Archive November 2015

Zinc Supplementation for Depression?

Depression, a mental disorder associated with decreased productivity, poor psychosocial outcomes, and decreased quality of life, is a significant public health problem affecting millions of people in the US and elsewhere. Epidemiological studies have examined the association of low zinc (Zn) status with depression, but clinical trials on the effect of Zn supplementation in depression are limited. Researchers from Australia and Poland conducted a review of randomized controlled trials with a comparison group that examined Zn supplementation as the intervention, and depressive symptoms as the primary outcome. Four randomized controlled trials met inclusion criteria. In studies that examined the effects of Zn supplementations as an adjunct to antidepressants, Zn (7 to 25 mg/day for 10-12 wks) significantly lowered depressive symptom scores of depressed patients. In addition to depressive symptoms, researchers also examined the effect of Zn on other mood states such as anger, anxiety and tension. Results showed improvement in all mood states with Zn supplementation. Researchers concluded that the evidence suggests significant benefits from Zn supplementation, as a stand-alone intervention or as an adjunct to conventional drug therapy for reducing depressive symptoms in clinically depressed patients.

J Lai, et al. The efficacy of zinc supplementation in depression: Systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J of Affective Disorders 136 (2012) e31-e39

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Chondroitin Sulfate – Better than Celecoxib for Knee Osteoarthritis!

Canadian Researchers from nine different research institutions participated in a two-year randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical study to measure the disease modifying effect of chondroitin sulfate (CS) vs. Celecoxib (CE) on cartilage volume loss (CVL) in knee osteoarthritis (OA), and compare the effects of CS and CE on the symptoms of knee OA. Patients were treated with CS (1200 mg each day) or CE (200 mg each day) for 24 months. MRI was performed at baseline, 12 and 24 months. CVL, bone marrow lesion (BML) size, and synovial membrane thickness were evaluated using qMRI, and presence of joint swelling and effusion were clinically evaluated. Clinical symptoms were also assessed by validated questionnaires. The results showed the patients treated with CS had a reduction in CVL at 12 and 24 month in the medial tibiofemoral compartment and global knee at 12 and 24 months compared to CE. Both groups experienced similar reductions in disease symptoms (WOMAC total pain, function, and VAS pain) over time. Researchers concluded that this trial demonstrated CS is as effective as CE at reducing the symptoms of knee OA, and the superiority of CS over CE at reducing the long term progression of knee OA structural changes.

Pelletier JP, et al. In a Two-Year Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Multicenter Study, Chondroitin Sulfate Was Significantly Superior to Celecoxib at Reducing Cartilage Loss with Similar Efficacy at Reducing Disease Symptoms in Knee Osteoarthritis Patients. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015; 67 (suppl 10).

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Magnesium for Lower Fasting Glucose and Insulin?

Researchers examined cross-sectional associations of dietary magnesium intake with fasting glucose (FG) and fasting insulin (FI), associations of magnesium-related SNPs with FG and FI, and interactions between dietary magnesium (Mg) intake and both Mg-related and glycemia-related SNPs on FG and FI in meta-analysis of 15 cohort studies including more than 50,000 participants (Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology). After adjustments for age, sex, energy intake, BMI, and behavioral risk factors, researchers found that Mg was inversely associated with FG and FI, and that no Mg-related SNP or interaction between any SNP and Mg reached significance after correction for multiple testing. Their findings support those of other recent met-analysis of studies on Mg and incident type 2 diabetes, which estimated a 14% reduced risk of disease per daily 100 mg increment in Mg intake.

A Hruby, et al. Higher Magnesium Intake Is Associated with Lower Fasting Glucose and Insulin, with No Evidence of Interaction with Select Genetic Loci, in a Meta-Analysis of 15 CHARGE consortium Studies1,2,3,4. J.Nutr. March 1, 2013 Vol 143, No. 3, 345-353

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