clinically tested weight management product is Amorphaphallus rivieri contained in the product Weight-Less™. Amorphaphallus rivieri is a soluble fibre that interacts with liquid in the stomach and mixes with the meal this increases the thickness and overall bulk in the stomach and resultants in a feeling of fullness. After eating there is a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced sensations of hunger.

Exercise

Exercise regularly each day, twenty minutes each morning before breakfast after taking your L-Carnitine, is the best, as this will increase your metabolism, not only during the exercise, but throughout the day.

You should aim at reaching 80 per cent of you maximum heart rate for age each time you exercise. However, start slowly and see your practitioner first before starting your exercise program to ensure that you don't have any medical conditions that would preclude exercise.

Your maximum heart rate (MHR) for age is 220 less your age. ie if you are 40 years old, then your MHR would be 220 - 40 = 180. Eighty per cent of 180 is 144, and this the maximum heart rate you should aim for during exercise. The best exercises are brisk walking, swimming and light weight lifting. Weight bearing exercise also strengthens the bones while at the same time burns off the excess weight.

SUPPLEMENTS

For Increased metabolic rate;

Iodine  150ug                                                                             1 tablet daily

Chilli powder added to food or in a capsule                              2.5 g  three times daily with meals.

Metabolism Advantage

Contains capsicum, chromium, Coleus forskohlii and other important nutrients that supports metabolism normal thyroid function and nutrient requirements during weight-loss

 

For sugar cravings and carbohydrate metabolism;

A Sugar Balance formula containing;

Chromium picolinate (Chromium 16.6 µg) 133.5 µg

Chromic chloride (Chromium 50 µg)       256 µg

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine nitrate)                    7 mg

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)                             8 mg

Nicotinamide                                          35 mg

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid from calcium pantothenate 7 mg) 6.4 mg               } 1 three times daily

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine hydrochloride)      8 mg

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)               17 µg

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)                        30 mg

Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol 3.4 µg)        134 IU

Folic acid 70 µg

Magnesium oxide-heavy (Magnesium 100 mg)  172.7 mg

Manganese amino acid chelate (Manganese 700 µg) 7 mg

Zinc amino acid chelate (Zinc 4 mg) 20 mg

 

Protein meal replacement

Super Fruit Smoothie

With 250ml of skim milk Contains 27g (54 per cent)            use to replace one or two meals daily

of daily protein needs

To increase feeling of fullness

Weight-Less™     2 capsules with a large glass of water, three times a day, half an hour before meals.

contains; Amorphaphallus rivieri conc. extract equiv. dry tuber 1.3 g (Luralean™)

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Vitamin C Does Not cause kidney stones

 A recent article reported; Men who take vitamin C supplements are at higher-than-average risk of developing kidney stones. Laura D K Thomas, Carl-Gustaf Elinder, Hans-Göran Tiselius, Alicja Wolk, Agneta Åkesson. Ascorbic Acid Supplements and Kidney Stone Incidence Among Men: A Prospective Study. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.2296

This study only shows an association with high vitamin C intake and kidney stones and NOT a cause and effect. Vitamin C does NOT cause kidney stones. There are many other contributing factors in the development of kidney stones and these are discussed in the following.

Why Some People Are More Prone to Develop Kidney Stones

Most kidney stones form when the urine becomes too concentrated, allowing minerals like calcium to crystallize and stick together. Diet plays a role in the condition; not drinking enough water or eating too much salt (which binds to calcium) also increases the risk of stones.

Genes are also partly to blame. A common genetic variation in a gene called claudin-14 recently has been linked to a substantial increase in risk by around 65 percent increased risk of kidney stones

Yongfeng Gong, Vijayaram Renigunta, Nina Himmerkus, Jiaqi Zhang, Aparna Renigunta, Markus Bleich, Jianghui Hou. Claudin-14 regulates renal Ca transport in response to CaSR signalling via a novel microRNA pathway. The EMBO Journal, 2012; 31 (8): 1999 DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2012.49

Prospective Study of Beverage Use and the Risk of Kidney Stones

After adjusting simultaneously for age, dietary intake of calcium, animal protein and potassium, thiazide use, geographic region, profession, and total fluid intake, consumption of specific beverages significantly added to the prediction of kidney stone risk.

Beverage intake and reduced risk

After mutually adjusting for the intake of other beverages, the risk of stone formation decreased by the following amount for each 240-ml serving consumed daily: caffeinated coffee, 10%; decaffeinated coffee, 10%; tea, 14%; beer, 21%; and wine, 39%.

Beverage intake and increased risk

For each 240-ml serving consumed daily, the risk of stone formation increased by 35% for apple juice and 37% for grapefruit juice. The authors conclude that beverage type may have an effect on stone formation that involves more than additional fluid intake alone.

