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Herbal Extracts Plus Information continually investigates worthy informative sources in order to share with you important research about herbs and your herbal health. Below are links to websites or articles that we have carefully researched or found from creditable news, university, hospital and other health sources that we think will benefit your health through knowledge.

Thank you for visiting HerbalExtractsPlus.com; we hope to serve all your herbal informational health needs!


IMPORTANT SPECIAL GUEST HEALTH FEATURE ~

 

TYPE 2 DIABETES;

Understanding, Preventing and Controlling The Disease

By Louis Venter

 

Type 2 Diabetes is a problem that plagues all parts of the world. People of all ages, genders and races can be affected by this condition. Once it has developed, it will change their daily lifestyle and increase the risk of developing other harmful conditions. Luckily, it is preventable to a large degree. Even after developing the condition, it is possible to live a lifestyle somewhat close to normal. It will require taking some extra steps to live healthy, eat healthy and stay active.

 

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

- Type 2 Diabetes is a serious medical condition where glucose is allowed to build up to unsafe amounts within the blood stream. This glucose, or blood sugar, is usually moved through the body and into various cells by insulin. In the case of a diabetic patient, the insulin does not work properly, usually because the body has developed resistance to the insulin or the body has stopped producing enough insulin.

- When the insulin cannot move the glucose to the cells, they are forced to find a new source of energy. They begin to break down certain tissues or organs. Over time, this can severely damage the body.

 

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Differ in Some Big Ways: 

- Type 1 Diabetes makes up the minority of cases. It accounts for only ten percent of all diabetic cases, at most. With Type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys the cells in the body responsible for the creation of insulin.

- Type 2 Diabetes tends to develop much later in life, but it can potentially develop in young children as well. With this form of diabetes, the body is not able to make proper use of the insulin available. The body develops a resistance to insulin. Over time, the pancreas slows down its natural production of insulin, resulting in a deficiency.

 

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes:

- Unlike Type 1 Diabetes, which cannot be prevented, certain steps can be taken to lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. There are various factors that influence the risk level of developing the disorder. By controlling those factors, the person can control their risk: (1) Weight Gain (2) Diet (3) Physical Activity.

- These three factors play an important role. People who do not diet properly, who are obese or who do not get enough physical activity, are all at an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

- These are the risk factors that can be controlled. Unfortunately, there are some that cannot be controlled, such as genetics. Children who have family members with Type 2 diabetes are at a much larger risk of developing the disease in their lifetime. Even so, the above factors should be controlled to help manage the risk as much as possible.

- Living a healthy lifestyle and preventing Type 2 diabetes go hand-in-hand. By limiting sugary foods, eating well-balanced meals and enjoying at least 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise, a person can severely reduce their likelihood of developing the condition. 

 

Living With Type 2 Diabetes:

There are some cases where the disease sets in, even if preventative measures are taken. From that point forward, the person much do everything possible to control the symptoms and prevent additional conditions from developing.

- Type 2 Diabetes can result in nutritional deficiences of magnesium, zinc and other water-soluble vitamins. A well-balanced diet should be designed with these nutrients in mind. In addition to a proper diet, they may consider daily supplements to make up for these deficiencies.

- Blood sugar must be monitored and controlled at all times if you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The foods you eat will have the biggest impact on your glucose levels and insulin production.

- Overeating: Eating sugary foods or eating foods that are high in saturated fats can lead to more problems developing.

- Patients must read labels carefully, eat healthy, whole foods and eat only until they are full.

- Exercise is also an important tool for managing diabetes. It helps control blood sugar levels and improves blood flow in the body. It is recommended that a patient with Type 2 diabetes get at least a half hour of light exercise each day.

 

Avoid Additional Problems:

Managing diabetes after being diagnosed is extremely important. Diabetes increases the risk of developing kidney diseases, cardiovascular diseases and succumbing to a stroke, Just as with Type 2 Diabetes itself, the risk of developing these conditions can be mitigated by living a healthy lifestyle.

 

~ About The Author ~

Louis Ventor

is the creator of

 Diabetescoop

 

 Diabetescoop - http://diabetescoop.com or diabetescoop.com - the remarkable website devoted to providing support and on-topic, frequently-updated information for diabetics and those in their support network.

 

Herbal Extracts Plus Information highly recommends Diabetescoop as your comprehensive and complete source for essential, current information and answers to your questions about diabetes, as well as thorough, clear and real help for diabetics.

 

 

*****************

 

Previous Interesting Botanical Research Articles:

Green Tea Extracts May Protect Against Oral Cancer: Study
According to a study conducted at the University of Texas, Anderson Cancer Center, extracts from Green Tea may prevent the formation of mouth cancers in people considered at risk for the disease.  Green Tea contains between thirty and forty percent of water-extractable polyphenols, while Black Tea (Green Tea that has been oxidized by fermentation) contains between three and ten percent.  Oolong Tea is semi-fermented tea and falls somewhere between Green and Black.  The four primary extractable polyphenols found in fresh tealeaves are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epicatechin (EC).  The small study followed forty-one people with oral leukoplakia, a condition associated as a sign of oral cancer risk.  The participants were assigned to receive either Green Tea extract or a placebo.  Almost sixty percent of people taking the two highest doses of the Green Tea extracts had a clinical response (a clinical response to treatment is an important indicator of the therapeutic effect).  Just over thirty-six percent of people in the lowest extract dose group also had a clinical response, compared to eighteen percent in the placebo group.  The findings, which were published in Cancer Prevention Research, indicated that not only did the Green Tea extract appear to have benefit for patients, but pointed to anti-angiogenic effects as a potential mechanism of action (angiogenesis is growth of new blood vessels and can be the transition of tumors from a dormant state to a malignancy).  The extract's lack of toxicity is attractive.  In prevention trials, it's very important that agents studied will produce no harm.  Commenting on the safety, the researchers noted that side effects such as insomnia and nervousness were mostly only recorded in the high-dose group.  According to the American Cancer Society, more than 35,720 are expected to be diagnosed with oral and/or pharynx cancer and the five year survival rate is less than fifty percent. While still very early and not definitive proof that Green Tea is an effective preventive agent, much more research must be done before the scientists can conclude that Green Tea may prevent oral or any other type of cancer, but these results certainly encourage more study for patients at highest risk for oral cancer.


6 Best Summer Foods for Weight Loss
Lighten up your diet this summer with these refreshing foods and drinks

The single easiest way to trim calories from your summer diet, experts say, is to load up on nature’s bounty.  You don’t have to starve yourself to look better in your shorts or swimsuit this summer. The secret to weight loss is to choose healthy foods and take in fewer calories than you burn.  Load up on fresh berries, melons, greens, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, pea pods and all the super-nutritious and low-calorie fruits, greens and vegetables that grow in the garden this time of year.  Besides being low in calories, produce is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. As a bonus, you can forget about portion control when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables, because it is hard to do much damage to your waistline with these super-nutritious edibles - and it's just easier to make better food choices in summertime, when heavy, high-calorie dishes seem less appealing.

Read this informative article to find some of the best food ideas for weight loss this summer with a few great recipes for healthy, low-calorie, delicious, light and refreshing summer meals….and if busy, fun-packed holiday activities leave your normal eating regimens a bit lacking in nutrition, don’t forget natural herbs as a wonderful way to get your supplemental vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

18 Ways to Feel Great – Tips to Slim Down and Control Cholesterol
For all the bad press it gets, the fact is that we need cholesterol, but a high level of cholesterol in the blood—hypercholesterolemia—is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack. Understanding which cholesterol is good and which is bad – and why and how they work for you and against you and what to do about it – is fully explained in the attached article.  To lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raise the HDL (good) cholesterol levels in your blood, follow some easy tips that include a few lifestyle changes and adding good foods to our diets like Green Tea, Garlic, Cranberry, Grapefruit, Oats and more, and you just may lower your weight, fight disease and improve your overall health.  Your heart and your mirror will thank you!

Don’t forget, you can add the healthy foods above to your diet in supplement form too! Click on the links in the paragraph above to view more information about each supplement.

127 Foods That Fight Fat
- 12/04/06
It’s summertime and time to head to the pool or beach and don bathing suits and summer shorts.  With obesity on the rise, maybe it’s time to take an honest look at ourselves and take control of our weight and our eating habits. These days, upwards of sixty percent of Americans are obese or overweight. Correspondingly, the rates of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes are skyrocketing, so now is the time to eat right, and perhaps add on years by shedding some extra pounds! Weight loss starts with commitment and wise shopping even before you sit down to a meal. Taking control of what you eat begins with taking control of what you buy, and every time you choose a healthy food, you're taking responsibility for losing weight.  It's not too late!  Start today:  Proper exercise and sensible foods can go a long way to shaping you up.  Click here to read this timely article, and don’t forget some healthy herbal use to help support your efforts while you shed those pounds.
A very peculiar practice
- From the BBC News Health Section - 08/26/99
"At the Hale Clinic in London - where Princess Diana used to receive treatment - you can see anyone from an osteopath to a Qi Gong therapist. Dr Dooja Purkitt, who was medically trained in India, practices Ayurvedic medicine at the clinic - an ancient Indian art which uses herbal remedies, yoga, massage and meditation." This article also discusses other alternative methods.
About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products
- From the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
This section of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's website provides objective, evidence-based information and details about constituents, adverse effects, interactions and potential benefits or problems, with respect to many different herbs, botanicals and other products from their Integrative Medicine Service staff.  It also offers News & Alerts, a FAQ page, and information about their Integrative Medicine Service.
Açai Benefits Cholesterol Levels: Animal Models
- From NutraIngredients.com's Headlines > Research section - 01/05/10
According to a study conducted earlier this year at Brazil’s Federal University, Ouro Preto, the pulp of Açai berries may counter the effects of a high-fat diet and reduce the risk of developing high blood cholesterol levels.  In animal models, lab rats that were fed a high-fat diet had lower levels of total and non-HDL cholesterol when supplemented with Açai pulp, compared to animals eating the same high-fat diet.  The scientists say that this is the first study addressing the potential benefits of Açai intake in the cholesterol profile, and they observed that the addition of Açai pulp in the hypercholesterolemic diet had a hypocholesterolemic effect by reducing cholesterol levels (total and non-HDL).  High cholesterol levels, (hypercholesterolaemia), have a long association with many diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD), and the study does provide in vivo experimental evidence that Açai pulp can improve mammalian lipid profiles in response to a high fat diet. Açai berries (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) have long formed part of the staple diet of Indian tribes. With the appearance of a purple grape and taste of a tropical berry, it has been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties thanks to a high level of anthocyanins, the pigments that are also present in red wine.  Regarding the safety data, “Açai does not appear to cause liver damage as evidenced by the fact that Açai does not alter activities of several liver enzymes. This is important since liver damage is a common phenomenon when a drug is taken for a long period of time.”  The researchers did not directly examine the mechanism behind the effects but noted that the benefits may not be solely due to the polyphenol content of the fruit and concluded that these results suggest that the consumption of Açai improves antioxidant status and has a hypocholesterolemic effect in an animal model of dietary-induced hypercholesterolemia. The researchers noted that the length of intervention should be increased to six months, while the effects of Açai pulp on lipids can be further investigated by looking at both liver and blood vessel morphology, signalling pathways, LDL levels and cardiovascular functions.
Açaí Berry Extracts Show Brain Health Potential
Research section - 11/30/10
According the new research from the USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Ageing at Boston’s Tufts University, extracts from AÇAI BERRY may enhance 'neuronal housekeeping function’ and potentially protect the brain as we age.  The brain’s natural housekeeping mechanism is called autophagy and involves the controlled degradation of cells, including the recycling of toxic proteins.  This system declines naturally as we age, but new research suggests that berry extracts, including Açai, Blueberry and Strawberry, may enhance the process and contribute towards brain health.  In animal models, the scientists investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of Açai extracts in the main defense cells of the brain – the microglia.  Microglial activation can result in the generation of cytotoxic (quality of being toxic to cells) intermediates and is associated with a variety of age-related and neurodegenerative conditions.  The study results, which were presented to the Society of Neuroscience, indicated that extracted fractions of the Açai pulp protected against the release of pro-inflammatory compounds including COX-2 and TNF-alpha. These results suggest that Açai may contribute to ‘health span’ in ageing, as it is able to combat some of the inflammatory and oxidative mediators of ageing at the cellular level.  The researchers also noted that extracts made with methanol and ethanol appeared to be the most effective and that this may be due to the extracts containing either the greatest amounts of Açai phytochemicals, or the most potent.  The researchers noted that additional studies are planned and will “investigate the specific phytochemicals in each of the fractions to determine the most potent and effective component(s) in combating cellular inflammation” and note that future research will also study aged rats fed Açaí-supplemented diets in order to determine if Açaí is also able to reverse or allay age-related motor or cognitive deficits.  Açai berries (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) have long formed part of the staple diet of Indian tribes in Central and South America. With the appearance of a purple grape and taste of a tropical berry, it has been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties thanks to a high level of anthocyanins, pigments that are also present in red wine.

Allergy Treatments:  Wake Up and Smell the Alternatives
- From FOXNews.com's Health Section - 03/20/07
Another season of the year has arrived - Allergy Season!  Every spring and summer, allergy sufferers are seized by uncontrollable sneezing, itchy eyes, and an uncomfortable tickle gripping the back of the throats. Spring allergies are mostly caused by tree pollen and mold. Going into the summer, grass pollen becomes a problem, which causes inflammation and swelling in the lining of the nose and the protective tissues of the eyes. The allergic response to pollen is sometimes called “hay fever.” The upshot of all this is that we wheeze, sneeze, see the world through watery, red, itchy eyes and run through boxes of tissues for that runny nose.  Allergies plague over twenty six million adults and children in the United States, and the numbers are rising.

For those who prefer the natural route, read this always-timely article to find some old-fashioned dietary hints - including good food choices and anti-allergic spices such as Turmeric, Fennel, Coriander, Black Pepper and Ginger - as well as easy life-style tips that can help keep allergies in check.  There is also information about alternative, non-drug herbal remedies that help treat allergies and relieve asthma symptoms.

Perhaps it time for some spring cleaning for the body and some herbal therapy to bring relief from this annual invasion.  Read this important article for some time-honored hints to help you get ahead of allergy season!

Ancient minty painkiller worked, study suggests; Ancient Chinese used mint oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties
- From MSNBC's Technology & Science > Science Section - 08/25/06
"The doctors of ancient Greece and China had it right when they applied cool and minty salves to soothe aches and pains, a new study suggests.  A synthetic treatment with the same properties as mint oil is an effective painkiller when applied directly to the skin.  The new cooling compounds could be especially beneficial to millions suffering with the chronic pain of arthritis and diseases affecting nerve endings, scientists say." Please note:  While Herbal Extracts Plus does not offer essential oils yet, please visit our Wintergreen webpage for information about how this herb may help relieve your pain.
The Art Of Tea - How Teas are Processed
- From our own Herbal Extracts Plus research Monica Sullifan 08/06
Did you know that Green, Oolong, Black and White Teas are all derived from the same plant?  They are simply processed differently. Read this fascinating article to find out how those processes will affect your good health and why the process that produces Green Tea does not allow oxidation, keeping all its potent antioxidant properties intact. After reading these facts, you may just decide to purchase a different tea the next time you are at the grocery store.
Ask Dr. Weil: Natural Allergy Relief - What's the best way to relieve allergies without medication?
- From Prevention via the MSN Health & Fitness Diseases & Conditions section;
Drug-free antidotes are nothing to sneeze at, especially if you're susceptible to side effects such as drowsiness and dry mouth from popular OTC allergy pills. Instead, why not follow some promising herbal alternatives that can help get you through the remaining weeks of hay-fever season symptom free. Dr. Andrew Weil answers the question in the title above giving helpful suggestions for allergy relief that includes herbs like QUERCETIN, BUTTERBUR, & NETTLE.

Avoid Brain Drain with Memory-Boosting Foods —Improve your mental health with common fruits, vegetables - even coffee
- From MSNBC.com Today's Health section - 07/08/08
At any we can all use better brain function, and compelling research indicates that certain foods and nutrients can help enhance memory.  When you read the facts about Fish (with Omega-3 Fatty Acids), Berries, leafy Greens and caffeinated Coffee— you’ll want to be sure to incorporate them into your diet to give you that special edge. Studies that focus on food and memory suggest that the more of the above you eat, the better, and here’s why:

--When considering protection against the breakdown of brain cells, ALL berries are rich in healthy compounds called anthocyanins and flavanols and some of the highest antioxidant concentrations among fruits….but Blueberries seem to be even the best of all.  What makes them so powerful?  Their deep blue hue — caused by flavonoids —that shield the brain’s memory-carrying cells (neurons) from the negative effects of oxidation and inflammation. 

---When it comes to food and memory, Fish plays a starring role - and specifically, fatty fish, thanks to the ample amounts of Omega-3 Fats (EPA and DHA), they provide.  Best fish are low in contaminants and high in Omega 3 Fats: wild salmon, sardines, lake trout, pacific oysters and Atlantic mackerel.  If that’s not feasible, you can take supplements or, at the very least, incorporate plant based sources of Omega-3 Fats, i.e., Flaxseed, Omega-3-fortified eggs and walnuts. 

--Don’t forget your leafy greens like Spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens and turnip greens.  They’re loaded with folate (also called folic acid) — a nutrient that seems to have a direct effect on memory.  High blood levels of homocysteine can indicate memory decline, but foods rich in folic acid (which lowers homocysteine levels), are pointing to protection against memory loss. 

--Lastly, caffeinated Coffee can temporarily sharpen your focus and memory. Studies have demonstrated that after two cups of coffee, the brain activity of test subjects was increased in two areas—one being the part responsible for memory. Without caffeine, there was no increase in brain activity.

--Remember that every cell in your body needs a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to stay alive and work properly, including brain cells, and because oxygen and nutrients are carried in the blood stream, anything that impedes blood flow will starve those all-important brain cells. So nourish your body with good foods, keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check, exercise regularly, don’t smoke and get at least seven hours of sleep each night.  Read this article and don’t forget to check out supplemental nutrients, like Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Blueberry, Flaxseed, Coffee Bean, Spinach, just in case you don’t have fresh fish, berries, greens or a cup of coffee at hand.

