Thursday, March 24, 2011

Multivitamins may improve cognitive function and reduce fatigue during extended multi-tasking

[I wish the numbers used were higher, but this is a start anyway.]

In past years, research on multivitamin supplements and cognitive performance has shown mixed results. A recent study sheds more light on the subject with new correlations between multivitamin use, fatigue, and cognitive function in healthy females.

In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial, researchers studied the effect of a multi-vitamin/mineral in 216 females between the ages of 25 and 50. Participants attended the laboratory before treatment, and again after nine weeks of treatment. During both visits, cognitive function and task-related mood and fatigue were evaluated in two separate 20-minute assessment periods during which participants completed a four-module version of the Multi-Tasking Framework.

Interestingly, participants in the vitamin/mineral group experienced fewer negative effects on mood and fatigue as a result of extended task completion. Multitasking performance for this group also improved (in terms of accuracy) across all tasks. On two of the tasks – Mathematical Processing and Stroop (a task for measuring reaction time) – improvements were seen in both speed and accuracy.

These findings suggest that healthy members of the general population may experience benefits to cognitive function as a result of increased levels of vitamins and minerals taken as dietary supplements.

Haskell CF, et al. Effects of a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement on cognitive function and fatigue during extended multi-tasking. 2010. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental–61.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Advice I will NOT Follow...

What NOT to Do Before Your Next Dental Appointment…

Read the comments at the bottom of this article. As someone who has had extensive dental work in the past, I WOULD take an antibiotic before and/or after extractions! In EVERY case. I do not have the strongest immune system, no matter what I do. And I've learned that if you have a cavity or abscess...your immune system is already struggling. I am against antibiotics for almost every instance. But there are times when you have to err on the side of caution and take the antibiotics. Thankfully in our country, the choice is still YOURS!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Oral magnesium supplementation may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

Incidence of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome correlates with availability of magnesium (Mg). Insulin resistance occurs when insufficient insulin is released to produce a normal glucose response from fat, muscle, and liver cells. Magnesium supplementation may improve sensitivity to insulin and help reduce the risk of diabetes in overweight individuals.

Researchers recently studied the effect of oral magnesium (Mg) supplementation on insulin sensitivity and other characteristics of metabolic syndrome in overweight, insulin resistant, non-diabetic patients with normal magnesium levels.

Subjects were tested for eligibility using an oral glucose tolerance test, then randomized to receive either magnesium at 365 mg per day or placebo for 6 months. Trial endpoints included several measures of insulin sensitivity, plasma glucose, serum insulin, blood pressure, and a lipid profile. Compared to placebo, magnesium supplementation resulted in a significant improvement of fasting plasma glucose and insulin sensitivity.

Dietary sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains and nuts, and milk. Earlier dietary surveys showed that a large portion of adults do not meet the RDA for magnesium (320 mg per day for women and 420 mg per day for men).

In this group of overweight, non-diabetic patients with normal magnesium blood levels, two measures of insulin sensitivity improved following magnesium supplementation. There was also a trend for improvement in blood pressure in the magnesium-supplemented group, though it didn’t reach statistical significance.

Mooren FC, et al. Oral magnesium supplementation reduces insulin resistance in non-diabetic subjects – a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. 2011. Diabetes Obes Metab 13(3):281-4

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Confirmed: H1N1 Vaccine Linked to Narcolepsy

A top health official admitted that the vaccine was a mistake and soon after, a Narcolepsy panel confirmed the vaccine’s link to the sleep disorder. Read more...