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<<33343536373839404142>> Total results:5062 References Per Page:

Large Daily Dose Of Vitamin C Reduces Blood Pressure, But Not As Much As Medications

April 18, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who analyzed data from 29 published clinical studies find that taking an average of 500 mg of vitamin C every day reduces blood pressure by 3.84 mm of mercury in the short term. That amount of vitamin C – five times the recommended daily dosage and equivalent to six cups of orange juice  – reduces the blood pressure of people diagnosed with hypertension by 5 mm of mercury. By contrast, patients who take blood pressure medication such as ACE inhibitors or diuretics can expect a 10 mm of mercury drop in blood pressure.
S. P. Juraschek et al., "Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 18, 2012, © American Society for Nutrition
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Physical Activity Wards Off Dementia In Older Adults

April 18, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Simple daily physical activities – exercise, cooking, washing dishes, cleaning, etc. – are associated with a significantly reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a Rush University study. Physical activity was found to be beneficial even for people in their eighties. For the study, researchers asked 716 elderly people – average age 82 – without dementia to wear a wrist device that monitored daily activity for ten days. Over a mean of 3.5 years of follow-up testing, 71 participants developed Alzheimer's. People in the bottom 10 percent of daily physical activity were 2.3 times as likely to develop Alzheimer's as people in the top 10 percent of daily activity.
A.S. Buchman et al., "Total daily physical activity and the risk of AD and cognitive decline in older adults", Neurology, April 18, 2012, © AAN Enterprises, Inc.
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Positive Emotional States Reduce The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease

April 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Harvard University researchers who conducted a systematic review of 200 studies and two large databases on the impact of negative mental states on health found that a positive outlook on life seems to cut the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events. According to the researchers, the absence of negative feelings such as depression, anxiety and hostility wasn’t the key factor. It was the presence of positive feelings – optimism, life satisfaction and happiness – that reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, even when age, socioeconomic status, smoking and body weight were taken into account.
Boehm, J. K. & Kubzansky, L. D. , "The heart’s content: The association between positive psychological well-being and cardiovascular health", Psychological Bulletin, April 17, 2012, © American Psychological Association
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Study Determines Why Women Are More Prone To Knee Injuries

April 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A new U.S. study provides an explanation for why women are more susceptible to knee injuries than men during physical activity. The researchers studied spinal motor control and rapid activation of muscles in 17 men and 17 women, finding that in most areas men and women were similar. However, men had a higher level of "recurrent inhibition," which is a process in the spinal cord that helps select the appropriate muscle response to a particular activity. For example, when landing from a jump women’s knees tend to collapse inward. That causes them to suffer significantly more debilitating anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries during physical activity.
Samuel T. Johnson et al., "Spinal motor control differences between the sexes", Journal of Applied Physiology, April 17, 2012, © Springer
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Dietitian Warns Of Dangers Of Feeding Tube Diet Fad

April 16, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A Baylor University dietitian warns that the crash weight-loss fad known as the feeding tube diet is more harmful than liquid “starvation diets”. The diet, which has been promoted by some doctors as a quick way for women to shed pounds before their wedding day, involves the feeding of protein, fat and water through a nasal feeding tube. According to Suzy Weems, Ph.D., the technique can cause infections and irritation and should not be used as a substitute for healthy exercise and calorie control.
Suzy Weems, Ph.D., "Diet Fad of Eating Through the Nose Could Be a Nightmare, Nutrition Expert Says", News release, Baylor University, April 16, 2012, © Baylor University
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People Who Eat High-Fiber Foods Have Lower Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease

April 16, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A Swedish study of the eating habits and health status of 20,000 people has found that high-fiber foods provide protection against cardiovascular disease, especially in women. The researchers could not determine why a high-fiber diet was more beneficial for women than men, though they did note that women tended to get their fiber from fruits and vegetables, while men got their fiber from bread. No correlation was  found between other dietary nutrients – e.g., saturated fat or sugar – and cardiovascular disease.
Peter Wallström et al., "Dietary Fiber and Saturated Fat Intake Associations with Cardiovascular Disease Differ by Sex in the Malmö Diet and Cancer Cohort", PLoS ONE, April 16, 2012, © Wallström et al.
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Getting A Good Night’s Sleep Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes, Obesity

April 11, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S researchers who studied people deprived of sleep over a prolonged period of time found that a lack of sleep and sleeping at odd times of the day increases the risk of diabetes and obesity. The study involved 21 healthy participants who were monitored in a completely controlled environment for six weeks. In the initial phase of the study, participants got optimal sleep of ten hours a night. They were then subjected to periods of less sleep, and sleep during unusual times, mimicking shift work, jet lag, etc. Prolonged sleep restriction and circadian disruption decreased the participants' resting metabolic rate, and increased glucose concentrations in the blood because of poor insulin secretion, boosting the risk of disease and weight gain.
O. M. Buxton et al., "Adverse Metabolic Consequences in Humans of Prolonged Sleep Restriction Combined with Circadian Disruption", Science Translational Medicine, April 11, 2012, © American Association for the Advancement of Science
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Dietary Supplement Trade Group Disputes Study On Heart Benefits Of Omega-3s

