Pterostilbene, a molecule similar to resveratrol, as a potential treatment for obesity Reply

Research conducted by the UPV/EHU’s ‘Nutrition and Obesity’ group, which belongs to the Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in CIBERobn of the Carlos III Institute of Health, shows that pterostilbene reduces body fat
Pterostilbene is a phenolic compound in the same family as resveratrol and is present in small amounts in a large variety of foods and beverages like blueberries or red wine. In collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), researchers in the UPV/EHU’s ‘Nutrition and Obesity’ Group, which belongs to the Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn) of the Carlos III Institute of Health, have observed in animal models that its administration reduces the build-up of body fat, which could reduce the risk of developing other diseases like diabetes.

Obesity is a chronic disease caused by a whole range of factors and defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat. It is a metabolic disease very prevalent in developed countries and a significant risk factor for developing certain pathologies and alterations like insulin resistance, diabetes, fatty liver, alterations in plasma lipids and hypertension, among others.

The traditional guidelines for preventing and treating obesity include following a low-calorie diet and doing moderate physical activity over the long term. However, the effectiveness of these strategies is limited and the success achieved is not always the desired one. In this context, including functional ingredients in the diet opens up new treatment perspectives. An example of these ingredients are phenolic compounds, one of which is pterostilbene.

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BPA exposure by infants may increase later risk of food intolerance Reply

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

30-Oct-2014

New research in The FASEB Journal suggests that exposure to Bisphenol A at a dose significantly below the current FDA Tolerable Daily Intake predisposes offspring to food intolerance at adulthood

If it seems like more people are allergic to, or intolerant of, more and different kinds of foods than ever before, there might be a reason why. A new research published in November 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists show, for the first time, that there is a link between perinatal exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) at low doses and the risk to develop food intolerance in later life. This research involving rats suggests that early life exposure at a dose significantly below the current human safety limit set by the FDA affects developing immune systems, predisposing offspring to food intolerance in adulthood.

“Food contributes over 80 percent of the population’s exposure to BPA,” said Sandrine Menard, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Neuro-Gastroenterology and Nutrition at INRA in Toulouse, France. “On the basis of the susceptibility to food intolerance after perinatal exposure to BPA, these new scientific data may help decisions by public health authorities on the need of a significant reduction in the level of exposure to BPA in pregnant and breastfeeding women, to limit the risk for their children of adverse food reactions later in life.” More…

Low-carb, high-fat diets may reduce seizures in tough-to-treat epilepsy Reply

MINNEAPOLIS – Diets high in fat and low in carbohydrates, such as the ketogenic or modified Atkins diet, may reduce seizures in adults with tough-to-treat epilepsy, according to a review of the research published in the October 29, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Epilepsy is a nervous system disorder in which the nerve cells in the brain work abnormally, causing seizures. About 50 million people have epilepsy worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

“We need new treatments for the 35 percent of people with epilepsy whose seizures are not stopped by medications,” said study author Pavel Klein, M.B.,B. Chir., of the Mid-Atlantic Epilepsy and Sleep Center in Bethesda, Md., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “The ketogenic diet is often used in children, but little research has been done on how effective it is in adults.”

The ketogenic and modified Atkins diets include items such as bacon, eggs, heavy cream, butter, leafy green vegetables and fish. The ketogenic diet consists of a ratio of fat to protein/carbohydrates of three or four to one by weight. The modified Atkins diet has a one-to-one fat to carbohydrate/protein ratio by weight.

Scientists reviewed five studies on the ketogenic diet with a total of 47 people included in the analysis and five studies on the modified Atkins diet with 85 people included. More…

TAU study finds asthmatics with Vitamin D deficiency are 25 percent more likely to experience acute attacks Reply

Breathe Easier: Get Your D

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 9:30:00 AM
Asthma, which inflames and narrows the airways, has become more common in recent years. While there is no known cure, asthma can be managed with medication and by avoiding allergens and other triggers. A new study by a Tel Aviv University researcher points to a convenient, free way to manage acute asthmatic episodes — catching some rays outside.

According to a paper recently published in the journal Allergy, measuring and, if need be, boosting Vitamin D levels could help manage asthma attacks. The research, conducted by Dr. Ronit Confino-Cohen of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Meir Medical Center, and the Clalit Research Institute, and Dr. Becca Feldman of the Clalit Research Institute drew on the records of millions of patients and used physician diagnoses, rather than self-reports, for evidence of asthma episodes.

