Tag Archives: diet

Vitamin C helps control gene activity in stem cells

The researchers found that vitamin C assists enzymes that play a crucial role in releasing the brakes that keep certain genes from becoming activated in the embryo soon after fertilization, when egg and sperm fuse. The discovery might eventually lead to the use of vitamin C to improve results of in vitro fertilization, in which early embryos now are typically grown without the vitamin, and also to treat cancer, in which tumor cells abnormally engage or release these brakes on gene activation, the researchers concluded in a study published June 30, 2013 in the journal Nature. In the near term, stem-cell scientists may begin incorporating vitamin C more systematically into their procedures for growing the most healthy and useful stem cells, according to UCSF stem-cell scientist Miguel Ramalho-Santos, PhD, who led the study. In fact, the unanticipated discovery emerged from an effort to compare different formulations of the growth medium, a kind of nutrient broth used to grow mouse embryonic stem cells in the lab…

8 germiest public places

An average adult can touch as many as 30 objects within a minute, including germ-harboring, high-traffic surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, phone receivers, and remote controls. At home, you do all that you can to keep the germs at bay. But what happens when you step out the door to go to dinner, do some grocery shopping, or visit the doctor's office? …

The best foods for fertility

Many women dream of becoming mothers but few think about infertility until it affects them. According the Center for Disease Control, more than 7.4 million women have used fertility services. Diet is an often-overlooked component of fertility.  The right combination of treatments and following a proper fertility diet could increase a woman’s chances of achieving conception. Eliminate processed foods and choos natural, organic products whenever possible. To cut down on the number of toxins and hormones ingested, chose proteins from organic, grass-fed and pastured animals as often as you can. Certain vitamins and minerals might help a woman’s body prepare for conception. A good fertility diet is high in foods containing these five key components: Healthy fats Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, may improve fertility by regulating hormones, increasing cervical fluid and promoting ovulation. A study published by the National Institute of Health found that women suffering from infertility had lower levels of omega-3s. There are 3 different types of omega 3 fats: ALA (alpha-linoleic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenioc) and DHA (docosahexaenioc acid). Good sources of plant-based ALA include hemp, flaxseeds or flax oil and walnuts. EPA and DHA are both animal-based and can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, trout, tuna and cod as well as in egg yolks. Beef that has been pasture-raised is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin D This fat-soluble vitamin helps support the production of estrogen and assists in regulating cell growth. Wild-caught fish, especially the fatty ones listed above, butter from grass-fed cows and pastured eggs are all good sources and are easy to incorporate into your diet. Other sometimes overlooked foods include organ meats (preferably from organic, pastured animals), oysters, fish roe and cod liver oil. Vitamin A This is an essential, fat-soluble vitamin that can help follicles develop and also improve cervical fluid. There are two groups of vitamin A: retinols and carotenoids. Retinols are found in animal products including beef liver, organic butter and cream, cod liver oil and eggs from pastured chickens. Beta-carotene is found in plant foods and more of it is required to obtain the same amount of usable vitamin A. The best sources of beta-carotene are carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach and collard greens. Vitamin E Vitamin E assists in the proper absorption of other fat-soluble vitamins and may further help fertility by normalizing hormone production. Butter from grass-fed cows, organ meats, sunflower seeds, almonds, dark leafy green vegetables, unrefined olive oil and pastured eggs are all a healthy part of a fertility diet. Iodine This mineral is required for healthy thyroid function which assists with the production of sex hormones. The best place to find iodine is in seafood as well as fruits and vegetables grown by the sea including seaweed, kelp and coconut products. Blackstrap molasses, spinach, eggs and whole milk dairy products are also beneficial. Besides focusing on the foods listed above, be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. The key is to optimize nutrition and eliminate as many low-nutrient foods as possible. At the grocery store, shop the perimeter of the store where all the fresh foods are kept and limit the highly processed foods that are typically found in the aisles. Buying everything organic can be challenging so focus on purchasing organic proteins and organic vegetables that fall into the ‘dirty dozen,’ meaning they have been found to have the highest levels of pesticides (apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, imported nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries and sweet bell peppers).Jacqueline Banks is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother. & Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and their little ones healthy and happy. & She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living. Check out her website at www.jbholistic.com.& & source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/12/best-foods-for-fertility/

