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October 8, 2006, 7:11 PM CT

Genes Diet And Heart Disease

Genes Diet And Heart Disease
Scientists from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and his colleagues have found another link among genes, heart disease and diet. The study, published in Circulation, examined apolipoprotein A5 (APOA5), a gene that codes for a protein, which in turn plays a role in the metabolism of fats in the blood. The results show that people who carry a particular variant of APOA5 may have elevated risk factors that are linked to heart disease, but only if they also consumed high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids in their diets.

Corresponding author Chao-Qiang Lai, PhD, a USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist at the USDA HNRCA, and his colleagues analyzed lipid levels and dietary assessment questionnaires of more than 2,000 participants in the Framingham Heart Study and quantified their intake of different types of fats.

Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and, as per a report from the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, most Americans consume about 10 times more omega-6s than omega-3s. Omega-3s are found in nuts, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, and vegetable oils like canola and flaxseed, while omega-6s are found in grains, meats, vegetable oils like corn and soy, and also processed foods made with these oils. Both omega-3s and omega-6s, known as essential fatty acids, must be consumed in the diet because they are not made by the body.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


October 4, 2006, 10:38 PM CT

Chocolate Chip Cookies Lower Cholesterol

Chocolate Chip Cookies Lower Cholesterol
Right Direction Chocolate Chip CookiesTM lower cholesterol and improve lipid subfraction profile, lowering the risk of heart disease, according to a published study in The Journal of Nutrition (October). The chocolate chip cookies, made with a combination of psyllium and plant sterols, are a tasty all-natural approach to reducing cardiovascular risk associated with cholesterol.

The American Heart Association estimates at least 50 percent of the American adult population has high cholesterol. The study revealed eating two Right Direction Cookies daily showed a ten percent decrease in LDL cholesterol as well as shifting the LDL particles toward a less atherogenic pattern.

Normal cholesterol levels are usually associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, but not always. Recent studies reveal small, dense LDL particles have been linked to increased formation of fatty substances and cholesterol buildup in the arteries, even for individuals with total cholesterol levels under 200 mg/dl.

The randomized, double blind study researched 33 healthy adults with moderately high cholesterol between the ages 3565 at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Participants were randomly assigned to the Right Direction Cookie group or the placebo cookie group. Two cookies per day were consumed for four weeks. After a three week washout period, subjects received the other cookies for an additional four weeks. At the end of each treatment period, two blood samples were drawn on different days (to control for day-to-day variability) and collected.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


October 3, 2006, 5:02 AM CT

Obese smokers at higher risk of death

Obese smokers at higher risk of death
People who are both very obese and who smoke increase their risk of death by 3.5 to 5 times that of people of normal weight who never smoke, finds a study in the recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

According to the study, 20 percent of obese adults in the United States smoke, which puts them at a higher risk of death caused by cancer and circulatory disease. The authors further found that, in general, being a current smoker was a far stronger risk factor for cancer death than being obese.

"Smoking has been known as a very strong risk factor for many cancers, particularly lung cancer, which is the most common site of cancer death," said lead author D. Michal Freedman, Ph.D., of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute.

The study surveyed more than 80,000 current and former radiologic technologists between the ages of 22 and 92 who completed a self-administered questionnaire in the period from 1983 to 1989. They all were followed through December 2002 and the number of deaths was reported.

The questionnaire collected information such as birth date, height, weight and smoking behavior. Participants' body mass indexes were calculated from their weight and height A BMI of 30 to 34.9 was considered obese, and more than 35 was very obese.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


September 27, 2006, 9:26 PM CT

Finger Length Ratio May Predict Women's Sporting Prowess

Finger Length Ratio May Predict Women's Sporting Prowess
The difference between the lengths of a woman's index and ring fingers may indicate her sporting prowess, suggests research published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The finding supports other research indicating a possible link between this ratio and fertility, vulnerability to serious disease, intellectual ability, certain personality traits, and musical talent.

Most of the sporting research in this area has so far focused exclusively on men.

