Low protein diets may improve blood sugar regulation in obesity

Diets that are very high in protein are linked to an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and high protein levels have been correlated to poor insulin regulation. However, few studies have investigated whether decreasing protein intake could be an effective strategy for lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related metabolic disorders. In this issue of the JCI, research led by Adam Rose at the German Cancer Research Center demonstrated that very low protein diets can improve glucose homeostasis in mice and humans. In obese mice, low protein diets prevented dysregulation of glucose levels by inducing liver stress signaling pathways. Low protein diets also improved blood glucose homeostasis and other metabolic markers in a small group of healthy young men. These data indicate that low protein diets activate stress response pathways in the liver that may reduce the risk of developing obesity-related metabolic disorders. read more

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Guarana found to have higher antioxidant potential than green tea

The millions of people who consume green tea all over the world benefit from the catechins it contains. Catechins are a class of chemical compounds with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, among other healthy ingredients. Researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Public Health School (FSP-USP) have discovered that guarana (Paullinia cupana) is a worthy competitor, at least as far as catechins are concerned: the seeds of the tropical shrub, used in fizzy drinks that are among the most popular in Brazil, as well as in over-the-counter supplements, contain more than ten times the amount of catechins found in green tea. read more

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The war on sugar: ‘Children should consume fewer than 6 teaspoons daily’

Sweet in taste but sour for health, sugar intake has become a major concern in the United States, with numerous studies linking high sugar consumption to increased risk of obesity and related diseases. In an attempt to help tackle the problem, the American Heart Association have issued new recommendations for added sugar intake among children and adolescents. The AHA say children and adolescents aged 2-18 years should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar each day.

Added sugars are sugars and syrups – including fructose, glucose, and high-fructose corn syrup – that are added to foods and drinks during processing or preparation, mainly for taste and preservation. read more

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Citrus fruit antioxidants may prevent chronic diseases caused by obesity

A class antioxidants found in oranges, limes, and lemons may help prevent the harmful effects of obesity in mice fed a Western high-fat diet, researchers find. Antioxidants found in citrus fruits may prevent or delay chronic diseases caused by obesity.

Citrus fruits contain several antioxidants that may prevent a range of health concerns. According to a recent article exploring the health benefits of popular foods, citrus fruits may lower ischemic stroke risk, maintain blood pressure, and support heart health. read more

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Greater intake of dietary omega-3 fatty acids associated with lower risk of diabetic retinopathy among individuals with type 2 diabetes

In middle-aged and older individuals with type 2 diabetes, intake of at least 500 mg/d of dietary long-chain ?-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, easily achievable with 2 weekly servings of oily fish, was associated with a decreased risk of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy, according to a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology. read more

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Ginger nanoparticles show promise for inflammatory bowel disease

Ginger is spicing up the search for a cure for inflammatory bowel disease, according to research published in Biomaterials. Delivered in the form of nanoparticles, researchers believe ginger could offer a targeted and effective remedy for this potentially debilitating condition. Ginger is thought to offer wide-ranging health benefits.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers a group of disorders in which the intestines become inflamed. The cause of IBD is unknown, but scientists believe it could be an autoimmune condition, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks itself. The two main forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. read more

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How long does ‘chemo brain’ last?

Cancer survivors have long complained of cognitive decline following chemotherapy. This effect has been studied in some depth, but, for the first time, researchers ask how long these deficits might last. Chemotherapy is known to interfere with cognitive abilities, but for how long?

As treatments for cancer improve, survival rates increase, as do the number of cancer survivors.

This growing population of people who have come through cancer and lived to tell the tale often report cognitive deficits. read more

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Dementia risk increased with calcium supplements in certain women

Calcium supplements may increase the risk of developing dementia in senior women with cerebrovascular disease, finds a study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Women who took calcium supplements were twice as likely to develop dementia.

Cerebrovascular diseases are conditions caused by problems that affect the blood supply to the brain. The four most common types of cerebrovascular disease are stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), subarachnoid hemorrhage, and vascular dementia. read more

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