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Posts tagged ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’

Keep Your Brain Sharp with Flavonoids From Fruits & Vegetables

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Fresh vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Optimizing dietary intake

with naturally-derived flavonoids

is good for your brain health…

Eating a healthy, nutritious diet especially rich in flavonoids (nutrients found in abundance in certain fruits and vegetables, as well as in coffee, tea and dark chocolate) could help keep your brain sharp as you get older.
Researchers from Institut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)  France and the Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2 report that people who ate foods naturally high in flavonoids performed significantly better on cognitive tests than those who reported low intakes of the nutrients.
Known as the PAQUID (Personnes Agées Quid) study, 1,640 subjects, (average age 77) and free of dementia at the start, were given food-frequency questionnaires that analyzed their dietary intakes of flavonoids. A range of
assessment tools also were administered to measure the subjects’ cognitive function. Subjects were then tested four times over the next 10 years.
Reporting in American Journal of Epidemiology, the researchers reported that subjects with the highest flavonoid intakes (between 13.6 and 36.9 milligrams per day) were found to have better cognitive function than those with the
lowest intakes. And those who consumed the most flavonoids maintained their cognitive superiority after 10 years of follow-up; Subjects with the lowest intakes lost an average of 2.1 points on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) while subjects with the highest intakes lost only 1.2 points.
Cognitive performance declines naturally with age, but the results of the study suggest that this decline could be slowed by increased intake of key flavonoids in the diet.
Not surprisingly, flavonoids have been receiving interest in recent years; A mounting body of scientific evidence: both epidemiological and laboratory-based studies linking a number of key flavonoids with lower risk for some cancers.
A regular diet high in fruits and vegetables is worth following for other health benefits, as well…
“We know that a diet high in flavonoids is also a diet high in fruits and vegetables. In these foods you also find antioxidant vitamins, fiber and other nutrients that may be beneficial to keep in good health,” the team of scientists explained. “This kind of diet is also associated with less morbidity resulting from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes. Therefore, to keep in good health, rather than focusing on a specific nutrient, it would more beneficial to adopt a diet with more fruits and vegetables, more fish; Less saturated fat, less salt, less processed foods.
“Only randomized trials would give a confirmation, ” they continued, “but it would be long and expensive, whereas we already know that ‘healthy’ dietary patterns are more likely to be beneficial for health.”
Journal Reference: American Journal of Epidemiology

This article is for informational and educational

purposes only;  It is not intended to provide
medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Good Cholestero​l Benefits From Soy: New Study

Study Supports Soy Cholesterol Benefits…                                    

Soybean seeds

Soybean seeds (Photo credit: IITA Image Library)

Despite past evidence suggesting that eating soy might only lower cholesterol in those whose bodies are able to convert it to an estrogen-like compound called equol, a new study shows soy might benefit a wider range of people.

Canadian researchers discovered that a diet high in soy isoflavones lowered  “bad” cholesterol ( LDL ) about equally in people who were considered equol producers and in those who were not. The equol producers, however, maintained their previous levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, while the non-producers’ HDL levels also dropped.

Nutrition researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada used three previous studies to test whether the ability to produce equol from soy products was linked to changes in cholesterol.

The researchers analyzed data on 85 people who participated in one of the three studies. In each of the studies the participants ate between 30 grams and 52 grams of soy foods including: tofu burgers or tofu hot dogs every day over four weeks.

Before they started eating the soy, both equol and non-equol producers had LDL cholesterol in the range that would be considered high according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Their HDL cholesterol was also considered low.

For LDL cholesterol, the AHA says a reading between 160 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and 189 mg/dL is high, while HDL cholesterol below 60 mg/dL is considered low and not protective against heart disease.

After the study, the 33 equol producers’ HDL stayed about the same, while the non-equol producers’ dropped from about 48 mg/dL to about 46 mg/dL.

As for their LDL cholesterol, the equol producers’ fell from about 169 mg/dL to about 152 mg/dL. The non-equol producers’ fell from about 174 mg/dL to about 153 mg/dL.

