Antioxidants Might Help in Early Diabetic Kidney Disease

Antioxidants and Kidney DiseaseA recent meta-analysis and review found supplementation with antioxidants, like Vitamin E, may reduce the loss of a specific protein, albumin, in a patient’s urine.  The excretion of albumin is an early sign of diabetic kidney disease (DKD).

The purpose of the meta-analysis and review was to determine if antioxidant supplementation would slow the progression of DKD to end state kidney disease (ESKD).  DKD is the prime cause of ESKD.  Approximately half of all long-term diabetics end up developing some form of kidney damage over their lifetime.  Most trials reviewed used Vitamin E and or Vitamin E as well as B6, Zinc, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Silymarin and reduced Glutathione.  Antioxidants were used either individually or in combination.

Most antioxidants showed some benefit in reducing Urinary Albumin Excretion (UAE).  Vitamin E showed the most consistent benefit.  Researchers found it difficult to reach any strong conclusions due to the diversity in study designs, trial sizes, outcome measures to name a few of the meta-analysis challenges.  However researchers did find a benefit of antioxidant therapy (especially Vitamin E) on early signs of renal damage.

Further studies are needed.

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Vitamin E May Enhance Cystic Fibrosis Treatment

Cystic Fibrosis and Vitamin EResearchers have found a certain harmful bacteria, Burkholderia cenocepacia, becomes highly resistant to antibiotics causing severe lung infections in individuals with cystic fibrosis.  A recent study however shows supplementing fat-soluble vitamins may increase the effectiveness of the antibiotics prescribed to treat these lung infections.

The antibiotic capturing proteins, Lipocalins, were found to latch on to fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin E better than to the antibiotics usually given to treat certain infections.  This then frees the antibiotics from the Lipocalins which enables the antibiotics to fight the infection by targeting the bacteria.  Basically the fat soluble vitamins “soak up” the lipocalins before they are able to bind to the antibiotics, which increase the likelihood that the antibiotics will reach the bacteria.

Lung infections, usually caused by bacteria, are a chronic and serious problem for people suffering from cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that mostly affects the lungs and long term may cause breathing issues due to chronic lung infections.

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Vitamin C and E Supplements May Protect Against Age-Related Brain Declines

Cognitive DeclineData from a recent study shows daily supplementation with Vitamin C and Vitamin E could reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Data from over 5,000 seniors collected over a period of time (from 1991-2002) was analyzed.  Participants were all over 65 years of age.  Seniors who were supplementing with Vitamin E and/or Vitamin C had a statistically significant 40% reduction in all cause-dementia and a 42% reduction in Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  Compared to non vitamin users, participants who were supplementing with either Vitamin C or Vitamin E separately saw a 43% and 46% reduction in the risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Additionally, the risk of developing cognitive impairment not dementia (CIND), were reduced by 31% in the seniors who supplemented with Vitamin C and 32% for seniors who supplemented with Vitamin E.

As we age there is a natural decline in brain function.  Mild cognitive impairment is considered a transitional state and small changes in mental abilities and memory coexist with normal functioning.  These declines in functions may often be a warning sign of dementia.  Dementia is a term that is used to describe many different brain disorders that all share a progressive loss of brain function.  It is believed that Oxidative stress may be a contributing factor to this process.

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Vitamin E May Help Prevent Pneumonia in Non-Smoking Elderly Men

vitamin eA meta-analysis found a reduction in the risk of pneumonia in elderly male smokers after they quit smoking when supplementing with Vitamin E.

Data from over 7,000 participants in the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Prevention (ATBC) Study which began in 1985 and ended in 1993 was reviewed.  The participants in the ATBC randomized trial were males from the age of 50 to 69 years of age.  The age the participants started to smoke affected the results of the Vitamin E on pneumonia.  For the participants who began smoking at a later age, 21 years or older, Vitamin E supplementation reduced their risk of getting pneumonia by 35% and 69% for a subgroup of light smokers who exercised regularly.

For those who started smoking before the age of 21 there was no benefit seen in Vitamin E supplementation and reductions in the risk of pneumonia.

One third of the over 7,000 participants had quit smoking for a period.  In this group there was a 72% reduction in the incidence of pneumonia in the group supplementing with Vitamin E.  This benefit was also seen in those who smoked heavily or who did not exercise.

Further research on Vitamin E is needed.

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Only 1/5th of Global Population Meet “Ideal” Vitamin E Levels

Vitamin EA new review has shown that only about one fifth of the population (21%) worldwide is receiving the recommended intake of Vitamin E which increases the risk for conditions affecting the cardiovascular system, cognitive functions and the immune system.

Published literature describing serum Vitamin E concentrations and Vitamin E intake levels between the years 2000 and 2012 was studied.  A total of 178 articles consisting of 132 single studies were included in this review.  Researchers used an RDA of 15 mg/day and an estimated average requirement (EAR) of 12 mg/day of Vitamin E and applied this standard to all populations with a minimum of 14 years of age.  It was found that 82% and 61% of mean and median data points were below the RDA and EAR respectively.

There has been an increased interest in Vitamin E research as of late.  It is believed, that a change in dietary food consumption in developing countries worldwide is a contributing factor to the reduction in Vitamin E status.

Further research is warranted.

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