Natural Health News From December 2010

Norwegian study has found that a higher intake of probiotic dairy
products by pregnant women results in a reduced risk of
spontaneous preterm deliveries (fewer than 37 gestational weeks).
Pregnant women were divided in three groups: those who consumed
no milk containing probiotic lactobacilli, those with a low
intake, and those with a high consumption level. Researchers
hypothesized that probiotics may reduce the number of pregnancy
complications that arise from microbial infection. The study team
noted that preterm deliveries pose a significant problem. This
study was released by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
but won’t be published until a future issue. It is available
online now at to journal subscribers and
those who pay the article access fee.

found that those who get aerobic exercise more often have a
reduced frequency of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs),
such as colds. The effect also was seen in those who perceive
themselves as physically fit; the severity of cold symptoms was
41 percent less for those who believed they were fit and 31
percent reduced for those who were, in fact, the most active. The
total number of days with cold symptoms was about half for those
who reported getting aerobic activity five days a week or more,
compared to those with the most sedentary lifestyles. Researchers
speculate that the effect works this way: bouts of aerobic
exercise boost immune system cells but they fall back a few hours
later; but each exercise round may increase surveillance by the
immune system, of harmful viruses and bacteria. Regardless of
exercise, honorable mention for getting fewer URTIs went to those
who were male, older and married. This study was released
November 1, 2010 and will be published in a future issue of the
British Journal of Sports Medicine. It can be read online now at but this requires a subscription or payment.

that consumption of black raspberries is highly effective in
reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. In a mouse study,
researchers fed two groups a Western-style diet (high in fat and
low in calcium and vitamin D). They then altered the diet of the
test group so that 10 percent of its food intake was comprised of
freeze-dried black raspberry powder, which continued for 12
weeks. In the test group, the raspberry supplement produced a
broad range of protective effects in the intestine, colon and
rectum, and inhibited tumor formation. The black raspberries
inhibited tumor development by suppressing a protein, known as
beta-catenin. Tumor incidence was reduced by 45 percent and the
number of individual tumors was reduced by 60 percent. Because
black raspberries also reduce inflammation, this food may also
help prevent a variety of inflammatory diseases, including heart
disease. This study was released November 2, 2010 by the journal,
Cancer Prevention Research. Although it will not be published in
the journal until a future issue, it is available online now at for subscribers or those who pay the fee.

study has found further evidence that resveratrol contributes to
cancer chemopreventive activity (helps prevent cancer). In
previous research on rodents, this polyphenol found in plants,
notably in red grape skins and wine, has been shown to reduce
levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone similar
to insulin. Researchers studied 40 human volunteers to assess
effects of repeated dosing with resveratrol on two hormones: IGF-
1 and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3). A reduction in these
factors is associated with anticancer activity. Subjects ingested
resveratrol for 29 days, in dosages of 0.5, 1.0, 2.5, or 5.0
grams. There was a decrease for all volunteers in circulating
IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 hormones but the greatest decrease was noted
for those on 2.5 grams a day. Also, resveratrol was found to be
safe, except that the higher dosages (2.5 and 5.0 grams) caused
mild to moderate gastrointestinal problems. The study team
concluded high resveratrol dosing contributes to cancer
preventive activity in humans. This study was released November
2, 2010 by the journal, Cancer Research but will not be published
until a future issue. It can be read online now at with subscription or fee payment.

As many as twenty to fifty percent of all recurrent cases of anaphylaxis a severe, all-body,
allergic reaction may be caused by an allergy that was only uncovered in 2009: an allergy to
meat. This diagnosis may go undetected because a meat allergy typically develops only in
adulthood and only causes allergic symptoms three to six hours after meat consumption. Most
allergies are a reaction to proteins but meat allergy has been found to be a reaction to a meat
sugar, called galactose-a-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal), which is found in beef, lamb, pork and other
mammalian meat. The delayed reaction usually begins as skin itching and progresses from there.
It should be noted that chickens and turkeys are not mammals.

