Monthly Archives: April 2017

More Health Benefits of Tea

April 21st is designated National Tea Day in the UK, and in recognition of this our posts today will address some of the possible health benefits of tea.

Tea is derived from the leaves and buds of the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis. It is the most widely consumed drink in the world, other than water.

Chinese researchers recently published results of a meta-analysis of several prospective cohort studies, examining the relationship between tea consumption and mortality of all cancers, as well as tea consumption and cardiovascular disease.

The researchers identified 62 published articles, and then narrowed this down to 18 studies. These studies involved thousands of subjects, with a follow-up period ranging from 3 to 28 years. The studies encompassed both black and green tea.

A dose-response analysis was performed which showed that a one cup unit of green tea per day was associated with a 5% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, while a one cup per day increment of black tea was associated with a 8% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality.

The inverse association between green tea consumption and cardiovascular mortality was more apparent in women than men. The reason for this is not clear.

In looking at tea consumption and all-cause mortality the dose-response analysis showed that a one cup per day increment of black tea was associated with a 3% lower risk of all-cause mortality, whereas a one cup per day unit of green tea consumption was associated with a 4% lower risk of all-cause mortality.

Given these possible health benefits of both black and green tea, let’s have a cup in honor of National Tea Day!

 

(Source- British Journal of Nutrition, 2015, 114)

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.

Acupuncture as a Adjunct Treatment for Depression

The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) has designated April 7th as World Health Day, with this year’s focus on depression. In recognition of this important day, our posts today will discuss depression and it’s treatment.

According to the results of the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study, depressive disorders rank 2nd in terms of global disability.

 Recently researchers from Taiwan conducted a meta-analysis of randomized trials in which the effects of antidepressant medications for adults diagnosed with depressive disorder was compared to a combination therapy of antidepressant medications plus acupuncture. The initial literature search yielded 661 possibly relevant research papers, which eventually was narrowed down to 13 studies, with a total of 1046 subjects.

Types of acupuncture included electro-acupuncture, manual acupuncture, and acupuncture with moxibustion. The number of acupuncture sessions varied from 9 to 36 with most treatment regimens lasting about six weeks. Various antidepressants were used including amitriptyline, fluoxetine, and paroxetine. Outcome measures included the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD-17) and the self-rating depression scale (SDS), among others.

What the researchers found after their analysis of the 13 different randomized trials was that the combination of acupuncture plus medication is more effective than medication alone, for the treatment of depression in the first six weeks.

 Given depression’s massive burden to both the individual and society it would seem acupuncture may warrant some consideration as an add-on treatment to conventional therapy. Acupuncture is generally well tolerated and may help mitigate side effects of antidepressant medications as well.

(Source- Journal of Affective Disorders, 176 (2015))

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone.

 

Low Magnesium Associated with Depression in Younger Americans

April 7th has been designated as World Health Day by the World Heath Organization, and this year’s focus is on depression. In recognition of this day our posts will focus on depression and its treatment.

Researchers affiliated with the University of Vermont examined the relationship between magnesium intake and depression in adults. Using data from the National Health and Nutritional Survey (NHANES) researchers looked at subjects ages 20 and older, which included nearly 9,000 records. The NHANES is a population-based survey, which was designed to collect information on the nutrition and health habits of the U.S. population, using a random sampling method.

Magnesium intake was estimated from a 24-hour diet and supplement recall. The Patient Health Questionnaire was used as a tool to assess depression in adults. 

What the researchers found was a bit unexpected- in those subjects younger than age 65 low magnesium was associated with greater depression, while in those subjects 65 and older low magnesium seemed to be protective of depression. The reason for this is not clear.

In addition, the researchers also found that over half of the adults in the survey do not consume adequate daily amounts of magnesium.

More research on this topic is needed, particularly to determine why the effect of magnesium on depression is somehow moderated by age. However, it is clear from this study that low magnesium intake in the 20-64 age population in the U.S. is associated with higher rates of depression.

(Source- Journal of the Board of Family Medicine, 2015.02.140176)

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.

Drinking Tea May Help with Depression

April 7th has been designated World Health Day by the World Health Organization, and this year’s focus is on depression. In recognition of this today’s posts will examine depression and its treatment.

An estimated 15 million Americans suffer from depression, with nearly 7% of the adult population affected in a given year. Worldwide more than 300 million are affected, and depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Depression contributes to the nearly 800,000 suicides which occur worldwide each year.

A recent study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry examined the relationship between tea consumption and the risk of depression. Researchers from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan China performed a meta-analyisis of eleven studies with 13 reports, involving nearly 23,000 subjects. These subjects were from China, Finland, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan.

The meta-analysis showed that higher consumption of tea was associated with a lower risk of depression. There was a linear association between tea consumption and risk of depression, as every 3 cups per day unit in tea consumption was associated with a 37% decrease in risk of depression.

Given the potentially devastating impact of depression on an individual’s health, drinking tea would seem to be a safe and simple way to help lower one’s risk.

(Source- Australian&New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2015, Vol. 49(4) 334-345)

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with you personal physician.