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Vitamin C Intake May Lower Risk of Gout in Men

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 Men with a higher intake of vitamin C appear less likely to develop gout, a painful type of arthritis, according to a study.
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Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis in men… The identification of risk factors for gout… is an important first step in the prevention and management of this common and excruciatingly painful condition,” wrote the study’s authors.

Hyon K Choi, then of University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and now of Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues examined the relationship between vitamin C intake and gout in 46,994 men between 1986 and 2006.

Every four years, the men completed a dietary questionnaire, and their vitamin C intake through food and supplements was computed. Every two years, participants reported whether they had been diagnosed with or developed symptoms of gout.

During 20-year follow-up, 1,317 men developed gout. Compared with men who had a vitamin C intake of less than 250mg per day, the relative risk of gout was 17% lower for those with a daily intake of 500 to 999 mg, 34% lower for those with an intake of 1,000 to 1,499mg per day and 45% lower for those with an intake of 1,500mg per day or higher.

Vitamin C may affect re-absorption of uric acid by the kidneys, increase the speed at which the kidneys work or protect against inflammation, all of which may reduce gout risk, a Boston University statement quoted the authors as saying.

Sources:These findings were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Lower Your Blood Pressure With Vitamin C

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A study has linked high blood levels of vitamin C with lower blood pressure in young women.

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The study involved almost 250 women. They entered the trial when they were 8 to 11 years old, and over a 10-year period, their plasma levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and blood pressure were monitored. Both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings, were found to be inversely associated with ascorbic acid levels.

Previous research had already linked high plasma levels of vitamin C with lower blood pressure among middle-age and older adults.

Sources:
Reuters December 30, 2008
Nutrition Journal December 17, 2008; 7:35

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Why Vitamin A May Not Be as Useful or Harmless as You Thought

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A landmark paper from the Vitamin D Council asserts that a form of vitamin A, retinoic acid, can block the activity of vitamin D by weakly activating the vitamin D response element on genes. Since vitamin D levels are crucial for human health, that means it is essential to have the proper ratio of vitamin D to vitamin A in your body.

This means that vitamin A supplementation is potentially dangerous. Vitamin A production is tightly controlled in your body, the source (substrate) being carotenoids from vegetables in your intestine. Your body uses these carotenoid substrates to make exactly the right amount of retinol. But when you take vitamin A as retinol directly, such as in cod liver oil, you intervene in this closed system and bypass the controls.

The goal is to provide all the vitamin A and vitamin D substrate your body would have obtained in a natural state, so your body can regulate both systems naturally. This is best done by eating colorful vegetables and by exposing your skin to sun every day.

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Vitamin E

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Definition:
Vitamin E is the collective name for a set of 8 related tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are fat-soluble vitamins with antioxidant properties Of these, ?-tocopherol (also written as alpha-tocopherol) has been most studied as it has the highest bioavailability, with the body preferentially absorbing and using this form.
………..RRR alpha-tocopherol  (Vitamin E).……………
It has been claimed that ?-tocopherol is the most important lipid-soluble antioxidant, and that it protects cell membranes from oxidation by reacting with lipid radicals produced in the lipid peroxidation chain reaction.This would remove the free radical intermediates and prevent the oxidation reaction from continuing. The oxidised ?-tocopheroxyl radicals produced in this process may be recycled back to the active reduced form through reduction by other antioxidants, such as ascorbate, retinol or ubiquinol.

The functions of the other forms of vitamin E are less well-studied, although ?-tocopherol (also written as gamma-tocopherol) is a nucleophile that may react with electrophilic mutagens, and tocotrienols may have a specialized role in protecting neurons from damage.[6] However, the roles and importance of the various forms of vitamin E are presently unclear,[7][8] and it has even been suggested that the most important function of vitamin E is as a signaling molecule, and that it has no significant role in antioxidant metabolism.

Most studies about Vitamin E have supplemented only alpha-tocopherol, but doing so leads to reduced serum gamma- and delta-tocopherol concentrations. For more info, read article tocopherol.

1 IU of vitamin E is the biological equivalent of about 0.667 mg d-alpha-tocopherol (2/3 mg exactly), or of 1 mg of dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate.

The term vitamin E describes a family of 8 antioxidants, 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. alpha-tocopherol (a-tocopherol) is the only form of vitamin E that is actively maintained in the human body and is therefore, the form of vitamin E found in the largest quantities in the blood and tissue.

It is an anti-oxidant vitamin that protects us from damage to our cells, and prevents and dissolves blood clots. Vitamin E has also been used by doctors in helping prevent sterility, muscular dystrophy, fibrocystic breast disease, calcium deposits in blood walls and heart conditions.
A deficiency of vitamin E may lead to a rupture of red blood cells, loss of reproductive powers, lack of sexual vitality, degenerative changes in the changes in the heart and other muscles.

