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Showing posts from April, 2011

Plant based diet study debunks eating for your blood type for weight loss, health

You may have read that it's important to eat certain foods based on your blood type. Depending on whether your blood type is O, A, B or AB, proponents of the blood type diet say there are foods to eat and foods to avoid for optimal health and a longer life.  Can eating certain foods based on blood type really help you live longer? The blood type diet was first introduced in 1996 by a naturopathic physician, Peter D'Adamo who alleges that even the spices you put on your food could contribute to better health and should be individualized for your specific blood type.  The theory is that certain foods and even the type of exercise you do should be individualized.  For instance, if you have type O blood you should eat plenty of meat and fish protein, vegetables and fruits but stay away from legumes - at least so the dietary guidelines say.  Recommendations for weight loss include avoiding dairy, corn and wheat and filling up on red meat, broccoli, spinach and olive oil.  Type A ind

Vitamin supplements could lead to risky health behaviors

Vitamin use does not mean better health Supplement use linked to hedonistic behavior Findings from researchers suggest people who use vitamin supplements tend to engage in risky health behaviors.  In a series of experiments, investigators from Taiwan found vitamins and supplements may make people feel invulnerable to health problems, leading to poor food choices and less exercise.  The study findings show vitamin supplements might work against people who were found to overindulge in hedonistic behaviors when taking supplements that they believe promoted good health. According to Wen-Bin Chiou of National Sun Yat-Sen University, "After reviewing the literature of the prevalence of dietary supplement use, it seemed to show that use of dietary supplements is increasing, but it does not appear to be correlated with improved public health.” He adds, "People who rely on dietary supplement use for health protection may pay a hidden price, the curse of licensed self-indulg

Rising PSA no indication for biopsy, prostate cancer

High PSA velocity no predictor of prostate cancer risk Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center say a sudden rise in PSA (prostate specific antigen) level, known as PSA velocity, is not a predictor of prostate cancer , as long as the total PSA remains low and clinical exam is otherwise normal. The scientists studied 5000 men, finding strong evidence that using PSA velocity can lead to unnecessary biopsies. The researchers say men should be cautious about consenting to a prostate biopsy when digital exam is normal but there are variations in the test.  According to  Peter T. Scardino, MD, Chair of the Department of Surgery, "This study should change practice. We have previously published papers determining that PSA naturally varies from month to month and have urged men whose PSA suddenly rises to wait six weeks and repeat the test before agreeing to a needle biopsy." Guidelines from the the National Cancer Center Network and the American Urological Associ

UA survey suggests 'fat tax' won't stop consumers

Buyers are more likely to shun food with fat warnings versus a fat tax  O verweight shoppers avoid food with fat warnings Shoppers who reach for unhealthy fattening foods in the grocery store are less likely to purchase with a warning label than they would be if a "fat tax" is added to the price. When researchers at the University of Alberta compared consumer buying relative to cost, to that of warning labels about what's in the food, they found consumers who are overweight were more likely to avoid unhealthy snacks with a warning. Price no deterrent to buying unhealthy food In the study, shoppers were asked to choose either a healthy or a fattening snack that cost between 50 cents and 2 dollars. Among 3 groups of shoppers, only those who were overweight were less likely to choose junk food if there was a warning label about the fat content. Sean Cash, an adjunct professor of rural economy at the U of A who led the study said, "The consumers who heeded

Video games improve upper extremity motor skills for stroke patients

Video game study shows stroke patients regain motor skills and strength from playing Stroke patients develop upper extremity motor skills from video games Researchers say compared to standard therapy, stroke patients who play video games are five times more likely to regain upper body motor skills after a stoke. According to Dr. Gustavo Saposnik, the lead author of the study and the director of the Stroke Outcomes Research Unit at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto , virtual reality gaming shows promise as a therapy for stroke patients that is affordable and fun. Saposnik says, "Recovery of motor skill depends on neurological recovery, adaptation, and learning new strategies. Virtual reality systems drive neuroplasticity and lead to benefits in motor function improvement after stroke." The original study from Saposnik was published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association , July 2010. A new analysis from Saposnik looked 12 existing studies on the e

UW researchers kill cancer cells with oxygen and wormwood compound

Artemisinin from wormwood and pure oxygen killed cancer cells in a UW lab study Adding pure oxygen boosts effectiveness of natural compound artemisinin for killing cancer cells University of Washington researchers studied the compound artemisinin that comes from wormwood, finding adding pure oxygen boosted the ability of artemisinin to kill cancer cells. Scientists have been exploring the anti-cancer potential of the wormwood compound since the 1990’s. In new research, when the scientists combined pure oxygen with artemisinin, the growth of leukemia cells in the lab was reduced by 38 percent, boosting the effect of the wormwood compound 50 percent. Oxygen alone stopped cancer cell growth by fifteen percent, but the researchers say using high-pressure oxygen at three-and-a-half times normal air pressure   made the compound even more potent. “If you combine high-pressure oxygen with artemisinin you can get a much better curing effect,” said author Henry Lai, a UW re

Less stress could help cancer patients

Chronic stress associated with cancer could negatively affect outcomes Chronic stress shortens telomeres in cancer patients Reducing chronic stress for cancer patients could improve health outcomes. Researchers collected biological samples in 31 women diagnosed with cervical cancer, then compared two groups   in a study that measured length of telomeres that are found at the end of chromosomes. Telomeres protect genetic information. Shorter length has been linked to shorter lifespan. The findings showed enhancing quality of life with counseling sessions was associated with longer telomeres. The study also enhances understanding of the mind-body connection.   R esearchers at the  University of California, Irvine  conducted the study. Edward Nelson, M.D., division chief of hematology/oncology at the University said, " For this study, we wanted to know if chronic stress was associated with accelerated telomere shortening

Soybean antioxidants could help fight lung cancer

Soy antioxidants help destroy cancer. Three isoflavones in soy make lung cancer tumors more amenable to radiation treatment Researchers say genistein in soy is known to help fight lung cancer. New research shows three isoflavones make it harder for cancer cells to survive. The effect of the antioxidants could boost the effect of radiation cancer treatment. The scientists used human cancer cell lines to study the impact of  genistein, daidzein and glycitein in soybeans on cancer cells They found the isoflavones are even more potent than genistein that has been used in clinical trial in pill form as a pretreatment for cancer therapy. The scientists studied soy in   A 549 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. They say soy damages DNA in cancer cells, making them easier to destroy with radiation. The findings are important because soy is a non-toxic way to treat cancer and won't harm healthy tissue. The study was conducted by W ayne

Coffee and fatty food dangerous for blood sugar levels

Coffee with a high fat meal raises blood sugar levels and can harm organs. Researchers find coffee and a fast food meal causes dangerous spikes in blood sugar. In the new study, researchers found a 65 percent increase in blood sugar levels in men who consumed a specially made lipid (fatty) cocktail, followed by caffeine and a sugar drink. The reason say scientists from University of Guelph, is because saturated fat disrupts communication between the gut and the pancreas that release insulin.  Normally, blood sugar is cleared from the body and delivered to muscles for energy, but eating a high fat diet blunts the effect of hormones in the gastrointestinal tract. The effect lasts for hours and can harm body organs. The effect is worse when coffee with caffeine is added. Researcher  Marie-Soleil Beaudoin explains,  " Ultimately we have found that fat and caffeinated coffee are impairing the communication between the gut and the pancreas, which could b