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2014

December
Probiotic Reduces GI Pain in IBS -- A yeast-based probiotic was recently shown to significantly reduce abdominal pain and discomfort among people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The most notable effect occurred after 4 weeks of use. Other studies, typically using bacterial probiotics, have also shown some benefit in IBS. For details, see the Probiotic Supplements Review >> 
Soy for Menopause Symptoms -- Many studies have shown that soy isoflavones, in the right dose, can reduce hot flashes in women experiencing menopause. A recently published study of soy looked at additional urogenital symptoms of menopause and found some benefit. For more about this, and to find supplements which deliver a proper dose, see the Menopause Supplements Review >> 
Prebiotic for Reducing Anxiety? -- We've reported in the past that some probiotic bacteria may help reduce anxiety. A new study suggests that one type of prebiotic powder (which helps probiotic bacteria grow) has a related beneficial effect. See the update in the Probiotic Supplements Review >> 
Vitamin D for COPD -- A study of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) found that taking vitamin D significantly reduced the risk of moderate to severe exacerbation, but only among people who began the study deficient in vitamin D. Get the details and information about other uses of vitamin D, along with our quality ratings of vitamin D supplements, in the Vitamin D Supplements Review >> 

November
Take Vitamin D with a Meal Containing Fats -- We've been suggesting this for years and a new study re-emphasizes the point. Get the details in the ConsumerTips section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >> 
CoQ10 Reduces Statin-Related Muscle Pain -- Taking a moderate dose of CoQ10 reduced statin-related muscle symptoms in 75% of patients in a recent study. More details, as well as our tests of CoQ10 and ubiquinol products, are found in the CoQ10 & Ubiquinol Supplements Review >> 
Turmeric for Memory -- A new study shows a modest benefit of turmeric on short-term memory among older individuals with pre-diabetes. Details about the study and dosage used, as well as results of our tests of popular products, are found in the Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements Review >> 
Ginseng for ADHD -- A ginseng extract showed promise in improving the symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) without adverse effects in children ages 6 to 15 in a placebo-controlled study. You can get details about this and other studies with ginseng, as well as our test results for ginseng supplements in the Ginseng Supplements Review >> 
Keep Energy Drinks Away from Kids -- It was reported this week that 40% of calls to poison centers for "energy drink exposure" involved children under age 6, many of whom experienced serious side effects. For more about this and other concerns with energy drinks, as well as our test results for popular products, see the B Vitamins & Energy Drinks Review >> 
Do B Vitamins Boost Memory? -- This week, a study was reported in the media suggesting that taking vitamin B-12 and folic acid does not help with memory. But a closer look at this and related studies shows a benefit for some people. Get the details, plus our tests and comparisons of B-vitamin supplements, in the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> 
Ginseng for Lower Blood Sugar -- A new study found that a certain kind of ginseng helps lower blood sugar levels in people with impaired fasting glucose. For more about this study and related studies on blood sugar and diabetes with other types of ginseng (which have had mixed results), see the Ginseng Supplements Review >> 
CoQ10 Improves Symptoms in War Veterans -- A new study found that a moderate dose of CoQ10 improved symptoms of Gulf War illness (such as word recall, fatigue, and irritability) in veterans. A larger dose did not show this effect. Details, as well as results of our product tests, are found in the CoQ10 & Ubiquinol Supplements Review >> 
Resveratrol Blunts Benefits of Exercise -- A new, small study adds to the evidence that resveratrol may interfere with the positive effects of exercise. Get the details, plus evidence regarding other uses for resveratrol and our tests of products, in the updated Resveratrol Supplements Review >> 

October
Probiotics Reduce Cholesterol / Improve Liver Function -- Adding probiotic organisms to yogurt appeared to reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol in a study of people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a common condition. Levels of liver enzymes also improved and more weight loss occurred when people ate the probiotic yogurt, in contrast to those who ate regular yogurt. The probiotic organisms used in this study are found in several products recently tested by ConsumerLab.com. See the details in the Probiotic Supplements Review >> 
Green Coffee Bean Study Retracted -- Evidence for this popular supplement's effect on weight diminished recently when the authors of a clinical study admitted that the data was unreliable. The study had been funded by the maker a popular type of green coffee bean extract. For details, as well as our tests of these products, see the update in the Green Coffee Bean Supplements Review >>
Curcumin for Cognition and Fatigue -- A study found that taking curcumin daily improved certain measures of cognitive function and fatigue in healthy men and women ages 60 to 85. Get the details, as well as our reviews of curcumin products, in the updated Curcumin Supplements Review >> 
CoQ10 Benefit Takes Time -- A large study found that a daily dose of CoQ10 reduced the chances of hospitalization or death by almost 50% in people with moderate to severe heart failure -- but only after being taken for an extended period of time. Find out how much CoQ10 was taken and for how long, and get our quality ratings and comparisons of CoQ10 supplements, in the updated CoQ10 and Ubiquinol Supplements Review >>
Caution with St. John's Wort -- St. John's wort is known to interact with a large number of prescription drugs. That number grew larger recently when the FDA approved two new drugs to cure hepatitis C infection. Taking these drugs while using St. John's wort may lead to reduced therapeutic effect and is not recommended. More information about this and other drug interactions with St. John's wort is found in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the St. John's Wort Supplements Review >>
Energy Drinks: Athletic Performance & Side Effects -- A recent study found that a caffeinated energy drink improved athletes' self-perceived muscle power, but also increased insomnia and nervousness. Get the details in the update to the B Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks Review >> 
Black Cohosh Improves Menopause Symptoms and Decreases Fibroid Size -- A popular black cohosh supplement significantly improved symptoms of menopause and decreased the size of fibroids, according to a new clinical study. Among women who, instead, took a hormone replacement drug, menopausal symptoms also improved, but the size of fibroids slightly increased. Get the details, including the brand and dose, in the update to the Menopause Supplements Review >> 

