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160th Health Research Report 26 JUL 2013

Health Research Report

160th Issue Date 26 JUL 2013

Compiled By Ralph Turchiano

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1. Prostate cancers are fewer, smaller on walnut-enriched diet

2. What are Fructooliogosaccharides and How Do They Provide Digestive, Immunity and Bone Health Benefits?

3. Vitamins and minerals can boost energy and enhance mood

4. Uncovering a healthier remedy for chronic pain

5. Breastfeeding Could Prevent ADHD

6. A ginkgo biloba extract promotes proliferation of endogenous neural stem cells

7. Bad sleep around full moon is no longer a myth

 

 

Prostate cancers are fewer, smaller on walnut-enriched diet

SAN ANTONIO (July 16, 2013) — New research from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio indicates that eating a modest amount of walnuts can protect against prostate cancer.

The study is described in the journal Cancer Investigation. Researchers at the UT Health Science Center injected immune-deficient mice with human prostate cancer cells. Within three to four weeks, tumors typically start to grow in a large number of these mice. The study asked whether a walnut-enriched diet versus a non-walnut diet would be associated with reduced cancer formation. A previous study found this to be true for breast cancer.

Results

Three of 16 mice (18 percent) eating the walnut-enriched diet developed prostate tumors, compared with 14 of 32 mice (44 percent) on the non-walnut control diet. Also of note, the final average tumor size in the walnut-fed animals was roughly one-fourth the average size of the prostate tumors that developed in the mice eating the control diet.

“We found the results to be stunning because there were so few tumors in animals consuming the walnuts and these tumors grew much more slowly than in the other animals,” said study senior author Russel Reiter, Ph.D., professor of cellular and structural biology at the Health Science Center. “We were absolutely surprised by how highly effective the walnut diet was in terms of inhibition of human prostate cancer.”

Percentage of diet

The mice consumed a diet typically used in animal studies, except with the addition of a small amount of walnuts pulverized into a fine powder to prevent the rodents from only eating the walnuts. “The walnut portion was not a large percentage of the diet,” Dr. Reiter said. “It was the equivalent to a human eating about 2 ounces, or two handfuls, a day, which is not a lot of walnuts.”

Study co-author W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, published a study in 2011 that showed fewer and smaller tumors among walnut-fed mice injected with human breast cancer cells. Dr. Hardman formerly was a faculty member at the Health Science Center.

“The data to date suggest that using walnuts on a regular basis in the diet may be beneficial to defer, prevent or delay some types of cancer, including breast and prostate,” Dr. Reiter said.

What are Fructooliogosaccharides and How Do They Provide Digestive, Immunity and Bone Health Benefits?

 

A new presentation at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Expo in Chicago® focused on the health benefits of short-chain fructooliogosaccharides (scFOS), which are low-calorie, non-digestible carbohydrates that can improve food taste and texture while aiding immunity, bone health and the growth and balance of important bacteria in the digestive track.

July 16, 2013

CHICAGO — A new presentation today at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Expo in Chicago® focused on the health benefits of short-chain fructooliogosaccharides (scFOS), which are low-calorie, non-digestible carbohydrates that can improve food taste and texture while aiding immunity, bone health and the growth and balance of important bacteria in the digestive track.

Fructooliogosaccharides are naturally found in chicory, onions, asparagus, wheat, tomatoes and other fruits, vegetables and grains. They also can be derived from cane sugar and seaweed for use as a low-calorie (1.5—2 Kcal/g) food sweetener and supplement. As scFOS provides approximately 30-to-50 percent of the sweetness of regular sugar, it can be used to enhance flavor and lower the amount of sugar in a food product.

In addition, scFOS are considered prebiotics. After they are consumed, fructooliogosaccharides move to the large intestine to stimulate the production of microbiota in the colon and gastrointestinal track.

Microbiotas are “friendly, beneficial” bacteria, said Kelly A. Tappenden, Ph.D., Kraft Foods human nutrition endowed professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and editor-in-chief of theJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Microbiotas produce essential nutrients such as short-chain fatty acids; control epithelial cell growth (the cells that line body cavities); prevent overgrowth of infectious organisms; boost intestinal immunity; and prevent inflammation, diarrhea and other intestinal conditions. This “essential ecosystem” provides an important “balance between health and disease” in the body.

Fructooliogosaccharides also increase calcium absorption in the body, an important consideration for pre- and post-menopausal women, ages 45 and older, who are losing critical bone mass that increases their risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures.

The regular addition of scFOS to the diet is “ideal for maintaining mineral density and (bone) strength,” said Phillip Allsopp, Ph.D., research associate at the University of Ulster in Coleraine, Ireland.

Most Americans, including many formula-fed infants and children, do not get enough scFOS, said Cristina Munteanu, senior technical service technologist at Ingredion, Inc.

