Compelling Research on Vitamin D Supplementation for Blood Pressure Reduction

New genetic research provides compelling evidence that low levels of vitamin D have a causal role in the development of high blood pressure (hypertension). The findings, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology (June 26, 2014), suggest that vitamin D supplementation could be effective in combating some cases of hypertension. “In view of the costs and side effects associated with antihypertensive drugs, the potential to prevent or reduce blood pressure and therefore the risk of hypertension with vitamin D is very attractive”, said study leader Professor Elina Hyppönen from the University of South Australia.

Drop Diastolic & Systolic Blood Pressure with Yoga

Drop Diastolic and Systolic Blood Pressure with Yoga

Lifestyle modification is a cornerstone of hypertension (HPT) treatment, yet most recommendations currently focus on diet and exercise and do not consider stress reduction strategies. Yoga is a spiritual path that may reduce blood pressure (BP) through reducing stress, increasing parasympathetic activation, and altering baroreceptor sensitivity; however, despite reviews on yoga and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and anxiety that suggest yoga may reduce BP, no comprehensive review has yet focused on yoga and HPT. By Anupama Tyagi, MA, PhD(c) and Marc Cohen MBBS(Hons), PhD, BMedSc(Hons), FAMAC, FICAE, published Alternative Therapies in Health Medicine, Vol. 20, No. 10.

Adults Children of Alcoholics and Drug Abusers More Likely to Develop Arthritis

Addictions Related to Arthritis

According to a study by University of Toronto, the adult offspring of parents who were addicted to drugs or alcohol are more likely to have arthritis. Investigators examined a group of 13,036 adults and found that 20.4 per cent of respondents had been diagnosed with arthritis by a medical professional. Investigators found that 14.5 per cent of all respondents reported having at least one parent whose drug or alcohol use caused problems while were under the age of 18 and still living at home. The Association between a History of Parental Addictions and Arthritis in Adulthood: Findings from a Representative Community Survey, published in International Journal of Population Research, Volume 2014

US Dead Last in Healthcare Rankings, Critics Cite Socialized Medicine Bias

“We’re Last! Again!” was the headline on NBC News regarding the most recent Commonwealth Fund Report on the state of industrialized countries’ healthcare systems. Once again, the US was deemed the most expensive and the least effective, least equitable and had the poorest outcomes among its economic counterparts. Critics argued the study is biased toward socialized medicine and does not take into account the technological advances and patient satisfaction and outcomes. On the plus side, the US scored well in preventive care efforts, under the category of “effective care.” And, certain states scored well —Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Hawaii—lead the nation across most dimensions of care.

Inactivity Linked to Colon, Lung, Endometrial Cancer

It is widely accepted that physical inactivity leads to weight gain, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. New research links a sedentary lifestyle to certain cancers, specifically colon, lung and endometrial cancer, according to a study published June 16 in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The research is significance as is shows sedentary behavior is emerging as an independent risk factor for cancer, chronic disease and mortality. However, in a clinical setting guidelines to improve activity levels for adult patients are poorly defined and difficult to implement.

Are Today’s Adolescents Tomorrow’s Hip-Fracture Patients?

The seeds of the pernicious disease osteoporosis are sown during adolescence, when the skeleton is most active in absorbing dietary calcium and building up nearly all the bone mass that will carry the teenager throughout life. Along with calcium, both vitamin D and vitamin K (particularly vitamin K2) are essential for bone formation. Little research has been done to evaluate adolescents’ vitamin K requirements for optimal bone development, but recent papers indicate that vitamin K status plays an important role in children’s bone health, and that bone metabolism requires significantly more vitamin K than blood coagulation. Calcium and vitamin D intake is well understood in the medical community, though fewer physicians are aware of the importance of vitamin K2, and little has changed with respect to dietary intake. By Karan Baucom, MD; Lara Pizzorno, MA; and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, published in the J of Restorative Medicine, Osteoporosis: The Need for Prevention and Treatment.

Clues Connect Estrogen and Autoimmune Disease

There is a phenomenon that scientists have yet to solve, regardless of whether a woman lives in the United States, where medical care is relatively good, or third world nations, where medical care is often scarce: women are less likely to die from infectious diseases than men. The lower death rate has been attributed to a beneficial, yet unexplained effect estrogen has on the immune system. Females of child-bearing age are more resistant to infectious disease and have an increased risk of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This study hypothesized that estrogen-induced gene expression could establish an immunoactivated state which would render enhanced defense against infection, but may be deleterious in autoimmune development.By Nicholas A. Young, Lai-Chu Wu, et al, Estrogen modulation of endosome-associated toll-like receptor 8: An IFNα-independent mechanism of sex-bias in systemic lupus erythematosus. Clinical Immunology, March 2014