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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