Battling Bad Cells with Good Eating - A Chowhound Takes Charge of Cancer with Food
- From MSNBC's Men's Health Section - 08/23/06
Important facts about how good food and proper nutrition can combat cancer. This article was written by a man who was diagnosed with prostate cancer and immediately made healthy (and good tasting) changes to his diet that helped him change his life for the better.
Beating Off the Autumn Chill; 7 Healing Foods to Help Nourish and Protect Your Body
- From www.christiantoday.com - 09/27/05
With winter just around the corner, autumn is a great time to think about building our reserves and boosting our immune systems to ward off the colds, flu and the bacteria that thrive in our overheated homes and offices. Proper nutrition is a key to staying fit throughout the winter, and we've found some timely information that can help you stay healthy all winter long.
Berries Cut Type-2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Risk
-According to 2010 research conducted at Finland’s University of Kuopio and published in the British Journal of Nutrition, Berries, can cut Type-2 diabetes risk.  Berries, which are rich in polyphenols, decrease postprandial glucose response of sucrose in healthy subjects, as several in vitro and in vivo studies have suggested that polyphenols may influence carbohydrate digestion and absorption and, thus, postprandial glycemia.  Sucrose increases postprandial blood glucose concentrations, and diets with a high glycemic response may be associated with increased risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD).  In 2010, the World Health Organization estimated approximately 150 million people worldwide with diabetes mellitus, and this number may double by the year 2025, due to population growth, ageing, unhealthy diet, obesity and sedentary lifestyle.  Berries are excellent sources of various polyphenols, such as anthocyanins, flavonols, phenolic acids, ellagitannins and proanthocyanidins.  In the study, Finnish researchers said they investigated the glycemic effect of a Berry puree made of Bilberry, Cranberry, Blackcurrant and Strawberry.  The authors said that the test meals were administered in a randomized order, with the participants advised to keep their medication, lifestyle and body weight constant and to follow their habitual diet throughout the study.  After consumption of the Berry meal, the plasma glucose concentrations were significantly lower, and the scientists hold that reduced rates of sucrose digestion and/or absorption from the gastrointestinal tract are the most probable mechanisms underlying the delayed and attenuated glycemic response from consumption of polyphenols.  The researchers concluded that the delayed and attenuated glycemic response indicates reduced digestion and/or absorption of sucrose from the Berry meal.  The researchers suggest that the shape of the plasma glucose curve, with reduced concentrations in the early phase and a slightly elevated concentration in the later phase, indicates a delayed response due to Berry consumption.  Berries also significantly decreased the peak glucose increment, said the authors, but stressed that for a better understanding of the role of Berries in the regulation of glucose metabolism, further studies assessing their effects on insulin and other hormonal responses are needed.
Berries May Reduce Risk Factors for Metabolic Disorders 3/12/10
A study conducted by Finland’s Department of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, University of Turku, suggests that a diet rich in Berries may reduce levels of inflammatory markers associated with liver health and metabolic syndrome.  The findings, which were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, indicate that daily consumption of a range of Berries, including Lingonberry, Bilberry, Sea Buckthorn and Black Currant produced a 23 percent reduction in levels of an enzyme called alanine aminotransferase (ALAT), a well-established marker of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  Fatty liver is reportedly on the rise in the U.S., and has increased in line with the ongoing obesity epidemic.  Recent findings have also reported that metabolic syndrome, a condition characterized by central obesity, hypertension, disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism, and linked to increased risks of both Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, does not develop at all without NAFLD.  Patients were randomly assigned to two groups:  Both underwent a lifestyle intervention, and one group received a daily (Berry) supplement of 163 grams.  At the end of the twenty-week study, ALAT levels decreased by 23 percent in the Berry group, which the researchers said could be regarded as “nutritionally significant by enhancing the liver function.”  Furthermore, levels of adiponectin increased.  Adiponectin is a protein hormone linked to various metabolic processes, and levels are inversely related to body fat levels. The scientists concluded that the study showed that the daily consumption of more than 150 grams of northern Berries in various forms as part of the normal diet had a positive affect on ALAT and adiponectin levels, but a small amount was not enough to evoke such an impact.  They added that the present study results indicate common northern Berries and Berry products to be an effective component of lifestyle modifications aimed at decreasing development of metabolic syndrome and subsequent complications.
Berry Compounds May Improve Blood Pressure Research 01/20/11
According to recent research from Harvard Medical School, flavonoid compounds may reduce blood pressure and aid in the prevention of hypertension.  The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that increased intakes of anthocyanins - mainly found in Blueberries and Strawberries – were associated with a reduction in the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) of up to twelve percent.  Hypertension, defined as having a systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) greater than 140 and 90 mmHg, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The researchers analyzed the results of data from 133,914 women and 23,043 men who were followed for an average of fourteen years.  After crunching the numbers, the scientists found that the highest average intakes of anthocyanins were associated with an eight percent decrease in the risk of hypertension, while the benefits increased to a twelve percent reduction in risk when the analysis covered people over the age of sixty, compared with the lowest average intakes.  In terms of the whole foods, a significant ten percent reduction in the risk of hypertension was observed in over-sixty-year-olds consuming more than one serving of Blueberries per week, compared with people in the same age group consuming no Blueberries - supporting the hypothesis that antihypertensive bioactivity may be relevant to vasodilatory processes associated with specific flavonoid structural characteristics.  The data suggested that several specific classes of flavonoids were associated with blood pressure reduction, specifically anthocyanins. There are a huge variety of flavonoid structures, and the potential blood pressure-lowering effects were likely to be limited to a small number of structurally-similar compounds (catechol and 4’ hydroxy flavonoids). These data are important because anthocyanins are present in commonly consumed fruit, such as Strawberry, Blueberry and Cranberry, which can be readily incorporated into the diet. The underlying biological mechanisms by which flavonoids regulate blood pressure include effects on vascular blood flow, vascular reactivity and glucose uptake.  The scientists assert that the study is observational and does not prove that the compounds do reduce the risk of hypertension, but the findings warrant further investigation, including intervention studies designed to test optimal doses of anthocyanin-rich foods for the prevention of hypertension and to underpin guidelines for prevention and treatment of hypertension.
Bilberry Extract Shows Colitis Benefits: Animal Study Research s06/02/10
Recent research from Switzerland’s University Hospital of Zurich and Germany’s Universities of Wurzburg and Regensburg suggests that anthocyanin-rich extracts from Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) may reduce inflammation in colitis patients and offer a natural alternative to steroids.  Colitis is inflammation of the colon, and women are thirty percent more likely to develop the condition than their male counterparts.  Other inflammatory conditions of the colon include Crohn’s disease, and symptoms of such conditions include abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhea and vomiting.  Using animal models, the researchers found that an extract from Bilberry was associated with reductions in the secretion of inflammatory markers in the colon, with the extract outperforming pure Bilberries.  The scientists noted that there are a number of guidelines for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.  Some patients with mild to moderate colitis do not respond sufficiently to treatments like 5-aminosalicyclic acid or steroids, and Bilberries could be an additional nutritional approach for mild to moderate colitis that helps to avoid immuno-suppression with the respective side effects, such as infections, in those patients.  The scientists state that while the animal model is a good predictor, there is further need to determine the effect in colitis patients.
Black Cohosh
- From the Office of Dietary Supplements, a member of the National Institutes of Health - 07/01/03
This article details Black Cohosh's uses and efficacy, dosages, interactions, adverse effects and contraindications; and offers other information about the herb.Black Cohosh Fact Sheet
Questions and Answers About Black Cohosh and the Symptoms of Menopause

- From the Office of Dietary Supplements, a member of the National Institutes of Health

As the title states, this is a fact sheet compiled of questions and answers about Black Cohosh and Menopause to help you understand the herb and how it is able to help women going through menopause.
Black Raspberries May Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk: Mouse Study
- Research - 11/02/10
According to recent research from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, supplementation of a Western-style diet (high in fat and low in vitamin D and calcium) with Black Raspberries may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in animal models.  The berries were associated with a forty-five percent reduction in the incidence of colorectal tumors and a sixty percent reduction in the number of tumors in mice engineered to develop intestinal tumors.  The study’s findings need to be replicated in additional (human) studies before any firm conclusions can be drawn, but it does support a small but growing body of science linking Black Raspberries and the polyphenolic compounds they contain to a potential reduction in the risk of a variety of cancers, most notably esophageal cancer, and the scientists are indeed looking to take the research to the next stage, hoping to begin clinical human trials.  Supporting this new evidence, an earlier Ohio State University study, published in 2008 (Cancer Research, Vol. 68) found that the Black Raspberry may potentially help prevent certain cancers by acting on multiple gene targets.  The Ohio study – which also used animals – found that over 2,000 genes were affected in the esophagus of animals when they were exposed to a carcinogen, but normal function was restored in 462 genes after supplementation with Black Raspberries.  At that time, the scientists indicated that they had, indeed, “clearly shown that berries, which contain a variety of anticancer compounds, have a genome-wide effect on the expression of genes involved in cancer development.”  In the present study, the researchers reported that the animals receiving Raspberries displayed a reduction in tumor incidence, reduction in the number of tumors and a reduction in chronic inflammation; and when the researchers looked at the genetics, they saw that the Black Raspberries were associated with an inhibition of tumor development by suppressing a protein, which binds to the gene that promotes tumor development.  This suggested that a mixture of preventative agents, which berries provide, may more effectively prevent cancer than a single agent that targets only one or a few genes. Writing in the November, 2010, issue of Cancer Prevention Research, the UIC researchers note that the Black Raspberry is a natural product, very powerful, and easy to access.
Black Tea Compounds Show Anti-Allergy Potential Research s - 07/12/10
According to researchers from Japan’s Numazu National College of Technology and Nagoya Women’s University, theaflavins, compounds found in Black Teas, may reduce allergic response in people with sensitive skin and related conditions.  Using animal models, the scientists examined the effects of two Black Tea theaflavins (theaflavin-3, 3-digallate [TFDG] and theaflavin-3-gallate) and found that the animals, which were fed Black Tea extracts, produced fewer inflammatory compounds on exposure to an allergen, while antioxidant levels in the blood were also maintained by the Tea compounds.  Interest in Tea and its constituents has flourished recently, with the greatest focus on the leaf’s polyphenol content.  Green Tea contains between 30 and 40 percent polyphenols, while Black Tea (oxidized by fermentation) contains between 3 and 10 percent. Oolong Tea is semi-fermented and is somewhere between Green and Black Tea.  All Teas are derived from only one Tea plant (Camelia sinensis); it is the processing that varies.  The four primary polyphenols found in fresh tealeaves are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epicatechin (EC).  Most studies have focussed on Green Tea and its constituents, most notably EGCG, but the new study examined theaflavins from Black Tea in a mouse model of Type IV allergy. Unlike many other types of allergy, Type IV directly involves the immune system’s T-cells and not the participation of antibodies.  According to the researchers, Type IV allergy is known as delayed-type hypersensitivity, with appearance of the allergic response occurring 12 to 24 hours after exposure.  Contact dermatitis is an example of Type IV allergy. Exposure to the allergen is said to trigger the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, but according to the findings, which were published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, such increases were prevented with administration of theaflavins from Black Tea. The scientists suggest that the anti-allergic mechanisms of action of theaflavins involve inhibition of the fluctuations of cytokines and maintenance of antioxidant status.
Black Tea Polyphenols May Reduce Cancer Risk Research 09/14/10
Research conducted at India’s Annamalai University found that Polyphenol-B from Black Tea could reduce the risk of cancer by inhibiting several contributory mechanisms.  The findings, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, suggest that polyphenols in Black Tea influence several cancer controlling proteins, and may block a crucial signaling pathway in cancer formation.  The researchers added that the results demonstrated that polyphenol-B inhibits tumour cell growth both in vitro and in vivo research.  Uncontrolled cell growth and survival play a critical role in the development of cancers:  The activation of the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) signaling pathway in cancer cells is known to aid cell survival by blocking natural cell death mechanisms; therefore, inhibiting the activation of NF-kB is considered a strong potential target for cancer reduction.  Since previous studies have reported a protective effect of Tea polyphenols on cancer risk, the scientists sought to test the potential anti-cancer activity of the Black Tea compound, polyphenol-B, in hepatocellular carcinoma cancer (HCC) cells in animal models.  According to the World Health Organization, HCC (or liver cancer) is the fifth most common cancer worldwide, accounting for 662,000 deaths annually.  In the current study, polyphenol-B was observed to up-regulate the expression of cell-death-inducing proteins and down-regulate expression of the anti-cell death proteins. The researchers also witnessed reduced tumor incidence in rats and found a dose-dependent relationship between polyphenol-B and cancer development in cancer induced cells.  The researchers wrote that their results provide evidence that Black Tea polyphenol-B effectively inhibits uncontrolled cell growth and certain cellular processes associated with cancer, and induces cell death mechanisms by inhibiting NF-kB signaling. They concluded that the studies underscore the potential anti-cancer properties of Black Tea polyphenols.
Blueberries Linked To Improved Blood Vessel Health: Rat study Research - 11/18/10
New research from the University of Maine, Northwestern University and the University of Louisville suggests that supplementing the diet with Blueberry may reduce blood pressure.  Using animal models, the study showed that spontaneously hypertensive rats, which were fed a diet supplemented with eight percent wild Blueberries, experienced less constriction in blood vessels, compared with animals fed a control diet.  The findings, which were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, showed a significant moderation of the increased aortic vascular tone.  The berries were proposed to act via the NO (Nitric Oxide) pathway.  Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator that promotes the dilation or relaxation of blood vessels, thereby easing blood pressure.  After eight weeks of intervention, the animals were exposed to l-phenylephrine (a vasoconstrictor), and the results showed that the vasoconstriction elicited by l-phenylephrine compound was notably reduced in the wild Blueberry group.  The results were attributed to Blueberry's nitric oxide.  The scientists concluded that the findings document potential of wild Blueberries to modify major pathways of vasomotor control and improve the vascular tone in hypertensive rats with endothelial dysfunction. Blueberries - Nature's only ‘true blue' food - are a rich source of polyphenols, the potent antioxidants that include phenolics, acids, tannins, flavonols and anthocyanins.   Blueberries are said to have a number of positive health effects, including cholesterol reduction and resistance against some cancers and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.  The popularity of the Blueberry has increased in recent years with the publication of more science supporting its health benefits and an overall consumer move towards 'superfruits' and all things antioxidant.
Blueberries May Boost Memory In Older Adults: Study Research 01/11/10
According to research from the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, supplementing the diet with Blueberry for only twelve weeks may boost memory in older people with early memory problems.  The study is said to be the first human trial to assess the potential benefits of Blueberries on brain function in older adults with increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and currently affects over thirteen million people worldwide.  The findings, which were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, also suggested that daily Blueberry juice was associated with improved learning and word list recall, as well as a suggestion of reduced depressive symptoms.  The scientists wrote that the preliminary memory findings are encouraging and indicate that consistent supplementation with Blueberry may offer an approach to forestall or mitigate neurodegeneration.  The beneficial effects of the Blueberries are thought to be linked to their flavonoid content - in particular anthocyanins and flavanols. The exact way in which flavonoids affect the brain are unknown, but they have previously been shown to cross the blood brain barrier after dietary intake.  It is believed that they may exert their effects on learning and memory by enhancing existing neuronal connections, improving cellular communications and stimulating neuronal regeneration.  The researchers concluded that this initial study establishes a basis for further human research of Blueberry supplementation as a preventive intervention with respect to cognitive ageing, and replication of the findings in a larger, controlled trial will be important to corroborate and amplify these data.
Blueberries May Protect Muscles From Exercise Damage
- From NutraIngredients.com's Headlines > Research section - 04/02/10
According to a study from New Zealand’s Institute for Plant and Food Research, antioxidant-rich extracts of Blueberry may counter the detrimental effect of excessive exercise.  Moreover, damage to muscle cells exposed to oxidative stress was also significantly reduced when exposed to the Blueberry extracts.  Blueberries, nature's only ‘blue’ food, are a rich source of polyphenols, potent antioxidants that include phenolic acids, tannins, flavonols and anthocyanins.  The berries are said to have a number of positive health effects, including cholesterol reduction, prevention against some cancers and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's; and the popularity of the berry has increased in recent years with the publication of more science supporting its health benefits, as well as an overall consumer move towards superfruits and all things antioxidant. The scientists used developing skeletal muscle fibers, also known as myotubes, and exposed them to various concentrations of fruit extracts, as well as a calcium compound known to induce stress as occurs in exercising muscle (calcium ionophore), or a compound known to induce oxidative stress (hydrogen peroxide).  Results showed that the Blueberry extract protected the muscle fibers in a dose-dependent manner.  Further analysis of the extract indicated that the active compounds could be malvidin galactoside and malvidin glucoside, and the data support the concept that Blueberry fruits or derived foods rich in malvidin glycosides may be beneficial in alleviating muscle damage caused by oxidative stress.  Although it is difficult to deduce the biological significance of the data presented here from in vitro studies, one may speculate that consumption of Blueberry fruit polyphenolics and particularly malvidin glycosides may be beneficial in alleviating the damaging consequences of oxidative stress in muscle tissue.  The findings, published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, suggest that Blueberry fruits were good candidates to combat muscle oxidative damage, although the scientists say further investigations, especially at an in vivo level, are needed.
Blueberries May Reverse Age-Related Mental Decline: Rat StudyResearch 12/21/10
In a recent study using animal models, scientists from the University of Houston and Tufts University U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that supplementing the diet with Blueberry may slow and even reverse the decline in mental function associated with age.  Cognitive performance declines naturally with age, but the new results indicate that one month's supplementation with Blueberries was associated with an improvement in the memory scores of elderly rats.  In addition, data showed that two months of consuming the Blueberry-enriched diet was associated with a prolongation of the benefits after the diet was stopped, and the performance of the ageing rats was similar to that of younger rats; and a two-through-four-month supplemented diet substantially reversed the age-related object memory impairment in the animals.  Furthermore, the animals on the Blueberry diet increased their memory scores.  The scientists added that this illustrates a surprisingly prompt and powerful effect of an antioxidant dietary intervention.  Blueberry consumption has previously been linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s in humans, and the beneficial effects of the Blueberries are thought to be linked to their flavonoid content - in particular anthocyanins and flavanols.  The exact way in which flavonoids affect the brain are unknown, but they have previously been shown to cross the blood brain barrier after dietary intake.  It is believed that they may exert their effects on learning and memory by enhancing existing neuronal connections, improving cellular communications and stimulating neuronal regeneration.  Earlier in 2010, researchers from the University of Cincinnati reported that twelve weeks of consuming daily Blueberry juice was associated with improved learning and word list recall in human subjects, as well as a suggestion of reduced depressive symptoms.   The study was said to be the first human trial to assess the potential benefits of Blueberries on brain function in older adults with increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.  The new study results showed that animals receiving a Blueberry diet performed better than animals not receiving a berry-enriched diet, and that two-plus months of supplementation resulted in a maintenance of the improved performance after the supplementation period ended.  The researchers noted that the present study is encouraging in terms of potential human application:  First, the present results suggest that even a relatively brief Blueberry diet might produce measurable benefits.  Second, the benefits of several months’ diet might be maintained for a considerable period after the diet is interrupted.  Third, Blueberry supplementation might possibly reverse some degree of memory impairment that has already developed – raising the possibility that such nutritional intervention might still be beneficial even after certain memory deficiencies have become evident.
Blueberries Show Anti-Diabetic Potential: Study
Research- 09/13/10
A new randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study from Louisiana State University’s Center for the Study of Botanicals indicates that bioactive ingredients in Blueberry increased sensitivity to insulin and may reduce the risk of developing diabetes in at-risk people.  The beneficial effects of the Blueberries are thought to be linked to their flavonoid content - in particular anthocyanins and flavanols -  but despite numerous studies reporting the benefits of Blueberries, no human study has examined the effects of higher Blueberry consumption on insulin sensitivity in people at high risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.  The scientists say that to their knowledge, this is the first reported human study evaluating the effect of daily dietary supplementation with Blueberry bioactives on whole-body insulin sensitivity in cases of obese, non-diabetic and insulin-resistant men and women.  The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition, noted that participants who consumed a Blueberry daily smoothie for six weeks experienced a 22 percent change in insulin sensitivity, compared to only 4.9 percent in the placebo group.  By design, the Blueberry and placebo beverages were identical in physical appearance and macronutrient content, with the exception of adding powdered Blueberry extract bioactives to the Blueberry drink. The major finding was that regular daily consumption of Blueberry bioactives for six weeks improved insulin sensitivity in a population at high risk for Type-2 diabetes, compared with irregular or discretionary dietary intake.  Consumer interest in Blueberry and its compounds has increased in recent years, following results from studies reporting a wide range of health benefits, most notably for brain health and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.  This study is not conclusive but strongly suggests a need to further explore the cellular mechanism for this effect and to evaluate Blueberries and their potential role in improving insulin sensitivity in an insulin-resistant human population.
Boost Brainpower Now: Here's the scoop on herbs that promise to improve your mind, increase your memory, and keep you from losing your marbles
- From Prevention.com's Health section - 10/18/04
"You're at a cocktail party, introducing a good friend. Suddenly, you forget her name. Or you're phoning your mother and actually have to look up the number. In yesterday's meeting, a familiar word dissolved on your tongue, leaving an embarrassing pause before it returned. Memory loss and diminished mental sharpness are common problems for men as they age; for women, short-term memory problems and fuzzy thinking are classic menopausal complaints." The article gives its purpose in its title - read on for information about how to combat memory loss.
Breakthroughs in Anti-Aging: New research is pointing the way for us to live longer and stay healthier
- From Parade magazine via MSN Health & Fitness's Diseases & Conditions section - article not dated;   posted here 12/31/08
The fountain of youth may not be a reality—yet!—but new research is pointing the way for us to live longer and stay healthier. With a few simple lifestyle changes, you can feel and look better now and influence how you age years into the future.  Exercising, eating well, managing weight, not smoking, avoiding environmental toxins and maintaining a stable emotional state all impact lifespan.  Nature's bounty is perfectly formulated to keep us healthy and resilient. An anti-ageing diet is rich in foods that are "alive," rather than packaged or processed. Some examples: Certain vitamins and nutrients act as antioxidants to counteract age-related damage to the heart, arteries, etc. Broccoli, Cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts help prevent cancer and ward off heart disease. So do the chemicals in Blueberry, Raspberry, blackberry and Pomegranate. (Studies at the Tufts University Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging indicate that blueberries also delay age-related loss of cognitive function.) Other foods containing potent antioxidants include Tomato, strawberries, Garlic, Spinach and Carrots. Yet another powerful antioxidant, known as EGCG, is found in Green Tea.  Don’t forget healthy fats: Foods with Omega-3 Fatty Acids can reduce the risk of heart attack as well as help prevent dementia.  At the very least, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, sometimes called "brain food," reduce memory problems typical of ageing.  Research already has established that the polyphenols in Red Wine are beneficial for heart health, and Resveratrol, a compound found in Red Wine Extract, has been shown to promote long life in lab mice and help them avoid the problems of being overweight.

