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Headlines added December 2, 2008

Persistent pollutant may promote obesity
A persistent pollutant, tributyltin, has effects on gene activity in a wide range of animal species at concentrations of parts per billion. Tributyl tin and its chemical relatives bind to nuclear receptors that in turn activate genes influencing the formation of fat storage cells. This and other evidence suggests a possible role for tributyl tin in the obesity epidemic.  12/2/08
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Headlines added earlier

Eating less fat may lower breast-cancer risk, have little impact on colon-cancer, heart-disease risk
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center  | EurekAlert!
Adopting a low-fat diet in later life and following such a regimen for nearly a decade does not appear to have a significant impact on reducing overall risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer or heart disease. 2/6/2006
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Red grapefruit appears to lower cholesterol, fight heart disease
American Chemical Society | EurekAlert!
A grapefruit a day -- particularly the red variety -- can help keep heart disease at bay, according to a new study by Israeli researchers. In a controlled study group of patients with heart disease, the scientists found that feeding some patients the equivalent of one grapefruit daily significantly reduced levels of cholesterol in comparison to patients that did not eat grapefruit. Chronic high blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. 2/7/2006
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Veggies contain chemicals that boost DNA repair and protect against cancer
Georgetown University Medical Center | EurekAlert!
New research at Georgetown University Medical Center uncovers a molecular basis for why eating your vegetables can improve health. 2/8/2006
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Research into soy will continue but soy is not a solution for heart disease
Tufts University | EurekAlert!
Many soy food products carry health claims stating that they reduce the risk of heart disease. A review of the evidence, however, suggests that soy's cardiovascular benefits may have been overestimated by the early studies that formed the basis for its health claim. 2/5/2006
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Older adults may reduce risk of metabolic syndrome by eating more whole grains
Tufts University | EurekAlert!
In a study published in the January issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (HNRCA) found that consuming a diet rich in whole-grain foods may lower an elderly person's risk for cardiovascular disease and reduce the onset of metabolic syndrome. 2/5/2006
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Tufts expert examines the cardiovascular benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet
Tufts University | EurekAlert!
In a review paper, Mohsen Meydani, DVM, PhD, director of the Vascular Biology Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, explores the potential benefits, beyond those achieved with weight loss alone, of a Mediterranean-style diet for patients with metabolic syndrome. 2/5/2006
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British blackcurrants beat Alzheimer's
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. | EurekAlert!
Compounds in blackcurrants could prevent Alzheimer's disease and the characteristics of British berries suggest they do it best. New research led by Dilip Ghosh of the Horticulture and Food Research Institute in New Zealand, shows that compounds in blackcurrants have a potent protective effect in cultured neuronal cells against the types of stress caused by dopamine and amyloid-b, a peptide associated with Alzheimer's disease. 
New research led by Dilip Ghosh of the Horticulture and Food Research Institute in New Zealand, shows that compounds in blackcurrants have a potent protective effect in cultured neuronal cells against the types of stress caused by dopamine and amyloid-b, a peptide associated with Alzheimer's disease.
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Age-related memory improvement linked with consumption of apple products
U.S. Apple Association | EurekAlert!
"An apple a day" now has new meaning for those who want to maintain mental dexterity as they age. New research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell suggests that consuming apple juice may protect against cell damage that contributes to age-related memory loss, even in test animals that were not prone to developing Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.   
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Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids unlikely to significantly reduce risk of cancer
JAMA and Archives Journals | EurekAlert!
A review of numerous studies finds no strong evidence indicating a significantly reduced risk of cancer associated with the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, according to an article in the January 25 issue of JAMA. 

Epidemiological studies have suggested that groups of people who consume diets high in omega-3 fatty acids, found in certain fish and vegetables, may experience a lower prevalence of some types of cancer, according to background information in the article. Many small trials have attempted to assess the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cancer treatment by adding omega-3 fatty acid to the diet either as omega-3 fatty acid–rich foods or as dietary supplements. Because of the results of some studies, a number of omega-3 fatty acid–containing dietary supplements have appeared on the market claiming to protect against the development of a variety of conditions including cancer, even though studies have reported mixed results.    1/23/2006
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Heart-healthy compound in chocolate identified
University of California - Davis | EurekAlert!
In a multifaceted study involving the Kuna Indians of Panama, an international team of scientists has pinpointed a chemical compound that is, in part, responsible, for the heart-healthy benefits of certain cocoas and some chocolate products. 

