Antioxidants Of Interest For Infertility, Erectile Dysfunction

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

If oxidative stress is an underlying factor causing infertility, which we think the evidence points to, we should be able to do something about it.

As many as 50 percent of conceptions fail and about 20 percent of clinical pregnancies end in miscarriage.

 

Infertility, Erectile Dysfunction and Antioxidant Connection

ScholarsArchive@OSU:http://bit.ly/nNir7E 

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A growing body of evidence suggests that antioxidants may have significant value in addressing infertility issues in both women and men. This includes erectile dysfunction, yeah!

Researchers say that large, specific clinical studies are merited to determine how much they could help.

A new analysis, published online in the journal Pharmacological Research, noted that previous studies on the potential for antioxidants to help address this serious and growing problem have been inconclusive, but that other data indicates nutritional therapies may have significant potential.

The researchers also observed that infertility problems are often an early indicator of other degenerative disease issues such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. The same approaches that may help treat infertility could also be of value to head off those problems, they said.

The findings were made by Tory Hagen, in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, and Francesco Visioli, lead author of the study at the Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies in Spain.

“If oxidative stress is an underlying factor causing infertility, which we think the evidence points to, we should be able to do something about it,” said Hagen, the Jamieson Chair of Healthspan Research in the Linus Pauling Institute. “This might help prevent other critical health problems as well, at an early stage when nutritional therapies often work best.”

The results from early research have been equivocal, Hagen said, but that may be because they were too small or did not focus on antioxidants. Laboratory and in-vitro studies have been very promising, especially with some newer antioxidants such as lipoic acid that have received much less attention.

“The jury is still out on this,” Hagen said. “But the problem is huge, and the data from laboratory studies is very robust, it all fits. There is evidence this might work, and the potential benefits could be enormous.”

The researchers from Oregon and Spain point, in particular, to inadequate production of nitric oxide, an agent that relaxes and dilates blood vessels. This is often caused, in turn, by free radicals that destroy nitric oxide and reduce its function. Antioxidants can help control free radicals. Some existing medical treatments for erectile dysfunction work, in part, by increasing production of nitric oxide.

Aging, which is often associated with erectile dysfunction problems, is also a time when nitric oxide synthesis begins to falter. And infertility problems in general are increasing, scientists say, as more people delay having children until older ages.

“Infertility is multifactorial and we still don’t know the precise nature of this phenomenon,” Visioli said.

If new approaches were developed successfully, the researchers said, they might help treat erectile dysfunction in men, egg implantation and endometriosis in women, and reduce the often serious and sometimes fatal condition of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy. The quality and health of semen and eggs might be improved.

As many as 50 percent of conceptions fail and about 20 percent of clinical pregnancies end in miscarriage, the researchers noted in their report. Both male and female reproductive dysfunction is believed to contribute to this high level of reproductive failure, they said, but few real causes have been identified.

“Some people and physicians are already using antioxidants to help with fertility problems, but we don’t have the real scientific evidence yet to prove its efficacy,” Hagen said. “It’s time to change that.”

Some commonly used antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, could help, Hagen said. But others, such as lipoic acid, are a little more cutting-edge and set up a biological chain reaction that has a more sustained impact on vasomotor function and health.

Polyphenols, the phytochemicals that often give vegetables their intense color and are also found in chocolate and tea, are also of considerable interest. But many claims are being made and products marketed, the researchers said, before the appropriate science is completed – actions that have actually delayed doing the proper studies.

“There’s a large market of plant-based supplements that requires hard data,” Visioli said. “Most claims are not backed by scientific evidence and human trials. We still need to obtain proof of efficacy before people invest money and hope in preparations of doubtful efficacy.”

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Study Finds Clear Differences Between Organic And Non-Organic Milk And Meat

Organic Milk
Organic Meat

Organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products, new research has shown:
• both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products
• organic meat had slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats (myristic and palmitic acid) that are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
• organic milk contains 40% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
• organic milk contains slightly higher concentrations of iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids
• conventional milk contained 74% more of the essential mineral iodine and slightly more selenium

In the largest systematic reviews of their kind, an international team of experts led by Newcastle University, UK, has shown that both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products.

Analysing data from around the world, the team reviewed 196 papers on milk and 67 papers on meat and found clear differences between organic and conventional milk and meat, especially in terms of fatty acid composition, and the concentrations of certain essential minerals and antioxidants.

Publishing their findings today in the British Journal of Nutrition, the team say the data show a switch to organic meat and milk would go some way towards increasing our intake of nutritionally important fatty acids.

Chris Seal, Professor of Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University explains:
“Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function. “Western European diets are recognised as being too low in these fatty acids and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends we should double our intake.