Associations between vitamin D and brain tissues in multiple
sclerosis (MS) patients have not been investigated previously.
But a new study has found that vitamin D metabolites (the
products of vitamin D metabolism) have a protective effect
against the degree of both disability and brain atrophy in MS
patients. For 193 MS patients, researchers determined brain
tissue injury using MRI scans; assessed degree of clinical
disability using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and
the MS Severity Scale (MSSS); and measured blood levels of
vitamin D metabolites. (The metabolites measured were 25-
hydroxyvitamin D3; 25-hydroxyvitamin D2; 1-, 25-dihydroxyvitamin
D3; and 24(R), 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3.) The study team concluded
that higher levels of vitamin D metabolites in the blood provide
protection against brain atrophy and disability in MS patients.
(In particular, the study found strongest protection with the
metabolite 24, 25(OH)2VD3.) Although further study is needed, the
outcome suggests that higher vitamin D intake reduces MS symptoms
and progression. This study was released November 3, 2010 by the
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry with Practical
Neurology but it will not be published until a future issue of
the journal. It is available online at with
subscription or fee payment.

deficiency of vitamin D has been linked previously to a higher
risk of cancer generally but studies have never looked at the
vitamin’s relation to leukemia. Now, a study has concluded that
patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who had
sufficient levels of vitamin D at the time of initial diagnosis,
experienced slower progression of the disease and were about half
a likely to die from it. Researchers also found that increasing
vitamin D levels in CLL patients produced longer survival times;
and decreasing vitamin D levels resulted in shorter intervals
between diagnosis and cancer progression. CLL is normally a
slower progressing cancer and typically, treatment for CLL
patients, even they are diagnosed at an early stage, is not
initiated until symptoms develop, leaving patients feeling there
is nothing they can do. Further studies may prove that the
patients can use this period to boost their levels of vitamin D
and have levels monitored by their health practitioner. Vitamin D
is available from sunlight, certain foods such as fatty fish and
eggs, and from supplements. This study was released November 3,
2010 but will not be published until a future issue of the
journal, Blood. It is available online at
with subscription or fee payment.

Going outside in cold weather with wet hair, or without a coat, won’t increase your risk of
catching cold or any other infection. The risk of getting a cold has nothing to do with actually
being cold. In a number of studies of cold transmission, people who were chilled were no more
likely to get sick than those who were not. So why do we get more colds in the winter? Cold
weather means we spend much longer periods of time indoors, around others, where viruses are
more likely to catch up with us.

view dietary sources of cholesterol, such as eggs, as harmless.
But a study suggests cholesterol-rich foods should be eaten
rarely, especially patients at risk of cardiovascular disease.
Research had shown moderate egg consumption to have little effect
on fasting cholesterol, indicating low risk. However, this new
review found long-term risks from mealtime increases in
cholesterol, saturated fats, oxidative stress and inflammation,
following cholesterol consumption. After meals, dietary
cholesterol increases susceptibility of LDL (bad cholesterol) to
oxidation, raises post-meal blood fats, and increases the adverse
effects of dietary saturated fat. Moreover, diabetics who
consumed one egg a day doubled their risk compared to those who
ate less than one egg weekly. Researchers confirmed earlier
recommendations that dietary cholesterol be limited to 200mg a
day, pointing out that a single large egg yolk contains 275mg of
cholesterol, 125mg more than a KFC Double Down. Researchers
suggested that eliminating egg yolks from the diet after a
serious stroke or heart attack is akin to quitting smoking after
getting lung cancer. The study was published in the November,
2010 issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and is available
online free at

clarified a link between smoking and breast cancer that is
independent of socioeconomic, clinical and lifestyle factors.
Women who are current smokers, or who have a history of smoking,
have a greater risk of breast cancer progression and a 39 percent
higher rate of dying from breast cancer. Smoking has been linked
strongly to lung cancer and several other cancers but the
association with breast cancer has been unclear. Smokers, or
previous smokers, who were diagnosed with breast cancer also
showed double the risk of subsequently dying from non-breastcancer-
related causes compared to women with the disease who had
never smoked. The nine year study enrolled 2,265 multi-ethnic
women. The researchers presented their findings on November 8,
2010 at the ninth annual Frontiers in Cancer Research hosted by
the American Association for Cancer Research, in Philadelphia. It
has not yet been published in any of the association’s seven
journals and it is not available online.

