Health Research Report

164th Issue Date 21 SEP 2013

Compiled By Ralph Turchiano

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In this Issue:

1. Amino acid with promising anti-diabetic effects

2. Substance that gives grapefruit its flavor and aroma could give insect pests the boot

3. New study discovers copper destroys highly infectious norovirus

4. Codeine could increase users’ sensitivity to pain

5. Research treats the fungus among us with nontoxic medicinal compound

6. Diets Low in Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids May Be a Problem for Youngsters

7. Obese stomachs tell us diets are doomed to fail

8. Red grapes, blueberries may enhance immune function

9. Can vitamin B supplements help stave off stroke?

 

 

Amino acid with promising anti-diabetic effects

New experiments conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen show that the amino acid arginine – found in a wide variety of foods such as salmon, eggs and nuts – greatly improves the body’s ability to metabolise glucose. Arginine stimulates a hormone linked to the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and works just as well as several established drugs on the market. The research findings have just been published in the scientific journal Endocrinology.

More than 371 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, of whom 90% are affected by lifestyle-related diabetes mellitus type 2 (type 2 diabetes). In new experiments, researchers from the University of Copenhagen working in collaboration with a research group at the University of Cincinnati, USA, have demonstrated that the amino acid arginine improves glucose metabolism significantly in both lean (insulin-sensitive) and obese (insulin-resistant) mice.

“In fact, the amino acid is just as effective as several well-established drugs for type 2 diabetics,” says postdoc Christoffer Clemmensen. He has conducted the new experiments based at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. He is currently conducting research at the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Research Centre for Environmental Health in Munich.

To test the effect of the amino acid arginine, researchers subjected lean and obese animal models to a so-called glucose tolerance test, which measures the body’s ability to remove glucose from the blood over time.

“We have demonstrated that both lean and fat laboratory mice benefit considerably from arginine supplements. In fact, we improved glucose metabolism by as much as 40% in both groups. We can also see that arginine increases the body’s production of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), an intestinal hormone which plays an important role in regulating appetite and glucose metabolism, and which is therefore used in numerous drugs for treating type 2 diabetes,” says Christoffer Clemmensen, and continues:

“You cannot, of course, cure diabetes by eating unlimited quantities of arginine-rich almonds and hazelnuts. However, our findings indicate that diet-based interventions with arginine-containing foods can have a positive effect on how the body processes the food we eat.”

The research findings were recently published in the American scientific journal Endocrinology under the heading Oral l-arginine Stimulates GLP-1 Secretion to Improve Glucose Tolerance in Male Mice.

Hormone plays key role

Researchers have known for many years that the amino acid arginine is important for the body’s ability to secrete insulin. However, the latest findings show that it is an indirect process. The process is actually controlled by arginine’s ability to secrete the intestinal hormone GLP-1, which subsequently affects insulin secretion.

“Mice without GLP-1 receptors are not affected to the same extent by arginine. There is no perceptible improvement in glucose metabolism or insulin secretion, confirming our hypothesis of a close biological connection between GLP-1 and arginine,” says Christoffer Clemmensen, who conducted the biological experiments in the USA using a special animal model where the receptor for GLP-1 is genetically inactivated.

The new findings provide optimism for better and more targeted drugs for treating type 2 diabetes; the outlook is long-term, but promising.

“This exciting result has raised several new questions which we want to investigate. Can other amino acids do what arginine does? Which intestinal mechanisms ‘measure’ arginine and lead to the release of GLP-1? Finally, there is the more long-term perspective – the question of whether the findings can be transferred from mice to humans and be used to design drugs that will benefit diabetes patients,” says Professor Hans Bräuner-Osborne , who is continuing work on the project in the research group at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen.

 

Substance that gives grapefruit its flavor and aroma could give insect pests the boot

 

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 11, 2013 — The citrus flavor and aroma of grapefruit — already used in fruit juices, citrus-flavored beverages, and prestige perfumes and colognes — may be heading for a new use in battling mosquitoes, ticks, head lice and bedbugs thanks to a less expensive way of making large amounts of the once rare and pricey ingredient, a scientist said here today.

A report on the new technology for making the ingredient, nootkatone, which previously had to be harvested from tons of grapefruit, was part of the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. The meeting, which includes almost 7,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics, continues here through tomorrow.

