Friday Fun Facts

Monday Fun Facts

Here's a grab-bag full of interesting nutritional tidbits. As always, chew thoroughly before swallowing.

Sun and Supplements

Synergy is a terribly overused word, one of those very appropriate terms nearly trampled into nonsense by marketing. But synergy is exactly the right term for how one fights the risk of cancers, as shown by a recent study. According to the study, a combination of some sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation may be the most effective means of reducing the risk of breast cancer, as opposed to either one alone. If you are in the mood for some light reading, here is the report:

Source Surf and turf

It appears that there is a functional relationship between flavonoids, beneficial plant chemicals found in fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids, the type found in fish oil. A recent study demonstrates that flavonoids can actually help increase blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids thereby making these important polyunsaturated fatty acids more available for the body to use.

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for brain and heart health and are anti-inflammatory.

Examples of flavonoids, which possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, include EGCg from green tea, quercetin from apples, citrus and onions and curcumin from the spice turmeric.

Source The Cardiac Surgeon's Savior

A recent medical study discovered that vitamin C can reduce the risk of experiencing a serious heart arrhythmia after heart surgery.

Atrial fibrillation is a common complication of heart surgery and increases the risk for longer hospitalizations and death. Vitamin C use, post-surgery, may significantly reduce the incidence of atrial fibrillation, according to the study.


Bad Breath, Strong Bones

Diets high in garlic and other related vegetables such as onions and leeks have been shown to reduce the risk of developing the bone weakening disease osteoporosis.

Diallyl disulphide, a compound found in garlic and other related vegetables, was shown to repress the expression of certain destructive enzymes that are linked with osteoarthritis, providing a potential mechanism of action for garlic’s effect.


Don't forget: Alternative medicine = scientific medicine.

Dr. Avery Jenkins is a chiropractic physician specializing in the treatment of people with chronic disorders. He can be reached at or by calling 860-567-5727.

Friday Fun Facts

My mother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 now and we have no idea where she is. A meta-analysis of 28 studies of cancer related fatigue found that exercise is more effective at combating fatigue than the usual care provided to patients.

"I believe, in the future, exercise in oncology can play a role, as much a role as exercise plays in cardiac rehab, but we need to do the types of large trials, appropriately powered to answer these questions," said Karen Mustian, an assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, who was not involved with the review.

“This gout has got my ankle swollen bigger than Madonna's ego.”

Higher intakes of vitamin C may reduce a man's risk of gout, the most prevalent inflammatory arthritis in adult males, by up to 45 per cent, says a new study. According to the research findings, for every 500 milligrams increase in vitamin C intake, a man's risk of gout was cut by 17 per cent. And for men with vitamin C intakes of at least 1,500 milligrams per day, the risk of gout was cut by 45 per cent.

Green tea chewing gum?

Consuming green tea may offer protection against gum disease, a condition that may affect over 30 per cent of the population, suggests a new study. The researchers propose that catechins, the polyphenols found in green tea, may interfere with the body's inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria, thereby promoting periodontal health, and warding off further disease.

Nutrition for Asthma Does Work

A trio of nutrients were associated with improvements in asthma measures, lung function, and markers of inflammation in the lungs, according to findings of a randomised, double blind, placebo-self-controlled crossover trial.

"Children with moderately persistent bronchial asthma may get benefit from their diet supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, Zinc and vitamin C," wrote the researchers.

Friday Fun Facts

Fact #1 Remember, it's not all about calcium. A new study suggests that neutralizing an acid-producing diet may be an important key to reducing bone breakdown while aging. Fruits and vegetables are metabolized to bicarbonate and thus are alkali-producing. But the typical American diet is rich in protein and cereal grains that are metabolized to acid, and thus are acid-producing. With aging, such diets lead to a mild but slowly increasing metabolic acidosis which can then lead to bone loss.

Increasing fruit and vegetable intake can help reduce metabolic acidosis and thus decrease the rate of related bone breakdown.

