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Posts tagged ‘Health’

New Study Now Links Soy Intake

Regular consumption of soy products could decrease the risk of lung disease and breathlessness, according to a new respiratory health study from Japan.

Published in the Journal Respiratory Research, the new study
examined nearly 300 patients diagnosed with lung disease, and
measured their reported soy food intake. “Soy consumption was
found to be positively correlated with lung function and inversely associated with the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The epidemiological evidence also indicated an inverse association between total soy intake and breathlessness,” wrote the researchers from Japan and Australia.

Questionnaires

The study was conducted on 278 Japanese patients aged 50-75,
who had been diagnosed with COPD within the past four years.
Another 340 participants recruited from the general Japanese
population were used as a control group. All participants were
tested for respiratory function. Food consumption and lifestyle
characteristics were determined based on structured questionnaires.

The researchers identified the self-reporting of dietary intake as a limitation to their study, but said that they also included individual interviews with relatives in order to increase response rate and improve the accurac y of answers. They also said all interviews were conducted by the same investigator to eliminate inter-interviewer bias.

Participants were asked specifically about their soy food
consumption for the five years prior to the interview date.
For the purposes of the study, soy foods includeded tofu, natto, bean sprouts, and soy milk. Other variables measured were age, gender, body mass index, education level, physical activity, smoking status, and dietary intake of fruit, vegetables, fish, red meat and chicken.

Cautious Benfits

Overall, the researchers found that those participants diagnosed with COPD had significantly lower soy intake than controls. Researcher then examined the relationship with lung function, and found that this was positively correlated with total soy consumption.

“A significant reduction in COPD risk was evident for the highest versus lowest quartile of daily total intake of soybean products,” wrote the researchers.

The observed benefits, consistent with findings from previous
studies, could be a result of the anti-inflammatory benefits of
soyfoods, they said, but added that more research is needed
to understand the underlying biological mechanism.
“The present case-control s tudy has suggested an inverse
association between soy products and COPD risk for Japanese
adults,” concluded the researchers.

“More research and/or replications are required to ascertain whether the observed findings can be generalized to other populations, before incorporating these foods into dietary guidelines so as to encourage consumption.”

“Besides experimental studies, long-term prospective cohort studies collecting detailed dietary exposure information are recommended to provide epidemiological evidence on both morbidity and mortality due to COPD.”

Source: Soy consumption and risk of COPD and respiratory symptoms: a case-control study in Japan Respiratory Research 2009,

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Spinach Boosts Muscle Strength

Popeye Was Right…
Eating Spinach Really Does Boost Muscle Strength!
Fresh Spinach
A Swedish study now suggests that “Popeye” may have been onto something with his gobbling of spinach.
In controlled scientific tests with laboratory subjects, nitrates like those found naturally in spinach, beet root, chard and lettuce had a “powerful effect” on boosting muscle strength.

Researchers fed one group of mice water enriched with nitrate for a week, then compared the animals’ muscles to those of a control group. The mice given nitrate had much stronger muscles, particularly in the legs and feet. They also had higher concentrations of two proteins involved in the body’s calcium balance, an important factor in muscle contraction.

The subjects were given an amount of nitrate equivalent to what a human would obtain from 7 to 10 ounces of fresh spinach. It was important to note, researchers explained, that the development of stronger muscles was linked to doses obtainable from a normal diet, especially one providing more vegetables.
Journal Reference: Journal of Nutrition
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.

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.

Beta-Carot​ene Supplement​s Benefit The Aging Brain

Regular Beta-Carotene Intake Beta Carotene herbal product
Throughout Middle Age May Benefit The Aging Brain

A recent study of people taking beta-carotene supplements analyzing the key potential benefits against cognitive decline demonstrates there are ways, through basic “health-minded” lifestyle modifications, that proper nutritional intake can help memory as people get older.

Most importantly, the findings also suggest beta-carotene may help keep the brain sharp if taken regularly as a supplement for many years.

Results of the placebo-controlled study of 5,956 men were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported that men who took betacarotene supplements every other day for an average 18 years scored much better in cognitive testing than those taking a placebo.