“A new product based on nootkatone would have multiple advantages over existing mosquito repellants based on DEET,” said Richard Burlingame, Ph.D., who presented the report. “Nootkatone is a broad-spectrum ingredient that has been shown to be effective as a control agent for mosquitoes, ticks and bedbugs. Nootkatone has been used for years to give beverages a grapefruit flavor. It is safe to eat, has a pleasant citrus flavor, is not greasy, both repels and kills insects, and should not have the toxicity concerns that exist for DEET.”

Burlingame, who is with Allylix, Inc., a renewable-chemical firm in Lexington, Ky., spoke at a symposium entitled “Biopesticides: State of the Art and Future Opportunities.” It includes presentations (abstracts appear below) on progress in developing new pesticides isolated from natural sources, or patterned closely after natural products that are effective in pest control.

“The goal of the symposium is to discuss the science behind these products, many of which are effective at lower doses and are less toxic to humans than conventional pesticides,” said James N. Seiber, Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis. He co-organized the symposium with Aaron Gross and Joel Coats, Ph.D., both of Iowa State University, and Stephen Duke, Ph.D., of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service.

Burlingame cited nootkatone as an excellent example of the potential for developing new pesticides based on natural sources. Nootkatone is a component of the oil in grapefruit, and has been on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s list of substances generally recognized as safe for use in food. It has been in commercial use for years as a flavoring for foods and beverages and as a fragrance ingredient in perfumes. Those applications require only tiny amounts of nootkatone, and price — $25 per ounce when extracted from grapefruit — was not a major concern. It was slightly less expensive when produced from a substance called valencene, extracted from oranges.

The need for a more economical source of nootkatone intensified after scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered nootkatone’s effectiveness in controlling ticks, mosquitoes and other insects. Nootkatone extracted from grapefruit, however, would be too expensive for development of a consumer product. That use would require larger amounts of nootkatone. Allylix is now working with scientists at CDC to develop nootkatone for commercial use as an insect-control agent.

Burlingame described how Allylix used proprietary technology to develop a way of producing valencene from yeast growing in industrial fermentation vats. Technicians harvest the valencene and use a chemical process to convert it into nootkatone. Allylix said the process made it possible to market nootkatone at a competitive price.

“The effects of nootkatone last much longer than those of repellents currently on the market,” he said. “And nootkatone shows promise for being the most effective agent for the ticks that cause Lyme disease.”

Nookatone also works in a new way, so it can be used against insects that develop resistance and shrug off conventional pesticides, and yet would be very unlikely to harm people or pets.

Allylix currently sells nootkatone only for use in flavor and fragrance applications. The next step involves getting approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to sell nootkatone for insect control. “They haven’t approved it yet, so no products currently on the market in the U.S. include nootkatone as an active ingredient to control pests,” noted Burlingame. “But in the future, it could be a key ingredient in repellents for use on clothing or on skin as a spray, or even as a soap or shampoo.”

