#Health Issues Index

November 10, 2011 by  
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Acne
ADHD
AIDS
Allergy
ALS
Alzheimer’s disease
Angina
Anorexia
Anxiety
Asthma
Autism
Bed-wetting
Behavioural (behavioral) problems
Bipolar disorder
Birth defects
Blood disorders
Breast cancer
Breast lumps
Bronchitis
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Cataracts
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Colic
Colitis
Colon cancer
Common cold
Congestive heart disease
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Crohn’s disease
Cystitis
Deafness
Delinquency

Depression
Diabetes
Diarrhoea (diarrhea)
Down’s syndrome
Dyslexia
Eczema
Emphysema
Endometriosis
High cholesterol
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Fluid retention
Gall stones
Glaucoma
Gum disease
Headaches
Hearing problems
Heart disease
Hepatitis
Herpes
High blood pressure
Hives
Hyperactivity
Hypoglycaemia (hypoglycemia)
Hypothyroidism
Immune system
Infertility
Insomnia
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Kidney disease
Learning difficulties
Macular degeneration

Manic depression
Measles complications
Melanoma
Menopause
Migraine
Motor neurone disease
Multiple sclerosis
Muscular dystrophy
Osteoarthritis
Osteoporosis
Pancreatitis
Parkinson’s disease
Period pains
Pregnancy
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Prostate cancer
Prostate, enlarged
Prostatitis
Psoriasis
Raynaud’s syndrome
Rheumatoid arthritis
Schizophrenia
Senile dementia
Spina bifida
Stroke
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Tinnitus
Ulcerative colitis
Ulcers
Urticaria

Acne

September 26, 2011 by  
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Some causative factors

  • Contraceptive pill
  • Deficiencies of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, essential fatty acids and/or zinc
  • Fatty diet
  • Female hormone imbalance (premenstrual acne)
  • Food intolerances (e.g. chocolate, cocoa, cheese, sugar)
  • Sluggish, fatty liver

Skin zinc levels were found to be low in patients with acne, psoriasis and other skin diseases, suggesting that many of these patients have a zinc deficiency. Michaelsson G et al: Patients with dermatitis herpetiformis, acne, psoriasis and Darier’s disease have low epidermal zinc concentrations. Acta Derm Venereol 70(4):304-8, 1990.

Compared with controls, advanced cases of acne had significantly lower zinc levels. Amer M et al: Serum zinc in acne vulgaris. Int J Dermatol 21(8):481-4, 1982.

Promising nutritional research

Premenstrual acne improved in 72% of 106 women given vitamin B6 supplements. Snider BL et al. Pyridoxine therapy for premenstrual acne flare. Arch Dermatol 110:130-131, 1974.

Zinc intake is of borderline sufficiency in the French population. Zinc supplementation has been shown to be beneficial against several conditions, including acne, reduced immunity and infertility. Favier A: Current aspects about the role of zinc in nutrition. Rev Prat 15(2):146-51, 1993.

Success or failure of zinc treatment of acne depends on whether a zinc deficiency is present. Leyh F: Zinc – a new therapeutic principle in dermatology? Z Hautkr 62(14):1064, 1069-71, 1075, 1987.

Zinc therapy results in significant improvement for many acne cases. Verma KC et al: Oral zinc sulphate therapy in acne vulgaris: a double-blind trial. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 60(4):337-40, 1980.
Dreno B et al: Low doses of zinc gluconate for inflammatory acne. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 69(6):541-3,1989.

In a trial on 76 acne patients the efficacy of a vitamin B3 gel was found to be comparable to the efficacy of an antibiotic gel (clindamycin). Shalita AR et al: Topical nicotinamide compared with clindamycin gel in the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris. Int J Dermatol 1995 34(6):434-7, 1995.

Studies have found low glutathione peroxidase levels in patients with acne and other skin disorders. Clinical trials with selenium or selenium plus vitamin E supplementation have given positive results. Bruce A: Swedish views on selenium. Ann Clin Res 18(1):8-12, 1986.
Juhlin L et al: Blood glutathione peroxidase levels in skin diseases: effect of selenium and vitamin E treatment. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 62(3):211-4, 1982.

Michaelsson G et al: Erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity in acne vulgaris and the effect of selenium and vitamin E treatment. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 64(1):9-14, 1984.

