Archive for December, 2008

GRAPE SEED EXTRACT KILLS LABORATORY LEUKEMIA CELLS

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

An extract from grape seeds forces laboratory leukemia cells to commit cell suicide, according to researchers from the University of Kentucky. They found that within 24 hours, 76 percent of leukemia cells had died after being exposed to the extract. The investigators, who report their findings in the January 1, 2009, issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, also teased apart the cell signaling pathway associated with use of grape seed extract that led to cell death, or apoptosis. They found that the extract activates JNK, a protein that regulates the apoptotic pathway.

While grape seed extract has shown activity in a number of laboratory cancer cell lines, including skin, breast, colon, lung, stomach and prostate cancers, no one had tested the extract in hematological cancers nor had the precise mechanism for activity been revealed.

“These results could have implications for the incorporation of agents such as grape seed extract into prevention or treatment of hematological malignancies and possibly other cancers,” said the study’s lead author, Xianglin Shi, Ph.D., professor in the Graduate Center for Toxicology at the University of Kentucky.

Read the full article in our HeartVigor.com News Page.

CERTAIN VEGETABLES COMBAT CANCER

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

While it has been known for some time that eating cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, can help prevent breast cancer, the mechanism by which the active substances in these vegetables inhibit cell proliferation was unknown - until now.

Scientists in the UC Santa Barbara laboratories of Leslie Wilson, professor of biochemistry and pharmacology, and Mary Ann Jordan, adjunct professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, have shown how the healing power of these vegetables works at the cellular level. Their research is published in this month’s journal Carcinogenesis.

“Breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, can be protected against by eating cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and near relatives of cabbage such as broccoli and cauliflower,” said first author Olga Azarenko, who is a graduate student at UCSB. “These vegetables contain compounds called isothiocyanates which we believe to be responsible for the cancer-preventive and anti-carcinogenic activities in these vegetables. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts have the highest amount of the isothiocyanates.

“Our paper focuses on the anti-cancer activity of one of these compounds, called sulforaphane, or SFN,” Azarenko added. “It has already been shown to reduce the incidence and rate of chemically induced mammary tumors in animals. It inhibits the growth of cultured human breast cancer cells, leading to cell death.”

Read more in our HeartVigor.com News Page.

NUTRITIOUS FAST-FOOD KIDS’ MEALS ARE SCARCE

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Only 3 percent of kids’ meals served at fast-food restaurants met federal dietary guidelines in the first study to examine the nutrient quality of such meals in a major U.S. metropolitan market. Michigan State University’s Sharon Hoerr, a food science and human nutrition researcher with the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, teamed up with economist Sharon O’Donnell and pediatrician Jason Mendoza from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to assess the nutritional status of kids’ meals in the Houston market.The small percentage of meals that did meet dietary guidelines included fruit as a side dish and milk, and nearly all were deli-sandwich meals. They also had about one-third the fat, one-sixth the added sugars, twice the iron and three times the amount of vitamin A and calcium as did meals not meeting the criteria.

“This report is the first to characterize and compare the nutrient quality of all combinations of fast-food kids’ meals in a major metropolitan market,” Hoerr said. “Because 25 percent of children aged 4 to 8 years consume fast food on a typical day, the diet quality of kids’ meals offered by fast-food companies contributes significantly to their overall health and well-being.

“Two trends motivate the need for an evaluation of the nutrient quality of fast-food kids’ meals: the increased prevalence of childhood obesity and the amount of food consumed away from home.”

Read more in our HeartVigor.com News Page.

CERASSE TEA/ CERASEE TEA

Saturday, December 20th, 2008


Cerasee Tea gained in popularity as one of the most popular Jamaican Bush Teas dispite its mean bitter taste.

Consumption of this Cerasee Heabal Tea is said to cleanse the blood, lower blood pressure,, help in controlling diabetis and prevent colds. Other benefits attributed to Cerasee are help with flu, headaches, jaundice, stomach aches, constipation, worms, dysentery and malaria.

