Pomegranates Slow Prostate Cancer

More good news for pomegranates! A new study in The Journal of Urology found pomegranate juice slows the doubling time of prostate specific antigen (PSA). PSA’s are used to track and diagnosis prostate cancer. For the study, participants, 48 men with rising PSA levels after surgery or radiotherapy, who drank one glass of pomegranate juice each day, had longer doubling times during a 56 month follow-up than men not drinking pomegranate juice; Nutra Ingredients investigates.

And last week, nutrients found pomegranates called polyphenols were shown to reduce cell inflammation, helping to prevent heart disease and diabetes. And other research revealed test subjects drinking pomegranate juice actually had better PSA scores.

In March, a report on fish linked omega-3 fatty acids with lower risk of prostate cancer. Dr. Fuhrman sells a DHA supplement that provides essential omega-3 fatty acids.

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Most of America's Salt Comes from Processed Food

Presented at the 2009 American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Conference, experts claim switching to a low sodium diet is the most important lifestyle change people with heart problems can make, but many people ignore their doctor’s recommendation. Scientists surveyed 116 heart patients on what they ate for three days, finding 70% of sodium intake comes from processed foods such as deli meats and fast food; HealthDay News reports.

Boxed breakfast cereals are another high-salt culprit, especially kids’ cereals. Salt is bad news for your heart. Sodium decreases levels of a helpful enzyme that helps blood vessels relax and lowers blood pressure. And consuming a lot of salt worsens metabolic syndrome, which is a known precursor to cardiovascular disease.

As for meat, a recent study revealed men eating too much red or processed meat had a 27% higher risk of dying from heart disease and women had a 50% greater risk. Eek!

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Teenage Belly Fat Means Adult Heart Trouble

New research in the journal Diabetes shows young adults who had too much belly fat as teenagers have a higher risk of heart disease later in life. Among the 612 participants, men ages 18 to 20, those whose body mass index increased during adolescence had greater amounts of fat surrounding their abdominal organs. Belly fat, or visceral fat, has been closely linked to diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease; via Reuters.

No pun intended, but this is a BIG deal. A previous report reveals young men who are obese at age 18 are more likely to die prematurely as adults. Too make matters worse, our high rate of childhood obesity is expected to skyrocket heart disease among teenagers.

In related news, teenage Latino children switching to a diet consisting of more fiber and less sugar had significant drops in blood sugar and glucose, slashing diabetes risk.

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Low-Fat Diets Heart Healthier After Weight-Loss

New findings in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reveal diets low in saturated fat are healthier and help keep LDL, or “bad cholesterol”, in check after someone loses weight. For the study, experts assigned 26 healthy, non-obese diets to one diet, Atkins, South Beach or Ornish, for one month apiece, with the intent of studying biological effects of each diet, specifically cholesterol, blood vessel function and inflammation. Data concluded high-fat diets, like Atkins, raised LDL, but the low-fat, vegetarian Ornish style had the best affect on blood vessel function; Reuters reports.

A low-fat diet, i.e. eating less animal foods and more fruits and veggies, has been proven to not only prevent heart trouble, but reserve it. And just last week, scientists found pomegranates help fight cell inflammation that can lead to heart disease. Also, a previous report observed fad diets, such as high-protein low-carbohydrate, don’t hold up overtime, with dieters gaining back weight after only six months.

High-fat diets, like Atkins, are dangerous. A recent study showed participants eating an Atkins diet plan, consuming 50% saturated fat, performed the worst on blood vessel testing.

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Julia Saves Her Life and Regains Her Health

Obesity rates are staggering, same goes for heart disease and diabetes. And too many people stay overweight, keep eating poorly and just pop pills, but others don’t go quietly, like Julia, she lost 105 pounds and overcame her life threatening heart problems:

I almost died soon after the last angioplasty and had internal bleeding that was difficult to stop. The torture of all my medical problems made me think I would be better off if I had died. I was left with unstable angina, meaning I had chest pain from my bad heart almost constantly. I weighed 225 pounds and I could not walk one block. I was on ten medications and was a cardiac cripple at the age of 60.

Luckily I learned about Dr. Fuhrman and read his book Eat to Live. Within three months of following the plan, my chest pain was gone and I was walking again. From not being able to walk one block, I was able to walk two miles with no problems. Within seven months of eating Dr. Fuhrman's high-nutrient density eating style, I weighed 135 lbs…continue reading.

