Study questions value of vitamin D supplements
Make sure to soak up plenty of sunshine, because it may be the best way to get your vitamin D. According to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, using supplements to receive vitamin D may not help people as previously thought.
Vitamin D supports bone health and has been linked to several health benefits. Prior studies have also claimed a lack of vitamin D can be harmful—causing ill health and even premature death.
Researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand challenge these claims based on a recent analysis that shows vitamin D may not help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, or stroke, among others. In fact, the researchers claim low levels of vitamin D don’t cause any conditions and only serve as a sign of unhealthiness.
The research team analyzed 40 randomized controlled trials that tested the use of vitamin D supplements, both with and without calcium supplements. These results were inconclusive regarding the role of vitamin D supplements lowering mortality rates in the general population by more than 5 percent. However, the analysis did show that previous studies were missing the cause and effect relationship between vitamin D and poor health due to their design. A futility analysis was also performed to forecast whether future research will change these results, but the team determined even future studies will most likely not alter the current evidence.
One researcher noted it is still important to receive vitamin D, and that the average healthy person most likely obtains the proper amount through sunlight exposure.
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Sourced from: medicalnewstoday.com, Study questions health benefits of vitamin D supplementation
Published On: Jan 24, 2014
Omega-3s can increase volume of aging brains
New research published in the journal Neurology suggests that larger brain volumes associated with higher omega-3 levels may preserve up to two years of brain health.
In conducting their research, the team from the University of South Dakota first looked at the red blood cell (RBC) levels of omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in 1,111 postmenopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. Then the team measured brain volumes via MRI scans. After eight years, the team followed-up with further brain scans on the women, who then had an average age of 78.
The researchers found that the women who had higher levels of omega-3s also had larger total brain volumes. Women with levels of fatty acids that were twice as high at 7.5 percent compared with 3.4 percent had a brain volume that was 0.7 percent larger, and women with higher omega-3 levels had a 2.7 percent larger volume in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that begins to atrophy in Alzheimer’s patients before symptoms start to appear. Higher levels of omega-3 can be achieved by taking supplements or eating oily fish like salmon, as well as flax, walnuts, eggs and spinach.
The researchers concluded that this study supports previous studies that associate higher omega-3 levels with delaying cognitive aging and dementia.
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Alzheimer’s defense: omega-3s linked to larger brain volume
Published On: Jan 24, 2014