Acne rosacea

Some causative factors

  • B vitamin deficiency
  • Gastric acid and/or pancreatic enzyme insufficiency
  • Intolerance to tea, coffee and alcohol

Promising nutritional research

Of 30 acne rosacea patients, those with a hydrochloric acid deficiency improved after treatment with hydrochloric acid and B vitamins. Allison JR. The relation of hydrochloric acid and vitamin B complex deficiency in certain skin diseases. South Med J 38:235-241, 1945.

Information compiled by Linda Lazarides
Naturopathic Nutritionist, Author, Educator

ADHD, hyperactivity and behavioural problems

March 15, 2001 by  
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Some causative factors

  • Birth trauma
  • Candidiasis
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Deficiencies of zinc, B vitamins, magnesium, chromium, essential fatty acidsFood allergyintolerance
  • Food additive sensitivity, especially tartrazine
  • Heavy metal toxicity, particularly lead
  • Lack of stomach acid or digestive enzymes
  • Sugar sensitivity.

In 8 pre-school children given 6 ounces of juice sweetened either with sugar or with an artificial sweetener, there was a drop in performance on structured tasks and more inappropriate behaviour during free play after the sugary drink was consumed. Goldman JA et al: Behavioural effects of sucrose on pre-school children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 14(4):565-77, 1986.

In a study on 20 hyperactive children, blood, serum and urine levels of zinc were measured after the administration of orange drinks containing the artificial colouring tartrazine, and control drinks free of this additive. Tartrazine was found to induce a reduction in the zinc content of serum and saliva, and an increase in the zinc content of urine, with a corresponding deterioration in behaviour and emotional responses. Ward NI et al: The influence of the chemical additive tartrazine on the zinc status of hyperactive children – a double-blind placebo-controlled study. J Nutr Med 1:51-57, 1990.

53 subjects with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder were found to have significantly lower levels of key fatty acids in plasma and red cell lipids than 43 controls. Stevens LJ et al: Essential fatty acid metabolism in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Am J Clin Nutr 62(4):761-8, 1995.

Behaviour, learning and health problems were compared between boys with high and low intakes of essential fatty acids. More behavioral problems were found in those with lower omega-3 intakes, and more learning and health problems were found in those with lower omega-6 intakes. Stevens LJ et al: Omega-3 fatty acids in boys with behavior, learning and health problems. Physiol Behav 59(4-5):915-20, 1996.

Promising nutritional research

Magnesium, zinc, copper, iron and calcium levels were measured in plasma, red cells, urine and hair of 50 hyperactive children. Average concentrations were low compared with healthy controls. The authors recommend nutritional supplementation for hyperactive children. Kozielec T et al: Deficiency of certain trace elements in children with hyperactivity. Psychiatr Pol 28(3):345-53, 1994.

Of 76 hyperactive children treated with a low-allergen diet, 62 improved, and a normal range of behaviour was achieved in 21 of these. Other symptoms such as headaches and fits also often improved. 48 foods were incriminated. Artificial colourings and preservatives were the commonest provoking substances. Egger J et al: Controlled trial of oligoantigenic treatment in the hyperkinetic syndrome. Lancet 1:540-5, 1985.

Compared with controls, a group of hyperactive children were found to have lower levels of zinc in urine, hair, serum and fingernails.The food additive tartrazine was found to significantly increase the urinary excretion of zinc over a 24 hour period. Ward NI et al: The influence of the chemical additive tartrazine on the zinc status of hyperactive children – a double-blind placebo controlled study. J Nutr Med 1:51-57, 1990.

Information compiled by Linda Lazarides
Naturopathic Nutritionist, Author, Educator

Aids

October 12, 2003 by  
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Some causative factors

  • Anti-HIV drugs
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Coenzyme Q10 deficiency
  • Drug abuse, especially nitrite poppers
  • Nutritional deficiencies, especially selenium.

In 95 HIV positive patients, higher rates of death and opportunistic infection corresponded with lower levels of serum selenium. Serum selenium was predictive of the prognosis of HIV patients irrespective of their CD4 cell count. Constans J et al: Serum selenium predicts outcome in HIV infection. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 10(3):392, 1995.

