Archive April 2016

Fish Oil for Healthy Community Dwelling Senior Women!

As we age, we typically experience a decrease in muscle mass and metabolic rate and an increase in fat mass, thereby predisposing older adults to chronic disease and functional impairment. The result is an eventual decrease in the quality of life. Researchers from the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph in Canada, conducted a study to evaluate the effect of fish oil (FO) supplementation in a cohort of healthy, community-dwelling older females. They evaluated 1) metabolic rate and substrate oxidation at rest and during exercise; 2) resting blood pressure and exercise heart rates; 3) body composition; 4) strength and physical function, and; 5) blood measures of insulin, glucose, CRP and triglycerides. Twenty-four females (66 ± 1 yr) were randomly assigned to receive either 3g/day of EPA and DHA or a placebo for 12 weeks. Exercise measurements were taken before and after 12 weeks and resting metabolic measures were made before and at 6 and 12 weeks. Results showed that FO supplementation significantly increased resting metabolic rate by 14%, energy expenditure during exercise by 10%, and the rate of fat oxidation during rest by 19% and during exercise by 27%. Additionally, FO consumption lowered triglycerides by 29%, increased lean mass by 4%, and functional capacity by 7%. No changes occurred in the placebo group.

Logan SL, Spriet LL. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation for 12 Weeks Increases Resting and Exercise Metabolic Rate in Healthy Community-Dwelling Older Females. PLoS ONE 10 (12): e0144828. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144828 (Dec 17, 2015)

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Adiponectin, Leptin and Obesity:

Increased adiposity is linked to altered levels of biologically active proteins, including the hormones adiponectin and leptin. Adiponectin is negatively correlated with obesity, with lower levels associated with increased risk of death or myocardial infarction (MI). Conversely, leptin levels are positively correlated with obesity, with higher levels identified as an independent risk factor for CVD. Researchers reviewed animal and human data relating to the effects of Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids on adiponectin and leptin. The beneficial effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are not just due to the modulation of the amount and types of eicosanoids produced, but also the regulation of intracellular signaling pathways, transcription factor activity, and gene expression, resulting in the regulation of inflammation, platelet adhesion, blood pressure regulation, heart rhythm and triglycerides. The majority of available studies assessing the effect of n-3 fatty acids on adiponectin reported n-3 intake induced statistically significant increases in adiponectin levels in both animal and human models. These include studies with subjects in normal weight range, overweight and obese. Results were consistent between healthy individuals and those investigating hyperlipidemic patients with 2TDM, or recent history of MI. Of the limited studies on n-3 and circulating leptin utilizing stable weight participants, the majority demonstrated either minimal change or a reduction in leptin levels.

B Gray, F Steyn, PSW Davies and L Vitetta. Omega-3 fatty acids: a review of the effects on adiponectin and leptin and potential implications for obesity management. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 67, 1234-1242

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Vitamin D Status Linked to Significantly Reduced Cancer Risk!

Higher serum vitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations have been associated with lower risk of multiple cancer types. Researchers investigated whether previously reported inverse association between 25(OH)D and cancer risk could be replicated, and if a 25(OH)D response region could be identified among women 55 and older across a broad range of 25(OH)D concentrations. Data from two cohorts representing different median 25(OH)D concentrations were pooled to afford a broader range of concentrations. The analysis of over 2300 women included all invasive cancers excluding skin cancer. Breast cancer was the most common type of cancer diagnosed during the study (43% of all cancers in the pooled cohort). Results show that cancer incidence was substantially lower at higher concentrations of 25(OH)D with women with concentrations ≥40 ng/ml having a 67% lower risk of cancer than women with concentrations ≤20 ng/ml.

McDonnell SL, et al. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations ≥40 ng/ml Are Associated with >65% Lower Cancer Risk: Pooled Analysis of Randomized Trial and Prospective Cohort Study. PLOS ONE doi:10.1372/journal.pone.0152441 April 6, 2016

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Vitamin D3 for Enhanced Cardiac Function!

Vitamin D deficiency is common among older adults. Researchers from the University of Leeds designed the Vitamin D Treating Patients with Chronic Heart Failure (VINDICATE) study, involving 163 older patients already being treated for heart failure using standard accepted treatment, to learn whether vitamin D supplementation would benefit heart failure patients. They focused on patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Using ejection fraction, they measured how much blood pumps away from the heart with each beat. In healthy people, the ejection fraction is generally between 60 and 70%. Study participants average ejection fraction was 26%. Compared to placebo, patients taking a daily dose of 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 for twelve months experienced up to a 34% improvement in heart function.

Witte K, Gierula J, Paton MF, et al. Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Cardiac Function in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure. American College of Cardiology 65th Annual Scientific Session. 2016.

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