Monday, May 28, 2007

Vitamin D levels inadequate in half of women treated with osteoporosis drugs

Despite efforts to increase knowledge and emphasis on osteoporosis prevention and treatment, research indicates that many women treated for osteoporosis have low levels of vitamin D, a nutrient necessary for adequate bone mineralization.

A recent study involved 1,536 postmenopausal women from 61 study sites who had been taking medications for the treatment of osteoporosis for a minimum of three months. Participants were allowed to have used vitamin D supplements as long as the dosage had remained consistent.Overall, 52 percent of the women had vitamin D levels considered inadequate. Sixty-three percent of women who reported a supplemental intake of 400 IU's or less had inadequate vitamin D levels compared to 45 percent of those whose intake was 400 IU's or greater. Lower levels were also associated with the lack of physician counseling regarding the importance of vitamin D in bone health. The results of this study emphasize the need for greater education of the public and physicians regarding the significance of vitamin D status in the care of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Source: Prevalence of Vitamin D inadequacy among postmenopausal North American women receiving osteoporosis therapy, Holick MF, Siris ES, Binkley N, Beard MK, Khan A, Katzer JT, Petruschke RA, Chen E, de Papp AE, J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005 Jun;90(6):3215-24

Thursday, May 17, 2007

New evidence that sun exposure prevents cancer

An American study scheduled for a June release compared the health of some 1,200 female patients, some of whom took a vitamin D supplement while others didn't. The number of patients who reduced their risk of cancer by taking a vitamin D supplement -- 60 percent -- was so unexpectedly high that some initially believed it to be a typographical error.

This study, and many similar ones, may force conventional medicine to re-evaluate its vitamin D recommendations. A deficiency in vitamin D figures into many diseases in addition to cancer. One researcher pointed out, "We don't really know what the status of chronic disease is in the North American population, until we normalize vitamin D status."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Low vitamin D levels are related to poor physical performance in the elderly

In a recent study, researchers examined the association between vitamin D status and physical performance. Among subjects with low vitamin D levels, physical performance and grip strength were significantly lower than that of participants who did not have reduced levels.

In addition to its role in bone health, vitamin D is thought to play a role in musculoskeletal function. In a recent study, researchers examined the association between vitamin D status and physical performance in a sample of 976 persons over the age of 65. The physical performance of the subjects was analyzed using a short physical performance battery (SPPB) and handgrip strength. The SPPB tests included walking speed, ability to stand from a seated position, and ability to maintain balance in progressively more challenging positions. Over 28% of the women and 13% of the men had vitamin D levels low enough to be considered a deficiency. Nearly three-fourths of the women and over half of the men had vitamin D levels that were considered insufficient. Among subjects with low vitamin D levels, physical performance and grip strength were significantly lower than that of participants who did not have reduced levels. The finding remained valid after taking into consideration other factors such as season of the year and physical activity levels. Given the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in older populations, additional studies examining the association between vitamin D status and physical function are needed. Current vitamin D recommendations are based on its role in bone health, although emerging research indicates vitamin D may also play important roles in preservation of muscle strength and physical function as well as other conditions such as cancer prevention.

Source: Association Between Vitamin D Status and Physical Performance: The InCHIANTI Study, Denise K. Houston, Matteo Cesari, Luigi Ferrucci, Antonio Cherubini, Dario Maggio, Benedetta Bartali, Mary Ann Johnson, Gary G. Schwartz and Stephen B. Kritchevsky, The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 62:440-446 (2007)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Antioxidant supplementation generally safe during cancer therapy