As an additive, scFOS is a clear, stable powder suitable for pasteurization, baking and beverages, said Munteanu. It can be found in milk, yogurts and other dairy products, as well as snacks, cereal, bars and candy.

 

Vitamins and minerals can boost energy and enhance mood

Vitamin and mineral supplements can enhance mental energy and well-being not only for healthy adults but for those prone to anxiety and depression, according to a July 15 panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo® held at McCormick Place.

July 16, 2013

CHICAGO- Vitamin and mineral supplements can enhance mental energy and well-being not only for healthy adults but for those prone to anxiety and depression, according to a July 15 panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo® held at McCormick Place.

Bonnie Kaplan, Ph.D., professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, said Monday vitamins and mineral supplements can be the alternative to increasing psychiatric medicines for symptom relief of anxiety and depression. The supplements, she said, also can provide the mental energy necessary to manage stress, enhance mood and reduce fatigue.

In a series of studies she recently conducted in Canada, Kaplan found of the 97 adults with diagnosed mood disorders who kept a three-day food record, a higher intake of vitamins and minerals were significantly correlated with overall enhanced mental functioning.

Other vitamins that have been known to enhance mood, said C.J. Geiger, Ph.D., president of Geiger & Associates, LLC, and research associate professor in the division of nutrition at the University of Utah, include 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5 HTP), Vitamins B and D, as well as ginkgo biloba and Omega 3.

In her research, Geiger has found most adults define energy throughout the day as peaking mid-morning, falling to a valley in the afternoon after lunch and recovering with a pickup in late afternoon, settling back down before bedtime. However, these peaks and valleys did vary with gender, age and climate. She said many adults are known to use coffee, soft drinks, chocolate and candy bars as well as energy drinks, bars and chews with high sugar boosts to maintain energy throughout the day. She found other adults ate more frequent, smaller meals to sustain energy while making time for lots of rest and exercise.

Uncovering a healthier remedy for chronic pain

 

DURHAM, N.C. — Physicians and patients who are wary of addiction to pain medication and opioids may soon have a healthier and more natural alternative.

 

A Duke University study revealed that a derivative of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), a main ingredient of over-the-counter fish oil supplements, can sooth and prevent neuropathic pain caused by injuries to the sensory system. The results appear online in the Annals of Neurology.

 

The research focused on a compound called neuroprotectin D1=protectin D1 (NPD1=PD1), a bioactive lipid produced by cells in response to external stimuli. NPD1=PD1 is present in human white blood cells, and was first identified based on its ability to resolve abdominal and brain inflammation.

 

“These compounds are derived from omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, but are 1,000 times more potent than their precursors in reducing inflammation,” said Ru-Rong Ji, professor of anesthesiology and neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center and principal investigator of the study.

 

The team used laboratory mouse models of nerve injuries to simulate pain symptoms commonly associated with post-surgical nerve trauma. They treated these animals with chemically-synthesized NPD1=PD1, either through local administration or injection, to investigate whether the lipid compound could relieve these symptoms.

 

Their findings revealed that NPD1=PD1 not only alleviated the pain, but also reduced nerve swelling following the injuries. Its analgesic effect stems from the compound’s ability to inhibit the production of cytokines and chemokines, which are small signaling molecules that attract inflammatory macrophages to the nerve cells. By preventing cytokine and chemokine production, the compound protected nerve cells from further damage. NPD1=PD1 also reduced neuron firing so the injured animals felt less pain.

 

Ji believes that the new discovery has clinical potential. “Chronic pain resulting from major medical procedures such as amputation, chest and breast surgery is a serious problem,” he said. Current treatment options for neuropathic pain include gabapentin and various opioids, which may lead to addiction and destruction of the sensory nerves.

 

On the other hand, NPD1=PD1 can relieve neuropathic pain at very low doses and, more importantly, mice receiving the treatment did not show signs of physical dependence or enhanced tolerance toward the lipid compound.

 

“We hope to test this compound in clinical trials,” Ji said. The initial stages of the trial could involve DHA administration through diet and injection. “DHA is very inexpensive, and can be converted to NPD1 by an aspirin-triggered pathway,” he said. The ultimate goal is to develop a safer approach to managing chronic pain.

 

Breastfeeding Could Prevent ADHD

Monday, July 22, 2013

TAU research finds that breastfed children are less likely to develop ADHD later in life

We know that breastfeeding has a positive impact on child development and health — including protection against illness. Now researchers from Tel Aviv University have shown that breastfeeding could also help protect against Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the most commonly diagnosed neurobehavioral disorder in children and adolescents.

Seeking to determine if the development of ADHD was associated with lower rates of breastfeeding, Dr. Aviva Mimouni-Bloch, of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Head of the Child Neurodevelopmental Center in Loewenstein Hospital, and her fellow researchers completed a retrospective study on the breastfeeding habits of parents of three groups of children: a group that had been diagnosed with ADHD; siblings of those diagnosed with ADHD; and a control group of children without ADHD and lacking any genetic ties to the disorder.

