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4/11/2017
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the primary catechin present in green tea (Camellia sinensis). EGCG has antioxidant, antibacterial, antidiabetic, and hypocholesterolemic effects. Thermogenic effects of EGCG have also been proposed, leading to its popular use as a weight-loss supplement. In the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (2016), Kapoor and colleagues published a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate whether EGCG can indeed increase energy expenditure and promote fat oxidation in humans. 

4/4/2017
Osteoarthritis (OA) creates joint pain and discomfort, predominantly in the knees and hips. The most common medications used to treat OA are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which increase the risk for gastrointestinal distress. Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) is a botanical medicine that has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for symptoms of joint pain

3/28/2017
Insufficient levels of vitamin D have been associated with the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as the severity of ASD symptoms. It has been suggested that vitamin D acts as a neuroactive steroid, influencing neuronal differentiation, axon connectivity, and brain structure and function. Vitamin D also regulates gene expression, upregulates DNA repair genes, modulates immune responses, and controls inflammation.

3/21/2017
Gestational diabetes is defined as elevated blood sugar during pregnancy in women without previous diabetes. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include maternal obesity, increasing maternal age, family history of type 2 diabetes, and previous pregnancy with gestational diabetes.

3/14/2017
Falls can result in fractures, bruising, head injuries, and decreased quality of life in the elderly, and those who live in residential care facilities are at particular risk. Interventions to decrease falls in this population include fall-prevention training for staff, living space adjustments, exercise programs, hip protectors, patient education, and medications.

3/7/2017
Metabolic syndrome is defined by the presence of 3 out of 5 metabolic risk factors: abdominal obesity, hypertension, high fasting blood sugar, high triglycerides, and low HDL-cholesterol. Patients with metabolic syndrome are susceptible to increased systemic inflammation and oxidative stress and are at an increased risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

2/28/2017
 
Vitamin D, a steroid hormone that helps to regulate calcium metabolism and immune function, may also play a role in neurological and psychiatric disorders. The 1α-hydroxylase enzyme, which activates vitamin D, as well as vitamin D receptors have been identified in the neurons and glial cells of the central nervous system. Animal studies have shown vitamin D deficiency to produce anatomic changes in brain development, and human studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation may benefit some psychiatric illnesses, such as major depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
 

2/14/2017
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a disorder that affects women of reproductive age, is characterized by endocrine and metabolic abnormalities that include hormonal changes, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and ovulatory dysfunction. Hyperandrogenism, resulting from increased androgen production from the ovaries and adrenal glands, is a characteristic feature of PCOS. Anti-androgen medications and oral contraceptives are common treatments for women with PCOS. In vitro studies suggest that resveratrol may offer a natural alternative to medications to reduce androgen levels.

2/9/2017
Cardiovascular disease results from complex variables, but certain biomarkers are generally recognized as indicators of cardiovascular risk. These biomarkers include serum lipid profiles, plasma fibrinogen, and blood pressure. These biomarkers reflect the body burden of oxidative stress and inflammation, which can be modulated by lifestyle and diet. Antioxidant phytonutrients from fruits, vegetables, and dietary supplements are one way to minimize oxidative stress, improve biomarkers, and reduce cardiovascular risk.

1/31/2017
The idea that dietary cholesterol increases circulating cholesterol levels and the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) has been a topic of heated debate for decades. This theory has been justified by early epidemiological studies that reported correlations between cholesterol intake and CHD and by feeding trials of short duration that showed dietary cholesterol to moderately increase circulating total and LDL cholesterol levels. Until recent years, the American Heart Association and the Dietary Guidelines for America recommended that healthy adults limit dietary cholesterol intake to 300mg/day.

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