April 9, 2012: 10:52 PM EST
A dietary supplement industry trade group has issued a statement disputing the findings of a recent study that said there wasn’t enough evidence that omega-3 fatty acid supplements improve cardiovascular health in heart patients. The Natural Products Association (NPA) pointed to a “wealth of evidence” from epidemiological and observational studies showing that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for heart disease. According to the NPA, two studies in particular – the GISSI-Prevenzione trial and the Japan EPA Lipid Intervention study – showed that omega-3 supplements reduced the risk of death, nonfatal myocardial infarction and nonfatal stroke.
Mike Keaton, "NPA Expert Says Study on Omega-3 Supplements and Cardiovascular Disease “Limited” and “Inaccurate”", Press release, Natural Products Association (NPA), April 09, 2012, © Natural Products Association (NPA)
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Junk Food Consumption Linked To Depression – Study

April 6, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
New Spanish research finds that people whose diet includes a lot of diet-busting fast food are more likely to be clinically depressed. The population study involved 9,000 adults. People who ate the most fast foods – burgers, hot dogs, pizza, etc. – were 36 percent more likely to develop clinical depression compared to those who ate the least amount. Likewise, those who ate the most commercial baked goods – cookies, cakes and desserts – were 38 percent more likely to develop depression. According to the researchers, no studies prove eating specific foods, like doughnuts or Little Debbie's, causes depression. It’s possible, they suggested, that people prone to becoming depressed are more likely to seek comfort through unhealthy foods.
"Fast Food is Linked to Depression", Diet Nutrition Advisor, April 06, 2012, © Diet & Nutrition
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Company’s Proprietary Antioxidant Ingredient Awarded U.S. Patent

April 5, 2012: 10:29 PM EST
Natural products company ChromaDex Corp. was awarded a U.S. patent for the  proprietary antioxidant polyphenol pterostilbene, an ingredient in its nutraceutical product line. According to the company, pterostilbene has shown “great promise” for supporting cardiovascular health, cognitive function and anti-aging. The patent covers several claims for pterostilbene, including the lowering of fat levels in the blood and either treating or reducing the risk of dyslipidemias (high blood cholesterol). The company’s proprietary pterostilbene brand (pTeroPure) is a key ingredient in BluScience, ChromaDex's line of dietary supplements.
"ChromaDex Announces First Patent Issued for Pterostilbene, the Novel Ingredient in its BluScience™ Line of Dietary Products", Press release, ChromaDex, April 05, 2012, © ChromaDex
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Obesity, And Its Related Medical Problems, Increases Health Care Costs More Than Smoking

April 3, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Though both obesity and smoking push up the costs of health care in the U.S., the incremental costs associated with obesity are significantly higher, according to an analysis of 30,000 individuals by scientists at the Mayo Clinic. The average health care costs for smokers are $1,275 higher than for nonsmokers. But the incremental costs for obese people are $1,850 compared to normal weight individuals. The increased health care costs for obesity are often masked by adjustments for so-called comorbidity costs associated with other chronic health problems that stem from obesity, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
James P. Moriarty et al., "The Effects of Incremental Costs of Smoking and Obesity on Health Care Costs Among Adults", Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, April 03, 2012, © American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
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Exercise Plus Caffeine Wards Off Skin Cancer, Prevents Inflammation Linked To Cancer

April 3, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers who evaluated the effects of caffeine and exercise on lab animals bred to be at high risk of skin cancer found that the combination cut the number of skin tumors by 62 percent, and the size by 85 percent. Similar, but smaller, results were found with caffeine or exercise by themselves. There was a 27 percent reduction in tumors in caffeine-only mice, and a 61 percent reduction in tumor size. Tumor activity decreased by 35 percent in exercise-only mice, while tumor volume decreased by 70 percent. The connection between the impact of caffeine and exercise is inflammation, which declined as much as 92 percent in mice that exercised and consumed caffeine, researchers said.
Yao-Ping Lu, Ph.D. et al., "Caffeine and Exercise May Be Protective Against Skin Cancer Caused by Sun Exposure, Study Suggests", News release, presentation at the AACR annual meeting, April 03, 2012, © American Association for Cancer Research
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New Study Confirms Correlation Between Fast Food And Risk Of Depression

March 30, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A study by scientists in Spain finds that consumers of fast food are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who eat little or none. This data support earlier research, recording 657 new cases of depression out of 12,059 people analyzed over more than six months. The researchers also note that the link between fast food and depression is “dose-responsive”: the more you eat, the greater the likelihood of depression. Participants who ate the most fast food and commercial baked goods were more likely to be single, less active and have poor dietary habits, which include eating less fruit, nuts, fish, vegetables and olive oil. The group was also more likely to smoke and work more than 45 hours a week.
Almudena Sánchez-Villegas et al., "Fast-food and commercial baked goods consumption and the risk of depression", Public Health Nutrition, March 30, 2012, © Cambridge University Press
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Low Glycemic Index Foods At Breakfast Reduce Hunger Pangs And Blood Sugar Spikes

