IN THE NEWS PROTECT YOUR SMARTS WITH C AND E Keep your brain in tiptop shape by taking vitamins C and E to protect memory and help prevent mental decline.
A new study of elderly men showed taking these vitamins at least once a week over a number of years protected the men from dementia and improved cognitive function (memory, creativity, and mental acuity).
The study entailed review of supplement use of 3,385 Japanese-American men in 1988. The men were tested again in 1993. At that time, most of the men did not have memory problems, although 47 had Alzheimer's dementia, 35 had vascular dementia, 50 had mixed/other types of dementia, and 254 performed poorly on the cognitive tests without diagnosed dementia. The men who took vitamin C or E alone in 1988 scored better on the 1993 memory tests than men who took no supplements.
Researchers also noted the men who took both vitamins E and C for years showed a substantially greater improvement in cognitive function, suggesting long-term use is required to improve cognitive function later in life.
This study was featured in the March 2000 issue of Neurology.
GO NUTTY FOR CHOLESTEROL MANAGEMENT If cholesterol is on your mind, walnuts should be on your plate.
Spanish researchers report walnuts can further reduce harmful cholesterol when they're teamed with a traditional Mediterranean diet. Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to reduce levels of harmful LDL cholesterol.
The 12-week study of 49 men and women with high LDL cholesterol levels compared the cholesterol-lowering effects of two diets: a normal Mediterranean diet and a modified version of this diet that substituted walnuts for some of the olive oil and other fatty foods. The diet included eight to 11 walnuts a day, which comprised about 18 percent of total cal ories and 35 percent of fat calories.
Both diets lowered LDL cholesterol; 11.2 percent with the walnut diet and 5.6 percent during the control diet. The walnut diet also reduced lipoprotein (a), a substance in the blood that's linked to heart disease. Levels dropped 9.1 percent during the walnut diet, compared to 3.4 percent on the Mediterranean diet. Note: This drop was statistically significant in men only.
Researchers believe that if substituting walnuts for some of the fats in the Mediterranean diet is beneficial, replacing some fats in the typical Western diet with walnuts might provide even greater benefits in lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
This study appears in the April 4, 2000 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
PRESERVE YOUR BRAIN POWER WITH FOLIC ACID? Low folate levels may be linked to Alzheimer's disease.
A recent study showed that women with Alzheimer's disease were also more likely to have low blood levels of folate than women without the disease.
The study focused on 30 nuns, half of whom had brain changes consistent with Alzheimer's disease when their brains were analyzed at autopsy. The women, ages 78 to 101 when they died, lived in the same convent for most of their lives.
While the study's authors couldn't determine whether low levels of folate caused Alzheimer's, researchers say it is possible the women had low blood levels of the nutrient because they had problems absorbing or metabolizing it. Researchers call for more research, noting it's possible folic acid plays a role in Alzheimer's disease because it's important in the central nervous system development and blood vessel maintenance.
This study appears in the April 2000 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
GINSENG MAY STEADY BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS Attention diabetics: American ginseng may help control the blood sugar surge that generally occurs after eating.
Researchers tested the effects of American ginseng on 10 non-diabetic ad ults and nine adults with type 2 diabetes. (This form of diabetes occurs when the body develops a resistance to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.)
On four occasions, each person in the study either took ginseng 40 minutes before a meal or during the meal, or a placebo pill. After eating, blood sugar levels were measured every 15 to 30 minutes for up to two hours. In people without diabetes, ginseng only lowered blood sugar levels when taken 40 minutes before the meal. Diabetics experienced a significant reduction (20 percent) in blood glucose two hours after treatments, regardless if they took the herb before or during the meal.
While the study results were positive, experts acknowledge more study is needed to recommend across-the-board use of ginseng by diabetics.
This study appeared in the April 10, 2000 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
FOLIC ACID MAY REDUCE MISCARRIAGE RISK Folic acid has multiple benefits during pregnancy. While it's well known for protecting against birth defects, new research suggests folic acid may also reduce the risk of an early miscarriage.
Netherlands researchers have determined that women who have low blood levels of folate are more likely to miscarry than those with higher levels. In one study, researchers compared 123 women who had at least two miscarriages with 10 women who had not. The women who suffered the miscarriages had lower blood levels of folate compared with the women who never miscarried.
In addition, women who had three or more miscarriages had lower folate concentrations than those who had two miscarriages. And, miscarriage loss was linked to higher blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked with heart disease and other heart problems.
The study adds to the already well-publicized benefits of taking folic acid as a means of preventing birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
The study appeared in the April 2000 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
REVISITED PRODUCT-ARTICHOKE EXTRACT
Our livers faithfully filter and detoxify all the stresses we place on our bodies-environmental pollutants, high-fat diets, alcohol, contraceptives, and other medications.
That's why our livers deserve the strong nutritional support available from Enzymatic Therapy's Artichoke Extract. http://www.enzy.com/products/individual/eprod08809.html
The artichoke flower (Cynara scolymus) has been relied on since the Middle Ages for ensuring gallbladder function and maintaining a healthy level of blood lipids. Scientists from Japan to Switzerland have noted the herb's abilities to break down fat and improve bile flow. Enzymatic Therapy's Artichoke Extract is unique from other artichoke extracts because:
It contains only the fresh leaves of the globe artichoke, which contain high amounts of caffeylquinic acids, known as cynarin, offering powerful nutritional support for the liver.
It's manufactured at the standardized levels cited in European clinical studies. Artichoke Extract mirrors the many German artichoke products that contain a 5:1 herb-extract ratio (five pounds of fresh plant used to produce one pound of extract) and is standardized for 3% caffeylquinic acids.
Enzymatic Therapy's Artichoke Extract is especially important for people who are overweight or have high blood lipid levels, who want to improve their digestive systems, or who want weight-loss support.