Vitamin E Supplementation may Protect the Elderly from the Common Cold

August 18, 2004

In a study of 451 elderly nursing home residents in the Boston area, vitamin E supplementation was tested for its effects on upper respiratory infections and lower respiratory tract infections (e.g. pneumonia). Supplementing with 200 IU of Vitamin E daily cut the risk of developing a cold by 20% versus a placebo. The vitamin E helped prevent upper respiratory tract infections. Both groups also received a low dose multiple-vitamin. The study is published in the August 18th 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Tomato Juice Protects Diabetics

The risk of death due to cardiovascular disease is threefold higher in diabetics. In a small Australian study, twenty patients with type 2 diabetes were given either 1-cup of clarified tomato juice daily or a tomato-flavored placebo. At the end of three weeks the juice drinkers had a reduction in platelet clumping - one of the steps that is critical in forming blood clots that cause a stroke or heart attack. All of these diabetics were not taking any form of blood thinning drug. The study is published in the August 18th 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Stress Tests may not be Accurate

Stress tests given to detect blocked arteries may miss more than 56% of heart disease cases. Researchers found that 56% of patients who easily passed a stress test with a good report actually had significant levels of cardiovascular disease (hardening of the arteries) and required aggressive treatment including changes in lifestyle (diet, exercise), and according to the scientists - medication. In the study 1,195 people who had no evidence of heart disease were given stress tests and coronary calcium scanning. 56% of the 1,119 people with a normal stress test had a calcium score of 100 and 31% had scores greater than 400. Having a score between 100 and 400 increases your risk of developing a stroke or heart attack and over 400 puts you in the highest category risk. The study is published in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Turmeric Protects the Heart in a Heart Attack Scenario

After a heart attack, blood rushes back into the heart and causes massive damage. Rats had a heart artery occluded for 45 minutes and then had the blood rush back in for one hour. The control group had major damage to their heart muscle with death of cardiac cells. The left ventricle function was greatly decreased. In the Turmeric treated rats the size of the heart attack was significantly smaller, and their hearts were much less damaged. Their hearts also recovered its function and their left ventricles worked much better. The study is published in the August 20th, 2004 issue of the Life Sciences Journal.