March 30, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A study by Purdue University researchers reports that eating low glycemic index foods –particularly almonds – at breakfast increases feelings of satiety and fullness and helps prevent spikes in blood sugar all morning and after lunch. Foods with a high glycemic index, including many highly processed foods containing carbohydrates, are digested rapidly, resulting in high fluctuations in blood sugar levels and increased hunger pangs later in the day. Low glycemic index foods produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and are considered healthier. The study focused on the impact of eating almonds at breakfast, finding that the nuts make people feel fuller while lowering blood sugar concentrations.
Kantha Shelke and Richard Mattes, "Glycemic Index Foods at Breakfast Can Control Blood Sugar Throughout the Day", News release, presentation at the Institute of Food Technologists' Wellness 12 meeting, March 30, 2012, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Researchers Determine Optimum Level Of Fish Oil To Add To Yogurt For Heart Health

March 28, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers who want to increase their daily intake of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids might someday be able to eat fish oil-supplemented yogurt, according to a U.S. study. Scientists tested different levels of fish oil in a savory chili and lime flavored yogurt. A one percent concentration of fish oil – which provides more than the daily amount suggested by the American Heart Association – would probably be acceptable to a majority of Americans, the researchers found in their testing. A higher concentration was found to be too fishy flavored to be acceptable. “A potential market exists for this population," the researchers concluded.
M. Rognlien et al., "Consumer perception and sensory effect of oxidation in savory-flavored yogurt enriched with n-3 lipids", Journal of Dairy Science, March 28, 2012, © Elsevier B.V.
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Cancer Prevention Is Not Just An Individual Issue

March 28, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Unhealthy lifestyle choices – tobacco use, poor diet, lack of exercise – are the main causes of preventable cancer in the U.S., a study finds, but the “structure of society itself” is also a major contributor to the problem. The researchers say more than half of the cancer in the U.S. can be prevented by altering lifestyle, but society needs to do its part to encourage that. Among the obstacles to societal support of cancer prevention: skepticism that cancer can be deterred; intervention that is too late; research that focuses on treatment, not prevention; too much debate among scientists; government tobacco policy and subsidies that fail to discourage unhealthy behavior; and lack of collaboration among scientific disciplines.
G. A. Colditz et al., "Applying What We Know to Accelerate Cancer Prevention", Science Translational Medicine, March 28, 2012, © American Association for the Advancement of Science
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Drink Sugary Or Sugar-Free Drinks? Overall Diet Is Much More Important

March 28, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study that examined the interplay of beverage consumption and overall diet patterns has found that diet is the key factor, regardless of whether sugary or sugar-free beverages are consumed. The healthiest of the 4,000 people studied were those who ate a “prudent” diet (i.e., fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, nuts and milk) and did not consume diet beverages. They had a lower risk of high waist circumference, high triglyceride levels and metabolic syndrome than those who ate a Western diet (i.e., fast foods, pizza, snacks, meats, etc.) and did not drink diet beverages. The second healthiest group was individuals with a prudent diet who also consumed diet beverages. Lastly, individuals who ate the Western diet had increased risk of heart disease, regardless of the kind of beverage they drank.
Kiyah J Duffey et al., "Dietary patterns matter: diet beverages and cardiometabolic risks in the longitudinal Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 28, 2012, © American Society for Nutrition
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Popcorn Touted As Nutrient-Rich Whole Grain Snack

March 27, 2012: 01:20 PM EST
People normally think of fruits and vegetables as the richest sources of the antioxidants known as polyphenols, but a recent study reports that whole-grain popcorn is an even richer source. A serving of popcorn – the only snack that is 100 percent unprocessed whole grain – packs 300 mg of polyphenols, compared to 114 mg per serving of sweet corn and 160 mg per serving of all fruits. The hulls of popcorn have the highest concentrations of polyphenols and fiber. But the researchers cautioned that though popcorn is nutritious, adding butter, salt and other high-calorie flavorings can turn the snack into a nutritional nightmare. They recommended eating air-popped popcorn for the lowest calorie count. Microwave popcorn and popcorn popped in oil both have twice as many calories as air-popped.
"Don't Forget to Eat Your Fruits, Veggies ... and Popcorn?", News report, HealthDay, March 27, 2012, via Yahoo! News, © HealthDay
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Study Finds That Regular Chocolate Eaters Are Actually Thinner

March 27, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study shows that adults who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner than those who don’t. For the study, researchers analyzed dietary and other information provided by 1,000 adults. They found that adults who ate chocolate on more days a week had a lower body mass index than those who ate chocolate less often. The researchers acknowledged that the size of the effect was modest, but nevertheless significant. The chocolate eaters consumed more calories and did not behave differently – for example, exercising more often – than the non-chocolate eaters. The data, researchers concluded, suggest that the composition of calories, not just the number, is important to the ultimate impact on weight.
B. A. Golomb et al., "Association Between More Frequent Chocolate Consumption and Lower Body Mass Index", Archives of Internal Medicine, March 27, 2012, © American Medical Association
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The Right Snacks Can Help Dieters Lose Weight

