News of Interest II
G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN
11, number 5, 2/26/93, page 28
A few years ago there were studies that showed that zinc reduced down time for people suffering from the common cold. However, there were other studies that refuted these results. This newest study finds that the form of zinc that was used in subsequent trials was not active. They used zinc gluconate lozenges in 73 people, who consumed up to eight lozenges containing 5-1/4 mg of zinc each. When compared to the placebo group, the length of cold symptoms was reduced from 6.1 to 4.9 days with congestion, runny nose, and cough the most affected and reduced complaint.2
People with coronary heart disease who undergo percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) have a stenosis recurrence rate of approximately 30-45 percent after six months. In this study, the test group was given a diet high in fish oil (4.5 mg per day), specifically omega-3 fatty acids. The control group was given capsules of olive oil. The restenosis rate was 22 percent in the test group compared to 40 percent in the control group. The authors do not know the mechanism by which the stenosis was reduced, but it is clearly a statistically significant reduction.3
A study was performed on 80 patients who experienced acute cerebral ischemia lasting for more than three hours. There was a control group of 80 patients who suffered from neurological disorders other than acute ischemia. Those patients who had a better neurological outcome after middle cerebral artery ischemic stroke had higher serum vitamin A concentrations.4 There was no comment on the mechanism of action. It is this author's opinion that what they observed were antioxidants at work again.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis found that those who ingested fish oils of the omega-3 fatty acid family had a 56 percent decrease in disease activity compared to a four percent decrease of those on a placebo. The authors state that further studies are needed into the mechanism of action and the optimal dose and duration of fish oil needed.5
Lastly, an interesting study on calcium ingestion of normotensive and hypertensive pregnant women showed that 1,000 mg of calcium per day significantly lowered the diastolic blood pressure of the hypertensive group only. The hypertensive control subjects' mean serum ionic calcium value decreased over the 20-week experiment. Thus, a significant inverse relationship was observed between dietary calcium intake and blood pressure.6
2. Godfrey C, et al: Zinc gluconate and the common cold: a controlled study. Journal of Internal Medical Research,(20):1992.
3. Bairati RM: Double-blind
randomized controlled trial of fish oil supplements in prevention of recurrence
of stenosis after coronary angioplasty. 85(3):1992.
5. Aslan & Triadafilopoulos: Fish oil fatty acid supplementation in active ulcerative colitis: a double-blind, placebocontrolled crossover study. American Journal of Clinician Nutrition. 87:1992.
6. Knight & Keith: Calcium supplementation of normotensive and hypertensive pregnant women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 55:1992.
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