No science behind blood-type diets, researchers say

They are a fad that refuses to fade, but no solid evidence exists to show whether or not eating plans tailored to ABO blood types promote health, say Belgian researchers who tried their best to find some. After sifting through the scientific literature, researchers identified just one indirectly related study - it looked at the effects of low-fat diets on cholesterol levels in people with different blood types - and even that one was weak, they concluded. Some studies have found links between blood type and risk for developing blood clots or certain cancers, of having a heart attack and of hemorrhaging when infected with Dengue fever. But no peer-reviewed research has indicated that eating foods supposedly compatible with one's blood type will improve health or induce weight loss more than a general diet plan. Medical professionals already knew this, according to the study's senior author, Dr. Philippe Vandekerckhove at the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders in Mechelen. “However, the general populace have access to blood type diets, regardless of medical guidance, and cannot be expected to be able to determine whether or not the health claims are, in fact, ‘evidence-based',” Vandekerckhove said. Blood type is determined by proteins on the surface of red blood cells and antibodies in the blood. The most familiar grouping, known as ABO blood types, refers to whether a person's cells carry the proteins known as A or B, or both of them, or neither of the two - which is designated blood type O. The idea that blood type influences an individual's life - and even personality - is popular in parts of Asia. In 2011, for example, a Japanese politician apologized for a rude remark he had made about tsunami victims by blaming his blood type. But blood type eating regimens are often premised on the theory that blood group signals a population's evolutionary background - primarily agrarian or hunter-gatherer, for instance - and that ancient history inclines people of certain blood types to thrive or suffer when eating one kind of diet or another. Vandekerckhove's team, who published their results in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, searched the largest online databases of published research for clinical trials, reviews and all other types of studies for reports about people grouped by blood type following specifically prescribed diets. Of 1,415 articles that initially turned up in the search, 16 looked promising at the start but 15 of those were discarded on closer analysis when the authors saw that they were poorly designed. Only one was relevant to the topic and strong enough to be included in an analysis because it was a randomized controlled trial. But it had several other weaknesses, including the fact that participants knew which group they had been assigned to, the group sizes were small, and the main endpoint assessed was “bad cholesterol” levels, which doesn't directly address the question of health or weight. Vandekerckhove and his coauthors were surprised and disappointed to find that no studies had been done that actually addressed the question, he said. “Until a study has been performed which recruits people with a certain blood type who have adhered to the diet, compared with those of the same blood type who have not adhered to the diet, and the incidence of disease/measurement of health can be assessed, then the health effects of a blood type diet are not proven,” he wrote in an email. “Currently, there is no evidence to support that ‘Blood Type Diets' have any effect on positively benefiting your health,” said Beth Warren, a registered dietician in New York City who was not involved in the study. “The fad diet was only made popular by a book during 1996…with no evidence to support it,” Warren said. “Eat Right 4 Your Type” by Peter D'Adamo has more than 7 million copies in print, and outlines a theory about which foods are best for people with the various ABO blood types to eat and which to avoid. D'Adamo says he believes in the diet based on circumstantial evidence. “All the authors did was conclude, as have I, that there is a lack of direct research on the subject,” D'Adamo said by email. He too would like to see direct research on the diets, but such studies are unlikely because they would be too costly. One-size-fits-all diets don't make sense either, D'Adamo said, and it may be that blood type is one way to predict which general weight loss diets work better for which people. “We hope the results of this systematic review will reinforce the need for individuals and companies to take responsibility of their claims and clearly differentiate between something that is “evidence-based” rather than something that is “theoretical”,” Vandekerckhove said. “We have to be very careful when we hear of fad diets and look into if and how this way of eating benefits our health and goals for weight-loss and maintenance,” Warren said. “In this case, we cannot say that it does at this time,” she said.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/31/no-science-behind-blood-type-diets-researchers-say/

Could shedding extra pounds improve psoriasis?

