LivingFuel HealthAlerts - 2010 Archive 1


 

June 28, 2010

Dirty Teeth Linked To Heart Disease


Agence France-Presse

People with poor oral hygiene are more at risk of heart disease compared with counterparts who brush their teeth twice a day, according to a recent Scottish study.

University College London researchers looked over data from an investigation into 11,000 people in Scotland, covering their medical history, family records of disease and lifestyle.

Seven out of 10 reported they brushed their teeth twice a day, and six out of 10 said they visited the dentist every six months.

Those who were less frequent in their brushing, though, had a 70 percent extra risk of heart disease.

Read more here.

 

June 25, 2010

B-Vitamins May Curb Depression

WorldHealth.net

Kimberly A. Skarupski, from Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA), and colleagues collected data on 3,500 Chicago-area men and women, ages 65 years and older, surveying their dietary habits and assessing for symptoms of depression, following the subjects for an average of 7.2 years.

What did they find and how does it affect you? Read about it here.

 

June 24, 2010

Resveratrol Supplementation Reduces Weight Gain in Primate

In an article published online on June 22, 2010 in the journal BMC Physiology, Fabienne Aujard and Alexandre Dal-Pan of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, along with Stéphane Blanc of the Université de Strasbourg, report that resveratrol reduces seasonal body-mass gain in a primate model of weight gain. Resveratrol, which is found in red grapes and other plant foods, had been demonstrated to protect rodents from diabetes and obesity caused by a high-fat diet; however, the compound's effects on weight loss had not been studied in higher animals.

Dr Aujard and her associates tested the effect of four weeks of resveratrol supplementation in grey mouse lemurs. These animals gain a significant amount of weight during the winter months by entering a daily state of inactivity (torpor) accompanied by a reduction in body temperature in order to conserve energy.

Supplementation with resveratrol reduced the animals' seasonal weight gain by decreasing calorie intake by 13%, inhibiting the depth of daily torpor, and increasing resting metabolic rate by 29%. While a hormone which promotes the mobilization of fat stores (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) increased, no other significant changes in satiety hormone levels were noted.

Read more here.

 

June 22, 2010

Decreased Salt Consumption May Lead to Iodine Deficiency

Xinhua News Agency - CEIS

LOS ANGELES, (Xinhua) -- The trend among Americans to reduce salt consumption raises concern about iodine deficiency, particularly among pregnant women and infants, thyroid experts say.

Cutting salt consumption may be good for the heart, but it might also lead to lower levels of iodine, the American Thyroid Association (ATA) said in a report published in the June issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Iodized salt is an important source of dietary iodine in the U.S. and worldwide. Iodine, essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, is obtained solely through diet," the report noted.

Overall, Americans still receive sufficient iodine, but many pregnant women may be iodine-deficient due to reduced consumption of iodized salt.

Read more here.
 

June 21, 2010

Study - Supplements Beat Sun for Vitamin D Boost

Adequate vitamin D levels are best achieved by supplements because of the side-effects of UV exposure, says the results of a new computer simulation model from the US.

We can produce vitamin D in our skin on exposure to sunlight, but the merits of getting the supplement via sunlight or supplements is a source of ongoing debate.

In the US, where over 1.5 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, experts are pushing supplements, claiming recommendations for sun exposure are "highly irresponsible".

Scientists from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in Tromsø used a computer model to determine optimal sun exposure times to produce blood levels of vitamin D3 equivalent to 400 or 1000 IU of vitamin D.

Read more here.

 

 

June 20, 2010

Dental X-rays Increase Risk of Cancer

A study of 313 cancer patients found the chances of developing thyroid cancer rose with repeated exposure to dental X-rays, British scientists said.

The results suggest dental X-rays should only be prescribed for a specific clinical need, rather than as part of a routine checkup, said the study's lead author, Dr. Anjum Memon of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

The thyroid gland, located in the neck, is sensitive to ionizing radiation, especially in children, Memon and his team said.

The findings of the study were consistent with previous reports of increased risk of thyroid cancer in dentists, dental assistants and X-ray workers, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday. Dental X-rays also have been linked with an increased risk of brain and salivary gland tumors.

"The public health and clinical implications of these findings are particularly relevant in the light of increases in the incidence of thyroid cancer in many countries over the past 30 years," Memon said.

Read more here.

 

June 17, 2010

Greater Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Delay Age-related Hearing Loss


An article published online in a recent American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals the finding of Australian researchers of a protective effect for omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid and fish consumption against the development of age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis.