Compared with normals, those diagnosed as HIV+ have evidence of selenium deficiency as determined by reduced glutathione peroxidase activity. Dworkin BM et al: Selenium deficiency in the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (Aids). J Parent and Ent Nutr 10:405-407, 1986

Dworkin BM et al: Abnormalities of blood selenium and glutathione peroxidase activity in patients with Aids syndrome and Aids-related complex. Biol Trace Elem Res 15:167-177, 1988

Selenium deficiency causes a heart muscle disease (congestive cardiomyopathy). Selenium deficiency is known to be common among Aids patients. Eight Aids patients examined at autopsy were all found to be abnormal, with changes related to those found in cardiomyopathy. Dworkin BM et al: Reduced cardiac selenium content in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. J Parent Ent Nutr 13(6):644-7, 1989

Low zinc status has been demonstrated in Aids sufferers and may cause thymic hormone failure. Fabris N et al: Aids, zinc deficiency and thymic hormone failure. JAMA 259(6):839-840, 1988

A survey of vitamin supplement use and circulating concentrations of 22 nutrients and glutathione in 64 HIV+ men and women, revealed lower mean circulating concentrations of several nutrients compared with controls. The authors conclude that the low magnesium levels may be particularly relevant to symptoms such as fatigue and that the abnormal nutrient levels may contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease. Skurnick JH et al: Micronutrient profiles in HIV-1-infected heterosexual adults. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 12(1):75-83, 1996.

Mortality from Aids was compared with diet in 281 HIV positive individuals between 1984 and 1992. Those with the highest intake (from food and supplements) of vitamin B1 had a relative risk (RR) of dying during that period, of only 60% compared with those on the lowest intakes. For vitamin B2 the RR was 59%, for B3 57%, and for beta-carotene 60%. For vitamin B6 taken at levels more than twice the RDA the RR of death was 60%. Zinc supplementation was associated with a higher risk of mortality at all levels. Tang AM et al: Effects of micronutrient intake on survival in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection. Am J Epidemiol 143(12):1244-56, 1996.

Compared with controls, 21 HIV+ patients were found to have higher concentrations of reduced homocysteine (which could contribute to free radical damage), normal total homocysteine, but lower concentrations of the amino acid methionine in plasma. There was a significant correlation between low methionine concentrations and a low CD4+ cell count. Muller F et al: Elevated plasma concentration of reduced homocysteine in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection. Muller F et al: Am J Clin Nutr 63(2):242-8, 1996.

Promising nutritional research

A group of Aids patients with cryptosporidium infection were given liquid allicin (garlic extract) mixed with water daily. This resulted in less diarrhoea and stabilized or increased body weight. Several patients showed negative tests for cryptosporidium parasites on follow-up. Garlic for cryptosporidiosis? Treat Rev 22:11, 1996.

Ten HIV+ patients with severely low natural killer cell activity, abnormal helper-to-suppressor T-cell ratios (both these parameters are indicators of advanced Aids, probably with short life expectancy) and opportunistic infections such as cryptosporidial diarrhoea were given 5 grams daily for 6 weeks and then 10 grams daily for 6 weeks of an aged garlic extract. 3 patients died before the trial ended, but 7 of the 10 experienced a return to normal natural-killer cell activity by the end of the 12 weeks. Chronic diarrhoea and candidiasis also improved. Abdullah T et al: Garlic as an antimicrobial and immune modulator in AIDS. Int Conf AIDS (Canada) 5:466 (ISBN 0-662-56670-X), 1989.

Coenzyme Q10 levels were found to be severely depressed in Aids patients. Supplementation with 200 mg per day produced encouraging clinical results

Langsjoen PH et al: Treatment of patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection with coenzyme Q10. Biomed and Clin Aspects of CoQ10 6:409-416, 1991.

Supplementation with selenium and antioxidant vitamins brings symptomatic improvements in Aids sufferers and may slow the course of the disease

Schrauzer GN et al: Selenium in the maintenance and therapy of HIV-infected patients. Chem Biol Interact 91(2-3):199-205, 1994.

Decreased vitamin B12 levels occur in up to 20% of Aids patients, and may result in dementia symptoms diagnosed as Aids dementia. These symptoms resolved in two months in one patient diagnosed with Aids dementia who was treated with vitamin B12. Herzlich BC et al: Reversal of apparent Aids dementia complex following treatment with vitamin B12. J Inern Med 233(6):495-7, 1993.

