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Vitamin D is thought to be required for cardiovascular health, with mechanistic studies showing that vitamin D may affect endothelial function, fibrosis, and inflammation. Meta-analyses of observational studies have determined that serum vitamin D (25OHD) is inversely related to cardiovascular mortality in healthy individuals, but studies among patients with cardiovascular disease have produced inconsistent results. 

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide, but rates are lowest in Asian countries. One possible explanation could be the regular inclusion of soy foods in Asian cuisine. Soy isoflavones act as weak estrogen receptor agonists or antagonists, depending on the cell type and estrogen concentration present. Also, the soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein have been shown to accumulate in prostatic tissue, where they may be cytotoxic to cancer cells.

Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species of probiotics have been widely studied to support immune, digestive, and overall health. One previous study evaluated a combination of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis strain BB-12 in Finnish dental students and found that it improved their gingival health. A second study aimed to evaluate the effect of L. rhamnosus and B. lactis on oral health in adolescent boys in Norway.

Gestational diabetes mellitus is a well-documented risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and 3 previous population-based studies (conducted in Canada, France, and North America) have also reported that gestational diabetes increases the risk for future cardiovascular events. The current study examined the risk of cardiovascular disease in women previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes in the United Kingdom.

Working memory refers to the ability to use and manipulate information stored within short-term memory. Evidence suggests that working memory declines with age, beginning in early adulthood. Working memory is a hippocampal-dependent task, leading researchers to explore therapies that protect or support the hippocampus. Some polyphenols found in plants of the Lamiaceae (mint) family have demonstrated such neuroprotective effects. Rosmarinic acid, found in spearmint (Mentha spicata), has antioxidant effects in hippocampal neurons and tissue.

Survivors of breast cancer often experience cancer-related or treatment-related symptoms months or years after treatment. These symptoms commonly include menopausal symptoms, fatigue, cognitive changes, and hair thinning or hair loss. There is reason to believe that consumption of some phytochemicals in foods might mitigate these late effects of breast cancer treatment. Isoflavones in soy bind to estrogen receptors and exert weak estrogenic effects.

Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) have been extensively studied for their cardioprotective effects. Several studies suggest that n-3 LCPUFAs reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, and it has been suggested that they do so by reducing resting heart rate. A meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of n-3 LCPUFAs on HR was published in 2005 and included 30 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with 1678 participants. Since that time, many more RCTs have been conducted on this topic.

The association between maternal folic acid and multivitamin supplementation and risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been evaluated in several epidemiologic studies. The California Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) study identified a reduced risk of ASD with folic acid supplementation beginning 12 weeks prior to pregnancy and into the first 4 weeks into pregnancy. Studies in Norway have reported similar findings, but studies in Denmark have not. Results from the Stockholm Youth Cohort reported an association between multivitamin use during pregnancy and a reduced risk of ASD with intellectual disability. 

Melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland, is best known for regulating sleep and the circadian rhythm. Melatonin can also exert anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and cardio-protective effects. Experimental studies show that melatonin enhances insulin sensitivity, increases activity of lipoprotein lipase, decreases lipolysis in adipose tissue, increases conversion of cholesterol to bile acids, and protects LDL from oxidation.

Mucositis is a common side effect of chemotherapeutic drugs used in the treatment of cancer. Almost all patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy and 80% of patients being treated for head and neck cancers experience mucositis. Symptoms include oral ulcers, erythema, edema, bleeding, and severe pain, which can interfere with swallowing, eating, drinking, and talking. Mucositis can also increase the risk of infection and interfere with patients’ ability to tolerate cancer treatments.

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