For the current research, Paul Mitchell of the University of Sydney and his colleagues evaluated data from participants in the Blue Mountains Hearing Study of age-related hearing loss conducted between 1997 and 2004. The participants underwent audiologic examinations upon enrollment and at 5 and 10 year follow-up visits. Food frequency questionnaire responses were analyzed for dietary intake of fish and the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), in addition to the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and omega-6 fatty acids.

Greater total omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with a lower risk of hearing loss at the beginning of the study, and increased long chain omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with a reduced risk of developing hearing loss over follow-up. A reduction was also observed among those who consumed at least 2 servings of fish per week, who had a 42 percent lower risk of hearing loss at the 5 year follow-up compared with those who ate 1 serving per week. Additionally, a reduced risk of hearing loss progression was observed in those who consumed 1 to 2 servings of fish per week.

Read more here.

 

June 16, 2010

LivingFuel HealthAlert: Study - White Rice Linked to Higher Diabetes Risk


Agence France-Presse

06-15-10

A US-based study on Monday linked eating white rice to higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and backed long-held claims that brown rice is healthier than the white variety.

People who ate at least five servings of white rice per week had a 17 percent greater risk of developing diabetes than those who consumed less than one serving per month, Harvard School of Public Health scientists found.

Examining data from over 197,000 adults for up to 22 years, the study also found that consuming two or more servings of brown rice per week was associated with an 11 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate less than one serving a month.

Patients with diabetes have high blood sugar levels, which are linked to the body's inability to produce enough insulin in order to properly break down sugars and starches into glucose for energy.

"We believe replacing white rice and other refined grains with whole grains, including brown rice, would help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes," said lead author Qi Sun, of Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Read more here.

 

June 15, 2010

The Right Diet Could Lower the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

A recent article published online in FASEB Journal reports the discovery of Temple University researchers of the benefit of a low methionine diet in slowing or reversing early to moderate stage Alzheimer's disease in an animal model.

Methionine is an essential amino acid that occurs in relatively high amounts in red meat, fish, eggs and other foods. A byproduct of methionine metabolism is homocysteine, another amino acid that has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease as well as cardiovascular disease when elevated.

Acting on previous findings of an association between a methionine-rich, homocysteine-elevating diet and an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease in a mouse model, Domenico Praticò and postdoctoral student Jia-Min Zhuo sought to determine the effects of lowering homocysteine in the same strain of transgenic mice. In the current study, the animals were divided to receive a high methionine diet or a healthy (control) diet for 5 months, following which the group receiving the methionine-rich diet was subdivided to receive either the same regimen or the healthy diet for two months. "The question we asked now as a follow-up is if, for whatever reason, you had made bad choices in your diet, is there a chance you can slow down or even reverse the disease or is it too late — that there is nothing you could do," Dr Praticò explained.

Read more here.

 

June 14, 2010

Americans Get Most Radiation From Medical Scans

Americans get the most medical radiation in the world, even more than folks in other rich countries. The U.S. accounts for half of the most advanced procedures that use radiation, and the average American's dose has grown sixfold over the last couple of decades.

Too much radiation raises the risk of cancer. That risk is growing because people in everyday situations are getting imaging tests far too often. Like the New Hampshire teen who was about to get a CT scan to check for kidney stones until a radiologist, Dr. Steven Birnbaum, discovered he'd already had 14 of these powerful X-rays for previous episodes. Adding up the total dose, "I was horrified" at the cancer risk it posed, Birnbaum said.

Radiation is a hidden danger — you don't feel it when you get it, and any damage usually doesn't show up for years. Taken individually, tests that use radiation pose little risk. Over time, though, the dose accumulates.

Read more here.
 

June 11, 2010

Heavy Drinking Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

United Press International

The more alcohol a man consumes, the higher his risk of pancreatic cancer, U.S. researchers suggest.

Researchers did not find the association among women, possibly due to the lower proportion of women who reported heavy or binge drinking, U.S. researchers suggest.

Lead author Dr. Samir Gupta, assistant professor of internal medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who conducted the research while at the University of California, San Francisco, finds men who drank alcohol increased their risk of pancreatic cancer by 1.5 to 6 times compared with those who didn't drink alcohol or who had less than one drink per month.

For the use of the study, the researchers defined one drink as one can, bottle or 12 ounces of beer; a 4-ounce glass of wine; or one shot of liquor. The heaviest drinkers consumed 21 to 35 drinks per week, while binge drinking was defined as five or more drinks in one episode.

