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The shortage of essential micronutrients in the human diet has been linked to multiple health and disease related problems. Dr Bruce Ames has described how the micronutrient triage theory can account for disease induction and more rapid levels of poor quality aging. I have written about the expensive urine myth and how the failure to recognise the differing demands placed by cells at different times can lead to altered and compromised health function.

This paper looks at the nutritional intake of people following a weight loss diet.[1] Based on the USA figures, the authors say that about 1/3 of the population are following some sort of weight loss orientated nutritional programme. The study looked to see if 27 micronutrients could be ingested in sufficient quantities whilst following 4 well known diets to meet minimum RDA levels as determined by the USA regulatory body the FDA.

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Multi Vitamins are considered by many to be little more than colourful contributors to urine flow that reflect a gullible individuals need to add capital to the water course. I have addressed the major complications with this facile comment in a previous commentary.

A paper out in the March 2010 International Journal of Obesity[1] throws added weight to the triage theory of Prof Bruce Ames,[2] when additional nutrients were added to the dietary intake of obese Chinese females. It is already understood that obesity contributes to reduced bioavailability of minerals and vitamins and certainly contributes to reduced blood concentrations.

The team of researchers based at Harbin Medical University in China recruited 96 Chinese women with an average body mass index of 28kg/m2 and aged between 18-55 for the 6 month study.

Three groups were randomly set up, with one getting a multivimin, the next calcium only (162mg) and the last placebo. The results were compelling; the multivimin group had reduced body weight, body mass index, fat mass, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. On the positive side, they had an increased level of resting energy expenditure and HDL levels also increased. They also found reduced waist size and better breathing.

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A series of papers out in the New England Journal of medicine on March the 14th 2010 have failed to add any substantive weight to the use of medication in the prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. [1],[2],[3]

The continued expansion of the western global waistline and incidence of diabetes has provided fertile opportunity for a wide range of clinical trials designed to uncover strategies for incidence of diabetes reduction.[4] There is no surprise in the discovery that making significant changes to people’s lifestyles, eating less and being more active, the primary causes of weight gain, also have a consistent reduction in type II diabetes risk. The real success has also been in the associated benefits in reduction of related cardiovascular disease risk[5] and raising of mood.[6]

Vit D Deficiency = Fat Legs For Young Women!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010 by | Comments: 1
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It’s hard to ignore, it really appears there is a genuine epidemic (occurrence of a disease or disorder in a population at a frequency higher than that expected in a given time period) in progress, and its not H1N1 Flu.

An excellently developed study published in the March 2010 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found a depressingly high  59% of study subjects had too little Vitamin D in their blood (</=29 ng/ml).[1] Nearly a quarter of the group had serious deficiencies (less than 20 ng/ml) of this important vitamin. Even the sufficient (>/=30 ng/ml) was only 41% and if we were to apply the generally regarded 50ng/ml as the base line for sufficiency, the numbers would decline even further. Since Vitamin D insufficiency is linked to increased body fat, decreased muscle strength and a range of disorders, this is a serious health issue.

The 90 young women in this group aged between 16-22yrs of age had an increased level of fatty tissue when their Vit D levels were low. Abnormal levels of Vitamin D are associated with a whole spectrum of diseases, including cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders.

Disease Incidence Prevention by Serum 25(OH)D Level

Wednesday, 03 March 2010 by | Comments: 1
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In the last few years a considerable consensus across the scientific community has begun to emerge concerning the fat soluble nutrient Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is unique – unlike ALL other vitamins very little comes from our food. Almost all of our Vitamin D is produced by the upper surface of our skin during direct exposure to UV radiation in strong sunlight. However in the UK and most of the USA the sun is too low in the sky from November until March to produce any Vitamin D from sunlight exposure. The fat soluble nutrient supplies are meant to rely on a summer exposure to increase our stores to supply what we need during the winter.

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There remains controversy in the medical fields about the value of antioxidants, or risk of antioxidants in patients with cancer. In the Journal of International Medical research a pilot trial followed 41 patients over a 9 year period who had been diagnosed with end stage cancer. During this time they were given a mix of antioxidants including; Coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, selenium, folic acid and betacarotene.

The treatments were well tolerated and produced a > 40% increase in survival  time with 76% of the patients surviving far longer than predicted. Whilst the study accounted for all participants and the disease course was well illustrated in all of the patients, there is a lack of retrospective design, matched controls and no blinding.

Expensive Urine or Effective Triage?

Friday, 19 February 2010 by | Comments: 1
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Time-Magazine-cover-227x300

Victor Herbert, the outspoken Harvard nutrition scientist, was quoted by the United States well read Time magazine in a famous 1992 cover story about nutrition as saying that vitamins just gave one “expensive urine.”

This one liner has acted as a simple rebuke to the consumption of additional nutrients as food supplements – or at least the water soluble ones. It is repeated by the medical community wedded to the model that food will supply all we require, and by the skeptics who seek an easy one liner to dismiss thousands of research papers that contradict this simplistic and invalid statement.

Vitamin D Vs Crohn’s (IBD) & Cancer

Wednesday, 10 February 2010 by
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Crohns disease is an inflammatory disease of the intestines that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from anus to mouth, causing a wide variety of symptoms. It primarily causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea (which may be bloody), vomiting, or weight loss, but may also cause complications outside of the gastrointestinal tract such as skin rashes, arthritis and inflammation of the eye.[1]

A new study has found that Vitamin D, readily available in supplements or cod liver oil, can counter the effects of Crohn’s disease.[2]

The data collated in this study suggests, for the first time, that Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to Crohn’s disease. Epidemiologically it had already been noted that people from northern countries, which receive less sunlight, necessary for the fabrication of Vitamin D by the human body, are particularly vulnerable to Crohn’s disease.[3]

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cover-mediumMicronutrient deficiencies could provide a possible explanation for why an estimated 25% of the US population who consume the least fruit and vegetables have double the cancer rate.[1] The aim of our study was to investigate the association between major dietary minerals and vitamins and the risk of bladder cancer in a US population from a region with a high incidence rate.[2]

Objective: Although the effect of fruit and vegetables on the risk of bladder cancer has been widely studied, little is known about their micronutrient components. Our aim was to investigate associations between minerals and vitamins and bladder cancer.

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covtoc.dpMany factors—including genes, sex, ancestry,  foetal and childhood conditions—influence how we digest foods and store fat. Physiological stress in mothers can leave lingering imprints on descendants for generations. So although it’s true that humans evolved to eat a diet relatively high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat, it appears there’s no single Paleolithic prescription for better health.

There isn’t a perfect diet that is the same for everyone. The nature of our success is to find and make a meal in virtually any environment. But our different responses are structured by the basic biology we bring to the table.

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