|JANUARY NEWS LETTER|
|IN THE NEWS|
AMERICANS STILL FALLING SHORT ON FOLIC ACID Even though the recommended
daily allowance for folic acid was increased to 400 mcg and given a lot of media attention,
many Americans are still not getting nearly enough of this B vitamin.
Folic acid is important to the body’s DNA repair system, which is a critical component of the
body"s cancer protection system. Also, when dietary folic acid levels are too low, blood
levels of the amino acid homocysteine rise, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke, and
GO NUTS FOR YOUR HEART HEALTH A study presented at the annual meeting of the
American Heart Association showed that as nut intake increased, the chances of dying from
heart-related causes decreased.
The study focused on more than 22,000 male doctors who participated in the Physicians
Health Study. And results remained true even after adjusting for other possible risk factors
such as exercise, high blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, alcohol use, and other
dietary habits, including fish consumption.
Researchers propose that nuts are beneficial because they’re high in unsaturated fatty acids,
which have been shown to be anti-arrhythmic, or because of their magnesium content, which
may decrease heart-rhythm disturbances.
Heart-rhythm abnormalities are a major cause of sudden cardiac death.
LOW ZINC INTAKE IS LINKED TO HEART DISEASE AND DIABETES A new study in
India suggests that zinc deficiencies may put people at greater risk for heart disease and
A study of 3,575 rural and urban adults in northern India determined that individuals who
consumed fewer than 7 mg of zinc per day were more likely to suffer from diabetes. City
residents who ate less zinc also showed higher rates of heart disease.
The study also discovered that compared to individuals in rural areas, urban Indians tend to
eat more meat, fish, eggs, and milk products, all foods associated with higher cholesterol and
blood pressure risks.
The researchers propose that the next step is to give subjects zinc supplements to determine
whether the zinc deficiencies contribute to their ailments.
The recommended daily allowance of zinc is 8 to 11 mg per day for adults.
The study appeared in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of
DOES THE AHA HAVE YOUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART? A new study shows that
people who followed American Heart Association diet and lifestyle guidelines experienced
twice as many heart attacks, coronary bypass surgeries, and other coronary events during a
five-year study than individuals who followed a special program created by Dr. Dean Ornish.
Dr. Ornish, heart physician of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and the University
of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, studied 48 subjects. Twenty-eight of these
individuals followed his intense regiment of exercise, yoga, and other forms of meditation and
ate a diet with 10 percent calories from fat, excluding saturated fats from butter. Patients who
followed this program showed a 37 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol, the "bad"
cholesterol. In addition, this group reduced their number of angina attacks by 72 percent.
The study appeared in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association