The study did not find a pancreatic cancer/alcohol link in women, perhaps because they often drink fewer drinks compared to men, Gupta says.

Read more here.

 

June 11, 2010

Tanning Beds Can Quadruple Risk for Dangerous Skin Cancer

The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.

The biggest study ever done on tanning beds and melanoma finds that indoor tanning can raise the risk of that cancer roughly two to four times.

Scientists have long known that heavy exposure to ultraviolet rays, including sunburns and heavy tanning, can cause skin cancer. That link is one reason tanning businesses were taxed in the recent health reform law, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may beef up warnings and ban teens from using tanning beds.

But doctors are still trying to figure out just how risky indoor tanning is. After studying more than 2,200 tanners and their pale peers, scientists report that regular indoor tanning raised a person's risk of melanoma -- the deadliest skin cancer -- between 74 percent and 340 percent. People who tanned longer had higher risk, as did people who tanned in beds that mostly use UVA radiation, not a related kind known as UVB.

"Too many teenagers tend to live a life ignorant of risk," said researcher Electra Paskett. "We need to encourage a shift in social norms about tanning similar to what was done with smoking because the risk is that high."

Read more here.

 

June 10, 2010

Blueberries May Counteract Damage from Overexercise

 

In that skeletal muscle damage can result from unaccustomed or excessive exercise, muscle dysfunction has been observed to occur as a result of an increased level of reactive oxygen species (free radicals).

 

Roger D. Hurst, from the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (New Zealand), and colleagues exposed developing skeletal muscle fibers (myotubes) to various concentrations of fruit extracts, along with two compounds that induce cellular stress.

 

The team found blueberry extract to protect the muscle fibers in a dose-dependent fashion. Containing malvidin galactoside and malvidin glucoside, the team suggests these two antioxidant compounds “may be beneficial in alleviating muscle damage caused by oxidative stress.”

 

Read more here.

 

June 9, 2010

Study Shows How Radiation Causes Breast Cancer

(NaturalNews) It's well-established that exposure to ionizing radiation can trigger mutations and other genetic damage and cause normal cells to become malignant. So it seems amazing how mainstream medicine frequently dismisses the idea that medical imaging tests from mammograms to CT scans could play much of a role in causing breast cancer.

Common sense suggests there is plenty of reason to be worried about radiation causing breast cancer. And now there's a new reason to be concerned. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered that radiation exposure can alter cells' microenvironment (the environment surrounding cells). And that greatly raises the odds future cells will become cancerous.

Read more here.

 

June 8, 2010

Less Depression Linked to Vitamins B6 and B12

A recent report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals a lower risk of developing depression among men and women who consume greater amounts of vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

Read more here.

 

June 8, 2010

Drinking Soda May Accelerate Aging

WorldHealthNet

New research suggests that drinking sodas and eating processed foods, both of which contain high levels of phosphates may accelerate the aging process. M. Shawkat Razzaque, M.D., Ph.D., from the Department of Medicine, Infection and Immunity at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (US), and Mutsuko Ohnishi from the Department of Pathology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (Japan), studied the effects of high phosphate levels in three groups of mice.

Read more here.

 

June 7, 2010

Zinc Supplements Reduce Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

An article published in the June, 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition describes a clinical trial involving older men and women which found reductions in markers of oxidative stress and inflammation among those who supplemented with zinc. Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are risk factors for atherosclerosis, and zinc deficiency has been observed in a number of other diseases associated with these conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and cancers. "We previously observed that healthy elderly subjects had increased concentrations of plasma lipid peroxidation byproducts and endothelial cell adhesion molecules compared with concentrations in younger adults," the authors write in their introduction. "Zinc was proposed to have an atheroprotective function because of its antiinflammatory, antioxidant, and other properties."

Read more here.
 

June 4, 2010

Increased Premature Death Risk Linked to Short Duration Sleep

A review of 16 prospective studies involving more than 1.3 million participants has revealed that sleeping for less than 6 hours each night significantly increases the risk of premature death. Professor Francesco Cappuccio, leader of the Sleep, Health, and Society Programme at the University of Warwick (UK) and colleagues found that people who sleep for less than six hours each night were 12% more likely to die prematurely than those who get the recommended 6-8 hours. People who sleep for more than 9 hours each night were also found to be more likely to die prematurely, however Professor Cappuccio believes that sleeping for less than 6 hours may represent a cause of ill-health, whereas sleeping for 9 or more hours is thought to be an indicator of ill-health. "Consistently sleeping 6 to 8 hours per night may be optimal for health," said Professor Cappuccio. "The duration of sleep should be regarded as an additional behavioral risk factor, or risk marker, influenced by the environment and possibly amenable to change through both education and counseling as well as through measures of public health aimed at favourable modifications of the physical and working environments."

