Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Death From Cardiovascular, All Causes

Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Death From Cardiovascular, All Causes: "ScienceDaily (June 24, 2008) — Individuals with lower blood levels of vitamin D appear to have an increased risk of death overall and from cardiovascular causes, according to a new report...Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels also were correlated with markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein, as well as signs of oxidative (oxygen-related) damage to cells, the authors note..."Based on the findings of this study, a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 20 nanograms per milliliter or higher may be advised for maintaining general health.""

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Salutary Pizza Spice: Oregano Helps Against Inflammations

Salutary Pizza Spice: Oregano Helps Against Inflammations: ScienceDaily (June 25, 2008)"Oregano doesn't only give a pizza its typical taste. Researchers at Bonn University and the ETH Zürich have discovered that this spice also contains a substance which, amongst other qualities, appears to help cure inflammations...The researchers administered its active ingredient - known as beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) - to mice with inflamed paws. In seven out of ten cases there was a subsequent improvement in the symptoms. E-BCP might possibly be of use against disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis...E-BCP is a typical ingredient of many spices and food plants. Hence it is also found in plants such as basil, rosemary, cinnamon, and black pepper..."

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Turmeric (curcumin) Shows Promise In Combating Diabetes And Obesity

Common Cooking Spice Found In Curry Shows Promise In Combating Diabetes And Obesity - ScienceDaily
"...turmeric-treated mice were less susceptible to developing Type 2 diabetes, based on their blood glucose levels, and glucose and insulin tolerance tests. They also discovered that turmeric-fed obese mice showed significantly reduced inflammation in fat tissue and liver compared to controls. They speculate that curcumin, the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant ingredient in turmeric, lessens insulin resistance and prevents Type 2 diabetes in these mouse models by dampening the inflammatory response provoked by obesity....For now, the conclusion that Dr. Tortoriello and his colleagues have reached is that turmeric -- and its active anti-oxidant ingredient, curcumin -- reverses many of the inflammatory and metabolic problems associated with obesity and improves blood-sugar control in mouse models of Type 2 diabetes."

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cranberries, probiotics may fight ulcer-causing bacteria in children

Cranberries, probiotics may fight ulcer-causing bacteria in children:
" Cranberry juice or probiotics clear the stomach of children of a bacterial strain known to cause ulcers and cancer...Helicobacter pylori...Gotteland and co-workers recruited the children, aged between six and 16, and randomly assigned them to one of four groups: placebo juice plus heat-killed La1 (control), cranberry juice plus La1 (CB/La1), placebo juice plusLa1 (La1), and cranberry juice plus heat-killed La1 (CB). The cranberry juice (200 ml, Cran Chile) and La1 (80ml, Chamyto, Nestlé Chile SA), or placebo versions were given daily for three weeks...A significant reduction in H. pylori was observed all three active groups, with the La1, CB, and CB/La1 groups showing eradication rates of 14.9, 16.9, and 22.9 per cent, compared to only 1.5 per cent in the control group..."

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Revolutionary Cancer Treatment

Inside a Revolutionary Cancer Treatment: ABC News
"Researchers Mass-Produced Cells to Destroy an Incurable Skin Cancer...In this experiment, researchers took blood from a melanoma patient who was near death and from that blood extracted a type of cell that's actually programmed by the body to attack cancer, CD4 + T cells..."It's targeted to tumor cells and not to normal cells," Dr. Cassian Yee of the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle, the lead author of the study, told ABC News. The researchers even isolated which of those cancer-fighting cells were most aggressive against the patient's own melanoma and then, over the next three months, grew a vast, new army of five billion of those particular cells. Finally, the scientists injected the cancer-fighting cells back into the patient...The results were stunning. Before the treatment, the cancer had spread through his lymph nodes. Just two months after treatment, CT and PET scans showed no sign of cancer anywhere in the patient's body. Two years later, the patient still showed no signs of cancer...researchers say the potential of this approach may be much broader. "The use of these cancer-fighting cells can be used to treat other types of cancer, like breast cancer or prostate cancer or lung cancer. Those studies have not been done yet," Yee said.But when it comes to advanced skin cancer, scientists are off to a promising start -- a new weapon against a disease that has been so vexing."

