Nutrition Update for the Week of May 9th

Vitamin D and Physical Performance in the Elderly – In this study, vitamin D status was correlated to physical performance in elderly patients and this study suggested that there was a definitive relationship between the two. Those with low vitamin D levels did poorly on physical performance tests. What was striking was the percentage of people with vitamin D deficiency (28.8% women, 13.6% men). Even more disturbing was the percentage of people with vitamin D insufficiency (74.9% women, 51.0% men).

The authors of the study go on to state. “Given the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in older populations, additional studies examining the association between vitamin D status and physical function are needed.” Do we really need more studies or do we need to educate our aging population that they need to take additional vitamin D. My suggestion is 800 to 1,200 i.u. daily in the spring, summer and fall and 1,200 to 2,000 i.u.’s in the winter.

Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk – As if you need yet another reason to take this nutrient the authors of this study suggest that taking 2,000 i.u.’s of vitamin D would decrease a women’s risk of developing breast cancer by 50%!!! If you aren’t taking this essential nutrient, what are you waiting for???

CoEnzyme Q10 Does Not Illicit Positive Findings in Healthy Subjects – I a poorly constructed study, the authors of this study suggest that CoQ10 does little to affect help heart markers in healthy men. The stupidity of this study is the fact that they made these conclusions despite the fact that all they measured was a single, 50 mg dose of CoQ10! Are they kidding me?  Why waste time and effort and paper to report on this unless there was an agenda to fill medical research with negative papers of supplements. It is well known that either you need to look at a higher dose (300 mg) or long-term effects of CoQ10. Shame on the authors of the paper and shame on the journal that published this drivel.

Valerian Root and Sleep Quality and Quantity – In a meta-analysis of research on this calmative herb, the authors suggest that valerian may be beneficial in helping improve sleep quantity. They do have some reservations and state that “Future studies should assess a range of doses of standardized preparations of valerian and include standard measures of sleep quality and safety.” Given this study though, if you have sleep problems, trying valerian may be a good idea as the study also states that this herb has shown little in the way of side-effects unlike drugs like AmbienTM.

Circumin and Liver Cirrhosis – In this study, the authors suggest that curcumin may be helpful in treating this serious liver disease. They conclude, “Curcumin inhibited the development of TAA-induced liver cirrhosis mainly due to its anti-inflammatory activities and not by a direct anti-fibrotic effect. As curcumin ingestion is safe in humans, it may be reasonable to assess in clinical studies the beneficial effect of curcumin in slowing the development of liver cirrhosis.”

Multivitamin Supplementation May be Beneficial in Reducing Osteoporosis in the Elderly – Despite the claims by CNNs medical reporting team, here is yet another human study showing the health benefits of nutrient supplementation. In this paper the authors state that the results of the research suggests that daily intake of a multivitamin supplement containing cholecalciferol/vitamin D3 may improve overall nutritional status and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in a nutritionally vulnerable group, such as the elderly.