Omega-3 and cancer recovery: How supplementation helps reduce hospital stays after operations
Capital Medical University (China)
Omega-3 supplementation boosts immunity and helps reduce inflammation among gastrointestinal cancer patients after surgery, new meta-analysis reports.
Recent studies have indicated that nutritional intervention can reduce these problems, with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) particularly promising because of their inflammation benefits.
Results showed that patients on an n-3 PUFAs regime had lower levels of inflammation markers.
The academics, from China’s Capital Medical University, stated: “The results of our study showed that n-3 PUFAs significantly decreased the level of inflammation and increased immune function.
“Thus modulation of immune responses and reduction of inflammatory responses together lessens postoperative hospital stay for GI cancer patients.”
Vitamin D levels higher in exercisers
Johns Hopkins University
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism published the finding of researchers at Johns Hopkins University of a correlation between increased physical activity and higher levels of vitamin D. Higher levels of vitamin D and exercise was also associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study included 10,342 men and women who were free of coronary heart disease and heart failure upon enrollment in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study between 1987 to 1989. Physical activity levels were assessed during follow-up visits that took place over a 19.3-year period. Stored serum samples obtained at the second visit were analyzed for 25-hydroxyvitamin D3.
Following adjustment for lifestyle and other factors, those who met the recommended levels had a 31% lower risk of being deficient in vitamin D than those with poor activity levels. Subjects in the recommended activity group with levels of vitamin D of 30 ng/mL or more had a 24% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Gingko biloba helps protect against the toxic cognitive effects of aluminium chloride
Atomic Energy Authority (Egypt)
Ginkgo biloba extract helped protect the brain from the toxic effects of aluminium chloride, exposure to which has been linked to diseases such as Alzheimer's.
Researchers found its antioxidant properties were key in protecting the brain neurons of rats from oxidative stress caused by aluminium chloride (AlClʒ) intake.
“The toxic effect of AlClʒ caused significant histologic changes in brain and testis tissues which is in agreement with other data that found accumulation of Al metal in neurons which cause ultra-structural changes,” wrote researchers from the Atomic Energy Authority in Egypt wrote in Nutrition Journal.
“Administration of Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) with aluminium chloride improved some biochemical and histologic changes observed in the brain and testis of male rats.”
Overexposure to aluminium, a potent neurotoxin, could be a possible factor in several neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, say researchers.
GbE on the other hand, has antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties. It has been used to help treating cerebral disorders that result from ageing and hypoxia. Previous studies also highlighted its ability to regulate neurotransmitters and exert neuprotective effects.
New data shows avocado consumers have improved nutrient intakes
USDA and Haas Avocado Board
A new analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, compared avocado consumers to non-consumers and found that consuming avocados may be associated with an overall better diet, higher intake of essential nutrients, lower body weight, lower Body Mass Index (BMI) and smaller waist circumference.
Insulin and homocysteine levels were lower in the avocado group, as well as a significantly reduced incidence of metabolic syndrome. Homocysteine, when elevated, has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.i Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises the risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke.ii The analysis, "Avocado consumption by adults is associated with better nutrient Intake, diet quality, and some measures of adipositywas published in the journal Internal Medicine Review.
SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS:
* Compared to non-consumers, avocado consumers have:
- Higher intakes of dietary fiber, total fat, good fats (monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids), vitamins E and C, folate, magnesium, copper and potassium.
- Lower intakes of total carbohydrates, added sugars and sodium.
* Improved physiologic measures include:
- On average, avocado consumers weighed 7.5 lbs less, had a mean BMI of 1 unit less and 1.2 in. smaller waist circumference compared to non-consumers.
- Avocado consumers were 33% less likely to be overweight or obese and 32% less likely to have an elevated waist circumference compared to non-consumers.
- Incidence of metabolic syndrome was significantly reduced for avocado consumers.
Better quality relationships associated with reduced dementia risk
University of East Anglia (UK)
Positive social support from adult children is associated with reduced risk of developing dementia, according to a new research published today.
Conversely, negative social support is linked with increased risk, according to the 10-year follow-up study carried out by a team of researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA), University College London (UCL), London Metropolitan University and the University of Nottingham.
The researchers analysed a decade of data that followed 10,055 core participants from ELSA who were dementia-free at the start of the study. Participants were interviewed every two years and incidence of dementia was identified from self-reports by participants or information given by nominated informants.
Positive support was characterised by having a reliable, approachable and understanding relationship with spouses or partners, children and other immediate family.
But negative support scores showed stronger effects - an increase of one point in the negative support score led to up to 31 per cent rise in the risk. Negative support was characterised by experiences of critical, unreliable and annoying behaviours from spouses or partners, children and other immediate family.
After spouse passes, death risk from ‘broken heart’ rises
In the three-month period following a spouse’s death, widows and widowers are more likely to exhibit risk factors linked to cardiovascular illness and death, according to a new study This could make a bereaved spouse more likely to “die of a broken heart,” the researchers say.
The study, which appears in Psychoneuroendocrinology, found that individuals who have lost a spouse within the last three months have higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (immune markers that indicate inflammation in the bloodstream) and lower heart rate variability (HRV) compared with non-bereaved individuals who share the sex, age, body mass index, and educational level. Both are factors that increase an individual’s risk for cardiac events, including death. The study is the first to demonstrate that bereavement is associated with elevated levels of ex vivo cytokines and lower HRV.
“In the first six months after the loss of a spouse, widows/widowers are at a 41 percent increased risk of mortality,” says lead author Chris Fagundes, an assistant professor of psychology in Rice University’s School of Social Sciences.
“Importantly, 53 percent of this increased risk is due to cardiovascular disease. This study is an important step toward understanding why this is the case by identifying how bereavement gets under the skin to promote morbidity and mortality.”
Finally, the bereaved spouses reported 20 percent higher levels of depressive symptoms than the control group. Participants ranged in age from 51 to 80 (average 67.87) and included 22 percent men and 78 percent women. The sex and age of the control group was comparable, and the results were the same when accounting for slight differences in weight and health behaviors.