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The Dose

A Weekly Shot of News and Notes

Tuesday, November 23, 2004; Page HE02

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION, CONT'D Another week, another disappointing result about dietary supplements once thought to be beneficial.

Reporting in the journal Neurology, Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues find that supplementation with antioxidants, zinc or copper has no effect on cognition in older people.

_____Special Report_____
Fewer Poor Students Eat Free Breakfasts in Region (The Washington Post, Nov 19, 2004)
High Doses Of Vitamin E Found to Raise Risk of Dying (The Washington Post, Nov 11, 2004)
FDA Unveils New Rules For Supplement Labels (The Washington Post, Nov 5, 2004)
Antioxidant Pills Questioned, Again (The Washington Post, Oct 12, 2004)
Deep Purple (The Washington Post, Oct 6, 2004)
Dietary Supplements

The researchers examined the effects of supplements on the mental abilities of people in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. The participants were randomly assigned to take antioxidants (500 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 international units of vitamin E and 15 milligrams of beta carotene); or 80 milligrams of zinc and two milligrams of copper; or antioxidants plus zinc and copper; or a placebo.

After an average of more than six years, 2,166 participants underwent a battery of cognitive tests. No significant differences were seen between any of the groups on any part of the six tests, the team reports. They conclude the likelihood of developing mental impairment is not significantly affected by any supplements tested.

DOG AS PERSONAL TRAINER A first-of-its-kind test to put people and their pets on a diet and exercise program found that both lost weight and kept it off, though dogs did better than their owners and didn't drive them crazy begging for food.

With two-thirds of Americans and one-fourth of pets overweight or obese, there's huge potential for this novel buddy system, experts say.

"If you're looking for motivation and social support to lose weight, you probably don't have to look any further than the pet in your own home," said study's leader Robert Kushner of Chicago's Northwestern Medical School. Hill's Pet Nutrition, a maker of diet dog food, funded the study.

THAT' S NOT SEXY The obese face a higher risk of death, disease and a lousy sex life.

Duke University Medical Center researchers, reporting at last week's meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, said a study of 1,200 adults showed obesity reduced sexual desire, frequency and abilities.

Five percent of normal-weight people reported sexual impairment in one of four areas, compared with about two-thirds of obese people. Obese people cited lack of desire and enjoyment, avoiding sex and having performance difficulties.

SO NOTED "You would hear about ten times more violence if you listened to an hour of nursery rhymes than if you watched television for an hour before 9 o'clock on an average day."

-- Adam Fox of St. Mary's Hospital in London, reporting on a study comparing 25 nursery rhymes to British TV fare.

-- From News Services and Staff Reports

© 2004 The Washington Post Company


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