No Debate: Cutting Salt Lowers Strokes, Heart Attacks
The salt debate has filled the pages of health magazines and newspapers for years. From John Swales’ original skepticism in 1988 to the Godlee’s sharp call to reality in 1996, the debate has transcended the scientific arena into public opinion and media campaigns with increasingly passionate tones. Now a new study, published in BMJ Open, suggests that a 15 percent drop in daily salt intake in England between 2003 and 2011 led to 42 percent less stroke deaths and a 40 percent drop in deaths from coronary heart disease. So where does this leave the salt debate?
The salt controversy has been particularly heated since the translation of the results of scientific studies into public health and policy actions and the “salt debate” has become for some a “salt war.” The progression of this debate into a war resembles past and present debates (let us think about John Snow and the cholera epidemic in the 19th century, the long-lasting denial of the harm of tobacco smoking in the 20th century, global warming and climate change in the 21st century), when the translation of science into practice clashes with vested interests.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/no-debate-cutting-salt-lowers-strokes-heart-attacks
Green Space Keeps You from Feeling Blue
If you start feeling better as spring begins pushing up its tender shoots, you might be living proof of a trend discovered in data from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin: the more green space in the neighborhood, the happier people reported feeling.
“Across neighborhoods of Wisconsin, from the North Woods to the cities, the results are striking,” says Kristen Malecki, assistant professor of population health sciences at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison. “Higher levels of green space were associated with lower symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/green-space-keeps-you-feeling-blue
Fatigue is Linked to Junk Food Diet
A new UCLA psychology study provides evidence that being overweight makes people tired and sedentary — not the other way around.
Life scientists led by UCLA’s Aaron Blaisdell placed 32 female rats on one of two diets for six months. The first, a standard rat’s diet, consisted of relatively unprocessed foods like ground corn and fish meal. The ingredients in the second were highly processed, of lower quality and included substantially more sugar — a proxy for a junk food diet.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/fatigue-linked-junk-food-diet
Fruits, Veg Hold Benefits Even in Small Amounts
ConversationThe findings of a study from researchers at UCL suggested we should be eating seven different portions of vegetables and fruit a day, rather than the five as currently recommended. But it’s clear that many people already find it hard to meet the target of five, let alone seven, and suddenly it feels the goal posts have moved. And if there’s no chance of getting anywhere near seven, then you might as well just not listen.
Not many people achieve the recommendation of five portions per day – the current average intake is just under four. Seven-a-day made good national headlines, but if you really dissect the research findings what you discover is that the reduced risk of dying from cancer and heart disease is associated with any increased intake of vegetables and fruit over and above one portion per day. So the more you eat, the more you reduce your risk. This means that if you eat three or four portions a day, you’re still doing well.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/fruits-veg-hold-benefits-even-small-amounts
Farming Technology Yielded Couch Potatoes
Research into lower limb bones shows that our early farming ancestors in Central Europe became less active as their tasks diversified and technology improved. Anthropologist Alison Macintosh has shown that this drop in mobility was particularly marked in men.
Human bones are remarkably plastic and respond surprisingly quickly to change. Put under stress through physical exertion – such as long-distance walking or running – bones gain in strength as the fibers are added or redistributed according to where strains are highest. The ability of bone to adapt to loading is shown by analysis of the skeletons of modern athletes, whose bones show remarkably rapid adaptation to both the intensity and direction of strains.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/farming-technology-gave-birth-couch-potatoes
Milk May Delay Osteoarthritis in Women
New research reports that women who frequently consume fat-free or low-fat milk may delay the progression of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Results published in the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) journal, Arthritis Care & Research, published by Wiley, show that women who ate cheese saw an increase in knee OA progression. Yogurt did not impact OA progression in men or women.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/milk-may-delay-osteoarthritis-women
Method Makes Food Ingredient from Rice Bran Oil
Some of today’s popular baked goods might tomorrow contain a butter-like extract, derived from rice bran oil, as a partial replacement for margarine, butter or shortening. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) chemist Erica Bakota and her colleagues with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) developed a process for making the extract, which somewhat resembles a nut butter.
The product’s texture and composition are apparently unique, according to Bakota. In preliminary experiments, Bakota and her colleagues used the extract in place of some of the butter called for in standard recipes for granola and for white bread. Feedback from taste testers who participated in these preliminary experiments indicated that the substitutions did not detract from the taste or texture of either the granola or the bread.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/method-makes-food-ingredient-rice-bran-oil
CDC’s Recommended Salt Intake Linked Poorer Health
A new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, published by Oxford Univ. Press USA, finds evidence that the average daily sodium intake of most Americans is actually associated with better health outcomes than intake levels currently recommended by the CDC and major health departments, which are now being viewed by many in the scientific community as excessively and unrealistically low.
