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New study shows benefits of fish oil lacking

Fish oil supplements are taken by millions of American every day for better heart health and to improve memory. It’s one of the most popular supplements taken in the United States. Results from a new study may change that. Findings of the study show taking fish oil supplements may not protect against heart disease after all.

Latest Fish oil study

The new study on the benefits of fish oil on heart health pooled results of 20 studies that involved almost 70,000 heart patients. Results of the study were published in the September 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Findings showed that adding omega-3 to the diet of these heart patients did not appear to lower the chance of experiencing a heart attack or stroke, nor did it lessen the risk of death. However, the omega-3 taken in this study did not all come fish oil.

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Eat to Beat High Blood Pressure

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uncovered that not only do approximately 67 million American adults have high blood pressure but also more than half of them aren’t controlling it properly with medication and lifestyle changes. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and dying prematurely.

Just when you think things can’t get worse, CDC just announced that the problem has trickle down to America’s youth. In an article published in the journal, Pediatrics, CDC researchers looked at the diets of over 6,200 American children and teens and uncovered that 15 percent of them already had elevated or full-fledged high blood pressure. Those children in the study who consumed higher amounts of sodium were at a higher risk for high blood pressure, and if they were also overweight or obese, it made the matter worse. Unfortunately, about 37% of the children in the study were overweight. Having high blood pressure in childhood sets the stage for entering adulthood with the same health issue.

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Gut bacteria influence absorption of dietary fats

In a world first, researchers studying Zebrafish have found that the mix of bacteria which inhabit the gut influence how well fats are absorbed from the intestines. Some gut microbes increase the absorption of dietary fats, allowing the host organism to extract more calories from the same amount of food. This new research from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine was published today in the Sept 13, 2012 issue of the journal Cell Host & Microbe. Previous studies had shown that gut microbes aid in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates, but their role in dietary fat metabolism has remained a mystery, until now.

“This study is the first to demonstrate that microbes can promote the absorption of dietary fats in the intestine and their subsequent metabolism in the body. The results underscore the complex relationship between microbes, diet and host physiology.”

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Citric fruits may help prevent ischemic stroke

Eating citric fruits may help reduce risk of ischemic stroke, according to a new study recently published in the journal Stroke. It is a possibility only because the study was not a trial and a causal relationship between the two had not been proved.

Aedín Cassidy, PhD of Department of Nutrition, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK and colleagues conducted the study and found men and women in the highest quintile of citric fruit/juice consumption were 10 percent less likely to suffer ischemic stroke.

Ischemic stroke is death of part of brain tissue (cerebral infarction) due to an inadequate supply of blood and oxygen to the brain caused by blockage of any artery.

The current study was intended to examine the association between intake of flavonoids and risk of ischemic, hemorrhagic and total stroke.

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Fatty foods may damage your brain

A new study finds that fat-filled foods may damage the region of the brain responsible for regulating a person’s appetite, which scientists say could account for why overweight people struggle with sticking to a diet plan.

Announced on Friday at the British Science Festival, the study found that a diet rich in saturated fats leads to damage to the brain’s hypothalamus, a key region involved in controlling appetite. The findings suggest that saturated fats may have a direct impact on the body’s ability to stick to a diet, said Lynda Williams of the Rowett Institute for Nutrition and Health at Aberdeen University.

“The hypothalamus is a small area at the base of the brain containing neurones that control the amount of food we eat and the energy we expend,” she explains. “However, this control breaks down in obesity — the system appears not to work — and we don’t really know why this happens.”

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Study : White bread is good for you

Despite being “demonized” by health campaigners and TV nutritionists, white bread is good for you, a report by a British group says.

The standard white sliced bread loaf is an important source of vitamins and minerals, a paper by the British Nutrition Foundation said.

In its report the London-based foundation, which says it “provides nutrition information for teachers, health professionals, scientists, and general public,” discounts warnings white bread is linked to bloating or can lead to an increase in wheat allergies and spark weight gain.

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Selenium may prevent prostate cancer

Taking selenium supplements may help reduce the risk for prostate cancer, according to a review study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Susan J Fairweather-Tait of Norwich Medical School Norwich in Norfolk, United Kingdom and colleagues meta-analysed data from 13,254 participants and 5007 cases of prostate cancer in twelve studies and found sufficient selenium was associated with nearly 70 percent reduced risk for prostate cancer.

Increased serum selenium levels up to 170 ng/mL were associated with reduced prostate cancer risk. Three high quality studies of toenail selenium and prostate cancer risk showed a 71 percent reduction in the risk in men with a toenail selenium concentration between 0.85 and 0.94 ug/g.

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Diets High in Fructose May Harm Liver in Some

Obese people with type 2 diabetes who consume increased amounts of fructose — a simple sugar — may have high levels of uric acid and a reduction in liver energy stores, researchers say.

High uric acid, or hyperuricemia, is linked to lower levels of liver adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound involved in transferring energy between cells, scientists from Duke University Medical Center explained in a news release.

The researchers, who published their new report in the September issue of the journal Hepatology, noted that energy depletion in the liver could result in liver damage for those with the metabolic condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and in those at risk for the condition. They stressed that the public should be aware of these risks associated with a diet high in fructose.

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Antioxidants tied to older men’s sperm quality

Middle-aged and older men who get enough antioxidants in their diets, through eating foods such as broccoli and tomatoes, may have better-quality sperm than men who don’t get as much of the nutrients, according to a U.S. study.

Researchers found that among men aged 45 or older, those who got the most vitamins C and E, folate and zinc tended to have fewer DNA-strand breaks in their sperm, according to a report in the journal Fertility & Sterility.

Strand breaks are a measure of the genetic quality of sperm, which is known to decline as a man ages, though the findings do not prove that antioxidants themselves directly improve sperm quality or boost the chance of a healthy pregnancy.

“People who eat well are probably doing a bunch of other healthy things too,” said senior researcher Andrew Wyrobek, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

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Nutrition researcher counters gluten-free diet claims

A researcher says there’s no sound science indicating that a gluten-free diet will help otherwise healthy people lose weight.
Consumers buy gluten-free products because of the perception they are more healthful than products containing gluten, said Glenn Gaesser, director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University in Phoenix.
But the research doesn’t support that perception, he found.
“There’s the lingering perception there that carbs are somehow bad, grains in particular,” he said. “Much of that is based on conjecture; it’s nonsense. It claims that wheat is the cause of all our problems, that it stimulates appetite, but that’s just not true.”
Gluten is a protein typically found in foods made from wheat, barley and rye.
Gaesser believes programs like William Davis’ “Wheat Belly” diet are lingering effects of low-carb diets promoted by authors in the 1990s and early 2000s. The market for gluten-free products is expected to reach $2.6 billion this year.
Judi Adams, president of the Wheat Foods Council, said the average per-capita consumption of wheat flour dropped from 133 pounds in 2010 to 131 pounds in 2011.
“It’s a huge drop,” she said. “We don’t want it to drop at all, we want to see an increase, and two pounds is very significant.”