Study finds link between low Vitamin D and heart disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality

A vast review of studies on Vitamin D has concluded that people with low levels of the vitamin had a 35 percent increased risk of death from heart disease, a 14 percent higher risk of death from cancer, and a greater risk of death from all causes as well.

The authors of this review, who came from a wide range of European and US universities, also looked at the usefulness of supplements, and found that there was no benefit from taking Vitamin D2. However, when they studied middle-aged and older adults who took Vitamin D3, they found an 11% reduction in risk of death from all causes. They also estimated that up to two-thirds of the people in Europe and the US are deficient in Vitamin D, and they calculated that about 13% of all deaths in the US, and about 9% of all deaths in Europe, are linked to low Vitamin D levels.

NYBC’s comment: This review suggests that it is crucial to supplement with Vitamin D3—-which is the type of Vitamin D stocked by NYBC. Older forms of supplementation, such as Vitamin D2-fortified milk, may not have benefit, according to this research. Secondly, though some have argued that low Vitamin D may simply be a side effect of disease processes that can’t be reversed by supplementing, we believe that this study also offers evidence that, especially when people are known to be deficient in Vitamin D (as is often the case in older populations, or among HIV+ people), supplementing with D3 has the potential to reduce disease risks, and indeed may reduce the overall risk of mortality.

See NYBC’s catalog for more detailed recommendations on Vitamin D3 supplementation:

Vitamins and Minerals – NYBC Catalog

Reference:

Chowdhury, R et al. Vitamin D and risk of cause specific death: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational cohort and randomised intervention studies. BMJ April 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1903

A Resource for NYBC Members and Friends: The National LGBT Cancer Network

Memo to: All Members and Friends of the New York Buyers’ Club

We recently had a conversation with Liz Margolies, the Executive Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network, and would like to recommend the organization as a great source of information for the LGBT community on the subject of cancer. Here’s a part of their mission statement, which is posted on their website at http://www.cancer-network.org/:

The National LGBT Cancer Network’s mission is to improve the lives of LGBT people with cancer and those at risk. We educate the LGBT community, train healthcare providers and advocate for LGBT inclusion in national cancer organizations, research and the media.

–Did you know that LGBT people are at higher risk for cancer?
Learn more about the LGBT community’s disproportionate cancer burden.

–Are you a healthcare provider?
We have a program to train healthcare professionals in LGBT cultural competence.

–Do you want to learn about your own cancer risk?
Create a personalized cancer risk assessment.

–Do you want to work to lower LGBT cancer health disparities?
Learn about becoming a local Network Hub.

Resveratrol: more evidence of its potential benefits

Resveratrol, found in red wine and now widely used as a supplement, is back in the news this month. A research report in the highly respected journal Science identifies the precise mechanism by which resveratrol regulates sirtuins, proteins in the body which have been linked to the prevention of many age-related diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Type-2 diabetes.

This finding adds further support to the idea that resveratrol or a derivative of resveratrol might represent a breakthrough treatment for some of the major disease threats faced by humans as they age.

We first read about the new research in our hometown paper, The New York Times, but the story has been widely reported. (See reference to the article in Science below.)

NYBC stocks Resveratrol and Resveratrol Synergy from Jarrow. Of course we’d welcome any reports from our members about their use of these products.

Reference: Hubbard, et al. Evidence for a common mechanism of SIRT1 regulation by allosteric activators. Science, March 8, 2013.

Curcumin: An Old Spice Performs New Tricks

Curcumin is one of the main components of the Indian spice turmeric, and gives the spice its characteristic yellow color. Aside from its use in cooking, curcumin/turmeric also holds a position of esteem in the ancient Indian medical tradition called Ayurveda, where it is most frequently recommended to treat gastrointestinal disorders.

In recent decades, this old spice has drawn the attention of a large crop of US-based scientific researchers, who have focused on its powers to address illnesses including cancers, liver disease, and Alzheimer’s. A 2007 review of research concluded that curcumin could protect against skin, oral, intestinal and colon cancers by inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells, by restricting blood supply to tumors, and by other mechanisms as well. As a researcher at the M. C. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas has put it: “The reason curcumin is so effective against cancer is that it hits not just a single target or cell signalling pathway but dozens of targets implicated in cancer.”