New study discovers copper destroys highly infectious norovirus

10 September 2013Scientists from the University of Southampton have discovered that copper and copper alloys rapidly destroy norovirus – the highly-infectious sickness bug. Worldwide, norovirus is responsible for more than 267 million cases of acute gastroenteritis every year. In the UK, norovirus costs the National Health Service at least £100 million per year, in times of high incidence, and up to 3,000 people admitted to hospital per year in England. There is no specific treatment or vaccine, and outbreaks regularly shut down hospital wards and care homes, requiring expensive deep-cleaning, incurring additional treatment costs and resulting in lost working days when staff are infected. Its impact is also felt beyond healthcare, with cruise ships and hotels suffering significant damage to their reputation when epidemics occur among guests. The virus is highly infectious and can be contracted from contaminated food or water, person-to-person contact, and contact with contaminated surfaces, meaning surfaces made from copper could effectively shut down one avenue of infection. The study, which was designed to simulate fingertip-touch contamination of surfaces, showed norovirus was rapidly destroyed on copper and its alloys, with those containing more than 60 per cent copper proving particularly effective. Copper alloys have previously been shown to be effective antimicrobial surfaces against a range of bacteria and fungi. The Southampton research reported rapid inactivation of murine norovirus on alloys, containing over 60 per cent copper, at room temperature but no reduction of infectivity on stainless steel dry surfaces in simulated wet fomite and dry touch contamination. The rate of inactivation was initially very rapid and proportional to the copper content of alloy tested. Viral inactivation was not as rapid on brass as previously observed for bacteria but copper-nickel alloy was very effective. One of the targets of copper’s antimicrobial activity was the viral genome and a reduced number of the gene for a viral encoded protein, VPg (viral-protein-genome-linked), which is essential for infectivity, was observed following contact with copper and brass dry surfaces. Lead author Sarah Warnes, from the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton, says: “The use of antimicrobial surfaces containing copper in clinical and community environments, such as cruise ships and care facilities, could help to reduce the spread of this highly infectious and costly pathogen. “Copper alloys, although they provide a constant killing surface, should always be used in conjunction with regular and efficient cleaning and decontamination regimes using non-chelating reagents that could inhibit the copper ion activity.” Co-author Professor Bill Keevil, from the University’s Institute for Life Sciences, adds: “Although the virus was identified over 40 years ago, the lack of methods to assess infectivity has hampered the study of the human pathogen. “The virus can remain infectious on solid surfaces and is also resistant to many cleaning solutions. That means it can spread to people who touch these surfaces, causing further infections and maintaining the cycle of infection. Copper surfaces, like door handles and taps, can disrupt the cycle and lower the risk of outbreaks.” The study ‘Inactivation of norovirus on dry copper alloy surfaces’ is published in the latest issue of the journal PLOS ONE. Previous laboratory studies by the University of Southampton have described the rapid death of bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens such as MRSA on copper alloy surfaces and also prevention of antibiotic resistance horizontal gene transfer between pathogens.

For more information and scientific references, visit http://antimicrobialcopper.com/

Codeine could increase users’ sensitivity to pain

 

 

Using large and frequent doses of the pain-killer codeine may actually produce heightened sensitivity to pain, without the same level of relief offered by morphine, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.

Researchers in the Discipline of Pharmacology have conducted what is believed to be the world’s first experimental study comparing the pain relieving and pain worsening effects of both codeine and morphine.

The University’s Professor Paul Rolan, who is also a headache specialist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, says codeine has been widely used as pain relief for more than 100 years but its effectiveness has not been tested in this way before.

“In the clinical setting, patients have complained that their headaches became worse after using regular codeine, not better,” Professor Rolan says.

“Codeine use is not controlled in the same way as morphine, and as it is the most widely used strong pain reliever medication in the world, we thought it was about time we looked into how effective it really is.”

In laboratory studies, University of Adelaide PhD student Jacinta Johnson found that codeine provided much less pain relief than morphine, but resulted in the same level of increased sensitivity to pain.

“Pain sensitivity is a major issue for users of opioid drugs because the more you take, the more the drug can increase your sensitivity to pain, so you may never quite get the level of relief you need. In the long term it has the effect of worsening the problem rather than making it better. We think that this is a particular problem in headache patients, who seem more sensitive to this effect,” Ms Johnson says.

“Both codeine and morphine are opioids but codeine is a kind of ‘Trojan horse’ drug – 10% of it is converted to morphine, which is how it helps to provide pain relief. However, despite not offering the same level of pain relief, we found that codeine increased pain sensitivity just as much as morphine.”

Professor Rolan says while more research is needed, these laboratory findings suggest a potential problem for anyone suffering from chronic pain who needs ongoing medication.

“People who take codeine every now and then should have nothing to worry about, but heavy and ongoing codeine use could be detrimental for those patients who have chronic pain and headache,” Professor Rolan says. “This can be a very difficult issue for many people experiencing pain, and it creates difficulties for clinicians who are trying to find strategies to improve people’s pain.”

Ms Johnson presented this research at the 2013 International Headache Congress in Boston, and her work is featured in this month’s issue of Neurology Reviews.

A clinical trial testing a new approach to treating codeine-related headache is now being run by Professor Rolan.

Research treats the fungus among us with nontoxic medicinal compound

 

Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013

MANHATTAN — A Kansas State University microbiologist has found a breakthrough herbal medicine treatment for a common human fungal pathogen that lives in almost 80 percent of people.

