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Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide health problem that has been linked to musculoskeletal dysfunctions, cancers, autoimmune diseases, and hypertension. Count among these disorders restless legs syndrome (RLS), the neurological disorder that is characterized by an irresistible urge to move the extremities to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs; brand names: Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium) are prescribed to great numbers of patients worldwide as treatment for gastrointentestinal disorders like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Medical evidence has suggested, however, that PPIs may interact adversely with clopidogrel (Plavix) in patients who have suffered an acute coronary incident. But does this risk extend to patients without any prior history of cardiovascular disease?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 American adults have hypertension and only 50% of those patients have it under control. In natural medicine circles, the Mediterranean diet has been championed as heart healthy. One controversial aspect of the diet is its inclusion of red wine. True, the polyphenols in wine seem to contribute to the cardiovascular health, but alcohol is also known to raise blood pressure (BP). A study published in the journal Nutrients explored this “red wine contradiction.”

Recent research has suggested that consumption of flavanols, compounds found naturally in tea, grapes, red wine, apples, and cocoa products, may improve cognitive function in older populations. To evaluate the effect of cocoa flavanols (CFs) on the cognitive abilities of an elderly cohort, researchers at the University of L'Aquila, Italy, conducted a double-blind, controlled, parallel-arm study and published their results in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Research has repeatedly found that patients using statins to manage cholesterol levels are more likely to gain weight, reduce their exercise output, and develop diabetes thanks to increases in glycated hemoglobin and fasting glucose levels. Prior to this study, the long-term effects in healthy adults had not been measured, so the relationship between these outcomes and diabetic complications had not yet been determined.

As the world’s population ages, clinicians are continuing to search for ways to best promote brain health and help patients stave off such cognitive disorders as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies have shown that diet has a significant impact on the aging brain, but the relationship between actual biomarkers of diet and the health of specific brain tissue has been a mystery.

Green tea (GT), made from the unfermented leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, is replete with antioxidants known to support cardiac and metabolic health. Research has shown that the mechanism behind the health benefits of caffeinated GT is its catechin polyphenol content. But are these benefits limited only to caffeinated GT? In the first study of its kind, a research team examined the effect of decaffeinated GT extracts (dGTE) on fat oxidation, body composition, and exercise performance in recreationally active participants.

Caffeine is the most commonly consumed central nervous system stimulant in the United States, with more than 85% of US adults partaking of it every day. Prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) in the United States is approximately 18%. Is there a connection between the two? A study published in PLoS One may be the first to investigate the association between caffeine intake and ED and whether effects vary among comorbidities for ED.

Many patients with type 2 diabetes are unsure whether they should eat fruit. True, fruit has necessary antioxidants and fiber, but in general it also contains far more simple carbohydrates than vegetables do. A study published in the British Medical Journal aimed to determine whether, to what degree, specific fruits are associated with risk of type 2 diabetes.

New mothers are often advised to boost their omega-3 fatty acid levels, especially if they limited their fish intake during pregnancy. A specific recommendation for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is often recommended as DHA is necessary to strengthen neurological function in the infant.

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