Zinc, Calcium, Vitamin D

Archived Newsletter Autumn 2007

Zinc may reduce risk of pneumonia in the elderly

Breast Cancer, Calcium and Vitamin D.

Seasonal Recipe: Orange and Almond Cake


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Zinc may reduce risk of pneumonia in the elderly

zinc and pneumonia Recent research suggests that adequate Zinc levels reduce the risk of pneumonia, and reduce the need for antibiotics, in elderly people in nursing homes.

This research, published in October 2007, investigated residents of nursing homes, with an average age of 84.6. Residents received supplements of various micro-nutrients, including vitamin E and Zinc. After 12 months, results were assessed, and serum Zinc levels were recorded.

Those with normal Zinc levels had lower incidence of pneumonia, a shorter duration of pneumonia, and fewer antibiotics. They also had a 39% lower mortality rate from all causes.

Those with low Zinc levels (levels less than 70 micrograms per deciliter) had increased pneumonia, with about 50% more antibiotic use.

Zinc is an anti-oxidant mineral needed for many functions in the body, particularly the immune system. Zinc is normally a plentiful nutrient in food, but this may be reduced by certain farming methods, and by poor nutrition, and poor absorption, in older people.

It is the researcher’s opinion that Zinc supplementation would benefit elderly people with low Zinc levels.
For more details please see the original article:
"Serum zinc and pneumonia in nursing home elderly"
S.N. Meydani, J.B. Barnett, G.E. Dallal, B.C. Fine, P.F. Jacques, L.S. Leka, D.H. Hamer
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2007.

Or see the report on www.nutraingredients.com.
I recommend and supply
Viridian Zinc Complex vegecaps

Is Zinc Safe for Me?:
Do not exceed the recommended daily dose for long periods. Zinc is best absorbed when taken separately from high fibre food. Ensure your Zinc supplement also contains Copper.
Some common medications increase the need for Zinc, for example, Aspirin, Folic Acid, Lisinopril, oral contraceptives, Methotrexate, Thiazide diuretics, chemotherapy.
Some common medications may be affected by zinc supplements, these include certain antibiotics and Warfarin; this is not a complete list. Take advice from your doctor or pharmacist.


Breast Cancer, Calcium and Vitamin D.

The risk of breast cancer in pre-menopausal women may be reduced by higher levels of Calcium and Vitamin D.

A report in May 07 assessed over 30,000 women, some pre-menopausal and some post-menopausal. They were followed up for an average of 10 years. Higher intake of Calcium and vitamin D was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in pre-menopausal women, but not post-menopausal women. Risk was reduced between 30 and 39 percent.

sunshine and vitamin D This study had some limitations, for example it could not record changes in nutrient levels during the study, and it did not record different levels of sunshine exposure (sunshine helps us manufacture vitamin D). However, other studies support the cancer preventive benefits of Calcium and vitamin D. Increased levels pre-menopause are also associated with better post-menopausal bone health.

For more details please see the original article:
"Intakes of Calcium and Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk in Women"
J. Lin, J.E. Manson, I-M. Lee, N.R. Cook, J.E. Buring, S.M. Zhang
Archives of Internal Medicine, Volume 167, Number 10, Pages 1050-1059.

I recommend and supply
Viridian Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc pure powder
Viridian Calcium Magnesium and Boron pure powder
Viridian Vitamin D2 vegecaps (D2 is vegan)
Good nutrition and a moderate amount of sunshine!
For individual information you can also use the Natural Health Answers REPORT.

Is Calcium Safe for Me?
Always follow dosage information.
Avoid with hyper-parathyroidism, have prostate cancer or kidney stones; if you take Digoxin, or Thiazide diuretics.
Many drugs increase the need for Calcium. A multi-mineral supplement may be beneficial.

Is Vitamin D Safe for Me?
Always follow dosage information.
Physician’s advice if you have hyper-parathyroidism, sarcoidosis; if you take Verapamil, Warfarin, Oeatrogen. This is not a complete list. Take advice from your doctor or pharmacist.


Seasonal Recipe

Orange and Almond Cake
orange and almond cake
A delicious and unusual pudding; slim, but rich.
It’s fat free but not low calorie!
A small slice is usually enough so may serve 6-8.
Vegetarian, not vegan.


Separate 4 eggs and begin with the yolks.

Add and mix to a stiff paste:
125g/4 oz fine/castor sugar
grated zest of 1 orange
50g/2 oz ground almonds
50g/2 oz almonds blanched and finely chopped
Whisk the egg whites until stiff, and add carefully to the paste, a little at first, then the rest.

Make a syrup by simmering:
30ml orange juice
75g/3 oz sugar
cinnamon to taste
1 tbs orange liqueur
(I find half quantity enough)
Heat oven to 180°C/ gas 4.

cake soaked with syrupGrease and flour an 8” round baking tin, or line with baking parchment. Pour in your mixture, and bake 35-45 minutes. Check with the point of a knife; if it does not come out sticky, the pudding is done.

Cool and carefully turn out. Pierce the cake all over and dribble the syrup on: don’t make it too soggy. You can serve any left over syrup when you eat it. Leave to soak before serving, chill if you wish. I have to admit I like it with cream.

Store in fridge if you don’t eat it all.


© 2007 Helen Swan, all rights reserved. 28 Collapark, Totnes TQ9 5LN