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Matti Narkia

Unexpected Perks of Coffee Consumption - The Early Show - CBS News - 0 views

    "(CBS) Your daily cup of java may deliver some unexpected health benefits. Studies have shown it may lower your risk for Type II diabetes and certain types of cancer (colon, mouth and throat), and protect against heart disease and cavities.

    Dr. Alanna Levine, a primary care physician, said on "The Early Show" researchers aren't sure exactly why coffee has these benefits, but speculated that perhaps the coffee has antioxidant properties. "
Matti Narkia

Ginkgo Biloba Doesn't Slow Mental Decline - 0 views

    "Dec. 29, 2009 - The hot-selling herbal supplement ginkgo biloba doesn't slow age-related mental decline, a six-year clinical study shows.

    The study has already shown that ginkgo does not prevent dementia or Alzheimer's disease in the elderly.

    Now study leader Steven T. DeKosky, MD, and colleagues have sifted through the data to look for some sign that ginkgo might slow mental decline in healthy, aging individuals -- or, perhaps, in those already showing the first signs of cognitive impairment.

    No such sign was found.

    "Compared with placebo, the use of Ginkgo biloba, 120 mg twice daily, did not result in less cognitive decline in older adults with normal cognition or with mild cognitive impairment," the researchers conclude."
Matti Narkia

Drug from mushroom may help treat cancer - - 0 views

    "NOTTINGHAM, England, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A drug derived from a mushroom -- cordycepin -- may be used to treat some cancers, British researchers say.

    Dr. Cornelia de Moor of The University of Nottingham in England and colleagues are investigating the drug originally extracted from a rare parasitic mushroom called cordyceps that grows on caterpillars.

    The researchers say low-dose cordycepin seems to inhibit the uncontrolled growth and division of cells and at high doses it also inhibits growth by stopping cells from sticking together. Both of these effects, they say, probably have the same underlying mechanism -- interfering with the production of cell proteins.
Matti Narkia

Calorie restriction: Scientists take important step toward 'fountain of youth' - 0 views

    "ScienceDaily (Dec. 26, 2009) - Going back for a second dessert after your holiday meal might not be the best strategy for living a long, cancer-free life say researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. That's because they've shown exactly how restricted calorie diets -- specifically in the form of restricted glucose -- help human cells live longer.

    They found that the normal cells lived longer, and many of the precancerous cells died, when given less glucose. Gene activity was also measured under these same conditions. The reduced glucose caused normal cells to have a higher activity of the gene that dictates the level of telomerase, an enzyme that extends their lifespan and lower activity of a gene (p16) that slows their growth. Epigenetic effects (effects not due to gene mutations) were found to be a major cause in changing the activity of these genes as they reacted to decreased glucose levels.

    "Western science is on the cusp of developing a pharmaceutical fountain of youth" said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "This study confirms that we are on the path to persuading human cells to let us to live longer, and perhaps cancer-free, lives.""
Matti Narkia

Omega-3s help stave off age-related vision loss | Reuters - 1 views

    "NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Want to keep your eyesight sharp as you age? Eating lots of fish packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids could help, new research suggests.

    Among 1,837 people who had early signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), those with the highest consumption of omega-3 fatty acids were 30 percent less likely to progress to the advanced form of the disease over a 12-year period than those with the lowest omega-3 intake, researchers found."
Matti Narkia

Coffee, Tea May Stall Diabetes - Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1, and Metabo... - 2 views

    "Dec. 14, 2009 -- Every cup of coffee a person drinks per day may lower the risk of diabetes by 7%.

    A new review of research on the link between lifestyle factors, like coffee and tea consumption, and diabetes risk suggests that drinking regular or decaffeinated coffee and tea all lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

    Researchers say the number of people with type 2 diabetes is expected to increase by 65% by 2025, reaching an estimated 380 million people worldwide.

    "Despite considerable research attention, the role of specific dietary and lifestyle factors remains uncertain, although obesity and physical inactivity have consistently been reported to raise the risk of diabetes mellitus," write researcher Rachel Huxley, DPhil, of the George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney, Australia, and colleagues in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

    They say several studies have suggested that drinking coffee may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and others have shown that decaffeinated coffee and tea may offer similar benefits, but there has not been a recent review of the research on the issue."
Matti Narkia

Green Leafy Veggies, Coloured Fruits Boost Vision - 0 views

    "Carotenoids, found in green leafy vegetables and colored fruits, boost visual performance and may prevent age-related eye diseases, says a new study.

    The study has been published in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.

    To reach the conclusion, authors from the University of Georgia compiled the results of multiple studies on the effects of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin on visual performance. These carotenoids play an important role in human vision, including a positive impact on the retina.