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Plant Flavonoids Reduce Ovarian Cancer Risk

New research in the International Journal of Cancer suggests plant-based flavonoids may lower ovarian cancer risk in women by protecting cells against damage. Flavonoids are antioxidants found in foods like seeds, nuts, celery and other green vegetables. For the study, scientists assessed the diet of 1,141 women with ovarian cancer and 1,183 women without over a one-week period, finding that women with the highest intake of the flavonoid apigenin had a “borderline significant decrease” in ovarian cancer risk; Reuters reports.

In July, a report showed flavonoids protect the heart by preventing free radicals and cell dysfunction, leading to heart trouble. And data has shown combining tomatoes with broccoli optimize the benefits of flavonoids. Apples and pears are also loaded with flavonoids.

Granted, all these healthful plant compounds are great, but instead of just eating fruits and vegetables. People prefer their butter and tortilla chips infused with nutrients. Yuck.

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Pomegranates Fight Cell Inflammation

A new study in Journal of Inflammation claims polyphenols, plant nutrients that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, contained in pomegranate extract inhibit the production of inflammatory compounds, potentially preventing chronic inflammation associated with heart disease, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, diabetes and arthritis. For the study, scientists stimulated cells to prompt an inflammatory response and then incubated the cells with pomegranate. Results showed pomegranate extract decreased pro-inflammatory reaction; Bakery and Snacks investigates.

Pomegranates are the real deal. Dr. Fuhrman calls them potent disease-fighters, especially for prostate cancer. In 2006, a study revealed men drinking pomegranate juice had better PSA scores. And pomegranates have also been found to help prevent atherosclerosis and diabetes.

In related news, the term “antioxidants” is resonating with consumers and increasing their willingness to try products including them. Maybe that’s the why the pomegranate phone is so darn cool.

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Health-Points: Friday 4.24.09

  • Onto a better food, presented at this year’s Experimental Biology Conference, blueberries were found to help combat abdominal fat. In the study, rats eating a lot of blueberries lost belly fat. Excess abdominal fat has been closely associated to heart disease and diabetes. The rats also experienced lower cholesterol and better glucose control, even if their diet wasn’t heart-healthy; via WebMD Health News.
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Diabetic Men Who Stay Fit Live Longer

New findings in the journal Diabetes Care suggest men with type-2 diabetes who stay fit and active have less chance of dying. The study involved 1,703 African American men and 1,445 Caucasian men with type-2 diabetes. Over a 7-year period, death rate for African Americans in the low-fit group was 46% percent, moderate-fit group 27% and 15% for the high-fit group. Numbers for Caucasians were 37%, 19% and 9% respectively, leading researchers to stress the importance of cardiovascular fitness for diabetics; via Reuters.

Let’s be honest. No one should get diabetes. Eating a nutritious diet rich in fruits and vegetables slashes the risk of type-2 diabetes, but exercise is still great, especially for men. Last month, a report highlighted the importance of impact training, like running, for men to build stronger bones. Just don’t go overboard! Mental fatigue can kill your workout.

We all know exercise helps prevent type-2 diabetes. Good thing, because a recent study showed obesity, heart disease and diabetes all increase risk of dementia, i.e. going nuts.

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Breastfeeding Cuts Moms' Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

Good news mommies. New findings in the upcoming May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology claim mothers who breastfed were 10% percent less likely to develop heart disease or suffer a stroke than women who had never breastfed. The study, which involved nearly 140,000 postmenopausal women, also showed women who breastfed for at least one month had less diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol; from EurekAlert!

The benefits of breastfeeding are innumerable. Previous reports pin breastfeeding to breast cancer prevention, less likelihood of children becoming obese and reduced risk of allergies. Last year, it was reported 77% of new moms are breastfeeding. Not too shabby.

But some breastfeeding news can be icky. A Swiss restaurant was told no, they can’t serve human breast milk. Although, the story about the Chinese cop who breastfed infants in need during the rescue effort following last year’s deadly earthquake is heartwarming.