Cancer Cures in the Herbal Pharmacy- From MedicalNewsToday.com's Complimentary/Alternative Medicine section - 03/05/08
Many chemotherapies to fight cancer in modern medicine are natural products or were developed on the basis of natural substances. Taxanes used in prostate and breast cancer treatment are made from yew trees; the periwinkle plant’s alkaloids are effective against malignant lymphomas. The modern anti-cancer drugs, Topotecan® and Irinotecan®, are derived from the Chinese Happy Tree.  Plant constituents that seem particularly promising are derived from the Rangoon Creeper or from Red-Root Sage.  The latter contains three ingredients with powerful anti-tumor activity, and the substances were found to suppress the growth of a specific tumor cell line that is particularly resistant to many commonly used cytotoxins.  In contrast, a whole range of standard anti-cancer drugs fail to be effective against this cell.In the search for active ingredients, scientists from Germany, Austria and China have been concentrating on herbal remedies from Traditional Chinese Medicine with particularly well documented application range.  They are searching for compounds in 76 Chinese medicinal plants that are believed to be effective against malignant tumors and other growths and aligning the effectiveness of the substances on 60 different cancer cell lines with the gene activity profiles of these cells; thus, determining the exact gene products that are the cellular targets of the compounds. Thereby, it may be possible to discover whole new Achilles' heels of the cancer cell.  Click here to read the latest science in this important article; then read about traditional uses for  Red-Root Sage and European Mistletoe, which is the source of patent medicines (Helixor® and Iscador®), that are employed in oncology therapies in Europe.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet
- From the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health - November, 2002
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, includes this fact sheet on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on their website. Presented in question and answer format, the fact sheet "defines carpal tunnel syndrome [and its] symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention."
Chant 'Om' for Better Heart Health; Transcendental meditation lowers insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome risk, study finds
- HealthDay News via Medline Plus - 06/13/06
"Meditation may do more than bring you inner peace; a new study claims it may improve your cardiovascular health by decreasing the risk of metabolic syndrome. In a study reported in the June 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine , researchers report that the practice of transcendental meditation can significantly decrease insulin resistance, lower blood pressure and decrease heart rate variability."
The Cholesterol Connection - Five foods that fight it and five that feed it.
- From MSN Health & Fitness - 2006
"There's no denying that a healthy diet is the first line of defense against rising cholesterol. “If you eat a predominantly plant-based diet— with lots of fruits and vegetables plus some fish — you are on the right track to keeping your cholesterol at a healthy level,” says Lisa Dorfman, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. That said, certain so-called super-foods can actually help lower bad cholesterol and/or increase the good cholesterol."
Common roots for thousands of plant compounds found by scientists
- MedicalNewsToday.com - Complimentary Medicine/Alternative Medicine (January 21, 2005)
"Just one cellular pathway produces the raw ingredients plants use to make thousands of compounds, from molecules with anticancer properties to the active ingredient in catnip, according to a team of researchers at Purdue University and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology."
Could Soy Isoflavones Extend Life?
- From NutraIngredients.com's Product News > Soy-Based Ingredients section - 09/11/09
According to scientists from Britain’s Newcastle University, SOY isoflavones may activate anti-ageing proteins and lead to an extension of life. The preliminary research suggests that the isoflavone, daidzein, in Soy may activate a protein called sirtuin1 (Sirt1), previously linked to the regulation of ageing and longevity. The scientists alluded to the long-life expectancy and healthy ageing in Okinawans, who in past years consumed a low-energy, calorie-restricted diet, which is often cited as evidence supporting a longevity effect in humans. It is of interest to note that Soya provided the principal source of protein in this diet, raising the possibility that some beneficial effects of the diet relevant to healthy ageing and long lifespan may, speculatively, be the result of Soybean isoflavones potentiating effects Sirt1 activity.  Certain compounds found in the diet may also activate Sirt1, with the most focus being on resveratrol, a polyphenol found in Red Wine, as well as Pomegranate and Blueberry, etc.  The researchers say isoflavones and resveratrol share a degree of structural similarity and report that early observations from their work indicate that Soy isoflavones may share many of resveratrol’s functional properties, “and so highlight the potential for a diet rich in these compounds to promote healthy ageing.”
Cranberry Could Block 'Staph Infections' Research - 09/02/10
According to a recent study from Worcester (Massachusetts) Polytechnic Institute, CRANBERRY juice could offer protection from serious ‘staph infections’ like toxic shock syndrome and MRSA.  Antibiotic resistant strains of S. aureus like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are a growing problem; in the U.S.A., as deaths from MRSA more than doubled between 1991 and 2005.  The scientists indicate that most research conducted with Cranberry thus far has been with E. coli and urinary tract infections (UTIs), but Staphylococcus aureus was included in this study because it is a very serious health threat.  Cranberry has long been linked with protection from UTIs, with previous studies showing mixed reviews for the benefits of Cranberry juice; but although preliminary, the surprising results of the new study revealed that a Cranberry juice cocktail blocked a strain of S. aureus from beginning the process of infection.  E. coli  is accountable for around 80 percent of UTIs, whilst S. aureus can cause a range of staph infections, ranging from minor skin rashes to serious infections like toxic shock syndrome.  Infection occurs when bacteria manage to adhere to a host cell and form a thin biofilm, which creates an environment where the bacteria can multiply and thrive.  In the study, urine samples of those who had recently consumed the Cranberry juice cocktail showed significantly reduced ability of E. coli and S. aureus to form biofilms, which was surprising when Staphylococcus aureus showed the most significant results.  This was unexpected because Staph aureus is usually very good at forming biofilms, which is why it such a health problem.  Because there have been negative opinions regarding health claims relating consumption of Cranberry, more research is need to confirm all health claims.
Cranberry OPCs Come Out Tops for Heart Health Beverages
Research conducted by Britain’s Queen Mary University, London, found that CRANBERRY juice, which is rich in antioxidant procyanidins, is effective for boosting the health of blood vessels, thereby supporting previous research supporting the cardiovascular health of such compounds.  While the potential heart health benefits of flavonoid-rich diets have been reported previously, there was uncertainty about which constituents in flavonoid-rich foods may be behind the benefits.  The commercially funded study found that oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) had “by far the most potent effects” on the function of the endothelium (the cells lining blood vessels) and builds the science and understanding surrounding the consumption of Cranberry juice.  Cranberry consumption is mostly studied in relation to the beneficial effects on urinary tract health, but the current findings, which were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggest that when the anti-atherosclerotic actions of OPCs are also considered, daily consumption of Cranberry juice is likely to have multiple health benefits, and further studies of one of the commercial sponsor’s products was underway at the University of Maastricht to examine the effects of OPCs on endothelial biomarkers in humans.  According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a healthy diet should provide an adequate intake of OPCs, but studies have suggested that intake of an average diet is only about 25 mgs per day.
Cranberry’s Benefits Extend To Prostates: Study
- From NutraIngredients-USA.com's Headlines > Research section - 09/15/10
Writing in the British Journal of Nutrition, scientists from the Czech Republic’s Palacky University report that the protective effects of CRANBERRY toward urinary tract health may also extend to men's prostates.  Their study indicates that six months of supplementation with 1,500 mgs per day of dried powdered Cranberry significantly improved measures of prostate health.  The researchers reported improvements in ‘quality of life’ measures, urination parameters and lower levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) - a marker commonly used to screen for prostate cancer and for tracking the disease after its diagnosis.  The trial evaluated Cranberry’s performance for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), specifically in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), elevated PSA levels and non-bacterial prostatitis, and they added that unlike currently-used medication for prostatitis and LUTS, Cranberry has no adverse effects.  Results of the study showed that people in the Cranberry group experienced statistically significant improvements in all of the targeted markers, with no significant improvements in the control group.  Thus, the findings may assist men suffering from LUTS, and also their clinicians, to decide on a treatment that is both inexpensive and natural. The link between Cranberries and urinary tract health is well established and linked to its proanthocyanidin content.  In 2004, France became the first country to approve a health claim for the North American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) with proanthocyanidins to “help reduce the adhesion of certain E. coli bacteria to the urinary tract walls” and subsequently fight urinary tract infections.  The new study extends understanding of Cranberry and the red fruit’s role for prostate health.  Both BPH and chronic prostatitis are linked to lower urinary tract symptoms.  BPH is a non-cancerous swelling in the prostate gland of older men, affecting 25 percent of American Caucasians over the age of 50 and 30 percent of European men over 65.  The results of the present trial are the first firm evidence that Cranberry may ameliorate LUTS, independent of BPH or C-reactive protein level and proves that Cranberry isn’t solely for women’s health anymore.
DHA and Eye Health: Study Supports OMEGA-3 in Infant Formula
- From NutraIngredients.com's Health Conditions News > Eye Health section - 02/08/10
According to a new clinical trial from Texas-based Retina Foundation of the Southwest, the addition of the Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA (docosahexaenonic acid) to manufactured infant formula may improve the visual acuity of the infants.  Infant formula is a highly emotive area, with watchdogs keeping a close eye on companies' marketing tactics, in the event they promote their products as preferable to breast-feeding.  While it is agreed that breastfeeding is the best way to ensure an infant receives the nutrients it needs in its first months, formulas are indispensable in cases where mothers are unable to feed their children - either for health or logistical reasons.  Mothers' desire to give their children the best possible start in life means that there is scope for fortification.  The study results, published in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that measured doses of DHA led to improvements in eye health of infants, compared to infants fed non-supplemented formula.  The study included 244 healthy, formula-fed infants between one and nine days of age, and randomly assigned them to a control-formula and DHA-supplemented groups.  When the infants reached twelve months of age, measures of the clarity of the infants’ vision showed that those fed the DHA-supplemented formula had significantly better vision than infants fed the control formula. The study follows hot on the heels of, and vindicates, backing from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for DHA-related brain and eye health claims for infants; and importantly, there were no differences in the incidence of adverse events between any of the groups.
DHA (Omega-3 Fatty Acid) Brain Benefits May Extend To Middle Age Research 03/01/10
New research from the University of Pittsburgh indicated that increased intakes of the Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA (docosahexaenonic acid) may improve mental function in middle-aged people.  The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition, also noted that increased blood levels of DHA were associated with improved nonverbal reasoning, mental flexibility, working memory and vocabulary in people between 35 and 54.  Furthermore, increased levels of Omega-3 were associated with improved mental function in a “generally linear” relationship.  The scientists suggest that DHA is related to brain health throughout the lifespan and may have implications for clinical trials of neuropsychiatric disorders.  The potential brain-boosting benefits of Omega-3 have been reported by numerous studies, most recently at the Alzheimer's Association 2009 International Conference in Vienna, where scientists reported that daily supplements of Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA may improve both memory function and heart health in healthy older adults.  The researchers suggest that specifically, Omega-3 DHA Fatty Acid may favorably affect cognitive performance and may do so throughout life, but note that additional intervention-based experiments and randomized clinical trials are warranted.
DHA Omega-3 May Improve Chemotherapy Outcomes
Research section - 02/10/10  Recent research published in the British Journal of Cancer indicated that supplements of the Omega-3 Fatty Acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may improve outcomes for breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.  A new study from France’s Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale found that a daily dose of 1.8 grams of the Omega-3 Fatty Acid also produced no adverse effects.  Every year about 1.3 million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer, with just fewer than half a million deaths associated with the disease, according to the American Cancer Society, but although the incidence of the disease has increased by about thirty percent over the last twenty-five years in the West, death rates have declined, due to improved detection and treatments; and the new data show for the first time that dietary DHA intervention is a feasible approach that has potential to substantially increase survival in metastatic breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy.  The new study, if supported by additional research, suggests that DHA may help improve survival by sensitizing tumours to chemotherapy; and importantly, the DHA Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplements during chemotherapy were not associated with any adverse side effects.

Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations (for maintaining a healthy heart)
- From the American Heart Association - October, 2000
" A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease. It’s not as hard as you may think!  Remember, it's the overall pattern of your choices that counts. Make the simple steps [in this article] part of your life for long-term benefits to your health and your heart."
Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets
- From the Office of Dietary Supplements; a member of the National Institutes of Health
This page from the Office of Dietary Supplements website gives you detailed information about several herbs and other dietary supplements, which can supplement the information that we give on some of those same herbs here, on our own Herbal Extracts Plus website. You can find out by visiting our Herbs, Botanicals, & Nutrients  page to find the corresponding herb information.
The Digestive System
- From BBC Health - March 2001; last reviewed in September 2005
" Ever wondered what happens to your food once it passes your lips?  Well, once you've taken a mouthful, your food embarks on an incredible journey... "
Do You Know the Health Risks of Being Overweight?
- From the Weight-control Information Network; part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human   Services and the National Institutes of Health
As the title suggests, this informational page offers information on several different health risks of being overweight.
Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet
- From the American Heart Association - last updated 04/08/08
"Some cholesterol is made by your body. The food you eat is responsible for the rest. Food products from animals contain cholesterol — including meats, poultry, shellfish, eggs, butter, cheese and whole or 2 percent milk. And any type of food can also contain saturated fats and trans fats, which cause your body to make more cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends that you keep your intake of total fat to between 25 percent and 35 percent, your saturated fat consumption to less than 7 percent and your intake of trans fat to less than 1 percent of your total daily calories." Read this article to find out how.
Eat to Cheat Your Age
- From the Daily Mail website's Femail section - 01/29/07
We’re living for longer than ever before, but who wants to look their age? Fortunately, science is proving that the food we eat can put the brakes on the ageing process, both on the inside and the outside. Investing in a healthy diet now can help reduce the likelihood of suffering from ailments such as failing eyesight, arthritis and heart disease, as well as fatigue and lack-lustre skin. Many of the visible effects of ageing, such as wrinkles, and also those that we can't see, such as deterioration of the heart and eyes, are caused by free radicals - highly reactive molecules that damage cell walls and the genetic material within cells. Free radicals are hard to avoid, as they're produced naturally in the course of everyday life: factors such as smoking, pollution and overexposure to sunlight can accelerate their production. But eating lots of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can be a powerful defense against them. Vitamin C-rich citrus fruit can also help to boost the immune system, promote healthy skin and reduce the risk of eye disease. Growing old gracefully is an art that anyone can master....with a little help from the right foods.
Eat Right Without Thinking: 20 secrets to eat what you love and still get the body you want.
- From Men's Health's Food for Fitness section - Article not dated; posted here 10/12/07
Now that summer has ended and autumn is here, we tend to eat more, because we can get away with it. Whether we are busy parents, college kids or stressed business people, sudden weight gain can affect any of us, as we trade our bathing suits for heavier sweaters and sweatshirts that can potentially hide bulging bellies underneath. As new college kids have traded home life for campus life, many of them face the dreaded “freshman 15,” and since folks are not as likely to bare their midsections and strut their stuff on the beach, it often means more relaxed food regimens and more nights of ordering-out pizza and overdoing dessert. All is not lost, however:  To prevent fall and winter weight gain, it will be easier if we adopt some of the smart habits outlined in the linked article.  These twenty simple tactics—if you stick to them regularly—will help you get more of the foods you need into your diets, while eliminating the foods you don’t need.  The best part?  Before long, you’ll be dining like a nutrition expert – without even thinking about it!
Eating For A Better Mood - Find out which foods will make you feel better:
- From Parade Magazine via MSN Health & Fitness's Diseases & Conditions section - article not dated; posted here 02/27/09
The next time you feel blue or irritable, you may want to take a look at what's in your fridge. Researchers who study the food-mood connection have found that certain vitamins and other compounds in food can change brain chemistry. Foods influence the activity of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that convey information from one neuron to the next.  Anything that affects these chemical messengers affects your mood—making food a pretty powerful "drug" when it comes to how you feel and act.  For example, several studies have shown that Omega-3 Fatty Acids may be effective at combating depression. The best food sources are fatty fish such as wild salmon, sardines, and herring, but you may also want to consider taking a daily fish-oil supplement. Three B vitamins (B-6, B-12 and Folic acid) have been studied for their role in mood regulation. Some studies show that people with low blood levels of folic acid have higher rates of depression. Foods rich in folic acid (which is called folate when it's found naturally in food) include leafy green vegetables, sunflower seeds, Soy, Beet, Pomegranate, Onion and oranges. Vitamin D  plays a role in reducing the risk of osteoporosis, various cancers, and autoimmune diseases, but recent research indicates that it also may help alleviate seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is caused by the shortened days and limited sunlight of winter. The most potent form of the vitamin is D-3 or cholecalciferol.  