September
Risk of Bone Fracture Higher With Too Much and Too Little Vitamin D -- A large study in elderly men identified a range of vitamin D blood levels associated with the lowest risk of experiencing a bone fracture. Risk nearly tripled among men with higher levels of vitamin D as well as among those with very low levels. For details, including the range of vitamin D associated with lowest risk of fracture, see the update in the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>  
Vitamin D for Asthma -- A pilot study in older people with asthma found that daily supplementation with vitamin D improved symptoms among those with uncontrolled asthma. These people were also most likely to have had low blood levels of vitamin D to start. Get the details, including the dose used, and more information about the role of vitamin D in asthma, in the updated Vitamin D Supplements Review >> 
Lower-dose Fish Oil Helps with Epilepsy -- A small, but well-controlled study of people with drug-resistant epilepsy found that a modest dose of fish oil significantly reduced the frequency of seizures while a higher dose did not. The researchers note a possible explanation why the lower dose was more effective than the higher dose. Find out the details, including the dose and exact type of fish oil used, in the update to the Fish Oil Supplements Review >> 
Can Vitamin E and/or Selenium Help Prevent Cataracts? -- A study in older men in the U.S. found that taking large daily doses of vitamin E and/or selenium did not significantly reduce the risk of developing cataracts. But could the dose have been too high to be helpful? Other research has shown that "less is more" when it comes to antioxidant supplementation for cataracts. For more information, see the updates to the Vitamin E Supplements Review and the Selenium Supplements Review >> 
Lead in Dark Chocolate -- Our recent tests of cocoa-based products found problems with many popular brands of cocoa powders, which were high in cadmium and/or lead. No problem was found, however, with a widely-sold dark chocolate bar, which also had a good amount of potentially beneficial flavanols. A new report by academic researchers in Brazil shows that some dark chocolate bars do contain lead in excess of what the FDA permits (although brands were not identified.) More about this, as well as our test results for 15 cocoa products, is found in updated Review of Cocoa/Cacao Powders, Extracts, Nibs, Supplements, and Chocolate >> 
Does Garcinia cambogia Work? -- A recent study in obese women found that taking a Garcinia cambogia extract for two months did not impact weight -- although it did modestly reduce triglyceride levels. This adds to an already mixed picture about the effects of Garcinia. Learn more about this and earlier studies, see our bottom line about Garcinia's efficacy, and see how popular brands of supplements have fared in our tests in the updated Garcinia Cambogia (HCA) Supplements Review >> 

August
Taking Fish Oil with Sterols -- A new study found that adding EPA and DHA from fish oil to a spread containing plant sterols is not a problem and may provide additional benefit for those with high cholesterol levels. For more information, including dosage amounts, see the update in the Review of Cholesterol-Lowerers >> 
Flaxseed Lowers Blood Pressure -- Consuming milled flaxseed significantly lowered blood pressure in people with peripheral arterial disease, according to a recent clinical trial. Additional analysis of those results suggests the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) -- an omega-3 fatty acid -- in flaxseed may be responsible for the effect. Get the details, including the amount of flaxseed used, plus our tests of flaxseed, evening primrose, borage, and other seed oils containing ALA and GLA, in the updated Flaxseed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Oil, and Black Currant Oil Supplements Review >>   
Lower Risk of Surgical Complications with Sufficient Vitamin D -- A recent study found that higher blood levels of vitamin D were associated with lower risk of developing serious post-operative complications, including death. As in other studies, the apparent benefit of higher levels of vitamin D increased only up to a point. Get the details in the update to the Vitamin D Supplements Review >> 
Up To a Point, Alzheimer's Risk Falls with Vitamin D -- A new study shows that, up to a point, the risks of developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia fall with higher blood levels of vitamin D. However, the research also clarifies that exceeding a certain blood level of vitamin D provides no further benefit. In fact, additional research suggests that too much vitamin D can have negative effects. The message: Make sure you have a sufficient, but not excessive level of vitamin D. For details about these levels, as well as results of our tests of vitamin D supplements, see the updated Vitamin D Supplements Review >> 
When Vitamin C May Curb a Cold -- A recent small study among men with low to adequate levels of vitamin C showed that supplementing with vitamin C reduced the incidence of colds compared to placebo. The men taking vitamin C also reported having more energy -- although this finding was not statistically significant. Learn more about what vitamin C can and cannot do, the dose used in this study, and results of our tests of vitamin C supplements, in the update to the Vitamin C Supplements Review >>