The LDL reductions are large, the researchers reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, although that was likely because one of the three studies looked at weight reduction, and that would influence the results.

A 2006 review by the AHA nutrition committee of 22 randomized trials looking at soy and the levels of cholesterol said the LDL reduction they observed was relatively small in given the amount of soy a person would have to eat every day to achieve it.

Eating soy helps displace foods that can contribute to heart disease…

For example…”If you’re having a soy burger you may be displacing a hamburger,” they explained; “Overall, soy should only be one part of a cholesterol-lowering diet.” they concluded.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (online) February 1, 2012.

 

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Red Meat Linked to Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

A new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers finds a strong association between the consumption of red meat (especially when the meat is processed) and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
The study also shows that replacing red meat with healthier proteins,
such as low-fat dairy, nuts or whole grains, can significantly lower the risk.

The study was published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on August 10, 2011 and appears in the October print edition.

The team of nutrition and epidemiology researchers at HSPH, and colleagues analyzed questionnaire responses from 37,083 men followed for 20 years in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study; 79,570 women followed for 28 years in the Nurses’ Health Study I; and 87,504 women followed for 14 years in the Nurses’ Health Study II.

They also conducted an updated meta-analysis, combining data from their new study with data from existing studies that included a total of 442,101 participants, 28,228 of whom developed type 2 diabetes during the study. After adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI), and other lifestyle and dietary risk factors, the researchers found that a daily 100 gram serving of unprocessed red meat was associated with a 19% increased risk of type 2 diabetes. They also found that one daily serving of half that quantity of processed meat 50 grams (equivalent to one hot dog or sausage or two slices of bacon) was associated with a 51% increased risk.

“Clearly, the results from this study have huge public health implications given the rising type 2 diabetes epidemic and increasing consumption of red meats worldwide,” they said. “The good news is that such troubling risk factors can be offset by swapping red meat for a healthier protein.”

The researchers found that, for an individual who eats one daily serving of red meat, substituting one serving of nuts per day was associated with a 21% lower risk of type 2 diabetes; substituting low-fat dairy, a 17% lower risk; and substituting whole grains, a 23% lower risk.

Based on these results, the researchers advise that consumption of processed red meat such as hot dogs, bacon, sausage and deli meats, generally have high levels of sodium and nitrites and should be minimized. Unprocessed red meat such as steak should be also reduced. If possible, red meat should be replaced with healthier choices, such as nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish or beans.

Worldwide, diabetes has reached epidemic levels, affecting nearly 350 million adults. In the U.S. alone, more than 11% of adults over age 20 — 25.6 million people — have the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most have type 2 diabetes, which is primarily linked to obesity, physical inactivity, and an unhealthy diet.

Previous studies have indicated that eating processed red meats increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Risks from unprocessed meats have been less clear. For instance, in 2010, HSPH researchers found no clear evidence of an association between eating unprocessed meats and increased risk for either coronary heart disease or type 2 diabetes, but that study was based on smaller samples than the current study, and the researchers recommended further study of unprocessed meats.

Another HSPH study in 2010 linked eating red meat with an increased risk of heart disease, which is strongly linked to diabetes, but did not distinguish between processed and unprocessed red meats.

This new study, the largest of its kind in terms of sample size and follow-up years finds that both unprocessed and processed meats pose a type 2 diabetes risk. This study is among the first to estimate the risk reduction associated with substituting healthier protein choices for red meat.

“Our study clearly shows that eating both unprocessed and processed red meat, particularly processed, is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes,” said the researchers, noting that the 2010 U.S. dietary guidelines continue to lump red meat together with fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, and soy products in the “protein foods” group.

But since red meat appears to have the negative health effects of increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and total mortality, suggested by several recent studies, they suggested the guidelines should distinguish red meat from healthier protein sources and promote the latter instead.

Support for the study was provided by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Story Source: Harvard School of Public Health.

Journal Reference: Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes:
3 Cohorts of U.S. Adults and an Updated Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 10, 2011

Harvard School of Public Health (2011, August 11). Red meat linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice,diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

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