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  • Vitamin D supplementation associated with improvement in mood, desire in women
  • Ketone supplementation associated with lower blood glucose
  • Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy can program obesity in children
  • Exercise, calcium, vitamin D, and other factors linked with fewer injurious falls
  • Nicotinamide riboside shows promise for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
  • New research finds vitamin D3 helps repair cardiovascular system


    Vitamin D supplementation associated with improvement in mood, desire in women

    Vitamin D supplementation associated with improvement in mood, desire in women February 19 2018. A study reported on February 14, 2018 in Endokrynologia Polska resulted in improvement in female sexual desire, orgasm and satisfaction, as well as mood, after supplementation with vitamin D.

    Based on researchers Robert Krysiak and colleagues’ previous finding of an association between deficient vitamin D levels and abnormal female sexual function, a trial that examined the effects of six months of oral vitamin D supplementation was conducted among 47 women with deficient or insufficient plasma vitamin D levels. Women with vitamin D deficiency, defined as plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels that were lower than 2 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), were given 4,000 international units (IU) vitamin D per day, and participants with insufficient levels of 20-30 ng/mL were given 2,000 IU daily or no vitamin D. Questionnaires that evaluated female sexual function and depressive symptoms were completed before and after the treatment period.

    At the beginning of the study, female sexual function questionnaire scores were significantly lower (indicating increased impairment of sexual function) and depression scores were higher (indicating a greater level of depression) in women with deficient vitamin D levels compared to women with insufficient levels. Supplementation with vitamin D was associated with improved sexual desire in both deficient and insufficient women. Among participants with vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D improved total sexual function scores and scores for sexual satisfaction and orgasm, while decreasing total depression scores.

    In their discussion of the findings, the authors remark that “It is possible that genital blood flow, as well as hormonal and neural regulations of sexual function are disturbed in women with hypovitaminosis D and correlate with its severity.”

    “The obtained results indicate that vitamin D supplementation improves female sexual functioning and mood in women with low vitamin D status,” they conclude.

    —D Dye


    Ketone supplementation associated with lower blood glucose

    Ketone supplementation associated with lower blood glucose February 16 2018. A randomized, crossover study reported on February 15, 2018 in the Journal of Physiology resulted in a reduction in blood glucose and improved insulin sensitivity following the ingestion of a ketone monoester supplement by young, healthy participants. Ketones are byproducts of the breakdown of fat for the production of energy when the intake of carbohydrates is limited. Ketones have been previously shown to lower blood sugar levels when infused into the bloodstream.

    Ten men and ten women between the ages of 18 and 35 years received a drink containing the ketone monoester supplement or a placebo after a 10 hour fast. This was followed one half hour later by the consumption of a drink that contained 75 grams of sugar. Blood samples were collected every 15 to 30 minutes over a 2.5-hour period and analyzed for glucose, lipids and the ketone body D-beta-hydroxybutyrate. The experiment was then repeated with treatments switched between subjects.

    Among participants who received ketones, D-beta-hydroxybutyrate levels were higher and blood glucose and nonesterified fatty acid levels were significantly lower following the intake of the high sugar drink. According to authors Etienne Myette-Côté and colleagues, “The reduction in glycemic response did not appear to be driven by an increase in insulin secretion but was accompanied by improved markers of insulin sensitivity.”

    "Our study was done in healthy young participants but if the same responses were seen in people with, or at risk for, type 2 diabetes then it is possible that a ketone monoester supplement could be used to lower glucose levels and improve metabolic health,” commented lead researcher Jonathan Peter Little, of the University of British Columbia's Okanagan Campus. “We are working on these studies at the moment.”

    —D Dye


    Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy can program obesity in children

    Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy can program obesity in children February 14 2018. An article appearing on January 28, 2018 in Pediatric Obesity reports the findings of Vaia Lida Chatzi of the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine and colleagues of a link between deficient vitamin D levels among mothers and a greater risk of obesity in their children.

    The study included 532 mothers from the prospective pregnancy cohort Rhea in Greece. 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were assessed at the first prenatal visit, which occurred at an average of 14 weeks gestation. The children’s weight was measured at 4 and 6 years of age.

    Approximately two-thirds of the mothers had deficient vitamin D levels of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter. Children born to deficient women had 2% more body fat and waists that averaged ½ inch larger at 6 years of age compared to same-aged children of mothers whose vitamin D levels were sufficient. "These increases may not seem like much, but we're not talking about older adults who have about 30 percent body fat," stated Dr Chatzi. "Even a half-inch increase in waist circumference is a big deal, especially if you project this fat surplus across their life span."

    "We're not sure why there is vitamin D deficiency even in places with abundant sunshine, but maybe people are spending too much time indoors with their screens or typing away in their office cubicles," she suggested.

    "It's possible that children of mothers with low vitamin D have higher body mass index and body fat because vitamin D appears to disrupt the formation of fat cells," Dr Chatzi added. "Optimal vitamin D levels in pregnancy could protect against childhood obesity, but more research is needed to confirm our findings. Vitamin D supplements in early pregnancy is an easy fix to protect future generations."