They scored especially well on verbal memory. However, those in a shorter-term test who averaged only one year of supplementation, did not demonstrate a similar benefit.

“Men who took beta-carotene for a mean of 18 years had about the same degree of cognitive function as men one year younger,” the researchers explained. “In other words, if you take beta-carotene for 18 years, you delay cognitive aging for about one year.”

They also said that women would likely see a similar long-term benefit. The researchers suggested that beta carotene might help delay the effects of aging on cognitive abilities by counter-acting oxidative damage in the brain.

“In this generally healthy population, the extent of protection conferred by long-term treatment appeared modest,” they noted. “Nonetheless, studies have established that very modest differences in cognition (especially verbal memory) predict substantial differences in eventual risk of dementia.”

The long-term group in the study included 4,052 participants in the Physicians Health Study who began taking supplements or placebo in 1982. Between 1998 and 2001, an additional 1,904 men were randomly assigned to one of the two groups.

Both groups were followed through 2003, completing yearly questionnaires about their health and their compliance with taking the supplement. The men were assessed  for cognitive function at least once between 1998 and 2002, then evaluated at the study’s conclusion using a set of five cognitive tests.

Beta-carotene’s benefits against the ravages of cognitive decline surpassed those of other medications tested in healthy older people, making it worthy of continued study.

Story Source:

Archives of Internal Medicine

 

Journal Reference:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA
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.

Reduce Abdominal Fat with Ultra Coconut Oil

Not All Coconut Oil Products
Are Created Equal…

Extra-virgin oil is considered best because the coconut oil  has not been refined, bleached, or deodorized.  In addition, extra-virgin coconut oil provides richer nutritional content than other refined coconut oil products on the market.

Experts recommend…

Don’t select coconut oil products from hydrogenated oil or oil that has been treated with heat, solvents, or bleach.

 Coconut On Green Leaves.

Coconut Oil Is Recognized For

These Key Health Benefits:

Helps support thyroid function
Helps boost metabolism
Has antiviral and antibacterial properties
Helps lower blood pressure levels
Helps improve healthy cholesterol levels
Assists weight loss
Promotes improved diabetes control
Helps increase bone strength
Contributes to better digestion
Nourishment for healthy skin & hair

Contributes to improved immune function

Summary Of Recent Research On The Benefits of Coconut Oil…

According to a 2009 study from the journal “Lipids.” consuming coconut oil may help fight excess abdominal obesity. For 12 weeks, 40 women with excess belly fat were placed on a diet, and instructed to exercise each day; They were given daily supplements containing either soybean oil or coconut oil.  Although participants of both groups lost weight, women taking the coconut oil capsules demonstrated a greater decrease in their waistline measurements.

Healthier Cholesterol Levels

New research suggests that coconut oil may help keep cholesterol under control. A recent study published in “Clinical Biochemistry” found that laboratory subjects administered virgin coconut oil for 45 days experienced a reduction in their total cholesterol and LDL “bad”cholesterol.

Tests on laboratory subjects indicate that intake of  coconut oil with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may assist in promoting loss of body fat.

 

New Study Confirms Vitamin D Helps Protects Lung Function

20/2.2011 vitamin D

20/2.2011 vitamin D (Photo credit: julochka)

A new study reports…

Vitamin D May Protect Lung

Function in Smokers   An important new study at the Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital  confirms Vitamin D deficiency is associated with rapid decline in lung function over time in smokers;  The research suggests that the “sunshine” vitamin may also help protect against the effects of smoking on lung function.

The researchers examined the relationship between vitamin D deficiency, smoking, lung function, and the rate of lung function decline over a 20 year period in a cohort of 626 adult white men from the Normative Aging Study.

They found that sufficient Vitamin D (serum vitamin D levels of >20 ng/ml) had a protective effect on lung function and slowing the rate of lung function decline in smokers.

The findings were published online in the American Thoracic Society‘s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In the study, vitamin D levels were assessed at three different time points between 1984 and 2003, and lung function was assessed using specialized analytical equipment.

“Our results suggest that vitamin D might modify the damaging effects of smoking on lung function,” said the researchers, adding… “These effects might be due to vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.”

