A grape compound called pterostilbene, already shown to have cancer-fighting properties, may be as effective as a widely used synthetic drug in reducing lipids.
Posted 30 August 2004 - 10:09 PM
Posted 14 September 2004 - 11:35 AM
Remember, this is not a crash plan. It's a blueprint for long-term change that helps you eat the best foods for your heart while still dining at your favorite restaurants and takeout spots. We've kept it simple and satisfying, so there's no celery to chop - and no excuse not to start today.
EAT GOOD CARBS
Never mind what Dr. Atkins said: Carbohydrates are good for you and your heart, provided you choose the right carbs.
Posted 09 November 2004 - 11:51 AM
C-Reactive Protein and Plaque Adhesion Molecules Lowered in Addition to Cholesterol
Results of a new study from The Pennsylvania State University show that consuming walnuts significantly reduces inflammatory markers for cardiovascular disease -- specifically, C- reactive protein and harmful plaque adhesion molecules. The article, "Dietary Alpha-Linolenic Acid Reduces Inflammatory and Lipid Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Hypercholesterolemic Men and Women," is published in the November 2004 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.
Many people look to fish, such as salmon, for omega-3 fatty acids. However, Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State and primary investigator for the study states, "The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts were converted to the same omega-3 fatty acids found in marine sources, and had a similar effect on inflammation. Reducing inflammation can help decrease the process of arteriosclerosis -- the development and build-up of plaque in the arteries."
Kris-Etherton notes, "The important new finding with our research is that a diet high in walnuts beneficially affects multiple risk factors for coronary heart disease, which can have a greater impact on decreasing cardiovascular risk than just targeting single risk factors."
No Fish? Eat Walnuts.
Posted 23 December 2004 - 09:48 AM
The combination of seven foods could extend your life by five-six years.
Forget the Polypill. To learn how to reduce your risk of heart disease and live six years longer, pick up a copy of The British Medical Journal. A group of researchers in the Netherlands offer an alternative to the pill. They call it the "Polymeal."
The Dutch Polymeal
Eat fish four times a week;
Drink 4-5 oz. of wine a day;
Eat 100g of dark chocolate a day;
Eat 400g of fruits and vegetables a day;
Eat 2.7g of garlic a day;
Eat 68g of almonds a day.
Polymeal author, Dr. Oscar H. Franco, a public health expert at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, hopes that his research encourages people to "focus more on eating a healthy diet as a good means to reduce their heart disease."
As reported in the current edition of the British Medical Journal, the researchers calculated the CV benefits of various ingredients, and then examined their combined effect using data from a long-term US study into CV health.
They estimate that following the Polymeal diet would extend life expectancy by over 6 years in men, increase their life expectancy free from CV disease by 9 years, and decrease the time lived with CV disease by more than 2 years. They also calculated that women following this diet would live nearly 5 years longer, have over 8 more years free of CV disease, and live with the condition for 3.3 fewer years.
Of course there are potential drawbacks of the Polymeal, such as side effects of garlic consumption, including body odour and flatulence.
Chef Raymond Blanc has also contributed to the Polymeal plan, devising a three-course meal, which includes watercress soup, followed by grilled fillet of mackerel and finished with a chocolate mousse.
Journal reference: British Medical Journal (vol 329, p 1447)
Posted 31 January 2005 - 08:25 AM
Whole-grain foods are often touted for their health benefits. But for people with wheat allergies—or those whose bodies cannot tolerate certain proteins in wheat, rye and barley—trying to get ample servings of whole grains in the diet is a real challenge.
Now, an Agricultural Research Service food technologist has developed a whole-grain rice bread mix made for home bread machines. Not only does the new rice bread qualify as whole grain, providing the high-in-fiber bran fraction of the grain, it also boasts a texture comparable to that of whole-wheat bread.
The product is especially valuable to the roughly two million Americans with celiac disease, according to Ranjit Kadan, a food technologist at the ARS Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research Unit in New Orleans. These individuals must avoid grain products made from wheat, rye and barley because they contain the protein called gluten.
