Thursday, May 29, 2008

Exercise Cuts Cancer Death In Men

Exercise Cuts Cancer Death In Men: "...Over the seven year period of the study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, 3,714 men developed cancer and 1,153 died from the disease. Men who walked or cycled for at least 30 minutes a day had an increased survival from cancer with 33 per cent, than the men who exercised less or did nothing at all..."

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Children Eat More Fruits And Vegetables If They Are Homegrown

Children Eat More Fruits And Vegetables If They Are Homegrown: ScienceDaily
"'It was a simple, clear finding,' said Debra Haire-Joshu, Ph.D., director of Saint Louis University's Obesity Prevention Center and a study author. 'Whether a food is homegrown makes a difference. Garden produce creates what we call a 'positive food environment."..."When children are involved with growing and cooking food, it improves their diet," Haire-Joshu said. "Students at schools with gardens learn about math and science and they also eat more fruits and vegetables. Kids eat healthier and they know more about eating healthy. It's a winning and low-cost strategy to improve the nutrition of our children at a time when the pediatric obesity is an epidemic problem."

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Fruits, Vegetables And Teas May Protect Smokers From Lung Cancer

Fruits, Vegetables And Teas May Protect Smokers From Lung Cancer, Researchers Report: "ScienceDaily
— Tobacco smokers who eat three servings of fruits and vegetables per day and drink green or black tea may be protecting themselves from lung cancer, according to a first-of-its-kind study by UCLA cancer researchers...flavonoids that appeared to be the most protective included catechin, found in strawberries and green and black teas, kaempferol, found in Brussels sprouts and apples, and quercetin, found in beans, onions and apples...flavonoids protect against lung cancer by blocking the formation of blood vessels that tumors develop so they can grow and spread, a process called angiogenesis. They also stop cancer cells from growing, allowing for naturally programmed cell death, or apoptosis, to occur...The antioxidant properties found in the flavonoids also may work to counteract the DNA damaging effects of tobacco smoking, Zhang said, explaining why they affected the development of lung cancer in smokers but not in non-smokers..."The naturally occurring chemicals may be working to reduce the damage caused by smoking," Zhang said."

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Mediterranean diet may stop diabetes

Mediterranean diet may also help stop diabetes - Yahoo! News:
"A Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables -- already known to protect against heart disease -- also appears to help ward off diabetes... people who stuck closely to the diet were 83 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes...the protection appeared to extend to older people, smokers and volunteers with a family history of diabetes -- a group all the more prone to the disease -- shows the diet works..."

From Wiki ""abundant plant foods, fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert, olive oil as the principal source of fat, dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt), and fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, zero to four eggs consumed weekly, red meat consumed in low amounts, and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts". Total fat in this diet is "<> 35%" of calories, with saturated fat at 8% or less of calories."

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Buckthorn Leaves May Help Protect Against Liver Damage

Miracle Leaves That May Help Protect Against Liver Damage: ScienceDaily
"Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) berries are well known for their cholesterol busting properties, but scientists in India say that its leaves are also rich in anti-oxidants and may help ward off liver disease...Indigineous to the mountainous regions of China and Russia, sea buckthorn has been shown to be rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids and essential fatty acids. The leaves are also used to make a tea...liver damage was severely restricted in the rats given leaf extract..."

Ghengis Khan Wonder Berry Could Conquer Heart Disease: "ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2006) — Berries taken since the time of Ghengis Khan could form the basis of the next big thing in heart health. Sea buckthorn is a known source of biologically active chemicals and is used in Tibet, Mongolia, China and Russia for health drinks and various cosmetics."

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Organic Free Grazing Cows Produce Better Milk

Organic Free Grazing Cows Are Cream Of The Crop: ScienceDaily
"‘We have known for some time that what cows are fed has a big influence on milk quality,’ explained Gillian Butler, livestock project manager for the Nafferton Ecological Farming Group at Newcastle University, who led the study. ‘What is different about this research is it clearly shows that on organic farms, letting cows graze naturally, using forage-based diet, is the most important reason for the differences in the composition between organic and conventional milk...grazing cows on organic farms in the UK produce milk which contains significantly higher beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins than their conventional ‘high input’ counterparts...During the summer months, one of the beneficial fats in particular – conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA9 – was found to be 60% higher...‘We’ve shown that significant seasonal differences exist, with nutritionally desirable fatty acids and antioxidants being highest during the summer, when the cows are eating fresh grass and clover...higher concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids in milk from organic production systems than conventional ones...CLA, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and carotenoids have all been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. CLA is hugely popular in the US, where it is marketed as a nutritional supplement. However, synthetic supplements often contain compounds with a different chemical composition (isomer balance) than those occurring naturally in milk, resulting in an equal dose of both ‘good’ (i.e. CLA9, omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin E and carotenoids) and ‘less desirable’ fatty acids (i.e. omega-6 fatty acids and CLA10)...‘Switching to organic milk provides an alternative, natural way to increase our intake of nutritionally desirable fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants without increasing our intake of less desirable fatty acids and synthetic forms of vitamin E,’ said Mrs Butler. ‘In organic milk, the omega-3 levels increase but the omega-6 does not, which helps to improve the crucial ratio between the two.’"