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin has also been adopted as a potential therapeutic agent by scientists investigating difficult-to-treat liver disease. Preliminary research published in 2010 found that curcumin blocks several types of inflammation that can lead to cirrhosis (=scarring of tissue and destruction of liver function). The study authors suggest that the botanical, as a natural substance with few side effects, may ultimately prove a better treatment than currently available medications for some liver disease.

Frequently, supplement research looks for refinements and synergies in investigating the medicinal powers of traditional botanicals like curcumin. That’s been the case with a recent study involving Vitamin D3 and derivatives of curcumin known as curcuminoids. This combination of supplements, remarkably enough, proved helpful in clearing the kind of plaque in the brain that is associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. Of course the University of California researchers who conducted this study are now looking for further confirmation of D3/curcuminoids as a preventive and as a therapy for Alzheimer’s.

NYBC stocks Curcumin (Jarrow) in two formats:

Curcumin 500mg/60

Curcumin 500mg/120

As new studies of Curcumin have emerged, NYBC also began stocking additional forms from Vibrant Health, which add bioperine (black pepper extract) for enhanced absorption:

Curcuminoids 1000 mg/30c w/bioperine

Curcuminoids 1000 mg/60c w/bioperine


References:

Surh YJ, Chun KS. Cancer chemopreventive effects of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007.
Champeau, R. Vitamin D, curcumin may help clear amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s. Press release, UCLA, July 15, 2009.
Baghdasaryan, A et al. Curcumin improves sclerosing cholangitis in Mdr2-/- mice by inhibition of cholangiocyte inflammatory response and portal myofibroblast proliferation. Gut, 2010.

Grapeseed may reduce risk of prostate cancer

The well-known Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle Washington is the source for a large recent survey on supplements for cancer prevention. (We’ve already discussed on this blog their 2010 survey highlighting an association between fish oil supplements and lower risk of breast cancer.) This new research, published in May 2011, focuses on grapeseed supplements and reduced risk of prostate cancer.

More than 35,000 male participants from 50 to 76 years old were recruited for a detailed baseline questionnaire in 2000-2002. Upon follow up five years later, 1,602 prostate cancers had been registered among study participants. Any use of grapeseed supplements among the 35,000 participants was associated with a 41% reduced risk of total prostate cancer. There were no associations between prostate cancer risk and use of chondroitin, coenzyme Q10, fish oil, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, glucosamine, or saw palmetto.

This large survey study follows after a number of preliminary lab studies of the anti-cancer effects of grapeseed. See the Memorial Sloan/Kettering website for more information: http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69243.cfm

NYBC stocks Grapeseed Extract from Jarrow.

Reference: Brasky TM, Kristal AR, Navarro SL, Lampe JW, Peters U, Patterson RE, White E. Specialty Supplements and Prostate Cancer Risk in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort. Nutr Cancer. 2011 May;63(4):573-82.

Nutrivir/No Sugar Added: for weight maintenance

NYBC stocks Nutrivir No Sugar Added, which is a very useful and easy-to-take supplement to maintain optimal weight, especially when dealing with chronic illness. It’s a combination of whey protein powder, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that’s formulated by upstate New York biotech company BioNexus. NYBC has chosen to stock the No Sugar Added version because that option responds to the concerns of many who are cutting down on refined sugar in their diets.

Overall, NYBC members have found this product to be very useful for maintaining optimal weight and also just for its convenience in supplying antioxidant and multivitamin/mineral supplements in a single product that can be easily added to cold beverages, smoothies or yogurt. Note some of the additional active components of Nutrivir: digestive enzymes, vitamins A, C, E, beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, selenium, N-acetyl cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, taurine and L-carnitine.

Nutrivir-no sugar added

Nutrivir is a protein powder with digestive enzymes, NAC and other antioxidants and nutrients added, and it’s especially designed as a nutritional support to counteract weight loss in people with HIV or those undergoing cancer treatment. One special feature of this formula is that, unlike most protein powders, it’s “no sugar added.”

See the Nutrivir entry at NYBC website for more details: http://nybcsecure.org/product_info.php?cPath=42&products_id=172

Other protein powders are also available at NYBC: http://nybcsecure.org/index.php?cPath=42