Read more here.

 

June 4, 2010

Low Levels of Vitamin D Make Asthma Worse

(NaturalNews)

Asthmatics with low levels of vitamin D may suffer more severely from the disease than patients with sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a study conducted by researchers from National Jewish Health in Denver and published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"Our findings suggest that low vitamin D levels are associated with worse asthma," lead researcher E. Rand Sutherland said.

The researchers measured the vitamin D blood levels of 54 asthma patients, along with their lung function, airway hyper-responsiveness and response to steroid drug treatment.

Read more here.

 

June 2, 2010

Radiation Risks Cited In Full-Body Airport Scans

 

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

 

06-01-10

 

Full-body airport security scanners manufactured by Torrance-based Rapiscan Inc. expose the skin to high radiation levels that may lead to cancer and other health problems, according to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.

 

Particularly at risk, the researchers said, are travelers who are pregnant, elderly or have weakened immune systems.

 

The machines emit X-ray energy levels that would be safe if they were distributed throughout the body, but a majority of that energy is delivered to the skin and underlying tissue at levels that "may be dangerously high," the researchers wrote last month to the White House Office of Science and Technology.

 

Read more here.

 

 

June 1, 2010

Professional Hockey and Vitamin D

 

PRNewswire-USNewswire

 

The Chicago Blackhawk team physicians began diagnosing and treating vitamin D deficiency in all Blackhawk players about 18 months ago. Apparently, most players are on 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. To confirm this assertion, simply ask the Blackhawk organization.

 

After many losing seasons, last year the Blackhawks came out of nowhere to get to the Western conference finals. This year the Blackhawks are playing even better.

 

Read more here.

 

 

May 28, 2010

Important Study for Women with Type 2 Diabetes

NewsRx.com Women with type 2 diabetes who ate the most bran in a study had a 35 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and a 28 percent reduction in death from all causes than women who ate the least amount, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association (see also Type 2 Diabetes).

 

Bran is a component of whole grain rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

 

"To my knowledge, this is the first study of whole grain and its components and risk of death in diabetic patients," said Lu Qi, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study. "Patients with diabetes face two to three times the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death compared to the general population."

 

Read more here.

 

 

May 28, 2010

Low Testosterone, Obesity Linked

Obesity, already linked to heart disease and diabetes, may also be associated with low testosterone levels, a condition that affects only men, according to a University at Buffalo study.

 

Results of the study published in the online version of the journal Diabetes Care showed that 40 percent of obese participants had lower-than- normal testosterone readings. The percentage rose to 50 percent among obese men with diabetes.

 

The researchers also found that as body mass index -- the relationship of weight to height -- increased, testosterone levels decreased.

 

"The effect of diabetes on lowering testosterone levels was similar to that of a weight gain of approximately 20 pounds," said Dr. Sandeep Dhindsa, lead author and a UB endocrinology specialist.

 

Considering that almost one-third of the U. S. population is considered obese, the findings could have significant medical and public health implications, the authors reported.

 

Read more here.

 

 

May 27, 2010

Less Is More When Restraining Calories Boosts Immunity

 

Scientists funded by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) found that volunteers who followed a low-calorie diet or a very low-calorie diet not only lost weight, but also significantly enhanced their immune response. The study may be the first to demonstrate the interaction between calorie restriction and immune markers among humans.

 

Read more here.

May 24, 2010

Vitamin D and Physical Function in Older Men and Women

Information presented recently as part of the scientific program of the American Society for Nutrition at the Experimental Biology 2010 meeting in Anaheim, California, revealed the discovery of an association between higher vitamin D levels and improved physical functioning among older individuals. Physical function contributes significantly to quality of life, an important consideration in the quest for extended life spans.

Read more here.

 

May 21, 2010

Broccoli Extract May Shield Skin from UV Rays

Unprotected prolonged exposure to sunlight raises the risk of ultraviolet (UV) radiation to cause or accelerate skin aging as well as skin cancer.

Albena T. Dinkova-Kostova, from Johns Hopkins University (Maryland, USA), and colleagues fed broccoli sprout extracts, high in glucoraphanin, a precursor to compounds in broccoli that have been identified as potent anti-carcinogens, to laboratory mice previously exposed to UV radiation. The researchers found that a daily dose of 10 moles of glucoraphanin inhibited the subsequent development of skin tumors, with skin tumor incidence reduced by 25% and tumor volume by 70%.

