Health and Fitness

A Collection Of New Resources On European Traditional Foods Released

A new report on traditional European foods and a series of accompanying recipe cards have been published by The British Nutrition Foundation, on behalf of the European Food Information Resource (EuroFIR) project, a world leading European Network of Excellence on food composition databank systems, to give an overview of traditional foods eaten in European countries. Traditional foods have played a major role in traditions of different cultures and regions for thousands of years. They include foods that have been consumed locally and regionally for an extended time period. Preparation methods of traditional foods are part of the folklore of a country or a region. Traditions are customs or beliefs taught by one generation to the next, often by word of mouth, and they play an important role in cultural identification. Dr Helena Soares Costa from the National Institute of Health in Portugal has been leading the traditional foods work package within the EuroFIR project. She explains: "Unfortunately, throughout Europe, some traditional foods are at risk of disappearing due to altered lifestyles.

Soy Food Linked To Decreased Risk Of Breast Cancer Recurrence And Death

Researchers at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, led by Xiao Ou Shu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Medicine, have found that a higher intake of soy foods was associated with a lower risk of death and breast cancer recurrence among breast cancer patients in China. The study is published in the December 9 issue of JAMA. There had been a concern that soy foods could have an adverse effect on outcomes among breast cancer patients. "Soy foods are rich in isoflavones, a major group of phytoestrogens that 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 food consumption among breast cancer patients, " the authors write. Tamoxifen, which is designed to block estrogen, is a widely used treatment for breast cancer patients. Shu and her colleagues analyzed data from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study, a large, population-based study of 5, 042 female breast cancer survivors in China, which Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Shanghai Institute of Preventive Medicine have carried out since 2001.

Pistachios May Reduce Lung Cancer Risk

A diet that incorporates a daily dose of pistachios may help reduce the risk of lung and other cancers, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held Dec. 6-9. "It is known that vitamin E provides a degree of protection against certain forms of cancer. Higher intakes of gamma-tocopherol, which is a form of vitamin E, may reduce the risk of lung cancer, " said Ladia M. Hernandez, M.S., R.D., L.D., senior research dietitian in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, and doctoral candidate at Texas Woman's University - Houston Center. "Pistachios are a good source of gamma-tocopherol. Eating them increases intake of gamma-tocopherol so pistachios may help to decrease lung cancer risk, " she said. Pistachios are known to provide a heart-healthy benefit by producing a cholesterol-lowering effect and providing the antioxidants that are typically found in food products of plant origin.

FDA, CDC, And States Investigating Norovirus Illnesses Linked To Oysters

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers to avoid eating oysters harvested from the San Antonio Bay on or after Nov. 16 due to reports of norovirus-associated illnesses in some people who had consumed oysters harvested from this area, which is located on the Gulf of Texas. The FDA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas, are investigating about a dozen reports of norovirus-related illnesses from South Carolina and North Carolina consumers who ate oysters recently harvested from the San Antonio Bay. Consumers who purchased oysters on or after Nov. 16 that have a label showing they came from San Antonio Bay are advised to dispose of the oysters and not eat them. At restaurants, consumers can ask about the source of oysters offered as menu items. Restaurant operators and retailers should not serve or offer for sale oysters subject to this advisory. Restaurant operators and retailers who are unsure of the source of oysters on hand should check with their suppliers to determine where the oysters were harvested.

Restless Leg Syndrome Linked To Magnesium Deficiency

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a form of insomnia characterized by an overwhelming urge to move the legs when they are at rest, especially during sleep. RLS affects about 10% of the people in the U.S. It runs in families and may have a genetic component. Recent research has found that people with restless leg syndrome are deficient in the mineral magnesium. According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost six out of ten Americans report having insomnia and sleep problems at least a few nights a week. Other types of insomnia include sleep apnea, which involves interrupted breathing and snoring during the night; narcolepsy - which causes people to fall asleep throughout the daytime; insomnia from hormone fluctuations such as with menstruation or menopause; and insomnia from the use of medications, caffeine or alcohol. Those who have restless leg syndrome experience unpleasant sensations in the legs described as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling, or painful. These sensations usually occur in the calf area but may be felt anywhere from the thigh to the ankle.