March 26, 2012: 12:40 PM EST
Americans are getting more of their daily calories today from snacks than they did three decades ago, dietitian Megan Murphy writes. And they eat many more salty snacks (low- and high-fat), candy, nuts, seeds and cereals. Snacking on high-fat desserts like cake has decreased, but snacking on low-fat desserts has increased. However, she notes, snacking doesn’t necessarily have to contribute to the obesity epidemic and can be a healthy part of a weight-loss diet, if certain guidelines are followed: eat low-calorie snacks – 100 to 200 calories – to stave off hunger;  avoid sugary or fatty snacks; choose snacks rich in protein and fiber; carry healthy snacks with you rather than buying junk snacks; and eat smaller meals after snacking during the day. 
Megan Murphy, "Snack time: Eating between meals may help dieters lose weight, but keep it reasonable", Commercial Appeal, March 26, 2012, © Memphis Commercial Appeal
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Elderly Significantly Benefit From Cognitive Training Therapy

March 27, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A new Chinese study finds that elderly people who completed cognitive training sessions that focused on improving memory, reasoning, problem solving, and other life skills slowed onset of dementia. People aged 65 to 75 years old who were otherwise in good health participated in the hour-long sessions twice a week for 12 weeks. Training involved puzzles, handicrafts, health education and exercise. The training sessions improved reasoning, memory, language and hand-eye co-ordination of the participants, researchers found. They concluded that cognitive training therapy seems to prevent mental decline among healthy older people while helping them to continue independent living longer.
Yan Cheng et al., "The effects of multi-domain versus single-domain cognitive training in non-demented older people: a randomized controlled trial", BMC Medicine, March 27, 2012, © BioMed Central Ltd
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Green Coffee Beans Show Potential As Fast Weight Loss Method

March 27, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. scientists report that supplementing a low-fat diet and regular exercise with multiple capsules of green (unroasted) coffee extract every day seems to be a safe, effective, inexpensive and quick way to lose weight. For the cross-over study, 16 obese or overweight young adults took green coffee bean capsules, alternating between 700 mg and 1,050 mg capsules daily, for 22 weeks. People cycled through the two doses as well as a placebo capsule, each for six-week periods. Average weight loss was  17 pounds, and included an average 10.5 percent decrease in overall body weight and 16 percent decrease in body fat. Weight loss might have been faster, except that each participant received the placebo and the lower dose of  extract during the study.
Joe Vinson, Ph.D., "New Evidence On Effects of Green Coffee Beans in Weight Loss", News release, presentation at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, March 27, 2012, © American Chemical Society
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Finding Out How Pathogens Attach To Fresh Produce Could Boost Food Safety

March 26, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A wide range of fresh produce has been linked to recent outbreaks of E. coli and Salmonella, including melons, jalapeño and serrano peppers, basil, lettuce, horseradish sprouts and tomatoes. British scientists say they are studying how bacterial pathogens attach themselves to fruits and vegetables causing outbreaks of food poisoning and believe their findings will lead to better ways to control and even prevent contamination. For example, strains of Salmonella act differently when attached to ripe or unripe tomatoes. On ripe – but not unripe – tomatoes they produce an extensive network of filaments. Likewise, strains of E. coli have hair-like appendages and flagella that are used as hooks to secure themselves to things like salad leaves.
Gad Frankel, "The Time Is Ripe for Salmonella", News release, presentation at the Society for General Microbiology's spring conference, March 26, 2012, © Society for General Microbiology
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Severe Type 2 Diabetes Is Best Treated With Bypass Surgery

March 26, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for severe adult-onset (type 2) diabetes, an Italian study of obese patients finds. The study compared the results of gastric bypass surgery, bilopancreatic diversion, and conventional medication and lifestyle monitoring. Patients who underwent bypass surgery were able to discontinue all diabetes medications and keep the disease at bay for two years, compared to those who did not have the surgery. Most of the surgery patients in the study had improved blood sugar levels, decreased total cholesterol and triglycerides, and improved HDL-cholesterol. A major benefit, therefore, is that bariatric surgery for the treatment of diabetes reduces a patient's cardiovascular risk, researchers said.
Geltrude Mingrone et al., "Bariatric Surgery versus Conventional Medical Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes", New England Journal of Medicine, March 26, 2012, © Massachusetts Medical Society
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Soy-Derived Isoflavones Lower Blood Pressure, Study Finds

March 25, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who analyzed data from 5,115 black and white Americans over 20 years have found that moderate amounts of dietary isoflavone intake significantly lower blood pressure, especially among African Americans. Isoflavones are a nutrient found in soy products, as well as in green tea and peanuts. People who consumed more than 2.5 mg of isoflavones a day – 8 oz. of soymilk contains 22 mg – had significantly lower blood pressure than those who consumed less than 0.33 mg a day. The researchers said that eating soy protein, for example, with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and whole grains could lower blood pressure by 10 mmHg for pre-hypertensives, and significantly reduce the chance of progressing to hypertension.
Safiya Richardson, "Dietary Isoflavone Intake is Associated with Lower Systolic Blood Pressure: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study", News release, presentation, American College of Cardiology's Scientific Session, March 25, 2012, © American College of Cardiology
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Too Much Sitting – Even With Regular Exercise – Is Harmful To Health

