Overweight Children May Lack Iron

July 07, 2004

In a study of 9698 children ages 2 to 16 years, children who were at risk of being overweight (Body Mass Index between 85th and 95th percentile) and children who were overweight were twice as likely to be iron deficient as normal weight children. One out of seven U.S. children is overweight (increasing their risk of iron deficiency according to this and other studies). Iron deficiency can cause anemia, decrease both physical and mental stamina, and may cause learning and behavioral problems. The study is published in the July 2004 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Obesity is tied into iron deficiency, the most common nutritional deficiency. Is it possible that iron deficiency contributes to obesity? Children who are iron deficient are often too tired to exercise or compete in sports. This may be a vicious cycle. If your child is frequently tired or is obese and tired have the pediatrician check iron status. We have a very nice iron supplement - Iron + Co-Factors, it also includes some folic acid, vitamin B12 and Taurine, nutrients needed for the creation of red blood cells and hemoglobin. Other advantages of this iron formula is the inclusion of a very well absorbed iron that has less tendency to cause either constipation or upset stomach. Many iron supplements are constipating and are also irritating to the digestive tract.

Red Yeast Rice and Lipoprotein(a)

Red Yeast Rice High levels of lipoprotein(a) or high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in the blood are independent risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). 60 CHD patients were divided into two groups. One group received a Red Yeast Rice preparation for 6 weeks, the other group received a placebo. The CHD patients on the Red Yeast Rice preparation had a significant decrease in hsCRP, and a drop in lipoprotein(a) after 6 weeks of supplementation. The study was published in the August 2003 issue of the journal Clinical Chemistry.

Red Yeast Rice aids elevated cholesterol levels moderately compared to statin drugs according to researchers at the School of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Science, McGill University, Montreal. The study is published in the April 2004 issue of the journal Life Sciences.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Red Yeast Rice is a pigmented rice that has been fermented by the red yeast, Monascus purpureus. It has been used in Japan and China for many centuries as a food ingredient, and as an ingredient in Sake Rice Wine. It has been used medicinally in China since at least 1,000 AD. Red Yeast Rice naturally contains 8 ingredients known as monacolins that have been studied for their benefit to cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and other cardiac risk factors, and their supportive effects on HDL levels. It is difficult to lower lipoprotein(a) levels and elevated lipoprotein(a) seems to cause rapid damage to blood vessel walls. Red Yeast Rice may be a dependable alternative for some individuals who need help for lipoprotein(a) and hsCRP. Individuals with kidney or liver damage should not use Red Yeast Rice.

Calcium May Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer According to an Analysis of Ten Studies

A review of ten studies involving 534,536 individuals in five countries strongly connects calcium to a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer. This included calcium from milk, diet and all other sources. When the calcium was from supplements along with food sources the protection was even greater than simply obtaining calcium from the diet. The study appears in the July 7th issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

In a previous study in the December 3rd 2003 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute it was found that calcium supplementation along with adequate levels of vitamin D worked together to decrease the risk of colorectal adenoma recurrence and calcium alone was not preventative (for a recurrence).