Micronutrients for regeneration and convalescence
Phases of intensive physical and mental exertions such as illnesses or physical exercise can be exhausting and the body then needs time to recuperate. A period of convalescence serves to gradually restore health after illness. The term regeneration describes the functional or structural restoration of damaged tissue or organs after physical exercise. As well as complete healing and strengthening, the objective is to prevent recurrences and possible complications like frequent re-infections or chronic exhaustion and loss of performance capacity. Regeneration and convalescence are biologically complicated processes in which the replenishment of energy stores and micronutrient reserves plays an important part. Both during the period of stress and afterwards, a sufficient intake of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals is essential to compensate for the increased demand, prevent deficiencies and support the recovering organism.
A hundred year history of cholesterol
Winners of the Nobel Prize in 1985, Professors Joseph Goldstein and Michael Brown of the University of Texas recently wrote a brief history of cholesterol and heart disease over the previous century in Cell – with a highly justified focus on their own groundbreaking research contribution. Whilst heart disease has a number of causes, it is clear than an imbalance in blood lipids signifies an increased risk of heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals and can be seen in those individuals who have already had a heart attack.
A new meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials incorporating 916 subjects assessed the effect of beta-glucan supplementation on subject suffering chronically elevated levels of cholesterol in their blood (hypercholesterolemia) was conducted by Zhu et al. The pooled data showed beta glucan supplementation significantly lowered the total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels in these subjects, though no differences in HDL-cholesterol, blood triglycerides and glucose levels were observed. The results demonstrate that oat beta-glucans supplemented in the diet under the guidance of a doctor can provide an alternative treatment strategy to statins or stanols/sterols to enable normalization of blood cholesterol levels in subject with hypercholesteroleamia. Oat beta glucan is derived directly from milled oats, and hence can be considered a natural alternative without significant side effects.
In 2013, a paper from Brasky et al suggested a link between intake of marine omega 3 fatty acids and the risk of developing prostate cancer. A new, comprehensive meta-analysis from Alexander et al which included studies using both self-reported dietary intake and biomarker studies did not support an association between marine omega 3 fatty acid intake and prostate cancer.