“If these results can be replicated in other studies, they could be of great public health importance,” they emphasized  “Future research should also examine whether vitamin D protects against lung damage from other sources, such as air pollution.”

“While these results are intriguing, the health hazards associated with smoking far outweigh any protective effect that vitamin D may have on lung function ,” said Alexander C. White MS, MD, chair of the American Thoracic Society’s Tobacco Action Committee.

“First and foremost, patients who smoke should be fully informed about the health consequences of smoking and in addition be given all possible assistance to help them quit smoking.”

 

Story Source: American Thoracic Society

Journal Reference:

American Thoracic Society (ATS) (2012, July 20). Vitamin D may protect lung function in smokers.

 

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.

High Fat Diets Associated With Diminished Fertlity In Men

The Effects of a Paleolithic Omnivore Meat bas...

The Effects of a Paleolithic Omnivore Meat based Diet. (Photo credit: Paleo-Caveman-Omnivore-LowCarb-Meat-Diet-Info)

A man’s diets, specifically the amount and type of different fats they eat, are associated with their semen quality according to the results of a study in the journal Human Reproduction.

The study of 99 men in the USA found a key association between a high total fat intake and lower total sperm count and concentration. It also found that men who ate more omega-3 polyunsaturated fats (the healthy type of fats often found in fish and plant oils) produced better quality sperm than men who ate less.

However, the researchers explained that this is a small study, and its findings need to be replicated by further research in order to be sure about the role played by fats on men’s fertility.

It is suggested that men make changes to their diets to reduce the amount of saturated fat they eat and increase their omega-3 intake. This may not only improve their general health, but could improve their reproductive health too.

At a global level, adopting these lifestyle modifications may improve general health, as high saturated fat diets are known to be a risk factor for a range of cardiovascular diseases; but, in addition, our research suggests that it could be beneficial for reproductive health worldwide.”

A number of previous studies have investigated the link between body mass index (BMI) and semen quality, with mixed results. However, little is known about the potential role of dietary fats and semen quality, the researchers investigated
the relationship in men attending a fertility clinic.

Between December 2006 and August 2010 they questioned the men about their diet and analyzed samples of their semen; they also measured levels of fatty acids in sperm and seminal plasma in 23 of the 99 men participating.

The men were divided into three groups according to the amount of fats they consumed. Those in the third with the highest fat intake had a 43% lower total sperm count and 38% lower sperm concentration than men in the third with the
lowest fat intake. “Total sperm count” is defined as the total number of sperm in the ejaculate, while “sperm concentration” is defined as the concentration of sperm (number per unit volume).

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides a definition of “normal” total sperm count and concentration as follows: the total number of spermatozoa in the ejaculate should be at least 39 million; the concentration of spermatozoa
should be at least 15 million per ml.

The study found that the relationship between dietary fats and semen quality was affected by the consumption of saturated fats. Men consuming the most saturated fats had a 35% lower total sperm count than men eating the least, and a 38% lower sperm concentration.

“The magnitude of the association is quite dramatic and provides further support for the health efforts to limit consumption of saturated fat given their relation with other health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease,” said the researchers..

Men consuming the most omega-3 fats had slightly more sperm (1.9%) that were correctly formed than men in the third that had the lowest omega-3 intake.

It’s important to note… 71% of all the men in the study were overweight or obese, and the health effects of this could also affect semen quality. The researchers made allowances for this. “We were able to isolate the independent effects of fat intake from those of obesity using statistical models,” they explained. “Notably, the frequency of overweight and obesity among men in this study does not
differ much from that among men in the general population in the USA (74%).”

This is the largest study to date examining the influence of specific dietary fats on male fertility. The researchers concluded “Given the limitations of the current study, in particular the fact that it is a cross-sectional analysis and that it is the first report of a relation between dietary fat and semen quality, it is essential that these findings be reproduced in future work.”

Research scientists are continuing to investigate how dietary and lifestyle factors influence fertility in men and women as well as the treatment outcomes of couples undergoing fertility treatment.

Story Source: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE),

Journal Reference: Human Reproduction, 2012;

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) (2012, March 12).

 

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.

 

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