Govindsamy Vediyappan, assistant professor of biology, noticed that diabetic people in developing countries use a medicinal herb called Gymnema slyvestre to help control sugar levels. He decided to study the microbiological use of Gymnema slyvestre — a tropical vine plant found in India, China and Australia — to see if it could treat a common human fungal pathogen called Candida albicans.

The investigation was successful on two levels: Vediyappan’s research team found the medicinal compound is both nontoxic and blocks the virulence properties of the fungus so that it is more treatable. The results are important for human health, biomedical applications and potential drug development.

“We have shown that this compound is safe to use because it doesn’t hurt our body cells, yet it blocks the virulence of this fungus under in vitro conditions,” Vediyappan said. “Taking the medicine could potentially help patients control the invasive growth of the fungus and also help bring their sugar levels down.”

Candida albicans is one of the major fungal pathogens in humans because it lives in oral and intestinal areas as a normal flora, Vediyappan said. But the fungus can overgrow and can cause oral, intestinal and genital infections. The fungus kills almost 30 percent of people who have it and it is a concern among cancer patients — especially patients with neck or oral cancer — HIV patients, organ transplant patients and other people with compromised immune systems.

The fungus can grow in two forms: a treatable yeast and a difficult-to-treat hyphal form. Once the fungus transforms from a yeast to a hyphal growth it becomes difficult to treat because the hyphal growth has long filament-like structures that can spread into various organs. Vediyappan’s study aimed to block the hyphal growth form.

“Once it gets into the tissue, it spreads like roots and is difficult to contain by our immune system,” Vediyappan said.

If the fungus remains in yeast form, it is easy to manage and does not invade tissues. Vediyappan’s research team purified gymnemic acid compounds that prevented the transition stage from occurring and stopped the fungus spread. The gymnemic acids come from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre, a traditional medicinal plant.

The research appears in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE in an article titled “Gymnemic acids inhibit hyphal growth and virulence in Candida albicans.”

Gymnema extract is commonly used to treat diabetes and other ailments because it is a cost-effective treatment, Vediyappan said. Often, people drink the extract to control their sugar levels or to lose weight.

Although Vediyappan’s research team is not the first to discover gymnemic acid compounds, the team is the first to discover that the compounds block the fungal transition. The researchers found that the compounds work quickly, too, which was an important characteristic. The treatable fungal yeast can transition to a hyphal growth within 30 minutes of an infection. When the hyphal transition has occurred, it will grow into branched filaments.

The gymnemic acid compounds are nontoxic, which is especially important for cancer patients and other immunocompromised patients. The gymnemic acids can stop the unwanted invasive infection while preserving important healthy cells.

The Candida albicans fungus also makes a biofilm, which is a fungal cell collection that can be difficult to treat. The researchers found that the gymnemic acid compounds converted the biofilm back to treatable yeast cells.

“This compound prevents the biofilm formation because hyphae are the major builders of biofilms and biofilms are resistant to antifungals,” Vediyappan said. “Yeast cells by themselves cannot make biofilms and are sensitive to antifungal treatments.”

Another interesting aspect: The gymnemic acid compounds also stopped the growth of Aspergillus, another fungal pathogen that can affect heart transplant patients and leukemia patients.

Vediyappan plans future studies to research mode of action, potential drug development, diabetes applications and other ways to improve treatment for Candida albicans and other fungal pathogens.

Funding for the research came from Kansas State University’s Johnson Cancer Research Center and K-INBRE at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Collaborating researchers include Vincent Dumontet and Franck Pelissier with the Natural Product Chemistry Institute, part of the National Center for Scientific Research, in Gif-sur-Yvette, France; and Christophe d’Enfert with the Fungal Biology and Pathogenicity Unit in the Department of Genomes and Genetics at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France.

Diets Low in Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids May Be a Problem for Youngsters

 

 

 

Columbus, OH – 9/13/2013

In the first study to closely examine the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake among U.S. children under the age of 5, Sarah Keim, PhD, principal investigator in the Center for Biobehavioral Health at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, has found what might be a troubling deficit in the diet of many youngsters. The study, published online today by Maternal and Child Nutrition, used data on nearly 2500 children age 12 to 60 months from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

PUFAs are essential to human health. A proper ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 PUFAs plays an important role in cell function, inflammation, eye development and neural functioning. However, the ideal dietary intake of PUFAs for young children is unclear. Knowing that infants often receive significant amounts of key PUFAs through breast milk and infant formula during the first year of life, Dr. Keim and her colleague, Amy Branum, PhD, MSPH, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, decided to estimate the average intake of PUFAs in the diet for children between infancy and kindergarten.

