From BMJ 2 Feb 19 by J Ian Robertson and M Gary Nicholls
Sometimes neither patient or clinician pay attention to what happens during venepuncture. But clenching the hand before or during the procedure can cause blood potassium levels to rise markedly. This effect is increased if a tourniquet is used.
Therefore if possible it is best to keep the hand relaxed especially if potassium levels are considered critical. Other chemistry measurements that are adversely affected include calcium, aspartate amino transferase, chloride, creatine kinase, magnesium, sodium and phosphate.
These effects are widely unrecognised. Since no one wants a repeat blood test, remember this at your next appointment.
Adapted from UK Medical News 17 July 2018
Several different health measures, all which improve your cardiovascular outcomes, have been found to result from high dose vitamin D supplementation. You are likely to need to take at least 4,000 iu a day though, depending on how much extra sunshine you are exposed to regularly.
A meta-analysis of 81 randomised controlled trials looked at almost one thousand patients randomised to taking supplements or to a control group who did not. The active and control groups were both roughly 5,000 each. The durations of the trials varied but averaged out at ten months. The doses ranged from 400 iu a day to 12,000 iu a day. The average taken was 3,000 iu a day.
The outcomes were related to the blood level of vitamin D achieved. Levels had to be over 86 nmol/L to get benefits. You need to take over 4,000 iu a day to get vitamin D concentrations of 100 nmol/L or more. My comment:This does mean that the minimum levels advised by the Scottish Chief Medical Officer last year are way too low to see the benefits discussed here.
So what extra benefits do you see?
lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
lower high sensitivity C reactive protein.
lower serum parathyroid hormone.
lower total cholesterol.
lower low density lipoprotein.
high density lipoprotein increased.
All benefits were numerically small but did reach statistical significance. Cardiovascular outcomes were not measured directly, only blood markers and blood pressure.
Mirhosseini N et al. Vitamin D Supplementation. Serum 25(OH)D Concentrations and cardiovascular disease risk factors: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2018 July 12.
Have you heard of the LSFM4LIFE project? This week, I received an email about European Commission funded work into a potential permanent cure for type 1 diabetes.
The base of the research is a cellular therapy, growing human pancreas organoids (mini organs) from adult stem cells. The organoid of the pancreas then produces insulin, freeing type 1s from daily insulin injections.
Currently, the project is at the research stage. It involves eight partner teams from six different countries who are working to develop tools and technologies for cell-based therapy. The partners come from academia and industry, and include Goethe University, the University of Cambridge, InSphero and Sparks and Co.
Incidence of type 1 diabetes is increasing by 3 to 4 percent every year, especially among children.
You can read more about the project here: https://lsfm4life.eu/lsfm4life-in-depth/ and there’s a quick explanation of it on YouTube here.