Cerasee Tea is also widely used for cleansing and detoxing in West Indian, African and Eastern cultures.

Cerasse Tea can be bought over the counter at most West Indian health food stores.

Read more about Cerasse in our HeartVigor.com Herbal Tea Pages.

SCIENTISTS FIND LINK BETWEEN INFLAMED GUMS AND HEAR DISEASE

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

New article in the FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Journal shows that proper dental care can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart disease. The next person who reminds you to floss might be your cardiologist instead of your dentist. Scientists have known for some time that a protein associated with inflammation (called CRP) is elevated in people who are at risk for heart disease. But where’s the inflammation coming from? A new research study by Italian and U.K. scientists published online in The FASEB Journal shows that infected gums may be one place. Indeed, proper dental hygiene should reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke and heart disease independently of other measures, such as managing cholesterol.

“It has been long suspected that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory process, and that periodontal disease plays a role in atherosclerosis,” said Mario Clerici, M.D., a senior researcher on the study. “Our study suggests that this is the case, and indicates that something as simple as taking good care of your teeth and gums can greatly reduce your risk of developing serious diseases.”

To reach this conclusion, the scientists examined the carotid arteries of 35 otherwise healthy people (median age 46) with mild to moderate periodontal disease before and after having their periodontal disease treated. One year after treatment, the scientists observed a reduction in oral bacteria, immune inflammation and the thickening of the blood vessels associated with atherosclerosis.

Read more in our HeartVigor.com News Page.

WIND, WATER AND SUN BEST FOR FUTURE ENERGY

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Wind, water and sun beat biofuels, nuclear and coal for clean energy, Stanford researcher says.

The best ways to improve energy security, mitigate global warming and reduce the number of deaths caused by air pollution are blowing in the wind and rippling in the water, not growing on prairies or glowing inside nuclear power plants, says Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford. And “clean coal,” which involves capturing carbon emissions and sequestering them in the earth, is not clean at all, he asserts.

Jacobson has conducted the first quantitative, scientific evaluation of the proposed, major, energy-related solutions by assessing not only their potential for delivering energy for electricity and vehicles, but also their impacts on global warming, human health, energy security, water supply, space requirements, wildlife, water pollution, reliability and sustainability. His findings indicate that the options that are getting the most attention are between 25 to 1,000 times more polluting than the best available options.

“The energy alternatives that are good are not the ones that people have been talking about the most. And some options that have been proposed are just downright awful,” Jacobson said. “Ethanol-based biofuels will actually cause more harm to human health, wildlife, water supply and land use than current fossil fuels.” He added that ethanol may also emit more global-warming pollutants than fossil fuels, according to the latest scientific studies.

Read more on this report and other Green News stories in our HeartVigor.com Green Living News Page.

A LITTLE WINE BOOSTS OMEGA-3 IN THE BODY

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Researchers find a novel mechanism for a healthier heart. Results from the European study IMMIDIET show that moderate wine intake is associated with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids considered as protective against coronary heart disease Moderate alcohol intake is associated with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in plasma and red blood cells. This is the major finding of the European study IMMIDIET. This effect could be ascribed to compounds other than alcohol itself, representing a key to understand the mechanism lying behind the heart protection observed in moderate wine drinkers.

The IMMIDIET study examined 1,604 citizens from three geographical areas: south-west London in England, Limburg in Belgium and Abruzzo in Italy. Thanks to a close cooperation with General Practitioners of these areas, all participants underwent a comprehensive medical examination, including a one year recall food frequency questionnaire to assess their dietary intake, alcohol consumption included.

Omega-3 fatty acids, mainly derived from fish, are considered as protective against coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death, thus their high blood concentration is definitely good for our health.

Now European researchers found that moderate alcohol drinking acts like a ‘trigger’, boosting the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in our body.

Read more on this and other news stories in our HeartVigor.com News Page.