“But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients.” Western European diets are too low in omega-3 fatty acids

The systematic literature reviews analysed data from around the world and found that organic milk and meat have more desirable fat profiles than conventional milk and meat.

Nutrition News Trace Minerals I Cover
Omega 3 Rich Salomon

Most importantly, a switch from conventional to organic would raise omega-3 fat intake without increasing calories and undesirable saturated fat. For example, half a litre of organic full fat milk (or equivalent fat intakes from other dairy products like butter and cheese) provides an estimated 16% (39 mg) of the recommended, daily intake of very long-chain omega-3, while conventional milk provides 11% (25 mg).

Other positive changes in fat profiles included lower levels of myristic and palmitic acid in organic meat and a lower omega-3/omega-6 ratio in organic milk. Higher levels of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin E and carotenoids and 40% more CLA in organic milk were also observed.

The study showed that the more desirable fat profiles in organic milk were closely linked to outdoor grazing and low concentrate feeding in dairy diets, as prescribed by organic farming standards.

The two new systematic literature reviews also describe recently published results from several mother and child cohort studies linking organic milk, dairy product and vegetable consumption to a reduced risk of certain diseases. This included reduced risks of eczema and hypospadias in babies and pre-eclampsia in mothers.

Newcastle University’s Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the studies, said:
“People choose organic milk and meat for three main reasons: improved animal welfare, the positive impacts of organic farming on the environment, and the perceived health benefits. But much less is known about impacts on nutritional quality, hence the need for this study.
“Several of these differences stem from organic livestock production and are brought about by differences in production intensity, with outdoor-reared, grass-fed animals producing milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s, and lower in fatty acids that can promote heart disease and other chronic diseases.”

Avoiding iodine over- and under-supply from milk is a challenge
The study also found 74% more iodine in conventional milk which is important information, especially for UK consumers, where iodized table salt is not widely available.

Iodine is low in most foods, except seafood, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends Iodine fortification of table salt to address this. Iodine fortification of cattle feeds is also widely used to increase iodine concentrations in both organic and conventional milk.
Gillian Butler, co-author and senior lecturer in animal nutrition at Newcastle University, explains:
“There is a relatively narrow margin between dietary Iodine deficiency (<140 µg/day) and excessive intakes (> 500 µg/day) from our diet which can lead to thyrotoxicoxis.

“Optimising iodine intake is therefore challenging, since globally there seems to be as much concern about excessive rather than inadequate intake.”

In the USA, China, Brazil and many European countries, where Iodine fortified salt is widely used, elevated levels of iodine in milk may increase the risk of excessive intake for individuals with high dairy consumption. For this reason the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has proposed a reduction in the permitted level of iodine in cattle feed from 5 to 2 mg iodine per kg of feed.
However, in the UK, where iodized salt is not widely available, the population relies more on milk and dairy products for adequate iodine supply. National Diet and Nutrition Survey data (NDNS) suggest that milk and dairy products supply between 31-52% of iodine in the UK diet.

The daily recommended intake of iodine in the UK is 140 µg/day and just over half comes from dietary sources other than milk/dairy products. Based on results from the study, half a litre of milk would provide 53% of and 88% of the daily recommended intake from organic and conventional milk respectively. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women have a higher iodine requirement (250 µg/day) and are therefore more at risk of iodine deficiency, which could affect neurological development in babies.
Further evidence of the health benefits of organic food

The work builds on a previous study by the team – involving experts from the UK, US, France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway and Poland – investigating the composition of organic and conventionally-grown crops.

This previous study – also published in the British Journal of Nutrition – showed that organic crops and crop-based foods are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown crops and contained less of the toxic metal cadmium.

“We have shown without doubt there are composition differences between organic and conventional food. Taken together, the three studies on crops, meat and milk suggest that a switch to organic fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products would provide significantly higher amounts of dietary antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids,” concludes Professor Leifert.

“We need substantially more, well designed studies and surveys before we can accurately estimate composition differences in meat from different farm animals and for many nutritionally important compounds (vitamins, minerals, toxic metal and pesticide residues), as there is currently too little data to make comparisons.

“However, the fact that there are now several mother and child cohort studies linking organic food consumption to positive health impacts shows why it is important to further investigate the impact of the way we produce our food on human health.
The authors highlight that only a small number of studies have been carried out comparing organic and non-organic meat, and that even significant results may still carry a high level of uncertainty.

