Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Diet rich in tomatoes may lower breast cancer risk

A tomato-rich diet may help protect at-risk postmenopausal women from breast cancer, according to new research in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Breast cancer risk rises in postmenopausal women as their body mass index climbs. The study found eating a diet high in tomatoes had a positive effect on the level of hormones that play a role in regulating fat and sugar metabolism.

“The advantages of eating plenty of tomatoes and tomato-based products, even for a short period, were clearly evident in our findings,” said the study’s first author, Adana Llanos, PhD, MPH, who is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Rutgers University. Llanos completed the research while she was a postdoctoral fellow with Electra Paskett, PhD, at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. “Eating fruits and vegetables, which are rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals such as lycopene, conveys significant benefits. Based on this data, we believe regular consumption of at least the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables would promote breast cancer prevention in an at-risk population.”

The longitudinal cross-over study examined the effects of both tomato-rich and soy-rich diets in a group of 70 postmenopausal women. For 10 weeks, the women ate tomato products containing at least 25 milligrams of lycopene daily. For a separate 10-week period, the participants consumed at least 40 grams of soy protein daily. Before each test period began, the women were instructed to abstain from eating both tomato and soy products for two weeks.

When they followed the tomato-rich diet, participants’ levels of adiponectin – a hormone involved in regulating blood sugar and fat levels – climbed 9 percent. The effect was slightly stronger in women who had a lower body mass index.

“The findings demonstrate the importance of obesity prevention,” Llanos said. “Consuming a diet rich in tomatoes had a larger impact on hormone levels in women who maintained a healthy weight.”

The soy diet was linked to a reduction in participants’ adiponectin levels. Researchers originally theorized that a diet containing large amounts of soy could be part of the reason that Asian women have lower rates of breast cancer than women in the United States, but any beneficial effect may be limited to certain ethnic groups, Llanos said.


Eating Tomatoes Lowers the Risk of Stroke

Eating tomatoes and tomato-based foods is associated with a lower risk of stroke, according to new research published in the October 9, 2012, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene.

The study found that people with the highest amounts of lycopene in their blood were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than people with the lowest amounts of lycopene in their blood.

The study involved 1,031 men in Finland between the ages of 46 and 65. The level of lycopene in their blood was tested at the start of the study and they were followed for an average of 12 years. During that time, 67 men had a stroke.

Among the men with the lowest levels of lycopene, 25 of 258 men had a stroke. Among those with the highest levels of lycopene, 11 of 259 men had a stroke. When researchers looked at just strokes due to blood clots, the results were even stronger. Those with the highest levels of lycopene were 59 percent less likely to have a stroke than those with the lowest levels.

"This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke," said study author Jouni Karppi, PhD, of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. "The results support the recommendation that people get more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which would likely lead to a major reduction in the number of strokes worldwide, according to previous research."

The study also looked at blood levels of the antioxidants alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol and retinol, but found no association between the blood levels and risk of stroke.

Health benefits of eating tomatoes

Eating more tomatoes and tomato products can make people healthier and decrease the risk of conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, according to a March, 2011 review article the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, (published by SAGE).

Of all the non-starchy vegetables, Americans eat more tomatoes and tomato products than any others. Researchers Britt Burton-Freeman, PhD, MS, and Kristin Reimers, PhD, RD of the National Center for Food Safety & Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology and ConAgra Foods, Inc., looked at the current research to discover the role tomato products play in health and disease risk reduction.

The researchers found that tomatoes are the biggest source of dietary lycopene; a powerful antioxidant that, unlike nutrients in most fresh fruits and vegetables, has even greater bioavailability after cooking and processing. Tomatoes also contain other protective mechanisms, such as antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory functions. Research has additionally found a relationship between eating tomatoes and a lower risk of certain cancers as well as other conditions, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, ultraviolet light–induced skin damage, and cognitive dysfunction.

Tomatoes are widely available, people of all ages and cultures like them, they are cost-effective, and are available in many forms. "Leveraging emerging science about tomatoes and tomato products may be one simple and effective strategy to help individuals increase vegetable intake, leading to improved overall eating patterns, and ultimately, better health." write the authors.

"Tomatoes are the most important non-starchy vegetable in the American diet. Research underscores the relationship between consuming tomatoes and reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and other conditions," the authors conclude. "The evidence also suggests that consumption of tomatoes should be recommended because of the nutritional benefits and because it may be a simple and effective strategy for increasing overall vegetable intake."

Tomato-broccoli combo shown to be effective against prostate cancer

A new University of Illinois study shows that tomatoes and broccoli--two vegetables known for their cancer-fighting qualities--are better at shrinking prostate tumors when both are part of the daily diet than when they're eaten alone.

"When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect. We think it's because different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways," said University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor John Erdman.

In a study published in the January 15, 2007 issue of Cancer Research, Erdman and doctoral candidate Kirstie Canene-Adams fed a diet containing 10 percent tomato powder and 10 percent broccoli powder to laboratory rats that had been implanted with prostate cancer cells. The powders were made from whole foods so the effects of eating the entire vegetable could be compared with consuming individual parts of them as a nutritional supplement.

Other rats in the study received either tomato or broccoli powder alone; or a supplemental dose of lycopene, the red pigment in tomatoes thought to be the effective cancer-preventive agent in tomatoes; or finasteride, a drug prescribed for men with enlarged prostates. Another group of rats was castrated.

After 22 weeks, the tumors were weighed. The tomato/broccoli combo outperformed all other diets in shrinking prostate tumors. Biopsies of tumors were evaluated at The Ohio State University, confirming that tumor cells in the tomato/broccoli-fed rats were not proliferating as rapidly. The only treatment that approached the tomato/broccoli diet's level of effectiveness was castration, said Erdman.

