Forget five a day, eat 10 portions of fruit and veg to cut risk of early death

Scientists say even just 2.5 portions daily can lower chance of heart disease, stroke, cancer and premature death

Five portions of fruit and veg a day is good for you, but 10 is much better and could prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide every year, say scientists.

The findings of the study led by Imperial College London may dismay the two in three adults who struggle to manage three or four portions perhaps some tomatoes in a sandwich at lunchtime, an apple and a few spoonfuls of peas at dinner.

All of that is good because a daily intake of even 200g, or two and a half standard 80g portions, is associated with a 16% reduced risk of heart disease, an 18% reduced risk of stroke, a 13% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, 4% reduced risk of cancer and a 15% reduction in the risk of premature death.

But the study suggests we should be piling up platefuls of vegetables and raiding the fruit bowl every day if we want the best chance of avoiding chronic diseases or an early death.

We wanted to investigate how much fruit and vegetables you need to eat to gain the maximum protection against disease, and premature death. Our results suggest that although five portions of fruit and vegetables is good, 10 a day is even better, said Dr Dagfinn Aune, lead author of the research from the School of Public Health at Imperial.

Eating up to 800g of fruit and vegetables equivalent to 10 portions and double the recommended amount in the UK was associated with a 24% reduced risk of heart disease, a 33% reduced risk of stroke, a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13% reduced risk of total cancer, and a 31% reduction in premature deaths.

What does 800g look like?

And not all fruit and veg are created equal. Apples and pears, citrus fruits, salads and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and chicory, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower were found to be best at preventing heart disease and stroke.

To reduce the risk of cancer, however, the menu should include green vegetables, such as green beans; yellow and orange vegetables such as peppers and carrots; and cruciferous vegetables.

The researchers did not find any difference between the protective effects of cooked and raw fruit and vegetables.

Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system, said Aune. This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold. For instance they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage, and lead to a reduction in cancer risk.

Compounds called glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, activate enzymes that may help prevent cancer. Fruit and vegetables may also have a beneficial effect on the naturally occurring bacteria in our gut, he said.

Most people struggle to eat three or four portions a day, the study shows. Photograph: Simon Masters/Getty Images/Vetta

And it will not be possible to bottle the effects of fruit and vegetables or put them in a pill, he said. Forget the supplements. Most likely it is the whole package of beneficial nutrients you obtain by eating fruits and vegetables that is crucial to health, he said. This is why it is important to eat whole plant foods to get the benefit, instead of taking antioxidant or vitamin supplements (which have not been shown to reduce disease risk).

The analysis in the International Journal of Epidemiology pooled the results from 95 different studies involving a total of approximately 2 million people. They assessed up to 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, 112,000 cancer cases and 94,000 deaths.

Aune said more research was needed, but it is clear from this work that a high intake of fruit and vegetables hold tremendous health benefits, and we should try to increase their intake in our diet.

Sarah Toule, from the World Cancer Research Fund, said: This interesting research shows just how incredibly important vegetables and fruit are as part of a healthy diet. In fact, theyre essential for maintaining a healthy weight, which our own evidence has shown reduces the risk of 11 common cancers.

People should aim to eat at least five portions of vegetables and fruit a day but the more the better. If people find this hard, why not start by adding an extra portion of fruit or veg a day to your lunch or try swapping one of your naughty snacks for a piece of fruit?

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/23/five-day-10-portions-fruit-veg-cut-early-death


Cycling to work can cut cancer and heart disease, says study – BBC News

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Media caption‘It’s faster than the bus’ and other reasons why people cycle to work

Want to live longer? Reduce your risk of cancer? And heart disease? Then cycle to work, say scientists.

The biggest study into the issue linked using two wheels with a halving of the risk of cancer and heart disease.

The five-year study of 250,000 UK commuters also showed walking had some benefits over sitting on public transport or taking the car.

The team in Glasgow said cycling took no willpower once it became part of the work routine – unlike going to the gym.

The five-year study compared people who had an “active” commute with those who were mostly stationary.

‘Active commuters’

Overall, 2,430 of those studied died, 3,748 were diagnosed with cancer and 1,110 had heart problems.

But, during the course of the study, regular cycling cut the risk of death from any cause by 41%, the incidence of cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46%.

The cyclists clocked an average of 30 miles per week, but the further they cycled the greater the health boon.

Walking cut the odds of developing heart disease but the benefit was mostly for people walking more than six miles per week.

“This is really clear evidence that people who commute in an active way, particularly by cycling, were at lower risk,” Dr Jason Gill, from the University of Glasgow, told the BBC News website.

Why cycling is a healthy option

Should cycling be allowed on pavements?

Would these five changes actually help cyclists?

“You need to get to work every day so if you built cycling into the day it essentially takes willpower out of the equation.

“What we really need to do is change our infrastructure to make it easier to cycle – we need bike lanes, to make it easier to put bikes on trains, showers at work.”

People who combined cycling and public transport in their commute also showed health benefits.

Out of breath

The way the study, published in the British Medical Journal, was carried out means it is not possible to determine a clear cause and effect.

However, the effect was still there even after adjusting the statistics to remove the effects of other potential explanations like smoking, diet or how heavy people are.