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Big Guys More at Risk for Abnormal Heart Rhythm

New findings in the European Heart Journal reveal older men who were big in their 20s are more likely to suffer from atrial fibrillation, i.e. abnormal heart rhythm. The study, started in 1970, involved more than 7,000 men, ages 45 to 55, and asked participants to state their weight at 20 years old. Results showed atrial fibrillation increases linearly with body size and weight gain, and the larger men were in their 20s the more weight they gained throughout life. Researchers claim abnormal heart rhythm among men 60 to 70 years old will become more common as our overweight population ages; via EurekAlert!

More reason to be slim, at all ages, especially since a recent showed men with fat guts have lamer sex lives. Not something any guy wants to hear! Now, not only will veggies keep you fit and trim, but vegetable-based diets naturally prevent cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer, both very manly issues.

In related news, previous research suggests type-2 diabetics with irregular heart beat have 77% higher risk of heart attack or stroke and 68% increased risk of heart failure.

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Many U.S. Children on Diabetes and Blood Pressure Pills

After examining prescription records of nearly 6 million children and adolescents experts found prescriptions for blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol medication increased by more than 15% among children from 2004 to 2007. The study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, showed separately diabetes medications rose 23% and blood pressure medications 15%, but cholesterol-lowering drugs dropped 23%. Scientists attribute the drop to bad press associated with medications like Crestor and Lipitor. However, the rise in childhood obesity and doctors’ willingness to prescribe medications to young children is being blamed for the increase; HealthDay News investigates.

Actually, a recent study showed overweight children as young as age 3 may start showing signs of cardiovascular disease, so it’s easy to see why doctors would dole out pills, but a family-based approach to good nutrition is best for keeping kids healthy and off drugs.

And here’s some of bad press on cholesterol-lowering drugs. In January, Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor were found to cause eyelid droop and double vision as potential side effects. Eek!

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American Indian Children Hit Hard by Obesity...

A new study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine claims 1 in 5 Native American preschoolers are obese. Children were considered obese if their body-mass index (BMI) placed them in the 95th percentile or higher on government growth charts. Of the 8,550 participants the rate of obesity among Asians was 13%, whites 16%, blacks 21%, Hispanics 22% and a startling 31% for American Indian children. Researchers cite possible genetic disparities as reason why, but also blame lifestyle issues such as low-income status; the Associated Press reports.

Makes sense, a recent report linked childhood poverty with an 82% higher risk of cardiovascular problems later in life and in February, researchers determined 89% of American preschoolers are not active enough. Not a good combination, especially when you consider weight gain in very young children increases their chances of becoming obese as they mature. Add all that up and you’re in a lot of trouble, no matter what race you are.

Occupation doesn't seem to matter either. Many emergency responder recruits, like ambulance drivers and firemen, are overweight and unable to meet national fitness standards. Even U.S. combat troops in Iraq are getting fat! I still can't believe that.

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Chubby Belly a Predictor of Heart Failure

I admit, a little “chub” on a girl is super cute, but it’s probably not healthy. Published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, experts believe larger waist circumferences are associated with higher risk of congestive heart failure in both men and women. For the study, researchers analyzed data on more than 36,000 women and over 43,000 men, ages 45-83, who filled out health questionnaires and were followed for seven years. Based on their answers scientists determined women with a normal body mass index (BMI) and a 10 centimeter larger waist measurement had a 15% higher risk of heart failure and men with normal BMI and a 10 centimeter larger waist size had a 30% higher risk; via EurekAlert!

Belly fat gets a lot of bad press. Over the past few months excess abdominal fat has been linked to impaired respiratory function, lame sex life, more headaches and migraines, and increased risk of stroke. And according to Dr. Fuhrman that extra umbilical fat is an excellent indicator that people are overweight, even if they’ve already lost weight.

Maintaining a healthy bodyweight is an important component of heart health. In the November 2003 Healthy Times, Dr. Fuhrman explains why heart problems are preventable and how nutrition helps reverse cardiovascular disease.

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Less Sugary Drinks Mean More Weight-Loss

Not exactly a revelation, but new research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found reducing calories from sugary beverages, even as little as one serving per day can result in over two pounds of weight-loss over 18 months. Experts examined the diets of 810 adults, ages 25 to 79, for 18 months, finding that sugar-sweetened drinks accounted for 37% of calories consumed, leading researchers to claim cutting sugary drinks is more important for losing weight than eating less; via HealthDay News.

