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Nutritional Concepts Mid-Week Brief
January 31, 2013
Dear Valued Subscriber, 

 

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Research Updates

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Probiotics: Cholesterol Eaters 
According to a study in the December 2012 issue of Clinical Lipidology, an abundance of Fusobacterium, Neisseria and Streptococcus bacteria in the oral cavity, and Erysipelotrichaceae and Lachnospiraceae bacterial families in the gut, was correlated with levels of cardiovascular disease markers.
 
One mechanism by which probiotics are thought to lower cholesterol is via an effect on the balance of oral cavity and intestinal microflora. With the emergence and development of new molecular methodologies, the relationship between microbial make-up and CVD, or the possibility to treat it through a change in the composition of gut microbes by administration of oral probiotic strains is exciting.
 
Low Vitamin D Linked to Breast Cancer
Researchers have found that low serum vitamin D levels in the months preceding diagnosis may predict a high risk of premenopausal breast cancer.


The study of blood levels of 1,200 healthy women found that women whose serum vitamin D level was low during the three-month period just before diagnosis had approximately three times the risk of breast cancer as women in the highest vitamin D group. The study will be published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control.

 

Several previous studies have shown that low serum levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of premenopausal breast cancer. This newstudy points to the possibility of a relevant window of time for cancer prevention in the last three months preceding tumor diagnosis -- a time physiologically critical to the growth of the tumor. This is likely to be the point at which the tumor may be most actively recruiting blood vessels required for tumor growth.

 
Vegetables and Breast Cancer
Consistent vegetable consumption is associated with a lower risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, according to a study publishedthis week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 
 
Milk and Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is dependent on androgen receptor signaling and aberrations of a pathway mediating excessive and sustained growth signaling. A nutrient-sensitive kinase is upregulated in nearly 100% of advanced human prostate cancers. Epidemiological evidence points to increased dairy protein consumption as a major dietary risk factor for the development of prostate cancer. A new study from Nutrition and Metabolism provides evidence that prostate cancer initiation and progression are promoted by cow's milk, but not human milk.

 

Milk-mediated growth signaling is restricted only to the postnatal growth phase of mammals. However, persistent consumption of cow's milk proteins in humans provide insulin-rich amino acids,, which elevate postprandial plasma insulin levels, and increase concentrations by casein-derived amino acids.

 

Increased cow's milk protein-mediated growth signaling along with constant exposure to commercial cow's milk estrogens derived from pregnant cows may explain the observed association between high dairy consumption and increased risk of prostate cancers in Westernized societies.

 

In conclusion, exaggerated growth signaling by high cow's milk consumption predominantly during critical growth phases of prostate development and differentiation may exert long-term adverse effects on prostate health. The authors suggest that normalizing growth signaling with contemporary Paleolithic diets and restriction of dairy protein intake, especially during dependent phases of prostate development and differentiation, may offer protection from the most common dairy-promoted cancer in men of Western societies.


CoQ10, Fatty Acids Positively Affect PSA Levels 

A British Journal of Nutrition study determined that dietary supplements containing the omega-3 fatty acid EPA, and Coenzyme Q10, significantly reduced Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) in healthy men with levels below 2.5 versus placebo. Alternatively, supplements containing the omega-6 fatty acid GLA significantly increased PSA levels. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA had no effect.