This Week: In Brief (April 26 - May 2, 2010)

While we regularly post lengthy discussions on Obesity Panacea, there are many research updates, news stories, videos, etc. in the field of obesity, physical activity and nutrition that we come across on a daily basis that never grace the pages of the blog. Most of these mini-stories we share with our followers on Twitter, and we encourage those of you with active Twitter accounts to communicate with us there to get real-time updates of all the stuff we are discussing (Follow Peter and/or Follow Travis). For those of you who shy away from Twitter, enjoy below the best mini-stories that we came across during the prior week along with links to the original source so that you can follow the full story.

Have a wonderful weekend - now that the PhD is behind me, I will certainly enjoy mine:)

Peter Janiszewski

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Congratulations on completing your PhD, Dr. Janiszewki!

The Vitamin E study for NASH is interesting - and while the authors say the study was not designed to evaluate the relative efficacy of Vitamin E and Actos, the former did tend to perform better or equally on many of the outcomes, except insulin resistance and development of diabetes. It might be a cost-effective option for a disease that's becoming increasingly prevalent.

But the higher mortality seen in earlier trials is concerning, although it should be pointed out that most of those trials were done in different patient populations. There does seem to be an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke, going by the findings of the Physician's Health Study - but again, this was a fairly diverse patient population.

I don't necessarily agree that 800IU is "2x the dose that has previously been found to increase risk of death". The meta-analysis makes it clear that the dose at which the relative risk ratio goes above 1.0 is uncertain. It could be 400IU, or it could even be higher due to the heterogeneity between trials.