Supplements May Improve Teenage Behavior in School

Multi Vitamins Improve Teen BehaviorNew research suggests giving teenagers nutritional supplements may improve their in school behavior.

Almost 200 youth between the ages of 13 and 16 were given a multivitamin/mineral tablet and an Omega 3 supplement daily for over 12 weeks.  Changes in blood levels of Omega-3 and the vitamins and minerals, which were low at baseline, were tracked.

Supplementation significantly improved Omega-3 and 6 levels in addition to Vitamin C, Vitamin D and folate levels. Behavioral changes were measured using disciplinary records from the youth’s school as well as teacher ratings using the Conners’ disruptive behavior scale.

The active supplementation group showed improvements while the placebo group worsened.  However both groups showed an increase in school disciplinary infringements during the academic term. When the students were split between high and low baseline infringements groups, the low subset increased offenses but the high baseline infringement group improved after supplementation suggestion supplementation may have a protective effect against worsening behavior.

Further study has been called for to verify results.




Omega-3 Intake Could Present Long-Awaited Relief for Cancer Patients with Mucositis

omega-3-fatty acidsA new study found oral supplementation with Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids may help treat and prevent wounds caused by Mucositis (mouth ulcers and inflammation) in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.  Mucositis is a potential side effect of chemotherapy.  An overwhelming number of cancer patients (80%) with neck and head malignancies in addition to cancer patients on a high dose of chemotherapy experience Mucositis.  Mucositis is also associated with severe pain, a higher risk of developing systemic and local infections, bleeding and dysfunction from the oral cavity, mouth and pharynx.  Oral ulcers may even cause bacteria to enter the blood stream and cause septicemia which especially damaging since patients on chemotherapy usually have compromised immune systems.

60 patients who were developing grade 1 oral Mucositis participated in this Random Controlled study.  The participants were divided into 2 groups; an Omega 3 group (12 males and 18 females) and a placebo group (11 males and 19 females).  The participants were assessed for Mucositis using the WHO Oral Mucositis Weekly Questionnaire and the Western Consortium for Cancer Nursing Research criteria at the beginning of the trial, in the first, second and third weeks of chemotherapy and when the Mucositis was cured.  Using the Oral Mucositis Weekly Questionnaire, researchers noted the differences in the severity of the Mucositis between the 2 groups in the first, second and third week s of the study.  The Omega-3 supplementation group had less severe pain during the three weeks of treatment, there actually was no sign Mucositis in the participants supplementing with the Omega 3 after 2 weeks.  In the Omega-3 group average recovery was 4 to nine days vs over 10 days in the placebo group, and 12 patients in the placebo group took over 16 days to recover.

Researchers concluded Omega-3 Essential Fatty acids were an effective and safe means for treating and preventing oral Mucositis.


Omega-3’s Bone Health Benefits Underlined in Hip Fracture Meta-Analysis

Omega-3 and Bone HealthA new meta-analysis and systemic review was undertaken to determine the association between eating fish and fish oil supplementation and hip fractures.

10 studies (3 case control and 7 prospective studies) were included in the systemic review and 9 studies with almost 293,000 participants were included in the meta-analysis.  Participants were 20 years and older.

Adding the effect sizes from 4 prospective studies and 2 case control studies researchers found a significant inverse association between the risk of hip fractures and fish oil consumption.  The prospective studies had a sample size of at least 10,000 participants.  The researchers found a significant inverse relationship between hip fractures and fish oil consumption even when body mass index was a covariant.

Researchers concluded that fish consumption as well as dietary intake of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids may have a protective effect on bone health and also the decline in hip fracture risks.

Further studies are warranted.


Omega Fatty Acid Blend Shows Promise in Tackling ADHD

Omega 3-Omega 6 and ADHDA new review article outlines the beneficial role a combination of Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids may play, in addition to other therapies, for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).

16 Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were reviewed for general assessment.  13 of the studies showed a benefit in participants supplementing with Omega 3 and Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids.  The levels of benefit appeared to be dependent on the dose as well as the ratio of the fatty acids, the quality of the RCT itself and ADHD subtype being studied.  One study which looked at children in the 6-12 year old age category, participants were able to reduce their dosages of the pharmaceutical drug methylphenidate (MPH) used to reduce and manage their symptoms of ADHD when receiving an Omega 3/6 Fatty Acid in a 9:3:1 ratio after one year (EPA:558 mg, DHA:174 MG, and GLA:60mg).

