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Learn more about these popular supplements that people use for a variety of reasons—to address an acute condition, such as cold or flu, to manage a chronic condition, such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis, or to prevent health problems from getting a foothold.
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Common Questions

Health News

  • Multivitamins Plus Zinc May Help Your Child Grow Taller

    Friday, November 15, 2019
    New Science
    Multivitamins Plus Zinc May Help Your Child Grow Taller

    Every parent wants to help their child reach for the stars. But what about reaching the highest shelf in the closet—is there anything you can do to help them reach those heights? Possibly! Research suggests that zinc supplements paired with multivitamins may help children at high risk of nutrient deficiencies to grow taller. The study was published in Pediatrics International and included 70 healthy children, ages 4 to 13, who attended a public school in central Thailand, where zinc and vitamin deficiencies are common. The children were randomly assigned to two groups: one group received a zinc bis-glycinate supplement providing 20 mg of elemental zinc, plus a multivitamin with B vitamins, and vitamins A and D, five days a week for six months; the other group received a placebo for the same amount of time. At the beginning and end of the six months, the children’s height, weight, BMI (body mass index), waist and hip circumference, and waist-to-height ratio were measured. At the end of the study, researchers discovered that:

    • Regardless of their height and weight at the beginning of the study, two months after the children began treatment, the zinc/multivitamin group started to experience a statistically significant increase in height compared with the placebo group.
    • By the end of the study, children in the zinc/multivitamin group grew 3.6 to 6.2 cm, while the placebo group grew 2.7 to 4.5 cm.
    • There were no further differences in other measures of body growth during the study.

    These findings support previous research that shows zinc and other vitamins are essential for normal growth during childhood. If you want to boost your child’s zinc intake, food sources include oysters, crab, sesame and pumpkin seeds, nuts, lentils, beans, beef, and fortified cereals. A zinc supplement may also be a good choice; just be sure to talk with your child’s pediatrician before adding supplements to their health regimen.

    Source: Pediatrics International

  • Diet May Trump Genes When It Comes to Cataract Risk

    Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    New Science
    Diet May Trump Genes When It Comes to Cataract Risk

    According to one study, high vitamin C intakes may decrease the risk of cataracts. Cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens that can occur during aging, are the leading cause of blindness around the world. The study was published in Ophthalmology and included data from 2,054 female twins, ages 50 to 83, who participated in the TwinsUK cohort study. Participants completed food frequency questionnaires regarding their vitamin C intake (from foods and supplements) and their intake of other nutrients. Researchers used digital imaging to examine the participants’ eyes for cataracts at the beginning of the study. Then, around ten years later, researchers followed up with 324 of the twins to examine for cataracts again. Researchers also tested the participants for a genetic predisposition to cataracts to understand which factors contributed to the development of cataracts. At the end of the study, researchers found that:

    • At around age 60, participants who had high dietary vitamin C intakes had a 19% reduced risk of cataracts, and ten years later, they had a 33% reduced risk, compared with those who had low dietary vitamin C intakes.
    • Over the ten-year follow-up period, genetic factors accounted for 35% of cataract formation, while environmental factors (such as diet) accounted for the remaining 65%.

    While more clinical research is needed to confirm these findings, this was the first study to show environmental factors may play a larger role in cataract formation than hereditary factors. The evidence also suggests that eating a diet rich in vitamin C may help keep your eyes healthy. If you want to boost your vitamin C intake, citrus fruits are a great place to start. But if you’re in the mood for something else, broccoli, yellow peppers, Brussels sprouts, parsley, and kale are also vitamin C superstars.

    Source: Ophthalmology

  • Rose Hips May Help Increase Knee Joint Mobility

    Friday, November 08, 2019
    New Science
    Rose Hips May Help Increase Knee Joint Mobility

    A study reported on in NutraIngredients found an association between supplementing with rose hips, long used in traditional medicine to promote health, and improved knee joint function. The study, published in the journal Gait & Posture, randomly assigned 94 adults with self-reported knee-related walking limitations to receive either rose hip supplements (a total of 2,250 mg per day) or a placebo for 12 weeks. Researchers analyzed the participants’ knee joint movement at the beginning and end of the study to assess any differences. After three months, here is what researchers found:

    • In the researchers’ observations, knee joint movement while walking significantly improved for participants taking the rose hip supplements compared with those taking a placebo.
    • There was no significant difference in self-reported knee mobility and health-related quality of life between the two groups at the end of the study.

    Although the participants did not report knee joint benefits, the findings of this study do align with other related research that has found rose hips may decrease pain in people with osteoarthritis. Other research has found that rose hips may also benefit people with rheumatoid arthritis and back pain.

    Source: Gait & Posture

  • Zinc Lozenges May Help Shorten Colds

    Wednesday, November 06, 2019
    New Science
    Zinc Lozenges May Help Shorten Colds

    With cold season upon us, here's some good information to keep in mind: a meta-analysis of three randomized, placebo-controlled trials found that zinc acetate lozenges lessened the duration of the common cold by nearly three days. While previous research has come to a similar conclusion, the meta-analysis was unique in that the studies it included examined zinc's effectiveness across different groups of people—including those with varying allergy statuses, smoking habits, cold severity, ages, genders, and ethnicity—and found that the zinc lozenges were equally effective across the board. Therefore, based on these findings, it appears that zinc could be an effective cold-alleviator for most people. If you’d like to stock up on zinc so you’re prepared when a cold strikes, lozenges that contain zinc gluconate or acetate, and that are free of artificial colors and flavors, might be your best choice.

    Source: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

  • A Win-Win: Tips to Manage Your Diabetes and Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

    Friday, November 01, 2019
    A Win-Win: Tips to Manage Your Diabetes and Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

    According to health experts, women with type 2 diabetes have an approximate 20 to 30% increased risk of developing breast cancer compared with women who don’t have diabetes. This might be because some of the same factors that increase diabetes risk—being older, being overweight or obese, eating a poor-quality diet, and not getting regular physical activity—are also linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. The good news, however, is that some of these overlapping factors are within our control and we can make daily choices, like the one's below, that not only help us better manage our diabetes, but also possibly reduce our risk of later developing breast cancer.

    • Manage your midsection. Being overweight is a risk factor for both type 2 diabetes and breast cancer; if you carry your extra weight in your midsection—called central adiposity—this is particularly strongly linked with a risk of both diseases.
    • Elevate exercise. Make regular physical activity a top priority. You don’t have to run a marathon; even brisk walking for 30 minutes daily can improve your health and blood glucose control.
    • Dial in your diet. Diabetes experts agree that there are a number of dietary patterns that can improve blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes, from a paleo plan to a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet, low glycemic index diet, or a low-fat vegan diet. Work with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) or a registered dietitian, to find the diet plan that meets your health goals and makes you happy.

    Source: British Journal of Cancer

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Copyright © 2019 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2019.