The study concluded that 2,645 – 4,945 mg of sodium per day, a range of intake within which the vast majority of Americans fall, actually results in more favorable health outcomes than the CDC’s current recommendation of less than 2300mg/day for healthy individuals under 50 years old, and less than 1,500 mg/day for most over 50 years. This study was a combined analysis of 25 individual studies, which measured results from over 274,683 individuals.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/cdcs-recommended-salt-intake-linked-poorer-health
Coffee Reduces Death Risk from Liver Cirrhosis
New research reveals that consuming two or more cups of coffee each day reduces the risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 66 percent, specifically cirrhosis caused by non-viral hepatitis. Findings in Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, show that tea, fruit juice and soft drink consumption are not linked to cirrhosis mortality risk. As with previous studies heavy alcohol use was found to increase risk of death from cirrhosis.
A 2004 report from The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year 1.3 percent of total death worldwide is caused by liver cirrhosis. Previous research shows that 29 million Europeans have chronic liver disease, with 17,000 deaths annually attributed to cirrhosis. Further WHO reports state that liver cirrhosis is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/coffee-reduces-death-risk-liver-cirrhosis
Study Sheds Light on Benefits of Mediterranean Diet
New research further illuminates the heart-healthy benefits of the Mediterranean diet, tying the eating plan to lower levels of platelets and white blood cells, two markers of inflammation. Inflammation has an association with greater risk of heart attack and stroke. Study, results are published online in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).
The Mediterranean diet, characterized by generous servings of foods such as greens, whole grains, fish, and olive oil, has long been hailed as a heart-healthy eating plan. While the link between the diet and a reduction in inflammation has been established, the connection between the eating plan and levels of platelets and white blood cells, two specific inflammatory markers in the body, has remained unclear. Specifically, high platelet counts are associated with both vascular disease and non-vascular conditions such as cancer, and a high white blood cell count is a predictor of ischemic vascular disease.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/study-sheds-light-benefits-mediterranean-diet
Organic Food Doesn’t Lower Cancer Risk
Women who always or mostly eat organic foods have the same likelihood of developing cancer as women who eat conventionally produced foods, according to an Oxford Univ. study.
Kathryn Bradbury and colleagues in Oxford’s Cancer Epidemiology Unit found no evidence that regularly eating a diet that was grown free from pesticides reduced a woman’s overall risk of cancer.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/03/organic-food-doesnt-lower-cancer-risk
U.N. Panel Says Global Warming Dials Up Risks
If the world doesn’t cut pollution of heat-trapping gases, the already noticeable harms of global warming could spiral “out of control,” the head of a United Nations scientific panel warned Monday.
And he’s not alone. The Obama White House says it is taking this new report as a call for action, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying “the costs of inaction are catastrophic.”
Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that issued the 32-volume, 2,610-page report early Monday, told The Associated Press, “It is a call for action.” Without reductions in emissions, he said, impacts from warming “could get out of control.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/03/un-panel-says-global-warming-dials-risks
Fat Mass in Cells Expands with Disuse
Over 35 percent of American adults and 17 percent of American children are considered obese, according to the latest survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Associated with diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even certain types of cancer, obesity places a major burden on the health care system and economy. It’s usually treated through a combination of diet, nutrition, exercise and other techniques.
To understand how obesity develops, Prof. Amit Gefen, Natan Shaked and Naama Shoham of Tel Aviv Univ.’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, together with Prof. Dafna Benayahu of TAU’s Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, used state-of-the-art technology to analyze the accumulation of fat in the body at the cellular level. According to their findings, nutrition is not the only factor driving obesity. The mechanics of “cellular expansion” plays a primary role in fat production, they discovered.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/03/fat-mass-cells-expands-disuse
Healthy Foods Can Do Well at Concession Stands
You don’t just need to rely on hot dogs and pizza to make a buck at concession stands. A study led by the Univ. of Iowa examined sales, revenues and profits at a booster-run concession stand in Iowa that offered healthy food items, from apples to string cheese, over two fall seasons. The club registered stable sales and revenue, while profits remained intact. Results appear in the Journal of Public Health.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/03/healthy-foods-can-do-well-concession-stands