Read more here.

 

May 20, 2010

Processed Meats Linked to Heart Disease

United Press International

Processed meats -- bacon, hot dogs or processed deli meats -- are linked to more than a 40 percent higher risk of heart disease, U.S. researchers found.

Read more here.
 

May 19, 2010

Vitamin and Calcium Supplements May Slash Breast Cancer Risk

By WorldHealth.net

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with over one million new cases diagnosed annually worldwide. Jaime Matta, from the Ponce School of Medicine (Puerto Rico), and colleagues studied data collected on 268 women with breast cancer, matching it with data from 457 healthy controls. The team found that women were more likely to have breast cancer if they were older, had a family history of breast cancer, had no history of breastfeeding and had lower DNA repair capacity. Notably, vitamin supplements appeared to reduce the risk of breast cancer by about 30 %, whereas calcium supplements reduced the risk by 40%.

Read more here.

 

May 18, 2010

Omega-3 Linked to Healthier, Stronger Bones

Increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids, and DHA in particular, may increase bone mineral content and produce healthier, stronger bones, suggest results from a study with rats.

Omega-3 is one of the stars of the nutrition industry, with the ingredients market valued at a whopping $1.6 billion by Frost & Sullivan. The fatty acids, most notably EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health, and improved behaviour and mood.

According to findings of a new study with rats, DHA “appears to be a vital constituent of marrow” and enhances bone mineral content (BMC). The findings did not extend to EPA, however.

Scientists from Purdue University, Indiana University School of Medicine, Korea Maritime University, and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), report their findings in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Read more here.
 

May 18, 2010

Long-term vitamin E supplementation and reduced COPD Risk

A presentation at the American Thoracic Association 2010 International Conference on May 18, 2010 revealed the discovery by researchers at Cornell University and Brigham and Women's Hospital of a lower risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in women who supplemented with vitamin E, an antioxidant.

"The oxidant/antioxidant balance in lung tissue is hypothesized to contribute to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk, and observational studies consistently report high antioxidant status associated with lower risk of COPD and asthma," write researchers Anne Hermetet Agler and colleagues in an abstract that describes their findings.

The team analyzed data from 38,270 health professionals aged 45 and older who participated in the Women's Health Study, which evaluated the effects of every other day regimens of aspirin or vitamin E in cancer and heart disease prevention over a 10 year period. Follow-up questionnaires ascertained new diagnoses of chronic lung disease, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis.

Read more here.

 

May 17, 2010

New Study - Probiotics Could Benefit Metabolic Syndrome

A new study by Danisco indicates that probiotics could help improve the metabolic syndrome by counteracting the adverse effects of a high-fat diet.

According to the unpublished findings, which were presented recently at the Keystone Symposium on Diabetes in Canada, the benefit is the result of a reduction in tissue inflammation and metabolic endotaxaemia.

“The new screening tests have revealed that Bifidobacterium lactis B420, in comparison with other probiotic strains, has the potential to reduce the adverse effects associated with high-fat diets and alleviate metabolic diseases,” said Dr Sampo Lahtinen, senior scientist at Danisco’s Health and Nutrition Research Centre in Kantvik, Finland.

Read more here.

 

May 12, 2010

Treating Chronic Ear Infections Naturally

by Joseph Pizzorno, ND

In the late 1970s, a young couple brought their son to me for help with his chronic ear infections. They were tired of repeated antibiotic treatments since his infections just kept recurring. When their family MD found out they were seeing a naturopath and not using antibiotics again, he reported them to child protective services. Child protective services took their son from them asserting that not using antibiotics was child abuse. Fortunately, the husband was an attorney, but it still took more than a month to get their now traumatized son back. I am willing to give the MD the benefit of the doubt that it was concern for the child rather than injured pride that dictated his actions. But he was wrong. Research now shows that, except in a few specific situations, antibiotics have at best a slight benefit and carry with them adverse effects such as disturbing the gut flora, increasing the incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, etc. In fact, one study showed that the more antibiotics are used, the more frequent the recurrences of ear infections. Recently, an international group of experts could not come to consensus on whether antibiotics should be used in ear infections. They could only agree they should be used less!(1,2) The problem, of course, is that antibiotics rarely treat the true cause of the chronic infections, a common problem with many conventional medicine treatments.

Read more here.
 