Curhan C, et al. Prospective Study of Beverage Use and the Risk of Kidney Stones American Journal of Epidemiology Volume 143, Issue 3  pp. 240-247

Increased water intake may help reduce the risk of recurrence of kidney stones but more studies are needed

Kidney stones (also known as calculi) are masses of crystals and protein and are common causes of urinary tract obstruction in adults.

For a long time, increased water intake has been the main preventive measure for the disease and its recurrence. In this review only one study was found that looked at the effect of increase water intake on recurrence and time to recurrence. Increased water intake decreased the chance of recurrence and increased the time to recurrence. Further studies are needed.

 

Water for preventing urinary stones  Yige Bao, Qiang Wei Editorial Group: Cochrane Renal Group Published Online: 13 JUN 2012 Assessed as up-to-date: 18 APR 2012

                                                *****************

As this study did not adjust for all of the above cofactors I believe that it is therefore unreasonable to come to the conclusion that vitamin C increases risk of kidney stones. Also, the study found that multivitamin (containing vitamin C) users did NOT have any increase in risk.

Increasing water and other fluids intake that are associated with a reduced risk of kidney stones and avoiding a high salt diet is the best preventative method.

Vitamin C is not synthesised by humans and must be obtained from the diet.

If dietary intakes are low, supplementation is good nutritional insurance.


At Life Survival Training we offer a range of courses in Survival, First Aid, Swimming and Aquatic Survival.  Please contact us for more information or to make a booking.

The Setright Letter

Setright R, Just Eat a “balanced diet” is this message misleading?

 Setright Letter, 2010 November;03:13:1-2

The Setright Letter

Just Eat a “balanced diet”, is this message misleading?

An Independent review of Complementary Medicine Evidence

By Russell Setright

 

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Russell Setright is an accredited Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Acupuncturist and an educator in Advanced Life Support, First Aid, Emergency Care and Rescue. He is an Honorary Life Member of St John Ambulance and member of ATMS and is Director of Training for Life Survival Training. He was registered in the Northern Territory under the Health Practitioners and Allied Professionals Registration Act in 1986 and was the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Health Sciences. Russell is also the past Dean of Naturopathic Medicine and Fellow at the Academy of Natural Therapies. He Chaired the Symposium at the International Conference On The Use of Traditional Medicine and Other Natural Product In Health Care at The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Science Malaysia where he also presented his paper and was appointed to the Panel of Consultants at The Nury Institute of Family & Child Development, Malaysia. Over the years, Russell has presented papers and GP update seminars at the University of NSW, Royal Women’s Hospital, Natural Therapies Unit NSW and was also the Naturopathic Director Blackmores Ltd. Russell has been on a number of Government  assessment panels for degree programs in Australia and New Zealand and is currently a member of the advisory committee NSW Oncology Group, Cancer Institute, NSW Health.

Russell is the author of seven books on complementary medicine with one published in the Chinese and Malay languages and he currently has a Health Talk Back Radio Show with Brian Wilshire on Sydney’s Radio 2GB, Leon Byner on 5AA Adelaide and Richard Perno in Country NSW.

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Just Eat a “balanced diet”, is this message misleading?

 

Again the evidence shows that there is an increase in the incidence of essential nutrient deficiency among Australians.

 

Let’s get real; if it is deficient in the soil then eating a “balanced diet” is not going to solve the problem.  Supplementation in many cases is the most effective way of ensuring we are receiving the important nutrients needed for good health and quality of life.

 

We are constantly receiving mixed messages about deficiencies and the need for supplementation with messages ranging from, no Australian needs to take vitamins and minerals to we all need to supplement, very confusing!

Let’s look at some facts; Iodine deficiency in Australia is on the increase even with it being added to salt and bread. A recent study in the Medical Journal of Australia, November 2010, reported that from 2001 to 2006, 368,552 neonates for whom they had data on blood samples that were taken at 2 days of age for 47 135 (13%), at 3 days of age for 284 998 (77%) and at 4 days of age for 36 419 (10%).

 

Analysis of this data by Dr Ashequr Rahman and colleagues from Monash University reported that according to the study, our analysis of neo-natal concentrations of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) increases caused by the body's compensatory response to a poor intake of iodine among 95.5 per cent of Victorian children born during 2001 - 2006, indicates the Victorian population is iodine deficient.

 

According to the Wold Health Organisation, Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), which can start before birth, jeopardize children’s mental health and often their very survival. Serious iodine deficiency during pregnancy can result in stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, and congenital abnormalities such as cretinism, a grave, irreversible form of mental retardation that affects people living in iodine-deficient areas of Africa and Asia.

 

However, of far greater significance are IDD’s less visible, yet pervasive, mental impairment that reduces intellectual capacity at home, in school and at work. iodine deficiency can reduce ones IQ by up to 15 points. That’s the difference between Forrest Gump and the average Australian and something needs to be done.