"As nutritionists, it was very exciting to compare this drastic surgery to diet and see that tumor reduction was similar. Older men with slow-growing prostate cancer who have chosen watchful waiting over chemotherapy and radiation should seriously consider altering their diets to include more tomatoes and broccoli," said Canene-Adams.

How much tomato and broccoli should a 55-year-old man concerned about prostate health eat in order to receive these benefits? The scientists did some conversions.

"To get these effects, men should consume daily 1.4 cups of raw broccoli and 2.5 cups of fresh tomato, or 1 cup of tomato sauce, or ½ cup of tomato paste. I think it's very doable for a man to eat a cup and a half of broccoli per day or put broccoli on a pizza with ½ cup of tomato paste," said Canene-Adams.

Erdman said the study showed that eating whole foods is better than consuming their components. "It's better to eat tomatoes than to take a lycopene supplement," he said. "And cooked tomatoes may be better than raw tomatoes. Chopping and heating make the cancer-fighting constituents of tomatoes and broccoli more bioavailable."

"When tomatoes are cooked, for example, the water is removed and the healthful parts become more concentrated. That doesn't mean you should stay away from fresh produce. The lesson here, I think, is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables prepared in a variety of ways," Canene-Adams added.

Another recent Erdman study shows that rats fed the tomato carotenoids phytofluene, lycopene, or a diet containing 10 percent tomato powder for four days had significantly reduced testosterone levels. "Most prostate cancer is hormone-sensitive, and reducing testosterone levels may be another way that eating tomatoes reduces prostate cancer growth," Erdman said.

Erdman said the tomato/broccoli study was a natural to be carried out at Illinois because of the pioneering work his colleague Elizabeth Jeffery has done on the cancer-fighting agents found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. Jeffery has discovered sulfur compounds in broccoli that enhance certain enzymes in the human body, which then act to degrade carcinogens.

"For ten years, I've been learning how the phytochemicals in tomatoes affect the progression of prostate cancer. Meanwhile Dr. Jeffery has been investigating the ways in which the healthful effects of broccoli are produced. Teaming up to see how these vegetables worked together just made sense and certainly contributes to our knowledge about dietary treatments for prostate cancer," said Erdman. 

Fighting prostate cancer with a tomato-rich diet
Men who eat over 10 portions a week of tomatoes have an 18 per cent lower risk of developing prostate cancer, new research suggests.
To assess if following dietary and lifestyle recommendations reduces risk of prostate cancer, researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford looked at the diets and lifestyle of 1,806 men aged between 50 and 69 with prostate cancer and compared with 12,005 cancer-free men.
The NIHR-funded study, published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, is the first study of its kind to develop a prostate cancer 'dietary index' which consists of dietary components – selenium, calcium and foods rich in lycopene – that have been linked to prostate cancer.
Men who had optimal intake of these three dietary components had a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Tomatoes and its products – such as tomato juice and baked beans - were shown to be most beneficial, with an 18 per cent reduction in risk found in men eating over 10 portions a week.
This is thought to be due to lycopene, an antioxidant which fights off toxins that can cause DNA and cell damage. Vanessa Er, from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol and Bristol Nutrition BRU, led the research.
She said: "Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention. However, further studies need to be conducted to confirm our findings, especially through human trials. Men should still eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight and stay active."
The researchers also looked at the recommendations on physical activity, diet and body weight for cancer prevention published by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).
Only the recommendation on plant foods – high intake of fruits, vegetables and dietary fibre - was found to be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. As these recommendations are not targeted at prostate cancer prevention, researchers concluded that adhering to these recommendations is not sufficient and that additional dietary recommendations should be developed.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Women of childbearing age need more vegetables, white potatoes

A new study presented March 30, 2015 at Experimental Biology 2015 confirms that vegetable consumption is very low among women of childbearing age (WCBA), and that the nutrient-rich white potato is an important vegetable to this population's diet, particularly among subgroups with the lowest intake.

The results are consistent with the Institute of Medicine findings that mean total vegetable consumption of women ages 19 to 50 years is extremely low--with intakes at just 50% of the 2.5 cup equivalents per day recommended for most WCBA by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The 2010 DGA recommends about 5 cups of starchy vegetables per week, or approximately three-fourths cup per day, as part of a healthful diet.

"A nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle are crucial before, during and after pregnancy to optimize the health for both mother and child," stated Maureen Storey, PhD, co-author of the study and president and CEO of the Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE). "The results of APRE's study show that the intake of key nutrients from vegetables and white potatoes by women of childbearing age in general, and by non-Hispanic black women in particular, are well below adequate levels for the nutrition they need."

APRE researchers examined total vegetable and white potato (WP) consumption of WCBA, using the most recent data available from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the Food Pyramid Equivalents Database 2009-2010 and 2011-2012. The study authors found that, on average, WCBA consumed 1.36 cup equivalents of total vegetables. Depending on physical activity levels, the 2010 DGA recommend 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables a day for WCBA needing 1,800-2,400 calories per day; this recommendation includes 5 to 6 cups of starchy vegetables a week. Non-Hispanic white women, Hispanic women, and women of other races consumed an average of 1.39, 1.43, and 1.46 cup equivalents of vegetables, respectively. On average, non-Hispanic blacks consumed 1.11 cup equivalents of vegetables--significantly fewer than women of all other races. WCBA consumed about 0.31 cup equivalents of WP. According to the data, said Storey, white potato consumption is low for WCBA--about 2 cups a week, on average, or about 0.3 cups equivalents per day. Contrary to media reports, French fried potatoes are consumed in moderation--average consumption is about one-half cup a week--and can easily be incorporated into a healthy, well-balanced, nutritious diet.

Storey noted that the mean intakes of key nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, iron, and folates are lower than current recommendations for women 19-50 years old. Average intakes of potassium and dietary fiber are about half of the recommended intakes, while mean vitamin D intake is less than 30% of the recommendation.