The January/February and March/April 2007 issues of the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine published a two-part article which concluded that, contrary to long-held beliefs, antioxidant and other nutritional supplementation during chemotherapy or radiation does not interfere with these treatments. Researchers stated, "A single, front-page interview in The New York Times in 1997, which was not based on published scientific work, and a single research paper involving mice, along with a press release by its author in 1999, led to the erroneous notion that vitamin C interferes with chemotherapy and radiation in humans. This notion soon applied to all antioxidants as physicians, patients, the media, the American Cancer Society, and scores of websites took the same position without reviewing the scientific evidence." The latest research identified 50 human studies involving the use of dietary supplements along with chemotherapy and/or radiation. Not only were antioxidants and other nutrients found not to interfere with the treatments, but in 47 of the studies supplements were associated with protection of normal tissue and a reduction of side effects. Increased survival rates were found in 15 of the studies. The authors explain that, due to a loss of regulatory mechanisms for the uptake of antioxidants, cancer cells accumulate excessive amounts of the nutrients, while healthy cells do not. This defect decreases the oxidative reactions needed for the generation of the cells' energy. Additionally, the nutrients elicit other effects on cancer cells not related to their antioxidant activity. Dietary food supplements, including antioxidants, are generally safe and can often be used to improve cancer patient care.


Antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and can increase kill and increase survival, Part 1, Simone CB 2nd, Simone NL, Simone V, Simone CB, Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Jan-Feb;13(1):22-8

Antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and can increase kill and increase survival, Part 2, Simone CB 2nd, Simone NL, Simone V, Simone CB, Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Mar-Apr;13(2):40-7.

Note: Dietary food supplements and antioxidants referred to in this study were typical vitamin/mineral/antioxidant supplements, and did not include herbal treatments or products. The information provided here should not be used to replace the advice of the physician. It is intended to be an aid in discussion with the health care specialist regarding appropriate use of nutritional supplements during cancer treatment.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

USANA Health Sciences receives U.S. patent on exclusive self-preserving technology for skin care and beauty products

Image: USANA Health Sciences

- Technology Offers Long-Sought Alternative to Artificial, Paraben Preservatives -

SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--USANA Health Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:USNA - News) received notice of an official patent, to be released at 10:00am EST from the United States Patent & Trademark Office, for its exclusive self-preserving technology currently used in the company's Sense beautiful science® skin and personal care product line.

This patent covers USANA's formulation for manufacturing the Sense skin and personal care product line so that they are capable of maintaining an industry-standard, two-year shelf life without the need for added chemical preservatives. USANA's now-patented "self-preserving" technology utilizes a variety of proprietary blends of purifying botanicals, antioxidants and other active ingredients in protective liquid crystals to keep the product fresh naturally. The Sense line maintains its shelf life without the use of parabens or other chemical preservatives commonly used in other cosmetics and skin care products. Sense has utilized this self-preserving technology since September 2004 on a patent-pending basis, and it is the only skin care and beauty care product line in the world to implement this scientific advancement.
USANA scientists believe this patented process represents a significant innovation in the skin-care industry, as self-preserving technology will allow users' skin to receive all the benefits of pure, natural, and healthy ingredients without the use of chemicals or potentially harmful preservatives.

"This patent is the result of nearly 10 years of research and development by USANA scientists, and it is an important milestone in our company's drive to become a leader in the skin and beauty care industry. USANA's self-preserving technology has changed skin and beauty care in a meaningful way by allowing for the formulation of healthy, all-natural products," USANA President Dave Wentz said. "Our customers rely on USANA's high-quality products to enhance their quality of life. Just like our pharmaceutical-grade supplements, USANA's Sense skin and beauty care line offers the best - and healthiest - products available. Consumers can now enjoy healthier skin and the peace of mind that comes with safe, self-preserving technology that does not rely on artificial, chemical preservatives."

The Sense skin and beauty care line includes:


Gentle Daily Cleanser
Hydrating Toner
Daytime Protective Emulsion
Night Renewal
Perfecting Essence
Serum Intensive
Rice Bran Polisher
Eye Nourisher

Sense Splash:

Intensive Hand Therapy
Energizing Shower Gel
Firming Body Nourisher
Revitalizing Shampoo
Nourishing Conditioner