A Carbohydrate Overhaul  is another way to help banish the blues. Cut back on sugar and other refined carbs.  On the other hand, high-quality carbohydrates from soluble fiber, such as Oats, Barley (also rich in folate and B-vitamins), lentils, Peas, Flaxseed, Kidney Bean and White Sweet Potato, are metabolized slowly for stable blood-sugar levels and fewer mood swings.

Eating 'Smart': 9 Super Foods for Better Brain
- From the FoxNews.com Health section's Nutrition and Fitness Section - 06/21/06
"There's no denying that as we age chronologically, our body ages right along with us. But research is showing that you can increase your chances of maintaining a healthy brain well into your old age if you add these "smart" foods to your daily eating regimen." From salmon, rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, to nuts and seeds, such as Flax Seeds, you can't go wrong with these super foods!
Eight Quick Kitchen Cures for Pain
You use these herbs to cook - Now use them to ease painful problems!

- From Prevention.com's Health > Natural Remedies section - 11/09/04
Whether it’s heartburn, headache, stomachache, insect bites and stings, sinus pain, toothache or colds and flu, look to your herbal closet and open up the Ginger, Peppermint, Cloves, Thyme, Turmeric, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Coriander and Sesame…and leave your aches and pains behind.  Read some old-fashioned advice in this interesting article, and stock up your closet with herbs and spices that can do some double duty.
Falling Leaves Mean Rising Allergies:  Experts Offer Tips on Keeping Seasonal Symptoms at Bay
- From HealthDay News via Medline Plus - 10/21/06
"Raking and burning autumn leaves is a rite of the season for many, but those with allergies may want to avoid it, experts say. Here are some other tips from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) on avoiding allergy triggers this fall.
Fatty Fish May Slash Men’s Heart Failure Risk - One portion of fatty fish per week may reduce a man’s risk of heart failure, according to new research from the U.S. and Sweden.  
- From NutraIngredients.com's On Your Radar > Omega-3 section - 04/23/09
Research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Teaching Hospital of Harvard Medical School) and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and published in the European Heart Journal, indicated that the benefits appear linked to the OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID content of the fish.  The new study is one of the largest studies to investigate the association between fatty fish-Omega-3 intake and heart failure:  Almost 40,000 Swedish men between the ages of 45 and 79 were followed between 1998 and 2004, and the highest intake of marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids was linked to a reduction in the risk of heart failure of thirty-three percent.  Previous research demonstrated that fatty fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids help to combat risk factors for a range of heart-related conditions, such as lowering triglycerides (fats in the blood), reducing blood pressure, heart rate and heart rate variability, which may explain the association with the reduced risk of heart failure found in the current study. Omega-3 Fatty Acids, most notably DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health and improved behaviour and mood. Current guidelines from the American Heart Association recommend eating fatty fish twice a week. It will be important to replicate these findings in other populations, particularly those including women, as the study included men only.
Fish Oil During Pregnancy May Slash Infant Allergy
- From NutraIngredients.com - 07/09/09
According to a new study from Sweden, researchers have found that the occurrence of eczema and food allergies was lower in infants of mothers receiving supplements of OMEGA-3-rich fish oils during pregnancy and the early months of breast-feeding.  The findings from the randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study showed that OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID supplementation during pregnancy and lactation may reduce the risk of developing allergic sensitization to egg, IgE-associated eczema and food allergy during the first year of lifeImmunoglobulin E (IgE) is the predominant antibody associated with an allergic response.  The new study, including 145 pregnant women, adds to the ever-growing list of studies supporting the potential health benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA.  Much of its healthy reputation is based largely on evidence that it can aid cognitive function and protect the heart against cardiovascular disease.  Both DHA and EPA may produce changes in immune-cell membranes and reduce the levels of the Omega-6 Fatty Acid arachidonic acid (AA).  By inhibiting the metabolism of AA, the formation of the less inflammatory eicosanoids is favoured, which may be linked to lower allergic sensitization in the children.  Food allergies and the number of other allergic diseases have been rising.  The most common food allergen ingredients and their derivatives are cereals (containing gluten), fish, crustaceans, egg, peanut, soybeans, milk and dairy products including lactose, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame seed and sulphites.
Fish Oil’s Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Fight Depression
Article "Depressed? Fish Oil Might Help" - From Reuter's Health - 07/01/10
According to a new study from Canada’s University of Montreal, taking fish oil supplements with  Omega-3 Fatty Acids might make you feel better if you're feeling depressed.  The findings indicate that half the subjects in the study found depression relief when given supplemental fish oil’s Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  However, the supplements did not improve the conditions in the half who also suffered with an anxiety disorders. The ones who did improve - about half the group - were those who didn't also have a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. The other half - depressed people with anxiety disorders, too – did not receive any clear benefit from taking the supplements.  According to the researchers involved in the current study, some of the strongest evidence of benefit has come from supplements rich in EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which, along with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), is one of the two main forms of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  Patients with anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder, did not do better with fish oil.  Taking anti-depressants, or not taking them, did not affect the results.  These findings, which were published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, add to the confusion about whether Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help depression.  Different studies have reported conflicting results, and the current study is the largest so far to test the effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on depression symptoms.  At least some of the confusion is due to the fact that researchers rarely test these substances in any standard way.  Some studies have looked at Omega-3 as a stand-alone therapy; others have tested it in combination with antidepressants. The formulations often vary, too.  Thus, although there have been positive results with the use of Omega-3s, the ultimate role of fish oil in treating depression, if any, remains unclear.  Some research has suggested that the fatty acids are involved in the function of certain brain chemicals linked to depression, and it is also possible that the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil are at work.  Hence, further clinical trials, including ones that compare fish oil with antidepressant therapy, are still needed.
Fish Oil May Cut Breast Cancer Risk Research 07/09/10
According to a recent study conducted by Washington state’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, regular consumption of fish oil supplements, which contain high levels of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids, EPA and DHA, was linked with a thirty-two percent reduced risk of breast cancer.  The study, involving 35,016 postmenopausal women aged between 50 and 76, found that the reduction in risk seemed to be limited to invasive ductal breast cancer, which is the most common type of the disease.  The National Cancer Institute estimated that there will be 207,090 new cases of female breast cancer this year and 1,970 new cases in males.  It predicts that the disease will cause 39,840 female deaths and 390 male deaths.  Although fish oil’s Omega-3 Fatty Acids have also been linked to a protective effect on cardiovascular disease, the current study is the first to link the use of fish oil supplements with a decreased risk of this type of cancer, as previous studies have proven inconclusive.  One theory is that fish oil reduces inflammation which contributes to the development of cancer, and it may be that the amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in fish oil supplements are higher than most people would typically get from their diet.  However, the scientists caution that without confirming studies specifically addressing this link, we should not draw any conclusions about a causal relationship and highlighted the need for more research.  In the meantime, researchers at Harvard University are seeking patients for a randomized Vitamin D and Omega-3 trial. The research programme, known as VITAL, will assess the impact of fish oil’s Omega-3 supplements and vitamin D on cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Gall Bladder Disease From the About.com Health & Fitness's Women's Health Secction
This section of About.com gives you many articles and resources for gall bladder disease. There are articles explaining the disease, its symptoms, preventing the disease, treating the disease

and more.  If you or someone you know is suffering from a gall bladder ailment, these articles will be well worth reading.  About.com also offers a wealth of information about many other topics.

Germ Warfare: Common Cold & Flu Culprits - It's cold and flu season again, and the most innocent of objects could be your greatest health threat
- From WebMD.com's Cold & Flu Health Center - January 2007
Spreading the flu isn't quite the same as spreading New Year's cheer. The dastardly duo - cold and flu - are back, and they're hiding everywhere, from the shopping mall to your doctor's tie to the telephone. For some of us, these seasonal sicknesses are already nesting in our lungs and sinuses and playing havoc with our immune systems. So what can you and your family do to stay healthy?  With some help from Charles Gerba, PhD, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, we’ll tell you where cold and flu germs live and hide so that you can take proper precautions or, better yet, avoid them like the plague.
Going Barefoot Eases Burden on Arthritic Knees
- From Reuters Health via Medline Plus - 10/19/06
"Adults who suffer from knee osteoarthritis -- the wear-and-tear form of arthritis -- may want to go without shoes when they can, based on new research that suggests that walking in shoes increases loads on knee and hip joints in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee."

Good Taste: Top 5 Foods to Prevent Bad Breath
- From MSN Health & Fitness
Everyone knows that brushing and flossing after every meal is what the doctor orders for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but does it keep your breath fresh too?  Probably not after the first half hour or so! This article will let you know what you can do between meals to keep

your breath fresh as often as you can!

Green Tea 'May Block Lung Cancer'
- From BBC News website's Health > Medical News section - 01/13/10
Green Tea May Slash Lung Cancer Risk
- From NutraIngredients.com's Headlines > Research - 1/14/10
According to a study conducted at Taiwan’s Chung Shan Medical University, drinking Green Tea may offer some protection against lung cancer.  Green Tea is made from the dried leaves of the Camellia sinesis plant and is drunk widely across Asia, where the rates of many cancers are much lower than in other parts of the world.  These statistics have led some experts who studied the disease to link the two, and some laboratory studies have shown that Green Tea Extracts, called polyphenols, may stop cancer cells from growing.  The new study, a hospital-based, randomized trial of more than 500 smokers and non-smokers, builds on earlier research from epidemiological studies, which reported potential lung cancer risk reductions in smokers and found that those who drank at least one cup of Green Tea a day cut their lung cancer risk significantly, and subjects who did not drink Green Tea were more than five times likely to get lung cancer.  Among smokers, those who did not drink Green Tea at all were more than twelve times likely to develop lung cancer than those who drank at least a cup a day.  It should also be mentioned that the protection was greatest for people carrying certain genes, as researchers who analyzed the DNA of subjects, found certain genes appeared to play a role in the risk reduction.  Green Tea drinkers, whether smokers or non-smokers, with certain types of a gene called IGF1, were far less likely to develop lung cancer than other Green Tea drinkers with different types of this gene.  Although results from human studies have been mixed, the new findings, which were presented to a Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer, suggest that the results add to growing evidence suggesting the beverage has anti-cancer powers – but should not be used as an excuse to keep smoking.  Smoking tobacco fills the lungs with around eighty cancer-causing chemicals, and drinking Green Tea is not going to compensate for that.  It is not possible to make up for the harm caused by smoking by doing other things right like eating a healthy, balanced diet; thus, the best thing a smoker can do to reduce their risk of cancer is to stop smoking.
Green Tea May Protect DNA From Damage: Human Study
- From NutraIngredients-USA.com's Headlines > Research section - 09/03/10
Research from Hong Kong Polytechnic University indicated that drinking Green Tea every day for a month may protect against damage at a genetic levels.  In both human and in vitro trials, there was a twenty percent reduction in levels of DNA damage, while measures of whole-body oxidative stress were unaffected.  The findings, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggest that the benefits were linked to Green Tea’s antioxidant content and indicate that Green Tea has significant genoprotective effects. The study adds to an ever-growing body of science supporting the potential benefits of Green Tea and the polyphenolic compounds it contains.  The four primary polyphenols found in fresh tealeaves are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin, and Green Tea contains between 30 and 40 per cent of water-extractable polyphenols, while Black Bea (Green Tea that has been oxidized by fermentation) contains between 3 and 10 per cent.  Hundreds of studies have already reported that the beverage may reduce the risk of certain cancers, aid weight management and protection against Alzheimer's.  With regard to biological ageing, an earlier 2010 study from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, scientists reported that the cells of regular tea drinkers may have a younger biological age than cells from non-drinkers.  By looking at the length of telomeres, DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes that shorten as cells replicate and age, the researchers reported that the telomeres of people who drank an average of three cups of Green Tea daily were about 4.6 kilobases longer than people who drank an average of a quarter of a cup a day.  This average difference in the telomere length corresponds to approximately a difference of five years of life.
Health Tip: Be Careful During Hot Weather - Protect Yourself from Heat Stroke
- From HealthDay News via ABC News website's Health section - 03/23/09
Heatstroke occurs when a person's temperature soars to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, effectively shutting down the body's heat-regulating mechanism. Symptoms may include hot, dry skin, inability to sweat, muscle cramps and shallow breathing.  The University of Michigan Health System has given us some timely tips to avoid this serious problem, so read this important article for suggestions on how to help prevent heatstroke this summer.
Herbal Remedies: Adverse Effects and Drug Interactions
- From the American Academy of Family Physicians - 03/01/99
According to this article, many manufacturers of herbal products for preventative and therapeutic purposes are not required to submit proof of safety and efficacy to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before marketing. The article describes the warnings and contraindications involved when using these products and wants you to be aware of them, so that you know exactly what you are doing when planning to include these products in your health regimen.
Herbsphere.com - Herbal News and Features
This website will give you a good insight into herbs and how they can help your body. The website comes to you from Helen Knowles, who is an advisor, aromatherapist and electro-crystal practitioner, among other things.  She has written a book and does research and writing for other projects relating to herbal medicine. Her extensive articles are definitely worth reading.
High Bread Consumption Tied to Kidney Cancer
- From Reuters Health via Medline Plus - 10/20/06
"A diet high in refined cereals, and bread in particular, is associated with an elevated risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the main type of kidney cancer, according to a study in Italy."
How To Have Your Holiday Cheer -- Without Losing Your Waistline
- From Medical News Today's Obesity/Weight Loss/Fitness News Section - 11/9/06
As the holidays approach, many Americans are preparing to throw caution to the wind and enjoy making merry. Unfortunately, with more than two-thirds of us already overweight or obese, the extra pies, sugar cookies, dressing and mashed potatoes can make a bad situation worse. The abundance of tasty treats poses a serious challenge, and although the holidays bring a lot of joy, they also tend to bring a lot of weight gain. Studies show that the average American gains about seven pounds from mid-December to January first every year. But that doesn't have to be the case according to Margery Lawrence, Chair of the nutrition department at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut. Lawrence says there are numerous ways to get your holiday cheer without losing your waistline, and it starts with planning ahead.
IBSpage.com - The IBS Page
This webpage offers many links to websites with information about Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  It is a directory that will lead you to websites by individuals, educational institutions, commercial sites, associations/organizations and much more.
Insufficient ALA Could Be Linked to Obesity Trend > Research - 08/06/10
New research from France’s Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, suggests that a deficiency in alpha-linolenic acid (Omega-3 Fatty Acids), coupled with a chronic excess of linoleic acid (Omega-6), could lead to inherited obesity.  The new study revealed an increase in fat mass in animal models over several generations when mice were fed an ‘unbalanced Western diet.’  In addition to trans-generational weight gain, the findings, which were published in the Journal of Lipid Research, also pointed to the onset of metabolic disorders, such as insulin resistance, and the expression of inflammatory genes involved in obesity as generations advanced.  The scientists indicated that the data showed continuous exposure to a high-fat diet, combined with a higher ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3, triggers a steady increase in inflammatory stimuli, accompanied by enhancement of fat mass.  The beneficial role that polyunsaturated fatty acids can have on health is well established; however, when their intake is unbalanced, these essential fatty acids can enhance factors that can induce obesity, and may have serious long-term effects on human health. During the last forty years Western societies have seen increases in the level of calories ingested, alongside an increase of over 250 percent in levels Omega-6 intake and a fall in levels of Omega-3 of 40 percent. This change in diet has coincided with a steady rise in obesity levels through the generations. Over this time the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 in a typical Western diet has shifted from the recommended 5-to-1, to 15-to-1 in much of Europe, and can be as high as 40-to-1 in the United States. Thus, an increase in Omega-3 Fatty Acids is needed, and since alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that the body cannot make, it must therefore be supplemented in the diet.  Good sources of ALA include: marine sources (fish), flaxseed, soybeans, walnuts and olive oil. The U.S Institute of Medicine recommends an ALA intake of 1.6 grams per day for men and 1.1 grams per day for women.
Iron Status May Be Link In Degenerative Diseases: Study
Eating Blueberries and Drinking Green Tea May Help Prevent Degenerative Diseases