Since vitamin E is oil soluble, we store it in our bodies. High supplemental amounts may interfere with blood clotting. Vitamin E should not be taken along with iron. Supplemental doses over 400 IU may cause temporarily high blood pressure.

The Recommended Daily Allowance for adult males is 10 mg and 8 mg for adult females.

Food sources of Vitamin E


Particularly high levels of vitamin E can be found in the following foods:

*Almonds

*Asparagus

*Avocado

*Nuts

*Olives

*Red Palm Oil

*Seeds

*Spinach and other green leafy vegetables

*Vegetable oils — Canola, corn, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed

*Wheat germ

*Dandelion

*Broccoli

*Mango

*Turnip
Because most of the food sources of vitamin E are foods that aren’t consumed in large amounts, a therapeutic level of vitamin E may be achieved only with supplements.

Benefits Of Vitamin E


Vitamin E is an important nutrient that helps your body in a variety of ways. You should get enough from a healthy, balanced diet. However, high amounts (400 IU) may be harmful.

Click to see Why do we need vitamin E

The benefits of vitamin e for the overall good health of individuals are substantial. In particular, vitamin e is very important in healthy and proper skin care.Click to learn more about BENEFITS OF VITAMIN E

Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage. Vitamin E also contributes to a healthy circulatory system and aids in proper blood clotting and improves wound healing. Some studies have shown that vitamin E decreases symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and certain types of breast disease.

Other studies have shown that taking large doses of Vitamin E has decreased the risk of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Animal studies have suggested that vitamin E does slow the development of atherosclerosis, but the American Heart Association doesn’t recommend using supplements until the effects are proven in large-scale, carefully controlled clinical trials.

Nutritionists categorize vitamins by the materials that a vitamin will dissolve in. There are two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins—vitamins A, D, E and K—are stored in the fat tissues of the body for a few days to up to six months. If you get too much of a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be stored in your liver and may sometimes cause health problems. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin.

Some people take mega-doses of fat-soluble vitamins, which can lead to toxicity. Eating a normal diet of foods rich in these vitamins won’t cause a problem. Remember, you only need small amounts of any vitamin.

Some health problems can make it hard for a person’s body to absorb these vitamins. If you have a chronic health condition, ask your doctor about whether your vitamin absorption will be affected.

Vitamin E Controversy – Cause or Correlation?
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine stated that high doses of vitamin E are dangerous and should be avoided. This study considered doses of vitamin E in excess of 400 IU per day to be high and doses of vitamin E less than 400 IU per day to be low. Is it true that high doses of vitamin E are dangerous? Does the danger out weigh the benefit of vitamin E supplements?
Click to learn more from Office of Dietary Supplements • National Institutes of Health

Click to learn more from Micronutrient Information Center

Side Effects:
In November, 2004, the American Heart Association stated that high amounts of vitamin E can be harmful. Taking 400 IU per day, or higher, may increase the risk of death.

Taking smaller amounts, such as those found in a typical multivitamin, was not harmful.

Recommendations :

Specific recommendations for each vitamin depend on age, gender, and other factors (such as pregnancy). The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine report the following dietary reference intakes for vitamin E:

0 to 6 months: 4 mg/day
7 to 12 months: 5 mg/day
1 to 3 years: 6 mg/day
4 to 8 years: 7 mg/day
9 to 13 years: 11 mg/day
14 and older: 15 mg/day
Women who are producing breast milk (lactating) may need slighly higher amounts. Check with your doctor.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_E
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002406.htm#top

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Oral Vitamin D for Skin Infections

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Use of oral Vitamin D supplements may help prevent some skin infections, a new study in the US suggests.

Vitamin D deficiency has already been linked to several diseases including increased rates of multiple cancers and diabetes.

In the new study scientists examined a small number of patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin disease that affects 10 to 20 per cent of children and one to three per cent of adults.

Atopic dermatitis is characterised by areas of severe itching, redness and scaling. Over time, chronic changes can occur due to constant scratching and rubbing.

The condition puts patients at increased risk for skin infections by the herpes and small pox viruses.

The study led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found that supplementation with oral vitamin D dramatically bolsters production of a protective chemical in the skin of patients that they say may protect from infection.

The researchers led by Richard Gallo however caution that this was a small study and require further research, reported science portal EurekAlert.

“Further research is needed to evaluate the long-term effects of vitamin D supplementation, and to determine if this may be an adequate way to prevent infections in patients with atopic dermatitis”, the researchers said.

Sources: The Times Of India

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