A Mediterranean diet may help people avoid the small areas of brain damage that can lead to problems with thinking and memory, according to a study released that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 10 to April 17, 2010. The study found that people who ate a Mediterranean-like diet were less likely to have brain infarcts, or small areas of dead tissue linked to thinking problems. The Mediterranean diet includes high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals, fish and monounsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil; low intake of saturated fatty acids, dairy products, meat and poultry; and mild to moderate amounts of alcohol. For the study, researchers assessed the diets of 712 people in New York and divided them into three groups based on how closely they were following the Mediterranean diet. Then they conducted MRI brain scans of the people an average of six years later. A total of 238 people had at least one area of brain damage.
Dietitians are key members of the Olympic team - advising elite athletes on what to eat and ensuring they get the right foods to fuel them during their competitive events. "In addition to the rigorous coaching, training and commitment, Olympic athletes need the right foods every day for success. Dietitians of Canada is profiling five key dietitians involved in the Olympics, " says Lynda Corby MSc, MEd, RD, Director of Public Affairs for Dietitians of Canada. MГ lanie Olivier PDt, MSc from Montreal is the 'official dietitian' of the Canadian Olympic Committee. In the months leading up to the games she has been making sure the foods the athletes need will be available to them. Once the games begin, she will be involved in all aspects of the athletes' nutrition. She will liaise with the teams' dietitians, chefs, coaches, trainers, physiotherapists and doctors to ensure that athletes optimize the timing, quantity and quality of food eaten. Says Melanie, "By purchasing last minute items, ensuring delivery of lunch boxes and visiting the different venues and Athletes' Village, I will make sure all Canadian athletes have the fuel they need to perform at their best.
Los Angeles Times : "Only months ago, supporters of the soda tax saw it as an idea whose hour was near. The sheer magnitude of the medical cost of obesity added urgency to the issue ... But opponents questioned any link between sugary drinks and obesity, and expressed concern about a slippery slope of taxes on other products. Proponents, meanwhile, thought a tax that drove down consumption while raising money for health care seemed like a natural with Democrats controlling Congress." But, the Obama White House has now rejected the idea, a congressional committee that once embraced it has refused to bring it to the table, and some interest groups -- having received support from the soft drink industry -- oppose it, even as they campaign against obesity (Hamburger and Geiger, 2/8). Meanwhile, tanning salon representatives continue to fight another proposed tax in the Senate's health bill - a 10 percent surcharge on tanning bed use - arguing that it "is an example of political wrangling at its worst, " The (New Jersey) Star-Ledger reports.
Drinking milk during pregnancy may help reduce your baby's chances of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) as an adult, according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 10 to April 17, 2010. The study involved 35, 794 nurses whose mothers completed a questionnaire in 2001 about their experiences and diet during pregnancy with their nurse-daughter. Of the nurses studied, 199 women developed MS over the 16-year study period. Researchers found that the risk of MS was lower among women born to mothers with high milk or dietary vitamin D intake in pregnancy. "The risk of MS among daughters whose mothers consumed four glasses of milk per day was 56 percent lower than daughters whose mothers consumed less than three glasses of milk per month, " said Fariba Mirzaei, MD, with the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "We also found the risk of MS among daughters whose mothers were in the top 20 percent of vitamin D intake during pregnancy was 45 percent lower than daughters whose mothers were in the bottom 20 percent for vitamin D intake during pregnancy.
High blood fat levels normally raise the cholesterol values in the blood, which in turn elevates the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack. Now a new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that butter leads to considerably less elevation of blood fats after a meal compared with olive oil and a new type of canola and flaxseed oil. The difference was clear above all in men, whereas in women it was more marginal. The main explanation for the relatively low increase of blood fat levels with butter is that about 20 percent of the fat in butter consists of short and medium-length fatty acids. These are used directly as energy and therefore never affect the blood fat level to any great extent. Health care uses these fatty acids with patients who have difficulty taking up nutrition in other words, they are good fatty acids. "A further explanation, which we are speculating about, is that intestinal cells prefer to store butter fat rather than long-chain fatty acids from vegetable oils.