Curb Cravings, Feel Full With Spinach Extract

As if we needed another reason to believe that food is good medicine, it turns out spinach extract has lots of powerful effects on blood sugar, satiety, and cravings. You’re probably wondering when we’re going to see a similar study about chocolate or wine. Just remember, drinks and desert do not make a meal. Add some spinach and at the very least, you’ll be on the right track .

Spinach Extract Curbs Cravings, Feel Full

Spinach Leaf Extract Found to Suppress Appetite, Increase Meal Satisfaction

Study Published in Journal of the American College of Nutrition

August 5, 2015, CLEARWATER, FL––The nutritional value of spinach is well documented. The vegetable is rich in crucial vitamins A, C, E, and this versatile food that can be sauteed, used as the foundation for a salad, or be an essential ingredient in a festive party dip.

A key element of spinach is thylakoids, a photosynthetic membrane of chloroplasts. In a new study Thylakoid In Photosynthetic Cell Membrane(http://bit.ly/1Da1ONr), a team of medical and nutritional researchers measured subjective satiety (the feeling of being full after eating) ratings and food intake after a single dose of thylakoids from a patented spinach leaf extract, and measured them against participants who consumed a placebo.

They found that a single supplement of five grams of the extract increased satiety measured subjectively over two hours. Adding the extract to the diet may influence food cravings by acting on the brain’s reward system thereby offering a unique way to address the issue of weight gain in a manner that is convenient for the public.

The Study

Super FoodsThe study, “Acute Effects of a Spinach Extract Rich in Thylakoids on Satiety: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial,” is published online in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Sixty overweight volunteers (30 male and 30 female) were enrolled in a double-blind randomized crossover study who consumed the spinach extract or placebo in random order for at least a week apart. The spinach extract was mixed with standard beverages but not with the placebo.

Hunger, fullness, desire to eat, satisfaction, thirst and an appetite for sweet, salty and savory foods were assessed. Blood was drawn to assess baseline fats and sugars before a standard breakfast meal, which was followed four hours later by a five gram dose of the spinach extract and a standard lunch. Other measurements were taken to assess appetite satisfaction before lunch and at regular intervals until a dinner was served four hours later.

Findings

Popeye The Sailor Eating His SpinachThe researchers found that when compared to a placebo, a single dose of five grams of thylakoids increased appetite satisfaction measured subjectively over two hours. That satisfaction was accompanied by a greater increase in the after-dinner blood sugar response.

The spinach extract contained concentrated thylakoids extracted from spinach leaves. By interacting with fats and retarding fat digestion, thylakoids membranes are believed to promote the release of satiety hormones and reduce the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin. This may lead to a release of a mechanism for increasing appetite suppression.

The study also suggests that thylakoids supplementation may influence food cravings by acting on the reward system of the brain. “As obesity remains a critical impediment to good health for millions of Americans, these findings might offer one solution to over-eating, a critical cause of unwanted weight gain,” according to the authors. “Reducing the desire for salt may be particularly helpful for those with high blood pressure,” they add.

Research Team
The research team was composed of Candida J. Rebello, Robbie Beyl and Frank L. Greenway, all of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, La.; Jessica Chu, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, La.; Dan Edwall, Greenleaf Medical AB, Stockholm, Sweden; and Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, Department of Experimental Medical Science, Appetite Regulation Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Funding
The study was funded in part by a grant from Greenleaf Medical AB, Stockholm, Sweden.

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About the Journal of the American College of Nutrition
The Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN) publishes original and innovative research articles, commentaries, and other data about nutrition which is useful for researchers, physicians, and other health care professionals. The journal is published six times per year and is the flagship publication of the American College of Nutrition.

– See more at: http://www.americancollegeofnutrition.org/content/spinach-leaf-extract-found-suppress-appetite-increase-meal-satisfaction#sthash.xcoU0DWc.dpuf

Foods On The Fertility Buffet

roasted red pepperRoasted red peppers, mini crab cakes and Brazil nuts can all help to increase fertility. They will all feature in a special Fertility Buffet, laid on by Dr Margaret Rayman, Director of the MSc Course in Nutritional Medicine at the University of Surrey, on 3 July 2003.

A good, balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day) and protein sources such as meat, poultry and fish, is necessary to optimise fertility.

Meat is a good source of animal protein and important minerals such as iron and zinc, the latter being especially important for fertility. “Oysters are by far the best source of zinc, but they are not included in this meal, as they are crab cakesout of season,” Dr Rayman explained. “Fatty fish is a very good source of n-3 fatty acids, which are important in the development of the fetus’ brain and vision.”

To give yourself the best chance of conceiving, alcohol and smoking should be avoided. This applies to both men and women, as there is evidence that sperm damage through smoking can predispose to cancer in the offspring.

