Monday, October 19, 2009

Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival HealthDay

HealthDay Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival

Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
But levels are too low in many Americans, researchers say

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

SATURDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of vitamin D are linked to less severe, less deadly melanoma lesions in people with skin cancer, new research suggests.

The findings provide more support for the idea that vitamin D is crucial to skin health. Many Americans, however, don't get enough of it, perhaps because they limit sun exposure and drink less milk than in the past.

"Although avoiding sunburn is very important in order to prevent melanoma, it is also important to avoid becoming deficient in vitamin D," said Dr. Julia A. Newton-Bishop, a dermatology professor at the University of Leeds in England and a study co-author. "This is especially important for melanoma patients in whom low vitamin D levels appear to be harmful."

Vegetarian diet bad for bone health - Journal Article

SpringerLink - Journal Article

Abstract
Background A long-term vegetarian diet is generally poor in vitamin B group. The lack of vitamin B12 together with vitamin B6 and folate deficiency is closely related to homocysteine metabolism. Hyperhomocysteinemia was found to be associated with increased bone turnover markers and increased fracture risk. Thus, hyperhomocysteinemia, vitamin B12 and folate deficiency may be regarded as novel risk factors for micronutrient deficiency-related osteoporosis.
Aim of the study To assess the possible impact of a vegetarian diet on bone mineral density in cohort of Slovak vegetarian women.
Methods Fasting serum glucose, albumin, calcium, phosphorous and creatinine as well as bone markers, serum vitamin B12, folate and plasma levels of total homocysteine were assessed in two nutritional groups (vegetarians vs. nonvegetarians) of apparently healthy women (age range 20–70 years). Bone mineral density of the femoral neck, trochanter, total femur and lumbar spine was measured in all subjects.
Results Vegetarians had a significantly lower weight (p < 0.05), higher PTH (p < 0.01) and homocysteine (p < 0.001). Vitamin B12 was significantly higher in nonvegetarians (p < 0.001). No differences were observed in folate levels. Univariate analysis showed significant association between homocysteine and B12 (p < 0.01), folate (p < 0.001), creatinine (p < 0.001), total proteins (p < 0.049), age (p < 0.001) and vegetarian food intake (p < 0.001). Vegetarians had a significantly lower TrFBMD (p < 0.05) and ToFBMD (p < 0.05). Age and CTx were significant predictors in all sites of measured BMD and PTH. A strong correlation between homocysteine and FNBMD (r = −0.2009, p < 0.002), TrFBMD (r = −0.1810, p < 0.004) and ToFBMD (r = −0.2225, p < 0.001) was found in all subjects.
Conclusion Homocysteine is one of the predictors of bone mineral density, and hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with lower bone mineral density. In healthy adults, homocysteine levels are dependent on age as well as on nutritional habits. Thus, elderly women on a vegetarian diet seem to be at higher risk of osteoporosis development than nonvegetarian women.

Diets bad for the teeth are also bad for the body

Diets bad for the teeth are also bad for the body

Diets bad for the teeth are also bad for the body
Beyond the immediate distress, dental pain may portend future medical problems

Dental disease may be a wake-up call that your diet is harming your body.

"The five-alarm fire bell of a tooth ache is difficult to ignore," says Dr. Philippe P. Hujoel, professor of dental public health sciences at the University of Washington (UW) School of Dentistry in Seattle. Beyond the immediate distress, dental pain may portend future medical problems. It may be a warning that the high-glycemic diet that led to dental problems in the short term may, in the long term, lead to potentially serious chronic diseases.

Hujoel reviewed the relationships between diet, dental disease, and chronic systemic illness in a report published July 1 in the Journal of Dental Research. He weighed two contradictory viewpoints on the role of dietary carbohydrates in health and disease. The debate surrounds fermentable carbohydates: foods that turn into simple sugars in the mouth. Fermentable carbohydrates are not just sweets like cookies, doughnuts, cake and candy. They also include bananas and several tropical fruits, sticky fruits like raisins and other dried fruits, and starchy foods like potatoes, refined wheat flour, yams, rice, pasta, pretzels, bread, and corn.

One viewpoint is that certain fermentable carbohydrates are beneficial to general health and that the harmful dental consequences of such a diet should be managed by the tools found in the oral hygiene section of drugstores. A contrasting viewpoint suggests that fermentable carbohydrates are bad for both dental and general health, and that both dental and general health need to be maintained by restricting fermentable carbohydrates.

The differing perspectives on the perceived role of dietary carbohydrates have resulted in opposing approaches to dental disease prevention, Hujoel notes, and have prompted debates in interpreting the link between dental diseases and such systemic diseases as obesity, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.

Over the past twenty years or so, Hujoel says, people have been advised to make fermentable dietary carbohydrates the foundation of their diet. Fats were considered the evil food. A high-carbohydrate diet was assumed to prevent a number of systemic chronic diseases. Unfortunately, such a diet - allegedly good for systemic health - was bad for dental health. As a result, cavities or gingival bleeding from fermentable carbohydrates could be avoided only – and not always successfully, as Hujoel points out -- by conscientious brushing, fluorides, and other types of dental preventive measures. When these measures are not successful, people end up with cavities and gum disease.