The new study also shows that non-Hispanic black WCBA have significantly lower intake of key nutrients of concern such as potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D. Lower consumption of potassium is especially concerning for non-Hispanic blacks because this population is already at greater risk for high blood pressure and stroke.

Affordable white potatoes are an important vegetable source of essential nutrients, such as potassium and dietary fiber. A small Russet baked potato with skin provides about 760 mg potassium and 3.2 g dietary fiber; even without the skin, the flesh of the white potato provides about 540 mg potassium and 2 grams of dietary fiber. A small serving of French fried potatoes provides 411 mg of potassium and 2.7 g fiber.

The APRE data analysis, "Total Vegetable and White Potato Consumption by Women of Childbearing Age," co-authored by Storey and Patricia Anderson, MPP, an independent consultant, will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.

Exercise can outweigh harmful effects of air pollution

New research from the University of Copenhagen has found that the beneficial effects of exercise are more important for our health than the negative effects of air pollution, in relation to the risk of premature mortality. In other words, benefits of exercise outweigh the harmful effects of air pollution.

The study shows that despite the adverse effects of air pollution on health, air pollution should be not perceived as a barrier to exercise in urban areas. "Even for those living in the most polluted areas of Copenhagen, it is healthier to go for a run, a walk or to cycle to work than it is to stay inactive," says Associate Professor Zorana Jovanovic Andersen from the Centre for Epidemiology and Screening at the University of Copenhagen.

The research results have been published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Air pollution a barrier to exercise?

It is well known that physical activity reduces, while air pollution increases the risk of premature mortality. Physical activity amplifies respiratory intake and accumulation of air pollutants in our lungs, which may increase the harmful effects of air pollution during exercise.

"Air pollution is often perceived as a barrier to exercise in urban areas. In the face of an increasing health burden due to rising physical inactivity and obesity in modern societies, our findings provide support for efforts in promoting exercise, even in urban areas with high pollution," says Associate Professor Zorana Jovanovic Andersen

"However, we would still advise people to exercise and cycle in green areas, parks, woods, with low air pollution and away from busy roads, when possible," she adds.

The study

This is the first large population-based, prospective cohort study that has examined the joint effects of both physical activity and air pollution on mortality. It is based on high quality data on both physical activity and air pollution exposure.

The Danish study includes 52,061 subjects, aged 50-65 years, from the two main cities Aarhus and Copenhagen, who participated in the cohort study Diet, Cancer and Health. From 1993-97, they reported on their physical leisure activities, including sports, cycling to/from work and in their leisure time, gardening and walking. The researchers then estimated air pollution levels from traffic at their residential addresses.

5,500 participants died before 2010, and the researchers observed about 20% fewer deaths among those who exercised than among those who didn't exercise, even for those who lived in the most polluted areas, in central Copenhagen and Aarhus, or close to busy roads and highways.

"It is also important to note that these results pertain to Denmark and sites with similar air pollution levels, and may not necessary be true in cities with several fold higher air pollution levels, as seen in other parts of the world," concludes Andersen.

Children do not eat enough vegetables

 While the body of evidence for feeding recommendations for children continues to evolve, one constant remains: Children do not eat enough vegetables. In fact, more than 90% of young children fail to meet vegetable recommendations, and these patterns often persist into adolescence and adulthood, making it important to understand the factors involved in establishing feeding patterns in early childhood. Are children not eating their vegetables because of texture, lack of role modeling, negative sensory experience, delayed introduction, bitter taste, infrequent exposure, rejection of any new foods, or are they just plain picky and stubborn?

A panel of leading nutrition experts convened on Friday, March 27, 2015 to discuss these issues in an American Society for Nutrition (ASN) Satellite Session, "Science and Policy: Adopting a Fruitful Vegetable Encounter for Our Children," in conjunction with ASN's Annual Meeting, held as part of Experimental Biology 2015. The symposium was sponsored by the Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding and translating potato nutrition research into science-based policy and education initiatives.

Ron Kleinman, MD, Physician in Chief at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-chair of the symposium, noted that while it is well established that low vegetable consumption is a major dietary concern for infants and young children, a better understanding of current food consumption behaviors and behavior change strategies is needed to increase daily vegetable intake, particularly in light of the current evidence analysis and development of Dietary Guidelines for the birth-to-24 months age group.

"In the research that has been conducted to date, repeated exposure has been shown to have the most consistent impact on increasing vegetable acceptance in young children," says Susan Johnson, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of The Children's Eating Laboratory at University of Colorado-Denver. "It appears that many children need to try a new food 8 to 12 times in order to learn to like it, while parents often give up after 3 to 5 tries if the food is rejected. The bottom line is that in order for kids to eat vegetables, parents have to offer them consistently and persistently."

Co-chaired by Kleinman and Theresa Nicklas, DrPH, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics, USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine, the symposium examined the state of the science on vegetable feeding practices and consumption patterns, including theories on environmental and cultural influences on children's food acceptance, the impact of various policies on vegetable access, the influence of early exposure on the development of taste preferences, and the economic and nutrition implications of vegetable plate waste in schools.

Presenters covered a variety of topics, including:

Dr. Kleinman presented an historical overview of transitional feeding recommendations and current vegetable consumption patterns for infants and young children. Kleinman also identified research gaps, highlighting the need to better understand what factors are driving the top vegetables consumed and barriers to consuming a wider variety of vegetables.

Ed Cooney, Executive Director at the Congressional Hunger Center, provided an overview of current policies for government feeding programs targeting low-income families, and advised that increasing participation in federal child nutrition programs can be an effective strategy in reducing both hunger and obesity.

Dr. Johnson reviewed the developmental and maternal influences on vegetable consumption of children ages 3 - 5 years, citing the use of encouragement and praise, parental modeling of vegetable consumption, child-centered feeding practices, and the use of structure and rules for mealtimes as strategies that have been shown to positively influence preschooler vegetable consumption.

