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Linus Pauling Institute Fall, 2008 Newsletter

This newsletter is remarkable, and available for free if you fill out the LPI form here. I recommend you subscribe to this newsletter, full of outstanding nutrition information based on the latest research from this institute. Here's a few highlights worth noting:

1. From Director Balz Frei: Many publications show that high concentrations of vitamin C (that can be obtained by intravenous vitamin C treatment) kill cancer cells but not normal cells by a pro-oxidant mechanism. The relationship between vitamin C and chemotherapy is promising in terms of increased survival times and decreased side effects.

2. Zinc - from Prof Emilly Ho: MOST PEOPLE GET ENOUGH ZINC. But 50% of elderly people are deficient! And 12% of others. Zinc has a critical role in insulin storage. Insulin is stored as a zinc crystal in the islet cells. As an antioxidant it may protect from oxidative damage associated with cancer risk. It is also involved in a healthy immune system and for DNA repair. PROSTATE CANCER - Zinc is esp. important to prevent prostate cancer, along with fruits and veggies, esp. cruciferous veggies. Obesity and red meat diet (see No Fours Diet) increase risk.

3. How Vitamin D Dramatically Boosts your immune system:The Institute just hired a vitamin D expert, Dr. Gombart. Vitamin D has a critical role in the immune system, esp. for microbial infection and cancer. Humans are born with an innate immune system of mast cells (phagocytes, consisting of neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells; natural killers cells; and basophils which release histamine) that protects us from bacteria and viruses. We also have an adaptive immune system of B- and T-cells. Neutrophils, mast cells, and natural killer cells can kill pathogens by secreting cathelicidin, an antimicrobial protein that bacteria do not easily resist. Vitamin D causes cathelicidin to be produced. [Nutrition Investigator documents the value of 1,000 IU Vitamin D daily for young people, 2,000 IU for those over 55.]

4. Serum micronutrients by Prof. Dodge:Someone gets Alzheimer's every 72 seconds. In 2007, over 5 million had it in the US. Although there is no cure, modification of lifestyle (e.g. diet high in antioxidant nutrients and enriched, stimulating environment (Think about sex) may play an important role. The fastest growing segment of the population in the industrial world is those over age 85. Life expectancy at age 65 is 16.3 years; at age 85 it is 5.6 years.

5. Micronutrients for the elderly (over age 50) by Assoc. Drake:

Micronutrient RDA LPI recommendation
Bones -
1,200 mg same as RDA
Vitamin D (age 51-70) 400 IU 2,000 IU
Vitamin D (age over 70) 400 IU 2,000 IU
Magnesium 320-420 mg same as RDA
Vitamin C
75-90 mg at least 400 mg
Vitamin E 22.5 IU 200 IU
B vitamins
Vitamin B6
1.7 mg same as RDA
Folate (Vitamin B9) 400 mcg same as RDA
Vitamin B12 2.4 mcg 100-400 mcg

Needs for calcium and vitamin D increase above age 50. May need more vitamin C, E, B6, folate, and B12. As energy requirement usually drops, choose nutrient-rich foods and take a multivitamin-mineral supplement [Nut Inv note: without iron]. The intestinal absorption of calcium and perhaps magnesium, and the capacity of the skin to synthesize vitamin D, decline with age. 99% of calcium is in bones and teeth. Daily calcium intake in older and post-menopausal adults should be 1,200 mg/day, and not more than 2,500 mg/day. Evidence suggests a daily supplement of 2,000 IU of vitamin D to protect breast, ovarian, and colon cancer. The majority of adults do not get enough magnesium. Few multivitamin/minerals contain more than 100 mg of magnesium. As elderly have lower kidney function, they should avoid taking more than 350mg daily. But magnesium rich foods are safe. Vitamin C at a dose of 400mg/ day-much higher than the RDA - is recommended (Nut Inv documents the value of 500 mg twice a day). Particularly important for older adults, who are at risk for chronic disease like heart disease, stroke, and cataracts.

6. Copper and inflammation by Asst. Wei - Copper is a double-edged sword: small amounts are essential for health, but excess copper can generate free radicals causing inflammation and toxicity. Copper is required for angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation ) upon which cancer tumor growth depends.

7. Lowering triglyceride levels with Lipoic Acid by Prof. Moreau - Abnormally high serum triglyceride levels (over 150 mg/dl) occur in about 30% of US adults. Conventional therapy includes weight loss, exercise, fish oil and niacin supplements, and drugs including statins. Many physicians are reluctant to use the drugs due to concerns about muscle dysfunction and the drugs' effectiveness. Lipoic acid has long been reported to improve glucose uptake in diabetes and is prescribed by physicians, esp. in Germany. Green leafy veggies are a good source of lipoic acid. A reasonable dose is 2 grams per day. In experiments with rats, the table below shows benefits which may occur in humans also. Rats also lost visceral fat. Liver glycogen increased, suggesting lipoic acid induced storage of dietary carbs as glycogen rather than fat.


Theray triglyceride LDL HDL Side effects
Statins Down 20-40% Down 18-55% Up 5-15% Myopathy rhabdomyolysis; elevated liver enzymes
Fibrates Down 40-60% Up 5-30% Up 15-25% Rhabdomyolysis
Niacin Down 30-50% Down 5-25% Up 20-30% Flushing, worsening glycemia; elev. liver enzymes
Fish Oil Down 30-50% Up 5-10% Up 5-10% fishy aftertaste; upset stomach
Lipoic Acid in animal tests Down to normal Down 23% Up 23% Decreases heart disease risk 70% in animal tests


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