"Although previous studies strongly indicated that some flavanol-rich foods, such as wine, tea and cocoa can offer cardiovascular health benefits, we have been able to demonstrate a direct relationship between the intake of certain flavanols present in cocoa, their absorption into the circulation and their effects on cardiovascular function in humans," said UC Davis biochemist Hagen Schroeter, who co-authored the paper along with cardiologist Christian Heiss of the Heinrich-Heine University.    1/18/2006
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Vitamin A analog is a potential lung cancer preventative with few side effects
Washington University School of Medicine | EurekAlert!
The ideal substance to prevent cancer would block tumor growth without causing unpleasant or dangerous side effects. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis now report that a compound related to vitamin A shows promise in preventing or slowing tumor growth in mice prone to lung cancer. The compound, called bexarotene, doesn't cause the severe skin irritations that have limited the use of other vitamin A derivatives in cancer therapies.
"In the cancer prevention field, you look for drugs that can be given to healthy patients who have a higher risk of developing cancer," says Ming You, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Chemoprevention Program at the Siteman Cancer Center. "These patients wouldn't want to take a medication that makes them feel sick when they don't have cancer. So the drugs should be very well-tolerated and not cause harmful side effects." 
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New cocoa evidence on why plant foods are beneficial to cardiovascular health
Weber Shandwick Worldwide | EurekAlert!
While a growing number of studies has shown a link between flavanol-rich cocoa and cardiovascular health, scientists have now substantiated a causal relationship between specific compounds present in cocoa and cardiovascular health. Published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) , this new study identifies the flavanol, (-)epicatechin, as one of the bioactive nutrients in cocoa that can improve the ability of blood vessels to relax.
"Applying accepted causality criteria and gold standard methodologies, we have been able to advance our understanding of the relationship between the intake of certain flavanols present in cocoa, their absorption into the circulation, and their effects on cardiovascular function," said lead author Hagen Schroeter, PhD, faculty member at the University of California, Davis. "This study established direct evidence for the effect of the flavanol(-)epicatechin as a mediator of blood vessel relaxation."     
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People who restrict calories have 'younger' hearts
American College of Cardiology | EurekAlert!
The hearts of people who follow a low-calorie, yet nutritionally balanced, diet resemble those of younger people when examined by sophisticated ultrasound function tests, and they tend to have more desirable levels of some markers of inflammation and fibrosis, according to a new study in the Jan. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
"Eating less, if it is a high-quality diet, will improve your health, delay aging, and increase your chance of living a long, healthy and happy life," said Luigi Fontana, M.D., Ph.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri and the Italian National Institute of Health in Rome, Italy. "This is the first paper to show that long-term calorie restriction with optimal nutrition has cardiac-specific effects that ameliorate the age-associated decline in diastolic function in humans. In other words, this is the first report ever to show that calorie restriction with optimal nutrition may delay primary aging in human beings." 
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Curry and cauliflower could halt prostate cancer
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey | EurekAlert!
Rutgers researchers have found that the curry spice turmeric holds real potential for the treatment and prevention of prostate cancer, particularly when combined with certain vegetables.
The scientists tested turmeric, also known as curcumin, along with phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a naturally occurring substance particularly abundant in a group of vegetables that includes watercress, cabbage, winter cress, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, kohlrabi and turnips. "The bottom line is that PEITC and curcumin, alone or in combination, demonstrate significant cancer-preventive qualities in laboratory mice, and the combination of PEITC and curcumin could be effective in treating established prostate cancers," said Ah-Ng Tony Kong, a professor of pharmaceutics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  
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Study by Einstein researchers could lead to a novel strategy for treating obesity
Albert Einstein College of Medicine | EurekAlert!
In their latest finding on the brain's role in controlling appetite and weight, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have shown that reducing levels of fatty acids in the hypothalamus causes rats to overeat and become obese. Their results suggest that restoring fatty-acid levels in the brain may be a promising way to treat obesity. 