“The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 intake was high—about 10. Some experts use this as an indicator of diet quality, with a high ratio being less healthy,” says Dr. Keim. “In addition, intake of a key fatty acid known as DHA in children 12 to 60 months of age was low—lower than what infants generally consume—and it did not increase with age.”

Dr. Keim’s study was also the first to examine the primary dietary sources of PUFA intake among children under the age of 5 and to examine age, race and ethnicity in relation to fish intake in this age group. Fish are an excellent source of fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, and were shown to be the richest sources of PUFAs in children’s diets.

“Only about 54 percent of children ate fish at least once in the previous month. Non-Hispanic black children were more likely than non-Hispanic white children to have eaten fish,” says Dr. Keim. “Because diet can be an important contributor to many diseases, it’s important to understand how such disparities might contribute to disease risk.”

The swift physical and neurological development during this period of childhood may mean that variations in PUFA intake could have important implications for growth, she adds.

“This work could help inform dietary recommendations for children, and may be particularly important for the preterm population,” Dr. Keim says. “We are currently carrying out a clinical trial to see if DHA supplementation when children are 1 year of age can help cognitive development in those born preterm.”

At present, there is no official dietary recommendation in the U.S. for DHA and EPA intake or supplementation among children, although the Institute of Medicine has issued what they call a “reasonable intake” level of two 3-oz servings of fish per week for children. “According to our research, however, children are clearly not consuming this much fish,” says Dr. Keim. In addition, the researchers found that overall intake of key fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, among U.S. children is only a fraction of what is regularly consumed by young children in certain other countries, including Canada. Other studies suggest that similarly low intakes exist in kids age 5 and older. By incorporating key omega-3 PUFAs into a child’s diet at a very early age, Dr. Keim says, it may be more likely to become part of a lifelong diet.

Dr. Keim hopes her work will contribute to a more detailed understanding of the diets of young children in the U.S. and will motivate health professionals to start considering the specific nutritional needs of children for healthy growth and development. “We’d like to continue our work examining dietary patterns in very young children, since they are often excluded from dietary studies,” she says.

Ideally, Dr. Keim says she would like to see families expose their children to a variety of fresh foods as soon as they are old enough to eat solids. “Dietary habits can form very early, so starting with a balanced diet may have long-lasting effects for children’s health.” According to Dr. Keim, this balanced diet should include fish and other good sources of healthy fatty acids.

 

 

Obese stomachs tell us diets are doomed to fail

 

 

The way the stomach detects and tells our brains how full we are becomes damaged in obese people but does not return to normal once they lose weight, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.

Researchers believe this could be a key reason why most people who lose weight on a diet eventually put that weight back on.

In laboratory studies, University of Adelaide PhD student Stephen Kentish investigated the impact of a high-fat diet on the gut’s ability to signal fullness, and whether those changes revert back to normal by losing weight.

The results, published in the International Journal of Obesity, show that the nerves in the stomach that signal fullness to the brain appear to be desensitized after long-term consumption of a high-fat diet.

“The stomach’s nerve response does not return to normal upon return to a normal diet. This means you would need to eat more food before you felt the same degree of fullness as a healthy individual,” says study leader Associate Professor Amanda Page from the University’s Nerve-Gut Research Laboratory.

“A hormone in the body, leptin, known to regulate food intake, can also change the sensitivity of the nerves in the stomach that signal fullness. In normal conditions, leptin acts to stop food intake. However, in the stomach in high-fat diet induced obesity, leptin further desensitizes the nerves that detect fullness.

“These two mechanisms combined mean that obese people need to eat more to feel full, which in turn continues their cycle of obesity.”

Associate Professor Page says the results have “very strong implications for obese people, those trying to lose weight, and those who are trying to maintain their weight loss”.

“Unfortunately, our results show that the nerves in the stomach remain desensitized to fullness after weight loss has been achieved,” she says.

Associate Professor Page says they’re not yet sure whether this effect is permanent or just long-lasting.