Aids patients suffer from reduced zinc bioavailability. Since zinc deficiency is associated with immune abnormalities and an increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, zinc supplements were administered for 30 days to AZT-treated stage III and stage IV Aids patients. Body weight increased or stabilized, the CD4+ cell count increased and the frequency of opportunistic infections was reduced in the following 24 months. Mocchegiani E et al: Benefit of oral zinc supplementation as an adjunct to zidovudine (AZT) therapy against opportunistic infections in AIDS. Int J Immunopharmacol 17(9):719-27, 1995.

Progression to full-blown Aids was compared with diet in 281 HIV positive individuals between 1984 and 1990. Those with the highest intake (from food and supplements) of vitamin C had a relative risk (RR) of progressing to Aids during that period, of only 55% compared with those on the lowest intakes. For vitamin B1 the RR was 60%, and for B3 52%. A moderate (but not high) vitamin A intake was also protective, with a RR of 55%. High zinc intakes were associated with an increased risk of progression to Aids. Tang AM et al: Dietary micronutrient intake and the risk of progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids) in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected homosexual men. Am J Epidemiol 138(11):937-51, 1993.

Information compiled by Linda Lazarides
Naturopathic Nutritionist, Author, Educator

Allergy and food intolerance/sensitivity

September 12, 2000 by  
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Some causative factors

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Gut dysbiosis
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Toxic overload.

The zinc and copper status of 43 allergic children suffering from asthma or eczema was compared with healthy children. The hair zinc level was lower in allergic children and the serum and hair copper levels were higher. The investigators conclude that allergic children seem to be particularly at risk of zinc deficiency. Di Toro R et al: Zinc and copper status of allergic children. Acta Paediatr Scand 76(4):612-7, 1987.

Immunological sequelae of magnesium deficiency in humans may be affected by genetic control of blood cell magnesium concentration. Abnomal complement activation, excess antibody production and susceptibility to allergy and to chronic fungal and viral infections have been reported. Galland L: Magnesium and immune function: an overview. Magnesium 7(5-6):290-9, 1988.

Many so-called food allergies may be caused by abnormalities of the intestinal bacteria, causing toxic chemical compounds to enter the blood. If these compounds only result from the digestion of one particular food, the patient may believe he has a food allergy. Hunter JO: Food allergy – or enterometabolic disorder. Lancet 338(8765):495, 1991.

Promising nutritional research

The flavonoids quercetin and fisetin were found to have anti-histamine properties in a study examining the effects of flavonoids on histamine release. Middleton E Jr et al: Flavonoid inhibition of human basophil histamine release stimulated by various agents. Biochem Pharmacol 33(21):3333-8, 1984.

Information compiled by Linda Lazarides
Naturopathic Nutritionist, Author, Educator

ALS (motor neurone disease)

October 21, 2001 by  
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Some causative factors

  • Calcium and magnesium deficiency
  • Gluten sensitivity
  • Toxic overload.

The conditions which produce calcium deficiency may also lead to a shift of calcium from bone to soft tissue. This may promote not only osteoporosis but also arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure, due to increased levels of calcium in the blood vessel walls. Motor neurone disease and senile dementia could result from the calcium being deposited in the central nervous system. Fujita T: Aging and calcium as an environmental factor. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 31(Suppl):S15-19, 1985.

Chronic deficiencies of calcium and magnesium stimulate the chronic release of excess parathyroid hormone. This can result in the increased intestinal absorption of toxic metals, the mobilization of calcium and magnesium from bone, and the deposition of these elements in nervous tissue. Yase Y: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – causative role of trace elements. Nippon Rinsho 54(1):123-8, 1996.

Food, water and soil were assessed for mineral content in Hohara, Japan, a location with a high incidence of motor neurone disease. Compared with control areas, Hohara inhabitants had a significantly higher manganese intake and significantly lower magnesium intake. Iwami O et al: Motor neuron disease on the Kii Peninsula of Japan: excess manganese intake from food coupled with low magnesium in drinking water as a risk factor. Sci Total Environ 149(1-2):121-35, 1994.

Neurological dysfunction is a known complication of coeliac disease (gluten sensitivity). 30 of 53 patients with neurological disease (ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, nononeuritis multiplex, myopathy, motor neuropathy) of unknown cause were found to have antibodies to the substance gliaden found in gluten. This suggests that gluten sensitivity may be a significant causative factor in neurological diseases of unknown cause. Hadjivassiliou M et al: Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet 347(8998):369-71, 1996.

Information compiled by Linda Lazarides
Naturopathic Nutritionist, Author, Educator

Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia

June 20, 2003 by  
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Some causative factors

  • Aluminium toxicity
  • B vitamin deficiency
  • Poor cerebral circulation.

