Tocotrienols And Their Many Benefits.

Prof. Dr Chandan a world expert on the role of tocotrienols and their role in health presented a short presentation in 2013 on the many benefits that can be attributed to the ingestion of Tocotrienols, we have discussed the interesting role of these vitamin E rich fats for the management of risk/prevention and recovery. In particular the reduction of stroke risk and the restoration of liver quality in people with fatty liver diseases or even greater risk of liver failure. Watch his presentation.

A recently published study that shows the synergistic effect of oral supplementation of d-mixed tocotrienols and alpha-tocopherol in improving non-alcoholic steatohepatitis rats. Non-alcoholic steatohepatits (NASH) is the most extreme form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), resulting from the accumulation of triglycerides/fats (fatty liver), oxidative stress and inflammatory in the liver.

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Coffee and Health – What’s the Buzz?

Ask any Nutritional Therapist about coffee consumption and I expect that 9 times out of ten they will seek to reduce someone’s intake – as someone who does not drink coffee the idea of giving something up that I do not consume is easy. But, for many the challenge is not simply exclusion but appropriate utilisation – because as with all foods and beverages there is a bell shaped curve between benefit and loss.

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16% of Cancer Described as Avoidable! – What About The Rest?

The research, published in Lancet Oncology and carried out at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, studied international data for 27 cancers in 184 countries in order to identify the factors which contribute to the development of the diseases. The results suggest that 16% of all cancers are a result of infections, and of that sub-set 80% occur in less developed regions.[1]

The WHO another data crunching megalith estimates that 6% of cancers in wealthy nations and 22% in low- and middle-income countries are caused by infectious agents: viruses such as HBV, HPV and hepatitis C virus (HCV), bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori and waterborne parasites.

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Can You Hear Me Now? Cell Phones and the Brain

Ring Ring, Ring Ring – just what does answering your mobile by placing it next to your ear actually do to your brain. Whilst it is clear that many people have become surgically attached to their mobile phones – or at least it seems that they are bound together, and that once on the phone many become deaf and immune to all around them. In fact listening to intimate halves of conversations taking place 20 feet away provides plenty of opportunity to create amusing scenarios in between burst of indignation there have been many epidemiological studies suggesting this has a more significant long term effect that train rage.

A paper out on Feb 23rd in JAMA confirms that phones held to the head long enough to discuss the weather, location, emotional needs and business contracts (a longish time – 50 mins or longer) increases activity in the brain closest to the antennae – and not in a good way I suspect.[1]

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Ghost Writing and the Human Cost of Hype

The commercial world of pharmaceuticals contains many bright and highly motivated scientists who genuinely want to develop or extend human knowledge to assist with the management or eradication of disease. As with all sectors of society there are those who are more diligent about their work than others, and there are those who seek to make a financial return regardless of the risks involved. A recent article in PLOS exposes the dramatic use of ghost writers and nefarious activities of Wyeth in their promotion of the menopausal hormone therapy Prempro (conjugated equine oestrogens [CEEs] and medroxyprogesterone acetate [MPA]).[1]

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Folic Acid – What Dose is Safe?

The question over fortification and supplementation with the synthetic form – monoglutamate folic acid in isolation has been brought up in context international interest in food fortification and some confusion regarding supplement recommendations.

Folic acid supplementation, the synthetic form of folate has been thrown a curve ball in the last few years because of its apparent association with an increase in colorectal cancer. In particular three papers have been flagged up; the first is by Cole[1] and his colleagues and the second by Mason[2] and the third by Hirsch.[3]

The first paper describes the results of a randomised trial of folic acid in the prevention of colonic adenoma (a type of benign colon tumour that can become malignant), where the subjects had previously had adenomas removed. In this paper the results have been incorrectly interpreted. The study does not show that folic acid supplementation poses a cancer hazard, it relates to adenomas not carcinomas – the malignant form. The actual incidence of adenomas in those who were supplemented vs. those who were not are virtually identical in the following two 3-4 year follow ups. The relative risks were 1.04 (p=0.58) and 1.13 (p=0.23).

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Sun or Supplements – The Vit D Controversy

Vitamin D is increasingly understood to be an essential component of many aspects of human health and although technically not a “vitamin,” vitamin D is in a class by itself. Its metabolic product, calcitriol, is actually a secosteroid (A compound derived from a steroid in which there has been a ring cleavage) hormone that binds to over 2000 gene receptors (about 10% of the human genome) in the human body. There are 3 recognised ways for adults to ensure adequate levels of vitamin D:

These are:

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Multivitamins & Breast Cancer – Is It Too Little Rather Than Too Much?

Multivitamins have recently been flagged in a March 2010 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article to raise the risk of developing breast cancer amongst a group of Swedish Women.[1] Naturally this paper sounds both alarming and contradictory and merits deeper investigation. Particularly as it is directly opposed by a paper out just 3 month previously in the Public Health Nutrition Journal when a group of nearly 3,000 women with breast cancer were compared to a similar number of controls in relation to the potential risk for breast cancer and multivitamins.[2] This study concluded:

The current study found no association between multivitamin supplement use and breast cancer risk in women.

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Disease Incidence Prevention by Serum 25(OH)D Level

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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Antioxidants Improve End Stage Cancer Survival

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.

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