Eating a balanced diet and preparing your food in the correct way may be your best defense against developing cancer, according to top cancer researchers Professor Attilio Giacosa and Professor Jaak Janssens. In two interviews published on the LWWPartnerships website ( http://www.lwwpartnerships.com ) this month, Prof Giacosa explains how a preventative diet boosts the body's natural defenses, while Prof Janssens discusses the latest developments in breast cancer prevention. Prof Giacosa, head of the Department of Gastroenterology at Policlinico di Monza in Italy, is one of the most vocal supporters of the "preventative diet, " advocating the consumption of fruit and vegetables as one of the best means of cancer prevention. He explains that the benefit of fruit and vegetables has been proven "through epidemiological data and observations in population groups with cancer that were compared to age and sex matched groups without cancer." "If we look at the diet and eating habits of both groups, " Prof Giacosa explains, "case-control studies have irrefutably demonstrated a protective role of fruits and vegetables against many types of cancer in diverse social, environmental, geographic situations, especially for tumours of the lung, oral cavity, oesophagus, stomach, and intestine.
Ever get a buzz from eating chocolate? A study published in the open access journal BMC Neuroscience has shown that chocolate-craving mice are ready to tolerate electric shocks to get their fix. Rossella Ventura worked with a team of researchers from the Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy, to study the links between stress and compulsive food-seeking. She said, "We used a new model of compulsive behavior to test whether a previous stressful experience of hunger might override a conditioned response to avoid a certain kind of food - in this case, chocolate". Ventura and her colleagues first trained well-fed mice and starved mice to seek chocolate in one chamber rather than going into an empty chamber. Then, they added a mild electric shock to the chamber containing the chocolate. Unsurprisingly, the well-fed animals avoided the sweet treat. However, mice that had previously been starved, before being allowed to eat their way back up their normal weight, resisted this conditioning - continuing to seek out chocolate despite the painful consequences.
Reptiles are bred in captivity primarily for their skins, but some restaurants and population groups also want them for their meat. A study shows that eating these animals can have side effects that call into question the wisdom of eating this 'delicacy.' Parasites, bacteria and viruses, and to a lesser extent contamination from heavy metals and residues of veterinary drugs - eating reptile meat can cause several problems to health. This is the conclusion of a study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, which shows that people can catch certain diseases (trichinosis, pentastomiasis, gnathostomiasis and sparganosis) by eating the meat of reptiles such as crocodiles, turtles, lizards or snakes. "The clearest microbiological risk comes from the possible presence of pathogenic bacteria, especially Salmonella, and also Shigella, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterolitica, Campylobacter, Clostridium and Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause illnesses of varying degrees of severity, " Simone Magnino, lead author of the study and a researcher for the World Health Organization (WHO), tells SINC.
The study, which was published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and funded by the National Health Research Institutes of Taiwan, tested two separate intervention methods to assess the eating patterns of dementia patients in Taiwan. Loss of memory and problems with judgement in dementia patients can cause difficulties in relation to eating and nutrition. Poor eating habits in patients have been associated with poor quality of life and can lead to pressure ulcers and infections. The study used two different step-by-step training programmes to help older people with dementia regain eating skills which are commonly lost. The methods were then compared with no intervention. Patients were tested using a range of measures including their feeding difficulty score and nutritional assessment. Results showed that both methods of intervention reduced their difficulty feeding score and improved their nutritional assessment when compared with no intervention. The study was led by Professor Li-Chan Lin, a former Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield, from the National Yang-Min University in Taipei, Taiwan.
A new study found that people who consumed two or more soft drinks (defined as sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages) a week, had a nearly two-fold higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer; the researchers suggested regular consumption of sweetened beverages could raise insulin levels and thereby fuel the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. You can read about the study online in a paper published in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Senior author Dr Mark Pereira, associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and colleagues, followed over 60, 000 Singapore-based men and women for over a decade and found that compared to those who did not consume soft drinks, those who had two or more a week had two times the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. They found no such link for fruit juice consumption. Pereira told the press that while the population they studied was based in Singapore, the results were likely to be equally applicable to the US and other developed countries: "Singapore is a wealthy country with excellent health care.