March 23, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A Finnish study of 27 men and women aged 24 to 57 found that long periods of inactivity, even mixed with regular periods of exercise, poses a health risk. For the two-day study, participants performed some form of physical activity on one day, then none on the next. Scientists measured quadriceps and hamstring muscle activity and heart rate, finding that when muscles are inactive for long periods, fat metabolism, for example, can suffer, potentially harming health. It is very important, researchers concluded, to not only pay attention to the amount of exercise performed but also to reduce the time spent sitting.
T. Finni et al., "Exercise for fitness does not decrease the muscular inactivity time during normal daily life", Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, March 23, 2012, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Even Minimal Exposure To Secondhand Smoke Harms Cell Function

March 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A carcinogen called reactive oxygen species (ROS), found in the gaseous form of secondhand cigarette smoke, inhibits normal cell function, a U.S. study has found. In normal cells, a key protein known as the “sodium pump” plays a critical role transporting potassium into the cell and sodium out of the cell. The inability of the pump to regulate sodium predicts cell damage, disease progression and ultimately, survival, researchers said. ROS almost completely shuts down a cell’s sodium pump within a few hours of exposure to the secondhand smoke from as few as two cigarettes. “Exposure to the gaseous substance alone, which you breathe while standing near a smoker, is sufficient to cause harm," the researchers said.
T. P. Huynh et al., "Na,K-ATPase is a target of cigarette smoke and reduced expression predicts poor patient outcome of smokers with lung cancer", AJP: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, March 21, 2012, © American Physiological Society
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The Stronger the Smell Of Food, The Smaller The Bite Size, Research Finds

March 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Dutch research finds a correlation between the size of a bite of food and the strength of the aroma of that food, suggesting that aroma could provide a way to control portion size. Manipulating the odor of food could lead to a five to 10 percent decrease in the size of a bite consumed. For the study, participants were able to control portions of a custard-like dessert by pushing a button. Bite size was linked to aroma for the first and subsequent bites: the stronger the smell, the smaller the bite.
Rene A de Wijk et al., "Food aroma affects bite size", Flavour, March 21, 2012, © BioMed Central Ltd
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New Test Quickly And Safely Diagnoses Peanut Allergies

March 20, 2012: 02:17 PM EST
Australian researchers have created a two-step test that targets a part of the peanut protein Arah2 and cost-effectively, conveniently and safely diagnoses a peanut allergy. Current methods for determining a peanut allergy include an oral food challenge that, though definitive, is expensive, time-consuming and risky for patients. The new test involves a two-step process: a blood test, followed by the Arah2 test. The two-step process is so accurate, it reduces the need for oral food challenges four-fold. In addition, patients can visit a GP for the test rather than a specialist allergy clinic.
"Test to improve peanut allergy diagnosis", Press release, University of Melboune, March 20, 2012, © University of Melboune
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Women In Wealthier U.S. States Are At Less Risk Of Heart Disease

March 20, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers who compared each U.S. state’s gross domestic product, poverty rate and level of financial inequality to biomarkers of cardiovascular inflammation in women nationwide found that women who live in wealthier states have lower levels of inflammation. Conversely, women who live in poorer states have higher levels of inflammation, which is a key risk factor for heart disease. The same results were found when diet, weight, personal income, exercise and smoking habit were all taken into account. The researchers said further research is needed to find the causes of this disparity.
Cheryl R Clark et al., "Cardiovascular inflammation in healthy women: multilevel associations with state-level prosperity, productivity and income inequality", BMC Public Health, March 20, 2012, © BioMed Central Ltd
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Mixed News About Antioxidants: Some Damage DNA, Others Kill Cancer Cells

March 19, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Using high-throughput chemical screening systems and robotics, U.S. researchers tested 4,000 chemicals for their impact on DNA, finding that 22 antioxidants actually damaged DNA. Three of the antioxidants – resveratrol, genistein and baicalein – are marketed or being studied as treatments for a variety of disorders, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteopenia and osteoporosis and chronic hepatitis, as well as serving as an anti-aging treatment. However, in addition to damaging DNA, some antioxidants actually destroyed dividing cells, including tumor cells. The researchers warned that this surprising ability may be good for treating cancer, but not so good for treating other disorders, including diabetes.
J. T. Fox et al., "High-throughput genotoxicity assay identifies antioxidants as inducers of DNA damage response and cell death", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 19, 2012, © National Academy of Sciences
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Demographic Factors Linked To Dietary Patterns In The U.S.

