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Pase M.P.,Swinburne University of Technology | Grima N.,Monash University | Cockerell R.,Swinburne University of Technology | Stough C.,Swinburne University of Technology | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition | Year: 2015

Results: Treatment allocation had no effect on the primary cognitive outcomes at endpoint. Absolute increases in the red blood cell omega-3/6 ratio were associated with improvements in spatial working memory. The group receiving 6 g fish oil without the multivitamin displayed a significant decrease in aortic pulse pressure and aortic augmentation pressure, two measures of aortic blood pressure and aortic stiffness.Conclusions: Fish oil decreased aortic pulse pressure and augmentation pressure. Reductions in aortic blood pressure were not accompanied by consistent improvements in cognition.Objective: Fish oils and multivitamins are two of the most commonly used dietary supplements. Fish oil use may reduce vascular risk factors associated with cognitive decline, thus providing benefits to both heart and brain health. Multivitamins may also have direct effects on brain function. The present study investigated the effects of fish oil, with and without the addition of a multivitamin, on cognitive and cardiovascular function.Methods: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind fashion, 160 healthy adults aged 50–70 years were randomized to receive either 3 g of fish oil (240 mg eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] + 240 mg docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) with a multivitamin, 6 g of fish oil (480 mg EPA + 480 mg DHA) with a multivitamin, or 6 g of fish oil without a multivitamin or a placebo. Cognitive performance, brachial blood pressure, and aortic (central) blood pressure were measured at baseline, 6 weeks, and 16 weeks. © 2015, © American College of Nutrition. Source


Ried K.,University of Adelaide | Ried K.,National Institute of Integrative Medicine | Alfred A.,University of Adelaide
BMC Women's Health | Year: 2013

Background: Infertility affects about 15% of couples in Western-societies with most progressing to fertility clinics for treatment. Despite being common, infertility is often experienced as a lonely road for affected couples. In this paper we expand on our previously published findings of women's experiences with infertility or difficulty of viable pregnancy who had sought Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy in Australia, and focus on women's quality of life, coping strategies, and support needs.Methods: We applied mixed methods using the Tuebingen Quality of Life and the COPE questionnaires and in-depth interviews with 25 women with primary or secondary infertility, recurrent miscarriages or unexplained stillbirth, and who had consulted a TCM practitioner. We used a thematic approach to analyse the interviews, and descriptive statistics to evaluate questionnaire responses.Results: Women reported through both questionnaires and interviews compromised quality of life due to the high level of distress, guilt, grief, and frustration caused by infertility. However, our women represented a highly motivated sample, actively seeking alternative support. While the TCM approach to infertility management increased women's sense of personal agency and control through education and continuity of care, the need for greater understanding and support on a societal level remains.Conclusions: In infertility, ongoing emotional and instrumental support is pivotal to the wellbeing and quality of life of the affected. Traditional Chinese Medicine addresses some support needs in infertility not routinely available in the Western model of care. More peer-led and professional-led support groups are greatly needed for women experiencing infertility to help break isolation and raise awareness of integrative approaches to fertility management. © 2013 Ried and Alfred; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Ried K.,University of Adelaide | Ried K.,National Institute of Integrative Medicine | Toben C.,University of Adelaide | Fakler P.,University of Adelaide
Nutrition Reviews | Year: 2013

Hypercholesterolemia is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. The effect of garlic on blood lipids has been studied in numerous trials and summarized in meta-analyses, with conflicting results. This meta-analysis, the most comprehensive to date, includes 39 primary trials of the effect of garlic preparations on total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides. The findings suggest garlic to be effective in reducing total serum cholesterol by 17±6mg/dL and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 9±6mg/dL in individuals with elevated total cholesterol levels (>200mg/dL), provided garlic is used for longer than 2 months. An 8% reduction in total serum cholesterol is of clinical relevance and is associated with a 38% reduction in risk of coronary events at 50 years of age. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels improved only slightly, and triglycerides were not influenced significantly. Garlic preparations were highly tolerable in all trials and were associated with minimal side effects. They might be considered as an alternative option with a higher safety profile than conventional cholesterol-lowering medications in patients with slightly elevated cholesterol. © 2013 International Life Sciences Institute. Source


Ried K.,National Institute of Integrative Medicine
Complementary Therapies in Medicine | Year: 2015

Objectives: To assess the effect of Traditional Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) in the management of female infertility and on pregnancy rates compared with Western medical (WM) treatment and update previous meta-analyses. Methods: We searched the Medline and Cochrane databases until December 2013 for randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses investigating Chinese herbal medicine therapy for female infertility and compared clinical pregnancy rates achieved with CHM versus WM drug treatment. Results: Forty RCTs involving 4247 women with infertility were included in our systematic review. Meta-analysis suggested a 1.74 higher probability of achieving a pregnancy with CHM therapy than with WM therapy alone (risk ratio 1.74, 95%CI: 1.56-1.94; p<. 0.0001; odds ratio 3.14; 95%CI: 2.72-3.62; p<. 0.0001) in women with infertility. Trials included women with PCOS, endometriosis, anovulation, fallopian tube blockage, or unexplained infertility. Mean pregnancy rates in the CHM group were 60% compared with 33% in the WM group. Conclusions: Our review suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese herbal medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 3-6 month period compared with Western medical fertility drug therapy. In addition, fertility indicators such as ovulation rates, cervical mucus score, biphasic basal body temperature, and appropriate thickness of the endometrial lining were positively influenced by CHM therapy, indicating an ameliorating physiological effect conducive for a viable pregnancy. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Background: Garlic has been shown to have cardiovascular protective and immunomodulatory properties. Objectives: We updated a previous meta-analysis on the effect of garlic on blood pressure and reviewed the effect of garlic on cholesterol and immunity. Methods: We searched the Medline database for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published between 1955 and December 2013 on the effect of garlic preparations on blood pressure. In addition, we reviewed the effect of garlic on cholesterol and immunity. Results: Our updated meta-analysis on the effect of garlic on blood pressure, which included 20 trials with 970 participants, showed a mean6SE decrease in systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 5.162.2mmHg (P < 0.001) and a mean6 SE decrease in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 2.5 6 1.6 mm Hg (P < 0.002) compared with placebo. Subgroup analysis of trials in hypertensive subjects (SBP/DBP ≥140/90 mm Hg) at baseline revealed a larger significant reduction in SBP of 8.7 6 2.2 mm Hg (P < 0.001; n = 10) and in DBP of 6.1 6 1.3 mm Hg (P < 0.001; n = 6). A previously published meta analysis on the effect of garlic on blood lipids, which included 39 primary RCTs and 2300 adults treated for aminimumof 2wk, suggested garlic to be effective in reducing total and LDL cholesterol by 10% if taken for > 2 mo by individuals with slightly elevated concentrations [e.g., total cholesterol > 200mg/dL (> 5.5 mmol/L)]. Garlic has immunomodulating effects by increasing macrophage activity, natural killer cells, and the production of T and B cells. Clinical trials have shown garlic to significantly reduce the number, duration, and severity of upper respiratory infections. Conclusions: Our review suggests that garlic supplements have the potential to lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals, to regulate slightly elevated cholesterol concentrations, and to stimulate the immune system. Garlic supplements are highly tolerated and may be considered as a complementary treatment option for hypertension, slightly elevated cholesterol, and stimulation of immunity. Future long-term trials are needed to elucidate the effect of garlic on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. © 2016 American Society for Nutrition. Source

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