Soda’s not your friend, despite how cute the Coca-Cola polar bears are. All the high-fructose corn syrup in soft drinks raises type-2 diabetes risk and soda is pretty creepy, it has the same pH as vinegar and leaches calcium from your bones and let’s not forget. Cola will rot your feet with the gout. Eek!

Last week, scientists determined women drinking sweetened beverages have a 35% higher risk of heart disease and other studies have linked soda with kidney disease and metabolic syndrome.

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Cholesterol Crystals Tied to Heart Attacks

A study in the American Journal of Cardiology claims cholesterol in the arteries crystallizes from a liquid to a solid, expanding and disrupting plaque, leading to potential heart attack and stroke. Researchers examined coronary arteries from patients who died from cardiovascular events and when compared to a control group, they discovered cholesterol crystals following a cardiac attack damaged artery linings and appeared much further away from the site of attack, putting survivors of an attack at higher risk; ScienceDaily reports.

Cutting cholesterol is a bid deal! Studies show the more animal products in a population's diet the higher their cholesterol levels and the more heart attacks they have, but eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are loaded with fiber and plant nutrients, effectively cuts cholesterol, even putting cholesterol-lowering medications to shame.

And a recent report showed why lowering cholesterol and blood pressure is still the major preventer of heart trouble. Actually, in the May 2006 edition of Healthy Times, Dr. Fuhrman discusses how superior diet protects against and reverses cardiovascular disease.

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Health-Points: Friday 4.3.09

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Ha Ha! Atkins Diet Raises Heart Risks, Duh!

More bad news for the Atkins fad, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association new research reveals the high-protein, i.e. high-saturated, Atkins diet reduces blood vessel dilation, an important factor in heart health. Scientists placed 18 healthy people on three different diets, the Atkins diet (50% fat) and two others lower in saturated fat, 30% and 10%. Four weeks after completing the experiment, Atkins participants performed the worst on a blood vessel test. Atkins Nutritionals had no intelligent rebuttal; HealthDay News reports.

High-fat diets are dangerous. A couple years ago, a study linked the Atkins diet with inflammation linked with heart and artery disease. Atkins himself was overweight and had heart problems. In addition to heart problems, consuming copious amounts of meat, i.e. saturated fat, and little to no fiber and fruit, heightens risk of colon cancer and other cancers. Recently, hotdogs were tied to leukemia risk and red meat with blindness.

In related news, a previous report showed low-carb high-protein diets sap people’s energy and discourage activity and another study revealed Atkins produced only modest weight-loss results with limited sustainability in the long run. Tisk, tisk.

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Sugary Drinks Heighten Coronary Danger in Women

New research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found women drinking sweetened beverages may have a 35% higher risk of heart disease. For the study, experts evaluated data from nearly 89,000 women without heart problems, stroke or diabetes in 1980, using questionnaires to track dietary habits. After 24 years, researchers documented over 3,000 incidences of fatal and non-fatal coronary artery disease; via Food Navigator.

Warning labels have even been suggested for soda, due to probable weight-gain associated with over-consumption. Also, soda has been linked with the gout, a buildup of uric acid, causing arthritis or worse. However, a report this November revealed taking soft drinks out of schools, while good intentioned, doesn’t stop kids from getting their soda fix.

In the past, sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup have raised concern over mercury contamination and sugary drinks’ link to weight-gain and obesity is causing politicians to consider taxes on non-diet soft drinks, such as New York governor David Paterson.

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A Life of Poverty Boosts Heart Risks

Not what you want to hear right now. New findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggest the longer an individual remains in poverty, the more likely they are to develop heart disease. Studying more than 1,800 adults in the U.S. those who were disadvantaged during childhood and adulthood were 82% more likely to develop cardiovascular problems, compared to well off individuals. This is most likely do to more risk factors, such poor people are more likely to smoke and be obese; Reuters investigates.

In past, during the Great Depression, some research indicates death rates actually increased, occurrences of cirrhosis, suicide and homicide, which makes sense considering the harsh times. Also, new reports claim as money becomes harder and harder to come by, purchases of bad, cheaper foods like fast food and pasta are the rise. Eek!

I think we’re all feeling the pinch right now, but there are ways to stay heart healthy, most importantly don’t let your diet slack, look for marked down fruits and veggies and avoiding processed foods and secondhand smoke.

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