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Studies: Nutrients to Stop Hair Loss, Cut Cancer Risks, Reduce Infections

Posted May 08 2009 11:35pm
Acache of new studies reveal certain vitamins can make hair grow thicker, reduce the risk of colon and ovarian cancer and cut infection rate in women – and more. Here's what you need to know –Colette Bouchez

Reduce Hair Loss With This Vitamin!

Has your hubby virtually glued that baseball cap to his head in an effort to hide his thinning hair? Or maybe it's you that's doing the same?Now anew study out of Malaysia has shown that a specific type of vitamin E – a nutrient known astocotrienol – may reverse baldness by up to 42% and in the process make hair thicker and stronger.

The eight-month study included 28 men aged 18 to 59, reporting hair loss for 2 to 5 years. At the start of the study researchers took hair counts in a pre-selected 2 x2 cm area of the scalp and then assigned the men to either a daily supplement containing 100 mg of tocotrienel, or a placebo capsule containing 600mg of soybean oil. The men were also told to wash and groom their hair normally with whatever products they had previously used.

The Result: After eight months of daily supplement use the men taking the tocotrienol form of vitamin E had a whopping 41.8 percent increase in hair count, with some of the volunteers gaining as much as 50% more growth. The placebo group saw no statistically significant increase in hair count or growth.

Now if you're thinking of just popping a vitamin E capsule to get the same result, there's something you should know: There are actually 8 different forms of vitamin E including 4 forms of tocopherols ( the kind most commonly found in multi vitamins) and 4 types of tocotrienols, which are considered a minor nutrient found in many plants but also available in palm oil, cereal grains and rice bran.

To get the same effect found in the study you need to specifically look for a Vitamin E supplement containing all 8 forms or at the very least the 4 tocotrienols – which are available in specialty vitamin products.

The research was conducted at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Science in Malaysia and will be presented next week at the Vita Foods International Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Cut Ovarian Cancer Risk With This Nutrient

Could reducing your risk of ovarian cancer be as simple as munching on some celery, parsley and tomatoes ? New research says yes – because all three foods have a simple but very protective nutrient in common.

That nutrient is a flavonoid known as apigenin - a type of water soluble compound found in plants and often responsible for their vibrant color. Now doctors from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health found that apigenin may be linked to a 28 percent decrease in the risk of ovarian cancer in women over aged 50.

Reporting in the International Journal of Cancer Research, doctors detailed a study on over 2,000 women, each of whom filled out a 126 item food frequency questionnaire designed to detail intake of foods high in five flavonoids including myricetin, kaempferol, quercetin, luteolin, and apigenin .

The Result: Although there was no statistically significant difference in cancer rates due to the overall intake of flavonoids, when doctors analyzed individual results they found apigenin appeared to reduce ovarian cancer risks by about 28%. It's most plentiful in celery, tomatoes and parsley.

Researchers say they aren't sure how or why apigenin confers protection, and they caution that more research is needed to confirm the findings. But among the possible modes of action include inhibiting estrogen activity in the ovaries, reducing circulating estrogen levels by occupying receptors in the ovary, or interfering with the way estrogen is metabolized in the body. Either way the end result is less estrogenic activity in the ovaries – and that translates into a reduced risk of ovarian cancer.

Since the rate of ovarian cancer is higher among women who are overweight ( which also correlates with higher levels of estrogen) if you are carrying some extra pounds it may be especially important to add these foods to your diet.

Take This Vitamin & Reduce V-Zone Infections

If you're looking to decrease your risk of a common infection known as bacterial vaginosis (BV), try adding more vitamin D to your diet. That's the finding of a new study just published in the Journal of Nutrition by doctors from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

The research involved some 400 pregnant women, each examined in their 16th week of gestation. Here doctors found those with low vitamin D levels (20 nmol/liter) were 34 percent more likely to have a BV infection than those whose vitamin D levels were higher ( 80nmol/l or more).

But it's not just pregnant women who are at risk. Doctors suggest that any woman who is low in vitamin D is more susceptible to a BV infection.

And, in fact, bacterial vaginosis is a common problem with symptoms that include an odorous vaginal discharge, and sometimes itching or burning on urination . It develops due to an overgrowth of a certain type of bacteria found naturally in the reproductive tract, and affects up to 30% of women between the ages of 19 and 49. When it occurs during pregnancy BV increases the risk of premature birth and of having a low birth weight baby. It can also increase a woman's risk of contracting HIV, and other STDS including genital herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhea.

While doctors aren't sure how or why vitamin D offers protection research suggests it may stimulate the immune system to keep natural bacteria levels under control.

The most bioactive form of vitamin D - and the form most likely to protect you can be made from just 20 minutes of sun exposure daily. But if , like many women, you are limiting time in the sun to protect your skin, or if you live in a climate where sun exposure is naturally limited, experts recommend 1000 mg of vitamin D supplements daily, as well as consuming food fortified with vitamin D, such as low fat dairy products.

Cut Your Risk of Colon Cancer With This B Vitamin

Looking to cut your risk of colon cancer? Add more vitamin B6 to your diet ! That's the latest finding from the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.The study documented blood levels of Vitamin B 6 in 197 men who developed colon cancer, and compared the findings with 371 who did not.

The Result: When blood markers for an active form of B6 known as PLP were high, the risk of colon cancer was reduced -sometimes by as much as 50%. When vitamin B6 levels were low, not only was cancer more likely to occur, but the men also had higher levels of other compounds including homocysteine and C-reactive protein (CRP) two natural compounds that promote inflammation. Low Vitamin B levels were also associated in with other factors that increase tumor growth.

The research was conducted by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, collaborated with scientists from Harvard School of Public Health, Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and GlaxoSmithKline R&D.

You might also enjoy reading:
Spring Summer Allergies Triggered By Health Foods
New Smart Foods Reduce Blood Pressure - Improve Heart Health

Or stop by anytime for the latest health, nutrition, beauty & style advice for fabulous women over 35!

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