Recent studies have investigated the possibility that supplementation with choline or lecithin may be beneficial in Alzheimer’s and other psychiatric diseases where there may be a deficiency of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, since these nutrients are precursors to acetylcholine. Rosenberg GS et al: The use of cholinergic precursors in neuropsychiatric diseases. Am J Clin Nutr 36(4):709-20, 1982.

Compared with controls, 17 Alzheimer’s disease patients had significantly lower plasma vitamin B1 levels. The authors conclude that currently used testing methods may be inadequate for such patients and point out that vitamin B1 deficiency can in itself impair cognitive function (rational thought processes). Gold M et al: Plasma and red blood cell thiamine deficiency in patients with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. Arch Neurol 52(11):1081-6, 1995.

Vitamin B1-dependent enzymes were found to be very low in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, indicating a vitamin B1 deficiency. Gibson GE et al: Reduced activities of thiamine-dependent enzymes in the brains and peripheral tissues of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Arch Neurol 45(8):836-40, 1988.

The neurological status of 11 patients with low vitamin B12 levels but without definite haematological signs of deficiency was examined. The patients displayed a variety of neurological problems, including depression, dementia, neuropathy and seizure disorder. Testing procedures and a trial of B12 therapy led to the conclusion that electrophysiological evidence of neurological impairment is often present even in patients without obvious clinical neurological abnormalities. Karnaze DS et al: Neurologic and evoked potential abnormalities in subtle cobalamin deficiency states, including deficiency without anemia and with normal absorption of free cobalamin. Arch Neurol 47(9):1008-12, 1990.

Scores for mental performance were compared with levels of homocysteine (a marker of vitamin B12 deficiency) and serum levels of vitamins B6, B12 and folate, in 70 men aged 54-81. Lower levels of B12 and folate and higher levels of homocysteine were associated with poorer mental performance. Higher concentrations of vitamin B6 were related to better memory performance. Riggs KM et al: Relations of vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, folate, and homocysteine to cognitive performance in the Normative Aging Study. Am J Clin Nutr 63(3):306-14, 1996.

Promising nutritional research

The effects of gingko biloba extract on mental performance were assessed in 72 outpatients with cerebral insufficiency. After 24 weeks there was a significant improvement in short-term memory and learning rate. Grassel E: Einfluss von Gingko-biloba-Extrakt auf die geistige computerisierten Messbedingungen bei Patienten mit Zerebralinsuffizienz. Fortschr Med 110(5):73-6, 1992.

216 patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia due to small blood clots were given either Ginkgo biloba extract or placebo. After 24 weeks there was a significant improvement in the Ginkgo biloba group compared with controls. Kanowski S et al: Proof of efficacy of the ginkgo biloba special extract EGb 761 in outpatients suffering from mild to moderate primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer type or multi-infarct dementia. Pharmacopsychiatry 29(2):47-56, 1996.

In an analysis of 40 clinical trials using Ginkgo biloba against cerebral insufficiency, it was found that Ginkgo was an effective agent, as effective as the pharmaceutical agent co-dergocrine, used for the same indication. Kleijnen J et al: Ginkgo biloba for cerebral insufficiency. Br J Clin Pharmacol 34(4):352-8, 1992.

Vitamin B12 levels were found to be significantly lower in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Alzheimer’s disease compared with blood clot-related dementia. Ikeda T et al: Vitamin B12 levels in serum and cerebrospinal fluid of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Acta Psychiatr Scand 82(4):327-9, 1990.

Patients with cerebral circulatory disease leading to intellectual deterioration, confusion and impaired memory and concentration experienced a significant improvement after treatment with 3-4 grams a day of the amino acid taurine by mouth for several weeks. Montanini R et al: Taurine in the management of diffuse cerebral arteriopathy. Clinical and electroencephalographic observations, and mental test results. Clin Ter 71(5):427-36, 1974.

Information compiled by Linda Lazarides
Naturopathic Nutritionist, Author, Educator

Anorexia

December 12, 2002 by  
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Some causative factors (anorexia)

  • Zinc deficiency.

Some causative factors (anorexia nervosa)

  • Peer influences
  • Psychological (control) issues
  • Zinc deficiency.