March 13, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers have determined that there are five basic dietary patterns in the U.S., each of which is linked to demographic factors, including age, race, region, gender, income and education. The patterns were discovered through analysis of 21,636 questionnaires completed by black and white adults aged 45 and older. The five patterns are: southern (fried, processed meats, sugary drinks); traditional (Chinese and Mexican food, pasta, pizza, soup); healthy (fruits, vegetables, grains); sweets (snacks and desserts); and alcohol (proteins, alcohol, salads). The researchers found that blacks were more likely than whites to eat a southern dietary pattern and did not eat the alcohol pattern. And men, lower-income people and non-college graduates were more likely to follow the southern pattern.
Suzanne Judd, Ph.D., "Dietary Patterns Exist Among US Adults Based On Demographics", News release, presentation at the American Heart Association scientific sessions, March 13, 2012, © American Heart Association
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Reducing Abdominal Fat Boosts Cardiovascular Performance

March 13, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
People who are overweight can improve the expansion capability of their arteries and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by losing weight, especially in the belly area, on either a low-fat or low-carb diet, a U.S. study has found. For the study, 60 men and women who weighed an average of 215 pounds went on either a low-fat or low-carb diet for six months. Those on the low-carb diet lost an average of 28.9 pounds; those on the low-fat diet lost an average of 18.9 pounds. The researchers then measured arterial constriction after weight loss, finding that the amount of improvement in blood vessels was directly linked to how much belly fat was lost, regardless of the diet they were on.
Kerry J. Stewart, Ed.D., "Losing Belly Fat Whether from a Low-Carb or a Low-Fat Diet, Helps Improve Blood Vessel Function", News release, presentation at the American Heart Association scientific meeting, March 13, 2012, © Johns Hopkins Medicine
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Palm-Cooling Device Boosts Exercise Endurance, Helps Increase Health Benefits

March 13, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Obese women who used a palm-cooling device while exercising were able to endure longer periods of activity – and gain more health benefits – than women who did not use the device, according to new U.S. research. The 12-week study involved 24 women in their thirties and forties who were clinically obese. Half of them performed strenuous exercises with their hands in a cylinder of cool (60.8 degrees) water, while the other half exercised with their hands in body temperature water (98.6 degrees). The control group remained the same during the study. But the cooling group shaved an average five minutes off the time to walk 1.5 miles, dropped almost three inches off their waists, and had lower resting blood pressure and greater exercise heart rate.
Stacy T. Sims, Ph.D., "Cool Hands May Be the Key to Increasing Exercise Capacity", News release, presentation at the American Heart Association scientific sessions, March 13, 2012, © American Heart Association
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Study Finds That Sugary Drinks Increase Risk Of Heart Disease In Men

March 12, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who analyzed health data from nearly 43,000 men found that those who drank a 12-ounce sugary beverage every day were 20 percent more likely to experience heart disease than those who didn’t drink sugary beverages. Participants were mainly white males, aged 40-75 years, employed in a health-related profession. The researchers said the study’s findings add to the growing evidence that sugar-sweetened beverages “are detrimental to cardiovascular health.” The study found no correlation between consumption of artificially sweetened beverages and an increase risk of biomarkers for heart disease.
Lawrence de Koning et al., "Sweetened Beverage Consumption, Incident Coronary Heart Disease and Biomarkers of Risk in Men", Circulation, March 12, 2012, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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Study Finds Worrisome Ingredients In Both Conventional And “Green” Household Products

March 8, 2012: 04:15 AM EST
A study that analyzed 213 conventional and purportedly “green” household products such as glass cleaners and bar soaps has found they contained numerous chemicals of concern that were not reported on product labels. The peer-reviewed study, funded by the Silent Spring Institute and conducted at Battelle Labs, found 55 questionable chemicals  – e.g., parabens, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA),antimicrobials, cyclosiloxanes, glycol ethers, and fragrances – in conventional products tested, and 41 worrying ingredients in most of the “green” products. Manufacturers criticized the study, according to Forbes magazine, “for being biased and for relying in part on old information.” A scientific advisor to a manufacturers group said, “The advice to consumers based on study findings is simply wrong.”
Amy Westervelt, "Innovation at the intersection of health and the environment", Forbes, March 08, 2012, © Forbes.com LLC™
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Mental Well-Being Doesn’t Necessarily Decline Along With Physical Well-Being – Study

March 8, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A cross-cultural analysis of lifestyle and health patterns in the United States and the U.K. has found that aging and being overweight or obese – in other words, a decline in physical well-being – did not have a significant impact on mental well-being levels. The study noted an exception, however: the mental well-being of men who were relatively sedentary was generally lower. Quality of life was measured across eight factors,  including perception of general health, pain, social functioning and mental health. The study also highlighted significant differences between the quality of life of U.S. and U.K. respondents, due to the different welfare and health care systems.
Oscar H. Franco et al., "Cross-cultural comparison of correlates of quality of life and health status: the Whitehall II Study (UK) and the Western New York Health Study (US)", European Journal of Epidemiology, March 08, 2012, © Springer
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Exposure To Nanoparticles In Digestive System Affects Absorption Of Iron

March 8, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have found that digestive exposure to nanoparticles of polystyrene influences the absorption of the important nutrient iron into the bloodstream. Nanoparticles are contained in many substances, from cosmetics and clothes, to soda and snacks. For brief exposures to polystyrene particles, iron absorption dropped by 50 percent. But when exposure to nanoparticles was significantly increased, absorption of iron increased by about 200 percent. “It was very clear,” the researchers concluded, “nanoparticles definitely affect iron uptake and transport." The researchers hope to test whether nanoparticles also disrupt absorption of calcium, copper and zinc, as well as fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Gretchen J. Mahler et al., "Oral exposure to polystyrene nanoparticles affects iron absorption", Nature Nanotechnology, March 08, 2012, © Nature Publishing Group
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Johnson & Johnson Supports American Heart Association's Healthy Living Campaign

March 7, 2012: 03:41 AM EST
Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the manufacturer of Listerine and Reach brands of oral care products, is supporting the American Heart Association's My Heart, My Life heart healthy living campaign. The company has recruited Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler to help educate American consumers on the importance of having healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle, including having a healthy oral care routine, which includes brushing and rinsing twice daily, and flossing at least once a day. According to J&J, over two-thirds of Americans do not have a sufficient oral care regime.
"The Makers of LISTERINE® and REACH® Encourage Healthy Habits by Supporting the American Heart Association's My Heart. My Life.™ Heart Healthy Living Initiative", PR Newswire, March 07, 2012, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Chia “Superseeds” Offer Health -- And Food Processing -- Benefits

March 6, 2012: 12:30 AM EST
California-based food ingredients supplier Multiple Organics says its certified organic chia seeds offer unique health and food processing advantages for North American consumers and food producers. Recent studies touting the nutritional benefits of chia seeds – high omega-3, fiber and antioxidant content, positive effects on heart, liver and insulin sensitivity – have increased demand for the “superseed” as a way to bolster nutrient content of cereals, chips, cookies, beverages, etc. According to the company, chia is highly hydrophilic, transforming into a gel when exposed to liquids, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar. Food processors can use chia as a thickening agent, and in gluten-free formulations to provide moisture and a better texture.
"Organic "Superseed" Chia From Multiple Organics", PRNewswire, March 06, 2012, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Researcher Finds No Evidence That Weight Loss Supplements Are Effective

March 6, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. researcher who analyzed data from a variety of weight loss studies has concluded that no evidence exists that any single product results in significant weight loss, and many can be harmful. The researcher looked at studies involving four main categories of products: chitosan, which block absorption of fat or carbs; stimulants such as caffeine or ephedra that increase metabolism; products such as conjugated linoleic acid that claim to decrease body fat; and appetite suppressants such as soluble fibers. “For most people, unless you alter your diet and get daily exercise, no supplement is going to have a big impact,” the researcher said.
Melinda M. Manore, "Dietary Supplements for Improving Body Composition and Reducing Body Weight: Where is the evidence?", International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, March 06, 2012, © Human Kinetics, Inc.
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Exercise – And Caffeine – Have A Positive Impact On Muscle DNA

March 6, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A Swedish study has found that even a small amount of exercise alters DNA both chemically and structurally to prepare muscle for increased strength. Surprisingly, the researchers also found that caffeine accomplishes much the same thing. The DNA changes – epigenetic modifications – are involved in “turning on” genes important for muscles’ adaptation to exercise. The researchers note that the changes do not affect the underlying genetic code in human muscle, only the structure of DNA molecules. Caffeine seems to mimic the muscle contraction that comes with exercise and may enhance muscle strengthening associated with exercise.
Romain Barrès et al., "Acute Exercise Remodels Promoter Methylation in Human Skeletal Muscle", Cell Metabolism, March 06, 2012, © Elsevier Inc.
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Vitamin D – But Not Calcium – Lowers Risk Of Stress Fracture Among Young Girls

March 5, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A seven-year U.S. study of preadolescent and adolescent girls has discovered a link between vitamin D intake levels and a lower risk of developing stress fractures, especially among girls active in high-impact activities. The researchers found no lessening of stress fracture risk linked with calcium intake, however, despite that fact that consumption of calcium and calcium-rich dairy products is routinely recommended for optimal bone health. They also noted that their findings support the Institute of Medicine's recent increase in the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D for adolescents from 400 IU/d to 600 IU/d.
Kendrin R. Sonneville et al., "Vitamin D, Calcium, and Dairy Intakes and Stress Fractures Among Female Adolescents", Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, March 05, 2012, © American Medical Association
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Kellogg Participates In Effort To Provide 1 Million Breakfasts To Kids During 2012-13 School Year

March 5, 2012: 12:09 AM EST
Noting the importance of a healthy breakfast – cereal and milk, for example – Kellogg recently partnered with the Action for Healthy Kids, as well as Hilton, Marriott and Sysco, to provide a million breakfasts to needy kids across the U.S. during the 2012-2013 school year. The program includes a grassroots social media marketing effort to enlist the support of Americans. People are encouraged to “Share Your Breakfast” by posting a description of their breakfast on Kellogg’s Facebook or Twitter pages. People who bought a LivingSocial Family Deal during National Breakfast Week received a free breakfast on Kellogg, which also donated a free breakfast to a needy child. Some Kellogg products also featured $5-off-breakfast coupons.
"Kellogg's Rallies Americans to Share the Power of Their Breakfast", Kellogg's, March 05, 2012, © Kellogg Co.
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Grandma’s Food Adages Contain More Than A Few Grains Of Truth