- From NutraIngredients.com's Health Condition News > Cognitive and Mental Function section - 12/10/10
According to a new review published in Archives of Toxicology, iron status may be linked to degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's.  A study, conducted by Britain's University of Manchester, suggests the majority of debilitating illnesses are, in part, caused by poorly-bound iron, which may lead to the production of dangerous toxins (hydroxyl radicals) that react with cells and tissues in the body and lead to degenerative diseases.  To protect the body from these dangerous varieties of poorly-bound iron, the researchers indicate that it is vital to take on certain nutrients, which can bind tightly to iron (known as iron chelators).  Brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including Blueberry, Blackberry, Plums, Elderberry, as well as Green Tea, are known to be good sources of iron chelators, though purple fruits are considered to have the best chance of binding the iron effectively.  If true, they might greatly change the means by which we seek to prevent and even cure such diseases.  Oddly, despite conflicting reports, the widely-publicized benefits of Red Wine seem to work well in a different way but have no chelating benefit for iron binding.  Further, excess vitamin C can, in fact, have the opposite effect to that intended, if unbound iron is present.  Although of great benefit to the body's ability to defend itself against toxins and diseases, vitamin C can work effectively only when iron is suitably and safely bound.  This specifically highlights the role of iron metabolism in chemical and other toxicology, and has significant implications for the use of iron chelating substances (probably in partnership with appropriate antioxidants) as nutritional or therapeutic agents in inhibiting both the progression of these mainly degenerative diseases.  This review is the first time the link has been made between so many different diseases and the presence of the wrong form of iron and gives a crucial clue as to how to prevent them or at least slow them down.  The importance of iron may have been missed because there is no gene for iron as such, and this work is therefore a crucial area for further investigation, as many simple predictions may follow from the analysis, since the extensive evidence for iron's involvement cited here and elsewhere is very hard to ignore.
Juice Consumption Linked to Reduced Risk of Alzheimer's; Decade-long study finds 76 percent lower incidence for regular drinkers
- From HealthDay News via Medline Plus - 08/31/06
"The risk of developing Alzheimer's disease was dramatically reduced for older people who drank fruit or vegetable juices regularly in a 10-year study, researchers report. It's not the general kind of antioxidants in fruit juices that produce the benefit, said Dr. Qi Dai, assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and lead author of the report. Rather, he attributed the effect to polyphenols, a particularly strong antioxidant."
Kitchen Cupboard or Medicine Cabinet?
- HealthDay News via Medline Plus (June 9, 2006)
"Take two bites of chocolate, a sip of burgundy, a filet of fresh fish, and call me in the morning." Wouldn't that be a great prescription? It may not be too far off the mark. Studies are suggesting that some of the food on your dinner plates and the drinks in your glasses may be more than just life-sustaining, they may be life-preserving, too, loaded with real power to heal."
Light Of My life
- From The Times via Times Online's website - 10/23/06
"Can a New Therapy Brighten Up Seasonal Blues? The mornings are gloomy. The evenings are drawing in. Already we are pining for the long bright days of summer. But for anyone with seasonal affective disorder, which bears the unfortunate acronym SAD, the change is far more dramatic. In its most severe form, its symptoms include mood swings, binge eating and excessive sleeping. So to suppress SAD we need more light. Exposure to a light-emitting box each morning is effective in 85 per cent of cases, according to the Mental Health Foundation."
Making Multiple Lifestyle Changes is Beneficial, Achievable in Lowering High Blood Pressure
- From the National Institute of Health's News & Events (April 3, 2006)
"Men and women with elevated blood pressure who make healthy lifestyle changes and sustain them for up to a year and a half can substantially reduce their rates of high blood pressure and potentially decrease their heart disease risk. With behavioral counseling, increases in physical activity, and adoption of a healthy eating plan called DASH, rates of high blood pressure dropped from 37 to 22 percent among participants in a study conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health."
Meta-analysis Supports Safety of SOY, Red Clover Research - 10/02/09
After much discussion regarding the hormonal effects of Soy and Red Clover, research conducted by the Medical University, Vienna, Austria, indicated that phytoestrogens like SOY and RED CLOVER isoflavones pose no safety issues with regard to heart health and breast cancer risk.  The findings, which were published in The American Journal of Medicine, indicated that isoflavones (genistein, naringenin, kaempferol) and lignins (enterodiol and enterolactone) were not linked to increased incidence of adverse events; and thus, the scientists point out that the results of the controlled trials (involving almost 10,000 participants) may help women seeking safe alternatives to hormone replacement therapy (HRT).  Conflicting reports have clouded the picture about the beneficial effects of Soy, with some studies indicating that breast cancer cells in mice were stimulated by the isoflavones.  However, population studies have shown that women with a high-Soy diet generally have lower rates of breast cancer.  The scientists claim that based on the new evidence, there is no indication of serious side effects with phytoestrogen treatment, as opposed to those found in women on HRT, for example, thrombosis, myocardial infarction, stroke and breast cancer.  The European Food Safety Authority examined the new data and other studies collected over the last twenty years and concluded the Soy and Red Clover-derived isoflavones do not increase the risk of breast cancer and may offer very real relief to post-menopausal women.
Mononucleosis increases risk of multiple sclerosis
- From Reuters Health, sourced from the Annals of Neurology via the Armenian Medical Network, www.health.am - 03/28/06
"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), resulting in infectious mononucleosis, which primarily effects adolescents and young adults, more than doubles the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life, results of a large review of studies suggest."
More Omega-3 ~ Less Omega-6 for Colorectal Protection
- From NutraIngredients.com - 08/12/09 (Most university following Omega-3 Studies have been originally reported by NutraIngredients-USA)
According to a study that included 73,242 participants, increasing intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and decreasing Omega-6 could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. New research conducted in China by scientists from Vanderbilt University and published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention adds to a small but growing body of evidence supporting the importance of balance between Omega-3 (linolenic acid) and Omega-6 (linoleic) Fatty Acids.  The highest dietary ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 was associated with a ninety-five percent increase in the risk of women developing colorectal cancer.  Previously, the higher ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 had been linked to prostate cancer risk (Clinical Cancer Research) with inconsistent results.  But the new findings suggest that increasing ratios of Omega-6 (arachidonic) acid to Omega-3 eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) Fatty Acids was strongly associated with increased colorectal cancer risk.  The Omega-6 (arachidonic) Fatty Acid was also linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer and this association may be mediated in part through PGE2 production (pro-inflammatory prostaglandin).  Specifically, women with the highest average intakes had an associated risk forty percent higher than women with the lowest average intakes.
NASA Examines Omega-3 Fatty Acids For Bone Health During Space Flight Research - 03/18/10
According to finding published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, new research from NASA suggests that supplemental Omega-3 Fatty Acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) may protect against bone loss during weightlessness during space flight.  Omega-3 Fatty Acids, most notably EPA and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have been linked to a wide range of health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health and improved behaviour and mood; and now, according to the new NASA study, the sky may not be the limit:  Astronauts who reported higher intakes of fish (thus the Omega-3s they contain) had lower levels of bone loss after spaceflight, as well as lower levels of a protein called NF-kappaB, which has negative effects on bone, muscle and immune function – all usually higher after spaceflight.  These observations were supported by cell studies, which showed that EPA decreased the activation of NF-kappaB.  Beyond these observations, the role of n-3 fatty acids in cancer prevention is currently being investigated in animal models of spaceflight radiation effects, with positive results, said the NASA scientists.  Additional data from astronauts on the Russian Mir space station were also studied, with their dietary intakes and bone exams assessed, and increased fish intakes were associated with reduced bone loss during weightlessness.  Similar results were also observed for people with extended periods of bed-rest.  Thus, there is a good possibility that something as simple as a menu change to increase fish intake might serve as a countermeasure to help mitigate risks related to bone, muscle, immune function - and potentially even radiation.
Office Aches and Pains - What to do when work hurts your hands, wrists and arms.
- From the MSN Health & Fitness Diet & Fitness section - (not dated; posted here 08/03/07)
People in computer-related office jobs, factory and construction work, as well as dress-making professions typically report a high incidence of strain to the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck.  Repetitive Motion Injury includes aches of carpal tunnel syndrome, elbow pain, numbness, stiffness and/or tenderness in the neck and back.  Worse, these conditions can hinder performance on the job that causes it in the first place. When it comes to desk jobs, ergonomically unfriendly work stations—incorrectly placed computer monitors and desk chairs or poor arm and back alignment—are thought to exacerbate the already-stressful motions of keyboarding, moving a mouse around and other hand/arm actions.  There is help!  A 2007 review in The Lancet, a British medical journal, found that exercise may provide relief, but you may also be able to decrease stress by following the good advice included in the following article.  A little herbal therapy might help those achy and painful joints too.
Oily Fish 'Can Halt Eye Disease'
- From BBC News website's Health News - 06/08/09
In a study conducted by Tufts University, Boston, and published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers believe OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS offer protection against age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by altering fat levels in the blood after a meal that can be damaging to the body.  People with (AMD) should eat oily fish that are rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids at least twice a week to keep their eye disease at bay, say scientists.  Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which are found in abundance in fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring appear to slow or even halt the progress of both early and late stage disease.  These findings appear to be consistent with previous research that has shown that eating Omega-3 poly-unsaturated fats as part of a balanced diet may help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration. The researchers based their findings on almost three thousand people taking part in a trial of vitamins and supplements.
Oily Fish May Reduce Dementia Risk: Transcontinental study
- From NutraIngredients.com - 07/08/09
According to a study spanning three continents and including almost fifteen thousand people, increased intake of fish may reduce the risk of dementia by about twenty percent; on the other hand, meat consumption was found to increase dementia risk. The results, which were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, are consistent with mechanistic data on the neuroprotective actions of OMEGA-3 long-chain polyunsaturated Fatty Acids commonly found in fish, and the seven-country study indicated that the more fish consumed, the more beneficial the effects.  Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and currently affects over thirteen million people worldwide.  The majority of science for the health benefits of fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid consumption has focused on cardiovascular health, but the science for cognitive benefits is growing and almost as compelling as the heart health data with two previous studies also reporting that regular consumption of Omega-3-Fatty Acid could prevent age-related cognitive decline.
Omega-3 DHA May Boost Male Fertility: For Mice at Least Research - 04/13/10
A recent study from the University of Illinois, discovered that mice, previously engineered to lack a gene that helps them produce the Omega-3 Fatty Acid, DHA, had fewer sperm and more abnormalities in what little sperm they did have, but such effects were reversed in mice that were fed DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).  The researchers noted that in the absence of DHA, the animal models were basically infertile, producing few, if any, misshapen sperm that “can't get where they need to go.”  However, when the mice were fed supplemental DHA, the fatty acid was “capable of restoring all observed impairment in male reproduction.”  This is not the first time Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been linked to sperm quality and fertility:  Earlier this year, scientists from Iran’s University of Tehran reported that infertile men had lower levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in their sperm than fertile men.  Reporting in the Journal of Lipid Research, the current study indicates that fertility may be added to the long list of potential benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, including improved heart health, cognitive function, mood and behavior, eyes, joint health and potentially reducing the risk of some cancers.  The scientists say that they still don’t fully understand the mechanisms involved in this research and need more exploration at the cellular level in humans, but noted that they would continue to investigate Omega-3’s effects on male fertility.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency Causes 96,000 U.S. Deaths per year, say researchers
- From NutraIngredients.com - 06/26/09
According to a study conducted by Harvard University and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Omega-3 Fatty Acid deficiency is the sixth biggest killer of Americans and more deadly than excess trans fat intake. The researchers looked at dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors to establish how many fatalities could have been prevented if better practices had been observed. They determined that there were 72,000-96,000 preventable deaths each year due to Omega-3 Fatty Acid deficiency, compared to 63,000-97,000 from high trans fat intake.  The analysis reinforced the long-held notion that the diet has a tremendously powerful impact on health and longevity and that the consumption of Omega-3’s (along with fruits and veggies) is far from adequate.  Since chronic diseases and associated deaths are multifactorial, more clinical research is needed to nail down why Omega-3 is so effective.  The study highlighted the importance of establishing a dietary reference intake (DRI) for Omega-3 forms, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid); and once these daily dietary requirements are established, the government can undertake initiatives to improved Americans’ intake of these critical nutrients.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids' Anti-inflammatory Mechanism Revealed
- From NutraIngredients-USA.com's Headlines > Research section - 09/03/10
According to new research from the University of California, San Diego, Omega-3 Fatty Acids may reduce inflammation by acting on a receptor found in fat tissue and on inflammatory immune cells called macrophages.  A macrophage is a type of white blood cell that surrounds and kills infectious micro-organisms, removes dead cells and stimulates the action of other immune system cells; they are key players in the immune response to foreign invaders.  The new findings, which were published in the journal, Cell, suggests the mechanisms behind Omega-3’s anti-inflammatory actions are due to its action on the ‘G-protein-coupled receptor 120’ (GPR120) working as an Omega-3 FA receptor-sensor. The scientists noted that "Omega-3s are very potent activators of GPR120 on macrophages - more potent than any other anti-inflammatory we've ever seen.”  Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been long associated with anti-inflammatory effects; however, the mechanisms behind such effects have been poorly understood.  GPR120 is part of a group involved in many important cell functions.  Since chronic tissue inflammation is linked to insulin resistance in obesity, the researchers used GPR120 to investigate if Omega-3 leads anti-inflammatory and insulin sensitizing effects, and in the study, normal mice on a high-fat diet gained weight, but Omega-3s had a really robust effect in preventing inflammation.  The study reported that Omega-3 treatment was as effective - or in some cases more effective - than the popular insulin-sensitizing drug Rosiglitazone.  The researchers noted that activation of GPR120 by Omega-3s blocks not one, but all inflammatory pathways.  The team focused on GPR120 from the beginning because of where it is found - in fat tissue and on macrophages.  If the goal is to fight inflammation then "that's just where you'd want them to be expressed."  How these findings can be interpreted for humans is not yet clear, but there is a growing trend in Omega-3 supplementation and increased dietary intakes of Omega-3 as a goal for many consumers.  Nonetheless, the researchers claim it is too early to make any formal recommendations at the moment and further research needs to be conducted into several – currently unknown - Omega-3 mechanisms.  For one, Omega-3s seems to block the migration of macrophage cells into tissues, and the researchers add: "It's a remarkable effect, and we don't know its action."
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Could Improve Metabolic Syndrome Outcomes Research - 08/18/10
New research from Spain’s University of Cordoba suggests that the effects of metabolic syndrome – a major risk factor for insulin resistance and diabetes - can be reduced through the addition of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diets.  The findings, published in The Journal of Nutrition, indicate that Omega-3-rich fish oil supplements may improve blood lipid levels and correct many metabolic alterations associated with insulin resistance, including reduced postprandial plasma triglyceride concentration and thus reducing the risk of developing serious ailments. Metabolic syndrome is the name given to a group of risk factors that frequently include obesity, hypertension, high levels of blood lipids and high blood sugars.  The condition is a common precursor to Type-2 diabetes and is also strongly associated with increased risk of major health problems such as heart disease and stroke.  The causes of metabolic syndrome are unknown, although they are thought to involve both genetic and environmental factors – including poor diet.  One way to increase the overall health – and reduce the risks - of metabolic syndrome has been to eat a diet low in saturated fat and high in complex carbohydrates.  However, previous research has suggested that this diet does not help to reduce high levels of blood lipids - with some studies observing such a diet could even be raising blood lipid levels. In the new study, the researchers found that a low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diet had “several detrimental effects”, including significantly increasing total triglyceride levels and triglyceride rich lipoprotein cholesterol levels.  The data from the study suggest a place for higher Omega-3 intake in people with metabolic syndrome and supports previous research that claims monounsaturated fatty acids can have a positive effect on blood lipid levels.  The researchers concluded that the long-term effect of the low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diet, pre vs. post intervention phases, showed several beneficial effects for long-chain Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid supplementation with beneficial effects on postprandial lipoprotein response in patients with metabolic syndrome.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA May Have Gender-Specific Effects Research - 08/17/10
The latest science has suggested that Omega-3 Fatty Acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have different – gender specific – roles.  The majority of studies on Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplements use marine sources (fish oil), which contains both EPA and DHA, and a new study from Australia’s University of Newcastle claims that differences in how males and females process EPA and DHA could affect platelet aggregation (blood clots).  Platelets are mainly responsible for blood clot development and wound healing, but they are also involved in the processes of thrombus formation and blood vessel blockage.  Previous research has shown Omega-3 to have a protective role over thrombotic events, although it remains unclear which forms of  Omega-3 are the most advantageous.  The findings, which were published in the journal, Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, indicate that the gender-specific Omega-3 roles may be due to interactions with hormones.  The distinctive gender-specific, inhibitory response pattern observed in the study suggests that males may benefit more from EPA supplements, while females are more responsive to DHA.  There has been a growing demand for the use of non-medical anti-platelet agents, focusing in particular on supplementation with Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids like EPA and DHA.  The researchers put forward that the observed gender differences may be down to interactions between EPA/DHA and sex hormones; thus, for healthy individuals, males may benefit more from EPA supplementation while females are more responsive to DHA. The findings of the study could see a change in how Omega-3’s are delivered in dietary supplements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Improve Cardio Measures in Overweight Teens
Research - 09/22/10  New research, conducted by Copenhagen University and the Technical University of Denmark, indicates that daily supplements of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids  EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) may improve blood pressure levels in overweight teenage boys. The research team noted that blood pressure has been shown to track into adulthood, as children and adolescents with high blood pressure are more likely to suffer from hypertension later in life.  Thus, adolescents with blood pressure in the higher range can be viewed as ‘pre-hypertensive,’ but whether the tracking of high blood pressure is a result of unhealthy diet and exercise habits carried from childhood to adulthood or whether some programming of blood pressure occurs during adolescence is not known.  The study findings, which were published in The Journal of Pediatrics, observed blood pressure reductions of 3 mmHg following sixteen weeks of randomly-assigned daily consumption of 1.5 grams of Omega-3 Fatty Acids by mildly overweight adolescent boys (aged between 13 and 15) going through their adolescent growth spurt.  The researchers chose to recruit slightly overweight boys, because they wanted clear potential for improvement in the risk factors evaluated.  The scientists claimed that a blood pressure decrease of about 3 mmHg corresponds to a [greater than] fifteen percent reduction in the risk of stroke at a whole population level in adults.  The heart health benefits of consuming oily fish, and the Omega-3 Fatty Acids they contain, are well-documented.  To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements and improved vascular function.  Beyond heart health, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, most notably EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health and improved behavior and mood.  At the end of the new study, the researchers recorded a significant increase in EPA and DHA levels in the red blood cells of the Omega-3 group, lower systolic blood pressure, lower diastolic blood pressure, while increases in HDL (good) and non-HDL cholesterol levels were also recorded. The team declared the new study extends understanding of the cardiovascular benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Protect Against Hearing Loss Research - 06/11/10
Hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder in the United States, affecting more than 36 million people, but a new study from Australia’s University of Sydney indicated that increased intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and the fish that provide them, may reduce the risk of age-related hearing loss.  Moreover, dietary intervention with Omega-3 polyunsaturated Fatty Acids could also prevent or delay the development of age-related hearing loss.  According to the findings, which were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists analyzing data collected from 2,956 participants, found that at least two servings of fish per week were associated with a forty-two percent reduction in the risk of hearing loss in over-fifty-year-olds, compared with people who average less than one serving per week.  Omega-3 Fatty Acids, most notably EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health and improved behavior and mood.  Other micronutrients have also been linked to reducing the risk of age-related hearing loss, including the mineral magnesium, beta carotene and vitamins C and E and folic acid supplements (delayed age-related hearing loss in the low frequency region).  Correlation is not causation, however, and significant further research is needed, including human intervention trials to establish proof for Omega-3 supplementation for hearing loss protection.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Slash Risk of Heart Failure in Women by Twenty-five Percent Research s- 04/06/10
Scientists from the U.S. and Sweden found that increased intakes of fatty fish, and the Omega-3 Fatty Acids they contain, may reduce a woman’s risk of heart failure by about 25 percent. The new study adds to previous data from the same researchers, indicating that Omega-3 Fatty Acids may reduce the risk of heart failure by 33 percent in men. That study, published in the European Heart Journal, was said to be one of the largest studies to investigate the association between heart failure with benefits linked to the Omega-3 in fish.  Heart failure, which arises when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs, is the leading cause of hospitalization among the over 65s, and is characterized by such symptoms as fatigue and weakness, difficulty walking, rapid or irregular heartbeat and persistent cough or wheezing.  The heart health benefits of consuming oily fish/Omega-3 Fatty Acids are well-documented, being first reported in the early 1970s in Britain’s The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure, as well as heart rate improvements and improved vascular function.  Beyond heart health, Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health and improved behavior and mood.  According to the scientists, consuming one portion of fatty fish per week could offer benefits for women by reducing the risk of developing heart failure by up to 30 percent, and the association for Omega-3 Fatty Acids was stronger with the highest intakes of Omega-3.  Fortunately, benefiting from Omega-3 has never been easier with easy-to-take supplements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Show Benefits Against Oxidative Stress Research 06/23/10
New research from the University of Western Australia and France’s University of Montpellier suggests that the heart health benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA may be related to their ability to reduce oxidative stress.  Oxygen-breathing organisms naturally produce reactive oxygen species, which play an important role in a range of functions, including cell signalling.  However, over-production of these species from smoking, pollution, sunlight, high-intensity exercise or simply ageing may overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defenses and lead to oxidative stress, which is linked to increased risk of various diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease.  New findings in Free Radical Research indicate that EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) may actually reduce oxidative stress by reducing levels of a compound called F2-isoprostanes (markers of oxidative stress).  Daily supplements of either EPA or DHA for six weeks were associated with twenty percent reductions.  Furthermore, the researchers found that plasma levels of arachidonic acid (AA) were also reduced following both Omega-3 EPA and DHA supplementation.  (Herbal Extracts Plus Editor’s note: Arachidonic acid is a type of Omega-6 Fatty Acid that's found in red meat and egg yolks, and too much arachidonic acid can increase your risk of heart disease because it can cause inflammation, which contributes to plaque buildup in arteries, potentially causing coronary artery disease, a heart attack or stroke.) The scientists say that the data, therefore, suggest Omega-3 Fatty Acids reduce oxidative stress, which is likely related to their anti-inflammatory actions, further supporting dietary Omega-3 supplementation for cardiovascular risk reduction.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamins and Minerals May Reduce Aggressive Behavior
- Researchn - 02/23/10  A new study from The Netherlands has found that nutritional supplements of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, vitamins and minerals may reduce the number of violent and aggressive episodes among prisoners.  The study was conducted by scientists in the Dutch Ministry of Justice and included over 200 young adult offenders in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial.  According to the findings, published in the journal, Aggressive Behavior, the Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acid supplementation was associated with a 34 percent reduction in violent incidents; on the other hand, there was a 14 percent increase in the number of incidents in participants with no supplementation.  The prospect of influencing aggression with nutrients is important enough to warrant further research and particularly true as adequate supplementation may also have beneficial effects on mental health and cognitive functioning.  Coincidentally, independent research from England found that supplementation of young violent offenders with fatty acids and micronutrients reduced violent offences by some 39 percent or more. Oxford University researchers are currently conducting similar trials at three locations including 1,000 subjects and supported by the UK Department of Justice and the Prison Service.  The area of Fatty Acid supplementation and aggression was described as an important development and confirms the basic concept: “A good diet reduces aggression.”  No challenge to the new Oxford study has come forward, and if results turn out similar to the Dutch studies, then it could be a significant breakthrough.  The scientists claim that the link between diet and aggressive behavior “makes sense on the basis of evidence of links between major depression, suicide and homicide,” as reported by the National Institutes of Health in the U.S.A.
Omega-3 Fish Oils Linked to Better Semen Quality
- From NutraIngredients.com - 08/10/09
Infertile men have lower levels of OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS in their sperm than fertile men, suggests new research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Clinical Nutrition, which opens up the possibility for supplements to boost sperm quality.   The university study evaluated the association of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids on semen quality in infertile men (with defective production of spermatozoa) and fertile men.  The findings add to a small but growing body of evidence supporting the importance of balance between Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Omega-6 Fatty Acids, since the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 was found to be higher in infertile men.  Specifically, the study looked at levels of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and the levels of Omega-6 Fatty Acids, such as linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA).  According to their results, fertile men were found to have higher blood and sperm levels of all three Omega-3 Fatty Acids; and a high proportion of Omega-6 Fatty Acids in the spermatozoa was a distinctive feature of infertile men. “The data tend to support a possible beneficial effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplementation among patients with defective production of sperm,” said the researchers, and although the study was limited to Iranian men and may not be generalised for other populations, the findings suggest that research should be performed to assess the potential benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplementation as a therapeutic approach in infertile men in other populations.
Omega-3 Intakes May Improve Diabetic Kidney Health Research - 04/12/10
According to a new study from the Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge (UK), increased intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids may reduce kidney damage in Type-1 diabetics, without impacting the incidence of the condition.  The findings, published in Diabetes Care, indicated that kidney function was improved in Type-1 diabetics with the highest average intake of Omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), compared with people with the lower intakes of the fatty acids. Type-1 diabetes occurs when people cannot produce insulin after the cells in the pancreas have been damaged, and diabetics are known to be at increased risk of kidney disease. The scientists measured the excretion of albumin in urine of diabetic patients (in people with kidney problems, the protein albumin leaks from the kidney into the urine); and according to the results, people with a higher intake of Omega-3s had lower albumin excretion levels than people with the lowest Omega-3.  A previous Hong Kong study, published earlier in 2010, also suggested that supplements of Omega-3 Fatty Acids may improve kidney health in Type-2 diabetics, this time evaluating kidney function by measuring creatinine levels, with high levels indicative of damage to kidney nephron function. Those results showed a significant decrease in serum creatinine after supplemental fish-oil in Type-2 diabetes mellitus patients.  Other prior studies (Journal of the American Medical Association 2007) have [also] suggested that supplemental Omega-3s have reno-protective effects in diabetes mellitus, indicating that Omega-3 may actually reduce the risk of Type-1 diabetes by fifty-five percent. 
Omega-3 Linked to Lower Body Weight: Study - 07/21/09
Increased blood levels of the OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS is linked to lower incidence of obesity, suggesting a role for fish oils in weight management.  New findings reported in the British Journal of Nutrition indicate that overweight and obese people have lower blood levels of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) than people with a healthy weight and suggest that Omega-3 may play an important role in weight status and abdominal adiposity.  Previous studies have implicated Omega-3 in protective benefits against obesity, and the new study adds to this small but growing body of evidence.  When blood samples of the recruits of varying weights (healthy, overweight and obese) were taken after the subjects fasted for at least ten hours, the obese people had lower Omega-3 levels, compared to their healthy-weight peers, and it was also observed that increased Omega-3 levels were associated with a healthier BMI, a smaller waist and a lower hip size.  A considerable number of studies already support the benefits of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for cardiovascular health and cognitive health.  Other areas of potential for the fatty acids include mood and behaviour, eye health, cancer risk reduction and improved infant development. Previous results suggested that Omega-3s may increase the production of heat by burning energy (thermogenesis), and another study suggested a role of Omega-3s in boosting the feeling of fullness after a meal (postprandial satiety) during weight loss in both overweight and obese individuals.  The researchers concluded that the idea that fish oil can regulate weight status via improved appetite control and reduction in energy intake is plausible and worthy of further investigation.
Omega-3 Linked to Lower Levels of Inflammation
- From NutraIngredients.com - 04/14/09
According to this study, increased blood levels of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids are associated with lower levels of a marker of inflammation linked to heart disease.  One of their most important benefits is their anti-inflammatory effect, because many diseases, like heart disease and arthritis, seem to be related to an inflammatory process.  Omega-3s can tune down the body’s inflammation, and that may be how they help prevent some of these chronic diseases.  Omega-3 fatty acids, most notably DHA and EPA, have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health and improved behaviour and mood.  Given the low risks and big potential benefits of Omega-3s, we should figure out some way to get more of them.  With a few exceptions, there does not seem to be problem with the average person taking a fish oil supplement daily, like a multivitamin.  By and large, an extra gram of supplemental Omega-3 Fatty Acids is only going to help you. Click the orange link in the paragraph above to read this interesting article.
Omega-3 Linked to Younger Biological Age: Study Research 01/20/10
A University of California, San Francisco, study indicates that high blood levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids may slow cellular ageing in people with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).  Scientists looked at the length of telomeres, the DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes that shorten as cells replicate and age.  During cell replication, telomeres function by ensuring the cell's chromosomes do not fuse with each other or rearrange, which can lead to cancer, and the researchers likened telomeres to the ends of shoelaces, without which the lace would unravel.  Experts claim that telomere length can be a marker of biological ageing; and the ageing and lifespan of normal, healthy cells are linked to the telomerase shortening mechanism.  However, among patients with stable CHD, there was an inverse relationship between blood levels of marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the rate of telomere shortening over five years, raising the possibility that Omega-3 Fatty Acids may protect against cellular ageing in patients with CHD.  Previous studies have reported that telomeres are also highly susceptible to oxidative stress, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been shown to reduce markers of systemic oxidative stress, as well as increasing antioxidant enzymes, thereby reducing oxidative stress.  Another possible mechanism may involve the enzyme telomerase, the enzyme works to maintain telomere length, and Omega-3 may increase its activity. The research adds to a large body of science supporting the potential health benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, particularly in relation to heart health.
Omega-3 May Boost Brain Function In Boys Research - 02/24/10
In a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists from the University of Cincinnati discovered that supplements of the Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA (docosahexaenonic acid) may alter the function of the brain associated with working memory.  Using neuro-imaging, the results showed for the first time that supplementation with DHA alters the functional activity in human cortical attention networks, adding to a body of evidence that suggests dietary DHA intake is a robust modulator of functional cortical activity. The study recruited healthy boys aged between eight and ten and randomly assigned them to receive high and low doses of DHA or a placebo for eight weeks.  The “main finding” from the data was an indication of significant increases in the activation of the part of the brain in the DHA groups associated with working memory, and changes in other parts of the brain, including the visual processing center and the part of the brain that plays a role in motor control, were also observed.  The researchers noted that the results suggest neuro-imaging could be useful for clarifying neurobiological mechanisms underlying insufficient cortical activity in psychiatric disorders associated with DHA deficiencies, including AD/HD and major depression.
Omega-3 May Boost Heart Health for Diabetics
- From NutraIngredients.com - 06/23/09
Daily supplements of Omega-3 Fatty Acids may reduce levels of compound in blood of diabetics linked to heart disease - According to research from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, and published in peer-reviewed Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, supplemental OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID cut levels of homocysteine in diabetic patients, by twenty-two percent, compared to less than one percent in the placebo group.  The current study found that daily consumption over two months decreased the production of the amino acid, homocysteine, which can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  Previous studies have linked increased blood levels of homocysteine to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, suggesting that lowering levels could cut the risk of cardiovascular disease, but the topic is still somewhat controversial because of mixed results.  Furthermore, after two months of supplementation, the researchers not only noted significant reductions in levels of homocysteine, but further discovered that levels of haemoglobin (used to follow plasma glucose concentrations over time) were decreased by 0.75 percent in the Omega-3 group - but increased in the placebo group by 0.26 percent.  The researchers concluded that “homocysteine levels were decreased significantly in the Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplemented group, and a significant difference was found between the treatment and the control groups before and after Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplementation.”
Omega-3 May Boost Lung Function During Sport
- From NutraIngredients.com's Headlines > Research section - 03/03/10
According to new findings published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, supplements of Omega-3 Fatty Acids from marine origin during intensive training may improve lung function of athletes during and after exercise.  The research, conducted by Germany’s University of Tuebingen and Iran’s Urmia University, suggests that these results also have far-reaching implications for coaches, trainers and exercise physiologists who work and design training programs for amateur and professional wrestlers.  In the study non-smoking, male amateur wrestlers, “and not the Hulk Hogan kind,” experienced considerable improvements after supplementation with Omega-3s in lung volume [forced vital capacity] and airflows [forced expiratory volume in one second] with significant progress following twelve weeks of supplementation and training.  The scientists note that further investigations are required to elucidate the relationship between Omega-3 and pulmonary function and underlying mechanisms responsible for such improvements during exercise training.
Omega-3 May Improve Blood Pressure During Weight Loss
- From NutraIngredients.com - 06/02/09
Consumption of fatty fish like salmon, or fish oil supplements, may reduce blood pressure during an energy-restricted diet, suggests a pan-European study.  According to findings published in Nutrition, over 300 young overweight individuals were followed for eight weeks by researchers from the University of Iceland, the University of Navarra (Spain), University College Cork (Ireland) and the Portuguese National Research Institute in Lisbon, and at the end of the intervention period, all participants experienced an average weight loss of 5.2 kilograms and reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.  The blood pressure reducing benefits of salmon and fish oil were especially noticeable in people with initially low levels of docosahexanoic acid (DHA) in their cell membranes. Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been identified as one of the super-nutrients taking the food and supplements industry by storm.  Much of its healthy reputation that is seeping into consumer consciousness is based largely on evidence that it can aid cognitive function and may help protect the heart against cardiovascular disease.  Several intervention trials have reported positive benefits on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease using Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  Indeed, a meta-analysis of randomised, controlled trials showed significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure with Omega-3 doses in the region of two to three grams per day.
Omega-3 May Improve Blood Pressure in Kidney Disease Patients
- From NutraIngredients.com - 09/17/09
Research from the Royal Perth Hospital and University of Western Australia, and published in the Journal of Hypertension, found that people with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which increases the risk of heart disease, experienced improvements in both blood pressure and heart rate following supplementation with Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  Furthermore, when taken in combination with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), the blood-pressure-reducing benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids were enhanced and may decrease blood pressure and heart rate in kidney disease patients, even though CoQ10 is not associated with any improvements on its own. According to background information, CKD is linked to increased prevalence in all-cause mortality, cardiovascular events and hospitalization.  Omega-3 may improve blood pressure, heart rate, blood lipid levels and vascular function, and CoQ10 may improve blood pressure and vascular function.  The interaction between Omega-3 Fatty Acids and CoQ10 on blood pressure is difficult to explain in view of the lack of effect of CoQ10 alone on blood pressure and needs confirmation; thus, future studies should include long-term supplementation in order to determine effects of Omega-3 on renal function in patients with CKD. However, the researchers concluded that Omega-3 Fatty Acids, in fact, lower blood pressure and may reduce cardiovascular risk in non-diabetic patients with moderate- to-severe chronic kidney disease.
Omega-3 May Prevent Age-Related Sight Loss
- From NutraIngredients 10/08/09
According to a new study from the U. S. National Eye Institute, increased intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids may reduce the risk of developing age-related blindness by thirty percent.  Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is retinal disease that causes central vision loss, leaving only peripheral vision, and is the leading cause of legal blindness for people over fifty-five years of age in the Western world.  As the generation of baby boomers ages, the incidence is expected to triple by 2025. There are two types of AMD – wet and dry, and according to the findings, increased intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids may reduce the risk of both wet and dry AMD by thirty-five and thirty-two percent, respectively.  It is known that Omega-3 Fatty Acids play an important role in the layer of nerve cells in the retina, and studies have already previously reported that high intake of Omega-3 may protect against the onset of AMD (University of Melbourne, Australia, 2008). The researchers concluded that the new study results may guide the development of low-cost and easily implemented preventive interventions for progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration.
Omega-3 May Prevent Blindness in the Elderly: Study
- From NutraIngredients - 07/23/09
Research from the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, and published in the American Journal of Pathology, found that a diet rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids may prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in those over fifty years of age. The fatty acids were also associated with impeding the progression of lesions, as well as improving some lesions.  It is known that Omega-3 Fatty Acids, particularly DHA (Docosahexanoic Acid), play an important role in the layer of nerve cells in the retina, with earlier studies reporting that Omega-3 Fatty Acids and eating fish may protect against the onset of AMD by up to thirty-eight percent.  AMD is a degenerative retinal disease that causes central vision loss, which leaves only peripheral vision.  Looking at the potential mechanism behind the effects, the researchers noted lower levels of inflammatory molecules, such as prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4 and higher levels of anti-inflammatory molecules, such as prostaglandin D2. Despite the fact that approximately twenty-five to thirty million people worldwide are affected by AMD, awareness of the condition is low, according to those who funded the study - the National Eye Institute, the National Institutes of Health, Intramural Research Program and the American Health Assistance Foundation.  Furthermore, as the generation of Baby Boomers gets older, the incidence expects AMD to be on the rise and triple by 2025.
Omega-3 May Protect Diabetics From Heart Failure
- From NutraIngredients. - 09/30/09
According to new research from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and reported in the European Journal of Heart Failure, increased intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids may protect diabetics from heart failure, and a protective effect of high intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) was also observed in women.  Non-diabetic men in this study, however, did not receive the same benefits from high intakes of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  Omega-3 Fatty Acids, most notably DHA and EPA, have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health and improved behaviour and mood, so the results of this study do go against a study published earlier this year in the European Heart Journal  by researchers from the U.S. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.  In that study, the highest intake of marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids were linked to a general reduction in the risk of heart failure by thirty-three percent. Scientists and health authorities are increasingly persuaded that the intake of fish - even in small amounts - will protect against the risk of fatal myocardial infarction.  Because the new study in an older Dutch population did not confirm the hypothesis of a protective effect of fish intake against heart failure; and other, previous studies of older adults did report a risk reduction of about twenty percent for one to two weekly servings of fish, a protective effect of EPA plus DHA against heart failure in subgroups like diabetics cannot be excluded.  Thus, the current findings warrant further studies.
Omega-3 May Protect Healthy Men from Chestpains
- From NutraIngredients.com - 10/16/09
A new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, reported that increased intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:  EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid and DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) may protect men against Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), an umbrella term for a range of symptoms including unstable angina and chest pains. The heart health benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been well-documented as early as the 1970s in the highly esteemed medical journals, Lancet and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  To date, Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels and a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate.  The new study, which was conducted by the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health group, involved 57,053 men and women over almost eight years, and it found that men who consumed more PUFAs per day had a 27-percent lower risk of ACS than men who consumed less (no associated benefits were observed for women, noted the researchers).  Earlier this year, one review concluded that the science behind the cardiovascular health benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids supported recommended daily levels of 500 mgs; however, according to a review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, compelling evidence from studies supports daily intakes of at least 500 mgs daily for healthy individuals, while people with known heart disease or heart failure should aim for up to 1,000 mg daily.