All the dishes on the buffet were carefully selected by Vicky Chudleigh, State Registered Dietician from Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

“The sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seed bread contains vitamin E, which is claimed to be an pumpkin sessame seed breadaphrodisiac because of its effects on boosting circulation. It is also an antioxidant and needed for fertility,” Vicky explained.

“Brazil nuts and mini crab cakes are both excellent sources of selenium and required for sperm motility. Without adequate selenium, sperm tails kink and break off. Selenium also minimises the risk of miscarriages.”

chocolate mousseRoasted red peppers, tomatoes, pesto (containing basil) and of course, chocolate mousse, were all selected for their reputed aphrodisiac qualities.

Spinach, together with other dark green leafy vegetables, provide the folate required to reduce the risk of neural tube defect in the developing baby. The cheese platter not only contains calcium and zinc, but also vitamin A, which aids the production of sex hormones. They are all needed for healthy reproduction and libido.

The fertility buffet will not only be a gastronomic experience, but also forms part of the module, Pregnancy, Infancy & Childbirth in the Nutritional Medicine course, aimed at doctors. But there will be no retiring to the drawing room after dinner, as the doctors on the course will need to complete an assignment on dietary advice to give to their patients.

http://www.surrey.ac.uk

The Cognitive Continuum: Vitamins for Vitality

Cognitive Nutrition FoodsVitamins offer significant benefits to a spectrum of brain-related functions and conditions, including reducing risk of depression, autism and stroke. And the medical community has long advocated vitamin supplementation—especially with B vitamins—for prenatal health.

Folate supports crucial mechanisms in brain health; the vitamin is responsible for DNA and RNA formation, while building neurotransmitters connected to mental health such as serotonin and dopamine. When combined with vitamins B12 and B6, folate helps metabolize methionine to avoid dangerous homocysteine buildup.

A study published in a 2013 Journal of the American Medical Association reported mothers who took prenatal folic acid supplements were less likely to give birth to autistic children.  Folic acid supplementation at time of conception reduces neural tube deficiencies in children, research has shown. The large-scale Norwegian cohort study found maternal supplementation offered a 39-percent lower risk of developing autistic spectrum disorders.

However, B vitamins’ benefits reach across the aging spectrum. Older adults with elevated psychological distress improved cognitive functioning including memory performance after two years of folic acid and B12 supplementation.2 The Australian National University randomized controlled trial (RCT) tested 400 mcg/d of folic acid plus 100 mcg of vitamin B12 versus placebo in adults aged 60 to 74 years. Supplementation increased telephone interview for Cognitive Status-Modified (TICS-M) total scores (P0 .032), immediate (P=0.046) and delayed recall (P=0.013), compared to placebo.

In a randomized, multicenter study by Harvard Medical Center, schizophrenia patients taking folate and vitamin B12 significantly reduced severe depressive symptoms of the condition, which are often difficult to treat.3

Citicoline also plays a paramount role in brain function by maintaining cell membranes and neurotransmitter synthesis. A 2012 study published in Food and Nutrition Sciences found healthy, middle-aged woman improved attention focus and inhibition after four weeks of 250 and 500 mg/d citicoline supplementation (as Cognizin from Kyowa Hakko).  While previous studies have established the brain nutrient’s success in boosting attention in those with cognitive defects, the University of Utah trial supported application in healthy subjects.

B vitamins aren’t the only ones slated for brain health. A 2011 study published in Neurology found higher intakes of omega-3s and vitamins C, D, E and B were less likely to have brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s disease; the nutrients were also associated with higher scores on cognitive tests.5

Long established as a safe and effective nutrient, vitamin C may help boost mood for those with deficiencies. In a double blind clinical trial, researchers from McGill University noted 500 and 1,000 mg twice daily reduced mood disturbance by 34 percent in hospitalized patients after just 10 days.6

Vitamin E , specifically d-alpha-tocotrienol, provides unique protection from brain cell toxicity and stroke-induced neurodegeneration. In an Ohio State University study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), low-concentrate alpha-tocotrienol prevented toxicity that induces brain cell death, which occurs during a stroke, while supporting the recovery of dying neurons.7

A recently completed trial from the University of Science Malaysia analyzed the effects of mixed-tocotrienols (containing Tocomin SupraBio from Carotech) on white matter lesions, brain damage associated with full-blown stroke. Subjects took 400 mg/d or placebo for two years. Results for the study—the largest on tocotrienols—will be published soon, according to said Bryan See, regional product manager, Carotech.

“The results of this clinical study are extremely encouraging,” See said. “Regression of white matter lesions in terms of numbers and size in the brain were observed after one to two years of supplementation.”

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