Supplement with vitamin E, essential fatty acids reduces PMS symptoms

Mental Health, Woman's Health
Treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is never easy. And, the reason is that few substances have been shown to be effective. Nevertheless, there are some natural medications that may help women suffering with PMS. WebMD reported, "A supplement containing vitamin E and essential fatty acids may help reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)," according to a study published in the journal Reproductive Health. "Of 120 women with PMS or the more severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), those who took one- or two-gram capsules of vitamin E and a combination of gamma linolenic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and other polyunsaturated acids daily showed marked improvements in their PMS symptoms at six months, compared to women who received dummy pills." Notably, "women who received the higher two-gram dose of the new supplement showed…
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My Take on the new Vitamin D and Calcium Recommendations

General Health, Nutritional Health
You're likely hearing a fair bit of controversy over the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) new recommendations (RDA) for vitamin D and calcium. I first reported on this in my blog, "Institute of Medicine says megadoses of vitamin D, calcium unnecessary." The IOM calls for MORE vitamin D and LESS calcium ... but many experts say the vitamin D doses are still not high enough. Vitamin D The new RDA is: 400 IU for infants, 600 IU for ages 1 to 70, and 800 IU for over 70. But these RDAs are based ONLY on the amount needed to prevent bone problems, such as rickets, osteomalacia, osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures. Higher amounts of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of falls, cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, etc. But the…
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Institute of Medicine says megadoses of vitamin D, calcium unnecessary

General Health, Nutritional Health
In a front-page article, the New York Times says, "The very high levels of vitamin D and calcium that are often recommended by doctors and testing laboratories – and can be achieved only by taking supplements – are unnecessary and could be harmful, an expert committee says" in a low-awaited report. The "group said most people have adequate amounts of vitamin D in their blood supplied by their diets and natural sources like sunshine." Dr. Clifford J. Rosen, "a member of the panel and an osteoporosis expert at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute," said, "For most people, taking extra calcium and vitamin D supplements is not indicated." The AP reports, "Long-awaited new dietary guidelines say there's no proof that megadoses prevent cancer or other ailments – sure to frustrate…
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8 Tips for Eating Healthy During Menopause

Alternative Medicine, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
Good news! Aging does not have to equal weight gain. Women do tend to put on a pound a year in their 40s and 50s, but it’s more likely due to a drop in activity rather than hormones. However, hormonal changes can shift your body composition, so any pounds you do gain tend to land in your middle. Here are some tips from Rachel Meltzer Warren, MS, RD, that were first published on Health.com: Here are some ways to stay slim, reduce menopausal symptoms, and cut the health risks that can rise after menopause. 1) Go fish Heart disease risk is likely to rise after menopause, so you should try to eat at least two servings of fish per week (preferably those with healthy fats like salmon or trout). “Women may want…
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Can Calcium Supplements Cause Heart Attacks?

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
Calcium supplements are coming under scrutiny due to concerns that they might increase heart attacks. A new study shows that patients over 40 who take 500 mg/day or more of calcium have an increased risk of heart attack. And, the theory is plausible as too much calcium might lead to vascular calcification and atherosclerosis. But it is WAY, WAY, WAY  too soon to jump to any conclusions for at least a couple of reasons: The analysis only looked at people taking calcium supplements alone. It doesn't address the role of dietary calcium or taking vitamin D along with calcium. Especially since some research suggests that taking calcium plus vitamin D does not significantly affect coronary artery calcification. The Doctors of Pharmacology at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database tell prescribers this:…
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Calcium and multivitamins may be linked to reduced breast cancer risk

General Health
Daily Calcium Plus Vitamin D Supplements May Reduce Fracture RiskBloomberg News reports that "calcium doesn't just build strong bones, it may fight cancer too," according to a study presented at the meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Investigators found "that women who took calcium had a 40% lower risk of getting breast cancer, while those getting multivitamins showed a 30% reduction in risk." These "data contradict results of a December 2008 trial that showed no reduction in cancer risk from vitamin supplements." HealthDay pointed out that "the authors of the study ... did not separate out which specific vitamins might be beneficial, but suggested that the interactions of different vitamins together might account for the beneficial effect." You can read a couple of my other posts about the benefits of…
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Daily Calcium Plus Vitamin D Supplements May Reduce Fracture Risk

Nutritional Health
MedScape reports that daily supplements of calcium plus vitamin D, but not of vitamin D alone, are associated with significantly reduced fracture risk, according to the results of a patient level-pooled analysis reported in the January 12 issue of the BMJ. "A large randomised controlled trial in women in French nursing homes or apartments for older people showed that calcium and vitamin D supplementation increased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, decreased parathyroid hormone, improved bone density, and decreased hip fractures and other non-vertebral fractures," write B. Abrahamsen, from Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues from the DIPART (vitamin D Individual Patient Analysis of Randomized Trials) Group. "Subsequent randomised trials examining the effect of vitamin D supplementation — with or without calcium — on the incidence of fractures have produced…
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Specific vitamins and a supplement (B vitamins, vitamin D, and calcium) may lower risk of stroke, blindness, and cancer

Alternative Medicine, Cancer, General Health, Heart Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
In recent blogs I have discussed studies showing that multivitamins may not to be helpful for preventing chronic diseases: Are multivitamins helpful or harmful when it comes to preventing chronic diseases? and Report Casts Doubt On Routine Vitamin Supplements. Also, in past blogs I’ve discussed why you should consider vitamin D supplementation: Vitamin D deficiency and diseases linked; Lack of vitamin D raises death risk; and Vitamin D may protect against heart attack, just to name a few.  However, there is evidence that specific vitamins may be helpful in some people. Today I want to tell you about two studies this week backing up my contention that a specific combination of B vitamins and calcium may be worthy of your consideration.  More Information: (more…)
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Are multivitamins helpful or harmful when it comes to preventing chronic diseases?

Alternative Medicine, Cancer, Children's Health, General Health, Heart Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
According to the LA Times, “a spate of high-profile studies published in the last few years shows that a variety of popular supplements -- including calcium, selenium, and vitamins A, C and E -- don't do anything to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, or a variety of cancers.” And, the New York Times is reporting, “In the past few years, several high-quality studies have failed to show that extra vitamins, at least in pill form, help prevent chronic disease or prolong life.” But what about multivitamins? Are they helpful or harmful More Information: (more…)
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