Fact #2

“Honey, let me call you back on a land line. That annoying oxidative stress in my brain is acting up again.” Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to prevent oxidative stress in brain tissue caused by mobile phone use. Also, Ginkgo biloba prevented mobile phone induced cellular injury in brain tissue histopathologically.

Fact #3

If I was stuck on a deserted island and had to take only one vitamin with me, this would be the one. Women who have insufficient levels of vitamin D during their pregnancy may negatively impact a genetic variant in their offspring that increases the risk of multiple sclerosis.

Researchers found that proteins in the body activated by vitamin D bind to a DNA sequence next to the DRB1*1501 variant on chromosome 6. DRB1*1501 is a variant which increases the risk of MS to 1 in 300 in those who carry a single copy and 1 in 100 in those carrying 2 copies, in contrast to a risk of 1 in 1000 in the rest of the population. The team believes that a mother's vitamin D deficiency could alter the expression of DRB1*1501 in their children.

Fact #4

A guy walks past a mental hospital and hears a moaning voice " ... 13 ... 13 ... 13 ... ".

The man looks over to the hospital and sees a hole in the wall. He looks through the hole and gets poked in the eye. The moaning voice then groaned " ... 14 ... 14 ... 14 ... ". Researchers have discovered that a form of vitamin B1 could become a new and effective treatment for one of the world's leading causes of blindness.

Scientists believe that uveitis, an inflammation of the tissue located just below the outer surface of the eyeball, produces 10 to 15 percent of all cases of blindness in the United States, and causes even higher rates of blindness globally. The inflammation is normally treated with antibiotics or steroid eye drops.

"Benfotiamene strongly suppresses this eye-damaging condition and the biochemical markers we associate with it," said UTMB associate professor Kota V. Ramana, senior author of the study. "We're optimistic that this simple supplementation with vitamin B1 has great potential as a new therapy for this widespread eye disease."

Fact #5

What do you do when a pig has a heart attack? You call a hambulance!

People who have had heart attacks are likely to have been in traffic right before their symptoms started, according to new research.

“Driving or riding in heavy traffic poses an additional risk of eliciting a heart attack in persons already at elevated risk,” said Annette Peters, Ph.D., lead author of the study and head of the research unit at the Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum Muchen, Germany. “In this study, underlying vulnerable coronary artery disease increased the risk of having a heart attack after driving in traffic.”

If you ask me, that's just another reason to cycle instead of drive.

Friday Fun Facts

Holy cow! Is it that time already? Fact #1

Mastic is fantastic for H. pylori! A recent study evaluated the antibacterial activity of mastic gum, a resin obtained from the Pistacia lentiscus tree, against clinical isolates of Helicobacter pylori. The minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) were obtained by a microdilution assay. Mastic gum killed 50% of the strains tested at a concentration of 125 microg/ml and 90% at a concentration of 500 microg/ml. The influence of sub-MBCs of mastic gum on the morphologies of H. pylori was evaluated by transmission electron microscopy. The lentiscus resin induced blebbing, morphological abnormalities and cellular fragmentation in H. pylori cells.

Fact #2

An ajoene -ajoene situation...a myriad of potential health benefits from garlic's most active compound. Garlic has been viewed for its health benefits for thousands of years, and recently science has begun to show why.

According to Dr. Eric Block, leading expert in garlic sulfur compounds, ajoene (pronounced ah-hoe-ene) and dithiins are the most active compounds formed from fresh garlic. Broad research speaks to the potential medical benefits of ajoenes. Since the discovery and identification of ajoene in 1984, there have been many studies that have demonstrated its activity on bacteria, lipids, fungus, cholesterol,viruses, inflammation, parasites, tumors, and blood clots and platelets.

Fact #3

Vitamins K1 and K2 are neck and neck. Japanese scientists, led by Jun Iwamoto from Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo, reviewed seven randomized clinical trials for vitamin K1 and K2 in relation to bone health in post-menopausal women.