The brain's hypothalamus keeps track of the body's nutritional status by monitoring the blood levels of several different hormones and nutrients. Taking this information into account, the hypothalamus regulates our energy intake and metabolism.
In a study published last year in Science, Dr. Rossetti and his colleagues showed how the hypothalamus monitors and regulates glucose levels in the body. The present study shows that this brain region also monitors fatty acid levels and responds by controlling appetite.   
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Blockade of fat hormone helps halt and heal multiple sclerosis
Giuseppe Matarese and colleagues from Universit. di Napoli "Federico II" have found that blockade of the hormone leptin, which is primarily produced in fats cells, has beneficial effects on the induction and progression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice - the animal model of human multiple sclerosis (MS). The data, published online in the JCI on January 12, suggest that leptin neutralization may be a potential way to both prevent and treat MS. 1/11/2006
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Higher intake of vegetable protein associated with lower blood pressure levels
JAMA and Archives Journals | EurekAlert!
People who eat more protein from vegetables tend to have lower blood pressure, according to a new study in the January 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Most adults have either high blood pressure (hypertension) or prehypertensive blood pressure levels, according to background information in the article. Previous studies have found evidence that meat eaters generally have higher blood pressure than vegetarians. Other research looked directly at the effect of high overall protein intake and found that people with higher total protein intake are likely to have lower blood pressure, the authors report.
Paul Elliott, M.B., Ph.D., from Imperial College London, and colleagues analyzed data from the INTERMAP study, which included 4,680 people (2,359 men and 2,321 women) aged 40 to 59 years from four countries. They measured each participant's systolic and diastolic blood pressure eight times at four visits in a three- to six-week period. Each person wrote down everything they had eaten and drank during the previous 24 hours, including dietary supplements, at each visit. Urine samples were also taken on the first and third examinations.
Judging by their food records and urine samples, those who ate more vegetable protein were more likely to have lower blood pressure than those who ate less vegetable protein. Though the researchers noted a slight association between animal protein and high blood pressure, this link disappeared when they accounted for participants' height and weight. There was no link between total protein intake and blood pressure, in contrast to previous studies.      1/8/2006
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Three-week diet/exercise study shows 50 percent reversal in metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes
American Physiological Society | EurekAlert!
Obese and overweight individuals suffering metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes showed significant health improvements after only three weeks of diet and moderate exercise even though the participants remained overweight.
"The study shows, contrary to common belief, that Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome can be reversed solely through lifestyle changes," according to lead researcher Christian Roberts of University of California, Los Angeles.
"This regimen reversed a clinical diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome in about half the participants who had either of those conditions. However, the regimen may not have reversed damage such as plaque development in the arteries," Roberts said. "However, if Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome continue to be controlled, further damage would likely be minimized and it's plausible that continuing to follow the program long-term may result in reversal of atherosclerosis."    
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Tomato juice keeps emphysema from developing in new model; Lycopene cited
American Physiological Society | EurekAlert!
Feeding tomato juice to mice kept them from developing emphysema after cigarette smoke exposure that was long enough to induce emphysema in a control group, Japanese researchers report in February issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology.
Researchers at Juntendo University School of Medicine first compared the reaction of two mostly similar mouse strains to inhaled cigarette smoke. Since the lungs of one of the mouse strains "naturally" age very quickly, the researchers believed that exposure to inhaled cigarette smoke would induce emphysema in that strain much more quickly than in the other strain. And indeed, they found that after eight weeks of breathing 1.5% tobacco smoke through the nose for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, the test strain, called SAMP1, did develop emphysema, while the control strain, called SAMR1, did not.
Then, using the same experimental method, but substituting a 50% tomato juice mixture for their regular water supply, the researchers again compared the effect of smoking on the mice. They found that "smoke-induced emphysema was completely prevented by concomitant ingestion of lycopene (a potent antioxidant) given as tomato juice" in SAMP1 mice. They added: "Smoke exposure increased apoptosis and active caspase-3 of airway and alveolar septal cells and reduced VEGF in lung tissues, but tomato juice ingestion significantly reduced apoptosis and increased tissue VEGF level."     1/8/2006
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Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet not associated with weight gain in postmenopausal women   1/2/2006   Read whole story

Packaged-Food Labels Now Required to Mention Trans Fat, Allergens     1/3/2006    Read whole story

Researchers discover how a high-fat diet causes type 2 diabetes     12/27/2005   Read whole story

Dietary intake of antioxidants associated with reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration      12/26/2005   Read whole story

Air pollution, high-fat diet cause atherosclerosis in laboratory mice     12/21/2005   Read whole story


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