Zinc status was found to be low in approximately half of 24 patients with anorexia nervosa, probably due to low zinc intake, purging and vomiting. Since reduced food consumption is a major manifestation of zinc deficiency, this acquired deficiency could add to and prolong the anorexic behaviour. Humphries L et al: Zinc deficiency and eating disorders. J Clin Psychiatry 50(12):456-9, 1989.

Zinc deficiency is common in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa and may act as a sustaining factor for abnormal eating behaviour. McClain CJ et al: Zinc status before and after zinc supplementation of eating disorder patients. J Am Coll Nutr 11(6):694-700, 1992.

Promising nutritional research

Zinc levels were found to be very low in anorexia nervosa sufferers. Zinc supplementation resulted in a decrease in depression and anxiety. Katz RL et al: Zinc deficiency in anorexia nervosa. J Adolesc Health Care 8(5):400-6, 1987.

Food intake rose significantly in mildly zinc-deficient children supplemented with zinc for one year. Krebs NF et al: Increased food intake of young children receiving a zinc supplement. Am J Dis Child 138(3):270-3, 1984.

In a study using zinc supplementation on 20 women with anorexia nervosa, over 8-56 months follow-up no patients suffered any further weight loss and 17 increased their body weight by 15-24%. No patients developed bulimia. Safai-Kutti S: Oral zinc supplementation in anorexia nervosa. Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl 361:14-17, 1990.

Information compiled by Linda Lazarides
Naturopathic Nutritionist, Author, Educator

Anxiety and panic attacks

March 7, 2003 by  
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Some causative factors

  • Caffeine sensitivity
  • Selenium deficiency
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • B vitamin deficiency
  • Sugar sensitivity (causing hypoglycaemia).

In a group of patients suffering from panic attacks, investigation of their caffeine consumption revealed that a higher consumption was associated with higher anxiety levels. Boulenger JP et al: Increased sensitivity to caffeine in patients with panic disorders. Preliminary evidence. Arch Gen Psychiatry 41(11):1067-71, 1984.

The effects of caffeine administration compared with placebo were assessed in 12 patients with general anxiety disorder. It was found that these patients are abnormally sensitive to caffeine. Bruce M et al: Anxiogenic effects of caffeine in patients with anxiety disorders. Arch Gen Psychiatry 49(11):867-9, 1992.

Selenium levels in the food chain are very low in some parts of the world, including the UK. To ascertain whether selenium deficiency caused mood problems, 50 test subjects were given either supplements or placebo. Supplementation was associated with a general elevation of mood and decrease in anxiety. The lower the previous level of selenium intake, the more reports of anxiety, depression and fatigue decreased following 5 weeks of selenium therapy. Benton D et al: The impact of selenium supplementation on mood. Biol Psychiatry 29(11):1092-8, 1991.

20 patients with neurosis symptoms consistent with the early signs and symptoms of beri-beri were found to have abnormal red cell transketolase activity (a marker of vitamin B1 deficiency). In some (not all), this was probably due to the heavy consumption of sweets and sugary foods and drinks. All patients were clinically improved by the administration of vitamin B1, but improvement was slow. Lonsdale D et al: Red cell transketolase as an indicator of nutritional deficiency. Am J Clin Nutr 33(2):205-11, 1980.

Promising nutritional research

The brain has receptor sites for benzodiazepine tranquillizers, suggesting that the body may naturally contain similar substances. In animal trials vitamin B3 (in its nicotinamide form) has been shown to have anti-anxiety, anti-aggressive, anti-convulsive, and muscle relaxant properties, and to increase the body’s production of the sleep-promoting substance serotonin. This suggests that it has benzodiazepine-like properties, which may shed new light on the mental problems which are associated with vitamin B3 deficiency states. Mhler H et al: Nicotinamide is a brain constituent with benzodiazepine-like actions. Nature 278(5704):563-565, 1979.

21 patients with panic disorder (some of whom also had agoraphobia) were given 12 g per day of inositol for 4 weeks in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Compared with placebo, inositol significantly decreased the frequency and severity of panic attacks and the severity of agoraphobia. There was no significant side effects. Benjamin J et al: Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of inositol treatment for panic disorder. Am J Psychiatry 152(7):1084-6, 1995.

Information compiled by Linda Lazarides
Naturopathic Nutritionist, Author, Educator

Asthma

March 11, 2005 by  
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Some causative factors

  • Allergy
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Pollution
  • Selenium deficiency
  • Vitamin B6 deficiency.