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Possible treatment for inflammatory bowel disease with probiotic

Gut feeling: bacteria may inspire bowel treatment - Yahoo! News
"...a complex sugar molecule made naturally by a species of intestinal bacteria called Bacteroides fragilis prevented the development of an animal version of inflammatory bowel disease in laboratory mice..."We are colonized in our intestine normally with many bacteria -- 100 trillion or so," Dennis Kasper, a professor of medicine, microbiology and molecular genetics at Harvard Medical School...When the scientists exposed the mice to the "good" bacterium, Bacteroides fragilis, they were protected from an inflammatory bowel condition due to the action of a sugar molecule, called polysaccharide A, made by the bacterium...Mice that were given oral doses of just the sugar molecule also were protected...The sugar molecule worked by stimulating the mouse immune system to make a substance called interleukin-10, which changes the body's response to the disease-causing bacteria, dampening inflammation..."

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Sleep linked to brain cell creation - neurogenesis

BrainConnection - The Brain and Learning: (UPI via COMTEX)
" Losing sleep may cause the brain to stop producing new brain cells, a study conducted by New Jersey's Princeton University has found...By depriving rats of sleep for 72 hours, the researchers found that those animals consequently had increased amounts of the stress hormone corticosterone, and produced significantly fewer new brain cells in the hippocampus...When the rats' sleep patterns were returned to normal a week later, their levels of nerve-cell production remained hindered for two weeks."

Four Days Of REM Sleep Deprivation Affects Forebrain, Long-term Memory In Rats: "ScienceDaily (Feb. 6, 2008)"

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cocoa for Diabetes?

Cocoa for Diabetes?: WebMD
"Compounds in Cocoa Could Help Ward Off Heart Complications...Patients who drank the high-flavonol cocoa for one month had their blood vessel function improve from severely impaired to normal. Drinking the low-dose flavanol cocoa did not result in any significant changes in blood vessel function...dietary flavonols might have an important impact as part of a healthy diet in the prevention of cardiovascular complications in diabetic patients..."

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Studies link lead to adult crime, brain damage

Studies link lead to adult crime, brain damage - Yahoo! News:
"Exposure to lead in early childhood or in the womb can cause permanent brain damage that may even cause criminal behavior, researchers reported on Tuesday...Two studies showed that people with high levels of lead in childhood grew up with blocks of missing brain cells -- and they also were far more likely to be arrested for crimes, especially violent crimes...The effect is so strong that it may account for a large percentage of crimes in inner-city areas, where old houses are far more likely to have lead paint, said Kim Dietrich of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, who led one of the studies in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine...Those with high lead levels before birth and during early childhood had higher rates of arrest than those with lower lead levels. About 55 percent of the now-grown children had at least one arrest, 28 percent involving drugs and 27 percent serious motor vehicle violations."..Lower income, inner-city children remain particularly vulnerable to lead exposure," Dietrich said...more than 1 percent of total gray matter in the brain was missing. "The most affected regions included frontal gray matter, specifically the anterior cingulate cortex," Cecil's team wrote in a second study. This region is responsible for mood regulation and decision-making.

Men were far more affected than women.

"Our findings also suggest that this structural change is permanent," they wrote.

The implications are profound, Dietrich said. "Usually the effects of lead poisoning are irreversible," he said..."

This is an unbelievably important story. If the research is correct, lead is clearly much worse than previously imagined in derailing proper brain development and function in a significant portion of our population. The next administration needs to make this a priority. And the press needs to make this story number #1 tomorrow and for the next few days. Will they?

More on lead -

Childhood Lead Exposure Is Associated With Decreased Brain Volume In Adults: ScienceDaily 2008.05.27 "...There was a "dose-response" effect--in other words, the greatest brain volume loss was seen in participants with the greatest lead exposure in childhood. The specific regions of the brain involved were those responsible for organizing actions, decisions, and behaviors (known as "executive functions"), regulating behaviors, and coordinating fine movements (known as "fine motor control")..."

Prenatal Exposure To Lead Linked To Obesity In Males: "ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2008)

Early Lead Exposure Impedes Recovery From Brain Injury: "ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2007)

How Lead Exposure Produces Learning Deficits: ScienceDaily (Apr. 4, 2007) "The study shows that exposure to levels of lead that are similar to those measured in lead-intoxicated children reduces the birth and survival of new neurons (neurogenesis) in the brain. Lead also alters the normal development of newly born neurons in a part of the brain (hippocampus) known to be important for learning and memory. The study is published in the March 30, 2007, issue of Neuroscience."

Stimulating Environment Protects Brain Against Damage From Lead Exposure: "ScienceDaily (Apr. 3, 2001)

Children More Vulnerable To Harmful Effects Of Lead: "ScienceDaily (May 5, 2008)

Very Low Lead Levels Linked With IQ Deficits, According To NEJM Study: "ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2003)

Study Links Lead Exposure To Antisocial Behavior: "ScienceDaily (Mar. 1, 2002)"

Pitt Research Shows Early Lead Exposure Is A Significant Cause Of Juvenile Delinquency: "ScienceDaily (May 16, 2000)"

Lead In The Environment Causes Violent Crime, Reports University Of Pittsburgh Researcher: "ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2005)

Even Low Lead Exposure Linked To ADHD: "ScienceDaily (Dec. 6, 2007)"

Does vitamin C intake protect against lead toxicit...[Nutr Rev. 2000] - PubMed Result: "Department of Foods and Nutrition, Faculty of Gerontology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, USA."