TAI CHI RELIEVES ARTHRITIS PAIN: The largest study to date on the
Arthritis Foundation’s Tai Chi program has found that
participants – including those with rheumatoid arthritis,
osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia – showed moderate improvement in
pain, fatigue, stiffness and well-being. While some received no
tai chi intervention, others took the eight-week, twice-weekly
tai chi course. All were assessed after the eight weeks by
physical measures, such as walking speed and balance testing, as
well as by self-reported differences. Individuals were recruited
from urban and rural areas and from a southeastern state, North
Carolina, and a northeastern state, New Jersey. Participants were
included even if they were unable to stand so long as they could
perform tai chi movements. Results proved consistent across these
different groups. This study was presented November 8, 2010 at
the annual scientific meeting of the American College of
Rheumatology in Atlanta. It has not yet been reported in a
journal and is not available online.

Medical negligence is responsible for up to 98,000 deaths each year in the United States. A study
in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2003, as well as a 1999 report
from the prestigious Institute of Medicine, supported this figure. Another study by HealthGrades
Patient Safety in American Hospitals put the figure at 198,000 a year. However, some
researchers questioned the legitimacy of these statistics because they are based on subjective
judgments about how many patients victimized by medical negligence would have survived if
optimal care had been provided. Or as the subtitle of a 2001 study in the JAMA put it,
“Preventability is in the eye of the reviewer.”

study has found that boosting folate, or folic acid, intake
should be considered as a means to ward off the onset of clinical
depression. The study looked at depressive symptoms as measured
by the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) and at blood levels of
folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine for 2,524 adults aged 20 to
85 years. Overall, women showed a higher score than men on the
PHQ, indicating a greater incidence of depression. Also, blood
levels of vitamin B12 and homocysteine showed no apparent
association with depression generally, although older adults did
show a higher risk of depression if they had higher homocysteine
levels. However, people in the lowest third of blood levels of
folate, compared with those in the highest third of folate
status, showed a 37 percent greater risk of having significant
depression symptoms (having a higher PHQ score). The researchers
concluded that mental health outcomes might be improved if health
practitioners took into account the dietary and supplement
folate, or folic acid, intake of patients. The study was
published in the November/December 2010 issue of Psychosomatic
Medicine, Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine. It is available
online at with subscription or access fee.

suggested that yoga has a greater effect on mood and anxiety
levels than walking and other forms of exercise. But the
mechanism for this effect has been unclear. However, a new 12-
week study ties together, on the one hand, the yoga-induced
increase in the thalamus, of the antidepressant, nerveregulating,
brain chemical known as GABA; and on other hand, and
the effect of improved mood and lessened anxiety. GABA activity
often is reduced in patients with mood or anxiety disorders and
drugs commonly are prescribed to increase GABA levels and treat
these conditions. Yoga postures appear to have the same
therapeutic effect as GABA activity-boosting medications but
without any negative side effects. This may provide an objective
basis for yoga’s effect but the study team wrote that “the
possible role of GABA in mediating the beneficial effects of yoga
on mood and anxiety warrants further study.” This study was
published in the November, 2010 issue of the Journal of
Alternative and Complementary Medicine and is available online at without subscription or fee.

study has found that the omega-3 fatty acid called
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improves learning and memory function
in healthy, older adults with age-related cognitive decline
(ARCD). Fish oils are rich in DHA, which is the most abundant
omega-3 fat in the human brain and retina. In previous research,
higher DHA intake has been associated with a reduced risk of
Alzheimer’s disease. This study which was reported in the
November 2010 issue of the journal, Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The
Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association underscores the
importance of early intervention with DHA. Another study
reported in the November 3, 2010 issue of the Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA) found DHA did not improve
cognitive function in those already diagnosed with mild to
moderate Alzheimer’s disease. But researchers behind the
Alzheimer’s & Dementia study concluded that the key benefit may
be seen only when DHA is taken over time and before Alzheimer’s
has developed; and the lead author of the JAMA study suggested
results may have been different if DHA had been administered
before the disease had progressed. The Alzheimer’s & Dementia
study is available online now at with
subscription or fee payment.