 

Another worrying statistic reported in this study is that iodine deficiency is on the increase in Australia with the percentage of iodine deficient babies more than doubling from 2001 to 2006 and this problem is not unique to iodine; vitamin D, zinc, fluoride, folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, to name just a few, are all at levels representing deficiency in a growing number of Australians.

 

In my view, supplementation in combination with a balanced diet is the best way of addressing this dilemma.

 

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Setright R, Is There A Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic In Australia, And If So, Is This A Major Contributing Factor To Disease? Setright Letter, 2010 April;05:12:1-10

Vitamin D3, The Super Nutrient.

An Independent review of Complementary Medicine Evidence

By Russell Setright

 Please note some of the information in this letter is not displayed on this page. email us if you would life a complete copy.

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Russell Setright is an accredited Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Acupuncturist and an educator in Advanced Life Support, First Aid, Emergency Care and Rescue. He is an Honorary Life Member of St John Ambulance and member of ATMS and is Director of Training for Life Survival Training. He was registered in the Northern Territory under the Health Practitioners and Allied Professionals Registration Act in 1986 and was the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Health Sciences. Russell is also the past Dean of Naturopathic Medicine and Fellow at the Academy of Natural Therapies. He Chaired the Symposium at the International Conference On The Use of Traditional Medicine and Other Natural Product In Health Care at The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Science Malaysia where he also presented his paper and was appointed to the Panel of Consultants at The Nury Institute of Family & Child Development, Malaysia. Over the years, Russell has presented papers and GP update seminars at the University of NSW, Royal Women’s Hospital, Natural Therapies Unit NSW and was also the Naturopathic Director Blackmores Ltd. Russell has been on a number of Government  assessment panels for degree programs in Australia and New Zealand and is currently a member of the advisory committee NSW Oncology Group, Cancer Institute, NSW Health.

Russell is the author of seven books on complementary medicine with one published in the Chinese and Malay languages and he currently has a Health Talk Back Radio Show with Brian Wilshire on Sydney’s Radio 2GB, Leon Byner on 5AA Adelaide and Richard Perno in Country NSW.

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Is There a Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic in Australia, and if So, Is This a Major Contributing Factor to Disease and is vitamin D3 the new super nutrient? A summary of evidence.

 

Abstract

A review of published studies found that a significant number of Australians and New Zealanders have less than optimal serum vitamin D levels, with mild to moderate deficiency ranging from 33 to 84% depending on age, skin colour and/or those in residential care.

These studies have also reported a significant relationship between low vitamin D status and an increase in the prevalence of diseases including; diabetes, CVD, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, hypertension, certain cancers, several autoimmune diseases the Flu and all cause mortality. The data also suggest that normalising blood 25(OH)VitD levels by supplementation with vitamin D3 may have a positive effect in disease prevention.

 

Methods The literature up to April 2010 was searched without language restriction using the following databases: PubMed, ISI Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded), EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library.

 


Background

Ecological studies have suggested that mortality from several potentially life-threatening chronic diseases increase in incidence with a decreased exposure to sun light (Grant WB. Ecologic studies of solar UV-B radiation and cancer mortality rates. Recent Results Cancer Res. 2003;164:371-377) Because sun exposure is necessary for the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin, this review will show that the associations found between sun exposure, vitamin D intake and mortality(death) from several chronic conditions could be owing to variations in vitamin D status.

There are two forms of vitamin D that are important in humans: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants and obtained by humans through diet. Vitamin D3 is made in the skin when 7-dehydrocholesterol reacts with ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight at wavelengths between 270–300 nm and stored in the blood as calcidiol (25-hydroxy-vitamin D). Both D2 and D3 precursors are hydroxylated in the kidneys and liver to form 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)vit.D), the non-active 'storage' form, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. 1,25 (OH)2D, the biologically active (hormone) form that is tightly controlled by the body.

One of the functions of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus which helps form and maintain strong bones.

However, research also suggests that increased blood levels of 25(OH)VitD may provide protection from CVD, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, certain cancers, and several autoimmune diseases.

The sun is a significant contributor to our daily production of vitamin D3. However, the amount of sun exposure required to produce enough vitamin D3 is dependent on a number of factors including, skin colour, latitude, types of clothing, body mass, age, cloud cover, atmospheric pollution. 

 

In Australia we are exposed to around 40% more UV rays than the equivalent latitude in the Northern Hemisphere and this creates a dilemma

(Madronich S, et al. Changes in biologically active ultraviolet radiation reaching the earth's surface. Photochem Photobiol B 1998;46:5-19).  

 

Is this increased UV exposure in the Southern Hemisphere and the resulting skin sun damage more detrimental to overall health than vitamin D deficiency?

