Latest News on Vitamins : May 21

[1] Vitamins and cancer

The prospect that high intake of certain vitamins may confer protection against cancer has drawn substantial attention during the last decades. This paper gives a concise update of the role of a number of promising vitamins in prevention of cancer. Vitamin A and its analogues have an important role in cellular processes related to carcinogenesis. However, blood vitamin A levels are under strict control and a high intake of preformed vitamin A does not seem to be relevant for cancer prevention. The antioxidant vitamins C and E and β-carotene may also have other biological activities than free radical trapping that relate to their cancer preventive properties. Mechanisms include immune stimulation, inhibition of nitrosamine formation, enhancement of cell communication and an influence on metabolic activation of carcinogens. Epidemiological data for the antioxidant vitamins are promising, but cannot rule out that another factor or combination of factors in fruits and vegetables might be responsible for a protective effect. The B vitamin folic acid is one of these potential factors that is currently thought to have an influence on DNA methylation and thus on proto-oncogene expression.

[2] Chapter 59 – Hydrosoluble vitamins

The hydrosoluble vitamins are a group of organic substances that are required by humans in small amounts to prevent disorders of metabolism. Significant progress has been made in our understanding of the biochemical, physiologic and nutritional aspects of the water-soluble vitamins. Deficiency of these particular vitamins, most commonly due to inadequate nutrition, can result in disorders of the nervous system. Many of these disorders have been successfully prevented in developed countries; however, they are still common in developing countries. Of the hydrosoluble vitamins, the nervous system depends the most on vitamins B and C (ascorbic acid) for proper functioning. The B group vitamins include thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin or niacinamide (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine or pyridoxal (vitamin B6) and cobalamin (vitamin B12). Clinical findings depend upon the deficiency of the underlying vitamin; generally, deficiency symptoms are seen from a combination rather than an isolated vitamin deficiency. True hereditary metabolic disorders and serious deficiency-associated diseases are rare and in general limited to particular geographic regions and high-risk groups.

[3] The Vitamins in Medicine

Since the first edition in 1942 this valuable reference book has increased in size by nearly 50 per cent. Most of the chapters have been enlarged and revised, and a fresh chapter has been added on the essential unsaturated fatty acids and minor fat-soluble vitamins. The -labour involved in its preparation can be gauged by the fact that the references now number nearly 4, 500. The production is surprisingly good under the present conditions, and the new illustrations (88) are of the same high standard as the original ones. [The legend under Fig. 177 needs alteration.]
It remains essentially a reference book and will probably not prove easy reading for the busy clinician: its comprehensiveness will commend it to everyone doing research on almost any aspect of vitamins. Most of the available papers of importance up to the first half of 1945 are noted, but there is no reference to the condition of the liver in pellagra. The rather biased section on pasteurization has been omitted from this edition since the editors cannot agree on the subject. The price of the book has gone up slightly, but it is still very good value for money.

[4] Proximate Composition, Vitamin and Anatomical Studies on Gomphrena celosioides

Gomphrena celosioides is an ornamental plant with highly medicinal values. Available information on its anatomical studies is scanty while proximate composition and vitamins investigations are lacking. This study therefore focused on proximate composition, vitamin and anatomical evaluation of its various parts usingstandard methods. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was employed for data analysis. Moisture, ash and crude fiber were highest in the stem (64.20±0.14, 8.26±0.00 and 18.66±0.01) respectively. Total protein and fat contents were highest in the leaf (0.44±0.00 and 0.52±0.00) respectively while carbohydrate was highest in the root (33.21±0.63). The study on vitamins showed that vitamins A and C contents were highest in leaf (1.96±0.01) and (1.68±0.01) respectively and lowest in root (1.57±0.02) and (1.47±0.01) respectively. Anatomical result revealed similar features in their epidermis and cortex and differences in their vascular bundles arrangement. This work has demonstrated that the plant is highly nutritious. Apart from its use as an ornamental, the parts could be used as food to supplement our daily nutrient needs. Also the anatomical result is an additional aid to the taxonomic characterization of the plant.

[5] Vitamin D Receptor BsmI Gene Polymorphisms and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Saudi Study

Background: Both vitamin D deficiency and Gestational diabetes (GDM) are common among Saudis. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene is a candidate gene for susceptibility to several diseases. Studies on association between VDR polymorphisms and risk of GDM in Saudi populations are yet inconclusive.
Objective: to evaluate the association between Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms and genetic susceptibility to gestational diabetes (GDM) in pregnant Saudis.
Subjects & Methods: thirty pregnant Saudi women with diabetes (17 GDM and 13 type 2 diabetes (T2DM) with past history of GDM) were compared to 14 pregnant women with normal glucose tolerance. Patients and controls were recruited at their third trimester from Taibah University medical unit from January to July 2010. Genomic DNA was extracted and the genotyping related to vitamin D receptor BsmI gene single – nucleotide polymorphisms was carried out by polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis.
Results: The gene frequency, allele frequency and carriage rate of the VDR polymorphism BsmI did not differ between patients and controls with no significant association with any clinical parameters. The 25 hydroxyl Vitamin D level but not the gene frequency was a significant predictor of history of abortion among diabetics (OR=-0.29, 95% CI -0.081-0.0, p=0.047).
Conclusions: Vitamin D receptor BsmI gene polymorphisms is not associated with gestational diabetes among Saudis. Further studies of other Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphism in combination are required.




[1] van Poppel, G. and van den Berg, H., 1997. Vitamins and cancer. Cancer letters114(1-2), pp.195-202.

[2] Chawla, J. and Kvarnberg, D., 2014. Hydrosoluble vitamins. Handbook of clinical neurology120, pp.891-914.

[3] Bicknell, F. and Prescott, F., 1946. The vitamins in medicine. The Vitamins in Medicine., (Second Edition).

[4] Ilodibia, C.V., Ewere, F.U., Akachukwu, E.E., Adimonyemma, R.N., Igboabuchi, N.A. and Okeke, N.F., 2016. Proximate composition, vitamin and anatomical studies on Gomphrena celosioides. Annual Research & Review in Biology, pp.1-6.

[5] Tawfeek, M.A., Habib, F.A. and Saultan, E.E.M., 2011. Vitamin D receptor BsmI gene polymorphisms and gestational diabetes mellitus: a Saudi study. Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, pp.459-468.

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