MABAD (Online)- For those of you who are still taking high doses of vitamin C in the belief that it will help you prevent or shorten a cold, there is news for you.
This is an Australian study that looked at what would happen if large doses of vitamin C were taken at the onset of a cold. Four hundred healthy volunteers took a daily dose of vitamin C (1gm or 3gm) or a placebo.
They were instructed to begin taking the medication when they experienced common symptoms of a cold for at least for hours. They were to keep a simple record of their colds and return them to researchers. This was a double blind, randomised clinical trial.
One hundred and forty-nine participants returned their cold records for a total of 184 cold episodes. Now listen to this. Researchers found no real differences between the vitamin C and the placebo group. No difference in cold severity or duration. The placebo group had the shortest time for symptoms (nasal, systemic and overall symptoms). This group also had the lowest severity score at 14 days, seven days and 28 days. But the scores were not deemed significant by the researchers.
This study confirms four other randomly controlled clinical trials on vitamin C in colds. So, if you want to continue taking vitamin C for your cold, go ahead. But it could be a terrific waste of money.
No emotional highs with high blood pressure
High blood pressure is known to reduce sensitivity to pain, but a new study shows that it may have a more general influence on emotional response by smoothing out emotional high and lows.
Cynthia Pury, Ph.D, of Clemson University, and colleagues tested 65 volunteers, first recording their blood pressure and then showing them 32 photographs. Half the pictures were intended to elicit a positive emotional response and half a negative response.
After viewing each photograph, participants rated their reactions on scales of happy to unhappy and calm to excited. The average age of participants was 20-year-old. Their findings appear in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Systolic blood pressure (the "top" number in blood pressure readings) correlated with more neutral, less extreme responses to the photographs, she says.
There was a similar but more modest effect for diastolic blood pressure. The responses were similar for both positive and negative emotional response, on both the happy-sad and the calm-excited scales.
Increases in blood pressure, Pury and her colleagues speculate, may help people cope with intense psychological stimulation by limiting emotional reactions. This may raise the threshold for stress reactions.
"If those with higher resting blood pressure perceive their environment as less threatening, they may stay in stressful situations for longer," she says. "Likewise they may seek out greater levels of excitement."
Eat lo carb, gain weight
If you want to lose weight long term, and that should be your goal, lo carb is not the way to go.
This study found that typical low carb foods are a recipe for weight gain and that those who increased fruit consumption (lo carb dieters shun fruits) and lowered fat consumption (lo carb dieters consume more fat) weighed less in the long term.
Sorry but lo carb dieting is just a fad and no better than all the other fads we have been through.
Modifications in food-group consumption are related to long-term body-weight changes
The aim of this study was to verify whether changes in some dietary patterns over a 6-year follow-up period would be associated with weight changes.
A sample of 248 volunteers of the QuTbec Family Study were measured twice (visit 1: 1989-1994; visit 2: 1995-2000). Body weight, percentage body fat, subcutaneous skinfold thicknesses, and waist circumference measurements as well as 3-d dietary and physical activity records were obtained at each visit.
At visit 2, all participants filled out a food-based questionnaire examining changes in the consumption of 10 food categories. To further investigate the relation between changes in food-group consumption and body-weight changes, a total of 51 food subcategories were identified from dietary records.
A self-reported decrease in the consumption of food in the fat group or an increase in consumption in the fruit group from the food-based questionnaire predicted a lower increase in body weight and adiposity indicators over time.
A more detailed examination of the change in food groups between diet records revealed that increases in the consumption of whole fruit as well as skimmed milk and partly skimmed milk were the 2 food patterns that negatively correlated with the changes of each body weight-related indicator.
These results show that changes in the consumption of some specific food groups are associated with body-weight changes. Such specific eating patterns could help to improve obesity treatment and prevention.