Maureen Storey, PhD, President and CEO of APRE, presented a new analysis of vegetable and nutrient intake in children ages 1 -3 years, using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009-2012. The data show that mean nutrient intakes by children ages 1-3 years meets or exceeds recommendations except for potassium, fiber and vitamin D, and that vegetable, potato and starchy vegetable consumption is well below recommendations by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Dr. Nicklas presented a new model for analyzing the implications of replacing potatoes with other vegetables, showing significant decrease in intake potassium and fiber when potatoes are replaced by other vegetables. Given that the most commonly consumed vegetable by children are potatoes, and that plate waste is higher for other vegetables, the consumption of white potatoes provides a significant source of nutrients and may be an important strategy to help children meet vegetable recommendations.

G. Harvey Anderson, PhD, Professor of Nutritional Sciences at University of Toronto, provided new data evaluating the effects of carbohydrate sources in meals on satiety and food intake in lean, healthy children, comparing rice, pasta, boiled mashed potatoes and baked or fried French fried potatoes served with 100 g (~3 oz) of lean beef. Anderson stated, "Just as we've seen in adults, glycemic index was not a reliable predictor of satiation and blood glucose response in children when carbohydrates were consumed as part of a meal. Despite the comparatively high GI of potatoes, children consumed 30% fewer calories at meals with mashed potatoes with similar post-meal glucose response, and fried French fried potatoes resulted in the lowest post-meal glucose and insulin concentrations."

Jennifer Fisher, PhD, Professor of Public Health and Interim Director, Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University, identified top research priorities for advancing the science in this area, including establishing a better understanding of how caregivers can improve diet quality, identifying the types of exposure that promote acceptance of vegetables from weaning into early childhood, how to effectively provide exposure in terms of type, frequency, and preparation of vegetables, and how to best respond to children's fear of trying new foods.

Collectively, the symposium presentations demonstrated that young children do not meet recommendations for vegetable and potato intake and that consumption of all types of vegetables should be encouraged. White potatoes, with or without skin and regardless of how they are cooked, provide a significant source of shortfall nutrients including potassium (760 mg in a small baked potato with skin) and fiber (3.2 g), are well-accepted by children and may be an important strategy to help children eat more vegetables.

Several of the presentations are based on papers submitted for publication in an upcoming supplement to the peer-reviewed journal, Advances in Nutrition, which will help enhance the foundational guidance for feeding vegetables to young children in the 2020 Dietary Guidelines. A full video of the symposium will be available on ASN's website in the coming weeks.

New findings support the benefits of eating walnuts on overall health

Multiple new research abstracts suggest walnuts may have the potential to positively affect several important health factors. From their impact on colon cancer and certain aspects of cognitive aging, to their positive effect on both gut health and vascular health, the research findings presented at Experimental Biology 2015 (EB) detail our latest understanding of walnuts' inner workings. Running March 28 through April 1 in Boston, this annual meeting attracts an international audience of over 14,000 leading research scientists and exhibitors.

"These findings help advance the understanding of the many advantages of eating walnuts as part of a healthy diet, and add to the more than 159 published papers over 20 years that have shown how walnuts affect heart health, diabetes, cancer, cognition, fertility and weight management," said Dennis A. Balint, CEO, California Walnut Commission.

There are numerous possible active ingredients in walnuts that may be contributing factors in providing these health benefits. One component that differentiates walnuts is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. Walnuts are the only nut that contain a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) with 2.5 grams per one ounce serving.

While scientific conclusions cannot yet be drawn from the abstracts presented at EB 2015, the following summaries share the latest findings:

  • Colon Cancer: For the first time, researchers looked at whether components of walnuts have an effect on colon cancer cells. This cell study1 was conducted by the Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management at the Ewha Womans University in Korea, and showed that walnut extract significantly slowed the survival of the cancer stem cells as well as reduced the stemness of colon cancer stem cells. Given the results, researchers state there is reason to further explore the role of walnut consumption in colon cancer therapies targeting cancer stem cells.
  • Gut Health: The gut microbiome is an ecosystem of bacteria that helps our bodies digest and use the food we eat; changes in the gut microbiome are linked to chronic diseases. A recent animal study2 conducted by the Department of Physiology School of Medicine at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center looked at the effect of walnuts on two major gut bacteria communities. A diet with walnuts (approximately 2 ounce human diet equivalent) significantly altered the ratio of the two communities, therefore suggesting "a new mechanism, changing the gut microbial environment, by which walnuts may exert their beneficial health effects." As this study was performed on animals, however, findings cannot yet be implied for humans.

  • Aging/Brain Health: This animal study3 from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University looked at healthy rats, both young and old, and the impact of walnuts - a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids and nutrients such as folate, selenium, magnesium and polyphenols - on mechanisms in critical regions of the brain. Animals were segmented into three groups - one, the control group, who ate no walnuts at all (0%); a second that had 6% of their diet comprised of walnuts; and a third that had 9% of their diet comprised of walnuts (equivalent to one ounce and 1.5 ounces respectively in a human diet). The groups were monitored for ten weeks. According to the researchers, incorporating walnuts into one's diet may have protective effects on the aging brain. As this study was performed on animals, however, findings cannot yet be implied for humans.

  • Vascular Health: Microvascular function refers to the health of our smallest blood vessels, such as capillaries. A study4 from the Departments of Nutrition and Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis of postmenopausal women with high cholesterol looked at the short-term impact of walnut consumption. The group that ate 40 grams, or 1.5 ounces, of walnuts per day saw improved vascular function. The study concludes this improvement is due to the effects from the walnut-derived fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA).

Findings like these pave the way for additional research aimed at understanding walnuts' role in disease prevention and management.

Short bouts of high-intensity exercise before a fatty meal best for vascular health

A short burst of intensive exercise before eating a high fat meal is better for blood vessel function in young people than the currently recommended moderate-intensity exercise, according to a new study from the University of Exeter.

Cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks and stroke are the leading cause of death in the UK, and the process underlying these diseases start in youth. An impairment in the function of blood vessels is thought to be the earliest event in this process, and this is known to occur in the hours after consuming a high fat meal.

Performing exercise before a high fat meal is known to prevent this impairment in blood vessel function, but no study has yet identified what type of exercise is best.

The study, published in the American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, compared high-intensity, interval exercise against moderate-intensity exercise on blood vessel function in adolescent boys and girls after they had consumed a high fat milkshake.

It showed that approximately 25 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling prevented the fall in blood vessel function after the high fat meal. However, performing just eight minutes of high-intensity cycling not only prevented this fall, but improved blood vessel function to a level that was superior to moderate-intensity exercise.

Dr Alan Barker, of the Children's Health and Exercise Research Centre, Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter, said: "Our study shows that the intensity of exercise plays an important part in protecting blood vessel function in young people after the ingestion of a high fat meal."

"Furthermore, both the boys and girls found the high-intensity exercise to be more enjoyable than the moderate-intensity exercise. Considering that very few adolescents currently achieve the recommended minimum of one hour of at least moderate-intensity exercise per day, smaller amounts of exercise performed at a higher-intensity might offer an attractive alternative to improve blood vessel function in adolescents."

The researchers say the next step is to move the work beyond healthy adolescents and study those with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as obesity and type I diabetes.

Low vitamin D linked to worse prognosis in type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

A new study found that people with lower vitamin D levels prior to treatment for follicular lymphoma succumb to the disease or face relapse earlier than patients with sufficient vitamin D levels in their blood.

The Wilmot Cancer Institute investigation is believed to be the first to report that lack of vitamin D is a potentially modifiable risk factor for this type of cancer. The study was published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Vitamin D's connection to cancer is an active research topic. Prior studies have shown a survival benefit among patients with higher vitamin D levels for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In addition, earlier peer-reviewed research at Wilmot showed that low vitamin D levels among women with breast cancer correlated with more aggressive tumors and poorer prognosis; and that vitamin D deficiency among African Americans might help to explain higher death rates from colorectal cancer.

Currently, Wilmot investigators are evaluating whether weekly, high doses of vitamin D (50,000 IU) improves the side effects related to androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer in patients ages 65 and older.

Jonathan W. Friedberg, M.D., director of the Wilmot Cancer Institute, and Jennifer Kelly, M.P.H., Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, led the collaborative follicular lymphoma study between SWOG, a component of the NCI-sponsored National Clinical Trials Network, and the Lymphoma Study Association (LYSA), based in France.

Researchers observed a total of 423 follicular lymphoma patients in two independent cohorts, who were followed for a minimum of 5 ½ years each. They measured the patients' baseline vitamin D blood levels before cancer treatment began, and then tracked and analyzed cancer survival data for each group.

Future research might support prescribing vitamin D supplements for patients at the earliest point of follicular lymphoma treatment, when patients are typically monitored closely but have not started active therapy, investigators concluded. They also suggested that vitamin D may represent a proxy or biomarker for better health going into cancer treatment.

Follicular lymphoma is generally incurable although it's slow-growing and many people live for years with the disease. Risk increases with age, and an estimated 19,000 people annually are diagnosed with FL. Treatments have improved recently, although a subset of patients have an aggressive form for which therapy is not as effective. Better ways to predict the course of the disease are needed, therefore -- and this is where vitamin D levels might provide a previously unidentified but modifiable factor associated with prognosis, Friedberg said.

"Our data, replicated internationally, supports other published observations linking Vitamin D deficiency with inferior cancer outcomes," he said. "However, the mechanisms of this link are likely complex and require further study."

Large differences in vitamin D levels among the patients in the two cohorts prevented scientists from being able to recommend an optimal level of vitamin D for follicular lymphoma patients. (In the U.S., vitamin D sufficiency is usually defined as 25 mg/ml.) Geographic regions (including less sunny climates) and ethnicity and genetics (African Americans often have lower levels that other races) influence baseline vitamin D levels in people to a great extent, and would impact a threshold level.

Health Benefits of Leafy Green Vegetables

A diet that includes plenty of green, leafy vegetables may lower the risk of glaucoma

A healthy lifestyle, consisting of balanced nutrition, moderate exercise, and appropriate rest is an important part of your overall health and well-being and can help prevent illness too.

The best way to ensure that you're getting all of your essential vitamins and minerals is to eat a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables -- they are a primary source of carotenoids, which can have overall benefits for vision health. Certain fruits and vegetables with higher vitamin A and C content have been shown to reduce glaucoma risk as well. Some of the most helpful fruits and vegetables for healthy vision are: collard greens, cabbage, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, celery, carrots, peaches, radishes, green beans, and beets.

Because oxidative stress is associated with damage to the optic nerve in glaucoma, antioxidants may help to prevent further injury. Dietary sources of antioxidants include pomegranate, acai berries, cranberries, dark chocolate, black and green tea, bilberry, lycopene (from tomato products), dark green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, and flax seeds.

Any specific nutritional deficiencies in your diet can be addressed with supplements that include Vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E as well as the minerals Magnesium, Calcium and Zinc. However, there is no convincing data that vitamin supplements help to prevent glaucoma. I recommend that patients take a general multivitamin if they are uncertain whether their daily nutritional needs are met.

While good nutrition plays a role in disease prevention and overall health, it is not a treatment for glaucoma. Certain herbs such as ginkgo and bilberry may even increase the risk of bleeding with glaucoma surgery. Given the breadth of nutritional supplements available over-the-counter, it is important to discuss with your eye doctor all prescription, herbal, vitamin, mineral, and over-the-counter remedies you currently take. Talk to your doctor about any other questions related to glaucoma and your diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices.

Eating your greens could enhance sport performance

Nitrate supplementation in conjunction with Sprint Interval Training in low oxygen conditions could enhance sport performance a study has found.

