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Posts tagged ‘research’

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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New Study: Stress Increases Risk of Mental, Physical Illness

A New Study From A Leading University
In Germany Demonstrates How Stress Increases Risk of Mental and Physical Illness By Altering Genes

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany, psychological stress may increase the risk of mental and physical illness by altering the control of genes.

The research demonstrates that stress actually alters the methylation of DNA as a result of the activity of certain genes. The team investigated specific genes already known to be involved with controlling stress.

Previous studies on the effects of stress have shown that early psychological trauma and highly stressful events are linked to long-term methylation changes to DNA.  With this new study, the team research scientists sought to understand if the DNA alteration also occurs after acute psychological stress, such as the type of stress a person normally experiences during a job interview.

For the study, they examined two specific genes: one for the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) and one for the nerve growth factor brain-derived
neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

To differentiate, OXTR acts as a “docking site” for oxytocin, the chemical messenger known as the “love” or “trust” hormone. By contrast, BDNF functions in the development of brain cells.

The researchers recruited 76 participants (ages 60 – 69 ) to experience two kinds of stressful events. The first was to to take part in a mock job interview, and the other was to solve math problems while being watched.
Both of these tests are commonly used to
produce stress under controlled analytical laboratory environment.

The subjects gave blood samples before the tests, and twice afterwards: one ten minutes after the test (post-test) and another 1 and 1/2 hours after (follow-up). The researchers could measure the amount of DNA methylation in the two genes
from these samples.

The results showed that the BDNF (brain development) gene was not affected by the stress tests. Interestingly however, the OXTR gene showed measurable methylation changes.
There was an increase in methylation in a section of this gene in the post-test measure. This result suggests the cells formed fewer receptors.

Then in the follow-up blood sample, 1.5  hours after the test, methylation in the OXTR gene fell below the pre-test level, which suggests that the cells produced too many receptors.

“The results suggest a dynamic regulation of DNA methylation in OXTR , which may in part reflect changes in blood cell composition, but not BDNF after acute psychosocial stress,” reported the study’s authors.
“Epigenetic changes may well be an important link between stress and chronic diseases,” commented Dr. Gunther Meinlschmidt, professor and head of the Research Department of Psychobiology, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy at the LWL University Hospital in Universität Bochum  University.
“We hope to identify more complex epigenetic stress patterns in future and thus to be able to determine the associated risk of disease. This could provide information on new approaches to treatment and prevention,” he added.

Story Source:
Ruhr-Universität Bochum  University. Bochum Germany.
Journal Reference: The research is published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.
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.

Boosting Male Fertlity With Vitamins, Minerals and Micro-Nutr​ients

Nutrient Rich

Nutrient Rich (Photo credit: DerekSteen)

New Research Demonstrates Beneficial Results of Increasing Intake of 8 Specific Nutrients For Helping Boost Sperm Quality;  Also Enhancing The Probability Of Conception

An important new study from Austria using sub-fertile males showed that 3 months of daily supplementation with a combination of specific vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients resulted in significant improvements of sperm quality (up to 215%).

In addition, the combination of nutrients was associated with higher rates of conception, with 34 pregnancies reported during the 6 months that followed the study, compared with 11 in the control group, according to findings published in theEuropean e-Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.

The Austria-based researchers used a daily combination of L-Carnitine, L-Arginine, Zinc, Vitamin E, Glutathione, Selenium, Coenzyme Q10 and Folic Acid.

The nutrients are each recognized to be required for optimal sperm cell metabolism, DNA synthesis during spermatogenesis, proliferation and protective anti-oxidative function.

The  researchers stated “In consideration of their biochemical function, these ingredients are of great significance for male reproduction”

The Important Relationship Between Nutrient Intake and Fertility
Sub-fertility in men is reported to account for between 25 and 30% of all infertility causes. It is considered as one of the key reasons that birth rates are falling in Western countries.

Nutrition has been identified as a potential way of increasing the quality of sperm.

 

The new study carefully assessed the potential of a non-prescription combination of the 8 nutrients on sperm quality in 132 sub-fertile males (mean age: 34) while 73 sub-fertile men (mean age: 38) participated as controls.

The results showed that men receiving the eight nutrients demonstrated a 33% improvement in ejaculatory volume;  a 215% improvement  in sperm cell density and a 23% improvement in total sperm motility.  “These increments were significantly higher than those observed among controls. ” the researchers explained.

 

Source:

The European e-Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism

 

(Published online 3 December 2011)

 

“Improvement of Sperm Quality After Micro-Nutrient Supplementation”

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.

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.

Magnesium Lowers Blood Pressure, New Study Reports

 

BLOOD PRESSURE CHECK

BLOOD PRESSURE CHECK (Photo credit: Morning Calm News)

Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire have found that magnesium supplements may provide clinically significant reductions in blood pressure.

In a report published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers also discovered that the measure of the effect increased in proportion with increased dosage.

Cardiovascular diseases cause almost 50% of deaths in Europe and contribute heavily to escalating healthcare costs. Elevated blood pressure or hypertension is a major risk factor for mortality from cardiovascular and renal disease.

Causes of hypertension include smoking, an inactive, sedentary lifestyle, a diet high in sodium and an inadequate intake of specific nutrients, especially minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.

 

“Until now, there’s been inconclusive evidence regarding the effect of magnesium supplements on blood pressure,” explained the researchers from the University of Hertfordshire. “So we conducted a meta-analysis by analysing data from twenty-two trials involving 1,173 people to assess the effect of magnesium on blood pressure.”

 

In the trials, the magnesium supplementation doses ranged from 120 to 973 mg with between 3 to 24 weeks of follow-up.  Although not all individual trials showed significance in blood pressure reduction, by combining the trials, the overall data indicated that daily magnesium supplementation reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The best results were observed at the higher dosages.

 

“The clinical significance in the reductions found from this meta-analysis may be important in helping to prevent hypertension and associated risks around cardiovascular disease,”the researchers reported … “And is worthy of future trials using solid methodology.”

 

Story Source: University of Hertfordshire

Journal Reference: “Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012;

 

 

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

 

 

 

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