Developing a gluten-free, whole-grain bread that not only is tasty but also has the right texture is a tough task, since gluten proteins offer a kind of resiliency that's essential for making breads and other baked goods. But Kadan experimented until he found the best rice cultivar and flour particle size for the whole-grain bread.
For decades, rice has been considered one of the most easily digested grains. In his home country of India, according to Kadan, rice has been traditionally fed to those with chronic diet-related illnesses because of its hypoallergenicity.
According to members of the Louisiana Celiac Sprue Association, the whole-grain rice bread is superior to commercial rice breads currently on the market. Plus it lacks other potentially allergenic ingredients like milk and eggs.
Research is still ongoing to find the optimal bread machine conditions for kneading and baking the whole-grain bread dough.
Kadan is currently seeking a commercial partner to help advance his technology. But given the current interest in the product, the whole-grain rice bread mix could be available as soon as next year.
Posted 15 February 2005 - 05:34 AM
Researchers gave extracts of the herb Salacia oblonga to 39 healthy adults, and the results were promising. The largest dose of the herb extract - 1,000 milligrams - decreased insulin and blood glucose levels by 29 and 23 percent, respectively.
"These kinds of reductions are similar to what we might see with prescription oral medications for people with diabetes," said Steve Hertzler, a study co-author and an assistant professor of nutrition at Ohio State University.
Salacia oblonga, which is native to regions of India and Sri Lanka, binds to intestinal enzymes that break down carbohydrates in the body. These enzymes, called alpha-glucosidases, turn carbohydrates into glucose, the sugar that circulates throughout the body. If the enzyme binds to the herbal extract rather than to a carbohydrate, then less glucose gets into the blood stream, resulting in lowered blood glucose and insulin levels.
"Lowering blood glucose levels lowers the risk of disease-related complications in people with diabetes," Hertzler said. "Also, poor compliance with diabetes medications often hinders the effectiveness of these drugs. It may be easier to get someone to take an herb with food or in a beverage, as opposed to a pill."
The study appears in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Thirty-nine healthy adults participated in four separate meal tolerance tests. These meals, which were given in beverage form, were spaced three to 14 days apart. Each participant fasted for at least 10 hours before consuming the test beverage.
Participants were asked to drink about two cups' worth of the chilled beverage, which contained zero, 500, 700 or 1,000 milligrams of Salacia oblonga extract. Afterward, the researchers used the finger-prick method to draw blood samples from each person every 15 to 30 minutes for three hours. These blood samples were used to determine insulin and blood glucose concentrations. The biggest changes in blood glucose and insulin levels usually happen within the first two hours after eating.
The beverage that contained the highest concentration of the herbal extract - 1,000 milligrams - provided the most dramatic reduction in insulin and blood glucose levels. Insulin levels were 29 percent lower, while blood glucose levels were 23 percent lower as compared to the control drink, which contained no herbal extract.
As Salacia oblonga can cause intestinal gas, the researchers had the study participants collect breath hydrogen samples hourly for eight hours after drinking the test beverage. The participants collected their breath in small plastic tubes. The researchers then analyzed these breath samples for hydrogen and methane content - the level of either substance in the breath corresponds to the level contained in the colon.
The subjects also rated the frequency and intensity of nausea, abdominal cramping and distention and gas for two days after consuming each test meal.
While the test beverages containing Salacia oblonga caused an increase in breath hydrogen excretion, reports of gastrointestinal discomfort were minimal, Hertzler said.
Right now he and his colleagues are trying to figure out what dose of the herb is most effective, and when it should be taken relative to a meal.
"We want to know how long it takes for the herb to bind to the enzymes that break down carbohydrates," Hertzler said. "The participants in this study took the herb with their meal, but maybe taking it before eating would be even more effective."
The researchers also want to study the effects of Salacia oblonga in people with diabetes.
