Connect with us

Health

Unveiling Niacin: Overconsumption Linked to Heart Disease Risk

Published

on

While vitamins and supplements can be beneficial for a variety of health reasons such as boosting collagen production, promoting brain health, or even combating aging, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks of overconsumption. A recent study from the Cleveland Clinic has highlighted the potential dangers of excessive intake of vitamin B3, also known as niacin, which is commonly found in supplements and food additives.

The study, which was electronically published in Nature Medicine on February 19, has found a link between high levels of vitamin B3 and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Niacin is naturally present in foods such as poultry, fish, bananas, and nuts. It is also added to processed foods like flour, cereals, and bread to prevent vitamin B3 deficiency, a practice that has been in place since World War II.

However, in today’s society, we rely heavily on processed foods, leading to an overconsumption of niacin. This issue is further exacerbated by the popularity of dietary supplements containing niacin, which often claim to have anti-aging effects that are not scientifically supported, according to Stanley Hazen, PhD, MD, chair of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Sciences in Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.

“Too much of the vitamin leads to the formation of a blood metabolite called 4PY, which can then trigger inflammation and damage blood vessels,” Hazen explained to CBS News. This was discovered by analyzing plasma from 1,162 patients with stable cardiac disease, where researchers were looking for molecules that could predict major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) without considering other risk factors.

Hazen, who is also co-section head of Preventive Cardiology in Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute, expressed his excitement about the findings. “What’s exciting is that this pathway appears to be a previously unrecognized yet significant contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease,” he said. “What’s more, we can measure it, meaning there is potential for diagnostic testing. These insights set the stage for developing new approaches to counteract the effects of this pathway.”

The researchers are optimistic that these findings could influence changes in nutritional policy and promote a more cautious approach to niacin supplements. “For decades, the United States and more than 50 other nations have mandated niacin fortification in staple foods such as flour, cereals and oats to prevent pellagra and other niacin deficiency syndromes,” Hazen said.

While this policy has been successful in preventing nutritional deficiencies and reducing deaths from pellagra, Hazen noted that the fortification of flour and cereal may have inadvertently contributed to the rise in cardiovascular disease over the past 75 years.

However, Hazen emphasized that the solution is not to completely eliminate niacin intake, as that would not be a realistic or healthy approach. Instead, he stressed the importance of consulting with a healthcare provider about vitamin B3 supplementation.

“Patients should consult with their doctors before taking over-the-counter supplements and focus on a diet rich in fruit and vegetables while avoiding excess carbohydrates,” he concluded. Always remember to consult your healthcare provider directly for any health-related questions or concerns.

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Health

Understanding Abdominal Pain: Causes, Relief, and When to Seek Help

Published

on

By

Experiencing abdominal pain can be due to a myriad of reasons, ranging from something as mundane as gas to more significant health conditions like appendicitis or Crohn’s disease. Recognizing the intensity of the pain and location within the abdomen can significantly aid in diagnosis.

The abdomen, situated between the chest and pelvis, is often where this discomfort occurs. Manifestations of such discomfort range from crampy, achy, and dull feelings to intermittent or sharp pains. It’s a remarkably common issue within the United States, with up to 1 in 4 people affected by this gastrointestinal symptom.

While the discomfort is typically transient, resolving with dietary changes and lifestyle modifications, it can also be chronic or indicative of a potentially drastic, life-threatening condition requiring immediate medical care.

“Determining the correct treatment for abdominal pain will ultimately depend on the root cause. This can involve a combination of natural remedies, medications, and, in more serious cases, surgical intervention,” says an expert on the topic. For instance, the fleeting pain caused by bloating might not necessitate medical treatment.

There are instances where over-the-counter (OTC) medications can alleviate abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, bloating, and nausea. However, appendicitis that results in severe pain might need a more robust treatment plan involving antibiotics and potentially an appendectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the appendix.

A healthcare professional is instrumental in creating the most effective treatment plan. While there are plenty of home remedies available to help soothe abdominal pain, it’s critical to consult a medical professional before trying anything new, as what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Always remember health is an individual journey, and taking into account personal medical history is crucial for effective treatment.

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source

Continue Reading

Health

Unlocking the Parkinson’s Puzzle: Vital Vitamin Links Revealed

Published

on

By

Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder whose precise origins continue to elude the scientific community, may have a new suspect in its etiology: vitamin deficiencies. While physicians and scientists have long hypothesized that an interplay between genetic and environmental factors contributes to the disease’s onset, new findings suggest a possible role for the absence of certain vitamins.