“Vitamin D has significant immunomodulatory effects and, as such, was believed to have an effect on asthma — an immunologically mediated disease,” said Dr. Confino-Cohen. “But most of the existing data regarding Vitamin D and asthma came from the pediatric population and was inconsistent. Our present study is unique because the study population of young adults is very large and ‘uncontaminated’ by other diseases.” More…

Why scratching makes you itch more Reply

Turns out your mom was right: Scratching an itch only makes it worse. New research from scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that scratching causes the brain to release serotonin, which intensifies the itch sensation.

The findings, in mice, are reported online in the journal Neuron. The same vicious cycle of itching and scratching is thought to occur in humans, and the research provides new clues that may help break that cycle, particularly in people who experience chronic itching.

Scientists have known for decades that scratching creates a mild amount of pain in the skin, said senior investigator Zhou-Feng Chen, PhD, director of Washington University’s Center for the Study of Itch. That pain can interfere with itching — at least temporarily — by getting nerve cells in the spinal cord to carry pain signals to the brain instead of itch signals.

“The problem is that when the brain gets those pain signals, it responds by producing the neurotransmitter serotonin to help control that pain,” Chen explained. “But as serotonin spreads from the brain into the spinal cord, we found the chemical can ‘jump the tracks,’ moving from pain-sensing neurons to nerve cells that influence itch intensity.”

Scientists uncovered serotonin’s role in controlling pain decades ago, but this is the first time the release of the chemical messenger from the brain has been linked to itch, Chen said. More…

HPV infections in women eradicated by AHCC, Japanese mushroom extract Reply

Results of human pilot study presented at SIO meeting in Houston

(October 29, 2014, Beaverton, OR) New research presented at the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) 11th International Conference in Houston, TX showed for the first time that it is possible to eliminate HPV infection in women using a readily available nutritional supplement, AHCC.

The study, presented by Dr. Judith A. Smith, Pharm.D., associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, was selected for special research platform presentation as “Best of SIO.”

“HPV is associated with 99% of cervical cancers as well as many other life threatening cancers,” said Dr. Smith. “Patients who learn that they have HPV, and their doctors, are understandably frustrated because all we can do is monitor them for the abnormal changes associated with cancer. What we need is a safe, effective treatment for HPV before the cancer occurs.”

In the study ten women who tested HPV-positive with the Cervista HPV HR Test were treated orally with the Japanese mushroom extract AHCC (active hexose correlated compound) once daily for up to six months. Five achieved a negative HPV test result – three with confirmed eradication after stopping AHCC – and the remaining two responders continue on the study.

Further investigation in a formal phase II randomized placebo controlled study is now being enrolled at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School. HPV study website. More…

Tea and citrus fruits and juices are associated with a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer by 31% Reply

Tue, 28 Oct 2014

Tea and citrus fruits and juices are associated with a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Research published today reveals that women who consume foods containing flavonols and flavanones (both subclasses of dietary flavonoids) significantly decrease their risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer, the fifth-leading cause of cancer death among women.

The research team studied the dietary habits of 171,940 women aged between 25 and 55 for more than three decades.

The team found that those who consumed food and drinks high in flavonols (found in tea, red wine, apples and grapes) and flavanones (found in citrus fruit and juices) were less likely to develop the disease.

Ovarian cancer affects more than 6,500 women in the UK each year. In the United States, about 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year.

Prof Aedin Cassidy, from the Department of Nutrition at UEA’s Norwich Medical School, led the study. She said: “This is the first large-scale study looking into whether habitual intake of different flavonoids can reduce the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. More…

UTHealth research shows mushroom extract, AHCC, helpful in treating HPV Reply

HOUSTON – (Oct. 28, 2014) – A Japanese mushroom extract appears to be effective for the eradication of human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a pilot clinical trial at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School.

The results were presented at the 11th International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology in Houston today by principal investigator Judith A. Smith, Pharm.D., associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the UTHealth Medical School.

Ten HPV-positive women were treated orally with the extract, AHCC (active hexose correlated compound) once daily for up to six months. Five achieved a negative HPV test result – three with confirmed eradication after stopping AHCC – with the remaining two responders continuing on the study.

Currently, there is no effective medicine or supplement to treat HPV, which is associated with more than 99 percent of cervical cancer cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several other cancers are related to HPV, including 95 percent of anal cancer, 60 percent of oropharyngeal, 65 percent of vaginal cancer, 50 percent of vulvar cancer and 35 percent of penile cancer. More…

Replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat linked with lower risk of heart disease Reply

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

27-Oct-2014

Boston, MA — People who swap 5% of the calories they consume from saturated fat sources such as red meat and butter with foods containing linoleic acid—the main polyunsaturated fat found in vegetable oil, nuts, and seeds—lowered their risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events by 9% and their risk of death from CHD by 13%, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. Substitution of 5% of calories from carbohydrate with linoleic acid was associated with similar reductions in risk of heart disease.