“We know that only about 5% of people on diets are able to maintain their weight loss, and that most people who’ve been on a diet put all of that weight back on within two years,” she says.

“More research is needed to determine how long the effect lasts, and whether there is any way – chemical or otherwise – to trick the stomach into resetting itself to normal.”

Red grapes, blueberries may enhance immune function

 

 

CORVALLIS, Ore. – In an analysis of 446 compounds for their the ability to boost the innate immune system in humans, researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University discovered just two that stood out from the crowd – the resveratrol found in red grapes and a compound called pterostilbene from blueberries.

Both of these compounds, which are called stilbenoids, worked in synergy with vitamin D and had a significant impact in raising the expression of the human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP gene, that is involved in immune function.

The findings were made in laboratory cell cultures and do not prove that similar results would occur as a result of dietary intake, the scientists said, but do add more interest to the potential of some foods to improve the immune response.

The research was published today in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, in studies supported by the National Institutes of Health.

“Out of a study of hundreds of compounds, just these two popped right out,” said Adrian Gombart, an LPI principal investigator and associate professor in the OSU College of Science. “Their synergy with vitamin D to increase CAMP gene expression was significant and intriguing. It’s a pretty interesting interaction.”

Resveratrol has been the subject of dozens of studies for a range of possible benefits, from improving cardiovascular health to fighting cancer and reducing inflammation. This research is the first to show a clear synergy with vitamin D that increased CAMP expression by several times, scientists said.

The CAMP gene itself is also the subject of much study, as it has been shown to play a key role in the “innate” immune system, or the body’s first line of defense and ability to combat bacterial infection. The innate immune response is especially important as many antibiotics increasingly lose their effectiveness.

A strong link has been established between adequate vitamin D levels and the function of the CAMP gene, and the new research suggests that certain other compounds may play a role as well.

Stilbenoids are compounds produced by plants to fight infections, and in human biology appear to affect some of the signaling pathways that allow vitamin D to do its job, researchers said. It appears that combining these compounds with vitamin D has considerably more biological impact than any of them would separately.

Continued research could lead to a better understanding of how diet and nutrition affect immune function, and possibly lead to the development of therapeutically useful natural compounds that could boost the innate immune response, the researchers said in their report.

Despite the interest in compounds such as resveratrol and pterostilbene, their bioavailability remains a question, the researchers said. Some applications that may evolve could be with topical use to improve barrier defense in wounds or infections, they said.

The regulation of the CAMP gene by vitamin D was discovered by Gombart, and researchers are still learning more about how it and other compounds affect immune function. The unique biological pathways involved are found in only two groups of animals – humans and non-human primates. Their importance in the immune response could be one reason those pathways have survived through millions of years of separate evolution of these species.

 

Can vitamin B supplements help stave off stroke?

 

 

MINNEAPOLIS – New evidence suggests that taking vitamin B supplements may help reduce the risk of stroke. The research appears in the September 18, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Previous studies have conflicting findings regarding the use of vitamin B supplements and stroke or heart attack,” said author Xu Yuming, with Zhengzhou University in Zhengzhou, China. “Some studies have even suggested that the supplements may increase the risk of these events.”

For the research, scientists analyzed 14 randomized clinical trials with a total of 54,913 participants. All of the studies compared B vitamin use with a placebo or a very low-dose B vitamin. Participants were then followed for a minimum of six months. There were 2,471 strokes throughout the studies, all of which showed some benefit of taking vitamin B.

Vitamin B lowered the risk of stroke in the studies overall by seven percent. However, taking supplements did not appear to affect the severity of strokes or risk of death from stroke.

Folic acid, a supplemental form of folate (vitamin B9), which is often found in fortified cereals, appeared to reduce the effect of vitamin B. Researchers did not find a reduction in stroke risk for vitamin B12.

“Based on our results, the ability of vitamin B to reduce stroke risk may be influenced by a number of other factors such as the body’s absorption rate, the amount of folic acid or vitamin B12 concentration in the blood, and whether a person has kidney disease or high blood pressure,” said Yuming. “Before you begin taking any supplements, you should always talk to your doctor.”

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These reports are done with the appreciation of all the Doctors, Scientist, and other Medical Researchers who sacrificed their time and effort. In order to give people the ability to empower themselves. Without base aspirations of fame, or fortune. Just honorable people, doing honorable things.