Omega-3 May Reduce Risk of Dental Disease: Study Research - 01/28/10
A new study from Japan’s Niigata University has found that increased levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) may decrease the risk of dental diseases.  According to findings published in Nutrition, the average number of dental disease events was 1.5 times higher in people with low DHA levels, compared to those with the highest average levels of DHA.  In addition to being a major risk factor for tooth loss, periodontal disease has also been implicated as a risk factor for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). Since the condition may contribute to the overall bodily inflammation, there are reports that this may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.The heart health benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids are already well-documented, being first reported in the early 1970s in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  To date, they have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, reduced blood pressure, heart rate and tendency for thrombosis, as well as improved vascular function, but there has been limited investigation documenting dental health, inflammation and Omega-3 usage.  However, a recent University of Kentucky study found significant antibacterial activity against a range of oral pathogens (Streptococcus mutans, Candida albicans and Porphyromonas gingivalis) with relatively low doses of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, extending oral health benefits even beyond inflammation.  In the Japanese study, over the course of five years, the older participants recruited (average age of 74), demonstrated that those with low Omega-3 DHA intake had an approximately 1.5 times higher incidence rate ratio of periodontal disease progression.  Commenting on the potential mechanism, the researchers note that it is probably related the anti-inflammatory effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids; in periodontal diseases, bacteria trigger inflammatory responses that cause destruction of bone and periodontal tissue.

