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Part 5: Science, Research and Technology (May 2005)

[5/27/2005] Study Suggests That Fish Oil Fights Smog's Effect on Heart
According to a HealthDayNews article, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine, presenting at the American Thoracic Society's annual meeting have observed that elderly people in a smog-plagued environment could have heart rate variability increased and improved. The researchers provided patients, twice daily, with either a one gram fish oil or soy oil capsule and noted that the fish oil was more effective for heart rate variability than the soy oil.
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[5/26/2005] Dietary Supplement a Potential Treatment for Canavan Disease
Research conducted at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., supported by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, suggests that supplementation with N-acetylaspartic acid (NAA)-derived acetate would increase synthesis of myelin-related fatty acids and lipids and could be potential therapy for Canavan disease, a relatively rare, but always fatal, inherited degenerative brain disease
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[5/26/2005] Raftilose® Synergy 1 Shown to Be Protective Against Colon Cancer
An EU-funded project designed to evaluate whether synbiotics can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer has found that Orafti's Raftilose®Synergy1 combined with probiotics does have a positive effect. According to a release issued by Orafti, synbiotic ingredients combined a prebiotic, ORAFTI’s Raftilose® Synergy 1, with two probiotics, Lactobacillus LGG and Bifidobacterium BB12, observing a reduction in cell DNA damage (60% less than in the control group), as well as a reduction in damaged cell proliferation rates.
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[5/25/2005] Oral Supplementation of Vitamin B12 Resolves Deficiency
According to a Reuters Health article citing research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, (May 23, 2005), oral administration of vitamin B12 appear to correct deficiencies as well as B12 injections. According to the article, daily doses of 647 to 1032 micrograms of vitamin B12, more than 200 times the RDA of 3 micrograms per day, were effective in combating the deficiency, typically observed in older people, and frequently the result of malabsorption.
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[5/24/2005] Study Examines Effect of Shark Cartilage for Advanced Cancer
According to a Reuters Health article, researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota have compared the outcomes of 43 patients with incurable breast or colon cancer treated with shark cartilage (Benefin Shark Cartilage; LaneLabs, Allendale, New Jersey) and 45 patients who received placebo, determining that overall survival did not differ between the groups and there was no evidence that cartilage-treated patients experienced a better quality of life than controls. The results will be published in the July 1st issue of Cancer.
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[5/24/2005] Calcium in Orange Juice Not Always Well Absorbed
According to a Reuters Health article, a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association notes that calcium in two different kinds of orange juice, one containing calcium as calcium citrate malate, the other as a combination of tricalcium phosphate and calcium lactate, are absorbed differently in the women participating in the study. According to the researchers, the women's absorption of the calcium citrate malate was 48 percent greater.
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[5/24/2005] Study Examines Higher Dietary Intake of Lignans and Cognitive Performance
According to research published in the May Journal of Nutrition, a higher diet of phytoestogens and particularly lignans appears to be associated with better cognitive performance in postmenopausal women. The summary notes that the population evaluated was relatively healthy, and may have had a higher than average phytoestrogen intake. The association with cognitive performance was not observed with isoflavones.
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[5/23/2005] India's TBGRI to Develop Nutraceuticals From Sida Plant
According to an article on, India's Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI), the largest botanical garden in Asia, will conduct research on about five species of Sida Alnifolia, a popularly known medicinal plant ‘Kurunthiotti,’ to develop nutraceutical products targeted at pre and post-natal care of pregnant women and as a food supplement targeted at arthritis.
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[5/23/2005] Study finds That Hydroxycitric Acid Delays Intestinal Glucose Absorption
According to an article on News-Medical.Net, citing an article by Dutch researchers appearing online in the June issue of of the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, rats administered hydroxycitric acid (HCA) (known as Brindle berry or Malabar tamarind) had a slower rise in blood sugar, compared to the control group. According to the article, the researchers also noted attenuated postprandial (after-meal) blood glucose levels after HCA administration into the stomach or into the small intestine, with the observed delay resulting in reduction of high glucose peaks.
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[5/20/2005] Vitamin E Lowers Parkinson’s Risk
According to an article on Ivanhoe Newswire, a meta-analysis of eight studies to determine the effect of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene on risk of Parkinson's diseases, indicates that dietary vitamin E appeared to decrease Parkinson's risk, and that Vitamin C and beta-carotene did not reduce risk. The analysis appears in The Lancet Neurology, 2005;4:362-325.
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[5/20/2005] Black Cohosh Extract Relieves Menopausal Symptoms
According to a Reuters Health article, citing a study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology (May 2005), German researchers, Remifemin, a black cohosh extract was significantly more effective than placebo in relieving menopausal symptoms, an effect described by the researchers as 'comparable to that seen in a recent hormone replacement study' and which they say "may be considered clinically relevant." According to the article, the researchers note the product was more helpful in women in the early menopausal years and seemed to be most effective in reducing hot flushes.