There is evidence that excessive sun exposure increases the risk of skin damage, ageing and skin cancers. Excessive exposure to sunlight causing sunburn at any time in life increases a person's risk of developing skin cancer. However, people who experience intermittent exposure to high levels of UV radiation such as tanning on the beach on the weekend, appear to be at greater risk while those who experience continual exposure to lower levels even if the total dose of UV radiation is the same, have the lowest incidence of melanoma. That is, non-burning regular sun exposure such as obtained in the early morning and later in the afternoon seems to have a protective effect against skin cancer (Article, Prevention & Early Detection, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre 2008). And, a moderate amount of unblocked sunlight may actually be beneficial to most people, and could reduce the risk of many other diseases – including, paradoxically, melanoma itself.

 

Another example of this paradox is research from the University Of California School Of Medicine. This study found that higher incidence of melanoma occurred among Navy desk workers than among sailors who worked outdoors (Garland FC. et al. Occupational sunlight exposure and melanoma in the U.S. Navy. Arch Environ Health. 1990 Sep-Oct;45(5):261-7).

 

Also, a study (Nürnberg B, et al. 2008) from the Department of Dermatology, The Saarland University Hospital, Homburg, Germany that examined the progression of malignant melanoma reported. Basal 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were lower in melanoma patients as compared to the control group. And progression of malignant melanoma was associated with  significantly reduced 25(OH)vit D serum levels. Their findings add to the growing body of evidence that 25(OH)vit D serum levels may be of importance for pathogenesis and progression of malignant melanoma (Nürnberg B, et al. Progression of malignant melanoma is associated with reduced 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum levels.Exp Dermatol. 2008 Jul;17(7):627).

 

As, the growing body of evidence supports the theory that  low blood serum levels of 25(OH)vit D is also associated with an increase of many diseases including CVD, diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis, muscular and bone strength and death from all causes

(Dobnig H, et al. Independent association of low serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D with all cause mortality. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2008 Jun 23;168:1340-1349).

 

 A strategy of timed low dose sun exposure needs to be developed to maintain adequate vitamin D levels. However, given the vast difference in geographical location, skin type and ethnic origin we have in Australia a “One Fits All” program would be improbable.

 

As the data are supportive of maintaining adequate serum vitamin D levels, while at the same time reducing the risk of overexposure of UV rays from the sun.

Supplementation with vitamin D3 may be the best way of achieving both goals.

 

Vitamin D deficiencies in Australia

 

The data are consistent in that low blood serum levels of 25(OH)VitD (25-hydroxyvitamin D) is at an alarming rate in Australia. Those people with dark or olive skin, the elderly and veiled (80% may have mild deficiency) as well as those who wear protective clothing and always use sun screen have the greatest risk of vitamin D deficiency (FIG 1). In addition, those taking anticonvulsant medication or suffer from renal, hepatic or cardiopulmonary disease or those who have fat malabsorption syndromes (e.g., cystic fibrosis) or inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease, are at risk.  (Vitamin D, National Health and Medical Research Council 2010, Ministry of Health. Australian Government).FIG. 1

2: Proportion of women with serum vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D3) levels under 22.5nmol/L, according to skin covering and skin colour

    

 

 

Skin colour

 

 

 


 

Skin covering*

Very dark

Intermediate

Light

Total


Consistently covered

6/6 (100%)

1/2 (50%)

23/25  (92%)

30/33  (91%)

Inconsistently covered

3/5 (60%)

1/3 (33%)

18/24  (75%)

22/32  (69%)

Uncovered

2/2 (100%)

2/3 (67%)

0 (0)

4/5 (80%)

Total

11/13 (85%)

4/8 (50%)

41/49  (84%)

56/70  (80%)


*Consistently covered - women always covered up, including arms, hair and neck, when outdoors; inconsistently covered - women did not usually cover fully in their own garden; and uncovered - women did not generally cover their arms, hair and neck when outdoors.

 

Nozza J et al. MJA 2001; 175: 253-255

 

What are Serum 25(OH)VitD Norms?

 

It has already been established that low serum levels of vitamin D that is below 27.5nmol/Lt results in inadequate

mineralisation / demineralisation of the skeleton that is a contributing factor to rickets in young children.  (Vitamin D, National Health and Medical Research Council 2010, Ministry of Health. Australian Government) . In  a position statement, a Working Group from the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society, the Endocrine Society of Australia and Osteoporosis Australia (2005) defined mild deficiency for adults as serum 25-OHvitD levels between 25 and 50nmol/L which may contribute to an increased risk of osteoporosis and less commonly  osteomalacia in adults (NHMRC).

 

The question often asked is, what blood serum 25(OH)VitD level is considered to be adequate?

 

Any level below 50nmol/Lt may also place an individual at high risk of vitamin D associated deficiency diseases and all cause mortality. Levels of vitamin D between 73 – 100 nmol/Lt would appear to be adequate.

One Prospective cohort study of 3258 consecutive male and female patients found that those with low levels of serum vitamin D had a 54% to 2.34 times increased risk mortality from any cause when compared to people with adequate levels  of around 72nmol/Lt. (Fig. 2)

Also, this study found that 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels that are in the lower 50% of the vitamin D range of the study population have an increased risk for all-cause mortality after adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors. In subgroup analysis, the relationship of low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels to mortality is consistent regardless of co-morbidity, physical activity level.