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Vitamin D helps colorectal cancer patients: study - Yahoo! News

Vitamin D helps colorectal cancer patients: study - Yahoo! News: "...Those in the highest 25 percent of vitamin D levels were about 50 percent less likely to die during the study from their cancer or any other cause compared to the patients in the lowest 25 percent of vitamin D levels... A number of recent studies have indicated vitamin D also may offer a variety of other health benefits, including protecting against types of cancer such as breast cancer, peripheral artery disease and tuberculosis...a study published on June 9 in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine found that men with low levels of vitamin D had an elevated risk for a heart attack...The American Medical Association, the largest U.S. doctors group, voted this week to urge the Food and Drug Administration to re-examine recommendations for vitamin D intake in light of new scientific findings showing its benefits."

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Vitamin D: New Way To Treat Heart Failure?

Vitamin D: New Way To Treat Heart Failure?: "ScienceDaily (Jun. 12, 2008) — Strong bones, a healthy immune system, protection against some types of cancer: Recent studies suggest there’s yet another item for the expanding list of Vitamin D benefits. Vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin,” keeps the heart, the body’s long-distance runner, fit for life’s demands...the first concrete evidence that treatment with activated vitamin D can protect against heart failure...treatments with activated vitamin D prevented heart muscle cells from growing bigger – the condition, called hypertrophy, in which the heart becomes enlarged and overworked in people with heart failure. The treatments prevented heart muscle cells from the over-stimulation and increased contractions associated with the progression of heart failure...The researchers measured the effects of activated Vitamin D (1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3, a form called calcitriol) in rats given a normal diet or a high-salt diet, compared to control group rats given either of the same two diets, but no vitamin D treatment. The rats on the high-salt diet were likely to develop heart failure within months...The rats on the high-salt diet, comparable to the fast food that many humans feast on, quickly revealed the difference vitamin D could make..."

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Red Wine's Resveratrol May Help Battle Obesity

Red Wine's Resveratrol May Help Battle Obesity: "ScienceDaily (Jun. 16, 2008) — Resveratrol, a compound present in grapes and red wine, reduces the number of fat cells and may one day be used to treat or prevent obesity...Past research found that resveratrol protected laboratory mice that were fed a high-calorie diet from the health problems of obesity, by mimicking the effects of calorie restriction...In the cell-based study, they found that resveratrol inhibited the pre-fat cells from increasing and prevented them from converting into mature fat cells. Also, resveratrol hindered fat storage. Most interesting, according to Fischer-Posovszky, was that resveratrol reduced production of certain cytokines (interleukins 6 and 8), substances that may be linked to the development of obesity-related disorders, such as diabetes and clogged coronary arteries. Also, resveratrol stimulated formation of a protein known to decrease the risk of heart attack. Obesity decreases this substance, called adiponectin..."

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Healthy lifestyle triggers genetic changes

Healthy lifestyle triggers genetic changes: study - Yahoo! News:
"The men underwent three months of major lifestyle changes, including eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and soy products, moderate exercise such as walking for half an hour a day, and an hour of daily stress management methods such as meditation...As expected, they lost weight, lowered their blood pressure and saw other health improvements. But the researchers found more profound changes when they compared prostate biopsies taken before and after the lifestyle changes...After the three months, the men had changes in activity in about 500 genes -- including 48 that were turned on and 453 genes that were turned off... The activity of disease-preventing genes increased while a number of disease-promoting genes, including those involved in prostate cancer and breast cancer, shut down... The research was led by Dr. Dean Ornish, head of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, and a well-known author advocating lifestyle changes to improve health..."often people say, 'Oh, it's all in my genes, what can I do?' Well, it turns out you may be able to do a lot"..." "'In just three months, I can change hundreds of my genes simply by changing what I eat and how I live?"..."

Showing yet again how pliable our genome is. If this story doesn't further the message that genes are not a fixed fate, I'm not sure what will.