“There has been much confusion and sensational headlines about the role of different types of fat in CHD,” said Frank Hu, senior author and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. “Randomized clinical trials have shown that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat reduces total and LDL cholesterol. And our comprehensive meta-analysis provides clear evidence to support the benefits of consuming polyunsaturated fat as a replacement for saturated fat.”

The study appears in the October 28, 2014 print issue of Circulation. More…

Prostate cancer risk reduced by sleeping with many women, but increased with many men Reply

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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

27-Oct-2014

Compared to men who have had only one partner during their lifetime, having sex with more than 20 women is associated with a 28% lower risk of one day being diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to researchers at the University of Montreal and INRS – Institut Armand-Frappier. However, having more than 20 male partners in one’s lifetime is associated with a twofold higher risk of getting prostate cancer compared to those who have never slept with a man.

Marie-Elise Parent and Marie-Claude Rousseau, professors at university’s School of Public Health, and their colleague Andrea Spence, published their findings in the journal Cancer Epidemiology. The results were obtained as part of the Montreal study PROtEuS (Prostate Cancer & Environment Study), in which 3,208 men responded to a questionnaire on, amongst other things, their sex lives. Of these men, 1,590 were diagnosed with prostate cancer between September 2005 and August 2009, while 1,618 men were part of the control group.

Risk Associated with Number of Partners

Overall, men with prostate cancer were twice as likely as others to have a relative with cancer. However, evidence suggests that the number of sexual partners affects the development of the cancer.

Consequently, men who said they had never had sexual intercourse were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as those who said they had.

When a man has slept with more than 20 women during his lifetime there is a 28% reduction in the risk of having prostate cancer (all types), and a 19% reduction for aggressive types of cancer. “It is possible that having many female sexual partners results in a higher frequency of ejaculations, whose protective effect against prostate cancer has been previously observed in cohort studies,” Parent explained. More…

New prostate cancer screening guideline recommends not using PSA test Reply

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

27-Oct-2014

Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care releases updated guideline

A new Canadian guideline recommends that the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test should not be used to screen for prostate cancer based on evidence that shows an increased risk of harm and uncertain benefits. The guideline is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

“Some people believe men should be screened for prostate cancer with the PSA test but the evidence indicates otherwise,” states Dr. Neil Bell, member of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care and chair of the prostate cancer guideline working group. “These recommendations balance the possible benefits of PSA screening with the potential harms of false positives, overdiagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.”

For men with prostate cancer diagnosed through PSA screening, between 11.3% and 19.8% will receive a false-positive diagnosis, and 40% to 56% will be affected by overdiagnosis leading to invasive treatment. Treatment such as surgery can cause postoperative complications, such as infection (in 11% to 21% of men), urinary incontinence (in up to 17.8%), erectile dysfunction (23.4%) and other complications.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in men and the third most common cause of death from cancer in men in Canada. However, the prognosis for most prostate cancers is good with a 10-year survival rate of 95%. Prostate cancer is generally slow to progress and usually not life-threatening.

The guideline, aimed at physicians, other health care professionals and policymakers, contains prostate cancer screening recommendations for using the PSA test with or without manual rectal examination of men in the general population. Based on the latest evidence and international best practices, the guideline updates the previous version published by the task force in 1994. More…

Dietary cocoa flavanols reverse age-related memory decline Reply

Dietary flavanols reverse age-related memory decline

Findings strengthen link between specific brain region and normal memory decline
NEW YORK, NY (October 26, 2014)—Dietary cocoa flavanols—naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa—reversed age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, according to a study led by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) scientists. The study, published today in the advance online issue of Nature Neuroscience, provides the first direct evidence that one component of age-related memory decline in humans is caused by changes in a specific region of the brain and that this form of memory decline can be improved by a dietary intervention.

As people age, they typically show some decline in cognitive abilities, including learning and remembering such things as the names of new acquaintances or where one parked the car or placed one’s keys. This normal age-related memory decline starts in early adulthood but usually does not have any noticeable impact on quality of life until people reach their fifties or sixties. Age-related memory decline is different from the often-devastating memory impairment that occurs with Alzheimer’s, in which a disease process damages and destroys neurons in various parts of the brain, including the memory circuits.

Previous work, including by the laboratory of senior author Scott A. Small, MD, had shown that changes in a specific part of the brain—the dentate gyrus—are associated with age-related memory decline. Until now, however, the evidence in humans showed only a correlational link, not a causal one. To see if the dentate gyrus is the source of age-related memory decline in humans, Dr. Small and his colleagues tested whether compounds called cocoa flavanols can improve the function of this brain region and improve memory. Flavanols extracted from cocoa beans had previously been found to improve neuronal connections in the dentate gyrus of mice. More…

Compound in grapes, red wine could be key to fighting prostate cancer Reply

19 NOV 2012
MU researcher finds that prostate tumor cells are more susceptible to treatment after being exposed to resveratrol, a compound found in grape skins and red wine

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Resveratrol, a compound found commonly in grape skins and red wine, has been shown to have several beneficial effects on human health, including cardiovascular health and stroke prevention. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has discovered that the compound can make prostate tumor cells more susceptible to radiation treatment, increasing the chances of a full recovery from all types of prostate cancer, including aggressive tumors.