49 patients with asthma were found to have significantly lower selenium levels in their plasma and whole blood compared with controls. Stone J et al: Reduced selenium status of patients with asthma. Clin Sci 77(5):495-500, 1989.

Dietary magnesium was measured in 2633 adults in England. A 100 mgday higher magnesium intake was associated with a 27.7 mL higher forced expiratory volume and a reduction in the risk of hyper-reactivity and wheeze. The investigators conclude that a low magnesium intake may be a factor in the development of asthma. Britton J et al: Dietary magnesium, lung function, wheezing and airway hyperreactivity in a random adult population sample. Lancet 344(8919):357-62, 1994.

In 15 adult asthma patients, plasma and red cell vitamin B6 levels were much lower than in a group of 16 controls. Vitamin B6 supplementation brought a dramatic decrease in asthma attacks. Reynolds RD et al: Depressed pyridoxal phosphate concentrations in adult asthmatics. Am J Clin Nutr 41(4):684-8, 1985.

In a study on 77,866 women comparing dietary factors with airway function it was found that women with the highest vitamin E intake from food had only half the risk of asthma compared with those on the lowest intake. Troisi RJ et al: A prospective study of diet and adult-onset asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 151(5):1401-8, 1995.

Promising nutritional research

92 per cent of asthma sufferers improved on a vegan low-allergen diet. Lindahl O et al: Vegan regimen with reduced medication in the treatment of bronchial asthma. J Asthma 22:45-55, 1985.

Patients admitted to a clean-air environment and placed on a therapeutic fast were able to significantly reduce their anti-asthma medications. On follow-up, after following a rotation diet and using Miller vaccines, 68% reported being definitely better and 25% described themselves as well or almost well. Maberly DJ et al: Asthma management in a clean environment: 2. Progress and outcome in a cohort of patients. J Nutr Med 3:231-248, 1992.

322 children under 1 year of age with respiratory allergy were given a hypoallergenic diet for 6 weeks consisting of meat base formula, beef, carrots, broccoli and apricots. 91% showed a significant improvement. Skin tests did not correlate with results of feeding the children with foods they reacted to. The most common problem foods were milk, egg, chocolate, soya, pulses and grains. Ogle KA et al: Children with allergic rhinitis andor bronchial asthma treated with elimination diet: a five-year follow-up. Ann Allergy 44(5):273, 1980.

In 19 severe asthmatics who failed to respond to conventional treatments and were given intravenous magnesium sulphate infusions in a hospital emergency department, there was a significant improvement in breathing ability compared with the placebo group. Skobeloff EM et al: Intravenous magnesium sulfate for the treatment of acute asthma in the emergency department. JAMA 262(9):1210-3, 1989.

In a double-blind study on 76 asthmatic children, 100 mg vitamin B6 supplementation daily brought significant improvement and a reduction in the use of conventional medications. A dose of 50 mg per day was not effective. Collipp PJ et al: Pyridoxine treatment of childhood bronchial asthma. Ann Allergy 35(2):93-7, 1975.

In twelve asthmatics given 500 mg vitamin C supplements daily, there was a considerable reduction in asthma symptoms after exercise, compared with placebo. Schachter EN et al: The attenuation of exercise-induced bronchospasm by ascorbic acid. Ann Allergy 49(3):146-51, 1982.

The scientific literature points to low levels of selenium in asthmatics compared with the normal population. 24 asthmatics were given either selenium supplements or placebo for 14 weeks. The supplemented group experienced a significant increase in glutathione peroxidase levels (a marker of selenium sufficiency) and significant clinical improvement. Hasselmark L et al: Selenium supplementation in intrinsic asthma. Allergy 48(1):30-6, 1993.

4 of 5 asthmatic children sensitive to sulphite food additives failed to develop bronchospasm when challenged with metabisulphite, after pretreatment with vitamin B12. Anibarro B et al: Asthma with sulfite intolerance in children: a blocking study with cyanocobalamin. J Allergy Clin Immunol 90(1):103-9, 1992.

12 asthmatics were treated with omega-3 fatty acids for one year in a double-blind trial. A positive effect on forced expiratory volume was observed after 9 months. Dry J et al: Effect of a fish oil diet on asthma: results of a 1-year double-blind study. Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol 95(2-3):156-7, 1991.

Information compiled by Linda Lazarides
Naturopathic Nutritionist, Author, Educator

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