Yogurt might be a factor in reducing bladder cancer risks by up to 40 percent. According to a
study published in the October, 2008 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those
who consume two yogurt pots or yogurt mini drinks a day are less likely to develop bladder
cancer than those that eat no or little yogurt. It is important to keep in mind that this association
may be due to other unseen factors and is not necessarily one of cause and effect.

found that insufficient or poor-quality sleep causes higher
levels of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a risk factor
for heart disease and stroke. The study team recorded sleep
quality, using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index survey, as well
as the number of hours of sleep. Subjects regularly getting fewer
than six hours of sleep, as well as those regularly getting a
poor quality of sleep, had higher levels of three inflammation
markers: fibrinogen, IL-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP). People in
the highest third of CRP levels have been shown to have roughly
twice the risk of heart attack, compared to those with lower
levels, according to the American Heart Association and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previous studies have
shown that people getting between seven and eight hours of sleep
live longer, while those getting more than eight, or less than
seven, are more likely to have high blood pressure, obesity, or
psychological stress. Inflammation may be the mechanism by which
poor sleep quality increases heart disease and stroke risk. This
study was presented in Chicago on November 14, 2010 at the
Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association. It has not
yet been journal-published.

examining at-fault statistics from car accidents in France has
found that, over an almost-three-year period, prescribed
medicines played a role in 3.3 percent of all crashes. France has
a drug-risk classification system that assigns a risk number to
all drugs, based on each medicine’s odds of negatively affecting
driving ability. The classification numbers run from level zero,
meaning no driving risk, to level 3, which represents a major
risk. The study found that the risk of being the cause of an auto
accident was 31 percent greater for those taking level 2 drugs,
and 25 percent higher for level 3 drugs, while level zero drug
users showed no increased risk. This shows that the system is a
fairly accurate means of predicting driving risk. It also
clarifies the overall proportion of accidents caused by
prescription drugs: a significant three percent. The study
authors suggested that if any new warning label system is
instituted, a follow-up study should be done to confirm its
overall effect on outcomes. (Roughly 1.3 million people die in
road accidents each year, worldwide.) Published November 16, 2010
by the journal PLoS Medicine, this study is available online at, free of charge.

A study found that copper fittings – copper door handles, door push plates, taps, light switches
and even toilet seats – rapidly kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as the super-bugs MSRA
(methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) and C. difficile, which resist the strongest
disinfectants and antibiotics. Copper surfaces tested in a hospital setting remained germ-free
even after many days of public touching, while steel fixtures did not have this effect. Lab tests
confirm that copper kills the deadly MRSA and C. difficile super-bugs, the flu virus, E. coli, and
other germs. Copper ions separate on contact with bacteria and it is believed the metal ions
suffocate germs, preventing them from breathing. Also, copper ions can stop bacteria from
feeding and may destroy their DNA. The copper-fixture study was announced at a US
conference on antibiotics in November, 2008.

explain why children born to mothers who smoke have a greater
risk of learning disabilities. Unborn babies exposed to nicotine,
cocaine, or other addictive drugs, end up with a decreased number
of cells in the hippocampus, a brain area important in learning
and memory. These findings further suggest that pregnant women
should seek help in refraining from smoking very early in
pregnancy, as well as avoiding other addictive drugs. A second
study points to an increased risk of drug dependency among
children who suffered brain inflammation very early in life.
Brain inflammation is most often due to head injury or a viral
infection, such as encephalitis or meningitis. Such inflammation
early in life, suggests this study, may lead to long-lasting
changes to the brain’s reward system that increase the risk of
developing drug addiction during adulthood. Both of these studies
were presented in San Diego on November 17, 2010 at Neuroscience
2010, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Neither
study has been published in a journal yet; so far, neither is
available online.

that exposure to even a dim light while sleeping is sufficient to
cause physical changes in an area of the brain that is associated
with clinical depression. This is the first study to find that
light at night, by itself, leads to a lower density of dendritic
spines in the hippocampus region of the brain. (Dendritic spines
are hair-like growths on brain cells, which are used to send
chemical messages from one cell to another.) One previous study
found that bright light during sleep periods causes depressive
symptoms and another found light at night is linked to weight
gain. But the new study focused on the dim light of 5 lux, which
is similar to a switched-on television in an otherwise darkened
room. The researchers speculate that exposure to light during
sleep suppresses secretion of melatonin, the hormone that lets
the body know when it is nighttime. This study was presented
November 17, 2010 in San Diego at the annual meeting of the
Society for Neuroscience. It has not yet been published in a
journal and is not yet available online.