Chelation Therapy for Childhood Lead Poisoning::

Lead Poisoning-Topic Overview: WebMD

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Vitamin D doesn't cut prostate cancer risk

Vitamin D doesn't cut prostate cancer risk - Yahoo! News:
"..."In our study, we didn't see any protective effect of vitamin D in relation to prostate cancer risk," Jiyoung Ahn of the U.S. National Cancer Institute...Some studies have indicated it might provide other benefits. For example, one study published in January found that people with low vitamin D levels had an elevated risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke, suggesting it may protect against cardiovascular disease..."

But remember...

HEALTH & LONGEVITY: Vitamin D may slow aging

HEALTH & LONGEVITY: Vitamin D update (roundup of recent Vitamin D research)

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Experts Revisit Food Additives and ADHD

Experts Revisit Food Additives and ADHD: WebMD
"Kemp cited a recent controlled trial showing an increase in hyperactivity among children without ADHD who were fed a diet high in food colorings and the preservative sodium benzoate...of 22 studies conducted between 1975 and 1994, 16 found dietary modification to have a positive impact on at least some children with ADHD..."

Rember that sodium benzoate is thought to inactivate certain vital parts of DNA.

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Gum Disease May Raise Cancer Risk

Gum Disease May Raise Cancer Risk: WebMD
"...Compared to men with healthy gums, men with a history of gum disease were:
  • 14% more likely to develop cancer overall
  • 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer
  • 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer
  • 30% more likely to develop blood cancers
Michaud's team notes that inflammation from gum disease may play a role, but observational studies like this one don't prove cause and effect, so more research is needed to check the findings, which appear in The Lancet Oncology..."

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Compound In Frankincense Might Help Depression and Anxiety - New Class Of Antidepressants Might Be Right Under Our Noses

Burning Incense Is Psychoactive: New Class Of Antidepressants Might Be Right Under Our Noses - ScienceDaily
"...An international team of scientists, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, describe how burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression..."We found that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, when tested in mice lowers anxiety and causes antidepressive-like behavior."...They found that the compound significantly affected areas in brain areas known to be involved in emotions as well as in nerve circuits that are affected by current anxiety and depression drugs. Specifically, incensole acetate activated a protein called TRPV3, which is present in mammalian brains and also known to play a role in the perception of warmth of the skin..."

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Fasting may fend off jet lag

Skip the pretzels: starving may fend off jet lag - Yahoo! News
"Normally, the body's natural circadian clock in the brain dictates when to wake, eat and sleep, all in response to light. But it seems a second clock takes over when food is scarce, and manipulating this clock might help travelers adjust to new time zones, they said..."A period of fasting with no food at all for about 16 hours is enough to engage this new clock," said Dr. Clifford Saper of Harvard Medical School, whose study appears in the journal Science...Saper and colleagues knew that when food is scarce, animals are able to override their normal biological clock to improve their chances of finding food..."

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Diet, exercise can delay diabetes for years

Diet, exercise can delay diabetes for years: study - Yahoo! News
"Drinking less alcohol, eating more vegetables and exercising can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes...Diet and exercise reduced the incidence of diabetes by about 43 percent over 20 years..."

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Vitamin D update

Lots of news on Vitamin D recently so here are some briefs courtesy of ScienceDaily

Low Blood Levels Of Vitamin D May Be Associated With Depression In Older Adults

May 6, 2008Older adults with low blood levels of vitamin D and high blood levels of a hormone secreted by the parathyroid glands may have a higher risk of depression, according to a new report.

Vitamin D Protects Cells From Stress That Can Lead To Cancer

May 13, 2008By inducing a specific gene to increase expression of a key enzyme, vitamin D protects healthy prostate cells from the damage and injuries that can lead to cancer...

Vitamin D Linked To Reduced Mortality Rate In Chronic Kidney Disease

May 8, 2008For patients with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease, treatment with activated vitamin D may reduce the risk of death by approximately one-fourth

Link Between Vitamin D Status And Breast Cancer Illuminated

May 16, 2008Using newly available data on worldwide cancer incidence, researchers have shown a clear association between deficiency in exposure to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet B, and breast cancer...

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Cell Phones Risky during Pregnancy?

Cell Phones Risky during Pregnancy?: "Or maybe not." WebMD
"...Kids whose mothers used cell phones while pregnant had a 54% higher risk of behavior problems -- emotional problems, hyperactivity, conduct problems, and peer problems. Kids who used cell phones themselves had an 18% higher risk of behavior problems. And kids with both exposures had an 80% higher risk of behavior problems..."We tried to make it go away by controlling for smoking, which does explain behavior problems. We corrected for social issues, and for alcohol use, and mothers' psychiatric diagnoses, and it did not go away," Olsen says. "So we were left with this. Then we said, well, we'd better publish this and see if anybody else can confirm these findings."...The more exposure women had to cell phones during pregnancy, the higher the odds of behavior problems in their child. And while risk from children's use of cell phones seems improbable, it adds to the risk from fetal exposure -- by just as much as one would expect from a real 18% increase in risk..."

This is only a correlational study and needs more follow up. But such strong correlations demand immediate research on the subject.
Also -
Heavy Cell Phone Use Linked To Cancer, Study Suggests: "Dr. Sadetzki, a physician, epidemiologist and lecturer at Tel Aviv University, published the results of a study recently in the American Journal of Epidemiology, in which she and her colleagues found that heavy cell phone users were subject to a higher risk of benign and malignant tumors of the salivary gland."

Most studies indicate cell phones do not cause cancer, however the ones that do seem like compelling research. It's quite revealing that for such a ubiquitous technology, a relatively small amount of money goes into research to test whether it is safe. It might be. It might not be. But it tells you a little about human nature that we don't spend more to find out.

