Medical Industry Supports Supplementation
The Council for Responsible Nutrition recently reported positive findings regarding the use of dietary supplements from their Healthcare Professionals Impact Study, which included 1,200 orthopedists, cardiologists and dermatologists. The physicians surveyed view the use of supplements among consumers as an accepted and increasing trend in consumer health and wellness spending. Many specialists reported not only taking supplements themselves but are recommending them to their patients as well. Supplement recommendations were either related to the doctor's area of expertise and condition specific or were for overall health and wellness. Click here for more information.
Nutrients and the Body's Defenses
In order for the immune system to function at its best it must have access to nutrients. For this reason, individuals who are malnourished develop more infections than individuals who are well-nourished. Some of the effects of malnutrition on the body's immune system are a thinning of the skin with less connective tissue, weakness, poor wound healing, and a lack of defense against disease. So, an important key to health and longevity is a nutritionally well balanced diet and supplementation when necessary.
Here is a smal sampling of nutrients and their relationship to a healthy functioning immune system:
- Vitamin A helps support immunity by playing a role in the development of helper cells.
- Vitamin A maintains healthy epithelial tissues to fight infection by preventing the invasion of bacteria and viruses.
- Vitamin C strengthens our resistance to infection.
- Vitamin E protects white and red blood cells, thus participating in the body's defenses against foreign material and disease.
- Iron helps fight infection.
- Magnesium supports normal functioning of the immune system.
- Manganese is a facilitator, with enzymes, of many cell processes.
Source: Understanding Nutrition, 7th Edition
Micronutrients Help Women's Health and Immune Function According to Review
In a 2001 review article appearing in the journal Nutrition, author Adrianne Bendich summarizes the role of a colleague who researched the impact of nutrition on women's health. Lawrence J. Machlin spent the bulk of his career elucidating the roles of nutrients in optimizing human health, including the support of research in the areas of women's health and immune function. His research found that several essential nutrients have been shown to affect women's health throughout the different stages of their life. One such nutrient is calcium. Calcium supplementation plays a role in significantly reducing physical and emotional issues relating to premenstrual syndrome. It also has a role in preventing osteoporosis. In addition, he found evidence that multivitamins and antioxidant micronutrients enhance many aspects of immune response such as lymphocyteproliferative responses. To learn more about the health findings of Lawrence J. Machlin go to the journal Nutrition, October 2001.
Supplementing the Diet With Fruit, Vegetables, and Green Tea Can Prevent Oxidative Stress
A recent study where participants were asked to consume additional daily portions of fruit, vegetables, and 2-3 glasses of green tea concluded that an adequate supplement of antioxidants can prevent oxidative stress and correlated pathologies. For more information go to the journal Clinica Terapeutica, Volume 157, November 2006.
Folate and Vitamin B12 Decrease Risk of Breast Cancer
A study released by the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica and Harvard School of Public Health observed the effects of folate intake among 1,391 Mexican women. The study uncovered a lower incidence of breast cancer among postmenopausal women who took folate and vitamin B12. The study concluded that high intakes of these two supplements were associated with decreased breast cancer risk, particularly in postmenopausal women. These findings could be supported with additional research.
Daily Multivitamin Use May Bring Significant Savings To Older Americans
According to a new study, the daily use of a multivitamin by older adults could bring about more than $1.6 billion in Medicare savings over the next five years. The study, funded by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and conducted by The Lewin Group, was presented at “Multivitamins and Public Health: Exploring the Evidence,” a meeting that was attended by top research groups, government agencies and health advocacy organizations. The purpose of the meeting was to examine the current research supporting daily multivitamin use and to determine what the future course of research should be. The study, the first of its kind, included an in-depth review of the most rigorous research available to examine the health benefits of multivitamin use among older adults. The researchers used Medicare claims and cost accounting methods to determine the costs and potential savings resulting from the preventative health benefits of multivitamin supplementation. According to Allen Dobson, Ph.D., senior vice president and director of Healthcare Finance at the Lewin Group, “We were able to identify significant cost savings based on improved immune functioning and a reduction in the relative risk of coronary artery disease through providing a daily multivitamin to the 65 and over population”.
Teen Supplement Users Are Healthier And More Nutrition Savvy
Researchers recently reported that eighth grade vitamin/mineral supplement users are generally healthier and more knowledgeable about nutrition than peers who do not use supplements. This is according to data collected from the third Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health.
Source: www.sciencedirect.com and jama.ama-assn.org
Multivitamin/Mineral Supplementation May Help Older Adults Reduce Their Risk Of Chronic Disease
A recent research trial was conducted to study the effects of multivitamin/mineral supplements on older adults who are already consuming a nutrient-fortified diet. Eighty adults between the ages of 50 and 87 participated in the eight-week double-blind, placebo controlled trial. The objective of the study was to determine whether a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement could improve the body’s micronutrient status and the blood’s antioxidant capacity. After measuring various nutrient blood levels and other blood indicators in the participants, researchers concluded that supplementation with a multivitamin formulated at about 100% Daily Value can increase the vitamin status in older adults and improve their micronutrient status to levels associated with reduced risk for several chronic diseases.
Source: Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Volume 19, 2000
Multivitamin And Multimineral Combination May Lower The Risk Of Colds And Flu For Diabetic Individuals
In a recent placebo-controlled study it was found that daily consumption of a multivitamin/multimineral dietary supplement reduced the risk of infectious illness such as colds and influenza in people who have type 2 diabetes. The study also showed that there was a reduction in absenteeism related to the reduction in infectious illnesses among the diabetic group taking the supplements. The researchers wrote, “A larger clinical trial is needed to determine whether these findings can be replicated not only in diabetic persons but also in any population with a high rate of suboptimal nutrition or potential underlying disease impairment.” For more information go to the Annals of Internal Medicine, Volume 138, March 2003.
Supplements Effective at Changing Body Composition
SAN MARCOS, Calif. - A clinical study indicated that nutritional supplements combined with supervised exercise was more effective than exercise alone in reducing body fat, lowering elevated cholesterol levels and preserving critical muscle tissue. Results of the study were published in the January issue of the peer-reviewed journal Advances in Therapy. Scientists from four research institutions — The Health and Medical Research Foundation of San Antonio, UCLA Medical Center, Texas Lutheran University, and Baylor College of Medicine - measured results from 186 participants over eight weeks. Researchers found that both groups lost similar scale weight - less than two pounds over the eight weeks. Changes occurring beneath the surfaces were also dramatic. Participants who used supplements with exercise lost 2.5 times the body fat and gained 2.7 times as much lean muscle as the group that exercised without supplements. In addition, members of the group taking supplements lowered their total cholesterol by 6.5 percent and their LDL (bad) cholesterol by more than 11 percent. Members of the exercise-only group did not lower their total cholesterol level and lowered their LDL cholesterol level by only one percent.
Source: Natural Products Industry, Insider®, Volume 5, No. 2, February 7, 2000