 

The researchers concluded that a low 25-hydroxyvitamin D level can be considered a strong risk indicator for death from any cause in men and women (Dobnig H, et al. Independent association of low serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D with all cause mortality. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2008 Jun 23;168:1340-1349).

 

25(OH)VitD blood levels

(Dobnig H et al 2008)

Fig. 2    

 

25(OH)VitD

Status

nmol/Lt

Deficient

Highest Risk

‹ 37.4

Deficient

High Risk

37.4 - 50

Insufficient

Moderate Risk

50-72

Adequate

Low Risk

›73

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CVD and Diabetes

 

Recent research has found significant association between low serum levels of 25(OH)vit D and an increase in the incidence of diabetes, CVD and metabolic syndrome. This research examined 28 studies that included 99,745 men and women across a variety of ethnic groups. The studies revealed a significant association between high levels of vitamin D (25(OH)VitD) and a decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (33% compared to low levels of vitamin D), type 2 diabetes (55% reduction) and metabolic syndrome (51% reduction)  ( Levels of vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis J.Maturitas Volume 65, Issue 3, 225-236, March 2010).

 

Further evidence relating to the befits of adequate vitamin D levels was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session in Atlanta March 2010. Researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah, reviewed 31,000 of their patients aged 50 or older found that those with the lowest levels of serum 25(OH)vitD had a 170-per-cent greater risk of heart attacks than those with the highest serum levels.

Also, according to the authors of this study, the benefits of having more vitamin D were not limited to a cut in heart-attack risk. Those with the lowest readings also had an 80-per-cent greater risk of death, a 54-per-cent higher risk of diabetes, a 40-per-cent higher risk of coronary artery disease, a 72-per-cent higher risk of kidney failure and a 26-per-cent higher risk of depression.


Diabetes

 

The incidence of diabetes in Australia is increasing and, at the same time we are seeing a corresponding deficiency in vitamin D levels. As the above studies show there is a strong link between the development of diabetes type-2 and vitamin D deficiency. The following study examines the link in childhood type-1 diabetes and vitamin D supplementation.
A
review and meta-analysis of the data from five trials that included 6455 infants, of which 1429 were cases and 5026 controls was published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. The data from the five observational studies, found that infants who received vitamin D supplements were 29 per cent less likely to develop type-1 diabetes than non-supplemented infants (Zipitis C et al. "Vitamin D supplementation in early childhood and risk of type 1 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis" Archives of Disease in Childhood (British Medical Journal) .2007).

 

Also, a study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, September 2007 looked at 1770 children at high risk of developing type-1 diabetes.
Their study reported that an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources may reduce a child's risk of developing type-1 diabetes by 55 per cent.

Vitamin D found in cod liver oil, a popular marine supplement, may have been a contributing factor.

Cardio Vascular Disease

 

Results of a large case-control study (Health Professionals Follow-up Study) was conducted in 18, 225 men. During the proceeding 10 years of follow-up, 454 men developed nonfatal myocardial infarction or fatal coronary heart disease. After adjustment for matched variables, men deficient in 25(OH)D less than 37.4nmol/Lt were at increased risk for MI (heart attack) compared with those considered to be sufficient in 25(OH)D 74nmol/mL.  And, after additional adjustment for family history of myocardial infarction, body mass index, physical activity, alcohol consumption, history of diabetes mellitus and hypertension, ethnicity, region, marine n-3 intake, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels, this relationship remained significant.

 

Even men with intermediate 25(OH)D levels were at elevated risk relative to those with sufficient 25(OH)D levels .

The authors concluded that Low levels of 25(OH)D are associated with higher risk of myocardial infarction, even after controlling for factors known to be associated with coronary artery disease (Giovannucci, E. et al. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men, Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(11):1174-1180).

 

These benefits in part may be explained by maintaining optimal vitamin D can slow the turnover of leukocytes by inhibiting pro-inflammatory overreaction resulting in a reduction of leukocyte telomere shortening. Shortening of leukocyte telomeres is a marker of aging and a predictor of aging-related disease. Length of these telomeres decreases with each cell division and with increased inflammation.

 

A  study that examined whether vitamin D levels would attenuate the rate of telomere attrition in leukocytes, such that higher vitamin D concentrations would be associated with longer LTL. The results of this study suggested that higher vitamin D (25(OH)VitD) concentrations, which can be modified through vitamin D  supplementation, are associated with longer LTL, would explain the potentially beneficial effects of vitamin D on aging and age-related diseases.

(Richards J, et al.  Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 86, No. 5, 1420-1425, November 2007)

 

Vitamin D Statins and Cholesterol.

 

Studies have found that statins, medications used to lower cholesterol, decrease the risk of CVD. However, the dietary-heart-cholesterol hypothesis may need to be questioned as statins may reduce this risk in ways other than lowering cholesterol.

