November 14, 2008
An article scheduled to appear in the January 1, 2009 issue of Free Radical Biology and Medicine reports the finding of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley that supplementing with vitamin C reduces C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Berkeley professor emeritus of epidemiology and public health nutrition Gladys Block and her associates randomized 396 nonsmokers to receive 1000 milligrams vitamin C, 800 international units vitamin E, or a placebo for two months. Serum C-reactive protein levels were measured before and after the treatment period.
Although no effects for vitamin E were observable, and no effect for vitamin C was noted among those with desirable CRP levels, for participants with elevated C-reactive protein (defined as 1 milligram per liter or higher), vitamin C lowered CRP by 0.25 milligrams per liter compared to the placebo, a reduction similar to that associated with statin drug treatment.
"This is an important distinction; treatment with vitamin C is ineffective in persons whose levels of CRP are less than 1 milligram per liter, but very effective for those with higher levels," stated Dr Block. "Grouping people with elevated CRP levels with those who have lower levels can mask the effects of vitamin C. Common sense suggests, and our study confirms, that biomarkers are only likely to be reduced if they are not already low."
Dr Block noted that a trial reported earlier this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found no association between supplementation with vitamins C and E and the risk of stroke or heart attack, failed to screen participants for CRP elevation, which is important in the determination of who might benefit from vitamin C.
In another recently reported study ( the Jupiter trial), Harvard Medical School researchers showed that statin drugs reduced cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular mortality in individuals with normal lipids and elevated CRP. The trial found a 37 percent reduction in CRP associated with statins compared to treatment with a placebo. "One of the strengths of the Jupiter trial is that only persons with CRP levels greater than 2 milligrams per liter were enrolled," Dr Block remarked. "Researchers found very important effects of lowering CRP in people who had high levels to begin with."
"Major studies have found that the level of CRP in the body predicts future risk of cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction, stroke and peripheral artery disease, as well as diabetes," Dr Block stated. "Some believe CRP to be as important a predictor of future heart problems as high levels of LDL and low levels of HDL cholesterol."
"This is clearly a line of research worth pursuing," she added. "It has recently been suggested by some researchers that people with elevated CRP should be put on statins as a preventive measure. For people who have elevated CRP but not elevated LDL cholesterol, our data suggest that vitamin C should be investigated as an alternative to statins, or as something to be used to delay the time when statin use becomes necessary."
Seemingly unrelated diseases have a common link. People who have multiple degenerative disorders often exhibit excess levels of pro-inflammatory markers in their blood. Here is a partial list of common medical conditions that are associated with chronic inflammation:
Diseases related to chronic inflammation
Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions
Chronic inflammation destroys brain cells
Inflammatory cytokines attack erythropoietin production
Aortic valve stenosis
Chronic inflammation damages heart valves
Inflammatory cytokines destroy joint cartilage and synovial fluid
Chronic inflammation causes many cancers
Congestive heart failure
Chronic inflammation contributes to heart muscle wasting
Inflammatory cytokines are elevated
Inflammatory cytokines attack traumatized tissue
Chronic inflammation contributes to coronary atherosclerosis
Inflammatory cytokines restrict circulation and damage nephrons
Inflammatory cytokines induce an autoimmune attack
Inflammatory cytokines induce pancreatic cell injury
Inflammatory cytokines induce dermatitis
Chronic inflammation promoted thromboembolic events
Inflammatory cytokines prevent healing
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A minor fraction of whey, lactoferrin appears to have a wide variety of uses in biological systems and is considered a first line immune defense in the human body. Though a natural component of cows’ and human mothers’ milk, lactoferrin is found throughout the human body.
Published studies that have examined the use of lactoferrin as a supplement and its beneficial effects on immunity have been quite promising. Lactoferrin helps to maintain a proper level of “good” bacteria in the intestinal tract, while controlling the number of “bad” bacteria. Probably lactoferrin’s best-known role is as an iron binding protein. The mechanism appears to lie with lactoferrin’s ability to bind iron, as it is known to have an extremely high affinity for this metal.
In order for carbohydrates to be fully absorbed, they must be broken down in the digestive tract by the amylase enzyme. Irvingia inhibits amylase, and thus reduces the amount of ingested starches that will be absorbed as sugar.
Several studies demonstrate the weight loss properties of Irvingia. In the largest placebo controlled human study, those taking Irvingia lost 28 pounds over a 10-week period compared to only up to 3 pounds in the placebo group. The study participants did not alter their diet.
A combination of Integra-Lean™ Irvingia, fucoxanthin, and pomegranate seed oil called SlimSignals™ provides 150 mg of Irvingia in each softgel capsule, plus fucoxanthin and pomegranate seed oil. Fucoxanthin functions to increase nonstimulating thermogenesis (fat burning) in adipocytes, while pomegranate seed oil reduces blood supply to adipocytes.
Note: Supplements should be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise program. Results may vary.
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