Further research is planned, but researchers believe given the fact the Omega 3/6 supplements have almost non-existent side effects in comparison to the drugs chosen to treat ADHD, it makes sense to increase the intake of these essential fatty acids before beginning a pharmaceutical treatment.


Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements Linked to Lower CHD Death Risk

Omega-3 and Coronary Heart DiseaseAccording to a new study that emphasizes the protective effects of supplementing the diet with Omega-3 fish oils, a 26% lower risk of dying from Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) was associated with Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid supplementation.

Over 22,000 individuals between the ages of 39 and 79 participated in this study that stretched over a 22 year period.  3 separate questionnaires were initially used to assess the use of Omega-3 over this time period.  Next participants with grouped into 3 groups Omega-3 supplement users (SU+n3), non Omega-3 supplement users (SU-n3) and non supplement users (NSU).  Variables like age, smoking, prevalent illnesses, education, dietary intake, social class and body mass index were taking into account for the purpose of statistical analysis.

At the beginning of the study it was found that supplement use was not associated with CHD mortality.  After adjusting for fish consumption, baseline food and supplement intake of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids was inversely associated with CHD mortality.  The SU+n3 group or individuals who became SU+n3 during the study had a lower risk of CHD mortality when compared to the NSU group.

Further study is needed.



Omega-3 May Help Fight Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty Liver DiseaseAccording to a new pilot study a high dose Omega-3 supplement may improve Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) markers.

This pre-specified sub study of the WELCOME Trial (Wessex Evaluation of Fatty Liver and Cardiovascular markers in NAFLD with Omacor Therapy), a double blinded randomized controlled trial, looked at 16 individuals with NAFLD.  These participants were randomized to receive either 4 grams per day of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids or a placebo.  Red blood cell counts (RBC) of DHA were taken at the beginning of the study and at the end of the study.  Additionally various parameters of NAFLD, hepatic and whole-body insulin sensitivity, existing liver fat, triglyceride levels, Fatty Acid (FA) oxidation and DNL(de novo lipogenesis), were also assessed.  Significant improvements in hepatic insulin sensitivity (not whole body insulin sensitivity) and liver metabolism were seen in participants whose red blood cell (RBC) DHA levels increased by over 2%.  A 26% reduction in existing liver fat content was also seen although this was not considered statistically significant.

No guidelines were given to the participants to avoid consuming oily fish during the trial period which most likely accounted for one of the placebo group participants showing increased RBC DHA levels over 2%.  Another drawback of the study design was that the primary outcome studied by researchers was the effect of raising RBC DHA on NAFLD markers.  No attempt to determine if EPA levels had any effect on these markers was made.  Future testing might attempt to determine the effect a DHA only oil would have on NAFLD markers.



Omega-3 Supplements May Slash Cardiac Death Risk

Omega-3 Reduces Cardiac Death RiskAccording to a new meta-analysis supplementing with Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids may reduce the risk of coronary mortality by an average of 8%.  The reduction in the risk of death in people with elevated LDL cholesterol or triglycerides was higher at 17%.

Data from 14 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) which encompassed over 71,000 participants was reviewed.  Each of the trials lasted over 6 months and looked at cardiac deaths as the primary outcome.  Researchers compared frequencies of coronary mortality between groups supplementing with Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids and the control groups.  In addition to seeing the statistically significant 8% reduction in cardiac death risk for participants supplementing with Omega-3’s, participants who were supplementing with more than 1 gram of total Omega-3’s (EPA and DHA) saw a reduction of cardiac death of almost 30%.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cardiac deaths account for almost 66% of all cardiovascular disease deaths in the United States and 42% of all cardiovascular disease deaths in the world yearly.  The results of this meta-analysis match up with the conclusions in a recent Science Advisory put out by the American Heart Association which points to EPA and DHA Omega-3 supplementation as being a “reasonable” secondary preventive measure of coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death.

More studies are planned.