 

A study examining this hypothesis and benefits produced by statins reports that based on published observations, the unexpected and unexplained clinical benefits produced by statins have also been shown to be properties of vitamin D. It seems likely that statins act as vitamin D analogues(Grimes D, Are statins analogues of vitamin D? The Lancet, Volume 368, Issue 9529, Pages 83 - 86, 1 July 2006).

 

Further evaluation of this proposed action needs to be undertaken as it could explain in part the reduced incidence of CVD associated with an increase in serum vitamin D levels.

 

Immune Function

 

Basically there are two types of immune -functions; our adaptive immune system, which is activated when we mount a defence against a new invader and then retain antibodies and memory for immunity in the future. And our innate immune system, the almost immediate reaction your body has, for instance, when you get a cut or a skin infection.

 

In primates, this action of "turning on" an optimal response to microbial attack only works properly in the presence of adequate vitamin D.

 

Vitamin D is vital for the innate immune system to function properly. T cells signal the immune systems killer cells to activate and to do this they require vitamin D. When T cells find an invading pathogen their vitamin D receptor is extended, similar to an aerial.

 

This receptor searches for available vitamin D and if not found the T cell will not activate. These T cells, once activated will either become killer cells which will attack the invading virus or bacteria or become helper cells that assist the immune system (Von Essen M, et al. Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signalling and activation of human T cells, Nature Immunology, March 2010)

 

Also, other recent research has underlined an important key role of vitamin D signalling in regulation of innate immunity in humans.

 

When cells of the immune system such a macrophages sense a bacterial infection they acquire the capacity to convert circulating 25(OD)vitD into 1,25(OH)2 vitD. This production is a direct inducer of expression of genes encoding antimicrobial peptides, in particular cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP). These antimicrobial peptides are vanguards of innate immune responses to bacterial infection and can act as signalling molecules to regulate immune system function (White JH. et al. Vitamin D as an inducer of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide expression: Past, present and future. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Mar 17)

 

Adrian Gombart, Associate Professor of biochemistry and a principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University commenting on the research conducted by OSU and the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre stated. “The fact that this vitamin-D mediated immune response has been retained through millions of years of evolutionary selection, and is still found in species ranging from squirrel monkeys to baboons and humans, suggests that it must be critical to their survival”.

 

"It's essential that we have both an innate immune response that provides an immediate and front line of defence, but we also have protection against an overreaction by the immune system, which is what you see in sepsis and some autoimmune or degenerative diseases," Gombart said. "This is a very delicate balancing act, and without sufficient levels of vitamin D you may not have an optimal response with either aspect of the immune system." (Oregon State University. "Key Feature Of Immune System Survived In Humans, Other Primates For 60 Million Years." Science Daily 22 August 2009)

 

Vitamin D and Cancer

 

A four year, population-based, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial was conducted at the Creighton University School of Medicine in Nebraska. The study’s primary outcome was fracture incidence, and the principal secondary outcome was cancer incidence. The results of the study found that supplementation with vitamin D3 1100iu and calcium 1500mg or placebo daily after three years produced a 77 percent reduction in breast cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer and other forms of cancer risk among the supplemented group when compared to the placebo group.

The subjects were 1179 community-dwelling women randomly selected from the population of healthy postmenopausal women.

 

The authors of the study concluded that improving calcium and vitamin D nutritional status substantially reduces all-cancer risk in postmenopausal women. (Lappe JM, et al. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1586-91).

 

Vitamin D deficiency is more common in black men, and it may be a contributor to their higher risk of cancer when compared with whites. From 1986 and 2002, a total of 99 out of 481 black men and 7019 out of 43,468 white men were diagnosed with cancer.

 

In analyses adjusted for multiple dietary, lifestyle, and medical risk factors for cancer, black men had a 32 percent higher risk than white men of developing any cancer and an 89 percent greater likelihood of dying from cancer, particularly from cancer of the digestive system cancer.

 

This study identified vitamin D deficiency as the relevant factor in the higher cancer risk among blacks (Giovannucci E, et al. Cancer Incidence and Mortality and Vitamin D in Black and White Male Health Professionals, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006;15(12):2467–72).

 

Breast Cancer

 

A study of 972 women with newly diagnose invasive breast cancer and 1,135 randomly selected healthy controls were evaluated to assess vitamin D / sun exposure variables and found that increased exposure to sunlight during adolescence was associated with a 35 per cent reduction in the risk of breast cancer  later in life.

The researches concluded that there is strong evidence to support the hypothesis that vitamin D could help prevent breast cancer. However, their results suggest that exposure earlier in life, particularly during breast development, maybe most relevant
(Knight J et al. "Vitamin D and Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Case-Control Study"Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention March 2007, Volume 16, Pages 422-429)

Another study conducted by Harvard Medical School examined data on more than 10,500 premenopausal and 21,000 postmenopausal women over 45 years of age and the incidence of breast cancer. The study included information on supplementation and dietary sources of vitamin D and calcium over an average of ten years.