“Despite the lack of a significant change or the occurrence of only a modest increase in bone mineral density, high-dose vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 supplementation improved indices of bone strength in the femoral neck and reduced the incidence of clinical fractures,” wrote the researchers in Nutrition Research.

Fact #4

For immunity boosting...think zinc!

Zinc plays an important role in immune function. Researchers at Tufts University set out to determine whether serum zinc concentrations in nursing home elderly are associated with the incidence and duration of pneumonia, total and duration of antibiotic use, and both pneumonia-associated and all-cause mortality.Outcome measures included the incidence and number of days with pneumonia, number of new antibiotic prescriptions, days of antibiotic use, death due to pneumonia, and all-cause mortality.

Compared with subjects with low zinc concentrations, subjects with normal final serum zinc concentrations had a lower incidence of pneumonia, fewer (by almost 50%) new antibiotic prescriptions, a shorter duration of pneumonia, and fewer days of antibiotic use. Zinc supplementation to maintain normal serum zinc concentrations in the elderly may help reduce the incidence of pneumonia and associated morbidity.

Fact #5

Test, test, test --- calling you.

Insufficient and deficient levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome by 52 percent, according to a joint Anglo-Chinese study.

According to findings published in Diabetes Care, a study with 3,262 Chinese people aged between 50 and 70 showed that 94 percent were vitamin D deficient or insufficient, and 42 percent of these people also had metabolic syndrome. Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a major concern among the elderly.

For information about how to check your Vitamin D levels, click here.

Friday Fun Facts

Welcome to a Brand Spankin' New Feature of DocAltMed. Every Friday, I will be publishing the Friday Fun Facts, which summarizes research in the field of alternative medicine.

I'm doing this to remind you that you *don't* need drugs to be healthy. All you need is the desire to be healthy and a doctor who knows how to help you.

I know this isn't nearly as much fun as David Letterman's top 10, but he's pretty much jumped the shark anyway. Without further ado...

Fact #1

This root may get to the root of the problem.

Curcumin, the major polyphenol found in turmeric, appears to reduce weight gain and suppress the growth of fat tissue in mice and cell models.

"Weight gain is the result of the growth and expansion of fat tissue, which cannot happen unless new blood vessels form, a process known as angiogenesis." said senior author Mohsen Meydani, DVM, PhD, director of the Vascular Biology Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA. "Based on our data, curcumin appears to suppress angiogenic activity in the fat tissue of mice fed high fat diets."

Fact #2

Magnesium is magnificent for high blood pressure.

Supplemental magnesium may reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, but with seemingly normal magnesium levels, says a new study. On the other hand, the supplements had no effect on the blood pressure measurements of normo-tensive individuals, according to findings. “These findings suggest that magnesium supplementation may help prevent the progression of hypertension in normo-magnesemic non-diabetic overweight people with higher BP, although mechanisms of counter-regulation preventing further BP increase remain to be elucidated,” wrote the researchers.

Fact #3

This may make pork chops out of the swine flu.

There is compelling epidemiological evidence that indicates that because of vitamin D's seasonal and population effects on innate immunity, vitamin D deficiency may explain influenza's seasonality.

In 1992, Hope-Simpson predicted that, "understanding the mechanism (of the seasonal stimulus) may be of critical value in designing prophylaxis against the disease." Twenty-five years later, Aloia and Li-Ng found 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day abolished the seasonality of influenza and dramatically reduced its self-reported incidence.

Fact #4

Again, exercise to the rescue.

A home-based diet and exercise program reduced the rate of functional decline among older, overweight long-term survivors of colorectal, breast and prostate cancer, according to a new study.

"In conclusion, this study provides data on a long overlooked, yet important faction in older long-term cancer survivors. Long-term survivors of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer participating in a diet and exercise intervention reduced the rate of self-reported physical function decline in comparison with a group receiving no intervention," the researchers write.