Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Inadequate vitamin D levels are related to cognitive decline in the elderly

November 26, 2014 From the Weekly Essentials of Health by Usana Health Sciences

Inadequate vitamin D levels are related to cognitive decline in the elderly 

 At a Glance
A new study has confirmed previous research indicating a possible association between low vitamin D blood levels and an increased risk of cognitive decline in the elderly.   

Read more about this research below.
In addition to its role in bone health, vitamin D also plays a role in mental health by protecting the brain in several ways: reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension (diseases that affect the brain), providing antioxidant mechanisms, regulating calcium levels, supporting the immune system, enhancing nerve conduction, and by its role in detoxification. Many previous studies have concluded that inadequate vitamin D blood levels may be linked to a higher risk of cognitive impairment.  

A recent study published in the journal Neurologytested the hypothesis that low vitamin D blood levels are associated with risk of cognitive decline.  

The Italian population-based study included 1,927 elderly subjects. Serum vitamin D levels were measured at baseline, and cognitive function was measured with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). A MMSE score lower than 24 indicated cognitive dysfunction. Over a period of a 4.4 year follow-up, a decline of 3 or more points on the MMSE was considered clinically significant.  

Compared to subjects with sufficient vitamin D levels (>30 ng/ml or 75 nmol/L), the subjects with vitamin D deficiency (
The results of this study confirm an independent association between vitamin D levels and mental decline in elderly adults. Although there is considerable variation from person to person, and testing prior to supplementation is generally recommended, most people need to take between 1,000 and 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D3 to achieve levels adequate to protect against cognitive decline.
Elena D. Toffanello et al. Vitamin D deficiency predicts cognitive decline in older men and women. Neurology. 2014 Nov 5. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001080. [Epub ahead of print]

Thanksgiving Tips & Vegan No Hassle Shopping Online

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Higher magnesium intake is associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk

It is a "nutty" time of year with the Holidays upon us. I found this Weekly Essenrials of Health Bulletin courtesy of Usana Health Sciences Inc to be right on time sharing a new perspective on holiday nuts that are plentiful. - Ekayani Chamberlin
November 19, 2014

Higher magnesium intake is associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk

At a Glance

A meta-analysis of 13 prospective cohort studies has found that magnesium intake is inversely associated with type 2 diabetes risk, and in a dose-dependent manner.

Read more about this research below.

 Diabetes, and in particular Type 2 diabetes, is a growing health concern worldwide. Untreated or poorly controlled diabetes increases risks of many health conditions. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes. Experts agree that diet plays an important role in the development and progression of type 2 diabetes. According to epidemiological evidence magnesium intake may be related to the incidence of diabetes. Magnesium is found primarily in whole grains, nuts and green leafy vegetables, and is an essential cofactor in enzymes involved in glucose metabolism.

In a study published in Diabetes Care, researchers conducted a meta-analysis to examine the association between magnesium intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes. The study included 13 prospective cohort studies and 536,318 participants. The included studies were published between 1999 and 2010 and involved follow-ups of up to 20 years. 

After adjusting for geographic location, follow-up length, gender, or family history of type 2 diabetes, the combined studies indicated a significant (22%) reduction of risk of type 2 diabetes when comparing the highest magnesium intake group to the lowest. The inverse association was also more pronounced in overweight individuals, suggesting that high magnesium intake may have greater effects on improving insulin sensitivity in overweight individuals who are prone to insulin resistance. In the analysis of dose-response it was found that for every 100 mg/day increment in magnesium intake there was a 14% reduction in type 2 diabetes risk.

The results of this study provide additional evidence that magnesium, in a dose-dependent manner, is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Jia-Yi Dong et al. Magnesium Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Diabetes Care 34:2116–2122, 2011.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Higher dietary bioflavonoid intake improves odds of healthy aging (Weekly Essentials of Health from Usana)

Originally published November 5, 2014 Personal Note from Ekayani: My grandfather Bernando LaPallo has for decades insisted on the importance of eating berries. His personal favorite is blueberries or star fruit as the Natives called them. It is nice to see this scientific paper validate for todays audience what he already knew. Thanks to Usana Health Sciences for continuing to provide these much needed reports. Higher dietary bioflavonoid intake improves odds of healthy aging At a Glance A new study published online has found that adults with a higher intake of flavonoids (oranges, berries, onions, celery) during midlife have a greater likelihood of healthier aging past 70 years of age. Read more about this research below. In population based studies, diets higher in phytonutrients such as flavonoids have been associated with lower risk of developing several degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. Although there may be a strong biological rationale for a role of flavonoids in healthy aging, there has been limited research in this area specifically. In a new study published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers examined the intake of major subclasses of flavonoids at midlife with the prevalence of healthy aging. Healthy aging was defined by the researchers as surviving to older ages (70+ years), free of major chronic disease and maintaining good cognitive, physical and mental health. The study included 13,818 women in their late 50s from the Nurses’ Health Study (enrolled between 1984-1986) with no major chronic disease. The women provided information on many aspects of aging an average of 15 years later. Food frequency questionnaires were used to determine intake of six major flavonoid subclasses in midlife. A total of 1,517 (11%) women met the criteria for healthy aging. Compared to women in the lowest 20% of intake, women with the highest 20% intake of several subclasses of flavonoids at midlife had a greater likelihood of healthy aging. Specifically, women with the highest intakes of flavones, flavanones, anthocyanins and flavonols had greater odds of healthy aging than those with the lowest intakes. In a separate analysis of each component of healthy aging, higher flavone and flavanone intakes were significantly associated with better mental health and physical function. The results of this study indicate that a higher intake of flavonoids at midlife, specifically flavones (parsley, celery, citrus peels), flavanones (oranges, orange juice), anthocyanins (berries) and flavanols (onions, broccoli) are associated with greater odds of health and wellbeing in adults surviving to older ages. C├ęcilia Samieri et al. Dietary flavonoid intake at midlife and healthy aging in women. First published October 29, 2014, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.085605. List of flavonoid-rich foods: