LivingFuel HealthAlerts - 2012 Archive 2


 

April 30, 2012

Mixing Prescription Pills Can Be Fatal For Seniors

Howard Cohen
The Miami Herald

Dr. Barbara Krantz has a message for those who care for an elderly mom, dad, grandparent or friend: Falls, depression and insomnia should not be so easily dismissed as signs of getting older.

"Those are things that can be attributed to the physiological cause of aging but, if caregivers are aware, it can also be prescription drug abuse or interaction. All of a sudden mom is getting more and more forgetful. It could be her medication. It doesn't have to be her brain,'' said Krantz, medical director for the Hanley Center, a West Palm Beach-based addiction treatment and recovery center.

Read more about the report here.

 

April 28, 2012

Vitamin D May Help Lower Blood Pressure

United Press International

A study showed giving vitamin D supplements in Europe in winter can help lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension, Danish researchers said.

Study leader Dr. Thomas Larsen and a group of researchers studied 112 patients visiting the Holstebro Hospital in Denmark -- at the 56th northern latitude, about the same latitude as Glasgow and Moscow. The study participants had initial levels of vitamin D measured, and then were given either vitamin D or a placebo for 20 weeks. At the beginning of the study, 92 of the 112 patients were found to have low levels of vitamin D.

Learn more about about the study here.

 

April 27, 2012

Consuming Berries Could Delay Brain Aging Up To Two And a Half Years

An article published online in the Annals of Neurology reports a protective effect for diets containing high amounts of blueberries and strawberries against cognitive decline in older women.Berries are high in compounds known as flavonoids, which may help reduce the negative impact of inflammation and stress on cognitive function.

"As the U.S. population ages, understanding the health issues facing this group becomes increasingly important," commented lead researcher Elizabeth Devore of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. "Our study examined whether greater intake of berries could slow rates of cognitive decline."

Read more about the study here.

 

April 27, 2012

Five Things You Can Do to Help Maintain a Healthy Back

HARVARD HEALTH SPECIAL REPORTS
Buffalo News

Treatment of low back pain has undergone a recent sea change. Experts now appreciate the central role of exercise and the importance of maintaining a healthy back. They also better understand which conditions surgery will help and which patients are good surgical candidates.

Low back pain has many different causes, including the normal wear and tear that comes with aging. While you can't turn back the clock or prevent every type of painful back disorder, in most cases there are things you can do to help keep your back healthy.

Read more about report here.

 

April 27, 2012

Most Popular News of 2012 (so far)

NutraIngredients has scanned the 2012 archive of science, industry, regulation and market trend stories to locate those that have resonated most strongly with you, the NutraIngredients readership.

In the four-month period from January 1, science and regulation coverage has been the biggest hitting, with a candid assessment of the probiotic market from category leader, Danone, top of the pile.

Read more about the report here.

 

April 26, 2012

Obesity, Inactivity Raise Cancer Risks

By Janice Lloyd
USA TODAY

The decline in deaths from all cancers combined continued in the USA from 2004 to 2008, but a major government report highlights a worrisome rise in cases tied to obesity and inactivity.

Although the overall rate of new cancer cases is declining, the report confirms research showing excess weight and a sedentary lifestyle are risk factors for one-fourth to one-third of common cancers. About a third of adults, nearly 78 million, are obese, roughly 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight.

Read more about the report here.

 

April 25, 2012

Diabetes and High Blood Pressure by Surprise

by Jodi Knapp

Today’s article is quite personal.

You see, on Monday morning, a good friend called me internationally telling me he had collapsed on the floor and couldn’t move for about two hours. After that he staggered to bed and fell asleep.

Why this happened has everything to do with what he did an hour before.

Read more of the report here.

 

April 24, 2012

Root Crops Stabilize Cholesterol

by Scott Davis
A new study conducted by the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute reveals incredible benefit of root crops.

The fiber in root crops such as camote, or sweet potatoes, can send bad cholesterol levels plummeting, according to the study on subjects with moderately high cholesterol.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 23, 2012

Concord Grape Juice Shows Brain Boosting Potential

Adding a glass of Concord grape juice to the daily diet may boost memory performance and boost mental function in older people with mild declines in their memory, suggests a new study.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 21, 2012

Alzheimer's Risk Falls With Activity

Janice Lloyd, USA TODAY

Cleaning house and doing yardwork are taking on new importance. A higher level of physical activity -- not just exercising -- is linked to a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease even in people over 80, suggests research published Wednesdsay in the journal Neurology.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 20, 2012

Taurine Protects Against Coronary Heart Disease In Women With High Cholesterol

An article published online in the European Journal of Nutrition revealed that taurine, an amino acid found in relatively high amounts in dark poultry meat and other foods, may be protective against heart disease in women with elevated cholesterol levels. Taurine is involved in blood pressure regulation, and possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Although studies have uncovered a heart benefit for the amino acid in animals, the current investigation is the first prospective study of taurine and coronary heart disease risk in humans.

Read more about the report here.

 

April 20, 2012

Higher Lutein and Zeaxanthin Levels May Help Protect Against Cataract

In an article published in advance of print in the British Journal of Nutrition, Jouni Karppi and Sudhir Kurl at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio and Jari Laukkanen of Lapland Central Hospital in Rovaniemi, Finland report that increased plasma levels of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are associated with a lower risk of cataract in older men and women. Lutein and zeaxanthin's protective effect against another eye disease--age-related macular degeneration—is well known, however their effects in other eye conditions have been less well explored.

Read more about the report here.

 

April 20, 2012

Untested Vaccines Causing New Wave of Polio-like Paralysis Across India

(NaturalNews) The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is financially backing and publicly endorsing mass polio virus vaccinations in India. In case you didn't hear him yourself, Bill Gates publicly announced that vaccines could help reduce the world population by 15%.

Gates also proclaimed that every newborn should be registered for vaccinations immediately to assure the goal of 90% of the population getting vaccinated for his "century of the vaccination."

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation program in India was promoted as "The Last Mile: Eradicating polio in India." The promotional video displayed numbers showing thousands of cases of polio in India decades ago, with the number of cases dropping to 42 by 2010. But it appears that wild polio virus stats have been traded for polio from vaccines and non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP).

 

April 19, 2012

Shortened Telomeres Associated with Greater Risk of Heart Disease and Early Mortality

A recent issue of the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology reports the finding of Danish researchers of a link between short telomeres and an increased risk of heart disease and early death.

Telomeres cap and protect the ends of chromosomes and shorten with the passage of time, which makes them useful as a marker of cellular aging. While accelerated telomere shortening has been associated with obesity, smoking and other factors; multivitamin use, exercise and high levels of omega 3 fatty acids have been found to have a protective effect on their maintenance.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 19, 2012

Tasteless Green Tea Extract Could Open Beverage NPD doors

Taiyo has developed a taste-free green tea extract for use in beverage applications which it claims will expand new product development possibilities for beverage manufacturers.

Read more about the report here.

 

April 18, 2012

Hospitalization Associated With Increased Cognitive Decline In Older Adults

NewsRx.com

(CHICAGO) - A new study published in the March 21 issue of Neurology suggests that older adults who are hospitalized may have an increased risk of subsequent cognitive decline.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Rush University Medical Center, found that hospitalization of older adults was associated with increased memory and thinking problems (see also Critical Illness).

Read more about the study here.

 

April 18, 2012

Expert Gives Advice on Alzheimer's Prevention

Todd Ackerman
Houston Chronicle

Dr. Gary Small, a New York Times best-selling author and director of the UCLA Center on Aging, spoke at Baylor College of Medicine recently about his new book, The Alzheimer's Prevention Program (Workman Publishing). He talked to Chronicle reporter Todd Ackerman about the expected explosion of the brain-robbing disease, the steps people can take to reduce their risks and the effect of the Internet.

Read more about the report here.

 

April 18, 2012

White Coat Symptoms Proven in Studies

White coat syndrome, or the phenomenon where a person’s blood pressure raises simply because they are stressing out over visiting a doctor, has been shown to affect over 1/3 of people over 50.

A study conducted by researchers at The National Clinical Guideline Center in London showed that many people were able to avoid prescription blood pressure medications simply by having their blood pressure taken at home instead of at the doctor’s office.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 17, 2012

Reduced Vitamin C Intake Among Heart Failure Patients Associated With Increased Mortality Over One Year

At the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions held in Orlando, Florida, it was reported that heart failure patients have a greater risk of inflammation and death over follow-up when consuming a diet that provides an inadequate amount of vitamin C.

Read more about the report here.

 

April 17, 2012

Omega-3 May Reduce Inflammatory Marker

Increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce a specific marker of inflammation and confer heart and anti-cancer benefits, according to two new studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Read more about the studies here.

 

April 16, 2012

Be Mindful That Beverages Can Derail Weight-LOSS Efforts

Marjie Gilliam
New York Times Syndicate

DAYTON, Ohio -- When it comes to counting calories, it is just as important to watch what you drink as what you eat.

Beverages are a sneaky contributor to weight gain, so to get a good handle on how many calories you may be consuming, keep track for one week. If you're like most people, chances are it will be a real eye-opener.

Many soft drinks and beer for example, have about 150 calories per 12 ounces. To give you an idea of how easily this can sabotage your diet, consuming just one of these drinks per day adds up to a whopping 54,750 extra calories or close to a 16-pound weight gain in a year's time.

Read more about the report here.

 

April 14, 2012

White Rice Contributes to Type 2 Diabetes

A new study published in the journal BMJ raises concerns about eating too much white rice.

Researchers examined the results of 4 studies that spanned the globe to look at the number of times per day a participant ate white rice.

They then correlated it with the occurrence of development of type two diabetes. They found that the higher the number of servings of white rice per day, the greater occurrence of developing diabetes, even in people who were of moderate and healthy weights.

Read more about the study here.
 

April 13, 2012

Marine Omega-3s May Reduce Depressive Symptoms: Study

Increased intakes of the marine omega-3s EPA and DHA may be associated with a decrease in the number of depressive symptoms, say researchers from the University of Rochester, New York.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 13, 2012

Eating Cruciferous Vegetables May Boost Breast Cancer Survival Rate

Consumption of increased amounts of cruciferous vegetables such as turnips and bok choy was associated with improved breast cancer survival rates among Chinese women, say researchers.

Read more about the research here.

 

April 12, 2012

Typical U.S. Diet Tied to Depression

Sharon Salomon ENVIRONMENTAL NUTRITION NEWSLETTER
Buffalo News

The food choices you make every day can impact your frame of mind. Research shows that there are many variables associated with diet and mood, including the way in which dietary patterns, specific foods, and nutrients can impact your brain and mood.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that the typical American diet of salty, sugary and fatty foods may be partly responsible for depressive disorders afflicting an estimated 9 percent of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more about the report here.

 

April 12, 2012

Fish Protein Could Provide Basis for New Wave of Functional Foods

There is great potential to develop novel, marketable, omega-3 rich functional food products from inexpensive sources such as fish protein isolate, according to new research.

Read more about the research here.

 

April 11, 2012

Berry Juices Show Anti-inflammatory and Heart Health Benefits

Lingonberry, cranberry and blackcurrant juices may reduce compounds that promote inflammation, suggests new data that supports a role for the berries to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

Read more about the report here.

 

April 11, 2012

Study - 50% of South African Omega-3 Supplements Have Content Issues

A survey of 46 omega-3 products on the South African market has found about half contain less than 89% of their claimed DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)-EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) levels and that there exists, “a wide variation in the quality of the marine oils present”.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 10, 2012

B12 Supplements May Boost Cardiovascular Health For Vegetarians

Daily supplements of vitamin B12 may improve the arterial function and provide a ‘novel strategy’ to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis in vegetarians, says a new study.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 10, 2012

New Research About Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease

A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronrary heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 10, 2012

The Best Kind of Sunscreen for Your Child

When you’re in the supermarket or drugstore and you’re staring at the dozens of different sunscreens for sale, you probably pay attention to the sun protection factor (SPF) and the brand, but do you pay attention to the kind of container?

As silly as it sounds, new research shows that the type of bottle you choose can make a big difference, especially when you’re buying sunscreen for a child to use.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 9, 2012

Inflammation Key Driver for Osteoarthritis

Blue Heron Health News

Scientists have known for decades that inflammation is the underlying cause of several types of arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis.

However, Stanford University scientists recently found that inflammation also causes osteoarthritis –the most common form of arthritis that’s typically thought to be the result of “wear and tear” on the joints.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 7, 2012

Oranges May Help Reduce Stroke Risk

United Press International

Health officials routinely advise people to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables but British and U.S. researchers say oranges may help reduce stroke risk.

Aedin Cassidy at the University of East Anglia in England and colleagues at Harvard School of Medicine analyzed data on the risk of stroke in almost 70,000 U.S. nurses. They looked at what the nurses ate, especially forms of flavonoids, found in plants.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 6, 2012

Are Your Vitamins Helping or Hurting You?

By Suzy Cohen, R. Ph.

Recently, I was watching the news and saw headlines that suggested taking vitamins could be dangerous for our health and I was alarmed. Truthfully, it just annoys me that snippets about this study get any media coverage at all. I don’t know one person, not one, who has been harmed by taking nutritional supplements! Since I scour the news -both print and television- I have seen firsthand the sensational headlines intended to invoke fear in our society, and drive more people into the arms of proven methods of healing, whatever those may be.

Read the full report here.

 

April 6, 2012

BMI Misses Mark On Obesity

Misti Crane

The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

Many Americans, especially women, are obese but mistakenly think they're at a healthy weight because of major flaws in the body-mass-index formula, say the authors of a new study.

An analysis comparing the BMI to a blood test and body scan found that the BMI was wrong for half of women and 1 in 4 men.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 5, 2012

Vaccine Failure Admitted: Whooping Cough Outbreaks Higher Among Children

(NaturalNews) For several years, NaturalNews has maintained that many vaccines actually cause the very infectious diseases they claim to prevent. Measles vaccines, for example, actually cause measles. And flu shot vaccines actually increase susceptibility to the flu.

New research reported by Reuters reveals that whooping cough outbreaks are HIGHER among vaccinated children compared with unvaccinated children. This is based on a study led by Dr. David Witt, an infectious disease specialist at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Rafael, California.

Read more about the research here.

 

April 4, 2012

Health Benefits of Massage Therapy Demonstrated in Study

Richard Halstead, The Marin Independent Journal, Novato, Calif.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Taking your medicine may get a whole lot easier now that a Buck Institute for Research on Aging study has produced scientific evidence that a massage does indeed help heal sore and stressed muscles.

The study, produced jointly by the Buck Institute in Novato and McMaster University in Canada, appears in the online edition of Science Translational Medicine. It shows that massage reduces inflammation, promotes the growth of new mitochondria in skeletal muscle and reduces muscle pain.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 3, 2012

Omega-3 May Reduce Risk of Irregular Heart Beat - Harvard Study

Increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation, the most common irregular heart beat (chronic arrhythmia) in adults, by about 30%, says a new study.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 3, 2012

Hearing Loss Linked to Higher Falling Risk

United Press International

Hearing loss, already linked to dementia and other health ills, is also associated with an increased risk of falling, U.S. researchers said.

Dr. Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a colleague, Dr. Luigi Ferrucci of the National Institute on Aging, used data from the 2001 to 2004 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to arrive at their findings. The research program has periodically gathered health data from thousands of Americans since 1971.

Read more about the study here.

 

April 2, 2012

Arthritis Results From Inflammation, Not Just Wear and Tear

Lisa M. Krieger
San Jose Mercury News, Calif.

Arthritis is driven by more than just simple wear and tear of joints, it is also prompted by a destructive process of inflammation, Stanford investigators found.

By revealing the underlying mechanism and identifying the triggers behind the crippling disease, their research offers hope that someday it will be possible to interrupt it.

"It's a paradigm shift," said Dr. William Robinson, the senior author of a study published recently in Nature Medicine.

"What everybody thinks is: 'Wear and tear,' " he said, is actually "the process underlying it."

Read more about the study here.

 

May 31, 2012

Questions About Sugar

Barbara Quinn
The Monterey County Herald, Calif.

As we wind down National Nutrition Month, this question from a reader deserves attention:

"Please help me. My husband and I are trying to do a "no-sugar" (diet) but we are confused. Everything we eat has sugar in it. Is it OK to eat natural sugar when we are trying to do no sugar? Like the plain Greek yogurt has sugar, so do we NOT eat it or is this OK? And we eat the Ezekiel bread which also has sugar. Is this OK? It seems like everything has sugar. When they mean no sugar are they saying no added sugar or refined sugar or just stop eating yogurts and fruit? Very confusing. Thank you. - Rubie G.

Read the answer here.

 

May 30, 2012

Safety of Vitamins Confirmed!

It is estimated that approximately half of the US adult population takes dietary supplements. Alvin C. Bronstein, from the American Association of Poison Control Centers (Virginia, USA), and colleagues analyzed reports of poison-related encounters by 2.3 million Americans. Whereas analgesics were involved in 11.5% of human exposures, and sedatives (including sleeping pills and antipsychotic drugs) were involved in 6% of cases, the researchers report that zero deaths were linked to the consumption of vitamins. In particular, the team notes zero deaths from any B vitamins, zero deaths from vitamin D, and zero deaths from the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E.

Read more about the study here.

 

May 28, 2012

Thyroid Questions Answered

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

The terrible earthquake in Japan, and the resulting nuclear meltdowns, again have placed thyroid cancer in the news. There is a very close link between radiation exposure and thyroid cancer, and it is likely that Japan will see a sharp increase in aggressive thyroid cancers in the coming years, as was the case in Russia after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Here in the United States, there was an increase in thyroid cancer following the nuclear testing in the 1950s in the Southwest. Though we have ceased such open-air testing, there are still numerous ways to be exposed to radiation, such as by receiving radiation therapy for cancer. And there is also a natural incidence of thyroid cancer unrelated to radiation exposure.

Read more about the report here.

 

May 28, 2012

Maternal Supplementation Could Aid Unborn Baby Growth

Supplementation with vitamins and minerals could help to boost the growth of unborn babies in developing countries, according to the results of a new study.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 27, 2012

Vitamin D May Slash Pancreatic Cancer Risk: Harvard Study

Increased blood levels of vitamin D may decrease the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by an impressive 30%, according to a new Harvard-led study.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 27, 2012

Why Eggs are One of the Best Foods for Runners

United Press International

By Liz Applegate Ph.D.
From the April 2012 issue of Runner's World
 
Got a dozen on hand? As a runner, you should. Routinely eating eggs affords you amazing health benefits.
 
Here are five reasons to crack one open.

 

March 26, 2012

Quality Protein Helps Fight Aging

United Press International

Raising daily protein intake can help fend off age-related muscle mass loss, while exercise keeps muscles and bones strong, a U.S. registered dietitian said.

Lona Sandon, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said the older people get, the more important it becomes to pay attention both to the quantity and quality of the calories consumed.

"The good news about calories taken in is the more physically active you are, the more calories you can consume at any age," Sandon said in a statement. "The bad news is because we are aging, we are losing muscle mass, and we need the right type of calories to help promote and keep that lean muscle mass."

Read more about the report here.

 

March 22, 2012

Answers To Questions From Consumer Lab


Consumer Lab posts answers from its research staff to popular questions. Current questions include: Can raspberry ketone help me lose weight? Is it possible to get too much vitamin D? Is fish oil safe? How can I find supplements that are gluten-free?

Read answers to these and other questions here.

 

March 21, 2012

Sugary Drink A Day Raises Heart Risk

United Press International

Men who drink a sugar-sweetened beverage a day have a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease than men who avoid sugary drinks, U.S. researchers say.

The study found men who drank a 12-ounce, sugar-sweetened beverage a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease. However, less frequent consumption -- twice weekly and twice monthly -- didn't carry the same risk.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 21, 2012

Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the U.S.

CDC: Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have skyrocketed in the past decade. Every year, nearly 15,000 people die from overdoses involving these drugs—more than those who die from heroin and cocaine combined.

Read more about the report here.

 

March 21, 2012

Lower Melanoma Risk with Vitamin A

A study of people ages 50 to 76 found the risk of developing melanoma (over an average of 6 years) was 40% lower among those who took a vitamin A supplement than among those who did not. The protective effect appeared strongest and most statistically significant among women, and only occurred with vitamin A from retinol and, not beta-carotene. For details, including the dose (which matters), see the updated information in the Vitamin A Supplement Review.

 

March 20, 2012

Results Of Study About Chemotherapy, Radiation and Antioxidants

Do antioxidants interfere with cancer chemotherapy?

One large recently published study suggests not. In a study of fifty randomized or observational human clinical trials published between 1965 and 2003 and involving 8,521 cancer patients using the antioxidants beta-carotene; vitamins A, C, and E; selenium; cysteine; B vitamins; vitamin D3; vitamin K3; and glutathione as single agents or in combination, Simone and co-workers found that "antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and can increase kill and increase survival". The study did examine patients taking several components including N acetyl cysteine, and vitamin C, this suggests that antioxidants may be safe in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 19, 2012

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reduce Cardiovascular Events In Non-statin Drug User

A recent article reports a favorable effect for low dose omega-3 fatty acids on the risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attack, cardiac arrest and stroke, in patients with a history of heart attack who did not use statin drugs.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 16, 2012

Listening To Body Signals Aids Weight Loss

United Press International

Mastering mindful eating -- awareness of eating -- and stress-reduction techniques help prevent weight gain even without dieting, U.S. researchers say.

Jennifer Daubenmier and the Elissa Epel University of California, San Francisco, said the women involved in their study were not on calorie-counting diets.

Instead, 24 of the 47 chronically stressed, overweight and obese women were randomly assigned to mindfulness training and practice. The other 23 served as a control group. No diets were prescribed, but all participants attended one session about the basics of healthy eating and exercise.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 16, 2012

Coenqyme Q10 Helps Coronary Artery Disease Patients

Inflammation plays a role in the development of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the Western world. While coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation can benefit the heart, few studies have investigated its role in protecting against inflammation in heart disease patients.

In a trial described in an article published recently in the journal Nutrition, researchers at Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan compared the effects of twelve weeks of supplementation with 60 or 150 milligrams per day of CoQ10, or a placebo in 40 men and women with coronary artery disease. Plasma CoQ10 levels, markers of inflammation including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 and homocysteine; malondialdehyde (a marker of lipid peroxidation) and levels of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) were measured before and after the treatment period.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 15, 2012

Why Can't We Sleep?

Bill Ward, Star Tribune, Minneapolis
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Why are 70 million Americans having trouble getting a good night's sleep? Let us count the ways:

We are over-caffeinated (coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, snacks) and over-medicated (prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including alcohol), wreaking havoc with slumber patterns.

We are over-wired (video games, Web browsing, social media, texting) and overstressed (money, work, relationships, overloaded schedules), making us too restless to doze off when we should.

We are overworked (longer hours, night shifts incompatible with our biological clocks) and overweight (perhaps a chicken-or-egg deal, as different studies have found that one leads to the other).

And then there's societal pressure, what nationally recognized sleep expert Dr. Mark Mahowald calls "the pervasive, erroneous attitude that sleep is not a biological imperative, that it is negotiable. We have raised sleep deprivation to a badge of honor."

The effects might outnumber the causes, and are hardly as benign as many of us might think. "Any degree of sleep deprivation will impair performance: behind the wheel, in the classroom or workplace," Mahowald said.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 15, 2012

Mighty Miso

Michael Hastings
Winston-Salem Journal, N.C.

Many people have started off a meal in a Japanese restaurant with a bowl of miso soup.

Light yet deeply flavored, satisfying but not filling, miso soup is perhaps the most-ordered item on any Japanese menu.

But not many people know what miso is. Yes, it's a soup, but it is much, much more.

Learn more about miso here.