Researchers from the University of Leuven in Belgium carried out a study with twenty-seven moderately trained participants. These were given nitrate supplements ahead of Sprint Interval Training (SIT), which took the form of short but intense cycling sessions three times a week.

Nitrate is commonly found in diets rich in leafy green foods, like spinach and is important for the functioning of the human body, especially during exercising.

To assess differences in performance in different conditions, the study included workouts in normal oxygen conditions and in hypoxia conditions, which are low oxygen levels such as those found in high altitudes.

The observations published in Frontiers in Physiology were unexpected: after only five weeks, the muscle fiber composition changed with the enhanced nitrate intake when training in low oxygen conditions.

"This is probably the first study to demonstrate that a simple nutritional supplementation strategy, i.e. oral nitrate intake, can impact on training-induced changes in muscle fiber composition;" stated Professor Peter Hespel from the Athletic Performance Center at the University of Leuven.

For athletes participating in sports competitions which require energy production in conditions with limited amounts of oxygen, this study is particularly interesting. In fact, exercising at high altitudes has become a training strategy for many athletes, albeit the uncertainties about such methods.

In these conditions, performing intense workouts requires high input of fast-oxidative muscle fibers to sustain the power. Enhancing these muscle fiber types through nutritional intake could very well boost the performance in this type of events.

However, this remains a question mark for the time being. "Whether this increase in fast-oxidative muscle fibers eventually can also enhance exercise performance remains to be established;" said Professor Hespel.

He cautioned: "consistent nitrate intake in conjunction with training must not be recommended until the safety of chronic high-dose nitrate intake in humans has been clearly demonstrated".

In times where athletes push the limits of their bodies and thrive for ever greater performances, this is clearly only the beginning of the research into how athletes can improve their competitive edge through dietary supplements. Looking to the future, Professor Hespel suggested: "it would now be interesting to investigate whether addition of nitrate-rich vegetables to the normal daily sports diet of athletes could facilitate training-induced muscle fiber type transitions and maybe in the long term also exercise performance".  

Leafy greens are essential for feeding good gut bacteria

A critical discovery about how bacteria feed on an unusual sugar molecule found in leafy green vegetables could hold the key to explaining how 'good' bacteria protect our gut and promote health.

The finding suggests that leafy greens are essential for feeding good gut bacteria, limiting the ability of bad bacteria to colonise the gut by shutting them out of the prime 'real estate'.

Researchers from Melbourne and the UK identified a previously unknown enzyme used by bacteria, fungi and other organisms to feed on the unusual but abundant sugar sulfoquinovose - SQ for short - found in green vegetables.

Each year, leafy green vegetables - such as spinach - produce the sugar on an enormous scale globally, comparable to the world's total annual iron ore production.

The research, published today in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, was led by Dr Ethan Goddard-Borger from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Professor Spencer Williams from the Bio21 Institute and University of Melbourne, and Professor Gideon Davies from the University of York, UK.

Dr Goddard-Borger said the discovery could be exploited to cultivate the growth of 'good' gut bacteria. "Every time we eat leafy green vegetables we consume significant amounts of SQ sugars, which are used as an energy source by good gut bacteria," he said.

"Bacteria in the gut, such as crucial protective strains of E. coli, use SQ as a source of energy. E. coli provides a protective barrier that prevents growth and colonisation by bad bacteria, because the good bugs are taking up all the habitable real estate," Dr Goddard-Borger said.

"E. coli is a key bacterial coloniser needed by our gut. We speculate that consumption of this specific molecule within leafy greens will prove to be an important factor in improving and maintaining healthy gut bacteria and good digestive health."

Professor Williams said the team had revealed how bacteria extract the sugar from plants in order to fuel their growth. "We discovered the enzyme YihQ, which is used by bacteria to absorb and metabolise these sulfur-containing sugars as food," he said.

"Sulfur is critical for building proteins, the essential components of all living organisms. SQ is the only sugar molecule which contains sulfur, and 'digestion' of the molecule by bacteria releases sulfur into the environment, where it re-enters the global 'sulfur cycle' to be reused by other organisms."

Professor Williams said that the pathway was unusual, but abundant in biological organisms.

"This work answers a 50-year mystery that has surrounded how sulfur - an element essential for life on Earth - was used and recycled by living organisms," he said. "What is remarkable is that the YihQ enzyme was hiding in plain sight and is produced by the humble bacterium E. coli, present in nearly every biologist's laboratory."

The discovery also provides crucial insights that may one day be exploited to develop an entirely new class of antibiotics, Dr Goddard-Borger said. "New antimicrobial strategies are desperately needed as more and more bacteria acquire resistance to existing classes of antibiotics."

"We think it will be possible to use these widespread enzymes to enable highly specific delivery of antibiotics to harmful forms of E. coli and other pathogens, such as Salmonella, responsible for food poisoning, while leaving the good gut bacteria untouched."

Magnesium intake from dark, leafy greens or nuts may be beneficial in preventing pancreatic cancer

Indiana University researchers have found that magnesium intake may be beneficial in preventing pancreatic cancer.

Their study, "Magnesium intake and incidence of pancreatic cancer: The VITamins and Lifestyle study," recently appeared in the British Journal of Cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the United States. The overall occurrence of pancreatic cancer has not significantly changed since 2002, but the mortality rate has increased annually from 2002 to 2011, according to the National Cancer Institute.

"Pancreatic cancer is really unique and different from other cancers," said study co-author Ka He, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. "The five-year survival rate is really low, so that makes prevention and identifying risk factors or predictors associated with pancreatic cancer very important."

Previous studies have found that magnesium is inversely associated with the risk of diabetes, which is a risk factor of pancreatic cancer. But few studies have explored the direct association of magnesium with pancreatic cancer; of those that did, their findings were inconclusive, said Daniel Dibaba, a Ph.D. student at the School of Public Health-Bloomington, who led the IU study.

