Vitamins and Media: A Love-Hate Relationship, and their custody battle over Research.
So it looks like vitamins don't help us and may actually hasten our demise. Or at least that's the message the Wall Street Journal is wanting us to take away from recent research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (article found here), titling their article, "Is This the End of Popping Vitamins?"
Well, in answer to their question, I hope not. Let me lay out this recent research publication, what it shows, and what it doesn't.
Highlights of the publication are that it was an epidemiological study, gathering self-reported data from tens of thousands of elderly white women over 18 years.
When controlling for (data analysis attempting to factor in differences of) age, height, education, a few chronic diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure, hormone replacement), activity level and smokers, it found these affects on the hazard ratio (increase risk of death):
But wait just a minute before you throw out all those vitamins and supplements out of the medicine cabinet (well, maybe the dusty ones can go).
Here's a few points to consider when evaluating how to use journal publications like this when making health care considerations:
And this makes sense to me. I don't expect any given supplement to decrease mortality rates across tens of thousands of people. I do, however, expect them to work for most people when specifically indicated (B6 for nerve and adrenal support, or magnesium for vasodilation and muscle relaxation).
So before you give up on supplements proving themselves in the scientific literature, make sure you're looking in the right places. NDNR and Natural Standard both offer plentiful information on vitamin, mineral and herbal supplementation with scientific backing.
For those interested in positive effects found of supplementation of the mid-aged and elderly as reported by NIH, please check out the articles here and here. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that "modest" supplementation of middle-aged women slowed the aging process. You can find that article here.
In general, I hope that those of you interested in your health are taking supplements for well-indicated reasons from knowledgeable sources, although the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics found that vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids was beneficial for anyone (the article here called it a "metabolic tune-up").
The issue as to supplements' efficacy and beneficence will not be resolved with a single publication. I anticipate following the research-lead discourse for some tim. Please let me know if you'd like more information about specific supplements and research outcomes. Thank you for reading.
Natural sources: sunshine, fish and mushrooms.
In a recent review of 75 scientific research articles, vitamin D is showing itself to be associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, heart attacks and atherosclerosis) as well as better insulin control (essential for prevention of Type 2 Diabetes).
What this shows is a static picture comparing vitamin D levels and the above disease states. What this doesn't show is whether taking vitamin D will prevent these epidemic-level diseases in our communities.
So does taking vitamin D supplements help prevent these chronic disease? This particular research cannot answer this question.
The next step towards answering this, however, is already under way. These researchers started a research project last year comparing development of cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance (seen in diabetes and pre-diabetes) in groups taking either vitamin D, fish oil (high in omega-3 fatty acids) or placebo.
This study will continue for another five years, but these research findings could shed some light on dosage of these supplements and what disease risk factors doctors will confidently be affecting. I look forward to to resulte they may find, and will pass this information along when it becomes available.
Diabetes and Glycemic Index
Low glycemic index.
So after a few less than positive articles about diabetes (it's a global phenomena and may lead to dementia), here comes one of the more well known solutions. Published this August in the Journal of Nutrition, the research (here) looked at groups following either a vegan diet or that recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
The dieters followed specific glycemic index and load diets and were measured in terms of their change in weight and hemoglobin A1C (blood test which tracks diabetes managetracking measurement).
What this research found is that following either a low glycemic index diet or a low glycemic load diet will lead to weight loss and improved blood sugar regulation (a lower hemoglobin A1C and presumably better management of one's diabetes). Although the vegan diet showed lower glycemic index levels and the ADA diet showed lower glycemic load levels, both appear to be helpful in controlling the dysglycemic patterns of diabetes.
For more information about these diets, or the difference between GI and GL please contact me.
I'd like to introduce you to the name chosen to represent the idea which has been years in the crafting. After more than a year of brainstorming, I have decided upon what might seem like a logical, straightforward name based upon geographic location- but I like to think that there's more than meets the eye.
I had a pretty lofty goal: one name which represents all the ideas, philosophy and goals that I would like my professional career to engender- while also being short, catchy, and easy to understand. Pages and pages of names brainstormed, bubbling up to the surface in a moment, to be discarded the next. Too foofy, too girly, too obtuse, too hippy, too difficult to spell or pronounce correctly- each name had a downfall.
From the beginning, local/geographical names appealed to me but for the most part are existing clinics themselves: Northwest this, Portland that, Cascade, Oregon- none were quite right. After so many months of mulling it over, I had the feeling that when the right name showed up to my brainstorming sessions I'll know it. And last month, it happened just like that.
I'm not sure what prompted the particular train of thought, but thinking back on different historical names for the region led me to Portland often being called the City of Roses, or the Rose City. The name just stuck. I couldn't get it out of my head. I loved the ring of it, and quickly went to the Oregon business name database to check its availability. Surprisingly (as has been said by more than a few friends and family members) it was mine for the taking- so I took the plunge and registered my first-ever business identity.
As an explanation for what the name means to me, I have quite a few. Growing up in Portland, the name "City of Roses" and "Rose City" has appeared my life frequently. A few of these memories are playing in a marching band in the Junior Rose Festival as a youth and learning to play tee-ball from my grandpa at Rose City Park. Roses in general evoke memories with my grandmother in Salem. She and I are both June babies (rose is the flower for June), and she has many varieties of roses growing along her front path. The smell of roses reminds me of both her house and her mother's house- who also grew scores of roses on her property.
Although a flowery name was more "girly" than I intended, the rose and "Rose City" imagery was just too perfect to pass up. I hope you enjoy my future clinic's name and please feel free to leave me any comments below. Thank you for your support!