Friday, December 26, 2014

Vitamin E status in women and the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy

Vitamin E status in women and the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy 
At a Glance
A new study has found that maternal vitamin E status during the first trimester of pregnancy may influence the risk of early miscarriage in women.

Read more about this research below. 

Tocopherols are a family of vitamin E compounds found naturally in vegetable oils, nuts, fish, and leafy green vegetables. The nutritional benefits of vitamin E and its importance in the human diet have been well documented. However the diets of many Americans provide less than the recommended amounts of vitamin E. Low fat diets, GI tract disorders, and certain medications can further impact the availability and absorption of vitamin E.
Originally tocopherols were discovered for their role in animal reproduction, but little to date has been known about the contribution of vitamin E deficiencies in human pregnancy loss. A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that maternal vitamin E status in the first trimester may influence the risk of early pregnancy loss. This is believed to be the first population study of early pregnancy vitamin E nutritional status and the risk of miscarriage in a human population.

The study was conducted in rural Bangladesh, a typically undernourished population. The researchers measured alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol plasma status of a case-cohort study of 1,605 pregnant Bangladeshi women. 1,161 of the women (72.3%) had low-to-deficient vitamin E status defined by a plasma alpha-tocopherol concentration of <12.0 ┬Ámol/L. The most important finding was that women with low alpha-tocopherol concentrations were almost twice more likely to miscarry than women with normal status. Women with low gamma-tocopherol status were also significantly more likely to miscarry than those with higher concentrations.
The cutoff of plasma alpha-tocopherol concentration 12.0 ┬Ámol/L was proposed to define vitamin E deficiency in normal, healthy adults. However, it should be noted that currently there is no clearly defined consensus on the definition of vitamin E deficiency in pregnant women because alpha-tocopherol concentrations increase with blood lipids over the course of pregnancy.
While these findings show an association between adequate alpha-tocopherol status and reduced risk of miscarriage in human populations, future studies exploring the potential beneficial effects of adequate vitamin E status during pregnancy are warranted.
Ahmed Shamim A, Schulze K, Merrill RD, et al. First trimester plasma tocopherols are associated with risk of miscarriage in rural Bangladesh. Am J Clin Nutr February 2015 ajcn.094920; First published online November 26, 2014. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.094920

Friday, December 19, 2014

Taking your vitamin D3 supplement with a meal containing fat increases absorption

Greetings Everyone
I personally don't endorse eating beef liver as I see the cow as mother and the bull as father according to the Vedic version but the point here is that some kind of fat be it yoghurt, avocado, nuts - is needed to better utilize Vitamin D3. Now that I have spoken my peace please read this important information courtesy of Usana Health Sciences.(They make the same point in the end of the article). - Ekayani

Taking your vitamin D3 supplement with a meal containing fat increases absorption

At a Glance
Taking your vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) containing supplements with a meal providing some fat may significantly enhance vitamin D absorption by up to 32% compared to a non-fat meal.

Read more about this research below. 
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that is found naturally in very few foods (oily fish, egg yolk, and beef liver), fortified in others, and produced in the skin from exposure to sunlight. Skin exposed to sunshine indoors through a window, on cloudy days, in shade, having a tan or dark-colored skin, and using sunscreen can significantly decrease the amount of vitamin D the skin makes. And recent studies have shown that sunshine levels in some northern latitudes are so weak during the winter months that humans make little to no vitamin D. Despite food fortification, the data suggests that many people do not get enough vitamin D from diets alone.
Vitamin D supplements may help bridge the gap. Because vitamin D is fat soluble, it seems logical that vitamin D supplements should be taken with a meal containing some fat. However vitamin D absorption differences based on dietary composition has been poorly understood.

A new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sought to test the hypothesis that absorption of vitamin D3 improves when taken with a meal containing fat compared to a fat-free meal. In this study researchers recruited fifty healthy older men and women to complete this one day study and randomly assigned them to one of three meal groups: the first group consumed a fat-free meal; and the second and third groups consumed a meal with 30% of calories from fat but each provided a different ratio of MUFA’s (monounsaturated fatty acids) to PUFA’s (polyunsaturated fatty acids). After completing a 12-hour fast, all subjects took a single 50,000 IU vitamin D3 supplement with their test breakfast. Plasma vitamin D3 levels were collected and measured by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry before the meal and 10, 12, and 14 hours after consuming the meal and supplement. 
The results showed that the maximum vitamin D3 plasma level (12-hour time-point) was 32% higher in subjects consuming the fat-containing meals compared with the fat-free meal. Absorption did not differ significantly at any time point between the high and low MUFA and PUFA groups.
This study provides a better understanding of the importance of some type of fat in a meal to optimize the absorption of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) from supplements; however the type of fat consumed is not significant for absorption.
Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS, Lichtenstein AH, Dolnikowski G, Palermo NJ, Rasmussen H. Dietary Fat Increases Vitamin D3 Absorption. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Nov 17. pii: S2212-2672(14)01468-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2014.09.014. [Epub ahead of print]

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sleepless in America Trailer | National Geographic Channel

Sleepless in America Trailer | National Geographic Channel: In an unprecedented partnership, NGC along with The Public Good Projects and NIH, America’s foremost scientific authority, will draw the nation’s attention to the science of sleep — a topic fundamental to our collective well-being.

A topic we have a page dedicated to on facebook. Search Sleepinar

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Impact of iron deficiency on exercise performance in women of reproductive age

Impact of iron deficiency on exercise performance in women of reproductive age 

At a GlanceA new meta-analysis has shown that women athletes, of reproductive age, who take iron supplements, experience a significant improvement in exercise performance.

Read more about this research below. 

Iron deficiency anemia is a common form of anemia and is a health risk for many women of reproductive age. Iron is an important component of hemoglobin in red bloods cells necessary to transport oxygen to tissues throughout the body. Iron deficiency occurs when iron requirements or losses exceed iron intake resulting in reduced tissue levels and deficient iron stores. Without adequate iron, blood is unable to efficiently transport oxygen contributing to fatigue, lethargy, and poor physical functioning.

Female athletes have a higher risk of this type of anemia due to dietary deficiencies, losses from blood and other bodily fluids, and reduced absorption due to exercised induced inflammation. Previous studies have suggested that low iron levels may impair exercise performance.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition has found that women athletes of childbearing age with iron deficient anemia who supplement with iron experience a marked improved in exercise performance. Researchers performed a systematic review and analysis of the effect of iron supplementation and exercise performance of women in childbearing years utilizing randomized controlled trials that measured exercise outcomes to daily oral iron supplementation vs. control. 
Iron supplementation improved women's exercise performance, in terms of both the highest level they could achieve at 100% exertion (maximal capacity) and their exercise efficiency at a submaximal exertion. Anemic and iron deficient women who received iron were better able to perform a given exercise using a lower heart rate and at a higher efficiency than women who were not taking an iron supplement.
This study helps establish evidence that iron deficiency impairs exercise performance in women and may help better establish the beneficial effects of iron supplementation on exercise performance in women, and the general health and well-being of women in the general population. However, additional studies/ evidence may be required to further clarify the effects of iron on other exercise variables, and for other functional outcomes, such as work performance, productivity, and potential adverse effects.
Pasricha SR, Low M, Thompson J, Farrell A, De-Regil LM. Iron Supplementation Benefits Physical Performance in Women of Reproductive Age: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Nutrition, 2014; DOI: 10.3945/jn.113.189589

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