 

The results reported that a high dietary intake of vitamin D was associated with a 30 per cent reduction in the risk of breast cancer among premenopausal women. However, postmenopausal women didn’t experience the same reduction. This may be the result of reduced ability of vitamin D synthesis from sun exposure with aging and its contribution to overall vitamin D status. Sunlight exposure was not taken into account in this study. (Lin J et al. Intakes of Calcium and Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk in Women Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:1050-1059).

 

Also, Women with breast cancer who had adequate serum vitamin D levels (72+ nmol/mL) double the survival rate after 12 years of follow-up than vitamin D deficient (<50 nmol/mL) women. (Fig. 3)

 (Study Sees Link Between Vitamin D, Breast Cancer Prognosis A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2008 Sep/Oct ;58:264-265)                               

 

 

 

 

Fig. 3   Cancer Free Survival (RR) 12 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serum Vitamin D Status

 

 

 

These studies have found that maintaining vitamin D levels from an early age may reduce the incidence of breast cancer by around 35 per cent. And if breast cancer is diagnosed may increase 12 year Survival by around 50 per cent.

 

Also, In a recent study that evaluated dietary and supplementary vitamin D and calcium  intake among 3,101 breast cancer patients and 3,471 healthy controls.

The researchers found no relationship between dietary vitamin D or calcium intake and breast cancer risk. However, women who reported taking supplemets of vitamin D, at least 400iu daily were at 24 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.

(Anderson L et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online April 14, 2010).

 

 

Prostate Cancer

 

There have been a number of studies that have reported a decrease in the incidence of prostate cancer associated with higher sun exposure and or serum vitamin D levels.( Schwartz GG, Hulka BS. Is vitamin D deficiency a risk factor for prostate cancer? (Hypothesis). Anticancer Res. (1990) 10(5A):1307–1311)and (Deeb KK, Trump DL, Johnson CS. Vitamin D signalling pathways in cancer: potential for anticancer therapeutics. Nat Rev Cancer (2007) 7(9):684–700) However, other studies have found non-significant difference in the incidence of prostate cancer and vitamin D serum levels in certain age groups.

 

A recent case-controlled analysis of serum vitamin D levels and the incidence of prostate cancer, found that a statistically significant decrease in risk of prostate cancer  was associated with high serum 25(OH)vitD levels in men under 60 years of age( Ruth C Serum Vitamin D and Risk of Prostate Cancer in a Case-Control Analysis Nested Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) American Journal of Epidemiology 2009 169(10):1223-1232). However, there was not a marked difference in incidence in men over the age of 60 years.

 

Another study investigated whether serum levels of 25(OH)D are associated with the prognosis in patients with prostate cancer. This study found that serum 25(OH)D at medium (around 50 - 70 nmol/lt) or high levels (over 70 nmols/Lt) were significantly related to increased survival compared with the low vitamin D levels. Also, patients receiving hormone therapy gave a stronger association. The serum level of 25(OH)D was involved in disease progression and is a potential marker of prognosis in patients with prostate cancer (Tretli S, et al Association between serum 25(OH)D and death from prostate cancer. Br J Cancer. 2009 Feb 10;100(3):450-4).

 

Although the data are not as conclusive as breast cancer in women, it would appear that like breast cancer early maintenance of vitamin D levels is the most beneficial in reduced incidence and improved prognosis.

 

Vitamin D and Swine Flu Prevention

 

Studies show promise that vitamin D may be effective in protecting against swine flu. Vitamin D promotes the production of antimicrobial substances that have the ability to neutralize the activity of various disease-causing agents, including the influenza virus (Doss M et al. Journal of Immunology 2009 Jun 15; 182(12): 7878-87)
.

 A study of 19,000 individuals and found that those who had lowest levels of vitamin D (25OHVitD) were about 40 percent more likely to have recent respiratory infection, including flu, compared to those who had higher levels of vitamin D(Ginde AA et al. Archives of Internal Medicine 2009 Feb 23; 169(4): 384-90)
 

A recent randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled trial among School Children in Japan was conducted. The Children were randomly divided into two groups: One group received daily supplements of 1200iu daily of vitamin D3, while the other group received a placebo. The children were then assessed for the incidence of influenza over the 2008 to 2009 winter period. 

The study found that the incidence of influenza was 10.8 per cent in the vitamin D3 supplemented group, compared with 18.6 per cent in the placebo group; this reduction was even greater for those who had low vitamin D (25OHVitD), with a 74 per cent reduction in the incidence of influenza.

Also, asthma attacks were significantly reduced in asthmatic children in the vitamin D3 supplemented group.
(Urashima U, et al. “Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 10, 2010).

Published Online

 

Given this type of information the Canadian Government, Public Health Agency is investigating the use of vitamin D as a protective measure against Swine flu; just as our Grandmothers did using cod liver oil.

 

Vitamin D and Falls

 

Falling among the elderly is a major contributing factor to loss of enjoyment of life and increased mortality. A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials examined the roll of vitamin D supplementation and the incidence of falls.

 

Both vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 were investigated and the results found that 700-1000 IU supplemental vitamin D per day (vitamin D2 or vitamin D3) reduced falls by 19% for vitamin D2 and up to 26% with vitamin D3.

 

To reduce the risk of falling, a daily intake of at least 700-1000 IU supplemental vitamin D3 is warranted in all individuals aged 65 and older.

(Bischoff-Ferrari H A  et al. Fall prevention with supplemental and active forms of vitamin D: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials BMJ-British Medical Journal 339:b3692, 2009).

 

Multiple Sclerosis

 

Epidemiologic studies have shown a positive correlation of multiple sclerosis (MS) associated with latitude (amount of sun exposure) and increased dietary intake and increased serum levels of vitamin D.  An increased dietary intake of vitamin D and increased exposure to UV rays was found to be protective for the development of MS (Beretich BD et al.   Explaining multiple sclerosis prevalence by ultraviolet exposure: a geospatial analysis. Mult Scler. 2009 Aug;15(8):891-8).

 

Dosage safety in MS patients.

 

A study examining high dose vitamin D supplementation was undertaken among 52 MS patients to examine its effect on calcium metabolism. Their conclusion found that  high-dose vitamin D

( approximately 10,000 IU/day) in multiple sclerosis is safe, with evidence of immunomodulatory effects.

 

Classification of evidence: This trial provided Class II evidence that high-dose vitamin D use for 52 weeks in patients with multiple sclerosis does not significantly increase serum calcium levels when compared to patients not on high-dose supplementation. The study also reported that patients in the high-dose supplementary group reported less relapse. (Burton JM et al.   A phase I/II dose-escalation trial of vitamin D3 and calcium in multiple sclerosis  Neurology. 2010 Apr 28. [Epub ahead of print])

 

Dosage and Type, Vitamin D2 or Vitamin D3 ?

 

From examination of the studies the average recommendation for vitamin D supplementation is around 1000iu daily with the majority recommending vitamin D3.

This dose is within the safety guidelines established by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, USA state that 2,000iu of vitamin D daily is the tolerable upper limit for adults. However, The USA Food and Nutrition Board are currently reviewing data to determine whether updates to the DRIs (including the upper limits) for vitamin D are needed.

 

 

Supplementary Dosage Examples include;

1.       Evidence from data suggests that vitamin D3 supplements at moderate to high doses 1000iu daily may reduce CVD risk (Wang L, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Mar 2;152(5):327-9).  

 

  1. The risk of falling in the elderly and vitamin D intake was evaluated. The results found that 1000 IU supplemental vitamin D per day (vitamin D2 or vitamin D3) reduced falls by 19% and up to 26% with vitamin D3 (BMJ-British Medical Journal 2009, October).

 

  1. Supplementation with vitamin D3 1100iu and calcium 1500mg or placebo daily after three years produced a 77 percent reduction in breast cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer and other forms of cancer risk(Lappe JM, et al. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1586-91).

 

Holick MF, Vitamin D Deficiency, N Engl J Med 357:266, July 19, 2007

 

 

Estimate Health Care benefit of vitamin D in Dollars.

 

A recent study in Germany found that around 45 per cent of Germans were vitamin D insufficient with around 15 to 30 per cent being deficient. This study also pointed out that present sun safety and dietary recommendations would lead to vitamin D deficiency.

The authors claim that this would lead to a increased health Care cost of EU 37 billion annually(Zittermann A  et al. The estimated benefits of vitamin D for Germany. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 10.1002 April 2010)

 

This would roughly equate to around 15 to 20 billion dollars Australian annual saving in the health budget expenditure, if population vitamin D levels were normalised. This would go a long way in helping improve the budget and other problems experienced by Hospitals in Australia.

 

Discussion

 

Although I have only included a few of the many studies that were evaluated, the message is consistent and clear in all of the studies.  Vitamin D deficiency is a major health issue and must be addressed.

 

Excessive sun exposure causes skin damage and in an endeavour to curb the incidence of skin cancer, the advice to cover up, apply sun screen and keep out of the sun is widely being practised. OH&S legislation has made this policy mandatory for workplace and schools.

  

However, this practise has in part contributed to the vitamin D dilemma in Australia and diseases associated with this deficiency, including melanoma are on the increase and of major concern.

 

Governments and Health Care Professionals urgently need to examine the role that vitamin D deficiency plays in their disease treatment and prevention plans and consider supplementation and dietary changes as an effective alternative to dangerous sun exposure practises.

 

Also, periodic 25(OH)VitD blood tests would be advisable.

 

*************************************************

 


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