"A lot of studies show that lowering blood sugar levels reduces the risk for all kinds of diabetes-related complications, such as kidney disease and nerve and eye damage," Hertzler said. "We want to see if this herb has this kind of effect."
Salacia Oblonga is grown and found in the western Ghats region.
Posted 15 February 2005 - 04:25 PM
Do you know what this called in an Indian language or even in English? It's a pity they give only the latin name...
Posted 26 February 2005 - 08:02 AM
The contaminated chilli powder has cost the food industry £100 million already, and 474 products have been withdrawn: pizzas, McDonald's salad dressings, burgers, lasagnes and pies. But it has also drawn our attention to what is going into our food. So much natural flavour has been lost that a huge industry has grown up supplying colourants, flavourings and 400 additives to make our food more palatable again.
Sudan 1, which contaminated a batch of Crosse & Blackwell Worcester sauce, has shown just how far we have moved from our back gardens. Like foot-and-mouth, which started in a small Northumberland farm, it shows how one batch of chilli powder from India can infiltrate the larders of 20 countries.
Posted 10 March 2005 - 01:34 PM
Salacia Oblonga = Ponkoranti (Tamil )
Do you know what this called in an Indian language or even in English? It's a pity they give only the latin name...
Will revert with more details.
More medical analysis reports here:
hypoglycemic action of various plant products
Posted 10 May 2005 - 11:15 AM
According to the nutritionist, the main reason behind this new age awareness is rapidly changing lifestyle trends. Increased travelling and eating out, more disposable incomes and the desire to squeeze the most out of life — on the family and job front — are forcing people to be more productive and take a re-look at their eating habits. "Healthy food isn't an option today but a necessity," she concludes.
Posted 10 June 2005 - 03:23 PM
The study, published this month in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that following a dietary portfolio that includes almonds not only lowers cholesterol levels, but also C-reactive protein levels, a key marker of inflammation and an independent risk factor for heart disease.
So the next time you are in the supermarket aisle, consider how almonds can give your heart a break:
Almonds help reduce inflammation of blood vessels. Inflammation is bad for your heart. It increases your risk of developing atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), and studies suggest a strong association between inflammation and risk of cardiovascular disease. A dietary pattern that reduces inflammation and cholesterol can truly be called “heart healthy.”
The liver, in response to inflammation, produces C-reactive protein. As inflammation increases, so do levels of C-reactive protein.
In this study, 34 individuals followed a dietary plan, called the Portfolio Eating Plan, which included almonds. Those who followed the dietary plan lowered their C-reactive protein levels 24% from baseline, which is similar to the reduction achieved by taking a first-generation statin drug (16%)—without the side effects of taking the pills.
"Inflammation is likely to receive increasing attention as a marker of heart disease risk," says Cyril Kendall, PhD, University of Toronto and study author. "To date there has been little research into the ability of diet to reduce inflammatory processes involved in heart disease. We now have a dietary strategy that may be used to not only reduce cholesterol but also inflammation."
Almonds as part of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol lowering foods may lower your cholesterol as much as a statin drug. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in February, 2005 examined this same study group found that when directly compared to first-generation statins, the Portfolio Eating Plan diet, including almonds, is just as effective in lowering LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol below the recommended range for heart disease prevention.
Almonds are nutritionally dense – a quality emphasized in the government’s latest Dietary Guidelines. Ounce for ounce, almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut. The recently released Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 encourage Americans to choose nutritionally dense foods – that is, to get the most nutrition possible out of the calories you eat. A one-ounce, 164-calorie serving of almonds, or about a handful, is an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, and a good source of protein and fiber. It also offers heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, potassium, calcium, phosphorous and iron.
Methinks I shall make my unpatented Roasted Almond Murgh.
Posted 18 August 2005 - 10:48 AM
The Manchester team, based in the Arthritis Research Campaign's Epidemiology Unit, worked with researchers from the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge to analyse health questionnaires and diet diaries by over 25000 45-74 year-olds; completed as part of the EPIC ( European Prospective Investigation of Cancer ) Norfolk study of diet and chronic disease in the 1990s. They then followed-up the participants over a nine year period to identify new cases of inflammatory polyarthritis ( IP ), including rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr Dorothy Pattison, who led the research, said: "We found that the average daily beta-cryptoxanthin intake of the 88 patients who had developed inflammatory polyarthritis was 40% lower than those who hadn't, and their intake of another carotenoid, zeaxanthin, was 20% lower.
"Those in the top third for beta-cryptoxanthin intake were only half as likely to develop IP as those in the lowest third, and vitamin C was also found to be an important factor."
The findings appear to confirm previous evidence that a modest increase in fruit and vegetables containing beta-cryptoxanthin and vitamin C, equivalent to one glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice each day, might help to protect against developing inflammatory joint diseases.
Dr Pattison has previously published research which found that both low intakes of fruit and vegetables ( in particular those high in vitamin C ), and high levels of red meat consumption were associated with an increased risk of developing IP.
Posted 20 September 2005 - 02:43 PM
In one of the largest studies of its kind, UCSF researchers have found that eating lots of fruits and vegetables, particularly vegetables, is associated with about a 50 percent reduction in the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose and remains largely untreatable. It kills about 30,000 people in the U.S. each year and has a five-year survival under four percent.
The vegetables most strongly associated with increased protection were onions, garlic, beans, yellow vegetables (such as carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, corn and yellow squash), dark leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables. Light-green vegetables, tomatoes and tomato products showed weaker protective benefits.
Fruits were found to be protective but significantly less so than vegetables, with citrus fruits and citrus juices most protective.
The 50 percent reduced risk was associated with eating at last five servings per day of the protective vegetables or vegetables and fruit, compared to those who ate two servings a day or less. And eating nine servings per day of vegetables and fruit combined also was associated with about a 50 percent reduced pancreatic cancer risk compared with eating less than five servings per day. A serving is considered to be about a half cup of cooked vegetables, two cups of leafy salad or one medium-sized piece of fruit.
The study was based on in-person interviews of 2,233 San Francisco Bay Area residents: 532 pancreatic cancer patients and more than 1,700 randomly selected "controls." Control group participants did not have pancreatic cancer but were of a similar age distribution and similar male to female ratio as the pancreatic cancer patients. Participants were asked about their fruit and vegetable consumption for the one-year period prior to the interview, as well as other questions about diet, smoking, occupation and other factors.
The study findings regarding fruit and vegetable consumption are being published in the September issue of the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. "Pancreatic cancer is not nearly as common as breast or lung cancer, but its diagnosis and treatment are particularly difficult," said Elizabeth A. Holly, PhD, UCSF professor of epidemiology and biostatistics and senior author of the study. "Finding strong confirmation that simple life choices can provide significant protection from pancreatic cancer may be one of the most practical ways to reduce the incidence of this dreadful disease."
The results are considered particularly meaningful because of the study's size, the quantitative nature of the food questionnaire and the statistical significance of the findings, according to the study team. The likelihood that chance alone accounts for the discovered correlations between diet and cancer is less than one in a thousand for many vegetable categories, and well within the limits considered statistically significant for most of the vegetables studied, the scientists reported.
The findings don't necessarily mean that all fruits and vegetables -- or any specific ones -- are potentially helpful or harmful, the authors point out. For example, they found evidence that the way foods are prepared may play a role: raw vegetables appear to be somewhat more protective than cooked vegetables, and fried potatoes appear to be more harmful than those prepared other ways. In addition, a specific food could be a "proxy" for another food that is often eaten with it, such as meat eaten with fried potatoes, for a hypothetical example. California physicians are required by law to report all cancer cases to a statewide records center, which allowed the researchers to identify all pancreatic cancer patients treated within a five-year period in six Bay Areas counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara.
The research approach used by the UCSF team is called a "case-control" study because it involves a comparison of pancreatic cancer cases with a control group without pancreatic cancer. The main limitation of this approach is that many of the cancer patients identified at the outset die before they can be interviewed, as was the case with the UCSF study, the researchers reported.
Still, the alternative research approach -- a "prospective" study that inquires about diet and then follows people long enough to determine which of them contracts the disease -- is less feasible because it requires a very large sample size and a very long follow-up period, since pancreatic cancer is relatively rare, Holly said.
The authors note that a few prospective cohort studies have published results looking at fruit and vegetable consumption in relation to pancreatic cancer risk, and have observed no association or possibly a slight suggestion of benefit. This may be due, in part, to the reduced number of cancer cases available in such a study design, Holly suggested.
"With more follow-up, such studies will be able to examine this question more rigorously," said June M. Chan, ScD, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF and lead author of the paper. "In the meantime, results from case-control studies like this one provide support for the hypothesis that vegetables and fruit provide some benefit in protecting against the development of pancreatic cancer."
The researchers previously reported on other findings from this in-person interview-based study, namely: allergies, obesity, clinical symptoms of pancreatic cancer and environmental factors in relation to pancreatic cancer; also, genetic factors in relation to pancreatic cancer and cigarette use. Other factors still to be examined in this study are the relationship between pancreatic cancer an alcohol, detailed analyses on cigarette use, diet, other diseases and conditions.
Posted 14 October 2005 - 06:09 AM
Posted 16 January 2006 - 12:04 PM
Rutgers researchers have found that the curry spice turmeric holds real potential for the treatment and prevention of prostate cancer, particularly when combined with certain vegetables.
The scientists tested turmeric, also known as curcumin, along with phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a naturally occurring substance particularly abundant in a group of vegetables that includes watercress, cabbage, winter cress, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, kohlrabi and turnips. "The bottom line is that PEITC and curcumin, alone or in combination, demonstrate significant cancer-preventive qualities in laboratory mice, and the combination of PEITC and curcumin could be effective in treating established prostate cancers," said Ah-Ng Tony Kong, a professor of pharmaceutics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
The discovery was announced in the Jan. 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research by Kong and his colleagues at Rutgers' Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States, with a half-million new cases appearing each year. The incidence and mortality of prostate cancer have not decreased in past decades despite tremendous efforts and resources devoted to treatment. This is because advanced prostate cancer cells are barely responsive even to high concentrations of chemotherapeutic agents or radiotherapy.
The authors noted that in contrast to the high incidence of prostate cancer in the United States, the incidence of this disease is very low in India. This has been attributed to the dietary consumption of large amounts of plant-based foods rich in phytochemicals – nonnutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease-preventive properties.
Consequently, scientists have been investigating intervention options based on compounds found in edible and medicinal plants. They have had some success, and a majority of patients with prostate cancer are now combining the conventional therapies with these compounds as alternative, supplementary or complementary medications.
For Kong's study, researchers used mice bred so that their immune systems would not reject foreign biological material and injected the mice with cells from human prostate cancer cell lines to grow tumors against which the compounds could be tested.
"Despite convincing data from laboratory cell cultures, we knew little about how PEITC and curcumin would perform in live animals, especially on prostate cancer," Kong said. "So we undertook this study to evaluate how effective PEITC and curcumin might be – individually and in combination – to prevent and possibly treat prostate cancer."
The researchers injected the mice with curcumin or PEITC, alone or in combination, three times a week for four weeks, beginning a day before the introduction of the prostate cancer cells. They found the injections significantly retarded the growth of cancerous tumors. Using PEITC and curcumin in tandem produced even stronger effects.
The group went on to evaluate the therapeutic potential of curcumin and PEITC in mice with well-established tumors, and the results showed that PEITC or curcumin alone had little effect, whereas the combination of curcumin and PEITC significantly reduced tumor growth.
The paper, "Combined Inhibitory Effects of Curcumin and Phenethyl Isothiocyanate on the Growth of Human PC-3 Prostate Xenografts in Immunodeficient Mice," is available at cancerres.aacrjournals.org.
The authors are Tin Oo Khor, Young-Sam Keum, Wen Lin, Jung-Hwan Kim, Rong Hu, Guoxiang Shen, Changjiang Xu, Avanthika Gopalakrishnan, Bandaru Reddy, Xi Zheng, Allan H. Conney and Ah-Ng Tony Kong, all from Rutgers.
Posted 03 March 2006 - 10:34 AM
Good carbs. Bad carbs.
by Beth Mayer-Davis
One of the hottest diet trends focuses on the Glycemic Index, which ranks carbohydrates according to their ability to affect blood glucose. The premise is that a diet of carbs with a low Glycemic Index will help people lose weight and reduce their risks for heart disease and diabetes.
But a study by a researcher at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health has found that the Glycemic Index may not help people determine the foods that they should eat -- or avoid -- to improve their health.
The findings, published in the February issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, show that people should exercise caution with the Glycemic Index diet, says Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, a noted diabetes researcher and the study's lead author.
"There are valid reasons to question the Glycemic Index scientifically," Mayer-Davis says. "This is an area in the field of nutrition that is controversial. It turns out that despite all of the interest in the Glycemic Index, the scientific literature is very mixed."
Some studies show beneficial effects of low Glycemic Index diets on diabetes or other conditions, and other studies show no effect, she says.
The basis for the Glycemic Index is this: When a specific carbohydrate is eaten, its effect on the body is consistent among individuals. Therefore, a specific number can be attached to it. Apples, plums and oranges, for example, have a low Glycemic Index, while french fries, watermelon and dried dates have a high Glycemic Index.
The limitation of the Glycemic Index, Mayer-Davis says, is that the numbers in the index are based on blood-sugar levels recorded two hours after the ingestion of test foods, in a controlled experimental setting and after a person has fasted overnight.
"However, many factors can affect the impact of food on glucose levels in a ‘real life' setting, including the length of time that food is cooked, your body's hormones and other foods that are eaten at the same time," she says.
"In scientific literature, the Glycemic Index of foods is based on fasting. This is unrealistic because we eat throughout the day, and a certain food eaten at lunchtime can have a different impact on blood-glucose levels compared to eating that same food for breakfast after fasting overnight."
The USC study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted over five years, followed more than 1,000 people at four clinical sites. Participants included African Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians.
The researchers wanted to determine whether study participants with a relatively low Glycemic Index diet had lower overall blood-glucose levels compared to participants with a relatively high Glycemic Index diet. Using several different measures of blood-glucose levels, the researchers found that the Glycemic Index of the diet was not related to any of the measures of blood glucose.
This means that the Glycemic Index is probably not picking up the specific effects of food on blood glucose, Mayer-Davis says.
"Several recent studies show that dietary fiber is important to heart disease, diabetes and obesity," she says. "Typically, foods high in fiber have a relatively low Glycemic Index."
This means that, in some studies, the Glycemic Index may have been related to good health because of dietary fiber, not because of a unique characteristic of food called the Glycemic Index, Mayer-Davis says.
"In general, the Glycemic Index does not seem to be useful in understanding how diet impacts health, and use of the Glycemic Index may not be an effective way to identify foods for optimal health," she says.
Dr. Angela Liese, a researcher at USC's Arnold School of Public Health and the study's principal investigator, led the Glycemic Index project at USC. She said the study is significant because "it fills an important gap in knowledge" on the Glycemic Index.
Liese’s research project, which more broadly evaluates the relation of Glycemic Index to risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and the metabolic syndrome, was funded by the American Diabetes Association. This is the third scientific paper by the team, led by Liese, to be published on the Glycemic Index in recent months.
Many of the chronic diseases that have been related to diets with high Glycemic Index, including diabetes and heart disease, are much more strongly related to obesity than to other aspects of diet. The key to losing weight and lowering the risk for diabetes, heart disease and obesity, in simple terms, is this: Consume fewer calories and burn more calories through physical activity.
"A diet that is low in saturated fat and includes whole grains, fiber, fruits and vegetables will support weight management as long as the total calories are reduced," she says. "And, moderate physical activity is key to improving health."
The Glycemic Index only makes life more complicated for those trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, she says.
Posted 16 March 2006 - 10:33 AM
A salt substitute specially formulated to be flavourful and effective has significantly reduced blood pressure among high-risk residents of northern, rural China, where salt-pickled foods are a dietary mainstay and hypertension is rampant.
This simple approach announced today at the American College of Cardiology’s 55th Annual Scientific Session in Atlanta by The George Institute for International Health, offers a new low cost strategy for the prevention of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
Stroke and heart attack are the two leading causes of death worldwide, responsible for more than 10 million deaths annually. The problem is particularly marked in China, where salt consumption is very high and elevated blood pressure levels are extremely prevalent.
"Cardiovascular diseases have been the main cause of death in China for some time now," said Associate Professor Bruce Neal, Director of the Cardiac and Renal Division of The George Institute. "Our goal is to help identify practical new ways of addressing this serious health problem. We are particularly interested in strategies that will work in poor rural areas where preventive care is currently very limited."
Professor Neal reported "Among the 600 individuals studied in rural Northern China, the low-sodium high-potassium salt substitute demonstrated that it could reduce blood pressure to about the same extent as single drug therapy."
"It is likely that a population-wide switch to salt substitute in rural China would prevent many hundreds of thousands of serious vascular events each year." Professor Neal added.
The benefits of changing dietary salt intake demonstrated in this study would extend directly to most other countries worldwide. High blood pressure is a leading cause of death the world over and widespread lowering of dietary sodium intake would produce huge health gains.
Until the recent formation of the Australian branch of World Action on Salt and Health (AWASH) there has been little local emphasis on the importance of reducing dietary salt.
AWASH and its Australian members including researchers from the University of Sydney, Deakin University, CSIRO Human Nutrition and industry partners from Coles, the Australian Grocers Council (AGC) and Unilever aim to improve the health of the Australian population by reducing dietary sodium. The chief goal of this group is ensure that the science about salt and its adverse effects on health are translated into policy in Australia.
WASH was established in England in 2005, as an extension of the successful organisation CASH (Consensus Action on Salt and Health). CASH has successfully worked to reach a consensus with the food industry and Government over the harmful effects of a high salt diet, the group has also identified practical ways that can bring about a reduction in the amount of salt in processed foods, salt added at the time of cooking, and the salt used at the table.
Posted 17 March 2006 - 02:35 PM
Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed, causing severe abdominal pain. It is often triggered by alcohol consumption which causes digestive enzymes to digest part of the pancreas.
Scientists have known for some time that coffee can reduce the risk of alcoholic pancreatitis, but have been unable to determine how. Researchers at the University have now discovered that caffeine can partially close special channels within cells, reducing to some extent the damaging effects of alcohol products on the pancreas.
Professor Ole Petersen and Professor Robert Sutton, from the University's Physiological Laboratory and Division of Surgery, have found that cells in the pancreas can be damaged by products of alcohol and fat formed in the pancreas when oxygen levels in the organ are low. Under these conditions, excessive amounts of calcium are released from stores within the cells of the pancreas. Special organelles, called mitochondria, also become damaged and cannot produce the energiser that normally allows calcium to be pumped out of the cells. The excess calcium then activates protein breakdown, destroying the cells in the pancreas.
Professor Petersen explains: "The primary cause of the build up in calcium ion concentration is movement of calcium ions from a store inside the cells into the cell water through special channels in the store membrane. We have found that caffeine, present in drinks such as coffee can at least partially close these channels. This explains why coffee consumption can reduce the risk of alcoholic pancreatitis. The caffeine effect, however, is weak and excessive coffee intake has its own dangers, so we have to search for better agents.
"At the moment there is no specific pharmacological treatment for pancreatitis. As a result of this research however, we can, for the first time, begin to search for specific chemical agents that target the channels causing the excessive liberation of calcium ions inside the cells, which is where the problem originates. We are also hoping that these findings can be used to warn against the dangers of binge drinking. Some of the effects of the non-oxidative alcohol products on isolated pancreatic cells cannot be reversed, explaining why excess alcohol intake can be so dangerous."
Posted 07 April 2006 - 11:26 AM
Truths about Chicken and Eggs you should know.
Read the Facts and then make up your mind
* Bird Flu (H5N1) has never been transmitted to humans by eating cooked chicken or eggs.
* The virus dies when it is heated to a temperture of 70 degrees celcius for one second.
* The only possible way of getting bird flu is living in close proximity of infected birds for long a time.
* As per WHO/OIE, in case of a bird flu outbreak, it is safe to consume frozen or fresh eggs and chickens.
* The way chicken and eggs are cooked it always goes to a temperature way beyond 70 degrees celcius.
* Avoid eating raw eggs.
Cooking Temperatures :
Frying - 150 deg C and above
Boiled Eggs - 150 deg C
Omlette - 150 deg C
Baking - 130 deg C and above
Tandoor - 240 deg C and above
Curry - 140 deg C and above
Hmmm, lets see, do I still want to eat it, Chicken I am not, but I am enjoying Seafood a lot nowadays
Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:02 PM
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one the UK's biggest killers, accounting for one in three deaths in the country every year. Now scientists from Liverpool John Moores University's Nutraceutical Research Group (NRG) have been awarded over €420,000 by the European Union to investigate the health giving properties of cooked tomatoes.
The funding is part of a major EU-initiative, involving experts from 15 institutions in six different European countries.
LJMU is the only institution in the UK involved in the €5.2 million (Euros) research programme.
The potential health-giving properties of tomatoes relates to the lycopene they contain and its role as an antioxidant.
Dr Gordon Lowe, the biochemical scientist leading the LJMU research, explains: “Cholesterol is vital to a healthy body but a high level in the blood is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease. Cholesterol is transported around the human blood by special carriers called lipoproteins. There are several kinds of these, but low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are the most important.
“If you have too much LDL cholesterol in your blood, it can slowly build up in the walls of the arteries feeding your heart and brain. Together with other substances it can form a thick, hard deposit that can clog these arteries and this condition is known as atherosclerosis. We believe that lycopene could play a vital role in preventing atherosclerosis by stopping the lipoproteins from becoming oxidised. The oxidation of low-density lipoproteins can lead to ‘fatty steaks' being deposited in the arteries.”
However, for the lycopene to become available to the human body, tomatoes must be cooked, preferably in some form of oil. That's why as part of his research, Dr Lowe will be assessing different ways of cooking tomatoes to see which method maximises the lycopene availability.
Smoking is another major risk factor associated with heart disease and Dr Lowe will also be examining how smoking affects the body's ability to harness the health-giving benefits of lycopene.
Dr Lowe continued: “Hardening of the arteries is a common condition affecting smokers and can lead to premature death. Liverpool has one of the country's highest proportions of smoking-related deaths in people over 35. Obviously the best way to reduce your risk is to quit smoking or not start at all. But diet can also play a key role.
“We all know that we should be eating five servings of fruit and vegetables a day but what we're now saying is that one of these should be processed tomatoes rather than raw ones in salads. This research is about educating the public and giving them useful information on how to create healthy, realistic meal plans.”
Liverpool John Moores University's Nutraceutical Research Group (NRG) is involved in the investigation of the role of Nutraceuticals in the prevention of chronic diseases. They have previously researched the health giving properties of garlic and green tea.
Pav Bhaji and most of Indian recipes -
However, for the lycopene to become available to the human body, tomatoes must be cooked, preferably in some form of oil. That's why as part of his research, Dr Lowe will be assessing different ways of cooking tomatoes to see which method maximises the lycopene availability.
Saute the onions then add tomatoes.
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