July
Curcumin for Major Depression -- A new study found that curcumin may provide some benefit in treating major depression, particularly for people with atypical depression. Details about the type and amount of curcumin used, other uses for curcumin, as well as our tests of products, are found in the updated Turmeric and Curcumin Supplement Review >>   
Probiotics Lower Blood Pressure -- Probiotics may help lower high blood pressure, especially when multiple strains are taken for a certain period of time, according to a new analysis. Get the details, as well as information about other uses for probiotics, in the updated Probiotic Supplements Review >>
Magnesium Improves Women's Physical Performance -- A new study found that daily intake of a magnesium supplement significantly improved physical performance among older women compared to those given a placebo. Interestingly, none of the women in the study were deficient in magnesium based on blood tests. Get the details, including the dose and type of magnesium supplement used, as well as our quality ratings of magnesium supplements, in the updated Magnesium Supplements Review >> 
High-Dose Niacin with Statins Not Worth It -- Further evidence was published this week showing that the addition of high-dose niacin (vitamin B-3) to cholesterol-lowering treatment with statin drugs provides no worthwhile benefit and appears to increase the risk of adverse side events. For details, see the Review of B Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks >> 
Fish Oil May Prevent Cognitive Decline -- A study of older individuals found that cognitive function and brain volume (size) were better preserved among those who reported using fish oil supplements than those who did not. The effect, however, was only seen in certain groups of people. For more about the study, and our tests and comparisons of fish oil supplements, see the updated Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review (Including Krill, Algae, Calamari, Green-lipped Mussel Oil) >> 
DHA for Periodontitis (Inflammation Around Teeth) -- A new study found that giving DHA (from algal oil) along with low-dose aspirin led to greater reductions in local inflammation and pocketing around teeth than aspirin plus placebo. For more about the study, including dosage, and our tests and comparisons of algal oil supplements, see the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review (Including Krill, Algae, Calamari, Green-lipped Mussel Oil) >> 
Whey Protein for Blood Sugar Control? -- Drinking a whey protein shake before a meal improves blood sugar and insulin response in men and women with type 2 diabetes, according to a new, preliminary study. Get more details, plus our tests of protein supplements, in the updated Protein Powders and Drinks Review >> 
Vitamin D & Calcium for Diabetes Due to Pregnancy -- A new study found supplementation with a combination of vitamin D and calcium improved fasting blood sugar levels, serum insulin levels, and insulin sensitivity in women with gestational (pregnancy-related) diabetes. For more details, including dosage, as well as our tests and comparisons of vitamin D and calcium supplements, see the update to the Vitamin D Supplements Review (Including Calcium, Vitamin K, Magnesium) >>   
Don't Be Fooled by "Good Source of Omega-3s" Claim -- Over the years, ConsumerLab.com has pointed out that products sometimes claim to provide a percentage of the Daily Value (DV) of omega-3 or -6 fatty acids, even though no such Daily Value has been established. Now, the FDA has prohibited certain related statements on omega-3 supplement and food labels that could mislead consumers into thinking a product provides some percentage of this imaginary amount. Get the details, including what to watch out for on labels, plus our tests of fish oil and other omega-3 fatty acid supplements, in the updated Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review (Including Krill, Algae, Calamari, Green-lipped Mussel Oil) >> 
Chlorella Lowers Cholesterol and Triglycerides -- A daily dose of chlorella (an ingredient included in some "greens" and whole foods supplements) significantly reduced total cholesterol, "bad" VLDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in men and women with mildly elevated cholesterol. Get the details, including the dosage used, plus our tests and comparisons of supplements containing chlorella and other "greens" in the updated Greens and Whole Foods Powders and Pills >> 
Curcumin Reduces Soreness After Exercise -- Taking curcumin before and after intense exercise significantly reduced muscle soreness in young, healthy men, according to a new study. Get the details, including the brand and dose of curcumin used, plus our tests of curcumin supplements, in the updated Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements and Spices Review >> 
Dark Chocolate Improves Walking in Peripheral Artery Disease -- A new, small study found that people with peripheral artery disease who consumed dark chocolate with a high cocoa content were able to walk further than they normally could. Consuming milk chocolate did not have this effect. The improvement was seen shortly after consuming just one dose. For more details, including dosage, as well as our tests and comparisons of cocoa supplements and chocolate, see the update to the Cocoa Powders, Extracts and Chocolate (Sources of Flavanols) Review >>   









 

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