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Statins May Lead Some Patients to Pig Out

April 24, 2014 9:20 pm | by Lindsey Tanner - AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Ten years of U.S. data suggest that calorie and fat intake increased among statin users during the decade, an indication that many patients might be abandoning heart-healthy lifestyles and assuming that drugs alone will do the trick, the study authors said.

Half-Billion-Year-Old Heart Found More Complex than Today’s

April 24, 2014 3:01 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

520 million years ago, the first known animal heart, the heart of an ancient shrimp, was formed. Now, it, and its vascular system, have been found to be more complex than that of modern shrimp, researchers report.         

Eat More Vegetables, Live a Longer Life

April 23, 2014 1:56 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

We should eat even more vegetables than our governments— and moms— said. A recent study found that eating seven (or more) servings of veggies and fruits a day extends life by what the authors bill as a “staggering” 42 percent.       

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Experts Decode Germs' DNA to Fight Food Poisoning

April 6, 2014 8:18 am | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Chances are you've heard of mapping genes to diagnose rare diseases, predict your risk of cancer and tell your ancestry. But to uncover food poisonings? The nation's disease detectives are beginning a program to try to outsmart outbreaks by routinely decoding the DNA of potentially deadly bacteria and viruses.

Watermelon Could Lower Blood Pressure

April 3, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Be sure to pick up a watermelon—or two—at your local grocery store. It could save your life. A new study found that watermelon could significantly reduce blood pressure in overweight individuals both at rest and while under stress.

Key Chocolate Ingredients Could Help Prevent Obesity, Diabetes

April 2, 2014 1:55 pm | News | Comments

Improved thinking. Decreased appetite. Lowered blood pressure. The potential health benefits of dark chocolate keep piling up, and scientists are now homing in on what ingredients in chocolate might help prevent obesity, as well as type-2 diabetes. They found that one particular type of antioxidant in cocoa prevented laboratory mice from gaining excess weight and lowered their blood sugar levels.

Strong Link Between Obesity and 'Carb breakdown' Gene

March 31, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at King’s College London and Imperial College London have discovered that people with fewer copies of a gene coding for a carb-digesting enzyme may be at higher risk of obesity. The findings suggest that dietary advice may need to be more tailored to an individual’s digestive system, based on whether they have the genetic predisposition and necessary enzymes to digest different foods.

Natural Plant Compounds May Assist Chemotherapy

March 27, 2014 2:06 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at Plant & Food Research, working together with researchers at The University of Auckland and the National Cancer Institute of The Netherlands, have discovered specific plant compounds able to inhibit transport mechanisms in the body that select what compounds are absorbed into the body,and eventually into cells. These same transport mechanisms are known to interfere with cancer chemotherapy treatment.

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Peaches Inhibit Breast Cancer Metastasis in Mice

March 26, 2014 9:54 am | News | Comments

Lab tests at Texas A&M AgriLife Research have shown that treatments with peach extract inhibit breast cancer metastasis in mice. AgriLife Research scientists say that the mixture of phenolic compounds present in the peach extract are responsible for the inhibition of metastasis, according to the study.

Breaking News: Dark Chocolate Health Mystery Solved

March 18, 2014 2:30 pm | News | Comments

The health benefits of eating dark chocolate have been extolled for centuries, but the exact reason has remained a mystery. Now, researchers are reporting that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble dark chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart. 

New Evidence Raises Questions About the Link Between Fatty Acids and Heart Disease

March 18, 2014 2:27 pm | News | Comments

A new study raises questions about current guidelines which generally restrict the consumption of saturated fats and encourage consumption of polyunsaturated fats to prevent heart disease. Researchers analyzed existing cohort studies and randomized trials on coronary risk and fatty acid intake. They showed that current evidence does not support guidelines that restrict the consumption of saturated fats in order to prevent heart disease.

Study to Test 'Chocolate' Pills for Heart Health

March 17, 2014 2:16 am | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

It won't be nearly as much fun as eating candy bars, but a big study is being launched to see if pills containing the nutrients in dark chocolate can help prevent heart attacks and strokes.                 

Energy Drinks Linked to Teen Health Risks

March 7, 2014 1:15 pm | News | Comments

The uplifting effects of energy drinks are well advertised, but a new report finds consumption among teenagers may be linked with poor mental health and substance use. Researchers are calling for limits on teen’s access to the drinks and reduction in the amount of the caffeine in each can.

