Medical Professional to Medical Professional – Get Your Omega-3 Levels Tested
The results of the recent, comprehensive Age-Related Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) failed to support the prevailing view that marine omega-3 fatty acids could have a protective role in preventing the onset and progression of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). Professor Eric Souied, Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at both the Hôpital Intercommunal de Créteil and the Hôpital Henri Mondor in France, has carefully reviewed the study and found that the null results could be due to methodological differences between this and other recent studies. He thinks that the evidence from laboratory and other clinical studies still provides hope that omega-3 fatty acids could provide benefits in relation to ARMD.
Professor Mary Ward of Ulster University was part of a recent trial in which it was shown that elderly Irish adults (60 years or more) who were deficient in 25-hydroxyvitamin D (<25 nmol/L) were most likely to have the highest levels of inflammatory cytokines when compared to those who were replete (>75 nmol/L). Raised levels of these inflammatory cytokines are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and a range of other chronic diseases.
In his recent work, Francesco Visioli – Professor of Human Nutrition in the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Padova in Italy – has investigated the biological and pharmacological properties of olive oil phenolics, including hydroxytyrosol, and their ability to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
A new analysis of data by Professor Maria Makrides’ group at Adelaide University in Australia has shown that in-patient hospital costs could decrease by 92 Australian Dollars (AUD) on average per pregnancy (single) when a daily supplement of 800 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was consumed during pregnancy, due mainly to the reduced risk of giving premature birth.
Mitochondria, the cells energy powerhouse, slowly loose function with ageing. Professor Eckert of the Nutritional Neuroscience research group at Goethe University, Frankfurt, has demonstrated that mitochondrial dysfunction can produce age-related cognitive impairment, but normal function can be largely restored with an intervention of fish oil.
Dr Rima Obeid, Junior Fellow at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, of Aarhus University, Denmark, cites low serum folate levels in European women as the reason why there has been no reduction in the incidence in spina bifida and other neural tube defects over the last ten years. She also comments that recent advice from some European Nutritional Societies, reducing the required intake level of folate for young women is only likely to aggravate the problem.
Professor Ken Sato works in the Department of Internal Medicine at Aichi Medical University in Nagakute, Japan. He and his team have recently conducted a meta-analysis examining the beneficial effect of vitamin E on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The aim was to evaluate the efficacy of vitamin E in improving liver function. Professor Sato concludes his paper thus: “This meta-analysis suggests that vitamin E therapy improves serum biochemical parameters and improves hepatic histology in NAFLD/NASH, especially in regard to adult NASH patients. Vitamin E also improves hepatic fibrosis, hepatic inflammation and ballooning.”