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Age At Puberty Linked To Mother's Prenatal Diet

Age At Puberty Linked To Mother's Prenatal Diet: "ScienceDaily (Jun. 17, 2008)A high-fat diet during pregnancy and nursing may lead to the child having an early onset of puberty and subsequent adulthood obesity, according to a new animal study. The results were presented June 16, at The Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco."

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bright Light Improves Dementia Symptoms and Depression

Bright Light Improves Dementia Symptoms: WebMD
"Turning up the lights during the daytime may boost mood and improve behavior in elderly adults with dementia...Environmental light affects the body's 24-hour biological clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. Too little light exposure can throw off the sensitive balance of the circadian timing system. Disturbances in circadian rhythm can lead to sleep woes. A hormone called melatonin also plays an important role in the maintaining the system's circadian rhythm...

The researchers learned that bright light resulted in a modest improvement in dementia symptoms. Specifically, the use of bright daytime lighting:

  • Reduced cognitive scores on a mental status exam by a relative 5%.
  • Cut depression symptoms by a relative 19%.
  • Calmed slow increases in functional limitations by slightly more than half (53%).

Adding melatonin helped patients fall asleep about eight minutes faster and sleep longer by 27 minutes. The researchers recommend melatonin supplements only in combination with light. Melatonin combined with brighter lighting cut agitated behavior by 9%..."

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Vitamin supplement Benfotiamine not as effective as ads say

Vitamin supplement not as effective as ads say: study - Yahoo! News:
"...A popular vitamin supplement aimed at diabetics is not as effective as most advertisements for it claim...benfotiamine -- a synthetic derivative of the vitamin B1 -- does not actually dissolve and penetrate cell membranes as well as the researchers say is often claimed...lab tests showed that benfotiamine as sold to consumers was not lipid-soluble -- which means it did not dissolve in organic solvents and oils to boost health by working quickly..."

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dehydrated Tomatoes Show Promise For Preventing Prostate Cancer

Dehydrated Tomatoes Show Promise For Preventing Prostate Cancer:
"The protective effect of tomato products against prostate cancer has been suggested in many studies, but researchers remain uncertain about the exact mechanisms. Mossine and colleagues demonstrated that FruHis, an organic carbohydrate present in dehydrated tomato products, exerts a strong protective effect...Animals fed the tomato paste plus FruHis diet had the longest survival from cancer at 51 weeks compared with 50 weeks in the tomato powder group, 45 weeks in the tomato paste alone group and 40 weeks in the control group...Mossine said the protective effect of tomato-based products was restricted to prostate tumors, which is consistent with other research on tomatoes and cancer. Incidence of other tumors was too small to examine...In vitro, Mossine and colleagues evaluated the anti-cancer properties of FruHis and 14 other D-fructose amino acids and found that FruHis in a concentrated form protected against DNA damage known to lead to prostate cancer. When combined with lycopene, FruHis stopped cancerous cell growth more than 98 percent of the time..."FruHis may represent a novel type of potential dietary antioxidant. Experiments like these suggest that a combination of FruHis and lycopene should be investigated as a potential therapeutic anti-tumor agent, not just a prevention strategy."..."

Worried About Prostate Cancer? Tomato-broccoli Combo Shown To Be Effective: "ScienceDaily (Jan. 16, 2007) — A new University of Illinois study shows that tomatoes and broccoli--two vegetables known for their cancer-fighting qualities--are better at shrinking prostate tumors when both are part of the daily diet than when they're eaten alone."

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Scientists revive the debate on cellphones and cancer

Scientists revive the debate on cellphones and cancer - International Herald Tribune:
"What do brain surgeons know about cellphone safety that the rest of us don't?...Along with Senator Edward Kennedy's recent diagnosis of a glioma, a type of tumor that critics have long associated with cellphone use, the doctors' remarks have helped reignite a long-simmering debate about cellphones and cancer...the studies are observational, showing only an association between cellphone use and cancer, not a causal relationship. The most important of these studies is called Interphone, a vast research effort in 13 countries, including Canada, Israel and several in Europe...Some of the research suggests a link between cellphone use and three types of tumors: glioma; cancer of the parotid, a salivary gland near the ear; and acoustic neuroma, a tumor that essentially occurs where the ear meets the brain. All these cancers are rare...Last year, The American Journal of Epidemiology published data from Israel finding a 58 percent higher risk of parotid gland tumors among heavy cellphone users. Also last year, a Swedish analysis of 16 studies in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine showed a doubling of risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma after 10 years of heavy cellphone use...."