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DHEA Supplements Not Effective In Treating Cognitive Decline

DHEA Supplements Not Effective In Treating Cognitive Decline, Study Suggests - ScienceDaily
"...A new study published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society finds no evidence of a beneficial effect of DHEA supplements on cognitive function in healthy older adults. The researchers believe that based on their study, DHEA supplements should not be recommended for enhancement of cognitive function or well-being in the general population...."

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To Block HCAs (heterocyclic amines), Add A Touch Of Rosemary When Grilling Meats

To Block The Carcinogens, Add A Touch Of Rosemary When Grilling Meats: "
"Smith’s findings began with research into commercial rosemary extracts’ effect on stopping HCAs from forming in cooked beef patties. His research group found that the HCAs were reduced in levels ranging from 30 to 100 percent. The presence of HCAs is a potential problem in cooked beef. The likelihood of their presence is influenced by cooking time and temperature. Previous studies showed that meat products cooked below 352 degrees Fahrenheit for less than four minutes had low or undetectable levels of HCAs. The HCAs would increase as temperature and cooking time increased...rosmarinic acid, carnosol and carnosic acid – block the HCAs before they can form during heating..."

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Losing just one night's sleep makes brain prone to 'sudden shutdowns'

Losing just one night's sleep makes brain prone to 'sudden shutdowns'| News | This is London: "
"Being deprived of sleep even for one night makes the brain unstable and prone to sudden shutdowns akin to a power failure - brief lapses that hover between sleep and wakefulness, according to researchers. "It's as though it is both asleep and awake and they are switching between each other very rapidly," said David Dinges of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, whose study appears in the Journal of Neuroscience...people who are sleep-deprived alternate between periods of near-normal brain function and dramatic lapses in attention and visual processing...the lapses seem to suggest that loss of sleep renders the brain incapable of fully fending off the involuntary drive to sleep..."

Also -

Four Days Of REM Sleep Deprivation Affects Forebrain, Long-term Memory In Rats: "ScienceDaily (Feb. 6, 2008)

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Farm Moms May Help Children Beat Allergies

Farm Moms May Help Children Beat Allergies: ScienceDaily
"In a study of the children of 18 farming mothers and 59 non-farming mothers, the researchers believe they have proved their hypothesis that a mother's farm exposure affects her baby's T regulatory cells. These cells, it is now believed, act to suppress immune responses and thereby maintain immune system homeostasis to contribute to healthy immune development."

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Green Tea Puts Sleep Apnea Woes to Bed?

Green Tea Puts Sleep Apnea Woes to Bed?: WebMD
"...Green tea contains compounds called polyphenols, which animal studies suggest can protect against neurodegenerative changes related to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Green tea polyphenols (GTP) work by counteracting oxidative stress in the brain. Oxidative stress is cell damage brought on by harmful molecules called free radicals. Antioxidants protect against this damage. Oxidative stress is believed to play a role in many diseases. Signs of oxidative stress and changes in the brain have been documented among some patients with OSA...rats treated with GTP made their way through the maze better than the other rats. The researchers say their findings suggest that the chemicals in green tea can calm learning problems related to OSA-induced hypoxia. They also found that there was chemical evidence of less oxidative stress in the rats given GTP. GTPs "may represent a potential interventional strategy for patients" with sleep-disordered breathing," Gozal says."

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Can Celery, Chamomile and Green Peppers Help Cut Brain Inflammation?

Can Celery Help Cut Brain Inflammation? WebMD
"A compound found in celery and green peppers may help protect against inflammatory brain conditions. The compound, called luteolin, is a potent antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Luteolin belongs to a family of plant molecules called flavonoids, which are found in various vegetables, fruits, and beverages, including chamomile tea...luteolin reduced the inflammation triggered by the bacteria. The researchers also learned that the celery compound blocked a "promoter" to the gene that coded for an inflammatory signaling molecule..."

Plant Flavonoid In Celery And Green Peppers Found To Reduce Inflammatory Response In The Brain: "ScienceDaily (May 20, 2008) — Researchers at the University of Illinois report that a plant compound found in abundance in celery and green peppers can disrupt a key component of the inflammatory response in the brain. The findings have implications for research on aging and diseases such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis...luteolin was shutting down production of a key cytokine in the inflammatory pathway, interleukin-6 (IL-6). The effects of luteolin exposure were dramatic, resulting in as much as a 90 percent drop in IL-6 production in the LPS-treated cells. "This was just about as potent an inhibition as anything we had seen previously," Johnson said..."Inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 are very well known to inhibit certain types of learning and memory that are under the control of the hippocampus, and the hippocampus is also very vulnerable to the insults of aging," he said. "If you had the potential to decrease the production of inflammatory cytokines in the brain you could potentially limit the cognitive deficits that result."...

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What Else May Probiotics Do In Adults?

What Else May Probiotics Do In Adults?:ScienceDaily
"This study investigated the immunomodulatory effects of probiotics bacteria in healthy adults. It was found that probiotics have an anti-inflammatory potential seen as a decrease in serum CRP levels and as a reduction in bacteria-induced production of proinflammatory cytokines in peripheral blood mononuclear cells."