study has concluded that drinking pomegranate juice three times
daily for one year reduces the incidence of infections,
inflammation, and oxidative stress in chronic kidney disease
dialysis patients. (Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the
production of chemically-reactive molecules containing oxygen and
the body’s ability to detoxify them; oxidation is implicated in
numerous diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and heart
failure.) This means that pomegranate juice wards off a number of
common complications of kidney dialysis, including a higher
mortality rate due to infections and cardiovascular disease.
(Cardiovascular disease can result from inflammation.) These
findings support other studies that found pomegranate juice has a
potent antioxidant effect. Pomegranate juice consumption could
produce similar benefits in people with healthy kidneys but
further research would be required. The study team stressed the
need to monitor potassium levels in any juice taken by kidney
patients, especially those with dietary potassium restrictions.
This study was presented in Denver on the evening of November 18,
2010 at the 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition of the
American Society of Nephrology. It has not yet been published and
is not available online.

All potatoes contain a toxic substance, called glycoalkaloid (GA). When given to animals in
large quantities, GA causes cancer. But don’t throw out that sack of spuds. In the quantities we
encounter in taters, GA is harmless. In fact, some of the health benefits from produce are
believed to come from the plants own toxins, which also act as natural, built-in pesticides.

time, a study has found that, among heart failure patients who
are capable of walking, those in the upper third of sodium intake
experienced a 46 percent greater risk over three years, of
developing acute decompensated heart failure, or ADHF. (ADHF
occurs when a stable heart failure condition deteriorates as a
result of an added stress such that the body can no longer
compensate for its heart-related deficiencies.) The average
sodium intakes for each third were 1.4gm, 2.4gm, and 3.8gm of
sodium per day; the cumulative three-year rates of ADHF for these
groups were 12, 15 and 46 percent for the low, medium and high
sodium consumption groups, respectively. The highest sodium group
also exhibited a 39 percent greater chance of hospitalization for
whatever reason, and 3.5 times the odds of dying. The study
authors called for more stringent sodium intake guidelines than
those currently recommended for heart failure patients. This
study was released November 17, 2010 but will not be published
until a future issue of the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition. It is available to read online at
with subscription or fee payment.

patients, the Western diet produces an acidic environment, which
has numerous negative effects that worsen with age and kidney
functional decline. A new study has concluded that adhering to a
diet high in fruits and vegetables, which counteracts this
acidity, improves kidney function in patients with moderately
reduced kidney function due to high blood pressure. Thirty days
on a high-produce diet resulted in lower levels, in the urine, of
three common indicators of kidney injury, which are known as
albumin, transforming growth factor, and N-acetyl-beta-Dglucosaminidase.
Researchers suggested that further studies be
conducted to determine whether a diet high in fruits and
vegetables could be a relatively inexpensive and natural
intervention to prevent the worsening of kidney function in
patients with high-blood-pressure-associated kidney disease. This
study was presented November 20, 2010 in Denver at Renal Week
2010, a conference of the American Society of Nephrology. It has
not yet been published in a journal and is not yet available

review has concluded that medical nutrition therapy “is an
effective and essential therapy in the management of diabetes”
types 1 and 2. (The study looked specifically at the American
Dietetic Association Nutrition Practice Guidelines for Type 1 and
Type 2 Diabetes in Adults, as being representative of nutritional
therapy for diabetes.) Researchers assessed nutritional therapies
for diabetes in terms of various factors: carbohydrates (intake,
sucrose, non-nutritive sweeteners, glycemic index, and fiber),
protein intake, cardiovascular disease, and weight management.
Evidence was strong, wrote the study authors, that attention to
these factors results in effective diabetes management. Also, the
researchers suggested that practitioners should recommend to
patients: consistency in daily carbohydrate intake for type 2
diabetes; adjusting insulin to match carbohydrate intake for type
1 diabetes; focusing on total carbohydrate intake rather than the
type of carbohydrate; cardio protective nutrition interventions;
weight management strategies; regular physical activity; and
self-monitoring of glucose to determine if goals are being met.
This study will be published in the December 2010 issue of the
Journal of the American Dietetic Association. By December, it
will be available at the journal site at with subscription or fee.