“Other studies have noted that resveratrol made tumor cells more susceptible to chemotherapy, and we wanted to see if it had the same effect for radiation therapy,” said Michael Nicholl, an assistant professor of surgical oncology in the MU School of Medicine. “We found that when exposed to the compound, the tumor cells were more susceptible to radiation treatment, but that the effect was greater than just treating with both compounds separately.”

Prostate tumor cells contain very low levels of two proteins, perforin and granzyme B, which can function together to kill cells. However, both proteins need to be highly “expressed” to kill tumor cells. In his study, when Nicholl introduced resveratrol into the prostate tumor cells, the activity of the two proteins increased greatly. Following radiation treatment, Nicholl found that up to 97 percent of the tumor cells died, which is a much higher percentage than treatment with radiation alone. More…

To boost self-control, gargle sugar water Reply

19 NOV 2012

Sugar boosts self-control, UGA study says

Athens, Ga. – To boost self-control, gargle sugar water. According to a study co-authored by University of Georgia professor of psychology Leonard Martin published Oct. 22 in Psychological Science, a mouth rinse with glucose improves self-control.

His study looked at 51 students who performed two tasks to test self-control. The first task, which has shown to deplete self-control, was the meticulous crossing out of Es on a page from a statistics book. Then, participants performed what is known as the Stroop task where they were asked to identify the color of various words flashed on a screen, which spell out the names of other colors. The Stroop task’s goal is to turn off the student’s tendency to read the words and instead see the colors.

Half of the students rinsed their mouths with lemonade sweetened with sugar while performing the Stroop test, the other half with Splenda-sweetened lemonade. Students who rinsed with sugar, rather than artificial sweetener, were significantly faster at responding to the color rather than the word. More…

Vitamin D prevents clogged arteries in diabetics Reply

November 13, 2012

By Jim Dryden

People with diabetes often develop clogged arteries that cause heart disease, and new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that low vitamin D levels are to blame.

In a study published Nov. 9 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the researchers report that blood vessels are less likely to clog in people with diabetes who get adequate vitamin D. But in patients with insufficient vitamin D, immune cells bind to blood vessels near the heart, then trap cholesterol to block those blood vessels.

Low levels of vitamin D in people with diabetes appear to encourage cholesterol to build up in arteries, eventually blocking the flow of blood. In mice, immune cells adhering to the wall of a major blood vessel near the heart are loaded with cholesterol (shown in red).

“About 26 million Americans now have type 2 diabetes,” says principal investigator Carlos Bernal-Mizrachi, MD. “And as obesity rates rise, we expect even more people will develop diabetes. Those patients are more likely to experience heart problems due to an increase in vascular inflammation, so we have been investigating why this occurs.”

In earlier research, Bernal-Mizrachi, an assistant professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology, and his colleagues found that vitamin D appears to play a key role in heart disease. This new study takes their work a step further, suggesting that when vitamin D levels are low, a particular class of white blood cell is more likely to adhere to cells in the walls of blood vessels. More…

Ancient foot massage technique may ease cancer symptoms Reply

19 NOV 2012

 

EAST LANSING, Mich. — A study led by a Michigan State University researcher offers the strongest evidence yet that reflexology – a type of specialized foot massage practiced since the age of pharaohs – can help cancer patients manage their symptoms and perform daily tasks.

Funded by the National Cancer Institute and published in the latest issue of Oncology Nursing Forum, it is the first large-scale, randomized study of reflexology as a complement to standard cancer treatment, according to lead author Gwen Wyatt, a professor in the College of Nursing.

“It’s always been assumed that it’s a nice comfort measure, but to this point we really have not, in a rigorous way, documented the benefits,” Wyatt said. “This is the first step toward moving a complementary therapy from fringe care to mainstream care.”

Reflexology is based on the idea that stimulating specific points on the feet can improve the functioning of corresponding organs, glands and other parts of the body.

The study involved 385 women undergoing chemotherapy or hormonal therapy for advanced-stage breast cancer that had spread beyond the breast. The women were assigned randomly to three groups: Some received treatment by a certified reflexologist, others got a foot massage meant to act like a placebo, and the rest had only standard medical treatment and no foot manipulation. More…