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Herbal Medicine (thymoquinone, an extract of nigella sativa seed oil) Kills Pancreatic Cancer Cells, Researchers Report

Traditional Herbal Medicine Kills Pancreatic Cancer Cells, Researchers Report - ScienceDaily
"...thymoquinone, an extract of nigella sativa seed oil, blocked pancreatic cancer cell growth and killed the cells by enhancing the process of programmed cell death...nigella sativa helps treat a broad array of diseases, including some immune and inflammatory disorders. Previous studies also have shown anticancer activity in prostate and colon cancers, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects...thymoquinone triggered programmed cell death in the cells, and that a number of important genes, including p53, Bax, bcl-2 and p21, were affected. The researchers found that expression of p53, a tumor suppressor gene, and Bax, a gene that promotes programmed cell death, was increased, while bcl-2, which blocks such cell death, was decreased. The p21 gene, which is involved in the regulation of different phases of the cell cycle, was substantially increased...thymoquinone caused "epigenetic" changes in pancreatic cancer cells, modifying the cells' DNA. She explains that these changes involve adding acetyl groups to the DNA structure, specifically to blocks of proteins called histones. This "acetylation" process can be important for genes to be read and translated into proteins. In this case, it could involve the genes that are key to initiating programmed cell death..."We looked at the status of the histones and found surprisingly that thymoquinone increased the acetylation process," Dr. Arafat says. "We never anticipated that."...At the same time, adding thymoquinone to pancreatic cancer cells reduced the production and activity of enzymes called histone deacetylases (HDACs), which remove the acetyl groups from the histone proteins, halting the gene transcription process. Dr. Arafat notes that HDAC inhibitors are a "hot" new class of drugs that interfere with the function of histone deacetylases, and is being studied as a treatment for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Finding that thymoquinone functions as an HDAC inhibitor, she says, "was very remarkable and really exciting."..."

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Could Nasal Vaccines Cause Complications In The Brain?

First Evidence Of Native Dendritic Cells In Brain Surprises Scientists Science Daily
"In a finding that has the potential to change the way researchers think about the brain, scientists at Rockefeller University have found dendritic cells where they’ve never been seen before: among this organ’s neurons and connective cells. The immunity-directing dendritic cell had previously been seen in the human nervous system only after brain injury or disease. But the new study shows for the first time that the brain has its own, resident population of dendritic cells that may serve as a line of defense against pathogens that sneak past the blood-brain barrier... The discovery that some dendritic cells that are native to the brain, rather than just infiltrating during traumatic events, comes with a wide range of implications. “Their location suggests a multiplicity of functions, ranging from surveillance to participation in a number of events in the brain,” says Bruce McEwen, Alfred E. Mirsky Professor and head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, where the work was conducted. But their position might also be an important factor to consider when evaluating drug administration, since certain vaccines and medications are now given nasally. “In a way, it’s reassuring that there are cells there monitoring for invaders. On the other hand, it raises questions about the wisdom of that vaccine approach in the first place. The degree to which these drug molecules might alter the immune system of the brain is unknown,” McEwen says."

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Green Tea Compounds Beats Apnea-related Brain Deficits

Green Tea Compounds Beat Obstructive Sleep Apnea-related Brain Deficits, Study Shows: ScienceDaily
"...Chemicals found in green tea may be able to stave off the cognitive deficits that occur with obstructive sleep apnea...The IH-rats that received the green tea-treated water performed significantly better in a water maze than the rats that drank plain water. "GTP-treated rats exposed to IH displayed significantly greater spatial bias for the previous hidden platform position, indicating that GTPs are capable of attenuating IH-induced spatial learning deficits," wrote Dr. Gozal, adding that GTPs "may represent a potential interventional strategy for patients" with sleep-disordered breathing."

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

FDA defends safety of BPA chemical - And Looks Absurdly Evil, or Stupid... or Both

FDA defends safety of baby bottle chemical - Yahoo! News:
"Norris Alderson, the FDA's associate commissioner for science, said although the regulatory agency is reviewing safety concerns about the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, 'a large body of available evidence' shows that products such as liquid or food containers made with it are safe."

Not one of their finer moments. When industry lackey's top most govt positions, this is what we expect. Time for a big change... hopefully.

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Research links common chemicals, plastics to obesity

Research links common chemicals to obesity - Yahoo! News:
"Exposure in the womb to common chemicals used to make everything from plastic bottles to pizza box liners may program a person to become obese later in life...studies of mice showed animals exposed to even tiny amounts of the chemicals during development were fatter when they grew older compared with mice not exposed to the compounds..."We are talking about an exposure at very low levels for a finite time during development," said Jerry Heindel of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences...Previous studies have linked these chemicals -- also found in water pipes -- to cancer and reproductive problems...One of the chemicals is called Bisphenol A, found in polycarbonate plastics. Past research has suggested it leaches from plastic food and drink containers...A similar effect occurred with perfluorooctanoic acid -- a greaseproofing agent used in products such as microwave popcorn bags. These animals were unusually small at birth then became overweight later in life...The chemicals appear to disrupt the endocrine system by altering gene and metabolic function involved in weight gain, said Bruce Blumberg, a University of California biologist...The result is the offspring store fat cells more efficiently, which makes them gain weight, he said. Blumberg studied tributylin, a chemical used in boat paint, plastic food wrap and as a fungicide on crops..."


