Who says we have to suffer...to live a healthy happy vibrant life?

Red wine and dark chocolate... might seem decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate definitely improve an evening..but they also contain resveratrol..which lowers blood sugar. Red wine is a great source of catechins..which boost protective HDL cholesterol. Green tea? Protects your brain..helps you live longer..and soothes your spirit.

Food for Thought, the blog, is about living the good life...a life we create with our thoughts and our choices...and having fun the whole while!

I say lets make the thoughts good ones..and let the choices be healthy...exciting...and delicious! Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Higher vitamin D levels associated with lower tumor size and better overall survival in breast cancer patients.

Researchers collected serum from 1800 early breast cancer patients at diagnosis, measured 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) (vitamin D) levels and determined genetic variants in vitamin D-related genes. The results showed that lower vitamin D levels significantly correlated with larger tumor size at diagnosis but not with lymph node invasion, receptor status, or tumor grade. Genetic variants in 25-hydroxylase (CYP2R1) and vitamin D-binding (DBP) protein significantly determined serum vitamin D levels but did not affect the observed association between serum vitamin D and tumor size. High serum vitamin D (>30ng/mL) at diagnosis significantly correlated with improved overall survival and disease-specific survival and additionally had a modest effect on disease-free interval, which only became apparent after at least 3 years of follow-up. When considering menopausal status, serum vitamin D had a strong impact on breast cancer-specific outcome in postmenopausal patients, whereas no association could be demonstrated in premenopausal patients. The authors conclude "high vitamin D levels at early breast cancer diagnosis correlate with lower tumor size and better overall survival, and improve breast cancer-specific outcome, especially in postmenopausal patients".

Hatse S, Lambrechts D, Verstuyf A, Smeets A, Brouwers B, Vandorpe T, Brouckaert O, Peuteman G, Laenen A, Verlinden L, Kriebitzsch C, Dieudonné AS, Paridaens R, Neven P, Christiaens MR, Bouillon R, Wildiers H. Vitamin D status at breast cancer diagnosis: correlation with tumor characteristics, disease outcome, and genetic determinants of vitamin D insufficiency. Carcinogenesis. 2012 Jul;33(7):1319-26.

Reduce breast cancer risk with exercise.

This study investigated the relationship between recreational physical activity (RPA) and breast cancer risk in a population-based sample of 1504 cases (n = 233 in situ, n = 1271 invasive) and 1555 controls from the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project, in Long Island, New York. The results showed 10-19 hours per week of RPA at any intensity level during the reproductive and postmenopausal years has the greatest benefit for reducing breast cancer risk. However, substantial postmenopausal weight gain may eliminate the benefits of regular activity. The authors conclude "Collectively, these results suggest that women can still reduce their breast cancer risk later in life by maintaining their weight and engaging in moderate amounts of activity".

Note: 10-19 hours a week had the greatest benefit...we need to get out and play more!

McCullough LE, Eng SM, Bradshaw PT, Cleveland RJ, Teitelbaum SL, Neugut AI, Gammon MD. Fat or fit: The joint effects of physical activity, weight gain, and body size on breast cancer risk. Cancer. 2012 Jun 25. [Epub ahead of print]

Folic acid supplementation may reduce progression of atherosclerosis.

Researchers have conducted a meta-analysis of relevant randomized trials to assess whether folic acid supplementation reduces the progression of atherosclerosis as measured by carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT). This analysis included 2,052 subjects from 10 folic acid randomized trials. The analysis showed that folic acid supplementation significantly reduces the progression of CIMT, particularly in subjects with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk but not in subjects who were generally healthy with only elevated homocysteine concentrations. Furthermore, meta-regression analysis of the data showed that the baseline CIMT levels and the percent reduction of homocysteine were positively related to the effect size. Consistently, a greater beneficial effect was seen in those trials with baseline CIMT levels ≥0.8 mm, and a reduction in the homocysteine concentration ≥30%. The authors conclude "Our findings underscore the importance of identifying target populations that can particularly benefit from folic acid therapy".

Qin X, Xu M, Zhang Y, Li J, Xu X, Wang X, Xu X, Huo Y. Effect of folic acid supplementation on the progression of carotid intima-media thickness: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Atherosclerosis. 2012 Jun;222(2):307-13.

Reduced stroke risk associated with B vitamin supplementation.

This study systematically reviewed the effects of B vitamin supplementation on plasma homocysteine (Hcy), cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in randomized controlled trials. Data from 19 studies including 47,921 participants was analyzed and the results showed a significant protective effect on stroke and a decrease in blood Hcy levels with B vitamin supplementation.

Note, be sure your daily multi-vitamin provides at least 400 iu folic acid and 25 to 50 mg of the B complex vitamins, including at least 1000 mcg B-12.

Huang T, Chen Y, Yang B, Yang J, Wahlqvist ML, Li D. Meta-analysis of B vitamin supplementation on plasma homocysteine, cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;31(4):448-54.

Vitamin C and E supplementation is beneficial for oral contraceptive users.

Oral contraceptives may increase oxidative stress and increase cardiovascular risk in susceptible women. This study aimed to assess whether supplementation with vitamins E and C reduced this oral contraceptives effect. 120 healthy female individuals were divided into three groups: A, control; B, untreated oral contraceptives users; and C, treated oral contraceptives users with vitamin E (200 IU) and C (150 mg) supplementation for 4 weeks. In all cases, plasma glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities and malondialdehyde (MDA) level were determined. The results showed significant increases in the plasma MDA level, and activities of GPx and GR in plasma were decreased in Group B compared to the control group. Supplementation with vitamin C and E significantly increased the activity of GPx and GR activity, and reduced plasma MDA levels in Group C. The authors concludes "These data suggest that low-dose oral contraceptives, by enhancing the stress oxidative and lipid peroxidation, may represent a potential cardiovascular risk factor, and the use of vitamins E and C may be beneficial in ameliorating this side effect of oral contraceptives".

Note: while there are food sources of these important antioxidants, I suggest taking a daily multi-vitamin that provides at least 400 IU of vitamin E and 500 mg
vitamin C.

Zal F, Mostafavi-Pour Z, Amini F, Heidari A. Effect of vitamin E and C supplements on lipid peroxidation and GSH-dependent antioxidant enzyme status in the blood of women consuming oral contraceptives. Contraception. 2012 Jul;86(1):62-6.