Health and Fitness

NFU Angered As New Evidence Reveals Link Between Red Meat And Cancer Was Flawed

The NFU is furious after learning that the findings of a review, which revealed errors in a report claiming a link between red meat consumption and cancer, have not been shared with policy makers. It has joined livestock levy body Eblex in its concern over flawed figures that are contained in a report from the World Cancer Research Fund. The initial report, first published in 2007, has been widely used as proof of a link between eating red meat and developing cancer. However, two leading scientists have now highlighted a number of errors which include analytical inconsistencies and data extraction errors in the evidence. These are thought to have contributed to overestimations being made by the WCRF in its conclusions linking red meat and cancer. Dr Stewart Truswell, of the University of Sydney, and Dr Dominik Alexander, of Exponent, have had their review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The conclusion of Dr Alexander's review is that "there is no conclusive evidence of a causal relationship" between eating meat and developing colorectal cancer.

High-Fat Ketogenic Diet To Control Seizures Is Safe Over Long Term

Current and former patients treated with the high-fat ketogenic diet to control multiple, daily and severe seizures can be reassured by the news that not only is the diet effective, but it also appears to have no long-lasting side effects, say scientists at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. A study report supporting their conclusion, and believed to be one of the first analyses of the long-term safety and efficacy of the diet, appears online in the February edition of the journal Epilepsia. The ketogenic diet, consisting of high-fat foods and very few carbohydrates, is believed to trigger biochemical changes that eliminate seizure-causing short circuits in the brain's signaling system. Used as first-line therapy for infantile spasms and in children whose seizures cannot be controlled with drugs, the diet is highly effective but complicated and sometimes difficult to maintain. It can temporarily raise cholesterol, impair growth and, in rare cases, lead to kidney stones, among other side effects.

Adding Rosemary To Beef Decreases Cancer-Causing Agents

The addition of rosemary extract to ground beef actually reduces cancer-causing agents that can form upon cooking, according to a recent study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists. Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are mutagenic compounds that form when meat and fish are cooked at high temperatures especially meats that are grilled, pan-fried, broiled, or barbecued. The National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services categorizes HCAs as human carcinogens that can increase the risk of certain types of cancers. Kansas State University researchers Kanithaporn Puangsombat and J. Scott Smith investigated the idea that reducing the amount of HCAs in meat cooked at high temperatures would reduce the associated health risks. The study compared five rosemary extracts with varying concentrations of water and ethanol and their ability to inhibit HCA formation in cooked beef patties. -- Rosemary extracts were isolated with ethanol concentrations ranging from 10 percent to 40 percent -- The extracts were added directly onto the ground beef patties and cooked at two different temperatures: 400°

Gluten-Free Camp A Hit For Kids With Celiac Disease

Children with celiac disease who attended a gluten-free camp demonstrated improvement in well-being, emotional outlook, and self-perception, according to the study, "Impact of Gluten-Free Camp on Quality of Life of Children and Adolescents With Celiac Disease." The study, published in the March issue of Pediatrics (appearing online February 15), examined the results of a survey administered to children aged 7 to 17 years with celiac disease at the beginning and the end of a week-long gluten-free camp. Out of 77 campers (21 male), 70 percent had been on a gluten-free diet (GFD) for less than four years, the others for four years or more. While all of the children enjoyed the camp, those still learning to adapt to a life with a GFD benefitted the most by no longer feeling embarrassed or singled out from other kids by having a restricted diet. In addition, participants were able to interact with others who had been on a GFD for a longer time, and were able to learn new coping mechanisms from them.

What Is Malnutrition? What Causes Malnutrition?

Malnutrition is a broad term which refers to both undernutrition (subnutrition) and overnutrition. Individuals are malnourished, or suffer from undernutrition if their diet does not provide them with adequate calories and protein for maintenance and growth, or they cannot fully utilize the food they eat due to illness. People are also malnourished, or suffer from overnutrition if they consume too many calories. Malnutrition can also be defined as the insufficient, excessive or imbalanced consumption of nutrients. Several different nutrition disorders may develop, depending on which nutrients are lacking or consumed in excess. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malnutrition is the gravest single threat to global public health. This text will focus more on the undernutrition aspect of malnutrition, rather than overnutrition. Subnutrition occurs when an individual does not consume enough food. It may exist if the person has a poor diet that gives them the wrong balance of basic food groups.