The Correct Combination Of Proteins Is Decisive For Healthy Aging, Not Reducing The Calories In Our Diet

A new study of the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing could help to understand the positive effect of dietary restriction on healthy ageing. Previous evidence from different organisms (fruit flies and mice) have shown that dietary restriction increases longevity, but with a potential negative side effect of diminished fertility. So the female fruit fly reproduces less frequently with a reduced litter size on a low calorie diet, but its reproductive span lasts longer. This is the result of an evolutionary trait, as scientists believe: essential nutrients are diverted towards survival instead of reproduction. ( Nature, December 3, 2009) Researchers from the newly founded Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne have studied whether health benefit stem from a reduction in specific nutrients or calorie intake in general by manipulating the diet of female fruit flies. The fruit flies were fed a diet of yeast, sugar and water, but with differing amounts of key nutrients, such as vitamins, lipids and amino acids.

Malnutrition Costing Australian Hospitals And Patients

New Australian research has revealed one in four hospital patients are malnourished - and many of these patients are not being picked up by hospital staff. According to the study in Nutrition and Dietetics published by Wiley-Blackwell, the result is poor patient outcomes and added financial pressure for hospitals. Study co-author Dr Tim Crowe said his research found malnutrition is common in the hospital setting, but many patients are undiagnosed and untreated. And only a small number are referred to a dietitian for treatment. He said this resulted in poorer outcomes for patients such as infections, bed ulcers and increased length of hospital stay. The study, involving 275 patients at a large Melbourne hospital, looked at the prevalence, diagnosis, documentation and referral rates for malnutrition. The researchers estimated the hospital was missing out on $1.8 million of funding per year due to poor diagnosis and a lack of documentation around malnutrition. "Of the 275 patients in the study, 23 per cent were malnourished.

Vitamin D Levels Associated With Survival In Lymphoma Patients Discovered By Mayo Clinic And Collaborators

A new study has found that the amount of vitamin D ( http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2008-mchi/4904.html ) in patients being treated for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma ( http://www.mayoclinic.org/non-hodgkins-lymphoma/ ) was strongly associated with cancer progression and overall survival. The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology ( http://www.hematology.org/ ) in New Orleans. "These are some of the strongest findings yet between vitamin D and cancer outcome, " says the study's lead investigator, Matthew Drake, M.D., Ph.D., ( http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/13726218.html ) an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. "While these findings are very provocative, they are preliminary and need to be validated in other studies. However, they raise the issue of whether vitamin D supplementation might aid in treatment for this malignancy, and thus should stimulate much more research." The researchers' study of 374 newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients found that 50 percent had deficient vitamin D levels based on the commonly used clinical value of total serum 25(OH)D less than 25 ng/mL.

Also In Global Health News: U.S. Aid To Philippines, Swaziland, Guyana; Uganda Bills; Botswana HIV AIDS

U.S. To Give Philippines $10M In Food Aid, Ambassador Says U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney said the U.S. will give the country an additional $10 million worth of food aid for people affect by the recent typhoons, the Manila Bulletin reports. This brings "the total amount of its disaster relief and recovery assistance to US$30 million" (Sabater, 12/3). U.S. Ambassador To Swaziland Discusses U.S. Commitment To HIV/AIDS U.S. Ambassador to Swaziland Earl Irving on Tuesday emphasized the U.S. commitment to helping the country tackle HIV/AIDS, the Swaziland Observer reports. In recent years, Earl said PEPFAR has increased its commitment to Swaziland - money he noted, which will "support efforts to reduce the effects of HIV and AIDS and build the health infrastructure of Swaziland" (12/3). Kaieteurnewsonline Examines Continued Partnership Between U.S., Guyana On HIV/AIDS Kaieteurnewsonline examines the partnership between the U.S. and Guyana in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Booming Business In Food Safety Fueled By Recalls, Food Worries

Recalls of ground beef, peanut butter, and other foods have done more than raise public awareness and concern about food safety. They also are quietly fueling a boom in the market for food testing equipment and fostering new food safety regulations. That's the topic of the two-part cover story in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News, (C&EN) ACS' weekly newsmagazine. C&EN Associate Editor Jyllian Kemsley and Senior Correspondent Marc Reisch point out that food safety is a major public health issue, partly because the United States imports billions of dollars worth of food from sometimes exotic locations where food safety gets short shrift, the article notes. Other countries are also increasingly concerned about food safety. This includes China, where contaminated milk sickened hundreds of thousands of infants last year. But help is on the way. Food scientists are developing faster, more sensitive methods for detecting food contaminants, an effort that has helped spur double-digit growth for instrument makers in the food safety market.

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