The researchers found a clear link between rates of breastfeeding and the likelihood of developing ADHD, even when typical risk factors were taken into consideration. Children who were bottle-fed at three months of age were found to be three times more likely to have ADHD than those who were breastfed during the same period. These results have been published in Breastfeeding Medicine.

Understanding genetics and environment

In their study, the researchers compared breastfeeding histories of children from six to 12 years of age at Schneider’s Children Medical Center in Israel. The ADHD group was comprised of children that had been diagnosed at the hospital, the second group included the siblings of the ADHD patients, and the control group included children without neurobehavioral issues who had been treated at the clinics for unrelated complaints.

In addition to describing their breastfeeding habits during the first year of their child’s life, parents answered a detailed questionnaire on medical and demographic data that might also have an impact on the development of ADHD, including marital status and education of the parents, problems during pregnancy such as hypertension or diabetes, birth weight of the child, and genetic links to ADHD.

Taking all risk factors into account, researchers found that children with ADHD were far less likely to be breastfed in their first year of life than the children in the other groups. At three months, only 43 percent of children in the ADHD group were breastfed compared to 69 percent of the sibling group and 73 percent of the control group. At six months, 29 percent of the ADHD group was breastfed, compared to 50 percent of the sibling group and 57 percent of the control group.

One of the unique elements of the study was the inclusion of the sibling group, says Dr. Mimouni-Bloch. Although a mother will often make the same breastfeeding choices for all her children, this is not always the case. Some children’s temperaments might be more difficult than their siblings’, making it hard for the mother to breastfeed, she suggests.

Added protection

While researchers do not yet know why breastfeeding has an impact on the future development of ADHD — it could be due to the breast milk itself, or the special bond formed between mother and baby during breastfeeding, for example — they believe this research shows that breastfeeding can have a protective effect against the development of the disorder, and can be counted as an additional biological advantage for breastfeeding.

Dr. Mimouni-Bloch hopes to conduct a further study on breastfeeding and ADHD, examining children who are at high risk for ADHD from birth and following up in six-month intervals until six years of age, to obtain more data on the phenomenon.

Contact: Meng Zhao eic@nrren.org 86-138-049-98773 Neural Regeneration Research

A ginkgo biloba extract promotes proliferation of endogenous neural stem cells

Neural stem cells proliferate in the subventricular zone and hippocampal dentate gyrus of adult mammals. However, the number of endogenous neural stem cells is insufficient to prevent cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injuries such as vascular dementia, so it is important to stimulate endogenous neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation. The ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 effectively and safely treats memory loss and cognitive impairments in patients with senile dementia. Prof. Yuliang Wang and team from Weifang Medical University observed the effects of EGb761 on proliferation of neural stem cells in the subventricular zone and dentate gyrus of rats with vascular dementia. Researchers found that the ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 promoted and prolonged the proliferation of neural stem cells in the subventricular zone and dentate gyrus of rats with vascular dementia. The cells continued to proliferate at 4 months. EGb761 also significantly improved learning and memory in rats with vascular dementia. These findings which were published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 18, 2013) provide a new idea and approach to further explore the induced proliferation of neural stem cells in situ in the treatment of vascular dementia.

 

Bad sleep around full moon is no longer a myth

Many people complain about poor sleep around full moon. Scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland now report evidence that lunar cycles and human sleep behavior are in fact connected. The results have been published in the journal «Current Biology».

The research group around Prof. Christian Cajochen of the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel analyzed the sleep of over 30 volunteers in two age groups in the lab. While they were sleeping, the scientists monitored their brain patterns, eye movements and measured their hormone secretions. The findings suggest that even today, despite the comforts of modern life, humans still responds to the geophysical rhythms of the moon.

Short And Poor Sleep

The data show that both the subjective and the objective perception of the quality of sleep changed with the lunar cycles. Around full moon, brain activity in the areas related to deep sleep dropped by 30 percent. People also took five minutes longer to fall asleep and they overall slept for 20 minutes less. The volunteers felt as though their sleep had been poorer during full moon and they showed lower levels of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles. «This is the first reliable evidence that lunar rhythm can modulate sleep structure in humans», Cajochen says.

A Relic From The Past According to the researchers, this circalunar rhythm might be a relic from past times, when the moon was responsible for synchronizing human behavior. This is well known for other animals, especially marine animals, where moon light coordinates reproduction behavior. Today, other influences of modern life, such as electric light, masked the moon’s influence on us. However, the study shows that in the controlled environment of the laboratory with a strict study protocol, the moon’s hold over us can be made visible and measurable again.

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These reports are done with the appreciation of all the Doctors, Scientist, and other Medical Researchers who sacrificed their time and effort. In order to give people the ability to empower themselves. Without base aspirations of fame, or fortune. Just honorable people, doing honorable things.

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