The researchers base their findings on x ray pictures of the right and left hands of 607 female twins, whose average age was 53. Most were right handed.

The second to fourth finger ratio was calculated by dividing the length of the index (second) finger by that of the (fourth) ring finger.

Study participants were also asked to rank their highest achievement in a wide range of individual and team sports, since the age of 11.

Participation levels were highest for swimming, cycling, tennis and running in descending order.

The association with finger ratio was highest for running, soccer, and tennis. The highest achievement in any sport was strongly linked to a low second to fourth finger ratio. Running ability was particularly associated with a low (male pattern) ratio.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


September 25, 2006, 6:08 PM CT

Bugs In Fruits And Vegetables

Bugs In Fruits And Vegetables
A new method for ridding harvested fruits and vegetables of insect pests and microorganisms, without the use of ozone-depleting chemicals such as methyl bromide, has been developed by scientists at UC Davis.

The technique, called metabolic stress disinfection and disinfestation, effectively suffocates insects found in harvested produce. Inside sealed chambers, alternating vacuum forces and pressurized carbon dioxide applications cause irreversible changes in the animals' cell chemistry and respiratory structures. Ethanol gas also is applied briefly to accelerate killing of fungi and bacteria and to damage insect eggs.

In practice, the process would be applied to pallets of fruits and vegetables to prevent insect damage during storage and shipping, and to avoid transporting potentially invasive insects from one country to another. A patent is pending on the technology, which was published in the recent issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

"All major fruits, including table grapes, citrus, apples, pears, bananas and kiwifruits, as well as vegetables and ornamental flowers, retain their quality when treated with this technology," said the developer, Manuel Lagunas-Solar, a research chemist at UC Davis' Crocker Nuclear Laboratory.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


September 23, 2006, 11:33 AM CT

Taller Women More Likely To Conceive Twins

Taller Women More Likely To Conceive Twins
Taller women are more likely to have twins according to experts. They suggest insulin-like growth factorr is responsible for this increased incedence. By comparing the heights of women who had given birth to twins or triplets with the average height of women in the United States, Gary Steinman, MD, PhD, an attending doctor at Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center, observed that the multiple-birth mothers averaged more than an inch taller. The study was reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine.

"Any circumstance that affects the amount of available insulin-like growth factor so as to modify the sensitivity of the ovary to follicle-stimulating hormone appears to govern the rate of spontaneous twinning," said Dr. Steinman.

Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) is a protein that is released from the liver in response to growth hormone. It increases the sensitivity of the ovaries to follicle stimulating hormone, thereby increasing ovulation. Some studies also suggest that IGF may help embryos survive in the early stages of development.

Among its a number of effects in the body, IGF stimulates cells in the shaft of long bones to grow. Prior studies have demonstrated that people with short stature have significantly lower levels of IGF. Countries with taller women have higher rates of twinning in comparison to countries with shorter women.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


September 18, 2006, 4:54 AM CT

Dieting? Portion size matters

Dieting? Portion size matters
Are you aware of the fact that we eat most part of what is on our plate, no matter what the size of the plate on which food is served?

Prior studies have proven that portion sizes of virtually all foods and drinks served at restaurants have dramatically increased during the last two decades. Also the size of the food in the lunch packs for a single user has gone way up. For example, typical portions of orange juice are more than 40 percent larger now compared to what they were 20 years ago. Some might think this is not a very significant issue until they realize that, this increased amount of orange juice would mean 50 additional calories and could equal an extra five pounds over the course of one year if taken on a daily basis. Even though multiple factors are responsible for overweight and obesity, the occurrence rate of overweight and obesity has increased markedly over the last two decades in parallel with increasing portion sizes, and Portion Distortion might be a contributing factor.