    —D Dye


    Exercise, calcium, vitamin D, and other factors linked with fewer injurious falls

    Exercise, calcium, vitamin D, and other factors linked with fewer injurious falls February 09 2018. A systematic review and meta-analysis reported in the November 7, 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found benefits for exercise with or without additional measures, as well as calcium and vitamin D supplementation combined with quality improvement strategies and multifactorial assessment and treatment in the prevention of injurious falls and fall-related hospitalization.

    According to data from the National Institute on Aging, men and women aged 65 years or older had a two-year prevalence of falling in 2010. Falls can result in injury, disability or death and are associated with an increase in anxiety and depression among those who survive them.

    Sharon E. Straus, MD, and colleagues selected 54 randomized clinical trials that included a total of 41,596 participants for their analysis of injurious falls. The subjects’ average age was 78.1 years. In comparison with usual care, exercise was found to reduce the risk of injurious falls by 33%. When combined with vison assessment and treatment, exercise lowered the risk by 83%, and when added to with vision assessment and treatment plus environmental assessment and modification, the risk was lowered by 70%. Combined clinic level quality improvement strategies, multifactorial assessment and treatment, calcium supplementation and vitamin D supplementation were associated with an 88% lower risk compared with usual care.

    Analysis of 68 randomized clinical trials that provided data concerning the association of various interventions with fracture risk found that combined osteoporosis treatment, such as bisphosphonates, calcium supplementation and vitamin D supplementation, was associated with a 78% lower risk of fracture than usual care.

    “Exercise alone and various combined interventions were associated with lower risk of injurious falls compared with usual care,” the authors conclude. “Choice of intervention may depend on patient and caregiver values and preferences.”

    —D Dye


    Nicotinamide riboside shows promise for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

    Nicotinamide riboside shows promise for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease February 07 2018. Research reported on February 5, 2017 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found a benefit for supplementation with nicotinamide riboside, a compound that increases cellular levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

    The study utilized mice bred to show increased features of human Alzheimer’s disease, including age-dependent amyloid beta plaques, intraneuronal Tau tangles, and cognitive deficits. These animals were subsequently modified to have a decreased ability to repair DNA, resulting in greater DNA damage and neuron death in specific brain regions, thereby more closely mimicking features of human Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers Vilhelm A. Bohr of the National Institutes of Health and colleagues observed that the animals had a decreased cerebral ratio of NAD+ to NADH (NADH is the chemically reduced form of NAD).

    The team supplemented the drinking water of four groups of mice with nicotinamide riboside or gave them plain water for 6 months. Compared to untreated DNA repair-deficient Alzheimer’s disease mice, supplementation with the with nicotinamide riboside normalized the cerebral NAD+ to NADH ratio, decreased phosphorylated tau pathologies, and lowered DNA damage, neuroinflammation and apoptosis (programmed cell death) in the brain’s hippocampus (which is involved in memory) while increasing the activity of the sirtuin SIRT3, a protein involved in metabolic regulation.  The mice also exhibited improvements in cognitive function and hippocampal synaptic plasticity, as did the original Alzheimer’s disease model animals that received nicotinamide riboside.

    “This study suggests that nicotinamide riboside/NAD+ can target several aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, including traditional endpoints like Tau pathology and inflammation, maybe via DNA repair enhancement,” conclude authors Yujun Hou and colleagues. “We believe that this work sets the stage for using NAD+ for treating Alzheimer’s disease in humans.”

    —D Dye


    New research finds vitamin D3 helps repair cardiovascular system

    New research finds vitamin D3 helps repair cardiovascular system February 05 2018. An article appearing on January 19, 2018 in the International Journal of Nanomedicine shows how vitamin D3 can aid in the repair of cardiovascular system damage caused by atherosclerosis, diabetes and high blood pressure.

    Dr Tadeusz Malinski along with graduate students Alamzeb Khan and Hazem Dawoud at Ohio University developed systems of measurements using nanosensors that have diameters which are approximately 1,000 times smaller than a human hair to examine the effects of vitamin D3 on single endothelial cells which line the arteries. They discovered that vitamin D3 significantly stimulates nitric oxide, which is a signaling molecule in the regulation of blood flow and clot formation. Vitamin D3 was also associated with lower cardiovascular system oxidative stress.

    "Generally, vitamin D3 is associated with the bones,” observed Dr Malinski, of Ohio University’s Nanomedical Research Laboratories. “However, in recent years, in clinical settings people recognize that many patients who have a heart attack will have a deficiency of D3. It doesn't mean that the deficiency caused the heart attack, but it increased the risk of heart attack. We use nanosensors to see why vitamin D3 can be beneficial, especially for the function and restoration of the cardiovascular system."

    "There are not many, if any, known systems which can be used to restore cardiovascular endothelial cells which are already damaged, and vitamin D3 can do it," he remarked. "This is a very inexpensive solution to repair the cardiovascular system. We don't have to develop a new drug. We already have it."

    "Professor Malinksi has an international reputation for outstanding and innovative research related to the cardiovascular system," noted Ohio University Dean of Arts and Sciences Robert Frank. "This latest work is yet another example of his impact on this field."

    —D Dye


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