Archive for June 25th, 2012

Can taking vitamin D and calcium help you live longer? – Vitals


Vitamins!

Vitamins! (Photo credit: bradley j)

Can taking vitamin D and calcium help you live longer?

By Susan E. Matthews

MyHealthNewsDaily

Older people who take vitamin D supplements along with calcium may live longer than others, according to a new review of previous studies.

The researchers looked at data regarding the vitamin D intake  of more than 70,000 adults in their 60s and 70s. They found that people who took vitamin D, along with calcium supplements, were 9 percent less likely to die over a three-year period, compared with people who took neither supplement.

However, they found that taking vitamin D alone had no effect on mortality rates.

For every 151 people who took with daily vitamin D and calcium for three years, one life would be spared, according to the researchers’ calculations.

The finding comes on the heels of several studies with conflicting results about the health benefits of vitamin D, including its possible effects on longevity. The new review is the largest of its kind, and included eight randomized controlled trials, said study leader Lars Rejnmark, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. Such trials are considered the strongest type of scientific evidence.

The study confirms researchers’ suspicions  that vitamin D may increase longevity, said Dr. Philippe Autier of the International Prevention Research Institute, who was not involved in the review.

Study participants were generally older people with health conditions, and possibly had inadequate nutrition. Therefore, it’s “not guaranteed that anyone in good health  who takes these vitamins would increase life expectancy,” Autier said.

In the review, the researchers found that 5.5 percent of the 35,412 people who didn’t take vitamin D or calcium died during the study period, whereas 5.3 percent of the 35,116 people who took vitamin D died.

Taking vitamin D, with or without calcium, had a significant effect on mortality rates only after three years; mortality rates were not significantly different among those taking the vitamin after one or two years, according to the study.

Vitamin D and calcium are important throughout life, because of their role in bone health, Rejnmark said. But he recommends people start paying particular attention to their intake “around menopause for women, and around the age of 50 for men.”

While the review was based on studies of people who took supplements, Rejnmark said he does not believe the benefits would be any different for people who get the nutrients through food.

Autier noted that the greatest source of vitamin D is what the skin makes naturally when it is exposed to sunlight. People with darker skin tones, who are less able to produce vitamin D  in response to sunlight, should consider supplements as a viable option, he said.

A total of 87 percent of the studies’ participants were female, but Rejnmark said this had no bearing on the results, and vitamin D and calcium are equally beneficial to both sexes in terms of preserving longevity.

More from MyHealthNewsDaily:

9 Good Sources of Disease-Fighter Vitamin D

8 Tips for Healthy Aging

7 Common Summer Health Concerns

via Can taking vitamin D and calcium help you live longer? – Vitals.

, , , , , , ,

35 Comments

Response to painkillers may be linked to genetics


Response to painkillers may be linked to genetics

Susan E. Matthews

MyHealthNewsDaily

How the body responds to opiates — the powerful, pain-relieving drugs that carry a high potential for addiction — may be partly determined by genetics, according to a new study.

Researchers studied 121 pairs of twins to look at the role of genetics in people’s reactions to the pain medications. They found that genetic predisposition accounted for 59 percent of the variation between people’s levels of nausea, 36 percent of the differences in how much people disliked the drug and 38 percent of the variation in itchiness in reaction to the drug.

The findings are important because the degree to which people experience unpleasant side effects, and like or dislike the drugs, can be a sign of how effectively the drugs treat their pain, and their potential to develop addiction, the researchers said. Liking a drug increases the susceptibility to addiction, while experiencing negative side effects decreases it.

Genetics matter … people are different, and if we understand why they are different, we can take better care of them,” said study author Dr. Martin Angst, professor of anesthesia at the Stanford University Medical Center.

It’s well-known that the pain relievers cause extremely different reactions in people, but the new study gives researchers a better understanding of how genetics could play a role in those reactions.

“Patients vary dramatically in how much pain relief they get, what extent they suffer from opiates and how much pleasure they get from opiates,” Angst said.

Opiates: reactions and addictions

Nearly 2 million people in the U.S. are addicted to prescription painkillers, a 2009 government survey found, and the problem is growing. Painkiller addiction often begins with a patient taking legitimate prescriptions.

Researchers believe the addiction problem could be curbed if people’s reactions to the drugs were better understood, or could be predicted. Some patients may require 10 times the typical dose for adequate pain relief; others prefer lower doses that cause less extreme side effects, even though it means experiencing more pain.

In the study, participants were randomly assigned to receive either a small amount of a short-acting opiate or a placebo, followed by a heat probe or ice-cold water. Researchers spent 6 hours with each participant, but didn’t know which treatment they’d received. General tolerance to pain was also assessed by applying the heat probe or cold water without any medication.

The study demonstrated that one of the most uncomfortable side effects, nausea, is strongly inherited, as genes account for almost two-thirds of variability between people.

The more severe side effects that come with opiates include slow breathing, which can result in death. Genetics accounted for 30 percent of the variation between people in respiratory depression, and 32 percent of dizziness, the study found.

Opiates represent a “double-edged sword — they’re really important drugs to relieve pain, but they come along with side effects,” Angst said.

More personalized treatment

This line of research could result in a more personalized approach to administering the medications, the researchers said. Someday, people could be screened prior to use so doctors could understand their predispositions, and respond appropriately.

For example, screening could prevent a patient with a low tolerance for opiates from getting a high dose that could bring such euphoric feelings that they predispose the person to seek out the drug in the future, which could be the start of an addiction, said Dr. Doo-Sup Choi, who studies addiction at the Mayo Clinic.

Angst said further research must be done to determine which genes affect tolerance.

The study of 242 participants was large considering the amount of time spent with participants, and it was well-designed and well-performed, Choi said.

The study was published Wednesday in the journal Anesthesiology.

Related content

The Old Drug Talk: 7 New Tips for Today’s Parents

America’s Prescription for a Medical Nightmare

Trippy Tales: The History of 8 Hallucinogens

via Response to painkillers may be linked to genetics – Vitals.

, , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

OOAworld

Travel, Art, Stories, Photos, Stories, Film, Videos, Animation, Drawings, Writing

cancer killing recipe

Just another WordPress.com site

Blah Blah Blog

You'll thank me later

Psychological Espresso

A regular shot of psychological thought

NOM's adventures

NOM's journey through this awesome thing called life

Psychie blog

just awesome blog on mental health

Mirth and Motivation

Motivate. Elevate. Laugh and Live Positively!

Russel Ray Photos

Life from Southern California, mostly San Diego County

The Sunset Blog

Inspirational sunset & nature photos by Psychic healer Eva Tenter

Wisdom is Found Through Experience

le Silence de Sion © 2012-2014

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Quiet Mystic

Meditative and divinatory support for introverts

Jesus’ Wedding

An Integrated Theory of the Twin Paths of the Spiritual Journey that lead to Inner Transformation by using Symbolism, Myth, and Parable.

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

Birthplace of James Madison and Southern Plantation

RHF INDIA

The Complete Human Body

Manipal's Photo Blog

Because a picture paints a thousand words