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Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of falling and fractures in the elderly

Nov 25, 2005

In a study, nursing home residents were placed on either vitamin D at a loading dose of 10,000 IU the first week, followed by 1,000 IU daily for 2 years or they received placebo. 625 nursing home residents with an average age of 83 who took part in the study had normal levels of vitamin D before supplementation. It was found that after two years on high daily dosages of vitamin D, even patients with normal levels of vitamin D reduced their risk of falling by up to 37%and reduced their risk of bone fracture by 32%. The study is published in the November 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Hopefully none of us will encounter an agent as destructive as mustard gas, but it is good for us to note that these particular antioxidants are very lung friendly and that available oral supplement levels have shown protective activity in research.

Vitamins and other antioxidants may help protect those with sleep apnea

Sleep apnea refers to a temporary interruption of breathing dozens, even hundreds of times per night. Symptoms include loud snoring even snorting when the person resumes breathing. The condition results in daytime fatigue due to a poor nights sleep. It affects about 25% of adult men and 10% of adult women and usually accompanies obesity. It is usually due to an obstruction but it can also occur due to an inability of the brain to send a signal to breath. People with severe sleep apnea are at risk of dying.

Cognitive deficits (difficulties in reasoning, memory, judgment, and insight) and cardiovascular disease often accompany sleep apnea. A frequent lack of oxygen caused by the breathing interruptions is hypothesized to cause the inflammation and poor immune system regulation that leads to the loss of mental ability and cardiovascular disease that accompany it. Studies indicate that patients with sleep apnea have poor antioxidants status. In this review, professionals from the College of Nursing at Arizona State University (Southwest Borderlands) and from the Carl B Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix state that assessing and prescribing to increase the intake of brain protecting and heart protecting nutrients may make it possible to reduce the cognitive decline and cardiovascular damage seen in patients with sleep apnea. Among the supplements they suggest to screen for are Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Vitamins B6, B12, Folic Acid, C, and E. The report appears in the December, 2005 issue of the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews.

Fiber helps hemorrhoids

In a meta-analysis of existing studies, seven trials that included 378 individuals compared the ability of fiber to alleviate the symptoms of hemorrhoids versus no fiber supplementation. Using fiber decreased the risk of bleeding (from hemorrhoids) by 50%, decreased the risk of suffering long term symptoms by 47%, itching dropped by 29%, prolapse decreased by 31%, and pain decreased by 67%. The study is published in the November 2005 issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology.