Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Anti-cancer Components Of Extra-virgin Olive Oil Revealed

New Anti-cancer Components Of Extra-virgin Olive Oil Revealed: "ScienceDaily (Dec. 18, 2008) — Good quality extra-virgin olive oil contains health-relevant chemicals, ‘phytochemicals’, that can trigger cancer cell death...“Our findings reveal for the first time that all the major complex phenols present in extra-virgin olive oil drastically suppress overexpression of the cancer gene HER2 in human breast cancer cells”...Extra-virgin olive oil is the oil that results from pressing olives without the use of heat or chemical treatments. It contains phytochemicals that are otherwise lost in the refining process. Menendez and colleagues separated the oil into fractions and tested these against breast cancer cells in lab experiments. All the fractions containing the major extra-virgin phytochemical polyphenols (lignans and secoiridoids) were found to effectively inhibit HER2...“The active phytochemicals (i.e. lignans and secoiridoids) exhibited tumoricidal effects against cultured breast cancer cells at concentrations that are unlikely to be achieved in real life by consuming olive oil”..."

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Twin Study Defines Shared Features Of Human Gut Microbial Communities: Variations Linked To Obesity

Twin Study Defines Shared Features Of Human Gut Microbial Communities: Variations Linked To Obesity:
ScienceDaily 2008.12.02
"'This suggests that early environmental exposures play a key role in determining which microbes colonize our intestinal tracts,' Gordon says. 'It appears that we acquire an enormous number of genes - in the form of our microbial genes - from our early environment.' These microbial genes, together with our human genes, form our 'metagenome.'...The current research is part of the ongoing human microbiome project, which seeks to not only catalog the microbial species and genes associated with healthy bodies and certain disease states, but to understand how our microbial communities function. Microbial cells are estimated to outnumber human cells by a factor of ten to one. Collectively, the microbes are estimated to carry far more than the 20,000 genes that make up the DNA that we inherit from our parents..."


Gut Check: Microbes Colonize Newborns' Digestive Tracts: "ScienceDaily (June 26, 2007) — For more than 100 years, scientists have known that humans carry a rich ecosystem within their intestines. An astonishing number and variety of microbes, including as many as 400 species of bacteria, help humans digest food, mitigate disease, regulate fat storage, and even promote the formation of blood vessels. By applying sophisticated genetic analysis to samples of a year's worth baby poop, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have now developed a detailed picture of how these bacteria come and go in the intestinal tract during a child's first year of life...Before birth, the human intestinal tract is sterile, but babies immediately begin to acquire the microbial denizens of the gut from their environment -- the birth canal, mothers' breast, and even the touch of a sibling or parent. Within days, a thriving microbial community is established and by adulthood, the human body typically has as many as ten times more microbial cells than human cells. This is primarily due to the large number of microorganisms that have taken up residence in the intestine...intestinal microbial communities varied widely from baby to baby -- both in terms of which microbes were present and in how that composition changed over time. That finding, she said, is important because it helps broaden the definition of healthy microbial colonization in a baby...Another intriguing observation, Palmer noted, was a tendency for sudden shifts in the composition of the infants' intestinal microbial communities over time as different species of bacteria ebbed and flowed... Over time, however, the composition of the intestinal microbial communities converged toward a more generic profile characteristic of the adult intestine..."

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Broccoli Compound Targets Key Enzyme In Late-stage Cancer

Broccoli Compound Targets Key Enzyme In Late-stage Cancer: "ScienceDaily (Dec. 2, 2008) — An anti-cancer compound found in broccoli and cabbage works by lowering the activity of an enzyme associated with rapidly advancing breast cancer...indole-3-carbinol, is already undergoing clinical trials in humans because it was found to stop the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells in mice..."I think one of the real uses of this compound and its derivatives is combining it with other kinds of therapies, such as tamoxifen for breast cancer and anti-androgens for prostate cancer," said coauthor Gary Firestone, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology. "Humans have co-evolved with cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, so this natural source has a lot fewer side effects."...I3C inhibits the enzyme elastase, which at high levels in breast cancer cells heralds a poor prognosis: decreased response to chemotherapy, reduced response to endocrine treatment and reduced survival rates...Elastase is an enzyme that shortens a cellular chemical, cyclin E, that is involved in controlling the cell cycle. The shortened version of cyclin E accelerates the cell cycle, making cancer cells proliferate faster. Firestone showed that I3C prevents the elastase shortening of cyclin E, thereby arresting development of breast cancer cells...In previous work, they found that indole-3-carbinol interferes with more than cell proliferation. It also disrupts the migration and alters adhesion properties of cancer cells, as well as counteracts the survival ability of cancer cells, all of which are implicated in cancer cell growth. To have such broad downstream effects, I3C must act at the beginning of a major cellular pathway, Firestone said. The newly reported research pins this activity to elastase and its effect on cyclin E..."

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Lack Of Vitamin D Could Spell Heart Trouble

Lack Of Vitamin D Could Spell Heart Trouble: "ScienceDaily (Dec. 2, 2008) — Vitamin D deficiency—which is traditionally associated with bone and muscle weakness—may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). A growing body of evidence links low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels to common CVD risk factors such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes, as well as major cardiovascular events including stroke and congestive heart failure..."Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized, emerging cardiovascular risk factor, which should be screened for and treated,"...Vitamin D deficiency also alters hormone levels and immune function, which can increase the risk of diabetes, a major contributor to CVD...patients with vitamin D levels below 15 ng/ml were twice as likely to experience a heart attack, stroke or other CV event within the next five years compared to those with higher levels..."We are outside less than we used to be, and older adults and people who are overweight or obese are less efficient at making vitamin D in response to sunlight," said Dr. O'Keefe. "A little bit of sunshine is a good thing, but the use of sunscreen to guard against skin cancer is important if you plan to be outside for more than 15 to 30 of intense sunlight exposure."...

In the absence of clinical guidelines, the authors outline specific recommendations for restoring and maintaining optimal vitamin D levels in CV patients. These patients should initially be treated with 50,000 IU of vitamin D2 or D3 once weekly for 8 to 12 weeks. Maintenance therapy should be continued using one of the following strategies:

  • 50,000 IU vitamin D2 or D3every 2 weeks;
  • 1,000 to 2,000 IU vitamin D3 daily;
  • Sunlight exposure for 10 minutes for Caucasian patients (longer for people with increased skin pigmentation) between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m."
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Exercise Helps Prevent Age-related Brain Changes In Older Adults

Exercise Helps Prevent Age-related Brain Changes In Older Adults: "ScienceDaily (Dec. 2, 2008) — Older adults who exercise regularly show increased cerebral blood flow and a greater number of small blood vessels in the brain..."Our results show that exercise may reduce age-related changes in brain vasculature and blood flow," said presenter Feraz Rahman, M.S., currently a medical student at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. "Other studies have shown that exercise prevents cognitive decline in the elderly. The blood vessel and flow differences may be one reason."..."

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Eating Eggs When Pregnant (choline) lowers chance of getting aggressive breast cancer in offspring

Eating Eggs When Pregnant Affects Breast Cancer In Offspring:
ScienceDaily 2008.12.02
"The researchers made the discovery in rats by studying females whose mothers were fed varying amounts of choline during pregnancy. Different groups of pregnant rats received diets containing standard amounts of choline, no choline at all, or extra choline. Then the researchers treated the female offspring with a chemical that causes cancer of the mammary gland (breast cancer). Although animals in all groups developed mammary cancer, the daughters of mothers that had received extra choline during pregnancy had slow growing tumors while daughters of mothers that had no choline during pregnancy had fast growing tumors...The researchers also found multiple genetic and molecular changes in the rats' tumors that correlated with survival outcomes. For example, the slow growing tumors in rats had a genetic pattern similar to those seen in breast cancers of women who are considered to have a good prognosis. The fast growing tumors in mice had a pattern of genetic changes similar to those seen in women with a more aggressive disease. The researchers also found evidence that these genetic changes may result from the way that choline affects modifications of the DNA within the mammary gland of fetuses as they develop in the womb..."

And of course the evidence that choline improves the memory of your children.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Telomerase takes us a step closer to eternal youth - 19 November 2008 - New Scientist

Enzyme takes us a step closer to eternal youth - 19 November 2008 - New Scientist: "One of the latest studies confirms that at least one type of human cell can indeed be restored to a youthful state by boosting telomerase levels. The other suggests that boosting telomerase can result in longer life in animals... turned to a drug called TAT2, developed by Geron of Menlo Park, California, that boosts telomerase production without altering anyone's DNA. When killer T-cells from people with HIV were exposed to TAT2, it enhanced the cells' ability to fight the virus, suggesting that TAT2 might be used to supplement existing anti-retroviral drugs by boosting the immune systems of people with HIV...TAT2 also increased the cells' ability to divide and stopped their telomeres from shortening, which raises the possibility that it might be used to wind back the clock of other ageing cells and provide more general treatments for ageing...when TAT2 was added to tumour cells it did not affect the amount of telomerase they produced. Nor did it change the growth characteristics of immune cells that were cultured with a virus that can trigger cancer. "We are fairly confident at this point that TAT2 won't enhance cancer development,"...Telomerase is extracted from the Astragalus plant, which is used in Chinese medicine without any obvious adverse effects...Blasco's team bred mice engineered to be resistant to cancer with mice engineered to produce 10 times the normal levels of telomerase in epithelial tissue, which lines the cavities and surfaces of the body. These animals lived up to 50 per cent longer than normal mice...Blasco's mice also had less subcutaneous fat, healthier epithelial tissue and improved neuromuscular coordination and glucose tolerance, which are all signs of youth. Boosting telomerase also seemed to have beneficial effects on the animals' brains and muscles, even though the enzyme was not expressed in these tissues..."

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

IP6 articles

Antioxidants Could Provide All-purpose Radiation Protection: "ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2007) — Two common dietary molecules found in legumes and bran could protect DNA from the harmful effects of radiation, researchers from the University of Maryland report. Inositol and inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) protected both human skin cells and a skin cancer-prone mouse from exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, the damaging radiation found in sunlight, the team reported November 5 at the American Association for Cancer Research Centennial Conference on Translational Cancer Medicine..."Both of these potent antioxidants have been shown to have broad-spectrum anti-tumor capabilities, and now our studies confirm the degree to which these molecules protect against the DNA-damaging effects of ionizing radiation"...While both inositol and IP6 are related to B vitamins, they are not considered essential dietary nutrients. In the 1980s, however, researchers discovered that these molecules, abundant within the hulls of seeds and grains, had definitive protective effects against colorectal cancer...According to Shamsuddin, IP6 could also offer protection against accidents or purposeful incidents involving nuclear material. "It could also be advisable to use IP6 plus inositol as a cautionary treatment following a nuclear disaster or dirty bomb,""

New Research On Cancer-fighting Foods, Supplements: ScienceDaily (Mar. 26, 2007)"The compound, inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), was fed to animal models of prostate cancer and resulted in up to a 66 percent reduction in tumor size in comparison to control animals"

Natural Substances Shows Promise In Cancer Prevention, Treatment: ScienceDaily (June 8, 1998)"cancer-fighting properties of inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) in colon, liver, breast and soft-tissue cancers in human cell-lines transplanted into mice..."The number of tumors and their size was reduced three-fold," Shamsuddin said. "The rate of cell division was cut in half. IP6 also normalizes cell division and up-regulates the product of the P53 gene, one of the body’s most powerful tumor-suppressor genes." ..."

Nutrition - IP6 - M. D. Anderson Cancer Center: "Precautions
IP-6 reduces platelet activity; therefore, people with low blood cell counts, or who are taking aspirin or other blood thinning medications, may want to avoid using IP-6. Because of its antioxidant properties, IP-6 may not be appropriate for patients receiving radiation or chemotherapy. Supplemental forms of IP-6 may also bind with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc and should therefore not be taken with food...
Although Dr. Shamsuddin indicates that further research must be completed before making more specific dosage recommendations, he gives the following guidelines: 1-2 g of IP-6 daily for cancer prevention, 4 g daily for people with an increased cancer risk, and up to 8 g daily for those with cancer. Patients who are considering an IP-6 supplement should consult with their physician or dietician.

IP-6 : by Ray Sahelian, M.D., inositol hexaphosphate IP-6 and cancer IP6: "Inositol hexaphosphate ( IP-6, phytic acid, or phytate ), is a naturally polyphosphorylated carbohydrate found in cereal grains, beans, brown rice, corn, sesame seeds, wheat bran, and other high fiber foods. It aids in the metabolism of insulin and calcium, hair growth, bone marrow cell metabolism, eye membrane development, and helps the liver transfer fat to other parts of the body. IP-6 in the diet may even help reduce the risk for kidney stones. Many researchers believe that some of the health benefits may be due to the antioxidant, immune enhancing, and cardiovascular supporting activities of IP-6. In-vitro and animal research has shown IP-6 to have significant protective and growth regulating effects on various cells and tissues including those of the colon, breast, and prostate...IP-6 has been reported to have in vivo and in vitro anti- cancer activity against numerous tumors, such as colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia, pancreatic cancer, and rhabdomyosarcomas. Significant human trials are lacking and hence we do not currently know for certain whether taking IP-6 supplements are helpful in cancer prevention or therapy, but the early data look promising. "

Protection against cancer by dietary IP6 and inosi...[Nutr Cancer. 2006] - PubMed Result: "Protection against cancer by dietary IP6 and inositol."

IP6 and Inositol Product Info: FAQ "Why combine IP6 with Inositol?
Dr. Shamsuddin theorized that when Inositol was properly combined with IP-6 it formed two molecules of IP-3 in the body. Although IP-6 gets all the attention, it is really the IP-3 that is doing all the work. IP-3 plays an important role in cells by helping them grow, mature, replicate and communicate with other cells. Cells that are low in IP-3 can become out of control, dividing uncontrollably. Studies confirm that the combination of IP-6 with Inositol yields much greater effects than IP-6 alone..
IP6 plus Inositol as an Antioxidant and NK-Cell Stimulant. Recognized as a potent antioxidant, IP6 acts to neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals on body cells and has been shown to enhance immunity by boosting the activity of natural killer (NK) cells.* These immune system cells (also called lymphocytes) are the body’s first line defense mechanism. Additional research indicates IP-6 & Inositol may support healthy renal function,* promotes heart health,* and helps maintain healthy glucose metabolism.* IP6 Gold is a rich source calcium, phosphorus and magnesium that supports and maintains strong, healthy bones...Developments from laboratory data suggest IP6 and Inositol play an important role in DNA functions such as cell division, repair and maturation.* Enhancing DNA function helps maintain a healthy genetic profile. Millions of dollars are currently being spent in research related to DNA profiling and alteration. Here we see a very natural compound plays an important role in this complex mechanism.

Can IP6 plus Inositol be used alongside conventional treatments? IP6 and Inositol has undergone extensive animal and human studies. No negative side-effects have been found, either when IP6 and Inositol is used on its own or in combination with other dietary supplements or conventional allopathic treatments. Indeed, Dr. Shamsuddin states that IP6 & Inositol may actually potentiate these treatments.

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Potentially Universal Mechanism Of Aging Identified

Potentially Universal Mechanism Of Aging Identified: "ScienceDaily (Nov. 27, 2008) — Researchers have uncovered what may be a universal cause of aging, one that applies to both single cell organisms such as yeast and multicellular organisms, including mammals. This is the first time that such an evolutionarily conserved aging mechanism has been identified between such diverse organisms...The mechanism probably dates back more than one billion years. The study shows how DNA damage eventually leads to a breakdown in the cell's ability to properly regulate which genes are switched on and off in particular settings...Researchers have discovered that DNA damage decreases a cell's ability to regulate which genes are turned on and off in particular settings. This mechanism, which applies both to fungus and to us, might represent a universal culprit for aging...scientists have know that a group of genes called sirtuins are involved in the aging process. These genes, when stimulated by either the red-wine chemical resveratrol or caloric restriction, appear to have a positive effect on both aging and health...Sinclair and colleagues in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology lab of Leonard Guarente found that a particular sirtuin in yeast affected the aging process in two specific ways—it helped regulate gene activity in cells and repair breaks in DNA. As DNA damage accumulated over time, however, the sirtuin became too distracted to properly regulate gene activity, and as a result, characteristics of aging set in..."For ten years, this entire phenomenon in yeast was considered to be relevant only to yeast," says Sinclair. "But we decided to test of this same process occurs in mammals."...Oberdoerffer found that a primary function of sirtuin in the mammalian system was to oversee patterns of gene expression (which genes are switch on and which are switch off). While all genes are present in all cells, only a select few need to be active at any given time. If the wrong genes are switched on, this can harm the cell. (In a kidney cell, for example, all liver genes are present, but switched off. If these genes were to become active, that could damage the kidney.) As a protective measure, sirtuins guard genes that should be off and ensure that they remain silent. To do this, they help preserve the molecular packaging—called chromatin—that shrink-wraps these genes tight and keeps them idle...The problem for the cell, however, is that the sirtuin has another important job. When DNA is damaged by UV light or free radicals, sirtuins act as volunteer emergency responders. They leave their genomic guardian posts and aid the DNA repair mechanism at the site of damage.During this unguarded interval, the chromatin wrapping may start to unravel, and the genes that are meant to stay silent may in fact come to life...For the most part, sirtuins are able to return to their post and wrap the genes back in their packaging, before they cause permanent damage. As mice age, however, rates of DNA damage (typically caused by degrading mitochondria) increase. The authors found that this damage pulls sirtuins away from their posts more frequently. As a result, deregulation of gene expression becomes chronic. Chromatin unwraps in places where it shouldn't, as sirtuin guardians work overtime putting out fires around the genome, and the unwrapped genes never return to their silent state...

"We then began wondering what would happen if we put more of the sirtuin back into the mice," says Oberdoerffer. "Our hypothesis was that with more sirtuins, DNA repair would be more efficient, and the mouse would maintain a youthful pattern gene expression into old age."That's precisely what happened. Using a mouse genetically altered to model lymphoma, Oberdoerffer administered extra copies of the sirtuin gene, or fed them the sirtuin activator resveratrol, which in turn extended their mean lifespan by 24 to 46 percent...

"According to this specific mechanism, while DNA damage exacerbates aging, the actual cause is not the DNA damage itself but the lack of gene regulation that results," says Oberdoerffer. "Lots of research has shown that this particular process of regulating gene activity, otherwise known as epigenetics, can be reversed—unlike actual mutations in DNA. We see here, through a proof-of-principal demonstration, that elements of aging can be reversed.""

But is the picture of sirtuins more complicated?
Deleting 'Anti-Aging' Gene From Yeast Greatly Lengthens Life Span: "ScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2005) — A counterintuitive experiment has resulted in one of the longest recorded life-span extensions in any organism and opened a new door for anti-aging research in humans...The result was a dramatically extended life span - up to six times longer than normal - when the SIR2 deletion was combined with caloric restriction and/or a mutation in one or two genes, RAS2 and SCH9, that control the storage of nutrients and resistance to cell damage..."

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Children of centenarians live longer, healthier

Children of centenarians live longer, healthier - Yahoo! News: "People who make it to the age of 100 may indeed have some 'good genes' that they pass on their children...children of centenarians tend to retain a "cardiovascular advantage" over their peers as they age..."

No surprise here. Most of the stories on this are remarkably light on details.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

'Love handles' raise death risk

BBC NEWS | Health | 'Love handles' raise death risk:
"Carrying extra fat around your middle dramatically increases your risk of early death, even if your overall weight is normal...Each extra 2ins (5cm) raised the chance of early death by between 13% and 17%. with waists exceeding 47ins (119cm) had a doubled rate of death compared with those with waists under 31.5ins (80cm), and a similar statistic was found when women with waists over 39ins (99cm) were compared to those under 25.5ins (64.7cm)...An increase in risk of death could be plotted every time the belt was let out by another two inches - for two people with the same BMI, every additional 2ins (5cm) on their waistband added up to a 17% increase in risk for men, and 13% for women...abdominal fat was not like other fat reserves, but could directly influence the development of chronic disease by releasing "messenger substances"..."

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Child's sleep linked to adulthood obesity risk

Child's sleep linked to adulthood obesity risk - Yahoo! News:
"Consistently getting a good night's sleep may help protect children from becoming obese as adults... those who got too little sleep as children were more likely than their well-rested counterparts to become obese adults... early sleep habits have a direct effect on weight in the long term...A number of studies have found that sleep-deprived adults and children are at greater risk of being overweight. However, this is the first study to show a long-term relationship between sleep and obesity risk...The study involved 1,037 men and women who had been followed since their birth, between 1972 and 1973, up to the age of 32. When the participants were 5, 7, 9 and 11 years old, their parents reported on their usual bed time and wake-up time...In general, Hancox and his colleagues found, as childhood sleep time declined, adulthood body mass index, or BMI, climbed...Experts generally recommend that children between the ages of 5 and 12 sleep for about 11 hours each night, while teenagers should get 8.5 to 9.5 hours...One theory, based on research in the sleep lab, is that sleep deprivation alters the normal balance of appetite-stimulating and appetite-suppressing hormones. Sleepy children may also be too tired for physical activity during the day..."

This is important, on the level of prenatal diets changing genes. Alas it comes at a time when it will get negligible attention.

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Kids mimic parents' diets from an early age s

Kids mimic parents' diets from an early age - Yahoo! News:
"Parents who want their preschoolers to eat their vegetables may need to take a hard look at their own eating habits...Children who stocked up on sweets, sugary drinks and salty snacks generally had parents whose typical grocery list featured such items. Similarly, children with the healthiest shopping habits seemed to be following their parents' lead as well..."The data suggest that children begin to assimilate and mimic their parents' food choices at a very young age, even before they are able to fully appreciate the implications of these choices,"..."

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Even a little caffeine may harm fetus

Even a little caffeine may harm fetus, study finds - Yahoo! News:
"Pregnant women who consume caffeine -- even about a cup of coffee daily -- are at higher risk of giving birth to an underweight baby...linked any source of caffeine, including that from tea, cola, chocolate and some prescription drugs, to relatively slower fetal growth...Babies born underweight are more likely to develop a range of health conditions when they grow older, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems...Women who drank one to two cups of coffee daily, or between 100-199 milligrams, had a 20 percent increased risk of having a baby of low birth weight, the study found. This was compared to women who consumed less than 100 milligrams daily...The impact was about the same as from alcohol and the association with low birth weight was maintained throughout a woman's pregnancy...reduce caffeine intake to a minimum..."

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Scientists develop cancer fighting tomato

Scientists develop cancer fighting tomato - Yahoo! News:
"...anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant found in berries such as blackberries and blackcurrants that have been shown to lower risk of cancer, heart disease and some neurological diseases...Using genes that help color the snapdragon flower, the researchers discovered they could get the tomatoes to make anthocyanins -- turning the tomato purple in the process...Mice genetically engineered to develop cancer lived an average of 182 days when they were fed the purple tomatoes, compared to 142 days for animals on the standard diet...findings do bolster research suggesting that people can significantly improve their health by making simple changes to the daily diet..."

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Prostate cancer not warded off vit E and selenium

Prostate cancer not warded off by supplements: study - Yahoo! News:
"Selenium and vitamin E supplements do not prevent prostate cancer and may in fact be a little bit dangerous..."The data also showed two concerning, but not statistically significant, trends: there were slightly more cases of prostate cancer in men taking only vitamin E and slightly more cases of diabetes in men taking only selenium,"..."

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Early infections may increase arthritis risk

Early infections may increase arthritis risk - Yahoo! News:
"Previous studies have suggested infections somehow trigger the autoimmune condition later in life but the Swedish findings raise the possibility infections may somehow change the way an immature immune system develops...whether the children had any infections during the first 12 months of life. Compared to people without the conditions, children who had serious infections early on were more than twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis as a young adult..."

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Green Tea May Delay Onset Of Type 1 Diabetes

Green Tea May Delay Onset Of Type 1 Diabetes: "ScienceDaily (Oct. 26, 2008) — A powerful antioxidant in green tea may prevent or delay the onset of type 1 diabetes...EGCG also can prevent and delay insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes was a big surpris...EGCG reduced the severity and delayed onset of salivary gland damage associated with Sjogren's syndrome, which has no known cure..."EGCG modulates several important genes, so it suppresses the abnormality at the molecular level in the salivary gland. It also significantly lowered the serum autoantibodies, reducing the severity of Sjogren's syndrome-like symptoms," Dr. Hsu says. Autoantibodies are antibodies the body makes against itself...supports earlier research showing EGCG's impact on helping prevent autoimmune disease..."If the abnormal expression of these genes is the same in humans as in the animal model, then the second stage will be intervention and treatment with a pure form of EGCG,"..."

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Aerobic activity may reverse mental decline

Aerobic activity may reverse mental decline - Yahoo! News:
"Regular aerobic exercise can not only stave off the decline in brain function that often comes with age, it can also help turn back the clock on brain aging...regular moderate physical activity, enough to make a person breathless, has been shown to boost not only the speed and sharpness of thought but also the actual volume of brain tissue and the way in which the brain functions...adults ages 60 to 75 who walked briskly for 45 minutes a day three days a week not only improved their aerobic fitness but also their mental fitness -- particularly their ability to perform executive function tasks...regular moderate aerobic exercise can "reliably reverse age-related cognitive decline...physically fitter adults have less evidence of deterioration in gray matter (critical to thinking) than their less physically fit counterparts..."

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Parkinson's linked to vitamin D

BBC NEWS | Health | Parkinson's linked to vitamin D:
"A US team found 55% of Parkinson's patients had insufficient levels of vitamin D, compared to 36% of healthy elderly people...the Emory University researchers do not yet know if the vitamin deficiency is a cause or the result of having Parkinson's...scientists say it may also be possible that low vitamin D levels are in some way related to the genesis and origin of the disease...More recently, scientists have been uncovering its effects elsewhere, including producing peptides that fight microbes in the skin, regulating blood pressure and insulin levels, and maintaining the nervous system. Low vitamin D levels also appear to increase the risk of several cancers and auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes. "

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Circadian Clock May Be Critical For Remembering What You Learn, Researchers Say

Circadian Clock May Be Critical For Remembering What You Learn, Researchers Say: "ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2008) — The circadian rhythm that quietly pulses inside us all, guiding our daily cycle from sleep to wakefulness and back to sleep again, may be doing much more than just that simple metronomic task...has shown that having a functioning circadian system is critical to the hamsters' ability to remember what they have learned. Without it, he said, "They can't remember anything."...The change in learning retention appears to hinge on the amount of a neurochemical called GABA, which acts to inhibit brain activity. All mammal brains function according to the balance between neurochemicals that excite the brain and those that calm it. The circadian clock controls the daily cycle of sleep and wakefulness by inhibiting different parts of the brain by releasing GABA...if the hippocampus - the part of the brain where memories are stored - is overly inhibited, then the circuits responsible for memory storage don't function properly..."What I thought was happening was that our animals were having chronically high levels of GABA because they had lost their circadian rhythm," Ruby said. "So instead of rhythmic GABA, it is just constant GABA output."...gave the circadian-deficient hamsters a GABA antagonist called pentylenetetrazole, or PTZ, which blocks GABA from binding to synapses, thereby allowing the synapses to continue firing and keeping the brain in a more excited state. It worked. The learning-impaired hamsters caught up with their intact peers to exhibit the same level of learning retention...Other researchers working with mouse models of Alzheimer's disease have reported similar findings. When those mice were given GABA antagonists, their ability to learn was restored, suggesting a possible link with their circadian system... findings may also have implications for the decline in memory function that older adults in general experience..."

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

'St John's Wort plant as effective as Prozac for treating depression

'St John's Wort plant as effective as Prozac for treating depression', say scientists | Mail Online:
"In what is billed as the most thorough study of the plant, scientists have found it is just as effective as Prozac at treating depression...It also had fewer side effects than many standard drugs used to help those battling despair...Experts do not know exactly how the plant lifts depression, although most believe it probably works by keeping the chemical serotonin, which is linked to positive moods, in the brain for longer...St John's Wort products available in health food shops and chemists differed greatly and some may be more effective than others..."

St. John's Wort Relieves Symptoms Of Major Depression, Study Shows: "ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2008) — New research provides support for the use of St. John's wort extracts in treating major depression."

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

IGF-1 Differences Between People And Animals On Calorie Restriction

Differences Between People And Animals On Calorie Restriction: "ScienceDaily (Sep. 26, 2008) — Calorie restriction, a diet that is low in calories and high in nutrition, may not be as effective at extending life in people as it is in rodents...the new research suggests the diet may not have the desired effect unless people on calorie restriction also pay attention to their protein intake...In the majority of the animal models of longevity, extended lifespan involves pathways related to a growth factor called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1), which is produced primarily in the liver. Production is stimulated by growth hormone and can be reduced by fasting or by insensitivity to growth hormone. In calorie-restricted animals, levels of circulating IGF-1 decline between 30 percent and 40 percent..."For years, we have been following a cohort of people from the CR Society who have been on long-term calorie restriction. We found no difference in IGF-1 levels between people on calorie restriction and those who are not."..."The vegans had significantly less circulating IGF-1, even if they were heavier and had more body fat than CRONies," he says. "Protein in the diet seemed to correlate with the lower levels of IGF-1. The strict vegans took in about 10 percent of their total calories from protein, whereas those on calorie restriction tended to get about 23 or 24 percent of calories from protein."..."It's much easier to restrict protein than to restrict calories," he says. "If our research is on the right track, maybe humans don't need to be so calorie restricted. Limiting protein intake to .7 or .8 grams per kilogram per day might be more effective. That's just a hypothesis. We have to confirm it in future studies."..."

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IGF-1 - more on insulin-like growth factor 1 - longevity connection

More on IGF-1 - a complicated picture is emerging as you'll see by the following articles. Part of the problem might be that IGF-1 appears to influence more than 800 genes and every cell in our body. So tease that apart for a hobby.

Shorter Women May Have Very Long Lives: Gene Mutation Found: ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2008)"the female children of the centenarians had IGF-I plasma levels that were 35 percent higher than female controls--perhaps a sign that the body was compensating for a glitch in IGF-I signaling by secreting increased amounts of the hormone. That suspicion was strengthened by two other findings: the daughters of centenarians were 2.5 cm shorter than female controls; and when the researchers analyzed the gene coding for the IGF-I cell-surface receptor molecule to which the IGF-I hormone binds, the receptor genes of centenarians and their daughters were much more likely to have a variety of mutations than were the receptor genes of the controls..."Our findings suggest that, by interfering with IGF-I signaling, these gene mutations somehow play a role in extending the human life span, as they do in many other organisms,"..."

Hormone May Hold Key To Helping Elderly Men Live Longer: "ScienceDaily (May 28, 2008) — Elderly men with higher activity of the hormone IGF-1--or insulin-growth factor 1--appear to have greater life expectancy and reduced cardiovascular risk"

Study Shows New Method Of Growth Hormone Dosing Improves Height: ScienceDaily June 7, 2005,"'We feel confident that IGF-based growth hormone dosing could become a novel paradigm in treating growth hormone deficiency, resulting in improved height increases for these children. The growth hormone dose targeted to achieve the higher IGF-I level produced especially meaningful increases in height compared to conventional weight-based methods of determining doses,'"

Deficiency Of Growth Hormone And IGF-1 Reduces Cancer And Kidney Disease, But Creates Other Problems: "ScienceDaily (Apr. 7, 2005) — WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Deficiencies of growth hormone and similar compounds may reduce cancer and kidney disease late in life, but also may lead to cartilage degeneration and impaired memory and learning ability"

Growth Factor Signals Influence Balance Between Normal Growth And Cancerous Growth: ScienceDaily (Nov. 10, 2006) "So it is with the body's delicate concentration of growth factors. Too much of a signaling protein called insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) may fan the flames of cancer, while too little of the protein may cause short stature, dementia and osteoporosis, among other problems."

Study Raises Questions About Prostate Cancer Therapies Targeting IGF-1: "ScienceDaily (May 1, 2008) — Therapies under development to treat prostate cancer by inhibiting the ability of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) to activate its target receptor could have unexpected results especially if a major tumor suppressor gene -- p53 -- is already compromised"

Growth Factor Predicts Poor Outcome In Breast Cancer: "ScienceDaily (Aug. 29, 2008) — The response to insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) in breast cancer cells predicts an aggressive tumor that is less likely to respond to treatment"

Why Elite Rowers Have Bigger, Stronger Hearts: "Elite rowers were found to have higher levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) compared to healthy sedentary volunteers. In these athletes, IGF-1 values correlate with enlargement and strengthening of heart muscle cells."

Growth Hormone Found To Have New Role In Development Of Brain's Smell Center: "ScienceDaily (Mar. 27, 2008) — A human hormone known to stimulate the growth of cells throughout the body has a new role - helping to set up the proper nerve connections in the odor center of the brain"

Green Tea Polyphenols Thwart Prostate Cancer Development At Multiple Levels: "'Consumption of GTP led to reduced levels of IGF-1,'"

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Meat 'ups prostate cancer risk' - IGF-1 connection

BBC NEWS | Health | Meat 'ups prostate cancer risk':
"Eating meat and dairy products may increase the risk of prostate cancer, research suggests...Such a diet raises levels of a hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) which promotes cell with high blood levels of IGF-1 were up to 40% more likely to develop prostate cancer than those with low levels...levels could be up to 15% higher in people who ate a lot of meat and dairy products...raised levels of IGF-1 were likely not only to increase the risk of developing prostate cancer, but also to aid the spread of tumours...cells fed IGF-1 grow much more quickly..."

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Indian Spice In Turmeric Reduces Size Of Hemorrhagic Stroke

Indian Spice In Turmeric Reduces Size Of Hemorrhagic Stroke:
ScienceDaily (Sep. 23, 2008)
''...This active ingredient of the Indian curry spice, turmeric, not only lowers your chances of getting cancer and Alzheimer's disease, but may reduce the size of a hemorrhagic stroke, say Medical College of Georgia researchers..."We found that curcumin significantly decreases the size of a blood clot, but we're not sure why it happens," says the Alpharetta native. He thinks it may be because curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. For the study, he dissolved the yellow powder, which gives turmeric its color, in corn oil and injected it into the abdomen of an animal model of hemorrhagic stroke three times over three hours. He suspects less may work and is trying to establish the optimal dose and timing..."

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Fans found to help prevent sudden infant deaths

Fans found to help prevent sudden infant deaths - Yahoo! News:
"Infants who slept in a bedroom with a fan had a 72 percent lower risk of SIDS, also known as crib death or cot death, compared to babies sleeping in rooms without a fan...This was regardless of sleep position. Opening a window reduced the risk by 36 percent, they added...Their study, published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, speculated that ventilation prevents the pooling of carbon dioxide around a baby's nose and mouth, decreasing the chance of breathing in exhaled air...It said there still is no substitute for the most effective means known to reduce SIDS -- placing infants to sleep on their backs. Other measures include using a firm mattresses and avoiding soft bedding such as comforters, preventing overheating, and not smoking while pregnant or around babies...In the United States the rate of SIDS dropped by 56 percent from 1992 to 2003 after education efforts were launched promoting the on-the-back sleeping position...Despite that, SIDS is still the leading cause of death among U.S. infants in the first year of life, and the third-leading cause of overall infant deaths generally."

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Vitamin C May Interfere With Cancer Treatment

Vitamin C May Interfere With Cancer Treatment - Well Blog -
"The researchers found that just like healthy cells, cancer cells also benefit from vitamin C. The vitamin appeared to repair a cancer cell’s damaged mitochondria, the energy center of cells. When the mitochondria is injured, it sends signals that force the cell to die, but vitamin C interrupts that process...“Vitamin C appears to protect the mitochondria from extensive damage, thus saving the cell,” Dr. Heaney said. “And whether directly or not, all anticancer drugs work to disrupt the mitochondria to push cell death.”...Dr. Heaney measured the buildup of vitamin C levels in cells and said that the levels of vitamin C used in the experiments were similar to those that would result if a patient took large doses of the vitamin in supplement form. Earlier research at the cancer center showed that vitamin C seems to accumulate within cancer cells more than in normal cells."

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Meditation Gives Brain a Charge

Meditation Gives Brain a Charge, Study Finds (
"Brain research is beginning to produce concrete evidence for something that Buddhist practitioners of meditation have maintained for centuries: Mental discipline and meditative practice can change the workings of the brain and allow people to achieve different levels of awareness...over the past few years, researchers at the University of Wisconsin working with Tibetan monks have been able to translate those mental experiences into the scientific language of high-frequency gamma waves and brain synchrony, or coordination. And they have pinpointed the left prefrontal cortex, an area just behind the left forehead, as the place where brain activity associated with meditation is especially intense..."What we found is that the longtime practitioners showed brain activation on a scale we have never seen before"...especially interested in measuring gamma waves, some of the highest-frequency and most important electrical brain impulses...the electrodes picked up much greater activation of fast-moving and unusually powerful gamma waves in the monks, and found that the movement of the waves through the brain was far better organized and coordinated...some of the monks produced gamma wave activity more powerful than any previously reported in a healthy person..."

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Clean living 'slows cell ageing'

BBC NEWS | Health | Clean living 'slows cell ageing':
"Taking more exercise and eating the right foods may help increase levels of an enzyme vital for guarding against age-related cell damage, work suggests...Among 24 men asked to adopt healthy lifestyle changes for a US study in The Lancet Oncology, levels of telomerase increased by 29% on average...a diet high in fruit and vegetables, supplements of vitamins and fish oils, an exercise regimen and classes in stress management, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises...Increases in telomerase activity were linked with decreases in "bad" LDL cholesterol and decreases in one measure of stress - intrusive thoughts...there is evidence to suggest that telomere shortness and low telomerase activity might be important risk factors for cancer and cardiovascular disease..."

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Fish in children's diet cuts eczema risk

Fish in children's diet cuts eczema risk: study - Yahoo! News:
"Feeding babies as little as one portion of fish before they are nine months old may cut their risk of developing eczema, Swedish researchers said on Thursday...Introducing fish of any type into the diet curbed the risk of contracting the skin condition by 25 percent compared with children who never ate it..."There was no link with the amount of fish or type of fish. We think it is more the timing of the introduction."..."It must have something to do with its influence on the developing immune system,"..."

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Outdoor pools boost child's asthma risk

Outdoor pools boost child's asthma risk: study - Yahoo! News: 2008.09.24
" Swimming in outdoor chlorinated pools appears to increase the odds a child will develop asthma...Other studies have linked chlorine and asthma but the new findings published in the European Respiratory Journal cast doubt on the idea outdoor pools are safer than indoor ones where chlorine vapors remains trapped inside an enclosed space..."The more you swim, the higher the risk"...And because children tend to spend more time in pools they are more likely to swallow chlorinated water or ingest vapors containing chemicals that attack the cellular barriers protecting the lung from allergens...Children with the highest pool attendance -- one hour per week for 10 years -- were five times more likely to be asthmatic than young people who had never swum in a pool..."Young children are more exposed because they take more water into their airways and their lungs are still developing,"..."

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vitamin B-12 may prevent memory loss

BBC NEWS | Health | Vitamin 'may prevent memory loss':
"Older people with lower than average vitamin B12 levels were more than six times more likely to experience brain shrinkage, researchers concluded..."This study adds another dimension to our understanding of the effects of B vitamins on the brain - the rate of shrinkage of the brain as we age may be partly influenced by what we eat." ...Shrinkage has been strongly linked with a higher risk of developing dementia at a later stage..."

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Antioxidant cream guards skin from UV damage

Antioxidant cream guards skin from UV damage - Yahoo! News: "Thu Sep 18, 2008
"(Reuters Health) - A cream containing vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid protects the skin from sun damage and reduces cancer-associated mutations in skin cells, new research shows...The cream's "mechanism of action is different from sunscreens and would be expected to supplement the sun protection provided by sunscreens,"...The active cream almost completely blocked the production of thymine dimers, a type of UV-related genetic damage, as well as the induction of the tumor suppressor gene p53...While unprotected skin exposed to UV radiation produced substances called cytokines that promote inflammation and suppress immune system function, protected skin did not..."

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Dietary trans fatty acids may be linked to fetal loss

Dietary trans fatty acids may be linked to fetal loss - Yahoo! News:
Thu Sep 18, 2008
"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Trans fatty acids, the much maligned 'solid' fats implicated as artery-clogging contributors to cardiovascular disease, may also increase the risk of fetal death during pregnancy, study findings suggest...Earlier studies have also found a relationship between a diet high in trans fatty acids and increased insulin resistance. This, in turn, increases the activity of plasminogen activator inhibitor, which has been associated with fetal loss...After categorizing the study population according to average trans fat intake, the investigators found the rate of fetal loss increased from 30 percent among those with the lowest intake of trans fat in the diet (2.2 percent of total calories on average) to 52 percent among women with the highest intake of trans fat (defined as 4.7 percent of total calories)...As the percent of calories from trans fat increased, so did the risk of having one or more fetal losses, Glueck and colleagues report. This association was independent of body mass, insulin and glucose levels, and other factors potentially associated with risk for fetal loss..."

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mom's Mood, Baby's Sleep: What's The Connection?

Mom's Mood, Baby's Sleep: What's The Connection?: "ScienceDaily (Sep. 2, 2008) - ...those first six months of life are crucial to developing the regular sleeping and waking patterns, known as circadian rhythms, that a child will need for a healthy future...Babies whose mothers experienced depression any time before they became pregnant, or developed mood problems while they were pregnant, are much more prone to having chaotic sleep patterns in the first half-year of life than babies born to non-depressed moms...infants born to depressed moms nap more during the day, take much longer to settle down to sleep at night, and wake up more often during the night. It's a baby form of the insomnia that millions of adults know all too well..."Keeping a very regular sleep schedule is incredibly important," says Armitage. "We know that for both children and adults, and from this study we now know that for infants, the more stable the bedtime the less chaotic sleep is during the night."...Armitage and her team have devoted years to studying the links between sleep and depression, and the circadian rhythms, light-dark exposure, and other factors that appear to make a difference in sleep and mood. Over the past decade, they've shown that all are strongly linked..."We think we've identified one of the risk factors that may contribute to these infants' going on to develop depression later in life," says Armitage. "Not everybody who has poor sleep or weak circadian rhythms will develop depression, but if sleep stays consistently disrupted and circadian rhythms are weak, the risk is significantly elevated."...That's why, she says, it's so crucial to help all babies – and new parents – get the sleep they need."...Those first few months, in fact, are a kind of training camp for the baby's sleep in the future, Armitage says. Babies' bodies and brains need to be trained to understand that they should sleep when it's dark, and be awake when it's light – the basic circadian rhythm that governs sleep patterns for a person's entire life. This sets the baby's "body clock" right from the start..."

At some point in time the mainstream media will wake up and begin covering the story about how amazingly sensitive hundreds of genes are during prenatal and postnatal. OB's also need to become educated. Research clearly shows that certain foods, supplements and actions can change the health of your child... for life. You'd think this topic would be front page news on a regular basis... as it is this story on sleep, like so many others, is almost completely under appreciated in terms of significance.

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Why Folate Might Reduce Colon Cancer

New Evidence On Folic Acid In Diet And Colon Cancer: "ScienceDaily (Sep. 1, 2008) — Researchers in the United Kingdom and Texas are reporting a new, more detailed explanation for the link between low folate intake and an increased risk for colon cancer...scientists grew human colon cells in folate-depleted and folate-enriched tissue culture. They found that folate depletion caused increased DNA damage and a cascade of other biological changes linked to an increased cancer risk."

Sloppy work by the authors. Folate is the natural form, folic acid is the synthetic form. Folic acid has it's benefits but it has also been tied to various cancers. The evidence is fairly clear, so get this B vitamin from natural sources if you can.

FoodMicrograms (μg)% DV^
*Breakfast cereals fortified with 100% of the DV, ¾ cup 400100
Beef liver, cooked, braised, 3 ounces18545
Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature, cooked, boiled, ½ cup10525

Spinach, frozen, cooked, boiled, ½ cup10025
Great Northern beans, boiled, ½ cup9020
Asparagus, boiled, 4 spears8520

Vegetarian baked beans, canned, 1 cup6015
Spinach, raw, 1 cup6015
Green peas, frozen, boiled, ½ cup 5015
Broccoli, chopped, frozen, cooked, ½ cup 5015

Broccoli, raw, 2 spears (each 5 inches long)4510
Avocado, raw, all varieties, sliced, ½ cup sliced4510
Peanuts, all types, dry roasted, 1 ounce4010
Lettuce, Romaine, shredded, ½ cup 4010
Wheat germ, crude, 2 Tablespoons4010
Tomato Juice, canned, 6 ounces3510
Orange juice, chilled, includes concentrate, ¾ cup3510
Turnip greens, frozen, cooked, boiled, ½ cup308
Orange, all commercial varieties, fresh, 1 small308

Egg, whole, raw, fresh, 1 large256
Cantaloupe, raw, ¼ medium256
Papaya, raw, ½ cup cubes 256
Banana, raw, 1 medium206

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Walking Boosts Brainpower

Walking Boosts Brainpower: WebMD
"Older adults who take a brisk stroll just three times a week could boost their brainpower and reduce the risk of memory-robbing illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease...Those in the exercise group scored higher on cognitive tests and had better delayed recall. For example, they could more accurately remember a list of words after a certain amount of time had passed...the benefits could be seen after 6 months and that they lasted for at least a year after the program's end..."

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Genetic Key to Longevity?

Genetic Key to Longevity?: "Sept. 2, 2008 -- Scientists looking into aging say they've found a gene that's related to living a long and healthy life...One gene called FOXO3A caught the researchers' attention. Participants who were in better health had similarities on that gene...The study showed the long-lived group was leaner (lower waist-to-hip ratio), had lower levels of blood fats (triglycerides), lower glucose and insulin levels, and greater prevalence of FOXO3A gene variation at baseline..."up to 50% of the variation in human life span might be explained by genetic differences."...The FOXO3A gene is located on what researchers call the "insulin signaling pathway" and may be linked to how cells respond to stress...In studies done with mice and roundworms, genes that are along the insulin signaling pathway seem to protect against obesity that can come with aging, stress on a cellular level, and life span."

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Helmet law halved child bike deaths

Helmet law halved child bike deaths - Yahoo! News:
"The number of bike-related deaths among children younger than 16 fell by more than half after a Canadian bike-helmet law went into effect..."

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High fiber intake may cut preeclampsia risk

High fiber intake may cut preeclampsia risk - Yahoo! News:
"Pregnant women who increase their fiber intake by 5 grams a day -- the equivalent of 2 slices of whole grain bread -- may reduce their risk of developing preeclampsia by about 14 percent, researchers report...Women who reported eating at least 21.2 grams of total fiber a day, compared with those eating less than 11.9 grams daily, were 67 percent less likely to develop preeclampsia...They calculate that every 5-gram increase in daily fiber intake led to a 14 percent reduction in preeclampsia risk...Moreover, women with the highest fiber intake had triglycerides nearly 12 points lower and high-density lipoproteins ('good' cholesterol) more than 2.6 points higher than women with the lowest daily fiber intake..."

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Broccoli Could Reverse The Heart Damaging Effects Of Diabetes

Broccoli Could Reverse The Heart Damaging Effects Of Diabetes: "ScienceDaily (Aug. 26, 2008) — Researchers have discovered eating broccoli could undo the damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels...a broccoli compound called Sulforaphane. This compound can encourage the body to produce more enzymes to protect the vessels, as well as reduce high levels of molecules which cause significant cell damage...Past studies have shown that a diet rich in vegetables – particularly brassica vegetables such as broccoli – is linked to decreased risk of heart disease and stroke...The results of the study showed that Sulforaphane reversed this increase in ROS by 73 per cent...Sulforaphane activated a protein in the body called nrf2, which protects cells and tissues from oxidative stress by activating protective antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes. The study showed the presence of Sulforaphane in human microvascular cells doubled the activation of nrf2..."

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Black Raspberries Slow Cancer By Altering Hundreds Of Genes

Black Raspberries Slow Cancer By Altering Hundreds Of Genes: "ScienceDaily (Aug. 27, 2008) — New research strongly suggests that a mix of preventative agents, such as those found in concentrated black raspberries, may more effectively inhibit cancer development than single agents aimed at shutting down a particular gene...Researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center examined the effect of freeze-dried black raspberries on genes altered by a chemical carcinogen in an animal model of esophageal cancer...The carcinogen affected the activity of some 2,200 genes in the animals’ esophagus in only one week, but 460 of those genes were restored to normal activity in animals that consumed freeze-dried black raspberry powder as part of their diet during the exposure...“We have clearly shown that berries, which contain a variety of anticancer compounds, have a genome-wide effect on the expression of genes involved in cancer development,”...Stoner notes that black raspberries have vitamins, minerals, phenols and phytosterols, many of which individually are known to prevent cancer in animals...“Freeze drying the berries concentrates these elements about ten times, giving us a power pack of chemoprevention agents that can influence the different signaling pathways that are deregulated in cancer,” he says...“What’s emerging from studies in cancer chemoprevention is that using single compounds alone is not enough,” Stoner says. “And berries are not enough. We never get 100 percent tumor inhibition with berries. So we need to think about another food that we can add to them that will boost the chemopreventive activities of berries alone.”..."

Another part of the equation must surely be the chemoprevention found in cruciferous vegetables - such as sulforaphanes in broccoli.

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How Diet, Antioxidants Prevent Blindness In Aging Population

How Diet, Antioxidants Prevent Blindness In Aging Population: "ScienceDaily (Aug. 27, 2008) — A new study reveals part of the magic behind a diet rich in antioxidants, showing how artichokes, blueberries and pecans can hold at bay the leading cause of age-related blindness in developed countries...Researchers at Brigham Young University and Weill Medical College of Cornell University discovered a link between two processes in the retina that, in combination, contribute to a disease called macular degeneration. They found antioxidants disrupt the link and extend the lifetime of irreplaceable photoreceptors and other retinal cells..."

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Researchers link cocoa flavanols to improved brain blood flow

Researchers link cocoa flavanols to improved brain blood flow: "(August 18, 2008) – Cocoa flavanols, the unique compounds found naturally in cocoa, may increase blood flow to the brain...The researchers suggest that long-term improvements in brain blood flow could impact cognitive behavior, offering future potential for debilitating brain conditions including dementia and stroke...n a scientific study of healthy, older adults ages 59 to 83, Harvard medical scientists found that study participants who regularly drank a cocoa flavanol-rich beverage made using the Mars, Incorporated Cocoapro® process had an eight percent increase in brain blood flow after one week, and 10 percent increase after two weeks...The body of research not only suggests that cocoa flavanols may provide a dietary approach to maintaining cardiovascular function and health, but also points at new possibilities for cocoa flavanol-based interventions for vascular complications associated with cognitive performance, skin health and age-related blood vessel dysfunction..."

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Plant-based flavonoids may cut ovarian cancer risk

Plant-based flavonoids may cut ovarian cancer risk - Yahoo! News:
"women with the highest flavonol intake were 37 percent less likely to have ovarian cancer than women with the lowest flavonol intake...High intake of isoflavones cut ovarian cancer risk by 49 percent...Isoflavones are found in tea and soy foods, both of which have been linked to a lower ovarian cancer risk, possibly due to isoflavones' estrogen-blocking effects, Rossi and her colleagues note...Flavonols are found in many fruits and vegetables, they add. Adjusting the findings for women's fruit and vegetable intake didn't change the relationship between flavonol intake and ovarian cancer risk, the researchers note, suggesting that "flavonols may have a distinct role in explaining the effect of fruit and vegetable against ovarian cancer.""

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DHEA doesn't appear to boost brain power, well-being

DHEA may not boost brain power, well-being - Yahoo! News:
"By the year's end, the researchers found no clear differences between the two groups in tests of memory and other cognitive abilities. Nor did DHEA seem to benefit participants' general well-being and quality of life -- as measured by standard questionnaires on depression symptoms, life satisfaction, sexual function and general physical and mental health...supplement users in her study saw their initial DHEA levels rise by two to four times. Despite this restoration of "youthful" levels, Kritz-Silverstein noted, there were no improvements in cognitive function or well-being."

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Killer Carbs -- Scientist Finds Key To Overeating As We Age

Killer Carbs -- Scientist Finds Key To Overeating As We Age: "ScienceDaily (Aug. 22, 2008) — A Monash University scientist has discovered key appetite control cells in the human brain degenerate over time, causing increased hunger and potentially weight-gain as we grow older...cells are attacked by free radicals after eating and said the degeneration is more significant following meals rich in carbohydrates and sugars..."When the stomach is empty, it triggers the ghrelin hormone that notifies the brain that we are hungry. When we are full, a set of neurons known as POMC's kick in. "However, free radicals created naturally in the body attack the POMC neurons. This process causes the neurons to degenerate overtime, affecting our judgement as to when our hunger is satisfied,"..."

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Use Of Cleaning Products During Pregnancy Increases Risk Of Asthma In Young Children

Use Of Cleaning Products During Pregnancy Increases Risk Of Asthma In Young Children: "ScienceDaily (Aug. 7, 2008) — Women who use a lot of household cleaning products when they are pregnant, or shortly after giving birth, are increasing their child’s risk of developing asthma. That’s according to the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents of Children (ALSPAC, also known as Children of the Nineties), that recruited over 13,000 children from before birth and has followed them to post 16...early life exposure to the chemicals contained in household cleaning products was linked to a 41% increase in a child’s chances of developing asthma by the age of 7 years...“Previous research has shown that a child’s risk of developing asthma is lower if he or she is exposed to bacteria or bacterial products (endotoxins) in early life (‘hygiene hypothesis’), probably because it assists in the development of a child’s immune system...However, our research suggests that one possible mechanism for this hypothesis may involve the chemicals found in domestic cleaning products. These chemicals have been linked to increased risk of asthma with additional evidence from studies of workers who have exposure to cleaning chemicals”."

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New Evidence On Benefits Of Breast Feeding

New Evidence On Benefits Of Breast Feeding: "ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2008) — Researchers in Switzerland and Australia are reporting identification of proteins in human breast-milk — not present in cow's milk — that may fight disease by helping remove bacteria, viruses and other dangerous pathogen's from an infant's gastrointestinal tract... fat particles in human milk are coated with particular variants of two sugar-based proteins, called MUC-1 and MUC-4. Previous studies by others have shown that these proteins can block certain receptors in the GI tract that are the main attachment sites for E. coli, Helicobacter pylori and other disease-causing microbes, thereby preventing infection. By contrast, since cow's milk lacks these protein variants, it may not offer the same disease protection..."

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Eat Oily Fish At Least Once A Week To Protect Your Eyesight In Old Age

Eat Oily Fish At Least Once A Week To Protect Your Eyesight In Old Age: Science Daily
"...people who habitually consume oily fish at least once a week compared with less than once a week are 50% less likely to have wet AMD. There was no benefit from consumption of non oily white fish. There was a strong inverse association between levels of DHA and EPA and wet AMD. People in the top 25% of DHA and EPA levels (300 mg per day and above) were 70% less likely to have wet AMD..."

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Low vitamin D shown to raise death risk

Low vitamin D shown to raise death risk: U.S. study - Yahoo! News:
"Adults with a vitamin D deficiency are more likely to die than those with high levels, another indication of the nutrient's vital role in guarding against ailments from heart disease to cancer...Those with the lowest levels of the "sunshine vitamin" had a 26 percent increased risk of death over eight years compared to those with the highest levels..."We think we have additional evidence to consider adding vitamin D deficiency as a distinct and separate risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease, putting it alongside much better known and understood risk factors such as age, gender, family history, smoking, high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, obesity and diabetes," ...Scientists have evidence that Vitamin D helps lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system..."

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