Omega-3 May Slash Psychotic Disorder Risk: Study
- From NutraIngredients-usa. - 02/02/10
According to results from a new clinical trial conducted by the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, supplemental Omega-3 Fatty Acids may reduce the likelihood of developing psychotic disorders in high-risk people.  The findings, which were published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, indicated that twelve weeks of supplementation with fish oil, rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, reduced the risk of progression to full threshold psychosis by 22.6 percent.  The link between Omega-3 Fatty Acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and cognitive function and behaviour is not new.  Some of the more promising data have been reported for DHA, with memory function improvements found for healthy older adults with a decline in cognitive function that occurs naturally with age, and known to precede diseases such as Alzheimer's.  Commenting on the potential mechanism, the researchers noted that Omega-3 Fatty Acids may produce changes in cell membranes and interactions with neurotransmitter systems in the brain.  The new study is the first of its kind to show benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in those with ultra-high risk of psychosis, claim the researchers, and the present trial strongly suggests that Omega-3 may offer a workable prevention and treatment strategy with minimal associated risk in young people at ultra-high risk of psychosis, which should be further explored; they have the advantage of excellent tolerability, public acceptance, relatively low costs and benefits for general health.
Omega-3 Plus Glucosamine “Superior” for Joint Health
- From NutraIngredients-USA. 11/30/09
According to new research from Germany that was published in the journal, Advances in Therapy, combining Omega-3 Fatty Acids with Chondroitin Sulfate is superior to Glucosamine alone, and it achieves better improvements in joint health.  The new commercially funded study is said to be the first clinical trial to employ the combination of Glucosamine with Omega-3 Fatty Acids in people suffering from osteoarthritis.  The patients studied had moderate-to-severe knee or hip osteoarthritis pain, and after twenty-six weeks of supplementation, the researchers tested pain levels using the established Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthrosis (WOMAC) pain score. While there was no significant difference between the number of responders in each group when a minimal pain reduction of at least twenty percent was used, significant differences were observed when a higher responder criterion of at least 80 percent pain reduction was used.  Indeed, the combination product reduced morning stiffness and pain in the hips and knees by between 48.5 and 55.6 percent, compared to 41.7 to 55.3 percent in the Glucosamine only group.  The joint health market is dominated by Glucosamine, and it is often used in combination with Chondroitin Sulfate. The researchers note that the ingredients probably acted synergistically: Omega-3 Fatty Acids inhibit the inflammation process in osteoarthritis, whereas Glucosamine Sulfate further supports the rebuilding of lost cartilage.
Omega-3 Review: Half a Gram Needed for Heart Benefits
- From NutraIngredients. News Headlines > Research section - 08/04/09
According to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, “state-of-the-art” science behind the cardiovascular health benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids supports recommended daily levels of 500 mgs and upwards. Compelling evidence from studies involving almost 40,000 participants validates daily intakes of Omega-3 fish oil containing EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) - plus DHA  (docosahexaenoic) acid - of at least 500 mg per day for healthy individuals and up to 1,000 mgs daily for those with known heart disease or heart failure. The researchers indicate that this is not just hype; there is now tremendous evidence from very large studies, some dating back twenty or thirty years, that demonstrate the protective benefits of Omega-3 in multiple aspects of preventive cardiology.  The researchers concluded that further studies are needed to determine optimal dosing that provides maximal cardio-protection for those at risk of cardiovascular disease as well in the treatment of atherosclerotic, arrhythmic and primary myocardial disorders.
Omega-3, Vitamins C and E May Boost Pancreatic Health
- From NutraIngredients-USA.com's Headlines > Research section - 09/09/10
According to findings published in the International Journal of Cancer, increased intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and vitamins C and E may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by over thirty percent.  Results from a large population-based, case-control study in the San Francisco Bay area, which was conducted by the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, indicated that consuming at least 850 milligrams of Omega-3 Fatty Acids per day was associated with a 53 percent reduction in the risk of pancreatic cancer, compared to lower daily intakes.  Benefits were also observed for intakes of vitamin C and E, with the highest average intakes associated with 31 and 33 percent reductions, respectively, compared with the lowest average intakes.  The researchers also wrote that the data provide additional evidence that dietary factors and use of supplements may affect risk of pancreatic cancer.   Conversely, researchers from the University of California San Francisco report that high intakes of saturated fats and certain monounsaturated fatty acids may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer – the fourth most common cause of cancer mortality in the U. S.  The new research is important, since the results showing increased risk of pancreatic cancer with increased saturated fatty acid intake and decreased risk with high supplemental intake of long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acid and of vitamin C and E, contribute important new data to the epidemiologic literature on pancreatic cancer.  Commenting on the potential mechanisms, the researchers noted that the antioxidant properties of the vitamins may explain the benefits since they “are known to have anti-carcinogenic effects.”  Vitamins C and E can block reactive oxygen species, reducing oxidative stress and thus reducing cancer-causing mutations, and they may also alter pancreatic cancer risk through their ability to stimulate immune function.
Omega-3-Rich Meals Have Blood Vessel Benefits: Study
- From NutraIngredients-USA.com's Headlines > Research section - 03/16/10
According to findings published in Clinical Nutrition, scientists from Britain’s University of Reading indicated that increased intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) may improve blood vessel health following a meal.  The new study also found that arteries were found to be less stiff following consumption of a medium fat meal supplemented with EPA and DHA. Omega-3 fatty Acids, most notably DHA and EPA, have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health and improved behavior and mood.  Furthermore, the heart health benefits of consuming oily fish, and the Omega-3 Fatty Acids they contain, are well-documented, having been first reported in the 1970s in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements and improved vascular function.  The current study, however, is said to be the first to evaluate EPA and DHA supplementation on the stiffness of arteries following a meal in men and women; and interestingly, the results showed that consumption of Omega-3 reversed the increases in arterial stiffness after the control meal, with effects more pronounced in men than women.  The researchers stated that because individuals spend the majority of the day in a postprandial state, it could be predicted that these improvements in arterial stiffness would have beneficial effects on long term vascular health and cardiovascular risk.  The scientists note that these data indicate that long chain Omega-3s can improve postprandial arterial stiffness, with important beneficial implications for cardiovascular risk reduction.
Omega-3 Science Review Supports Recommended Dietary Intake for Heart Benefits
- From NutraIngredients.com's News Headlines > Research section - 06/09/09
Because of the many health benefits associated with Omega-3 Fatty Acids consumption, scientists now wish to establish a Recommended Daily Intake for Eicosapenænoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexænoic Acid (DHA) to reduce the risk of heart disease. The findings, which were published in The Journal of Nutrition, indicate that the strength of evidence linking EPA and DHA to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease was remarkable, prompting scientists to recommend a Daily Recommended Allowance of between 250 and 500mg/day.  Earlier, the U.S. Institute of Medicine claimed there was insufficient evidence to define the recommendations for Omega-3s, but the new, current science, which is based on comprehensive studies organized by the International Life Sciences Institute of North America, was designed to examine all the new science that has emerged.  The new studies examined evidence of the benefits of EPA and DHA on coronary heart disease, cancer and cognitive decline.  The scientists stated that while evidence was clear for the benefits of EPA and DHA for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, there was not enough consistent evidence on the benefits of the Omega-3s for cognitive health and cancer reduction.  In four large randomized controlled trials with fish or fish oil in patients, the evidence indicated that modest EPA and DHA consumption “markedly” reduces the risk of cardiac death. The scientists concluded that the quality and strength of this evidence is remarkable, meeting and indeed generally exceeding, those for any other dietary factor for which a daily recommended intake has been set, based on reducing risk for chronic disease, including saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, salt and dietary fibre.
Omega-3, Vitamin E Mix Shows Potential For Autistic Speech
- From NutraIngredients.com - 08/19/09
According to new research from Saint Vincent Medical Center, New York, and Children’s Hospital-Research Center, Oakland, daily supplements of OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS and Vitamin E were associated with improvements in speech, imitation, eye contact and behaviour.  The findings, which were published in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, indicated that the combination may lead to speech improvements in autistic children with a neurological speech disorder called verbal apraxia, in which a person has difficulty expressing his or her wants; it is common in autism, and an estimated fifty percent of children with autism have apraxia, with many thousands more of non-autistic people reported to have apraxia.  The researchers concluded that although controlled trials are warranted, the results of the study are significant in that ninety-seven percent of the participants reported dramatic improvements while taking the Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin E combo.  Anecdotal evidence had previously shown that Omega-3 can help children with apraxia and those known as “late talkers,” but the researchers confirmed that the symptoms presented by children with apraxia mirror those of Vitamin E deficiency; thus, the addition of high dose Vitamin E with Omega-3 Fatty Acids is the breakthrough.  Currently, there is a patented commercial formulation licensed to an Illinois-based firm, but work is ongoing in this area, with a clinical study and protocol designed to continue to understand the impact Omega-3 and vitamin E on autism and verbal apraxia, and to determine the underlying mechanisms in verbal apraxia.
Omega-3s Show Heart Benefits For Non-Fish Eaters
- From NutraIngredients.com's Headlines > Research Section - 03/31/10
Recent research from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, which included over 21,000 participants, indicated that increased intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids may decrease the risk of heart disease and heart attack in people with low fish intakes. The study noted that daily supplementation of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were associated with a fifty percent reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), and the highest average intake of DHA and EPA was also associated with a 38 percent reduction in heart attack.  Omega-3 Fatty Acids, notably DHA and EPA, have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health and improved behavior and mood. The heart health benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids are well-documented, being first reported in the early 1970s by Jorn Dyerberg and his co-workers in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure, as well as heart rate improvements and enhanced vascular function. The researchers concluded that in populations with low fish consumption, EPA+DHA and fish may lower fatal CHD and heart attack risk in a dose-responsive manner.  Fortunately, Benefiting from Omega-3 supplements has never been easier.
Phenolic Compounds in Strawberry and Apple May Regulate Glucose Transport
-- 11/23/10  According to a recent study from Britain’s University of Leeds, Polyphenols, Phenolic acids and Tannins (PPTs) extracted from Strawberry and Apple may decrease glucose uptake by blocking its transport through intestinal cells, providing a potentially important factor in the management of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  The research, published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, suggests that some strawberry and apple PPTs can block glucose transport through human intestinal tissues, thus potentially blunting post-meal glucose spikes, indicating that dietary PPTs might provide a dietary mechanism to dampen, blunt or regulate intestinal sugar absorption.  Repeated high post meal (post-prandial) blood plasma glucose ‘spikes’ are associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome and Type-2 diabetes; therefore, reduction of post-prandial glucose concentration in blood can be beneficial.  Strawberries and apples are high in flavonoids and phenolic acids: Compounds in strawberries include anthocyanins, flavonols, flavanols and ellagic acids.  Apples are known to contain flavanols, hydroxycinnamic acids, dihydrochalcones, phloridzin (phloretin glucoside) and phloretin xyloglucoside. The scientists claimed that PPTs have the potential to “readily affect glucose absorption in the small intestine,” noting that many PPTs can interact with certain sugar transporters, altering the pattern of intestinal glucose uptake.  They added that their study is the first to show an inhibition of glucose transport across intestinal tissue by phenolic fruit extracts and concluded that the results demonstrate that PPT extracts from strawberry and apple were able to influence glucose uptake into the cells by inhibiting activities of the glucose transporters, and the findings will assist in the design of future in vivo intervention studies.
Pomegranate and Berry Compounds Show Skin Health Potential
- From NutraIngredients-USA.com's Headlines > Research section - 08/10/10
According to research from the Department of Food and Nutrition at Korea’s DeHallym University, extracts from Berries and Pomegranate may protect the skin from the detrimental effects of UV exposure offering interesting dietary approaches to prevent skin wrinkles.  The study reported that ellagic acid (a polyphenol found in Pomegranate, Camu Camu, Açaí, Red Raspberry and other berries), may prevent the degradation of collagen in human skin cells, which would maintain skin structure and slow the formation of wrinkles. The Korean researchers used human skin cells (keratinocytes) and human fibroblasts, which produce the extracellular matrix and collagen in the skin. The cells were exposed to UV-B radiation and ellagic acid.  Results showed that the polyphenol attenuated the UV-B-induced toxicity of these cells, while also preventing the degradation of collagen that is associated with wrinkle formation.  Additional studies with hairless mice showed that the polyphenol prevented the thickening of the skin on exposure to UV radiation.  In the animal models, topical application of ellagic acid was associated with a decrease in levels of pro-inflammatory compounds in the skin.  When topically applied to hairless mice, a concentration of ellagic acid was associated with a reduction of the pro-inflammatory compounds, interleukin-1beta (IL-1b) and IL-6.  The researchers also noted that topical or dietary interventions with Berries and Pomegranate, rich in ellagic acid and ellagitannins, are promising strategies in curtailing skin wrinkling and cutaneous inflammation associated with chronic UV exposure leading to photo-ageing.  The scientists concluded that these results demonstrate that ellagic acid prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory responses caused by UV-B.
Positive Emotions linked to Lower Blood Pressure
- From Reuters Health via Medline Plus - 10/18/06
"Having a positive outlook makes life more enjoyable, and it may also lower blood pressure in older adults. Among more than 2,500 people aged 65 or older, the higher a person scored on a questionnaire measuring positive emotions, the lower was his or her blood pressure. "Our thoughts and emotions do affect our physical processes," Dr. Glenn V. Ostir of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health. 'The nice thing is that we have some control over that.'"
Prebiotic-Soy Combination May Boost Heart Health - Research - 02/11/10
A new Canadian study, suggests that combining SOY and Prebiotics may lower cholesterol levels and boost heart health.  The findings, which were published in Metabolism Clinical and Experimental, indicate that consumption of a Soy-food based diet, providing Soy protein and isoflavones - in combination with enriched inulin fibres - led to significant reductions in levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.  These effects were not observed when either Soy or Prebiotics were taken separately, and the LDL reductions were observed only when Soy and Prebiotics were co-ingested.  In addition, HDL (good) cholesterol levels were also significantly increased following the Soy plus prebiotic diet, compared with only prebiotic.  Hypercholesterolemia has a long association with many diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD), and the association between Soy protein and blood lipid levels led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve a cardiovascular disease (CVD) reduction claim for Soybean protein in 1999.  The current research, which was supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the Orafti Group, suggests these data support the lipid-lowering basis for the FDA health claim for Soy, and the scientists believe that the present study supports the value of Soy as one of the few cholesterol-lowering foods, especially when combined with diets containing gelatinous fibres to lower serum cholesterol.
Protein 101: How much do you need?
- From MSNBC's Health Section - 08/29/06
"Until the craze of high-protein diets a few years ago, most dieters didn’t pay a lot of attention to their protein intake. But everyone needs protein for their bodies to function. Protein is one of the big three macronutrients. The other two are carbohydrate and fat. Adequate protein intake is essential for good health: It’s necessary for maintaining the body’s normal growth and its muscle mass (which is mostly protein), its immune system, and heart and respiratory functions." For more information about how Vitamins, Minerals and Amino Acids function and why they are so beneficial to our health and well-being, click here to view our article about them in our Herbal Learning Center.
Pulses and Soya
- From BBC's Get Cooking Section
"Pulses form an important source of protein and iron for vegetarians. They also take on the flavours of other ingredients extremely well - whether it's a heady mix of garlic and ginger in Indian dhal or the meaty flavour of sausage in a typically Andalusian stew of chickpeas and pork." Read about the different types of pulses (beans) and soy products that are beneficial to your health. Information is also included about how to cook and store these items.
Ragweed Season Doesn't Mean Suffering - There are ways to minimize the risk, experts say:
- From HealthDay News via ABC News website's Health Section - 08/26/07
Ragweed season, which lasts from about mid-August to October in many parts of the United States, can bring misery to the estimated 36 million Americans with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Symptoms, such as sneezing, runny noses, swollen and itchy watery eyes are so severe that they disrupt a person's ability to function normally at work or school, says the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Replace Saturated Fats with Omega-3 to Boost Heart Health
- From FoodNavigator.com's Headlines > Science & Nutrition section - 03/24/10
According to a new Harvard Medical School study, involving 13,614 participants and 1,042 coronary heart disease events, reducing intakes of saturated fats in the diet and replacing them with polyunsaturated fats may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by nineteen percent.  The new study drives this forward by not only linking saturated fats to heart disease, but also claiming that the choice of substituted fats is important.  The scientists indicated that the specific replacement nutrient for saturated fat should be polyunsaturated fats, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids would be preferred for better heart health.  The current recommended guidelines from the Institute of Medicine state a range between five and ten percent from daily intakes of polyunsaturated fats as Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  For every five percent increase in polyunsaturated fat consumption, the researchers reported a ten percent reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.  The study supports the widely supported theory that saturated fats are detrimental to heart health, and the results suggest that polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils may be an optimal replacement for saturated fats, an important finding for dietary guidelines and for when food manufacturers and restaurants are making decisions on how to reduce saturated fat in their products.  Aside from healthy vegetable oils and fish consumption, benefiting from Omega-3 Fatty Acids can also be easily supplied in supplemental form. In the UK, the Food Standards Agency has estimated that if people cut their saturated fat intake to current recommendations, it could prevent up to 3,500 premature deaths a year.
Review Supports Omega-3 Fatty Acids For Liver Health
- From NutraIngredients.com's Product News > Nutritional Lipids and Oils section - 01/06/10
Recent research from Scotland’s Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh indicates that increased intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids from marine sources may benefit people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  The review, published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, found that Omega 3s could improve liver health and function and increase insulin sensitivity in people suffering from fatty liver, a condition that is usually symptomless, but said to increase the risk for liver inflammation - and ultimately results in liver failure.  Fatty liver is reportedly on the rise in the U.S., with between one quarter and one half of Americans, and the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease increasing in line with the ongoing obesity epidemic.  Previous studies have indicated Omega-3 Fatty Acids for protective benefits against obesity-related conditions, and a considerable number of studies already support the benefits of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids (EPA and DHA) for cardiovascular health and cognitive health.  Other areas of potential benefit include mood and behaviour, eye health, cancer risk reduction and improved infant development.  It is biologically plausible that Omega-3s can improve liver health, and there is also evidence that they improve insulin sensitivity, are anti-inflammatory and reduce TNF (tumour necrosis factor) levels in fatty livers, thus offering several potential therapeutic mechanisms.
The Sea of Science Deepens For Fish Heart Benefits
- From NutraIngredients.com's News Headlines > Research section - 12/16/09
The heart-health benefits of consuming oily fish, and the Omega-3 Fatty Acids they contain, are well-documented, being first reported in the early 1970s in Lancet and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and improved heart rate and vascular function.  New research from the University of Athens, tells us that consumption of oily fish may reduce the risk of developing dysfunction in the heart muscle by fifty percent.  In the study, people with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) were found to have considerably reduced risks of developing left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) if they consumed moderate amounts of fish (once or twice per week), according to findings published in the Journal of Food Science.  In addition, moderate fish consumption was associated with a lower inhibition of an enzyme which produces nitric oxide – a potent vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow.  Omega-3 Fatty Acids, most notably DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health and improved behaviour and mood. The researchers concluded that moderate fish consumption seems to offer significant protection against the development of systolic dysfunction in post acute coronary patients because of its beneficial effect on oxidation process and endothelial function.
Soy Compounds May Offer Colon Cancer Protection Research - 12/1/09
Recent research published in Cancer Research indicates that natural lipid compounds found in SOY may prevent the development of colon cancer, the third most deadly form of cancer.  Scientists at Children’s Hospital & Research Center, Oakland, California, report that compounds called sphingadienes may be behind the potential anti-cancer effects of Soy, long touted in scientific studies. The researchers were encouraged to find a natural molecule that could be consumed through Soy products as a strategy to help prevent colon cancer when tested on animals and suggest that eating more Soy products may “provide protection against colon cancer in humans.” The studies showed that the compounds could promote programmed cell death, or apoptosis, which is one of the body's most effective defense mechanisms against cancer. Further studies that specifically address the efficacy of sphingadienes in preventing colonic tumours are needed to confirm this, and additional research is also needed to identify the best delivery methods, and the effects of a prolonged intake of the compounds.
Soy Is Still a Puzzle
- From MSNBC's Health > Diet & Nutrition > Nutrition Notes section - 11/26/05
"A recent study of women in a cancer risk assessment program highlights the confusion people still have about soy foods. Forty-five percent of the women who ate soy foods on a regular basis said that part of the reason they did so was to lower their risk of cancer. Yet seven percent of the women in the study who did not eat soy foods on a regular basis said that they were concerned that soy might increase their risk of breast cancer."
SOY Isoflavones May Slow Bone Loss for Women Research 10/28/09
According to research from Baylor College of Medicine,Texas, and funded by the USDA and National Institutes of Health, supplementation with SOY isoflavones may reduce the loss of bone in postmenopausal women.  Over 400 postmenopausal women aged between 40 and 60 participated in two-year trials, and the scientists found that daily Soy dosage significantly reduced loss of whole body Bone Mineral Density (BMD) after one and two years, although  not at common fracture sites.  All were given calcium and vitamin D supplements with the Soy isoflavones.  The World Health Organisation calls osteoporosis its biggest global healthcare problem, and limiting bone loss in post-menopausal women could ease the burden of osteoporosis.  Previous studies have reported mixed results concerning Soy isoflavones:  Studies from China have linked Soy isoflavones to increased BMD, while a recent large study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that high Soy consumption was linked with a 48-percent decrease in fractures for women who had been menopausal for less than ten years.  After two years, the current research recorded statistically significant reduction in whole body BMD in the women receiving 120 mg Soy isoflavones, and an analysis published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that even daily Soy isoflavone doses of less than 90 mgs may improve bone density.
Soy May Reduce the Risk of Diabetes Recent research from the International Medical Center of Japan, indicated that increased intakes of SOY and its isoflavones may decrease the risk of Type-2 diabetes in overweight women.  The findings, which were published in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that the risk of Type-2 diabetes was forty-fifty percent lower in overweight women who consumed over 118 grams of Soy daily, compared to overweight women who consumed less than 43 grams a day.  While intakes of Soy products and isoflavones were not associated with a significant reduction in the risk of Type-2 diabetes in men or all women, the highest intakes of Soy products were found to significantly reduce the risk of diabetes in overweight women.  The scientists propose that the estrogen-like effects of the isoflavones may be behind the benefits, since estrogen has been reported to affect genes involved in insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake. Beyond the estrogen-like effects, they note that isoflavones may inhibit the uptake of glucose in the gut, and also improve energy metabolism.  The results of this large, well-conducted study (25,872 men and 33,919 women aged between 45and 75, over a five-year span) suggest a protective association among overweight women consuming Soy.  This research further demonstrates Soy’s many associated health benefits, including those related to weight management and satiety.
SOY Protein May Reduce Cholesterol Levels for Diabetics Too Research 08/26/09
According to research from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, which was published in the Journal of Nutrition, increased intakes of SOY protein may reduce cholesterol levels in people with Type-2 diabetes, expanding the data supporting the heart healthy potential of Soy. The association between Soy protein and blood lipid levels led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve a cardiovascular disease (CVD) reduction claim for Soybean protein in 1999.  The researchers indicate that this new study provides evidence for SOY as a dietary preventive strategy for adults with Type-2 diabetes to reduce their cardiovascular disease risk and, in so doing, improve their quality, and possibly length, of life.  According to their findings, Soy protein intervention was associated with a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol levels; however, no changes in HDL cholesterol were noted by the researchers.  The researchers conclude that the findings demonstrate consumption of Soy protein can modulate some serum lipids in a direction beneficial for CVD risk in adults with Type-2 diabetes.
Soy Waste Compound May Protect Against Inflammation  From Research - 12/08/09
According to research conducted by the University of Illinois, and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a protein compound that is often discarded as waste when SOY is processed, may stop inflammation and protect against chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.  The Soy protein called lunasin was found to significantly reduce levels of the pro-inflammatory compound interleukin-6 in lab tests.  If the study can be repeated in humans it offers promise for preventing chronic inflammation, brought about by a lack of control of the normal protective mechanism.  Chronic inflammation has been linked to range of conditions as heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline and Alzheimer's, Type-2 diabetes, arthritis, as well as an increased risk of malignancies and tumour progression.  Another study just published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, reports that lunasin contains a specific sequence of amino acids - arginine, glycine and aspartic acid – that are known to offer cancer protective effects. The researchers indicate that daily consumption of lunasin-rich Soy protein may help to reduce chronic inflammation, and future studies should help researchers make dietary recommendations.
Spice Up Your Brain - Spicy foods like curry can help preserve brain function and slow Alzheimer's disease.
- From Psychology Today - published 06/04/04, last reviewed 03/11/09
"Here's a tasty thought. Kicking your food up a notch with spices could preserve brain function and keep your brain sharp and strong as you age."
Study Finds Benefits of SOY After Breast Cancer
- From NutraIngredients.12/09/09
According to research conducted by Vanderbilt University and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, increased intake of SOY and Soy products may reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence and death.  In the study, women with the highest intake of Soy protein had a 29 percent lower risk of death, and a 32 percent lower risk of breast cancer recurrence compared to patients with the lowest intake of Soy protein, adding to an ever-growing body of science supporting the role of Soy isoflavones with improved breast health.  Soy isoflavones are naturally-occurring phytoestrogens (natural plant estrogen-like compounds), and supplements are currently marketed as a way of reducing symptoms of the menopause and alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT).  Conflicting reports have clouded the picture about the beneficial effects of Soy, with some studies indicating that breast cancer cells in mice were stimulated by the isoflavones.  However, population studies have shown that women with a high Soy diet generally have lower rates of breast cancer.  Soy foods are rich in isoflavones have been hypothesized to reduce the risk of breast cancer; however, the estrogen-like effect of isoflavones and the potential interaction between isoflavones and tamoxifen have led to concern about Soy consumption among breast cancer patients, but in the study and follow-up, Soy intake was inversely associated with mortality and recurrence with significant reductions in both mortality and breast cancer recurrence with increasing Soy intake. In summary, this large, multi-year study found that Soy food intake is safe and was associated with lower mortality and recurrence among breast cancer patients.