May 11, 2010

Greater Vitamin K Intake Associated With Lower Diabetes Risk

A study conducted in the Netherlands, reported online on April 27, 2010 in the journal Diabetes Care, has found an association between the intake of both vitamin K1 and K2 with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Researchers at University Medical Center Utrecht analyzed data from 38,094 Dutch participants in the EPIC study cohort who were between the ages of 20 and 70 upon enrollment. Dietary questionnaire responses were analyzed for intake of phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and menaquinones (vitamin K2).

Read more here.
 

May 7, 2010

Sugar and Your Heart

by Monica Reinagel

The idea that excessive sugar intake may play a major role in the development of heart disease is not new. Even the American Heart Association, which changes course about as nimbly as an ocean liner, is finally shifting its sights away from dietary fat and cholesterol and toward added sugars as the primary target for intervention. Two new studies add fuel to the fire.

Read more here.
 

May 5, 2010

Blueberries May Counteract Damage from Overexercise

In that skeletal muscle damage can result from unaccustomed or excessive exercise, muscle dysfunction has been observed to occur as a result of an increased level of reactive oxygen species (free radicals). Roger D. Hurst, from the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (New Zealand), and colleagues exposed developing skeletal muscle fibers (myotubes) to various concentrations of fruit extracts, along with two compounds that induce cellular stress. The team found blueberry extract to protect the muscle fibers in a dose-dependent fashion. Containing malvidin galactoside and malvidin glucoside, the team suggests these two antioxidant compounds “may be beneficial in alleviating muscle damage caused by oxidative stress.”

Read more here.

 

May 5, 2010

Weight Loss and Physical Activity Improve Symptoms of GERD

Business Wire

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a debilitating problem for sufferers -- heartburn, difficulty swallowing, chest pain and acid reflux. According to a Mayo Clinic study that will be presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2010 in New Orleans May 1-5, even moderate weight gain can exacerbate those symptoms,DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researcher in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

The good news, however, according to Michael D. Crowell, Ph.D., FACG, researcher in Gastroenterologyat Mayo Clinic in Arizona, along with colleagues at the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota, is that weight loss through restriction of calories and increasing physical activity significantly improves symptoms of GERD. Improvements persisted for 18 months for study participants. This study strongly suggests that even moderate weight loss by lifestyle modification in overweight and obese patients may be valuable in treating this condition, according to Dr. Crowell.

Read more here.
 

May 4, 2010

New Study About Benefits of Probiotics

A new study by Danisco indicates that probiotics could help improve the metabolic syndrome by counteracting the adverse effects of a high-fat diet.

According to the unpublished findings, which were presented last week at the Keystone Symposium on Diabetes in Canada, the benefit is the result of a reduction in tissue inflammation and metabolic endotaxaemia.

“The new screening tests have revealed that Bifidobacterium lactis B420, in comparison with other probiotic strains, has the potential to reduce the adverse effects associated with high-fat diets and alleviate metabolic diseases,” said Dr Sampo Lahtinen, senior scientist at Danisco’s Health and Nutrition Research Centre in Kantvik, Finland.

Read more here.
 

May 3, 2010

Higher Heart Problem Risk for Women with High Glycemic Index

Consuming carbohydrates with high glycemic index-an indicator of how quickly a food affects blood glucose levels-appears to be associated with the risk of coronary heart disease in women but not men, according to a report in the April 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals (see also JAMA and Archives Journals).

High-carbohydrate diets increase the levels of blood glucose and of harmful blood fats known as triglycerides while reducing levels of protective HDL or "good" cholesterol, thereby increasing heart disease risk, according to background information in the article. However, not all carbohydrates have the same effect on blood glucose levels. The glycemic index is a measure of how much a food raises blood glucose levels compared with the same amount of glucose or white bread. A related measure, the glycemic load, is calculated based on the glycemic index of a given food and also on the total amount of carbohydrates it contains.

Read more here.
 

April 30, 2010

Congressman Waxman Adds Anti-Vitamin Amendment

(NaturalNews) Of all the sneaky tactics practiced in Washington D.C., this recent action by Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) is one of the most insidious: While no one was looking, he injected amendment language into the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173) that would expand the powers of the FTC (not the FDA, but the FTC) to terrorize nutritional supplement companies by greatly expanding the power of the FTC to make its own laws that target dietary supplement companies.

Read more here.
 

April 30, 2010

Yet Another Attempt on Capitol Hill to Take Away Our Vitamins

From Life Extension

"The threat of a regulatory stranglehold over dietary supplements has intensified.