Radiation From Mobile Phones Changes Protein Expression In Living People, Study Suggests:
ScienceDaily (Feb. 25, 2008) — A new study completed by the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) on effects of mobile phone radiation on human skin strengthens the results of the human cell line analyses: living tissue responds to mobile phone radiation..."

Heavy Cell Phone Use Linked To Cancer, Study Suggests: "ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2008) — An Israeli scientist, Dr. Siegal Sadetzki, has found a link between cell phone usage and the development of tumors."

Cell Phones Risky during Pregnancy?
"...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..."

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Good News In Our DNA: Defects You Can Fix With Vitamins And Minerals

Good News In Our DNA: Defects You Can Fix With Vitamins And Minerals: ScienceDaily
"In the PNAS paper, Rine, Marini and their colleagues report on their initial analysis of variants of a human enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, or MTHFR. The enzyme, which requires the B vitamin folate to work properly, plays a key role in synthesizing molecules that go into the nucleotide building blocks of DNA. Some cancer drugs, such as methotrexate, target MTHFR to shut down DNA synthesis and prevent tumor growth...Most scientists think that harmful mutations are disfavored by evolution, but Rine pointed out that this applies only to mutations that affect reproductive fitness. Mutations that affect our health in later years are not efficiently removed by evolution and may remain in our genome forever...The health effects of tuning up this enzyme in humans are unclear, he said, but folate is already known to protect against birth defects and seems to protect against heart disease and cancer. At least one defect in the MTHFR enzyme produces elevated levels in the blood of the metabolite homocysteine, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, conditions that typically affect people in their post-reproductive years..."In those people, supplementation of folate in the diet can reduce levels of that metabolite and reduce disease risk," Marini said...Marini and Rine credit Bruce Ames, a UC Berkeley professor emeritus of molecular and cell biology now on the research staff at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, with the research that motivated them to look at enzyme variation. Ames found in the 1970s that many bacteria that could not produce a specific amino acid could do so if given more vitamin B6, and in recent years he has continued exploring the link between micronutrients and health..."Looked at in one way, Bruce found that you can cure a genetic disease in bacteria by treating it with vitamins," Rine said. Because the human genome contains about 6 billion DNA base pairs, each one subject to mutation, there could be between 3 and 6 million DNA sequence differences between any two people. Given those numbers, he reasoned that, as in bacteria, "there should be people who are genetically different in terms of the amount of vitamin needed for optimal performance of their enzymes.""

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"Good" bacteria may ease hay fever symptoms

"Good" bacteria may ease hay fever symptoms: study - Yahoo! News:
"'These data show that probiotic supplements modulate immune
responses...and may have the potential to alleviate the
severity of symptoms,' Claudio Nicoletti and colleagues at the
Institute of Food Research in Norwich, Britain"

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Red wine compound, Resveratrol, seen protecting heart from aging

Red wine compound seen protecting heart from aging - Yahoo! News
"...These mice experienced changes in their gene activity related to aging in a way very similar to mice that were placed on a so-called calorie restriction diet that slows the aging process by greatly cutting dietary energy intake...Most striking was how the resveratrol, like calorie restriction, blocked the decline in heart function typically associated with aging, according to Tomas Prolla, a University of Wisconsin professor of this study, mice were given relatively low doses compared to the earlier research, and still experienced important aging-related benefits...They looked at the heart, brain and muscles, and said that the effect of resveratrol was strongest in the heart but did prevent some aging-related changes in the other tissues...Prolla said, "I think there's a high likelihood that our findings are applicable to humans."..."

Full study here

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