Study Links Obesity To Elevated Risk Of Ovarian Cancer
Is a complete WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM for YOU? It’s a New Year - This could be the beginning of the rest of your healthy life!

- From MedicalNewsToday.com's Obesity/Weight Loss/Fitness section - 01/05/09
In view of rising obesity and the ever-increasing related health concerns, maybe it’s time to consider our natural and healthy way to support weight loss. According to experts, shedding just five- to ten-percent of your weight will boost your energy and lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes and other problems linked with obesity.  Now, the newest research indicates that obesity is related to ovarian cancer.  Read below:

In an article to be published in the February, 2009 issue of Cancer, a journal of the American Cancer Society, research indicates that obese women are at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer, compared with women of normal weight.  The new study has found that among women who have never used menopausal hormone therapy, obesity may contribute to the development of ovarian cancer through a hormonal mechanism.  Ovarian cancer is the most fatal of gynecologic malignancies with a five-year survival rate of only thirty-seven percent. While studies have already linked excess body weight to higher risks of certain cancers, little is known about the relationship between body mass index and ovarian cancer risk.  The hypothesis claims that excess body mass in postmenopausal women leads to an increased production of estrogen, which in turn may stimulate the growth of ovarian cells and play a role in the development of ovarian cancer. These latest findings provide important information concerning the risks of developing ovarian cancer for obese women and the importance of public health programs aimed at reducing obesity in the population.

Summer Health Checklist - Prevention is the Best Medicine in the Good Ol’ Summertime
- From MSN.com's Health & Fitness > Diseases & Conditions section
- not dated; posted here 08/09/07

Summer is still going strong, and along with the fun of summer comes the downside of summer sicknesses. You know what we’re talking about: mosquito bites, heatstroke, sunburn, rashes and stomach problems from all those great barbeques. But don’t worry. There’s help, and there are ways to protect yourself, so it’s important for you to read the attached article to prevent summer sickness and keep fit.  If you follow the handy guide, you should stay healthy all summer, and if you’re reading this, and a summer bug has already hit, there are even helpful tips included for coping. Summertime is no time to be away from the fun in the sun.
Tea Polyphenols Show Antiglycation Promise For Diabetics Research 07/26/10
Polyphenols, such as the catechin EGCG, are said to make up around thirty percent of the dry leaf weight for Green Tea, and Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is thought to be one of the most beneficial catechins.  Accordingly, recent research on its benefits has looked at such diverse indications as arthritis, mental distress, oral health and weight loss.   A body of research has already investigated a possible link between Green Tea consumption and diabetes risk, and Tea-drinking may bring modest benefits for glucose homeostasis and also help keep the cardiovascular system healthy.  Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) could play a role in attenuating low density lipoprotein (LDL) and glycation in high-glucose, diabetes-like conditions if the results of an in vitro trial (laboratory/test tube, petri dish, etc.) hold true in vivo (conducted on living subjects).  The study, conducted by researchers from Taiwan, set out to determine the antioxidant and antiglycation effects of EGCG and observed an effective increase in LDL resistance to oxidation and a dose-dependent inhibition of high glucose-mediated long-term glycation of LDL to oxidation.  The scientists observed a different mechanism at work from conventional biological activities shown by polyphenols (free radical scavenging and chelating action for metal ions).  It seemed to possess a rather specific and somewhat different degree of antiglycative action and lipoprotein binding activity, and they believe more investigation is required, with the next stage to be conducted in experiments with animal models.
That spiritual touch
- From the BBC News Health Section - 08/26/99
"...there is a growing trend for doctors to refer patients to healers for treatment alongside orthodox medicine." This article shines a light on spiritual healers and how they work.
The Top 10 Immune Busters - Strengthen your immune system by kicking these defense-impairing habits
- From Prevention.com's Health Lifestyle section - 09/22/06
The same way that immune boosters can kick your immune system into high gear, certain bad habits can make it shut down.  If you follow the advice in the linked article, your body will thank you.  From no smoking to more joking - from fewer antibiotics and junk foods to exercising and socializing, there are lifestyle changes that will stimulate the immune system to help us avoid being vulnerable to disease and illness – especially now during the winter months when flu and colds are lurking everywhere.
Vanishing Honeybees Mystify Scientists
- From Reuters Health - 04/22/07
What Would We Do in a World Without Fruits and Vegetables? This is not a science-fiction scenario, because billions of bees have mysteriously vanished since late last year in the United States, and disappearing bees have also been reported in Europe and Brazil. One-third of the American diet depends on pollination, mostly by honeybees, so the threat is real. Bee pollination is involved in the production of a wide range of fruits, vegetables and forage crops, and there is no technology that has been invented that equals, much less surpasses, insect pollinators. Just a few of the crops dependent on honeybee pollination include apples, avocados, cherries, cranberries, cucumbers, melons and sunflowers, so we must be up to date about the impact of this potential and serious threat to our nutrition (and economy).
Very High Omega-3 Intakes Linked to Big Health Benefits
- From NutraIngredients.Research - 02/18/10
According to findings published in the British medical journal, Lancet, and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids exceeding levels consumed by the general U.S. population may significantly reduce the risk of chronic disease.  Collected data begun in the 1970s and into the present suggest that high levels of Omega-3 EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are associated with lower levels of triglycerides, higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, as well as lower LDL (bad) and total cholesterol.  Raised levels of Omega-3s were also associated with decreased levels of markers of inflammation, such as C-Reactive Protein (CRP), which is produced in the liver and is a known marker for inflammation.  Increased levels of CRP are a good predictor for the onset of both Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD).  The scientists specifically studied Greenland Eskimos in an effort to understand how the Innuit people (as they prefer to be called), could eat a high fat diet and still have one of the lowest death rates from cardiovascular disease on the planet.  The latest research, conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, concluded that increasing EPA and DHA intakes to amounts well above those consumed by the general U.S. population may have strong beneficial effects on chronic disease risk.
Vitamins-Minerals-Supplements.org
Trusted information on Vitamins, Supplements, Herbs, Health and Wellness
This website is a great way to learn about the different vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to maintain their health. The website has information of many different kinds, pertaining to (of course) vitamins, minerals, amino acids, dietary supplements, herbs, fruits and vegetables, dieting, disorders and more. (Read further information on the subject from our own detailed research about Vitamins, Minerals & Amino Acids!)
Warning over cold virus hotspots
- From the BBCnews website's Health section - 10/31/08
Winter is here, and many of us have been down with coughs and colds. Since new research has suggested that the common cold can be spread through everyday objects touched by human hands, such as door handles, light switches, television remotes, telephones, faucets, etc., we may be able to avoid at least some infection by practicing a little caution. Although scientists say that while people are more likely to catch a cold through direct contact with an infected person, the results show that the virus can still be transferred through objects.
Weight gain increases risk of variety of cancers - New research links obesity to a dozen different types of the disease
- From the Associated Press via MSNBC.com's Health/Diet & Nutrition section - 03/03/08
Being obese or even overweight may increase a person’s risk of developing up to a dozen different types of cancer, European researchers report in a new study published in the journal, Lancet. Doctors have long suspected a link between weight gain and certain cancers, including colon and breast cancers, but the new study, suggests it could also increase chances for cancer of the esophagus, thyroid, kidney, uterus and gallbladder, among others.  The research covered more than 280,000 cases from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.  Because many studies have found that fatter people are more likely to get cancer, experts often recommend losing weight to reduce cancer risk. “The simple message is that, if you manage to keep a healthy body weight, you will have a lower risk of developing cancer,” said Ed Yong, of Cancer Research United Kingdom.
What is Complementary and Alternative Medicine?
- From the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
Today, many people use complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, for a wide variety of diseases or conditions; and use of CAM has increased in recent years. But what exactly is CAM, and how is it different from standard medical care?  Link to this site for answers to questions about how this group of diverse health care systems, practices and products (which are not generally considered part of conventional medicine) may potentially be integrated into standard medical regimens.
What You Need to Know About Organic
- From U C Berkeley's WellnessLetter.com website - February 2006
"It’s been more than three years since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented its long-awaited national standards for organic foods. The rules replaced the patchwork of state and private certification programs that had dotted the landscape and had made buying organic a chancy affair—that is, you never really knew what you were getting. But though the term “certified organic” now has real and consistent meaning, it still causes confusion."

Why Keeping Blood Pressure Down Can Cut The Risk Of Dementia
- From the DailyMail.co.uk's Health section - 07/08/08
Cutting high blood pressure in middle age could save thousands from suffering and dying from dementia, experts claim.  They also say that even elderly people can benefit from using blood pressure medication because treatment results in a lower risk of vascular dementia.  Two separate studies have found a link between high blood pressure and dementia, which is marked by a loss of memory and other cognitive abilities, including the ability to speak, identify objects or think abstractly.  The research, which was reported in the Lancet Neurology Journal, indicates that reducing blood pressure not only prevents heart disease and strokes, but also combats devastating brain disease, which can lead to premature death.  Eating a balanced, low-salt diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins, exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and drinking only in moderation can reduce dementia and hypertension risk.  But finding effective treatment to control hypertension and getting regular blood pressure and cholesterol are also important ways to also help tackle high blood pressure. – Experts say it could lead to a thirteen percent drop in dementia risk.

Winter Wonderland of Safety Tips
- From WebMD.com - 01/19/04; medically updated 12/05/06
Winter can be freezing cold, but that's no reason to hibernate. We can meet Frosty the Snowman head-on when our families want to head out for ski trips, sledding, ice hockey and more if we prepare properly beforehand. From learning how to dress warmly, to teaching your young drivers how to handle snowy roads, plus handling indoor heating devices and, finally, knowing when it's just too darn cold to venture outside, this important article provides important safety tips on how you and your kids (and pets) can safely survive (and enjoy) the icy chills of winter weather.
 
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