Earlier this year, Sen. John McCain introduced a bill that would have given the FDA draconian new powers. A citizen’s revolt ensued that caused that bill to be sidelined. We are being watchful that Sen. McCain does not try to slip some of his oppressive original proposals into another Senate bill.

The urgent issue we face today is language Rep. Henry Waxman snuck into the already passed Wall Street Reform Bill (H.R. 4173) that he hopes to get into the Senate bill. This language would give unelected FTC bureaucrats arbitrary authority to impose crippling requirements that will drive up the costs of supplements or remove them from the market entirely."

Read more here.
 

April 28, 2010

High Fat, High Sugar Diet Activates Weight-Gain Genes

It is not simply a matter of the extra calories in and of themselves. Excessive caloric intake turns on gene signals that actively promote the storage of calories as fat. If those gene signals are repetitively activated and conditioned to stay on, you are in real metabolic trouble. A new study in the FASEB journal is part of an emerging body of science showing how improper food consumption sets gene-related metabolic signaling that cripples healthy metabolism.

Researchers conducted tests in two groups of mice on the brain’s opioid receptors involved with pleasure signaling and metabolism. One group had the kappa opioid receptor genetically deactivated (“knocked out”) and the other group was normal. Both groups were given a high fat, high sucrose, energy dense diet for 16 weeks. While the control group of mice gained significant weight and fat mass on this diet, the mice with the deactivated receptor remained lean.

Read more here.
 
April 26, 2010
 
Dietary Weight Loss Reverses Atherosclerosis
 
In a fundamental discovery with sweeping public health implications Israeli researchers have proven for the first time that the process of long-term weight loss is capable of reversing heart disease.

The study tested low-fat, low-carbohydrate, and Mediterranean diets over a two-year period in 140 overweight people (88% men, average age 51). It found that any of the diets could produce cardiovascular benefit as long as a certain amount of weight was lost. This means that it is the process of weight loss, not dietary components, that are responsible for the improvement.

Read more here.
 
April 23, 2010
 
Added Sugar Can Increase Heart Attack Risk
 
United Press International

Added sugars -- especially in processed foods and beverages -- may increase heart disease risk factors, U.S. researchers said.

Study co-author Dr. Miriam Vos, assistant professor of pediatrics at Emory School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed nutritional data and blood lipid (fat) levels in more than 6,000 adult men and women from 1999 to 2006.

The highest-consuming study subjects ate an average of 46 teaspoons of added sugars per day, while the lowest-consuming study subjects are an average of just 3 teaspoons daily.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found those who ate more added sugar were more likely to have higher cardiovascular disease risk factors -- including higher triglyceride levels and higher ratios of triglycerides to high-density lipoprotein, the "good" cholesterol.

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April 23, 2010
 
Vitamin, Calcium Supplementation Reduces Breast Cancer?
 
The American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010 held in Washington, DC, was the site of a presentation on April 18 concerning the finding of a protective effect of vitamins and calcium against breast cancer.

Jaime Matta, PhD of the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico and his colleagues compared 268 Puerto Rican women with breast cancer to 457 healthy control subjects. DNA repair capacity (DRC), a biological process involving over 200 proteins, which, when disrupted, increases cancer risk, was measured in the white blood cells of all participants.

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April 22, 2010
 
Dietary Supplement Use and Lower Risk of Cervical Dysplasia
 
An article published in the April, 2010 issue of the International Journal of Gynecologic Cancers reports the finding of researchers at Korea University College of Medicine and Korea's National Cancer Center of a lower risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN, also known as cervical dysplasia) among human papilloma virus (HPV) positive women who consumed vitamin supplements. Human papilloma virus has been identified as the agent responsible for cervical cancer, for which cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is a precursor. The condition is detected by a pap smear and graded according to stage as CIN 1, 2 or 3. Although CIN can regress on its own, it is frequently treated with cryocautery, electrocautery or other methods.

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April 14, 2010
 
Can Bread Cause Diabetes?
 
We know that food -- specifically too much of it and the resulting weight gain -- causes type 2 diabetes. But could what we eat be a cause of type 1 diabetes? Perhaps, says a new study that has linked wheat consumption to development of type 1 diabetes in young people (generally age 40 and younger), in a finding that has surprised many doctors and scientists. This is research that Daily Health News contributing editor, Andrew L. Rubman, ND, says is "quite amazing and hugely important."