 

March 14, 2012

Maternal Supplementation Could Aid Unborn Baby Growth

Supplementation with vitamins and minerals could help to boost the growth of unborn babies in developing countries, according to the results of a new study.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 13, 2012

Pine Bark Extract May Ease Menopause symptoms: Study

Daily supplements of a French maritime pine bark extract may ease the symptoms of menopause and ease digestive problems, says a new study with Italian university students.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 12, 2012

Increased Flavonoid Consumption Associated With Reduced Deaths

An article published online on January 4, 2012 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals a lower risk of dying of cardiovascular disease among those who consumer more flavonoids: plant-based phytochemicals that may be responsible in part for the reduced risk of heart disease observed among those who consume a diet that contains high amounts of vegetables, fruit and other plant foods.

American Cancer Society and Tufts University researchers evaluated data from 38,180 men and 60,289 women who had no history of heart disease upon enrollment in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition in 1999. Dietary questionnaire responses were analyzed for the intake of seven classes of flavonoids, including flavan-3-ols, flavanones, flavones, flavonols, isoflavones, anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins from a variety of plant foods. The subjects were followed for seven years, during which 1,589 men and 1,182 women died from cardiovascular disease.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 12, 2012

Taurine Protects Against Coronary Heart Disease in Women

An article published online in the European Journal of Nutrition revealed that taurine, an amino acid found in relatively high amounts in dark poultry meat and other foods, may be protective against heart disease in women with elevated cholesterol levels. Taurine is involved in blood pressure regulation, and possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Although studies have uncovered a heart benefit for the amino acid in animals, the current investigation is the first prospective study of taurine and coronary heart disease risk in humans.

Read more about the study here.

 

March 10, 2012

 

Great Reasons To Have A Cup Of Tea

 

Barbara Quinn The Monterey County Herald, Calif.

 

"There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea," wrote Bernard-Paul Heroux.

 

What is it about a cup of hot tea that is so...soothing? I happen to think it's the warmth that emanates from pretty tea cups. But scientists credit a host of naturally-occurring compounds in tea with beneficial health effects.

 

All tea comes from the same plant: Camellia sinensis. And over the centuries as this plant grew in the sun, says the USDA Agricultural Research Service, it formed chemicals called "polyphenols" to protect it from the elements. Polyphenols are family to "flavonoids" - health-promoting antioxidant substances found in many fruits and vegetables.

 

When tea leaves are processed into the various forms of tea, the flavonoid content changes, say researchers. Green tea, for example, contains more simple antioxidant flavonoids while black tea contains more complex varieties.

 

Green, black and oolong teas are all from the same C. sinensis plant...just processed differently. Green tea is minimally fermented - the process of exposing to air and drying. Black tea is maximally fermented. And oolong tea is somewhere in the middle.

 

Click here to read more great reasons to drink tea.

 

 

March 9, 2012

Cocoa May Help Diabetes, Heart Failure

United Press International

Patients with advanced heart failure and type 2 diabetes showed improvement after three months of consuming epicatechin-enriched cocoa, U.S. researchers said.

Dr. Francisco J. Villarreal of University of California, San Diego, said epicatechin is a flavonoid found in dark chocolate.

The researchers examined five profoundly ill patients with major damage to skeletal muscle mitochondria -- structures responsible for most of the energy produced in cells. These "fuel cells" are dysfunctional as a result of both type 2 diabetes and heart failure, leading to abnormalities in skeletal muscle, Villarreal said.

Read more about the research here.

 

March 9, 2012

GNC, Walmart And The Kardashians Targeted In QuickTrim Lawsuit

The makers of the QuickTrim weight loss supplements endorsed by reality TV stars the Kardashians are making false, misleading and unsubstantiated claims about their efficacy, according to a class action lawsuit.

Read more about the story here.

 

March 8, 2012

Relaxation Drink Warning Letter a Warning Shot Across Beverage Industry

The FDA’s warning letter to the maker of melatonin-laced Slowtivate Relaxation Drink has reignited the debate over the legal line between liquid dietary supplements and conventional beverages - and should make some firms very nervous - say lawyers.

Read more about the report here.

 

March 7, 2012

Flavanol Rich Chocolate Could Boost Brain Performance

Regular consumption of high-flavanol chocolate, could help to promote brain performance by boosting the efficiency of certain brain functions, suggests new research supported by Barry Callebaut.

Read more about the research here.

 

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