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Higher Levels of Omega-3 in Diet Associated with Better Sleep

March 6, 2014 2:36 pm | News | Comments

A randomized placebo-controlled study by the University of Oxford suggests that higher levels of omega-3 DHA, the group of long-chain fatty acids found in algae and seafood, are associated with better sleep. The researchers explored whether 16 weeks of daily 600mg supplements of algal sources would improve the sleep of 362 children.

Hop Leaves—Discarded in Beer Brewing—Could Fight Dental Diseases

March 5, 2014 1:13 pm | News | Comments

Beer drinkers know that hops are what gives the drink its bitterness and aroma. Recently, scientists reported that the part of hops that isn’t used for making beer contains healthful antioxidants and could be used to battle cavities and gum disease.

As One Food Allergy Resolves, Another May Develop

March 3, 2014 11:08 am | News | Comments

Some children who outgrow one type of food allergy may then develop another type of allergy, more severe and more persistent, to the same food. A new study by pediatric allergy experts suggests that healthcare providers and caregivers carefully monitor children with food allergies to recognize early signs of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a severe and often painful type of allergy that has been increasing in recent years.

High-calorie Feeding May Slow Progression of ALS

February 28, 2014 10:21 am | by Mass General | News | Comments

Increasing the number of calories consumed by patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be a relatively simple way of extending their survival.  A phase 2 clinical trial led by Massachusetts General Hospital physicians found that ALS patients receiving a high-calorie, high-carbohydrate tube-feeding formula lived longer with fewer adverse events than participants who received a standard formula designed maintain their weight.

Don’t Throw Out Old, Sprouting Garlic—It Has Heart-healthy Antioxidants

February 27, 2014 1:42 pm | News | Comments

“Sprouted” garlic—old garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the cloves — is considered to be past its prime and usually ends up in the garbage can. But scientists are reporting that this type of garlic has even more heart-healthy antioxidant activity than its fresher counterparts.

Grape Seed Promise in Fight Against Bowel Cancer

February 14, 2014 1:09 pm | News | Comments

University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that grape seed can aid the effectiveness of chemotherapy in killing colon cancer cells as well as reducing the chemotherapy's side effects. The researchers say that combining grape seed extracts with chemotherapy has potential as a new approach for bowel cancer treatment - to both reduce intestinal damage commonly caused by cancer chemotherapy and to enhance its effect.

Nutritional Supplement Improves Cognitive Performance in Older Adults

February 6, 2014 4:13 pm | News | Comments

Declines in the underlying brain skills needed to think, remember, and learn are normal in aging. Therapies to improve the cognitive health of older adults are critically important for lessening declines in mental performance as people age.

Monkeys That Eat Omega-3 Rich Diet Show More Developed Brain Networks

February 6, 2014 12:23 pm | News | Comments

Monkeys that ate a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids had brains with highly connected and well organized neural networks—in some ways akin to the neural networks in healthy humans—while monkeys that ate a diet deficient in the fatty acids had much more limited brain networking.

Sugar Tied to Fatal Heart Woes; Soda's a Culprit

February 3, 2014 6:07 pm | by Lindsey Tanner - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Could too much sugar be deadly? The biggest study of its kind suggests the answer is yes, at least when it comes to fatal heart problems. It doesn't take all that much extra sugar, hidden in many processed foods, to substantially raise the risk, the researchers found, and most Americans eat more than the safest amount.

New Treatment Could Reduce Kids' Peanut Allergies

January 29, 2014 7:07 pm | by Maria Cheng - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

An experimental therapy that fed children with peanut allergies small amounts of peanut flour has helped more than 80 percent of them safely eat a handful of the previously worrisome nuts. Although experts say the results of the carefully monitored study are encouraging, they warn it isn't something that parents should try at home.

A Faster Way to Flag Bacteria-tainted Food and Prevent Illness

January 29, 2014 12:02 pm | News | Comments

The regular appearance of food poisoning in the news, including a recent event that led to the recall of more than 33,000 pounds of chicken, drives home the need for better bacterial detection long before meats and produce make it to the dinner table. On the horizon is a new approach for pathogen screening that is far faster than current commercial methods.

Scientists Find Genetic Mechanism Linking Aging to Specific Diets

January 28, 2014 1:39 pm | News | Comments

Your best friend swears by the Paleo Diet. Your boss loves Atkins. Your sister is gluten-free, and your roommate is an acolyte of Michael Pollan. So who’s right? Maybe they all are. Researchers identified a collection of genes that allow an organism to adapt to different diets and showed that without the genes, even minor tweaks to diets can cause premature aging and death.

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