Research Update: Omega-3s May Reduce Incidence of Gingivitis


Omega-3s May Reduce Incidence of GingivitisSource: A Naqvi et al., “n-3 fatty acids and periodontitis in U.S. adults,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 110, no. 11 (November 2010): 1669–1675.Dietary intake of even modest amounts of omega-3s may significantly improve gum care, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Omega-3s May Reduce Incidence of Gingivitis

Source: A Naqvi et al., “n-3 fatty acids and periodontitis in U.S. adults,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 110, no. 11 (November 2010): 1669–1675.

Dietary intake of even modest amounts of omega-3s may significantly improve gum care, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

The American Dietetic Association reports that researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed data from 900 patients involved in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to come to their conclusion. Participants in the NHANES survey, conducted between 1999 and 2004, were given food recall interviews to assess their dietary intake and supplement usage relating to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and alpha linolenic acid (ALA).

Levels of intake were then compared with dental records for incidence of periodontitis, a condition of gum inflammation also known as gingivitis.

Results of the data collection showed that 8.2% of subjects had periodontitis, but high intake of DHA came with a 20% risk reduction. A smaller association was observed with high EPA intake, and ALA did not show a statistically significant effect.

DHA and EPA were actually effective at “relatively modest intakes,” according to Elizabeth Krall Kaye, PhD, professor at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, who submitted accompanying commentary with the study.

Lonza’s ResistAid Exhibits Antigen-Specific Immune Response

Source: J Udani et al., “Proprietary arabinogalactan extract increases antibody response to the pneumonia vaccine: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study in healthy volunteers,” Nutrition Journal, published online August 26, 2010.

A proprietary larch tree extract appears to enhance the body’s immune response specifically to pneumonia vaccine, according to research published in Nutrition Journal.

Previous science on the arabinogalactan extract has demonstrated that it has an immunostimulatory effect, but a team of California researchers sought to determine whether the ingredient could increase antibody response to pneumonia vaccine rather than the entire non-specific immune system.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study, 45 healthy adults were assigned to 4.5 g of an arabinogalactan product-ResistAid by Lonza (Allendale, NJ)-or placebo for 72 days.

After 30 days, subjects were vaccinated for Streptococcus pneumonia. Specific immune response was measured on the following day, day 51, and day 72 via pneumococcal immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibody counts and salivary immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody counts. Non-specific immune response was measured via white blood cell counts, inflammatory cytokines, and complement C3 and C4, proteins that have an influence on the immune system.

At days 51 and 72, IgG levels increased after vaccination in both groups, but significantly more so with arabinogalactan treatment for two of the seven measured antibodies (18C and 23F). No effect of the treatment was observed on IgA, white blood cell count, inflammatory cytokines, or the complement system.

“The results of this pilot study suggest that the arabinogalactan preparation had a selective immunostimulating effect on acquired or adaptive immunity, without any clinically significant effects on [non-specific immune markers]” wrote the study’s authors. “Thus, it is possible that rather than acting as a general immunostimulant, arabinogalactan acted in a specific manner.”

Hot Pepper Capsaicinoids Stimulate Lipolysis without Affecting Heart Rate

Source: R Bloomer et al., “Effect of oral intake of capsaicinoid beadlets on catecholamine secretion and blood markers of lipolysis in healthy adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study,” Lipids in Health and Disease, published online July 15, 2010.

Capsaicinoids, the active compounds in hot chili peppers, show an ability to encourage lipolysis while not affecting heart-health factors, according to research published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease.

At the University of Memphis, researchers tested the effect of a capsaicin supplement with 2 mg of capsaicinoids versus placebo in 20 healthy adults. A crossover design was used as subjects switched treatments after one week of washout.

The supplement was Capsimax by OmniActive Health Technologies (Short Hills, NJ), which also funded the study. (The authors claimed no financial interest in the company.)

Before and after acute exercise, blood samples were collected. Researchers checked for increases in heart rate (as measured by norepinephrine and epinephrine) and increases in lipolysis or fat breakdown (as measured by glycerol and free fatty acid increases).

While none of the heart factors were changed by placebo or treatment, glycerol and free fatty acids did increase “at selected times post-ingestion” with capsaicinoids.

The results reinforce previous science supporting capsaicin’s ability to stimulate lipolysis. Furthermore, the study supports the idea that capsaicinoids have no ill effects on blood pressure. (The scientists note that until this study, “no human studies have included the measurements of blood epinephrine and norepinephrine concentrations following capsaicinoid intake.”)

Weight regain was not seen as statistically different in either treatment group.

“We are pleased to be adding to findings of an earlier study where Capsimax Plus Blend supplementation, combined with exercise, showed higher levels of calories burned,” said Jayant Deshpande, PhD, chief technology officer for OmniActive Health Technologies. “Both studies revealed positive results for these key components to successful weight management.”


DSM’s Genistein May Reduce Hot Flashes by 51%

DSM Nutritional Products’ (Parsippany, NJ) geniVida genistein may reduce hot flashes and night sweats in postmenopausal women by up to 51%, over three months. Study results were presented at the 9th International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention and Treatment.

The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study included 84 healthy postmenopausal women who were given either geniVida or placebo. According to researchers, the geniVida group saw a 51% reduction in hot flashes and night sweats, compared to 27% seen by the placebo group.

Also presented at the conference, a study on DSM’s geniVida Bone Blend formula (containing geniVida, Ropufa omega-3 DHA and EPA, calcium, and vitamins D3 and K1) indicated that the blend increased bone mineral density in the hips of postmenopausal women. The six-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 58 healthy, early-premenopausal women was conducted with Creighton University (Omaha, NE). The treatment group saw a pause in bone loss in the femoral neck and Ward’s Triangle of the hip, compared to the placebo group’s bone losses of 1.2% and 1.1%, respectively. Moreover, the treatment group saw increased bone mineral density by 2.3% in the Ward’s Triangle.

CRN Critiques JAMA’s DHA Alzheimer’s Study

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC) has voiced concern over a new Journal of the American Medical Association study, stating that the study did not consider the preventive role of omega-3 DHA in cognitive decline, but rather used DHA to try to treat those already suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

An 18-month multisite trial, the JAMA study assigned 295 subjects with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease to either 2 g of algae-derived DHA per day, or placebo. Utilizing several instruments for cognitive assessment, the researchers found that DHA showed no beneficial change compared with placebo.

“In summary, these results indicate that DHA supplementation is not useful for the population of individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease,” wrote the authors.

The authors, however, stated they do not rule out epidemiological evidence that suggests DHA may be more effective when administered prior to the onset of Alzheimer’s.

CRN mirrored this thought. “This study...focused on supplementing DHA in individuals who were currently coping with Alzheimer’s disease. It didn’t answer the question of whether DHA-taken over long periods of time and several years prior to disease onset-could have helped prevent these participants from developing the disease,” said Duffy MacKay, ND, CRN’s vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs.

The association also pointed to previous studies suggesting that DHA, combined with EPA and administered over longer periods of time, may reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. CRN also says that studies have pointed to DHA as an essential building block for brain tissue.

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