Osteoporosis Risk Underestimated by Most Women
In a telephone poll of one thousand women, 86% of those fifty years or older were not of the opinion that they would develop osteoporosis, although studies have demonstrated that nearly half of all women will experience a fracture due to the disease at some point in their lives. Even a group of those surveyed who had symptoms of bone loss did not believe they were at risk for osteoporosis. Although nearly all of the women ranked independence of importance to them, "Our survey clearly shows they don't realize how osteoporosis, a preventable disease, can take away their hard-won independence in the years ahead," stated Dr Holly McCord, nutrition editor of Prevention magazine. Although 65% of those over fifty years of age stated that they performed weight bearing exercises, and 76% consumed a high-calcium diet, the survey authors recognized that these factors are usually insufficient in the prevention of the disease.
Bone mineral density testing is recommended by the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Fish Oil Protects Heart Attack Patients
The August 7 issue of the Lancet reported a three and a half year italian study of over 11,324 recovering cardiac patients who received 1 gram of fish oil per day, 300 mg vitamin E, both fish oil and E, or no supplements. Of the group receivng the fish oil, there was a reduced incidence of second heart attack, stroke and death, compared to the group not receiving any supplements. The study's authors reported no benefit for the vitamin E group, although vitamin E has been shown to improve cardiovascular health in other studies. The polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish oil may prevent cardiac arrhythmias, thereby preventing further cardiac events.
Although fish oil supplements may help to prevent thrombotic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke patients should avoid large amounts of fish oil as it may promote this type of stroke.
Type 1 Diabetes helped by vitamin E
Diabetic retinopathy is a common condition in diabetic patients associated with diminished blood flow to the retina. The kidneys of diabetic patients suffer from decreased blood flow as well. In the latest issue of the journal Diabetes Care, Dr George L King and his colleagues reported that vitamin E supplements normalized bloodflow to the retina and kidneys. Following a four month clinical trial in which subjects were given doses of vitamin E that were sixty times the RDA, kidney function improved and blood flow to the retina was increased almost to the normal rate. Dr King is recommending a large follow-up clinical trial.