Using information from the VITamins and Lifestyle study, Dibaba and the other co-authors analyzed an enormous trove of data on over 66,000 men and women, ages 50 to 76, looking at the direct association between magnesium and pancreatic cancer and whether age, gender, body mass index, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs use and magnesium supplementation play a role.

Of those followed, 151 participants developed pancreatic cancer. The study found that every 100-milligrams-per-day decrease in magnesium intake was associated with a 24 percent increase in the occurrence of pancreatic cancer. The study also found that the effects of magnesium on pancreatic cancer did not appear to be modified by age, gender, body mass index or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use, but was limited to those taking magnesium supplements either from a multivitamin or individual supplement.

"For those at a higher risk of pancreatic cancer, adding a magnesium supplement to their diet may prove beneficial in preventing this disease," Dibaba said. "While more study is needed, the general population should strive to get the daily recommendations of magnesium through diet, such as dark, leafy greens or nuts, to prevent any risk of pancreatic cancer."

Eating green leafy vegetables keeps mental abilities sharp


"Losing one's memory or cognitive abilities is one of the biggest fears for people as they get older," said Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., assistant provost for community research at Rush University Medical Center and leader of the research team. "Since declining cognitive ability is central to Alzheimer's disease and dementias, increasing consumption of green leafy vegetables could offer a very simple, affordable and non-invasive way of potentially protecting your brain from Alzheimer's disease and dementia."

The researchers tracked the diets and cognitive abilities of more than 950 older adults for an average of five years and saw a significant decrease in the rate of cognitive decline for study participants who consumed greater amounts of green leafy vegetables. People who ate one to two servings per day had the cognitive ability of a person 11 years younger than those who consumed none.

When the researchers examined individual nutrients linked with slowing cognitive decline, they found that vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene were most likely helping to keep the brain healthy.

"Our study identified some very novel associations," said Morris, who will present the research at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) Annual Meeting during Experimental Biology 2015. "No other studies have looked at vitamin K in relation to change in cognitive abilities over time, and only a limited number of studies have found some association with lutein." Other studies have linked folate and beta-carotene intake with slower cognitive decline.

To conduct the study, Morris' research team gathered data from 954 participants from the Memory and Aging Project, which aims to identify factors associated with the maintenance of cognitive health. The participants, whose age averaged 81, reported their daily food and beverage intake by answering a detailed 144-item questionnaire at the beginning of the study. The researchers computed the total daily nutrients by combining the nutrient content for each food consumed with the number of servings eaten each day. They followed participants for 2 to 10 years, assessing cognition annually with a comprehensive battery of 19 tests and adjusted for age, sex, education, smoking, genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease and participation in physical activities when estimating the effects of diet on cognitive decline.

"With baby boomers approaching old age, there is huge public demand for lifestyle behaviors that can ward off loss of memory and other cognitive abilities with age," said Morris. "Our study provides evidence that eating green leafy vegetables and other foods rich in vitamin K, lutein and beta-carotene can help to keep the brain healthy to preserve functioning."

In addition to green leafy vegetables, other good sources of vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene include brightly colored fruits and vegetables.

The researchers would like to expand their research to explore the mechanisms of how nutrients in leafy green vegetables are acting on the brain.

Lettuce is rich in antioxidants, as it contains compounds like phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and vitamins A and C

Antioxidants provide long-term protection against the chain reactions of free radical processes, in other words, of the molecules that are capable of causing cell damage and generating various diseases. Free radicals harm our body by causing, in the best of cases, ageing and, in the worse, serious diseases. Lettuce is rich in antioxidants, as it contains compounds like phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and vitamins A and C, among other things.

Green, semi-red and red leaves

To conduct this research, which started in 2011 and in which researchers of the UPV/EHU and the University of Pisa (Italy) have been participating, the compounds of three lettuce varieties were analysed: the green-leaf 'Batavia', the semi-red-leaf 'Marvel of Four Seasons', and the red-leaf 'Oak Leaf'. Using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) techniques, they were able to observe the behaviour of the kinetics of the compounds of each variety. And the results show that the green-leaf lettuce contains water-soluble, antioxidant compounds that act at a slow and intermediate speed, the red-leaf one has compounds with intermediate and rapid kinetics, and the semi-red-leaf one has three kinds of compounds, with a rapid, intermediate and slow speed.

As Dr Pérez-López, researcher of the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology of the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Science and Technology, stressed, "the fact that there are compounds that act at different speeds does not mean that some are better or worse than others. If we eat foods that can generate free-radical activity, there will be some compounds that act to eliminate them more quickly. But at the same time, it is also important that our bodies should acquire foods with antioxidants that have slower kinetics so that the latter will continue to act over a longer period of time. That is why people say that it is very interesting to mix different types of lettuce because they have different, complementary characteristics".

Boosting the properties

Having determined the kinetics of the antioxidants, the research is currently continuing with the aim of achieving a nutraceutical improvement of these three varieties of lettuce. The research group is now trying to boost the effect of the specific compounds in each variety by subjecting the plants to short stresses. These compounds perform defence functions in plants. So if conditions that are not the normal ones are applied to them (such as watering them with salinated water, subjecting them to high lighting intensity or working with raised concentrations of CO2), these defences will become intensified and, as a result, the antioxidant qualities of the plants will be boosted.

"What matters in this process is not to lose productivity, and that is why we apply short-intensity stresses. With excessive stress, we could reach a point in which plant growth is reduced, and we are not interested in achieving greater quality at the cost of a reduction in size. The aim is to maintain production and achieve greater quality in this production," pointed out Dr Usue Pérez-López.

Leafy greens can prevent the ill-effects of toxins in foods like peanut butter

Not only are the vitamins and minerals good for you, but eating greens could also save your life, according to a recent study invoving scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

LLNL researchers Graham Bench and Ken Turteltaub found that giving someone a small dose of chlorophyll (Chla) or chlorophyllin (CHL) — found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale — could reverse the effects of aflatoxin poisoning.

