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June 2012

At present the clinical importance of fluoride is not through its nutritional effects, but through its beneficial pharmacological or toxicological actions. Although fluoride is not considered an essential element, it is still considered a beneficial element.  The toxicity of fluoride has received much attention since it was discovered to cause mottled teeth.  Reviews of fluoride toxicity indicate that chronic toxicity through excessive intake, mainly through water supplies and industrial exposure has been reported in many parts of the world.   Toxicity of fluoride can be dental or skeletal fluorosis. As you can see the nature of fluoride remains controversal.

Although there is substantial scientific evidence that fluoride is essential for the formation of strong teeth and bones, there remains considerable debate regarding its use beyond childhood. In addition, many communities already fluoridate the water supply. Those who live in areas with unfluoridated water and wish to add fluoride to their dental care regimen, should discuss options with their dentist. Because of other available options, and due to the controversial nature of fluoride, a company has chosen to provide a fluoride-free toothpaste that everyone in the family can use and enjoy.

http://www.brillianthealth.net/jackie

 

 

A new meta-analysis reveals that soy isoflavones can effectively reduce the symptoms and frequency of hot flashes, and that benefits increased with time beyond 4 weeks.

A recent meta-analysis published in the journal Menopause compiled 17 clinical trials to determine the efficacy of using soybean isoflavones to alleviate the frequency and severity of hot flashes.  The duration of trial periods ranged from 6 weeks to 12 months.

The analysis revealed that the consumption of soy isoflavones reduced the occurrence of hot flashesby 20.6% compared to placebo. The soy isoflavones also reduced the severity of hot flashes by 26.2% compared to placebo.

One trial that was analyzed stated that soy isoflavones benefits increase with time beyond 4 weeks, and another study recommended a supplementation period of at least 8 weeks. Based on the observed data from previous clinical trials, this latest meta-analysis concurred with the above recommendation, and observed an increase in the effect of soy isoflavones on hot flashes as the supplementation period increased.

The study concludes stating that “the results of this systematic review and meta-analysis clearly justify recommendation to try isoflavones for the relief of menopause-related hot flashes for women who do not want to use hormone therapy.  Additional studies are needed to further address the complex array of factors that may affect efficacy, such as dose, isoflavone form, baseline hot flash frequency, and treatment duration.”

Source:
Taku K et al; Menopause (New York, N.Y.). 2012; 19(7):1-15.

 

 

A recent study has shown that nutrient levels account for a 17% variation in memory and thinking ability, and a 37% variation in brain volume in a group of older individuals.

Lifestyle interventions such as diet, exercise, and cognitive training represent an effective approach to counteracting age-related declines in brain health.  A study published in the December issue of Neurology has found that certain nutrients work together synergistically to promote brain health. The study looked at the effects of diet and nutrient intake in seniors on memory, thinking and brain volume.

The researchers recruited 104 dementia-free elders (average age 87) and measured blood levels of certain nutrients, as well as memory, and thinking in all study participants. They also analysed MRI scans to determine the brain volume of 42 of the subjects.

Overall, participants in this study were healthy nonsmokers with relatively few chronic diseases and free of memory and thinking problems. Most had generally healthy diets, but there were some with deficiencies of certain nutrients. This created enough variation to determine that nutrient status does play a significant role in memory, thinking, and brain volume.

The study found that nutrient levels accounted for 17% of the variation found in memory and thinking, and for the 37% of the variation in brain volume.  Individuals with diets high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C, D, E, and B were more likely to score better on memory and thinking tests;  Those with diets high in trans-fat were more likely to both score poorly on memory and thinking tests, and to have brain shrinkage; And those with low omega-3 fatty acid intake and other nutrient intake are more likely to have lower brain volume.

This study provides evidence that adequate nutrition may be an important overall approach to maintaining good brain health and thinking ability as we age.

Source:
Bowman GL, et al; Neurology 2012 Jan 24;78(4):241-9. Epub 2011 Dec 28.

June 2012

 

A latest study has shown that probiotics is useful as an adjunct treatment in reducing the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

The use of antibiotics that disturb the gastrointestinal flora is associated with clinical symptoms such as diarrhea, which occurs in as many as 30% of patients, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) is one of the main reasons for non-adherence with antibiotic treatment.

Probiotics are live microorganisms intended to confer a health benefit when consumed. There is an increasing interest in probiotic interventions, and evidence for the effectiveness of probiotics in preventing or treating AAD is also increasing. To evaluate the evidence for probiotic use in the prevention and treatment of AAD, a recent meta-analysis reviewed 63 randomized controlled trials of probiotics for the prevention or treatment of AAD, which included a total of 11 811 participants.

The study reported that using probiotics as an adjunct therapy significantly reduces the risk of AAD. The result was consistent across a number of subgroup based on participant age: children (0-17 years), adults (18-65 years), and elderly adults (>65 years).

This latest study provided insight into whether probiotics should be used alongside antibiotics. Australian health experts in infectious disease believe that probiotics should be made more available for the prevention and management of AAD – a massive public health problem in Australia. However the study authors cautioned that more research is needed to determine which probiotics are associated with the greatest efficacy and for which patients receiving which specific antibiotics.

Source:
Susanne Hempel et al; JAMA. 2012; 307(18):1959-1969

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