Popcorn contains surprisingly large amounts of polyphenols, which are healthful antioxidants.
And so do some breakfast cereals. Many people are aware of the high fiber content of whole
grain snacks, such as popcorn and some cereals, but few are aware of their high levels of
polyphenols, which can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and other disorders. A study
finding high polyphenol levels in these foods was presented August 19, 2009 in Washington,
DC, by scientists at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

SMOKING INCREASES ARTHRITIS RISK: Researchers have concluded that
cigarette smoking doubles the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
at least among African-Americans. Both current and previous
smokers are at greater risk. Also, smokers who have a genetic
risk factor for RA because they have the genetic factor known
as “HLA-DRB1 shared epitope” are four times as likely to
develop the autoimmune disease. (RA is a chronic inflammatory
disease that affects the joint lining, called the synovial
membrane, and causes pain, swelling and redness in the joints.
Seventy percent of those diagnosed with RA are women.) Heavy
smoking was found in 54 percent of RA patients. These findings
are generally consistent with previous studies suggesting a link
between smoking and rheumatoid arthritis. However, this study
specifically shows the link also applies to African-Americans and
to what extent. This study will be published in the December 2010
issue of the journal, Arthritis & Rheumatism. It will be
available online in December at the journal website at with subscription or access fee payment.

year study has found that regular intake of anthocyanins and some
flavones, including apigenin, may help to prevent hypertension,
or high blood pressure. (Anthocyanins are flavonoid pigments
found in abundance in red or purplish fruits and vegetables,
including purple cabbage, beets, blueberries, cherries,
raspberries, strawberries and purple grapes. Flavones are yellow
pigments mainly found in cereals and herbs. Apigenin is a citrus
bioflavonoid, found in citrus fruits such as oranges and
grapefruit.) The reduction in high blood risk varied from six
percent to 12 percent depending on the specific anthocyanin or
flavone. These compounds appeared to exert a protective effect,
among individuals who habitually ingested them, against
hypertension through their ability to dilate arteries. This study
was released November 24, 2010 by the American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition but will not be published until a future issue
of the journal. It is available now online at with journal subscription or access fee

first strong laboratory evidence that an environmental pollutant
may play a key role in the development of multiple sclerosis
(MS). This toxic compound, acrolein (pronounced a-KRO-le-in), is
found in tobacco smoke, as well as in some other pollutants such
as auto exhaust. It is also produced by the body following
serious nerve damage. Acrolein is a neurotoxin (damages nerve
tissue) and the researchers believe that acrolein is what
degrades the myelin in MS patients. (In multiple sclerosis, the
myelin insulation surrounding nerve cells is destroyed and the
nerve fibers themselves are damaged.) Also, acrolein induces the
production of free radicals, which further injure tissues.
Previous studies have shown this compound damages liver cells.
Further research will be conducted by the same team, which has
identified several compounds that may be able to bind with
acrolein and remove it from the body. The group is also working
to improve detection methods that can measure acrolein levels in
MS patients. This recently-released study will be published in a
future issue of the journal, Neuroscience, but is available
online now at with subscription or fee

study has found that a diet with a high total antioxidant
capacity (TAC) may reduce the risk of a cerebral infarction, a
type of ischemic stroke in the brain. (Ischemic strokes involve a
restriction of the blood supply.) Prior studies have suggested
that inflammation and oxidative stress play a role in ischemic
strokes; and a high-antioxidant diet has been linked to a
reduction of stress and higher levels of circulating antioxidants,
suggesting a high TAC diet may help prevent ischemic
strokes. This study of 41,620 men and women found only a minor
reduction in the risks of strokes generally, with a high TAC
diet. However, looking only at ischemic strokes, the study found
a 59 percent reduction in this risk among those on a high TAC
diet. Examining specific antioxidants, vitamin C itself was
linked to a 42 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke; but high
doses of vitamin E were linked to a three times higher risk of
hemorrhagic stroke, a different type of stroke altogether.
(Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts inside the
brain.) The researchers concluded that a high-antioxidant diet
significantly reduces the risk of ischemic stroke. Just released,
this study will not be published until a future issue of the
Journal of Nutrition but is now available online at with fee payment or subscription.

If everyone took 2,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D every day – an amount
recommended as the maximum safe dosage, at least in Canada – it could save an estimated
200,000 cases of breast cancer and 250,000 cases of bowel cancer around the world. That was
the conclusion of a report in the June 2009 issue of the Annals of Epidemiology.