October 18, 2010

Spit Out the Pits

1 Watermelon Found to Lower Blood Pressure

In the first study of its kind in humans, researchers found that an amino acid, extracted from watermelon and administered daily for six weeks, lowered aortic blood pressure in the study’s prehypertensive volunteers. "These findings suggest that this 'functional food' has a vasodilatory effect, and one that may prevent prehypertension from progressing to full-blown hypertension, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes,” said Assistant Professor Arturo Figueroa. The magic ingredient in watermelon is L-citrulline, which converts to L-arginine in the body. The latter is responsible for the formation of nitric oxide which helps regulate blood pressure and vascular tone. L-citrulline is available in synthetic form in pills but watermelon is the best natural source.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Tags: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Watermelon, Prehypertension, Arturo Figueroa, L-Citrulline, L-Arginine, Vasodilation

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (35%) / No! (65%)

Dispelling Age Old Beliefs

2 Males and Females Are Equal When It Comes to Math

The math skills of males and females are essentially equal, finds a new examination of existing data, putting to rest a belief that girls fare far worse than boys when it comes to mathematics. Re-examining studies published between 1990 and 2007 that included more than 1.2 million people, researchers found that the mathematical abilities between the two sexes was virtually similar. Chief author Janet Hyde, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, said that while social scientists know that both genders have equal math abilities, that news has been slow to spread to parents and teachers who may play a negative role in guiding girls away from math or science-heavy curricula. “If, before a test, you imply that the women should expect to do a little worse than the men, that hurts performance.”

More at ScienceDaily.com | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Tags: Math Skills, Gender Differences, University of Wisconsin, Janet Hyde

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (35%) / No! (65%)

Dozen Embryos Unheard Of

3 Octomom Doctor License Hearing

Nadya Suleman's doctor, Michael Kamrava, is sitting through a hearing for implanting a dangerous number of embryos, reports MSNBC. After the hearing by the Medical Board of California, the doctor's license may be revoked or suspended. A state attorney claims that Dr. Kamrava implanted a dozen embryos inside Suleman. The fertility doctor is accused of endangering Suleman's life and violating standards of care. Expert witness Dr. Victor Y. Fujimoto testified that implanting a dozen embryos is "unheard of." According to guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, doctors should implant no more than two embryos in a healthy woman under 35 years old.

More at MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: IVF Dangers, Octomom Doctor Hearing, Michael Kamrava, Implanting Too Many Embryos, Nadya Suleman, Dr. Victor Y. Fujimoto, Medical Board of California, Implanting a Dozen Embryos, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (33%) / No! (67%)

No End in Sight

4 Metabolic Syndrome Continues to Rise in the US

Metabolic syndrome is increasing in the United States, up from 29 percent of adults between 1988 and 1994 to 34 percent today, equal to about 68 million Americans. Young women in particular have had a significant increase, regardless of race. Previously called Syndrome X, the condition refers to a collection of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease and includes abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels including low HDL and high triglycerides. The rise in metabolic syndrome is primarily due to increasing prevalence of both obesity and high blood pressure. The findings underscore the importance of a healthy lifestyle -- which includes maintaining a normal weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

More at Reuters | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Fructose Sugar Makes Maturing Fat Cells Fatter

Tags: Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (41%) / No! (59%)

Plant Foods Most Protective

5 No Single Diet Best for Preventing Breast Cancer

Eating a healthy diet is one factor in breast cancer risk reduction, but researchers have yet to pinpoint a specific diet that is best. Overall, a diet rich in plant foods (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) that is low in saturated and trans fats and sugar appears to be the most protective, according to a systematic review of all of the studies linking diet and breast cancer. Some research has linked vitamin D and calcium as having potential roles in breast cancer prevention, but women should talk with their doctor first, according to an oncology dietitian at Miami Valley Hospital in Ohio. The most convincing diet-related evidence, however, is that of alcohol. Studies have established that more than two drinks a day are linked to as many as one out of five breast cancer cases.

More at Dayton Daily News | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Debunking Breast Cancer Myths

Tags: Alcohol, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Prevention, Diet, Nutrition, Vitamin D, Plant Foods

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

And a Great Stress Buster

6 Stair Climbing Is Great and Inexpensive ExercIse

Climbing stairs is a great cardiovascular workout and one of the best ways to strengthen glutes and leg muscles, according to the American Council on Exercise. It also burns more calories than jogging and walking. Stair climbing is a rising trend among those who are trying to be more physically active but do not enjoy sports or going to a gym. Lindy Goss, for example, is a Chicago woman who is training for the second annual SkyRise Chicago on November 14th, where she and others will climb 103 floors (2,109 steps) of the Willis Tower to raise money for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Other events are held in skyscrapers and towers worldwide, including the Empire State Building in NYC. In addition to being a rewarding workout, Goss says, it is also a great stress buster.

More at USA Today | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Hula Hooping Next Exercise Craze

Tags: Exercise, Fitness, Exercise Trends

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (38%) / No! (62%)

Most Important Meal of the Day

7 Skipping Breakfast Increases Heart Disease Risk

If you think you are doing your body a favor by skipping breakfast, think again. People who skip breakfast have more risk factors for heart disease, found an Australian study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers with the University of Tasmania found that both children and adults who skip their morning meal (defined as being between 6 am and 9 am) tend to have overall worse eating behaviors and exercise less than those who do eat breakfast. Breakfast skippers also tend to have high cholesterol, elevated insulin levels, and larger waist circumferences. "Promoting the benefits of eating breakfast could be a simple and important public health message," concluded lead author Dr. Kylie J. Smith.

More at Health 24 | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Protein for Breakfast Curbs Teens Hunger

Tags: Breakfast, Cholesterol, Heart Disease, Waist Circumference

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

A Possible Drug Target

8 Gene Possibly Linked to Depression Discovered

21 deceased people with depression and 18 without had differences in their MKP-1 gene, which plays a role in the survival and function of neurons. Knockout mice who lacked the gene were resilient to stress unlike their counterparts with the gene who became depressed and found relief when given anti-depressants. It is believed there are many factors that cause depression, and genetics is believed to be one of them. 40 percent of people who are depressed do not respond to drugs that usually work by increasing neurons’ serotonin uptake. Researchers believe this discovery "identifies MKP-1 as a potential target for a novel class of therapeutic agents, particularly for treatment-resistant depression." The complete study is available in the journal Nature Medicine.

More at Yahoo! AFP | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Depression and Heart Disease Are Deadly Combo

Tags: Depression, Neurons, MKP-1, Knockout Mice

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (41%) / No! (59%)

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