    After reviewing the various studies, the authors concluded that macular pigments, such as lutein and zeaxanthin do have an effect on visual performance. Lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce disability and discomfort from glare, enhance contrast, and reduce photostress recovery times. They can also reduce glare from light absorption and increase the visual range. "
Matti Narkia

Fat Hormone May Protect Against Alzheimer's - 0 views

    "High blood levels of leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite, may guard against Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests.

    "Hopefully, in 10 or 15 years this may be one of many agents that we use to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease," said senior study author Dr. Sudha Seshadri, an associate professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. "Or it may be one of many markers that we measure in combination to predict risk."

    But many more studies of different population groups are needed to determine whether leptin can play such a pivotal role in predicting the risk of Alzheimer's, Seshadri said.

    The research, which was reported in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, was done because "there has been some data relating body weight to the risk of Alzheimer's disease," Seshadri said. "When we looked at animal studies, we found some data to indicate that leptin not only produces a feeling of satiety but also has a beneficial effect on the hippocampus. It was important to see if that was true in humans."

    The hippocampus is a portion of the brain that plays a role in important aspects of memory."
Matti Narkia

Milk Thistle May Limit Liver Damage From Chemo - ABC News - 0 views

    "NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - An herb used since ancient times to treat liver ailments may help reduce the liver damage caused by some cancer drugs, a study published Monday suggests.

    In a study of 50 children undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), researchers found that an herb called milk thistle appeared to reduce treatment-related liver inflammation.

    The study, published online in the journal Cancer, is the first clinical trial to test the herb in children undergoing chemotherapy, and the investigators caution that more research is still needed.

    However, the findings are "promising" -- particularly since there is currently no way to help protect the liver from chemotherapy-induced damage, said senior researcher Dr. Kara M. Kelly, a pediatric oncologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York."
Matti Narkia

Coffee May Reduce Risk of Deadly Prostate Cancer (Update1) - - 0 views

    "Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Drinking coffee may lower the risk of developing the deadliest form of prostate cancer, according to a Harvard Medical School study.

    In research involving 50,000 men over 20 years, scientists led by Kathryn Wilson at Harvard's Channing Laboratory found that the 5 percent of men who drank 6 or more cups a day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the advanced form of the disease than those who didn't consume any. The risk was about 20 percent lower for the men who drank 1 to 3 cups a day, and 25 percent lower for those consuming 4 or 5 cups.

    The study is the first to associate coffee with prostate cancer, contradicting previous research that's found no link. The difference may be because Wilson and colleagues looked for the first time at the link between coffee and different stages of the disease, instead of grouping them all together. More research is needed to confirm the findings, she said. "
Matti Narkia

Cox-2 inhibitor celecoxib might blunt effects of baby aspirin - - 0 views

    "Ann Arbor, MI - New laboratory research suggests that the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (Celebrex, Pfizer), might impede the action of "baby" aspirin [1]. Dr Gilad Rimon (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and colleagues found evidence that this was the case in a dog model and say that "it will be important to determine" whether the same is true in humans.

    The report was published online December 1, 2009 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Medicine.

    Celecoxib is the only COX-2 inhibitor to have remained on the market in the US, and doctors who recommend this painkiller often coprescribe a daily low dose of 81 mg of aspirin (known as a "baby" dose) to counteract any possible prothrombotic effects of the coxib, while minimizing potential gastrointestinal toxicity of the aspirin.

    Senior author of the new work, Dr William L Smith (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), explained to heartwire that previous studies in humans have shown that celecoxib does not interfere with the effect of a standard dose of aspirin (325 mg), but any potential interaction of celecoxib with the lower dose has not been examined.

    Stagger dosing to avoid any potential problems

    First, Smith explained that he and his colleagues looked in vitro at celecoxib and found that it binds to one of two available sites on the COX-1 enzyme. "This surprised us," he commented. "It appears to interfere with the ability of some other drugs to affect COX-1, most notably aspirin."

    Second, in beagles, they administered the dog-equivalent of a baby dose of aspirin in humans and then gave some of the animals the equivalent of 100 mg of celecoxib twice daily in addition. "Celecoxib plus aspirin interfered with the normal effect of low-dose aspirin on platelets," he notes.

    Smith says this observation obviously requires confirmation in humans, but in the meantime he suggests "getting around the problem" by patients taking the low-dose aspirin at least 15 to 30 minutes before the celecoxib is taken, "because
Matti Narkia

Largest-ever meta-analysis finds CRP is unlikely to be causal for CVD - - 0 views

    "Largest-ever meta-analysis finds CRP is unlikely to be causal for CVD
    December 21, 2009 | Lisa Nainggolan

    Cambridge, UK - In the largest and most comprehensive meta-analysis to date looking at C-reactive-protein (CRP) levels and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, British researchers conclude that CRP is unlikely to be a causal factor for cardiovascular disease [1].

    Although CRP concentration was linearly associated with CHD, stroke, and vascular mortality, as well as nonvascular mortality, statistical adjustment for conventional cardiovascular risk factors "resulted in considerable weakening of associations," note the scientists of the Cambridge-based Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (ERFC), who report their findings online December 21, 2009 in the Lancet.

    In an editorial accompanying the paper [2], Drs S Matthijs Boekholdt and John JP Kastelein (Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) say the UK authors "are to be commended for this impressive data set." Although the findings "add weight to the evidence of noncausality" for a role of CRP in the development of cardiovascular disease, "the debate can be resolved only by randomized trials with agents that specifically target CRP, and such compounds are currently under development," say the Dutch doctors.

    Commenting on the new meta-analysis for heartwire, Dr Paul Ridker (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA), a long-time advocate of CRP and the lead investigator of the JUPITER trial, said: "Whether or not CRP is 'causal' for heart disease is neither the crucial issue at hand nor relevant for public health. What is crucial is getting international agreement that CRP identifies higher-risk individuals who would not otherwise qualify for a life-saving therapy, and then showing that such individuals clearly benefit from treatment. The new meta-analysis demonstrates the former, and JUPITER demonstrates the latter." "
Matti Narkia

Quality of HDL differs in diabetics but improves with niacin therapy - - 1 views

    "Quality of HDL differs in diabetics but improves with niacin therapy
    December 22, 2009 | Michael O'Riordan

    Hannover, Germany - A small study published this week hints that the effects of HDL cholesterol differ in healthy patients from those with diabetes mellitus [1]. HDL cholesterol in individuals with diabetes has impaired endothelial protective functions compared with the HDL from healthy subjects, although treatment with extended-release niacin can improve these endothelial protective effects, according to researchers.

    Publishing their findings online December 21, 2009 in Circulation, lead investigator Dr Sajoscha Sorrentino (Hannover Medical School, Germany) and colleagues write that because recent HDL-raising intervention studies have yielded mixed results, "circulating HDL-cholesterol levels alone likely do not represent an adequate measure of therapeutic efficacy, and indexes of HDL functionality are urgently needed for assessment of the potential of HDL-targeted therapies to exert vasoprotective effects."

    Speaking with heartwire, senior investigator Dr Ulf Landmesser (University of Zürich, Switzerland), said the results have implications for clinical research.

    "We have to understand that we can't look only at the HDL levels in the plasma, but we need to look at the quality," he said. "The quality of the HDL is not the same in different patients. This is very important for targeting HDL as a treatment. Second, niacin therapy is a promising way not only to raise HDL but also to improve the quality; it is a good treatment option, especially if the larger outcomes data are positive.""
Matti Narkia

Vitamin B Niacin Offers No Additional Benefit To Statin Therapy In Seniors Already Diag... - 0 views

    "The routine prescription of extended-release niacin, a B vitamin (1,500 milligrams daily), in combination with traditional cholesterol-lowering therapy offers no extra benefit in correcting arterial narrowing and diminishing plaque buildup in seniors who already have coronary artery disease, a new vascular imaging study from Johns Hopkins experts shows.

    In tests on 145 Baltimore-area men and women with existing atherosclerosis, all over age 65, researchers found that after 18 months of drug therapy, reductions in arterial wall thickness were measurably no different between the half who took dual niacin-statin therapy and the rest who remained on statin therapy alone. "
Matti Narkia

Patients With High CRP And Normal LDL Have Long-Term Risk For Heart Disease, Stroke And... - 0 views

    "New research shows a long-term benefit in screening people for CRP, a marker for inflammation, even if they have normal levels of bad cholesterol, because of increased long-term risk for heart attack, stroke and death.

    These findings, which will be published online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), demonstrate that a very simple screening, age plus CRP, can identify individuals who may benefit from statin therapy.

    "This study builds on results from the landmark JUPITER trial, which showed that statins can prevent heart disease in people with normal LDL-c, or bad cholesterol, and an increased level of CRP," said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and last author on the study. "We have demonstrated that the cardiovascular disease event rates persist over time, validating that the risks identified in the JUPITER trial persist for nearly seven year"
Matti Narkia

Observations: Humans feasting on grains for at least 100,000 years - 0 views

    "Grains might have been an important part of human diets much further back in our history than previous research has suggested.

    Although cupcakes and crumpets were still a long way off during the Middle Stone Age, new evidence suggests that at least some humans of that time period were eating starchy, cereal-based snacks as early as 105,000 years ago. The findings, gleaned from grass seed residue found on ancient African stone tools, are detailed online Thursday in Science.

    Researchers have assumed that humans were foraging for fruits, nuts and roots long before 100,000 years ago, but cereal grains are quite a new addition to the early prehistoric gastronomic picture. "This broadens the timeline for the use of grass seeds by our species," Julio Mercader, an assistant professor at University of Calgary's Department of Archeology and author of the paper, said in a prepared statement. "
Matti Narkia

Fructose may promote metabolic syndrome - 0 views

    "(NaturalNews) A research team from the University of Washington (UW) recently published a study in Physiology & Behavior revealing that moderate consumption of fructose- and high fructose corn syrup-sweetened beverages leads to significant alterations of lipid metabolization in the liver. Conducted on rats, the study also noted marked increases in both cholesterol and triglyceride levels in rats that fed on fructose-sweetened beverages.

    Fructose is a monosaccharide sugar that is found in various fruits. It is a simple sugar that is often promoted as being a healthy "fruit" sugar, however the reality is that fructose is just one component of the complex sugar composition that occurs naturally in fruit. Most granulated fructose available today, called crystalline fructose, is derived from fructose-enriched corn syrup.

    Similarly, high fructose corn syrup is a fructose-enriched form of highly-processed corn syrup that is commonly found in soda, ketchup, candy, dressings, and many other processed foods. The biggest concern about fructose is the fact that, unlike sucrose, it passes undigested through the small intestine where it enters the portal vein and heads directly to the liver. "
Matti Narkia

Ginkgo biloba doesn't prevent cardiovascular events but may have potential peripheral a... - 0 views

    "Study highlights:

    * Ginkgo biloba doesn't prevent cardiovascular death, heart attacks or strokes, and should not be recommended as a way to prevent them.
    * Further research should explore its potential benefit to people with peripheral vascular disease.

    DALLAS, Nov. 24, 2009 - Ginkgo biloba didn't prevent cardiovascular death or major events such as heart attack and stroke in people age 75 and older, but the herb may affect peripheral vascular disease, according to research reported in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a journal of the American Heart Association.

    "Surprisingly, Ginkgo was associated with a reduction in peripheral artery disease, but the number of patients was small. The difference was statistically significant," said Lewis H. Kuller, M.D., Dr.P.H., first author of the study and distinguished university professor of public health and professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Gingko biloba contains a class of nutrients - flavonoids - found in fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate and red wine, which are believed to offer some protection against cardiovascular events. "
Matti Narkia

Vitamin D may curb diabetes - Pharmacy News - 0 views

    A New Zealand study has found that South Asian women with insulin resistance improved markedly after taking vitamin D supplements

    Nutrition researcher Pamela von Hurst of the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at Albany, said while diet and exercise played a major part in the onset of type-2 diabetes, her findings reinforced the importance of vitamin D from the sun and supplements to prevent type-2 diabetes.

    Initial screening of 235 Auckland women from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka aged 20 and older, revealed 47 per cent were insulin deficient and 84 per cent were vitamin D deficient. The 81 recruited for the study were split into two groups for a randomised controlled trial and given a vitamin D supplement or placebo. As well as an improvement in insulin resistance among those who took vitamin D for six months, Ms Von Hurst said post-menopausal women in the study also showed a reduced rate of bone breakdown.
Matti Narkia

Could Omega-3s Boost Blood Fat Levels?: MedlinePlus - 0 views

    "THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In a surprise finding, Canadian researchers report that the immediate effect of the fish oil fatty acids that are good for the heart is a short-term increase in blood fats and the molecules that help them form clots.

    "We were surprised to find that the acute response has some potentially negative effects in comparison to what you might expect from chronic, long-term intake," said Lindsay E. Robinson, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Guelph, and leader of the group reporting the finding in the January issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

    However, the study results shouldn't affect the current recommendation for eating more oily fish to get the omega-3 polyunsaturated acids that reduce the risk of blood clots that can cause heart attacks and stroke, Robinson said.

    "The recommendation to increase intake is very well-studied, and this doesn't change it," she said.

    And the effects were seen in a selected group of middle-aged men with metabolic syndrome, a combination of high blood pressure, obesity and elevated blood fat levels, Robinson noted.

    In the study, eight men had controlled intake of three regimens: high doses of omega-3 fatty acids, low doses of them and just plain water. Robinson and her colleagues measured several blood components involved in clotting, including fats and clotting factors such as plasminogen-activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) for the following eight hours.

    PAI-1 inhibits the destruction of blood clots, so high levels of it in the blood increase the risk of artery-blocking clots.

    The researchers found that both omega-3 fatty acid regimens increased blood fat and clotting factor activity. But the increase in clotting factor was greater for the higher doses of omega-3 fatty acids than for the lower intakes.

    Robinson said her group hopes to do further studies of the immediate effects of omega-3 fatty acid intake. "We need to look at the mechanisms, why blood lipid levels go up," she
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