GM Crops Can Help Bolster Global Food Security, Scientists Say In Special Journal Issue

Acceptance of genetically modified (GM) crops in agriculture will help bolster global food security as the world faces population growth and the potential effects of climate change, Nina Fedoroff, science and technology advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and colleagues write in an article published in a special issue of the journal Science, the Times of London reports. Fedoroff "heads a group of senior researchers who call ... for a 'radical rethink' of farm practice to meet 21st-century demand for food, " the Times writes. In the paper, the scientists - who include agriculture researchers, biologists and climate experts - write, "There is a critical need to get beyond popular biases against the use of agricultural biotechnology and develop forward-looking regulatory frameworks based on scientific evidence." They "point to a little-reported effect of the 2003 European heat wave as a harbinger of things to come. 'The 20 to 36 percent decrease in the yields of grains and fruits that summer drew little attention.

Preliminary Data Show Possible Health Benefits Of Eating Chocolate

Giving chocolates to your loved ones may help lower their risk of stroke based on a preliminary study from researchers at St. Michael's Hospital. The study, which is being presented at the American Academy of Neurology in April, also found that eating chocolate may lower the risk of death after suffering a stroke. "Though more research is needed to determine whether chocolate is the contributing factor to lowering stroke risk, it is rich in anti-oxidants and that may have a protective effect against stroke, " explains Dr. Gustavo Saposnik, a neurologist at St. Michael's Hospital. Chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids which may help lower the risk of strokes. Authored by Sarah Sahib, the research analyzed three studies involving chocolate consumption and stroke risk. One showed there was no association between flavonoid intake and risk of stroke or death. In contrast, a second study found an association with stroke for chocolate consumption once a week as opposed to none per week.

Humanitarian Groups Express Concern That Haiti Funding Might Affect Efforts In Other Crisis Countries

A coalition of more than 150 humanitarian groups expressed "concern" in a letter Thursday that more than half of the U.S. government's disaster-assistance program budget has been pledged to help Haiti, which they say could mean cuts for aid to countries such as Sudan or Somalia, the Washington Post reports. "The 2010 budget for the disaster program - known as the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, or OFDA - is about $845 million. It normally provides for not just unexpected calamities, such as the Haiti earthquake, but also for programs dealing with ongoing emergencies such as the fighting in Congo and the refugee crisis in Sudan, " according to the newspaper. The letter - from InterAction President Samuel Worthington, on behalf of the organizations - was sent to "top officials" at USAID and the State Department, the newspaper writes. The Washington Post continues, "USAID officials denied Thursday that they have ordered any cutbacks, adding that they hope they will not have to do so.

Is Your Kitchen Heart Friendly?

Lurking in your kitchen may be a killer. According to Saint Louis University cardiologist Melda Dolan, M.D., the fast, convenient and processed foods that fill American's freezers and pantries are bad news for your heart and waistline, as well as your taste buds. This February, in honor of American Heart Month, Dolan is encouraging the SLU community to give their kitchen a heart-healthy makeover. "Maintaining a heart healthy diet is easier than you might think, but it does require a life-style change, " Dolan said. "Once you learn how to shop for and cook with fresh ingredients, you'll see that it's easy to do." According to Dolan, one's diet plays a major role in the development of heart disease the No. 1 killer of Americans. Unlike your genes, your diet is something you can control to directly impact your heart health. Dolan offers 10 tips for giving your kitchen and diet a heart-healthy makeover. 1. Shop the perimeter of your local grocery store. This is where you will typically find fresh produce, dairy, seafood and meat.

Baked Rhubarb Could Help Fight Cancer

Eating rhubarb baked in a crumble is not only tasty it may also be the best way to take advantage of its health benefits, and could lead to the development of new cancer treatments. Researchers have found that baking British garden rhubarb for 20 minutes dramatically increases its levels of anti-cancerous chemicals. The findings from academics at Sheffield Hallam University, together with the Scottish Crop Research Institute, were published in the journal Food Chemistry. These chemicals, called polyphenols, have been shown to selectively kill or prevent the growth of cancer cells, and could be used to develop new, less toxic, treatments for the disease, even in cases where cancers have proven resistant to other treatments. Academics are now hoping to use the results to study the effect of rhubarb's polyphenols on leukaemia. They aim to discover the best combination of polyphenols and chemotherapy agents to kill leukaemia cells, even those previously resistant to treatment. It is the first time the benefits of British garden rhubarb, specifically a variety grown in South Yorkshire, have been studied.

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