Endocrine Disruptors In Common Plastics Linked To Obesity Risk: Science Daily "
“The findings from these studies suggest that susceptibility to obesity is developed in the womb or early in life and that exposure to a variety of common household chemicals can, probably along with foetal nutrition, play a role in increasing that susceptibility,”

What plastic is safe for bottles these days? #1,#2,#3,#4,#5,#6,#7? (link)

We might have heard the truth about endocrine disrupters like BPA years ago if it weren't for the amazingly successful, Exxon like, propaganda by various chemical lobbies and associations... that confused some rather weak minded researchers on the subject and definitely very weak minded journalists. Anyway, I'm glad that the importance of endocrine disrupters are finally being taken seriously by more researchers and journalists. When the history of this matter is written, I think the chemical industry will lumped in with tobacco and oil industries as to their malevolence. The others to blame are those in government that think that all regulation is bad. Not an intelligent position and since most at capital hill aren't fools ( I know debatable ), then they are likely knaves to varying degrees if they aren't for a European set of standards where something has to be proven safe before released on the public. In the US we have to prove something is unsafe. See? Burden of proof is everything... and we conveniently took it off of the chemical industry. Works well for them. How's it working for us?

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stay Fit to Lower Breast Cancer risk

Stay Fit, Avoid Breast Cancer?: WebMD
"“These results suggest that consistent physical activity during a woman’s lifetime is associated with decreased breast cancer risk. Unlike many risk factors for breast cancer, physical activity is an exposure that can be modified...Researchers discovered that the women whose activity equaled 13 walking hours a week or 3.25 running hours per week had a 23% lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer compared with the less active women...The latest study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, shows that the most physically active women cut their risk of breast cancer by 25%, but the benefit varies depending on factors such as physical activity type, timing, family history of breast cancer, and body mass index (BMI)... ”

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Common Herbicide Disrupts Human Hormone Activity In Cell Studies

Common Herbicide Disrupts Human Hormone Activity In Cell Studies - Science Daily
"...The herbicide atrazine is the second most widely used weedkiller in the U.S., applied to corn and sorghum fields throughout the Midwest and also spread on suburban lawns and gardens. It was banned in Europe after studies linked the chemical to endocrine disruptions in fish and amphibians...In studies with human placental cells in culture, the UCSF scientists found that atrazine increased the activity of a gene associated with abnormal human birth weight when over-expressed in the placenta. Atrazine also targeted a second gene that has been found to be amplified in the uterus of women with unexplained infertility...The finding that a pervasive and persistent environmental chemical appears to significantly change hormone networks means that scientists must take a broader look at this herbicide's potential effect on human health..."

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Breastfeeding 'helps to boost IQ'

BBC NEWS | Health | Breastfeeding 'helps to boost IQ':
"They found that those who breastfed exclusively for the first three months - with many also continuing to 12 months - scored an average of 5.9 points higher on IQ tests in childhood."

More on the benefits of breastfeeding here.

More on boosting children's IQ/intelligences here.

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Omega-3 Intake During Last Months Of Pregnancy Boosts An Infant's Cognitive And Motor Development

Omega-3 Intake During Last Months Of Pregnancy Boosts An Infant's Cognitive And Motor Development - ScienceDaily
" intake during the last months of pregnancy boosts an infant's sensory, cognitive, and motor development..."DHA concentration in the umbilical cord is a good indicator of intra-uterine exposure to omega-3s during the last trimester of pregnancy, a crucial period for the development of retinal photoreceptors and neurons...Tests conducted on these infants at 6 and 11 months revealed that their visual acuity as well as their cognitive and motor development were closely linked to DHA concentration in the umbilical cord blood at the time of their birth. However, there was very little relation between test results and DHA concentration in a mother's milk among infants who were breast-fed..."These results highlight the crucial importance of prenatal exposure to omega-3s in a child's development,"...They also noted that DHA concentration was higher in the fetus's blood than in the mother's. "While developing its nervous system, a fetus needs great quantities of DHA. It can even transform other types of omega-3s into DHA in order to develop its brain,"..."


Prenatal Choline For A Smarter Baby and Adult

Nutrient during pregnancy 'super-charges' brain NewScientist 3/12/04 "Taking a nutrient called choline during pregnancy could "super-charge" children's brains for life, suggests a study in rats."..."due to having bigger brain cells in vital areas"..."Choline, a member of the vitamin B family, is found in egg yolks, liver and other meats "..."US Institute of Medicine added choline to the list of essential nutrients, particularly for pregnant women, in its 2003 recommendations"..."The neurons of rats born to mothers given extra choline fired electrical signals more rapidly and for longer periods, indicating a capacity to communicate more easily"..."Previous work by Steven Zeiser at the University of North Carolina has shown choline alters a crucial gene by adding a methyl group on to it. This switches off the gene, CDKN-3, which usually inhibits cell division in the memory regions of the brain"
Prenatal Choline Supplements Make Brain Cells Larger, Faster
"The implications for humans are profound, said the researchers, because the collective data on choline suggests that simply augmenting the diets of pregnant women with this one nutrient could affect their children's lifelong learning and memory. In theory, choline could boost cognitive function, diminish age-related memory decline, and reduce the brain's vulnerability toxic insults"

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Vitamin D Important In Brain Development And Function