A recent study undertaken in May 2024, published in the Parkinson’s Disease journal, endeavored to uncover “gut microbial features” prevalent in individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The research involved a meta-analysis of fecal matter from a group of 94 diagnosed Parkinson’s patients, juxtaposed with 73 healthy individuals hailing from Japan. The data from this study was compared with earlier studies carried out in the U.S., Germany, China, and Taiwan.

The study’s findings were illuminating. It appears that those suffering from Parkinson’s disease were lacking in bacterial genes, which may cause a deficiency in two B vitamins, namely riboflavin (B2) and biotin (B7). The researchers stated: “Pathway analysis showed that genes in the biosyntheses of riboflavin and biotin were markedly decreased in Parkinson’s disease after adjusting for confounding factors.”

Riboflavin, known as B2 vitamin, is a component of the B-complex vitamins and is commonly found in a variety of food items including meats, fortified grains, and nuts, as confirmed by the Cleveland Clinic. “Riboflavin is an essential micronutrient that helps cells develop and work well,” says registered dietitian Kayla Kopp, RD. “Healthy bacteria in your gut microbiome make small amounts of riboflavin. But your body needs more to function. That’s why it’s important to get enough of this B vitamin in your diet every day.”

Significantly, the study also highlighted how riboflavin has been shown to improve conditions such as “oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, neuroinflammation, and glutamate excitotoxicity,” all of which are associated with Parkinson’s disease onset.

Biotin, or B7, is another B-complex vitamin that supports vital bodily functions. It is found in foods like meat, eggs, fish, seeds, nuts, and certain vegetables. The study notes that biotin produces anti-inflammatory substances and has the ability to decrease inflammation, providing relief from symptomatic allergies, immunological symptoms, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Given the implications of these vitamin deficiencies on health, the researchers suggest that introducing vitamin B supplements might be beneficial to Parkinson’s patients. In their words, “Supplementation of riboflavin and/or biotin is likely to be beneficial in a subset of Parkinson’s disease patients, in which gut dysbiosis plays pivotal roles.”

Nonetheless, it is critical to exercise caution before hastily adopting the study’s conclusions. “I think these data are much too premature to warrant therapeutic interventions,” warns Tim Sampson, PhD, assistant professor in the department of Cell Biology at Emory University School of Medicine. He emphasizes that these findings just widen the understanding of how the gut microbiome might be contributing to Parkinson’s disease.

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source

Continue Reading

Health

Endocrinologist Reveals Top Gut Health No-Nos to Live By

Published

on

By

Our gut health is more important than many of us realize. With more than 100 trillion microbes, including bacteria, fungi, yeast, and viruses, the gut microbiome plays a crucial role in how our bodies function and respond to stress, certain foods, and even some medications. Registered dietitian Kristian Kirkpatrick, RD, calls it the ‘second brain,’ thanks to its vast influence on our overall health.

1. Limit Red Meat Intake

Endocrinologist and researcher, Max Nieuwdorp, PhD, highlights the vital role gut microbes play in the production and release of various hormones, affecting our daily processes like mood and metabolism. One of the items Nieuwdorp suggests we limit for optimal gut health is red meat. He told Business Insider, “I try to not eat meat every day.”

While red meat can alter the composition of the gut microbiome, producing “dangerous” metabolites during the digestion process, Scripps Health also warns that a diet centered around red meat may increase risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and colorectal cancer due to its high cholesterol, saturated fats, and sodium content.

2. Avoid Ultra-Processed Foods

Nieuwdorp also advocates for reducing the intake of ultra-processed foods, including sweetened breakfast cereals, processed meat, soda, and some frozen ready-to-eat meals. Instead, he recommends prioritizing fresh, additive-free foods.

Gastroenterologist Preeya Goyal, MD, explained in an interview with PIH Health that “ultra-processed foods contain large quantities of saturated fat and trans-fat, added sugar, salt, and food additives that seriously affect the gut and physical health.” Additionally, the consumption of ultra-processed foods can disrupt brain functions.

3. Use Antibiotics Only When Necessary

Lastly, Nieuwdorp suggests using antibiotics only when absolutely necessary. “They drive dysbiosis in the gut,” he said.

Cleveland Clinic explains that dysbiosis means a lack of diversity in the gut’s microorganisms, which can make us vulnerable to infections. An imbalanced gut microbiome can also negatively affect our hormones and other essential microbiome services.

Harnessing the power of hormones for optimal health means nourishing our ‘second brain’ — the gut microbiome. By reducing red meat intake, avoiding ultra-processed foods, and using antibiotics only when necessary, we can better care for our gut health, positively impacting our overall wellbeing. Just like every part of our body, our gut requires thoughtfulness and care. With these tips from Dr. Nieuwdorp, we can take actionable steps to improve our gut health and consequently, our general health.

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending

" "