Medical News Notes – April 14, 2011
Posted Thursday, Apr 14, 2011 by
Healthy breast cells found to naturally fight cancer. New discoveries about diet and health discussed in Washington, D.C. These and other stories from the world of health and medicine in this week’s MEDICAL NEWS NOTES.
Healthy Breast Cells Naturally Fighter Cancer
Healthy breast cells naturally secrete the protein interleukin 25 (IL25) that instructs malignant cells to self-destruct, according to new research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory. IL25 does not affect most healthy cells because these cells lack receptors to accept the protein. Already known for its role in fighting inflammation, IL25 is likely to become a new tool in the escalating war against breast cancer.
Young People Lagging in Phytonutrients
Only one in 10 Americans eat the recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables, according to American health experts. And young people are significantly behind their elders when it comes to eating critically important substances known as “phytonutrients,” which include carotenoids, flavonoids and ellagic acid, all of which are critical to good health. In new research presented at the Experimental Biology meeting held in Washington, D.C., nutrition experts said that young people need to be better educated on the need for phytonutrients in their diets. Good and ready sources of these nutrients include carrots, baked sweet potatoes, grapes, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
Saturated Fat, Not Dietary Cholesterol, Leads to Heart Disease
Also at the recent Experimental Biology conference held in Washington, D.C., health experts discussed the myths surrounding dietary cholesterol — such as that found in eggs — and blood cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. Based on years of accumulated data, nutritionists stressed the need to battle the long-standing myth that dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol are linked. Instead, it is saturated fat, such as that found in beef, pork and dairy products, that leads to high blood cholesterol levels, they stressed. They also noted that healthy cholesterol-bearing foods like eggs are often eaten along with foods high in saturated fat, such as bacon, and are thus often viewed as guilty by association.
An Apple a Day Keeps Cholesterol Down
In other cholesterol news: Post-menopausal women who eat one or more apples per day may see their LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, drop significantly while slightly increasing their HDL, the “good” cholesterol, according to a new study by researchers at Florida State University. In the study, 160 women aged 45-65 received 75 grams of dried apples or 75 grams of dried prunes every day for a year. Within six months, the apple eaters saw their LDL cholesterol plunge an average of 23 percent while HDL levels rose 4 percent. And while the apples added 240 calories to the women’s daily diets, as they group, they lost an average 3.3 pounds during the study. Apples are indeed a “miracle fruit,” according to the study’s lead researcher.
Short-Term, High-Fat Splurges May Protect Against Heart Attacks
Saturated fat isn’t always bad. Occasionally, eating a large volume of high-fat foods could help people protect against heart attacks and the damage they cause, according to a study just published by researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC). In animal experiments, the scientists discovered that a high-fat “splurge” just 24 hours prior to an induced heart attack significantly reduced the damage cause by the myocardial infarction (MI). The researchers stressed that such splurges must be infrequent and short in duration to have their protective effect; long-term high-fat consumption is still associated strongly with obesity, heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.
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