Vitamin D Important In Brain Development And Function Science Daily
"In a definitive critical review, scientists at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland ask whether there is convincing biological or behavioral evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to brain dysfunction. Joyce C. McCann, Ph.D., assistant staff scientist and Bruce N. Ames, Ph.D., senior scientist at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) conclude that there is ample biological evidence to suggest an important role for vitamin D in brain development and function, and that supplementation for groups chronically low in vitamin D is warranted...we now know that, in addition to its role in maintaining bone health, vitamin D is involved in differentiation of tissues during development and in proper functioning of the immune system...In fact, over 900 different genes are now known to be able to bind the vitamin D receptor, through which vitamin D mediates its effects. In addition to protecting against rickets, evidence now strongly indicates that a plentiful supply of vitamin D helps to protect against bone fractures in the elderly. Evidence also continues to accumulate suggesting a beneficial role for vitamin D in protecting against autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis and type I diabetes, as well as some forms of cancer, particularly colorectal and breast...McCann & Ames point out that evidence for vitamin D's involvement in brain function includes the wide distribution of vitamin D receptors throughout the brain. They also discuss vitamin D's ability to affect proteins in the brain known to be directly involved in learning and memory, motor control, and possibly even maternal and social behavior. The review also discusses studies in both humans and animals that present suggestive though not definitive evidence of cognitive or behavioral consequences of vitamin D inadequacy..."

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Lifelong prebiotic supplements, inulin and oligofructose may enhance survival: rat study

Lifelong prebiotic supplements may enhance survival: rat study
"... Lifelong supplementation with the prebiotics inulin and oligofructose may extend lifespan by over 30 per cent...Male and female rats fed the prebiotic-containing diet (Orafti Synergy1) also had a lower body weight, cholesterol and plasma triacylglycerolaemia compared to rats fed the control diet, researchers ETAP...The study is reportedly the first time that increased survival rates of both male and female rats have been demonstrated after life-long supplementation with a prebiotic...In terms of survival, at 18 months of age, all the animals in the prebiotic group were still alive, compared to 76 per cent in the control group. After 24 months, 81 per cent of the rats in the prebiotic group were alive, compared to only 52 per cent of controls...The underlying mechanisms are still unknown, but suggestions centre on the beneficial alterations in the microbe populations in the large intestine, thereby improving digestive health which is vital to maintain overall health and well-being throughout life...It has previously been reported that the microbial ecology of the intestinal tract changes with age, with decreases in levels of beneficial bifidobacteria and increases in potentially harmful clostridia, streptococci and enterobacteria. Such changes may produce complications such as constipation, and increase the risk of developing diseases such as colitis or colon cancer."

Prebiotics -- The Key To Fewer Food Poisoning Stomach Upsets -- And Healthy Farm Animals: "ScienceDaily (Apr. 4, 2008) — Natural sugars found in breast milk that are now included in prebiotic foods may help in the fight against Salmonella and other food poisoning bacteria, scientists heard April 2, 2008 at the Society for General Microbiology's 162nd meeting."

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Tired of Allergies? Try Yogurt - probiotics

ABC News: Tired of Allergies? Try Yogurt:
Exposing pregnant mothers and infants to probiotic bacteria could help stimulate the growth of the immune system and potentially play a role in preventing allergies...levels of key proteins associated with tissue inflammation were 50% higher on average in the blood of probiotic-treated infants than in the blood of placebo-treated infants. Inflammation is thought to stimulate the immune system, and so reduce allergic reaction. Probiotic children were also 30% less likely than their untreated counterparts to develop an itchy skin condition known as atopic eczema, which is often an early manifestation of allergies... "It seems clear that we need to stimulate the infant's immune system as early and as vigorously as is safe, for inflammation seems to go hand in hand with allergy prevention," says Errki Savilahti"...The findings support the idea that allergies have increased, at least partially, thanks to the deficit of bacteria in modern living. Historically, food was loaded with bacteria and caused chronic immune responses that resulted in inflammation, says paediatric immunologist Anthony Horner at the University of California at San Diego...In the absence of such heavy bacterial exposure, the immune system is much less active than it should be and this leads to malfunction and can lead too allergies. "These probiotics are probably closely mimicking the effects of regularly eating unpasteurised and unsterilised food,"..."Even if someone has the genes for allergies, these results suggest that people can take action to at least reduce the chances of developing early allergic conditions like eczema,..."

Hygiene hypothesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Latest research on probiotics:

Probiotics Affect Metabolism, Says New Study: "ScienceDaily (Jan. 16, 2008) — Probiotics, such as yogurt drinks containing live bacteria, have a tangible effect on the metabolism, according to the results of a new study published January 15 in the journal Molecular Systems Biology."
Probiotic Good Bugs May Control Gut Infections: "ScienceDaily (Sep. 8, 2007) — Probiotics, the friendly bacteria beloved of yoghurt advertisers, may be an effective substitute for growth promoting antibiotics in pigs, giving us safer pork products, according to scientists.*"
Probiotic Cuts Respiratory Illness Rates In Endurance Athletes, Study Suggests: "ScienceDaily (Feb. 20, 2008) — The probiotic Lactobacillus substantially cuts the rate and length of respiratory illness in professional long distance runners, reveals a small study. Intensive exercise can subdue the normal immune response, and as a result, some athletes are vulnerable to respiratory viruses, such as colds and flu."
Despite Claims, Not All Probiotics Can Treat Diarrhea Say Experts: "Researchers at the University of Naples tested five different preparations in 571 children with acute diarrhoea. All the children were aged 3-36 months and were visiting a family paediatrician with acute diarrhoea. Children were randomly assigned to receive either a specific probiotic product for five days (intervention groups) or oral rehydration solution (control group)."
Infants With Poor Intestinal Flora Often Develop Eczema

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Diet Of Walnuts, Blueberries Improve Cognition; May Help Maintain Brain Function