Unlike the more common type 2, type 1 diabetes is a progressive autoimmune disorder that people develop early in life. Some cases have clear genetic roots, but scientists have believed that environmental factors could also play a role -- including, possibly, something in the diet. This small study from the University of Ottawa demonstrates that one factor may be wheat consumption.

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April 12, 2010
 
Magnesium Supplementation Improves Asthma Control
 
The February 2010 issue of the Journal of Asthma published the findings of a clinical trial involving adults with mild to moderate asthma which noted improvements in asthma control and quality of life after six months of supplementation with magnesium.

Alexandra Kazaks, PhD of Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington, along with colleagues at the University of California, Davis, randomized 55 asthmatic men and women aged 21 to 55 to receive 340 milligrams per day magnesium as magnesium citrate or a placebo for 6.5 months. Bronchial responsiveness, as assessed by a methacholine challenge test, and pulmonary function, assessed by spirometry, were evaluated before and after the treatment period. Questionnaires designed to assess asthma control and quality of life were administered at the beginning and end of the study, and exhaled nitric oxide and serum C-reactive protein were measured to evaluate bronchial and systemic inflammation. Additionally, magnesium in serum, red blood cells and urine, and total body magnesium stores were analyzed. Dietary intake of magnesium was quantified via 24-hour dietary records completed prior to the initial visit and at 3 and 6.5 months.

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April 12, 2010
 
Higher Vitamin D Levels Could Save Thousands of Lives a Year
 
Canadian Press

TORONTO - A new study estimates that if more Canadians increased their intake of vitamin D, the death rate could fall by 16 per cent, or as many as 37,000 premature deaths a year.

The number crunchers factored in the association between vitamin D deficiency and a variety of diseases and conditions, including bone diseases, cancer, autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

The research was published recently in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
"The result of this study strongly suggests the personal and economic burden of disease in Canada could be significantly reduced if optimal vitamin D levels are increased," primary author William Grant, of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco, said in a recent release.

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April 9, 2010
 
Multivitamins During Pregnancy May Boost Infant Health
 
Daily supplements of multivitamins during pregnancy may improve the growth of the baby in the womb, says a study with African American women.

Women who were taking daily multivitamins in and around the time of conception gave birth to babies who weighed on average half a kilo more than babies from women not taking the supplements, report Heather Burris from Harvard University and Allen Mitchell and Martha Werler from Boston University in the Annals of Epidemiology.

“African American women in the United States deliver preterm and low birth weight infants two to three times more frequently than their white counterparts,” explained the Boston-based researchers.

Low birth weight has been linked to higher risks of negative health outcomes, including neonatal and infant mortality, poor growth and cognitive development, and higher risks of chronic diseases later in life, like diabetes and heart disease.

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April 7, 2010
 
New Study - Omega-3 May Slash Risk of Heart Failure 
 
By Stephen Daniells

Increased intakes of fatty fish, and the omega-3s they contain, may reduce a woman’s risk of heart failure by about 25 per cent, according to new findings from the US and Sweden.

The benefits appear linked to the omega-3 content of the fish, report researchers in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The highest intake of marine omega-3 fatty acids linked to a reduction in the risk of heart failure of 25 per cent.

The heart health benefits of consuming oily fish, and the omega-3 fatty acids they contain, are well-documented, being first reported in the early 1970s by Jorn Dyerberg and his co-workers in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements, and improved vascular function.

Read more here.
 
April 6, 2010
 
Reduced Vitamin K Intake Affect Cancer Mortality?
 
An article published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports the finding of researchers from the German Cancer Research Center and the German Research Centre for Environmental Health of an association between reduced vitamin K2 intake and an increased risk of dying from cancer.

Read more here.
 
April 5, 2010
 
Vitamin D Could Save Germany Billions in Health Costs
 
By Stephen Daniells

Ensuring the German population gets adequate intakes of vitamin D could save the country about €37.5 billion in health care costs, according to a new review.

Writing in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Professor Armin Zittermann from Ruhr University Bochum states that up to 45 per cent of the German population could be vitamin D insufficient, with an additional 15 to 30 per cent deficient, thereby putting them at risk at a variety of health problems.

In addition, current recommendations are not enough and need to be doubled at least, wrote Prof Zittermann, with daily intakes of 25 micrograms required. This would represent a significant increase from current recommendations, which range from 5 to 10 micrograms per day.

“Adherence to present sun safety policy and dietary recommendations would definitively lead to vitamin D deficiency,” states Prof Zittermann. “Therefore, there is an urgent need to change current sun safety policy and dietary vitamin D recommendations.”

Read more here.
 
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