Hujoel observed that the dental harms of fermentable carbohydrates have been recognized by what looks like every major health organization. Even those fermentable carbohydrates assumed to be good for systemic health break down into simple sugars in the mouth and promote tooth decay. All fermentable carbohydrates have the potential to induce dental decay, Hujoel notes.

But what if fermentable carbohydrates are also bad for systemic health? Hujoel asks. What if dietary guidelines would start incorporating the slew of clinical trial results suggesting that a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates improves cardiovascular markers of disease and decreases body fat? Such a change in perspective on fermentable carbohydrates, and by extension, on people's diets, could have a significant impact on the dental profession, as a diet higher in fat and protein does not cause dental diseases, he notes. Dentists would no longer be pressed to recommend to patients diets that are bad for teeth or remain mum when it comes to dietary advice. Dentists often have been reluctant, Hujoel says, to challenge the prevailing thinking on nutrition. Advising patients to reduce the amount or frequency of fermentable carbohydrate consumption is difficult when official guidelines suggested the opposite.

The close correlation between the biological mechanisms that cause dental decay and the factors responsible for high average levels of glucose in the blood is intriguing. Hujoel explains that eating sugar or fermentable carbohydrates drops the acidity levels of dental plaque and is considered an initiating cause of dental decay.

"Eating these same foods, he says, is also associated with spikes in blood sugar levels. There is fascinating evidence that suggests that the higher the glycemic level of a food, the more it will drop the acidity of dental plaque, and the higher it will raise blood sugar. So, possibly, dental decay may really be a marker for the chronic high-glycemic diets that lead to both dental decay and chronic systemic diseases. This puts a whole new light on studies that have linked dental diseases to such diverse illnesses as Alzheimer's disease and pancreatic cancer."

The correlations between dental diseases and systemic disease, he adds, provide indirect support for those researchers who have suggested that Alzheimer's disease and pancreatic cancer are due to an abnormal blood glucose metabolism.

The hypotheses on dental diseases as a marker for the diseases of civilization were postulated back in the mid-20th century by two physicians: Thomas Cleave and John Yudkin. Tragically, their work, although supported by epidemiological evidence, became largely forgotten, Hujoel notes. This is unfortunate, he adds, because dental diseases really may be the most noticeable and rapid warning sign to an individual that something is going awry with his or her diet.

"Dental problems from poor dietary habits appear in a few weeks to a few years," Hujoel explains. "Dental improvement can be rapid when habits are corrected. For example, reducing sugar intake can often improve gingivitis scores (a measurement of gum disease) in a couple of weeks. Dental disease reveals very early on that eating habits are putting a person at risk for systemic disease. Because chronic medical disease takes decades to become severe enough to be detected in screening tests, dental diseases may provide plenty of lead-time to change harmful eating habits and thereby decrease the risk of developing the other diseases of civilization."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ketone Bodies, Potential Therapeutic Uses


Ketone Bodies, Potential Therapeutic Uses


Ketone Bodies, Potential Therapeutic Uses
Richard L. Veech, Britton Chance, Yoshihiro Kashiwaya, Henry A. Lardy, George F. Cahill Jr

Keywords
D-BETA-HYDROXYBUTYRATE • Ketone • Bodies • Ketosis • Metabolic • Control • Analysis • Neurologic • Disease

Abstract
Ketosis, meaning elevation of D- -hydroxybutyrate ( R -3-hydroxybutyrate) and acetoacetate, has been central to starving man's survival by providing nonglucose substrate to his evolutionarily hypertrophied brain, sparing muscle from destruction for glucose synthesis. Surprisingly, D- -hydroxybutyrate (abbreviated OHB) may also provide a more efficient source of energy for brain per unit oxygen, supported by the same phenomenon noted in the isolated working perfused rat heart and in sperm. It has also been shown to decrease cell death in two human neuronal cultures, one a model of Alzheimer's and the other of Parkinson's disease. These observations raise the possibility that a number of neurologic disorders, genetic and acquired, might benefit by ketosis. Other beneficial effects from OHB include an increased energy of ATP hydrolysis ( G') and its linked ionic gradients. This may be significant in drug-resistant epilepsy and in injury and anoxic states. The ability of OHB to oxidize co-enzyme Q and reduce NADP + may also be important in decreasing free radical damage. Clinical maneuvers for increasing blood levels of OHB to 2-5 mmol may require synthetic esters or polymers of OHB taken orally, probably 100 to 150 g or more daily. This necessitates advances in food-science technology to provide at least enough orally acceptable synthetic material for animal and possibly subsequent clinical testing. The other major need is to bring the technology for the analysis of multiple metabolic phenotypes up to the level of sophistication of the instrumentation used, for example, in gene science or in structural biology. This technical strategy will be critical to the characterization of polygenic disorders by enhancing the knowledge gained from gene analysis and from the subsequent steps and modifications of the protein products themselves.