What can you do to defeat this challenge posed by portion distortion? When at home, use smaller plates for serving; this will enable you consume smaller portions. When you are eating from outside, share your main meal with a friend or spouse! The serve size today is likely to be good enough for two or more people. This way you can get all the nutrition you need without becoming a victim of portion distortion.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink


September 13, 2006, 9:05 PM CT

Dieting More Likely to Cause Stress Fractures In Females

Dieting More Likely to Cause Stress Fractures In Females
Female college athletes on low-calorie diets could be putting themselves at risk for stress fractures, according to new Saint Louis University research published in this month's The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Researchers studied risk factors for exercise-related leg pain, including stress fractures in women participating in four popular fall sports - cross-country running, field hockey, soccer and volleyball.

Women with "disordered eating," which includes eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia but more generally refers to insufficient caloric intake, were more likely to develop stress fractures as a result of decreased estrogen production, says researcher Mark Reinking, PT, Ph.D., chairman of the department of physical therapy at Saint Louis University's Doisy College of Health Sciences.

"When people expend more calories than they consume, they release fewer hormones, which slows down menstrual cycles. This decreases estrogen in the body, which is responsible for bone development," says Reinking, also chairman of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

Leg pain is one of the most common problems afflicting athletes, Reinking says.

"It causes people to miss practices and competitions, and I wanted to understand if two people were undergoing the same exercise regime, why only one of them would have leg pain," he says. "It's not as simple as 'Run less' or 'Change your shoes every 300 miles.' It's a complex problem, and you can't prevent something if you don't know what causes it".........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


September 12, 2006, 5:06 AM CT

Weight-loss And Dementia

Weight-loss And Dementia
A long-term study of the elderly has revealed that their average rate of weight loss doubles in the year before symptoms of Alzheimer's-type dementia first become detectable. The finding may be useful to scientists seeking ways to detect and treat Alzheimer's before it causes irreversible brain damage.

The study is the first to confirm in precise detail a link between weight loss and dementia tentatively identified a decade ago. Scientists report in the September 2006 Archives of Neurology that one year before study volunteers were diagnosed with very mild dementia, their rate of weight loss doubled from 0.6 pounds per year to 1.2 pounds per year. The analysis used data from the Memory and Aging Project at the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Alzheimer's scientists are working hard to find biomarkers, indicators that can be used to detect the presence of Alzheimer's before clinical symptoms become obvious. Studies at the ADRC and elsewhere have strongly suggested that if Alzheimer's therapys will ever prevent lasting cognitive damage, they may have to be given to patients before memory loss and other disruptions caused by the disorder are evident.

"A person's weight can vary substantially in a given year, so weight loss alone can't serve as a definite indicator for physicians," says David K. Johnson, Ph.D., research instructor in neurology. "But it's interesting from a biochemical perspective--we don't know why these two phenomena are linked. And weight loss may one day be incorporated into a battery of biomarkers that physicians keep their eyes on for early warning of Alzheimer's-type dementia".........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


September 5, 2006, 10:06 PM CT

Seeds of obesity start in early childhood

Seeds of obesity start in early childhood
A new research study of children's growth, published in the recent issue of Pediatrics, can help parents and pediatricians determine the risk that a child will be overweight at age 12 by examining the child's earlier growth. The study demonstrates that children who are overweight at any stage of their growth before age 12 are more likely to be overweight by the time they are 12, and the more times a child is measured as overweight during these growth years, the greater the chance that by 12 the child will be overweight.

For example, the researchers discovered that preschool-age children who were medically determined to be overweight at one of three points of measurement before age 5 were more than five times as likely to be overweight at age 12 than those who were below the 85th percentile for body mass index (BMI) during the same period. BMI is a standard measure calculated from a person's height and weight.

Philip R. Nader, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, is primary author of the study, with co-authors from 10 different institutions around the nation. He said the group pursued the study because obesity is a major public health problem in the United States.

According to Center for Disease Control growth standards developed before the obesity epidemic, children are considered to be overweight if their BMI is over the 85th percentile, or falls in the top 15% of children of the same height and gender. The Institute of Medicine considers these children obese if their BMI is over the 95tth percentile or the top 5%. The rate of obesity among adults and children in the U.S. has nearly tripled over the time that the children in the study were growing up.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


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