Monday, May 7, 2012

Jon's Health News - Latest Research

(Several of these reports deserve further attention, especially the first two, so click on the links!)

1. I'm looking forward to being able to add fish oil supplements back to my diet. I do eat enough fish - but I'm worried about contaminants in fish:

A fish a day keeps the doctor away

Most people, whether healthy or having cardiovascular disease (CVD), would benefit from regular consumption of oily fish, concluded speakers at the EuroPRevent 2012 meeting. While eating whole fish undoubtedly offers the optimum approach for increasing omega-3 intakes in both primary and secondary prevention, delegates heard, supplements have a major role to play in increasing omega-3 intakes for people who do not like fish. The symposium " A fish a day keeps the doctor away" centred on the cardiovascular disease (CVD) benefits of the long chain highly unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in the flesh of oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, trout and sardines. Omega-3 fatty acids are really important to human health, whether you're talking about CVD, brain or immune health. The latest European Guidelines on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice recommend that people should eat fish at least twice a week, one meal of which should be oily fish.

2. I'm not about to take up jogging, but this evidence is pretty overwhelming.

Regular jogging shows dramatic increase in life expectancy

Undertaking regular jogging increases the life expectancy of men by 6.2 years and women by 5.6 years, reveals the latest data from the Copenhagen City Heart study presented at the EuroPRevent2012 meeting. Reviewing the evidence of whether jogging is healthy or hazardous, Peter Schnohr told delegates that the study's most recent analysis (unpublished) shows that between one and two-and-a-half hours of jogging per week at a "slow or average" pace delivers optimum benefits for longevity.

3. I like spicy foods up to a point, but with all the health benfits, I shoulld add even more spicy food to my diet.

Black Pepper - Fat Fighter

A new study provides a long-sought explanation for the beneficial fat-fighting effects of black pepper. The research, published in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, pinpoints piperine -- the pungent-tasting substance that gives black pepper its characteristic taste, concluding that piperine also can block the formation of new fat cells.

4. More reasons to add fish oil back to my diet: Eating Fish, Chicken, Nuts May Lower Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

A new study suggests that eating foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, chicken, salad dressing and nuts, may be associated with lower blood levels of a protein related to Alzheimer's disease and memory problems.

Fish Oil Could Be Therapy for Periodontal Disease

Periodontitis, inflammation of the tissue surrounding the teeth, affects more than half of adults and is linked to an increased risk of stroke and other heart problems. To evaluate whether fish oil supplementation could be an adjunct therapy for periodontitis, researchers reviewed evidence from eight unique studies that involved humans. Their review of these studies showed that improvements in clinical measures were common in all studies, but were scientifically significant in two that used a combination of fish oil and aspirin. Although this is not conclusive evidence, intake of fish oil is recommended for health benefits beyond the teeth.

5. I'm not completely convinced by this, and have no intention of giving up either:

Drink or Exercise: No Need To Do Both

Studies have found that higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and light to moderate alcohol intake reduce the risk for premature death. Scant evidence, however, exists assessing the joint effects of both measures on all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. This study aims to examine the independent and joint effects of alcohol consumption and cardiorespiratory fitness on all-cause and cardiovascular-related mortality in a large cohort of men. An examination of the joint effects of fitness and alcohol on all-cause mortality showed that moderate and high fitness levels were protective against mortality irrespective of alcohol consumption levels. Few significant combined effects for CVD mortality reduction were found.

6. I'm in good shape here (and Pat Summit proves it's never too early to start worrying):

Computer use and exercise combo fights memory loss

Combining mentally stimulating activities, such as using a computer, with moderate exercise decreases your odds of having memory loss more than computer use or exercise alone, a Mayo Clinic study shows. Previous studies have shown that exercising your body and your mind will help your memory but the new study, published in the May 2012 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reports a synergistic interaction between computer activities and moderate exercise in “protecting” the brain function in people better than 70 years old.

Resistance-training, can alter the trajectory of cognitive decline.

A new study by researchers at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility at Vancouver Coastal Health and the University of British Columbia shows that implementing a seniors' exercise program, specifically one using resistance-training, can alter the trajectory of decline. Perhaps most importantly, the program improved the executive cognitive process of selective attention and conflict resolution as well as associative memory, which are robust predictors of conversion from mild cognitive impairment to dementia.

Maintain your brain: The secrets to aging success

Those who are socially, mentally and physically stimulated reliably show better cognitive performance with a brain that appears younger than its years.
Berries keep your brain sharp

A new study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) finds that a high intake of flavonoid rich berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, over time, can delay memory decline in older women by 2.5 years.

7. I hope to resume taking resveratrol soon, and increasing my new red wine consumption:

Resveratrol improves health and increases life span (of mice)

8. I am looking forward to resuming Vitamin D intake as well:

Vitamin D Protects Against Viral Infections During the Winter

Insufficient levels of vitamin D are related to a deficiency in our innate immune defenses that protect us from infections, neoplasias or autoimmune diseases. Since vitamin D levels decrease during autumn and winter when days are shorter and sunlight is relatively weak, this may explain why people are more prone to viral infection during these times. Increased vitamin D intake, especially in older populations, could strengthen people's innate immunity against viral infections.

9. I have resumed eating some fiber, including those high in resistant starch, but look forward to adding more, as I did until recently:

Consumption Of Resistant Starch May Protect Against Bowel Cancer

Resistant starch is a component of dietary fibre that resists digestion in the small intestine and instead passes through to the bowel where it has positive effects on bowel health. Resistant starch is sometimes called the third type of dietary fibre (in addition to soluble and insoluble fibre) and is found in legumes, some wholegrain breads and cereals, firm bananas and cooked and cooled potatoes, pasta and rice. Dietary fibre is beneficial for human health, but go further to show that fibre rich in resistant starch is even better.

10. I'm on it:

Guidelines say diet, exercise, weight control improve odds after cancer diagnosis

11. I have kept this up I'm happy to say, but only 22.5 grams a day:

A Serving a Day of Dark Chocolate Might Keep the Doctor Away

12. I need to eat more pizza:

Oregano Kills Prostate Cancer Cells - Eating pizza may cut down cancer risk

"We know that oregano possesses anti-bacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties, but its effects on cancer cells really elevate the spice to the level of a super-spice like turmeric," said Dr. Bavadekar. "Some researchers have previously shown that eating pizza may cut down cancer risk. This effect has been mostly attributed to lycopene, a substance found in tomato sauce, but we now feel that even the oregano seasoning may play a role," stated Dr. Bavadekar. "If the study continues to yield positive results, this super-spice may represent a very promising therapy for patients with prostate cancer."

Other items of interest:

Beware Of Dietary Supplements For Cancer Prevention

Building muscle without heavy weights

Women: Mental Stress=Greater Risk For Heart Disease

Splenda Causes Cancer Concern

Can video games promote healthier aging?

Pistachio consumption may promote a beneficial gut environment

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