March 4, 2012: 02:38 AM EST
A few proverbs related to diet and nutrition that have been passed down through the generations have  won support from scientists. Kids often turn up their nose at bread crusts, for example, despite grandma’s insistence that they are good for you. Turns out grandma was right. The crust is healthier for you, according to German research that found it contains a cancer-fighting compound and higher levels of antioxidants – in dark-colored breads at least – than the rest of the bread. Other findings: phenolic compounds in apples, especially the peel, may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease; and chicken soup does contain ingredients that seem to reduce inflammation associated with upper respiratory tract infections.
Kevin Keller, "Wellness: Truth behind homespun adages", Richmond Times Dispatch, March 04, 2012, © Thomson Reuters
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Flavonoid In Dark Chocolate Improves Exercise Capabilities Of Heart Patients With Diabetes

March 2, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A clinical study involving five critically ill heart patients with diabetes found that treatment with a flavonoid (epicatechin) contained in dark chocolate improved cell mitochondrial structure and boosted the ability to exercise. Mitochondria are cell structures responsible for energy production. Both type 2 diabetes and heart failure make mitochondria dysfunctional, causing muscle abnormalities. Trial participants ate dark chocolate bars and a beverage with a total epicatechin content of 100 mg a day for three months. The positive results of the small trial provided enough evidence to launch a larger, placebo-controlled clinical trial at UC, San Diego.
Pam R. Taub et al., "Alterations in Skeletal Muscle Indicators of Mitochondrial Structure and Biogenesis in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Failure: Effects of Epicatechin Rich Cocoa", Clinical and Translational Science, March 02, 2012, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Young Teenagers Are At Greater Risk Of Adopting Unhealthy Behaviors

March 2, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A British study has found that adolescents at the age of 12 or 13 are most at risk of rejecting the  healthy lifestyle of their youth and turning to unhealthy behaviors. Researchers analyzed data collected from 40,000 U.K. households, including 5,000 young people aged 10 to 15. The data showed that young people who never drank any alcohol were between four and six times more likely to have higher levels of happiness. Likewise, youth who smoked were about five times less likely to have high happiness scores compared to youth who never smoked. Twelve percent of 13-15 year olds said they smoked compared to only two percent of 10-12 year olds.
Cara Booker et al., "Happiness and health-related behaviors in adolescence", Understanding Society: Findings 2012, March 02, 2012, © Understanding Society
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Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle From Twenties To Forties Leads To Healthier Middle Age

March 2, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Healthy people in their twenties who were able to maintain a healthy lifestyle into their forties – lean body mass index, moderate alcohol intake, no smoking, healthy diet and regular exercise – kept their risk of cardiovascular disease low in middle age, according to a U.S. study. Researchers analyzed 20 years of data on key lifestyle factors from more than 3,000 participants in a national study. In the first year of the study (1985, average age 24 years), 44 percent had a low cardiovascular disease risk profile. Twenty years later, only 24.5 percent fell into the low cardiovascular disease risk category. The increased risk of the others was due to unhealthy diets, weight gain, smoking, etc., all of which combined to increase blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
K. Liu et al., "Healthy Lifestyle Through Young Adulthood and the Presence of Low Cardiovascular Disease Risk Profile in Middle Age: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in (Young) Adults (CARDIA) Study", Circulation, March 02, 2012, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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Sitting For Long Periods Of Time Increases Diabetes Risk Among Women

March 2, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A British study has found that women who spend more time sitting run the risk of increased insulin resistance and chronic low-grade inflammation, making them more prone to developing type 2 diabetes. No such risk, however, was found in men. For the study, researchers questioned 500 men and women aged 40 and older about the time spent sitting over a week. Tests were conducted to determine levels of specific chemicals in the blood linked to diabetes and metabolic dysfunction. Women who spent the longest time sitting – regardless of exercise levels – had higher levels of insulin, as well as higher amounts of C-reactive protein and chemicals released by fatty tissue in the abdomen, leptin, and interleukin6, and which indicate problematic inflammation.
Thomas Yates et al., "Self-Reported Sitting Time and Markers of Inflammation, Insulin Resistance, and Adiposity", American Journal of Preventive Medicine, March 02, 2012, © Elsevier Inc.
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Balanced Diet May Be Key Strategy For Relieving Depressive Disorders

March 1, 2012: 08:39 AM EST
Recent research finds that poor dietary habits -- too much sugary, salty and fatty processed foods -- are at least partly responsible for mood disorders experienced by nine percent of Americans. British research found that a diet loaded with chocolates, sweet desserts, fried food, refined cereals and high-fat dairy increased the risk of depression among middle aged people, while a diet rich in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish  lowered the risk. Likewise, processed foods that contribute to inflammation are a risk factor for depression and may explain the link between cardiovascular disease and mood disorders. Eating a balanced diet -- grains, fruits, legumes, and starchy vegetables plus protein foods -- allows tryptophan, and the “feel good” chemical serotonin, to get into the brain, elevating one’s mood.
"Boost mood with whole foods", Environmental Nutrition, March 01, 2012, © Belvoir Media Group, LLC
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