Diet Of Walnuts, Blueberries Improve Cognition; May Help Maintain Brain Function: "ScienceDaily
Diets containing two percent, six percent, or nine percent walnuts, when given to old rats, were found to reverse several parameters of brain aging, as well as age-related motor and cognitive deficits...old rats maintained for two months on diets containing two percent high antioxidant strawberry or blueberry extracts exhibited reversals of age-related deficits in the way that neurons function and in motor and cognitive behavior...A six percent diet is equivalent to a person eating 1 ounce of walnuts each day..."this information, coupled with our previous studies, shows that the addition of walnuts, berries, and grape juice to the diet may increase 'health span' in aging and provide a 'longevity dividend' or economic benefit for slowing the aging process by reducing the incidence and delaying the onset of debilitating degenerative disease."..."The beneficial effects of walnuts also may be the direct result of enhancements of signals which mediate such important functions as neuronal communication and the growth of new neurons,"...surprisingly, the compounds in Alaska blueberries discovered in their study are neither antioxidants nor polyphenols, yet rather serve as specific inhibitors...Exposure of neuronal cells to TNFa rapidly stimulates a cascade of reactions, which ultimately leads to the death of neuronal cells. The application of Alaska blueberry extracts to neuronal cells effectively prevented the degeneration of neuronal cells exposed to TNFa...using a small amount of blueberry extract, two percent, to supplement a standard rat diet, are the first to show that a dietary intervention, specifically blueberries, can not only protect against the loss of dendritic branching and dendritic spines (e.g., synapses) seen in aged animals, but can result in neuroplastic enhancement of brain circuitry such that it looks like a much younger brain...A two percent blueberry extract is equivalent to a human having about half a cup of blueberries added to their daily diet...Previous research showed that blueberry-enriched diets fed to aging rats reversed age-related declines in cognitive function. The current data show that a diet supplemented with blueberry extract should be able to protect against the loss of dendritic branching and dendritic spines-in other words, Joseph says, the blueberry supplement diet "would enhance the neuronal circuitry back to the status associated with a younger brain."..."

James A. Joseph,
PhD, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University in Boston, mentions in the latest Psychology Today article (2008.06) on this topic that walnuts enhances the effects of blueberries noticeably. The polyphenols in blueberries (or strawberries, blackberries etc) react "synergistically" with the fatty acids in walnuts.

Again, what we have here are compounds found in fruits, nuts (and also vegetables and herbs) that change the expression of various genes for the benefit of our health and maybe our longevity.


Getting Forgetful? Then Blueberries May Hold The Key: ScienceDaily
"The enhancement of both short-term and long-term memory is controlled at the molecular level in neurons. The research team was able to show that the ability of flavonoids to induce memory improvements are mediated by the activation of signalling proteins via a specific pathway in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls learning and memory."

Blueberry Compound Shows Promise Of Lowering Cholesterol As Effectively As Drug ScienceDaily - 2008.08.31
Blueberries Contain Chemical That May Help Prevent Colon Cancer
ScienceDaily - 2007.03.26

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Eating tomatoes is the best way to avoid sunburn and wrinkles

Eating tomatoes is the best way to avoid sunburn and wrinkles - Health News, Health & Wellbeing - The Independent:
"...volunteers who ate helpings of ordinary tomato paste over a 12-week period developed skin that was less likely to burn in the sun...subjects were 33 per cent more protected against sunlight...Changes were also seen within the skin of the volunteers that counteract the appearance of ageing...antioxidant, lycopene, which gives tomatoes their colour, can neutralise harmful molecules produced in skin exposed to the sun's ultra-violet rays...research has shown that cooked tomatoes contain higher levels of lycopene than raw tomatoes...Skin levels of procollagen, which helps the skin stay supple and youthful, were also boosted by the tomato diet...lycopene reduced sun damage to mitochondrial DNA in the skin – DNA in tiny powerplants in cells called mitochondria. Its disruption is also associated with skin ageing...Professor Lesley Rhodes, at Manchester University, said: "The tomato diet boosted the level of procollagen in the skin significantly. These increasing levels suggest potential reversal of the skin ageing process.""


Vitamin A Helps Reduce Wrinkles Associated With Natural Skin Aging

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Maintaining Aerobic Fitness Could Delay Biological Aging By Up To 12 Years

Maintaining Aerobic Fitness Could Delay Biological Aging By Up To 12 Years, Study Shows: ScienceDaily
"Maintaining aerobic fitness through middle age and beyond can delay biological ageing by up to 12 years and prolong independence during old age, concludes an analysis published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine...relatively high intensity aerobic exercise over a relatively long period boosted maximal aerobic power by 25%, equivalent to a gain of 6 ml/ [kg.min], or 10 to 12 biological years...The other positive spin-offs of aerobic exercise are reduced risks of serious disease, faster recovery after injury or illness, and reduced risks of falls because of the maintenance of muscle power, balance, and coordination."

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High-fat, low-carb diet helps kids with epilepsy

High-fat, low-carb diet helps kids with epilepsy - Yahoo! News:
"Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures when the normal working of the brain is interrupted. A ketogenic diet has been widely used since the 1920s to help control hard-to-treat seizures in children...After three months, children on the ketogenic diet had more than one third fewer seizures, while seizure frequency increased in children on the standard diet...A greater than 50 percent drop off in seizure frequency was noted in 38 percent of children on the ketogenic diet compared with just 6 percent of children on the standard diet..."

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