Aflatoxin is a potent, naturally occurring carcinogenic mycotoxin that is associated with the growth of two types of mold: Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Food and food crops most prone to aflatoxin contamination include corn and corn products, cottonseed, peanuts and peanut products, tree nuts and milk.

Bench and Turteltaub, working with colleagues from Oregon State University and an industry partner, Cephalon Inc., found that greens have chemopreventive potential.

Aflatoxins can invade the food supply at anytime during production, processing, transport and storage. Evidence of acute aflatoxicosis in humans has been reported primarily in developing countries lacking the resources to effectively screen aflatoxin contamination from the food supply. Because aflatoxins, particularly aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), are potent carcinogens in some animals, there is interest in the effects of long-term exposure to low levels of these important mycotoxins on humans.

The study used AMS to provide aflatoxin pharmacokinetic parameters previously unavailable for humans, and suggest that chlorophyll and chlorophyllin co-consumption may limit the bioavailability of ingested aflatoxin in humans, as they do in animal models, according to Bench.

Exposure to environmental carcinogens has been estimated to contribute to a majority of human cancers, especially through lifestyle factors related to tobacco use and diet. Notable examples are the tobacco-related carcinogens; heterocyclic amines produced from sustained, high-temperature cooking of meats; and the fungal food contaminants aflatoxins.

The team initially gave each of three volunteers a small dose of carbon 14 labeled aflatoxin (less than the amount that would be found in a peanut butter sandwich.) In subsequent experiments the patients were given a small amount of Chla or CHL concomitantly with the same dose of carbon 14 labeled aflatoxin.

By using LLNL’s Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, the team was able to measure the amount of aflatoxin in each volunteer after each dosing regimen and determine whether the Chla or CHL reduced the amount of aflatoxin absorbed into the volunteers.

“The Chla and CHL treatment each significantly reduced aflatoxin absorption and bioavailability,” Bench said.

“What makes this study unique among prevention trials is, that we were able to administer a microdose of radio-labeled aflatoxin to assess the actions of the carcinogen directly in people. There was no extrapolation from animal models which often are wrong,” Turteltaub said.

Green leafy vegetables reduce diabetes risk

Eating more green leafy vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, finds research published August, 2010 on bmj.com.

The authors, led by Patrice Carter at the University of Leicester, say there is a need for further investigation into the potential benefits of green leafy vegetables.

In the last two decades there has been a dramatic increase in the number of individuals developing type 2 diabetes worldwide.

Diets high in fruit and vegetables are known to help reduce both cancer and heart disease, but the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and diabetes remains unclear, say the authors.

The researchers also note that previous research found that in 2002, 86% of UK adults consumed less than the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, with 62% consuming less than three portions. The study says that "it was estimated that inadequate consumption of fruit and vegetables could have accounted for 2.6 million deaths worldwide in the year 2000."

Patrice Carter and colleagues reviewed six studies involving over 220,000 participants that focused on the links between fruit and vegetable consumption and type 2 diabetes.

The results reveal that eating one and a half extra servings of green leafy vegetables a day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14%. However, eating more fruit and vegetables combined does not significantly affect this risk. Only a small number of studies were included in the meta-analysis and the benefit of fruit and vegetables as a whole for prevention of type 2 diabetes may have been obscured.

The authors believe that fruit and vegetables can prevent chronic diseases because of their antioxidant content. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach may also act to reduce type 2 diabetes risk due to their high magnesium content.

The authors argue that "our results support the evidence that 'foods' rather than isolated components such as antioxidants are beneficial for health … results from several supplement trials have produced disappointing results for prevention of disease."

In conclusion, they believe that offering tailored advice to encourage individuals to eat more green leafy vegetables should be investigated further.

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Jim Mann from the University of Otago in New Zealand, and Research Assistant Dagfinn Aune from Imperial College London, are cautious about the results and say the message of increasing overall fruit and vegetable intake must not be lost "in a plethora of magic bullets," even though green leafy vegetables clearly can be included as one of the five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

They argue that given the limited number of studies, "it may be too early to dismiss a small reduction in risk for overall fruit and vegetable intake or other specific types of fruits and vegetables and too early for a conclusion regarding green leafy vegetables.

Eating green leafy vegetables reduces risk of diabetes

Eating just one more serving of green leafy vegetables or three more servings of fruit a day reduces the risk of developing Type II diabetes, according to results of data analysis performed by researchers in the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health. The research team also found that one serving of fruit juice a day increased the risk of Type II diabetes in women.

Tulane epidemiologist Dr. Lydia Bazzano says, “Based on the results of our study, people who have risk factors for diabetes may find it helpful to fill up on leafy greens like lettuces, kale and spinach and whole fruits, like apples, bananas, oranges and watermelon rather than drink fruit juices, which deliver a big sugar load in a liquid form that gets absorbed rapidly.”

Bazzano, an assistant professor of epidemiology, cautioned that since this is one of the first studies to separate fruit juice consumption from fruits as a whole, the association between juice and diabetes must be confirmed by additional research.

She and her team analyzed 18 years worth of diet and health data from 71,346 nurses who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study from 1984 to 2002. The women were all between 38 and 63 years old and diabetes-free when the study began. Approximately 7 percent of the participants developed diabetes over the course of the study.

The researchers determined that the association between fruit and green leafy vegetable consumption and lowered diabetes risk remained after other factors, such as family history, cigarette smoking and weight, were analyzed. However, they found that women who ate more fruits and green leafy vegetables also were likely to be older, non-smokers and more physically active.

In addition to emphasizing the importance of eating whole fruits and green leafy vegetables to prevent diabetes, the team also recommends replacing refined grains and white potatoes with whole fruit or green leafy vegetable servings. White flours and potatoes have been associated with an increased risk of diabetes.