Losing weight may ease psoriasis and improve quality of life for some overweight people with the chronic skin disease, new research from Denmark suggests. But the trial may have been too small to fully flesh out that link, and researchers said future studies will have to follow larger groups of patients for more time to make definitive conclusions. “The results, I would say, are promising,” said Dr. Joel Gelfand, a dermatologist from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia. “It's still excellent advice to patients who are overweight with psoriasis to lose weight.” According to the National Institutes of Health, more than three percent of U.S. adults have psoriasis, which is characterized by itchy, painful plaques on the skin. Over the years, researchers have learned that obese people are more likely to develop psoriasis than their thinner peers and tend to have more severe disease. That could be due to more body-wide inflammation among people carrying around extra fat. “It's more than one thing that causes it, but obesity is probably one of the factors that can bring on psoriasis,” Gelfand, who wasn't involved in the new study, told Reuters Health. Genetics also plays a role. Conversely, Gelfand said there's been some suggestion that losing weight may ease psoriasis symptoms, based on reports of people who had bariatric surgery and saw their skin condition improve. For the new study, researchers led by Dr. Peter Jensen from Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte wanted to shed more light on how weight loss influences psoriasis. They randomly assigned 30 overweight and obese people with psoriasis to go on a 4-month weight-loss diet of 800 to 1,200 calories per day and another 30 to stick to typical nutrition guidelines. By the end of the study, participants in the diet group had lost an average of 35 pounds, on average, compared to just one pound in the non-diet group. Dieters had a borderline larger improvement in their psoriasis severity and the amount of their body covered by psoriasis plaques. They started the study with an average severity score of 4.8, on a scale of 0 to 72. By 4 months, that had fallen to 2.5. Non-dieters saw only a slight drop in their psoriasis cover and severity, from 5.5 to 5.2. People in the weight-loss group also reported greater improvements in their quality of life during the study period, Jensen and his colleagues wrote Wednesday in JAMA Dermatology. The diet was tied to some mild side effects, including headaches and dizziness. One patient complained of being hungry throughout the study, the researchers reported, and another “consumed large amounts of sugar-free licorice, resulting in hypokalemia (low potassium) that normalized after he was instructed to stop eating licorice.” Gelfand said that because patients started out with mild to moderate psoriasis, they didn't have much room to improve when they lost weight. That, combined with the small group size, limits some of the conclusions that can be taken from the study. “The next step would be to do a much larger study in patients who have more severe psoriasis,” Gelfand said. In the meantime, he said weight loss can have other benefits for heavy people with psoriasis, such as improving how they respond to some medications and lowering their risk of heart disease.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/31/could-shedding-extra-pounds-improve-psoriasis/

Diet soda just as harmful to teeth as meth and crack cocaine, study claims

Diet soda may be a popular drink alternative for those looking to cut back on calories, but heavy consumption of these beverages could wreak havoc on a person’s teeth. According to a new study published in the journal General Dentistry, constant exposure to the citric and phosphoric acid in soda – without proper dental hygiene – can be just as damaging to teeth as methamphetamine or crack cocaine, Health Day news reported. “You look at it side-to-side with 'meth mouth' or 'coke mouth,' it is startling to see the intensity and extent of damage more or less the same,” Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny, a professor of restorative dentistry at the Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, told Health Day News. According to Bassiouny, methamphetamine and crack cocaine are highly acidic, just like diet soda. The study referenced a woman in her 30s who drank 2 liters of diet soda every day for three to five years.   When her teeth were compared to a 29-year-old methamphetamine addict and a 51-year-old crack cocaine user, the levels of tooth rot and decay were very similar.  The woman also admitted she had not seen a dentist in many years. Bassiouny said her teeth had been destroyed by erosion, becoming soft and discolored.  She ultimately had to have all of her teeth removed and replaced with dentures. “None of the teeth affected by erosion were salvageable,” Bassiouny said. Both the meth addict and crack cocaine users had to have all of their teeth removed as well.  According to Health Day News, these drugs also reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth, making it difficult for the acids to wash away. While the results may seem staggering, representatives for the American Beverage Association argue that it’s unlikely soda was the single culprit for the woman’s tooth decay. “The woman referenced in this article did not receive dental health services for more than 20 years -- two-thirds of her life,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement. “To single out diet soda consumption as the unique factor in her tooth decay and erosion -- and to compare it to that from illicit drug use -- is irresponsible.” Click for more from Health Day News.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/29/diet-soda-just-as-harmful-to-teeth-as-meth-and-crack-cocaine-study-claims/

Foods that trigger headaches

For many headache and migraine sufferers, certain foods can act as triggers. We received this question from a viewer: Dear Dr. Manny, I've noticed that whenever I eat red grapes I get a headache. Could there be something in them that is causing this to happen? Thanks, Jay Alvarez said grapes are low in calories and rich in vitamin C and fiber, so they are a nutritional snack. But they also contain a substance called tyramine, a naturally occurring amino acid that forms from the breakdown of protein in food as it ages. Tyramine can cause your blood pressure to rise, which can trigger headaches in some people. If you experience this reaction, you may want to avoid other trigger foods, such as: • Smoked or cured meats • Aged cheeses • Citrus fruits • Sauerkraut • Soy sauce • Red wine • And certain beers Research shows that tyramine in grapes can have a negative effect on certain antidepressants called MAOIs.  Patients taking these medications should talk to their doctor about their diet. Keeping a food diary to see if you may be sensitive to tyramine-rich foods could also help. The bottom line: Learn what your triggers are – so that you can avoid them. If you have a question, email [email protected].com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/10/03/foods-that-trigger-headaches/