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[5/19/2005] New Study Suggests Positive Effect Of Flax Lignan Extract On Prostate Health
A rat study conducted with LinumLife® EXTRA, a 20-percent flax lignan extract, offered by Netherlands-based Acatris, Inc. suggests that supplementation with the product leads to reduction of prostate size. The study involved three groups given daily injections of testosterone to stimulate prostate growth, (one of which was a positive control receiving a standard diet) and the other two receiving 0.5 percent or 1 percent of LinumLife EXTRA in their diets. A fourth group was the negative control and received a standard diet and no phytoestrogens. a negative control group g
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[5/18/2005] Research on Black Cohosh Supports Benefits in Menopause
Responding to a press release issued earlier this week summarizing an unpublished double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, and which questions the efficacy of black cohosh, the American Botanical Council (ABC) notes that a full report describing the trial’s results has not yet been completed and subjected to the necessary peer-review process, and that the trial itself was only four weeks in length. ABC also notes unavailability of Remifemin® for the study and that the research used an alternative product.
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[5/18/2005] $1 Million Investment to Study Potential Anti-inflammatory Health Benefits in Milk
The Canadian federal government has announced that it is granting over $600,000 to support a new collaborative research and development program on potential anti-inflammatory health benefits in cow's milk. The new program, to be based at Université Laval, will study growth hormones in cow's milk that may have anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to treat chronic inflammatory diseases and will be in concert with industry partner Advitech Inc.
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[5/16/2005] Tocotrienol Rich Fraction and Cholesterol
An article on SkyNews citing the latest issue of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, indicates that tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF), a type of Vitamin E obtained from rice, oats and palm supplementation in rats of TRF correlates with a drop in cholesterol of 42%, with some small scale human trial success noted as well. According to the article the efficacy might be due to inhibition of the activity of an enzyme involved in cholesterol biosynthesis.
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[5/13/2005] St. John's wort and Depression
A BMJ editorial, in light of data indicating that 12% of US adults reported using St John's wort in 2002, asks whether patients should be encouraged to try it for depression. The editorial concludes by suggesting that St John's wort should not be the first or second choice for moderate to severe depression, while for minor depression, the lower cost and lower side effect profile make it a reasonable option ("for those who are able to locate quality preparations").
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[5/13/2005] Martek Releases Preliminary Results of Cardiovascular Study
US-based Martek Biosciences (MATK) has announced the preliminary results of a multi-center randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the therapeutic effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on lipid profiles, blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors in obese, mildly dyslipidemic subjects, noting at the 13 week period, the group taking 1g of DHA per day had significantly lower triglyceride levels than the placebo group, but the primary endpoint, significant lowering at 26 weeks, was not reached despite an observation of some triglyceride lowering compared to the baseline. Another secondary measure, C- reactive protein, did indicate a statistically significant reduction for both 200mg and 1g DHA dosages at 26 weeks compared to placebo.
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[5/12/2005] Report Notes That Vitamin D Does Prevent Fractures in Elderly
According to a HealthDay News article, a report which appears in the May 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that Vitamin D supplementation can prevent fractures in elderly people. The report is a review of previous clinical trials and contradicts previous studies in recent weeks claiming the opposite. One study in the British Medical Journal was not double-blind, meaning the subjects in the control group might have increased their vitamin d intake even though they were not supposed to do so, and a second study, in the April 27 The Lancet, examined elderly subjects already at high risk.
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[5/9/2005] 'L-Theanine' Impostors Blocked at Intestinal Border
A study in the journal Chirality examined rats that were orally supplemented with L-theanine, D-theanine, and an ingredient commercially market as “L-theanine” that actually was a racemic mixture of theanine, determining that the metabolism preferentially selects L-theanine, so that when equal amounts of L-theanine were administered (from the pure L-theanine or the racemic mixture), the blood concentration of l-theanine was highest with the pure L-theanine. (The pure L-theanine used in the study was Taiyo's Suntheanine.)
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[5/4/2005] Frutarom Launches New and Innovative Functional Ice Cream Product Range
Company introduces pre-integrated solution combining natural fruits, natural flavor extracts and natural functional ingredients that enhance and support well-being.
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[5/3/2005] Fatty Acids May Reduce Children's Behavior Problems
According to a Reuters Health article on Yahoo news, UK researchers, in a crossover, placebo controlled study published in the May issue of 'Pediatrics', have reported that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids appears to reduce education and behavioral problems with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). According to the article, the 117 children between the ages of 5 and 12 received either omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids or placebo and then the placebo group switched over after 3 months. According to the abstract, no effect of treatment on motor skills was apparent.
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[5/2/2005] Vitamin C Might Cut Some Risks of Pregnant Smoking
According to an AP article, Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University, in a study on infant rhesus monkeys, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, have noted that animals exposed to nicotine before birth had reduced air flow in the lungs compared to animals that were given nicotine and vitamin C, a level of air flow that was close to normal.
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[5/2/2005] New Data Shows Diachrome(R) Significantly Improves Cardiovascular Risk Factors in People with Type 2 Diabetes
Results of a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled multi-center study, reported by Nutrition 21, Inc. (NXXI), and presented at the American Heart Association's 6th Annual Conference on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, indicate that Diachrome(R), a combination of Chromax(R) chromium picolinate and biotin, significantly reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes. According to the company, 368 subjects were evaluated over a 12 week period, when Diachrome was added to the current treatment regimen (40% were already receiving statins or other drugs), non-HDL cholesterol was significantly lowered.
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[5/2/2005] Vitamins E and C Confirmed Safe At High Doses
A review of available scientific literature on vitamins E and C, published in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN), concludes that vitamin E is safe for the general population at intakes up to 1600 IU daily and vitamin C is safe at up to 2000 mg daily.
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