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healthbriefs


Spirulina Reduces Weight and Cholesterol


S


pirulina platensis, a single-celled blue-green algae used in sup-


plements, is often taken for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. A new study from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, in Iran, tested the efficacy of spirulina supplementation on the body mass index (BMI), weight and cholesterol levels of 64 obese adults between the ages of 20 and 50. Subjects were divided into inter-


vention and placebo groups. The intervention group took twice-daily supplements of Spirulina platensis for 12 weeks. BMI, fasting blood samples and lipid profiles were assessed at the beginning and end of the study, and food intake and appetite were reported daily. The scientists found more than


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double the reductions in both body weight and BMI in the spirulina group, compared to the control group. In addition, reductions in both total cholesterol and appetite were found in the intervention group.


Vitamin D plus Calcium Lowers Cancer Risk


R


esearchers from the Creighton


University School of Nursing, in Omaha, Nebraska, studied 2,303 healthy postmenopausal women to determine whether a link between vitamin D and cancer existed. The treatment group comprised 1,156 women receiving 2,000


International Units (IU) of vitamin D3 and 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day for four years. The 1,147 women in the control group received placebos for the same duration. Within the study timeframe, 64


women from the placebo group were diagnosed with some form of cancer, while only 49 subjects from the treat- ment group faced a cancer diagnosis. This represents a small, but significant reduction in the cancer rate for those taking vitamin D3


. Further analyses of


the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood revealed that the women that developed cancer had substantially lower levels of this vitamin than the subjects that remained healthy.


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Aleksandra Gigowska/Shutterstock.com


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