More than 80% of patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (the most common form of heart failure) are overweight or obese. Exercise intolerance is the primary symptom and a major factor in reduced quality of life. In this study, the authors researched if diet and exercise improves quality of life . The trial was randomized, controlled, and done in an urban academic medical center. The intervention was twenty weeks of diet, exercise, or both. Multiple outcome measures were used. The results showed that there were no serious adverse effects. Body weight decreased in the diet group (7%) and in the exercise group (3%) and 10% in the control group. The authors conclude that among obese patients with clinically stable heart failure, caloric restriction and aerobic exercise improve peak VO2 and the effects may be additive.
In this study, the authors compared acupoint embedding therapy and compared to polyene phosphatidylcholine capsules in the clinical efficacy on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) based on the traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis of liver stagnation and spleen deficiency patterns . This was a multi-center clinical trial with 180 cases of NAFLD. The therapy was BL18, LR3, ST40, ST36, SP6 once every 7 days and the capsules were taken twice three times daily. Ultrasound and blood tests were used as outcome measures. The results showed that the therapy achieved efficacy on NAFLD better than the capsules. Blood results improved (ALT, AST, TC, TG) and all results were significant.
Vitamin B3 has been shown to have protective effects against damage caused by UV radiation and to reduce the rate of new premalignant actinic keratoses . In this study, it was a phase 3, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, where participants who had already had nonmelanoma skin cancers received 500mg of nicotinamide (B3) twice daily or placebo for 12 months. They were evaluated by dermatologists. The results showed that oral nicotinamide was safe and effective in reducing the rates of new nonmelanoma skin cancers and actinic keratoses in high-risk patients by as much as 23%. Vitamin B3 also was safe compared to placebo.
Studies show that magnesium helps decrease diabetes, which is a risk for pancreatic cancer. However the direct link is not known. In this study, the authors aimed to investigate the association between magnesium and pancreatic cancer . A cohort of over 66,000 people participated in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study were followed. Mathematical models were used to determine the outcomes. The results showed that the findings from this prospective cohort study indicate that magnesium intake may be beneficial in terms of primary prevention of pancreatic cancer, though the findings were largely related to dietary intake. Those who achieved the RDA for magnesium had better outcomes.
Asthma and wheezing start early in life and vitamin D has been studied in this regard. In this article, the authors determined whether vitamin D supplementation can prevent asthma in early childhood . The Vitamin D Antenatal Asthma Reduction Trial was randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. 440 women received 4000 IU of vitamin D daily and 436 received placebo plus pre-natal with 400 IU of vitamin D. Asthma outcomes were measured. The results showed that in pregnant women at risk of having a child with asthma, supplementation with 4400 IU/d (from the prenatal and additional vitamin D) of vitamin D compared with 400 IU/d significantly increased vitamin D levels in the women.
There is some evidence that suggests that vitamin D levels (25OHD) are inversely associated with hemoglobin levels and anemia risk . This trial evaluated whether supplementation improved hemoglobin levels in hypertensive patients. 200 patients with deficient vitamin D were included. Patients received 2800 IU vitamin D3 daily or matching placebo for 8 weeks. The prevalence of anemic status and deficient 25OHD were 6.5% and 7.5%. All anemic patients had 25OHD levels that were >50nmol/L. The results showed that vitamin D treatment did not influence anemic status significantly nor did it have an effect on hemoglobin levels in the subgroup of anemic patients or in patients with very deficient vitamin D. The authors conclude that vitamin D supplementation for 8 weeks did not improve any of these parameters in hypertensive patients.
This study evaluated the effect of zing and omega-3 supplements as an adjunct in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) of children . It was randomized, double-blind and conducted in 150 children aged 6-15 years old that diagnosed as new cases of ADHD. They were evaluated for 8 weeks. Patients received methylphenidate, as well as either placebo, zinc sulfate, or omega-3. Clinical improvements were measured every 2 weeks. The results showed that scores improved significantly in the zinc group compared to the control group in those that had attention-deficit disorder subtype of ADHD. In the omega-3 group, better clinical response was seen than other groups. There were no significant differences between the omega-3 group and the placebo group.
Otitis media (OM) is a middle ear infection. This article reviews a number of therapies aimed at preventing or treating OM . OM is common in children and many people utilize alternative therapies as well. The literature review that was conducted took into account the efficacy and validity information of various therapies. The search included regular medical databases. The authors reviewed each treatment and described the level of evidence available. Currently, alternative medicines are not considered by physicians as potential treatments for OM and there is limited supporting evidence. Further studies may be warranted to evaluate the potential value of alternative therapies.
Migraines have many symptoms and the evidence suggests a dysfunctional autonomic nervous system may play a role . This study had 40 migraine patients randomized to receive either hydrotherapy plus conventional medications or conventional medications only. The hydrotherapy group received treatment with hot arm and foot bath and ice massage to head daily for 20 min for 45 days. Patients were assessed using multiple rating scales. The results showed that there was a significant decrease in headache impact scores and intensity of headaches following treatment in both groups. There was a larger benefit in the hydrotherapy group. The authors conclude that adding on hydrotherapy enhanced the vagal tone in addition to reducing the frequency and intensity of headaches in migraine patients.
Abscisic acid (ABA) is a plant hormone also found in animals. It stimulates insulin release from pancreatic cells and increases in normal human subjects, but not in diabetic patients, after a glucose load for an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) . In this study, human volunteers underwent an OGTT or had standard meals, with or without a fruit extract, yielding an ABA dose of 0.85 or 0.5ug/kg, respectively. Lab measurements were conducted at different time points. Oral ABA significantly lowered glycemia and insulinemia in humans. Thus, the effect does not depend on an increased insulin release. Low dose ABA may be proposed as an adjunct to improving glucose tolerance in diabetic patients who are deficient in or resistant to insulin.