It means the reason cycling cuts cancer risk cannot be down to weight loss in the study.

Other explanations include cyclists being leaner (even if they are not weighing any less) and lower levels of inflammation in the body.

Cycling is thought to be better than walking as the exercise is both longer and more intense.

Clare Hyde from Cancer Research UK said: “This study helps to highlight the potential benefits of building activity into your everyday life.

“You don’t need to join a gym or run the marathon.

“Anything that gets you a bit hot and out of breath – whether it’s cycling all or part way to work or doing some housework – can help make a difference.”

Follow James on Twitter.

Have you switched to cycling? What made you change your commute? How are you finding it? You can share your experience by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39641122


Fruit and veg: For a longer life eat 10-a-day – BBC News

Image copyright iStock

Eating loads of fruit and vegetables – 10 portions a day – may give us longer lives, say researchers.

The study, by Imperial College London, calculated such eating habits could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths each year.

The team also identified specific fruit and veg that reduced the risk of cancer and heart disease.

The analysis showed even small amounts had a health boon, but more is even better.

A portion counts as 80g (3oz) of fruit or veg – the equivalent of a small banana, a pear or three heaped tablespoons of spinach or peas.

What counts as five-a-day?

The conclusions were made by pooling data on 95 separate studies, involving two million people’s eating habits.

Lower risks of cancer were linked to eating:

  • green veg (eg spinach)
  • yellow veg (eg peppers)
  • cruciferous vegetables (eg cauliflower).

Lower risks of heart disease and strokes were linked to eating:

  • apples
  • pears
  • citrus fruits
  • salads
  • green leafy vegetables (eg lettuce)
  • cruciferous veg

Image caption Harriet is a big fan of spinach

Harriet Micallef, from Chippenham, says she often manages eight to 10 portions a day and has multiple portions of spinach every day.

She told the BBC: “I have a lot, I don’t ever have a meal without veg or salad so eight to 10 portions is a regular thing.”

She starts her day with a veg-packed omelette containing spinach and sometimes avocado or tomatoes.

Harriet’s salad-based lunch is also packed with a mix of veg and her evening meals tend to be stir fries or stews.

Snacks during the day include blended fruit smoothies or peppers dipped in hummus.

She added: “It’s definitely healthy, if you’ve got loads of colours on your plate then you’re pretty much okay.”

The results, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, also assessed the risk of dying before your time.

Compared with eating no fruit or veg a day, it showed:

  • 200g cut the risk of cardiovascular disease by 13% while 800g cut the risk by 28%
  • 200g cut the risk of cancer by 4%, while 800g cut the risk by 13%
  • 200g cut the risk of a premature death by 15%, while 800g cut the risk by 31%

The researchers do not know if eating even more fruit and veg would have even greater health benefits as there is little evidence out there to review.

Dr Dagfinn Aune, one of the researchers, said: “Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system.

“This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold.

“For instance, they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage and lead to a reduction in cancer risk.”

However, many people struggle to even eat the five a day (400g) recommended by the World Health Organization.

In the UK, only about one in three people eats enough.

Image caption Heather is a vegan who loves sweet potato curry

Heather Saunders, 24 and from Oxford, routinely manages nine or 10 portions a day since becoming vegan.

She has two pieces of fruit with breakfast, a “massive pot” of roasted vegetables at lunch and then at least four vegetables in curries or chillies in the evening.

She told the BBC: “It is about making a conscious decision, I feel fuelling myself with plant-based foods is a more healthy way to sustain myself.”

Her tips for anyone trying to eat more is to do it gently: “Maybe decide to have one or two meat-free days a week and phase more veg in, I quite like a sweet potato curry with spinach and chickpeas.”

Dr Aune said the findings did not mean the five-a-day message needed to change.

He told the BBC: “There are many different considerations if changing policy, it’s not just the health effects – is it feasible?

“But our findings are quite clear in that they do support five a day, but there are even some further benefits for higher intakes.”

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “The five-a-day target is the foundation of a healthy balanced diet and is an achievable way to help prevent a number of diseases.

“Whilst consuming more than five portions of fruit and vegetables a day may be desirable… adding pressure to consume more fruit and vegetables creates an unrealistic expectation.”

Your questions answered

Jonathan Shorney asked: “I eat a lot of apples, but that amounts to a lot of sugar. Could that amount of sugar be harmful?”

Sugar seems to have become public enemy number one in the past few years. But it is important to remember the “war on sugar” is actually a “war on free sugar”.

This includes sugars added to food as well as honey or those liberated in making fruit juices.

However, this does not include any naturally occurring sugars in fresh fruit and vegetables and the World Health Organization says “there is no reported evidence of adverse effects of consuming these sugars”.

Mike asked: “Do pulses contribute to the 10?

Yes they do. All kinds of beans from kidney to cannellini as well as lentils count as a single portion according to Public Health England.

Gary Kruger asked: “Should fruit and vegetables be heavily subsidised by the government to encourage further consumption?

This is not being seriously considered, but something kind of similar is happening.

Rather than making the healthy stuff cheaper, a sugar tax will make sugar-sweetened beverages more expensive with the aim of shifting buying habits.

There is no VAT on fruit and veg, but the British Medical Association has called for the government to go further and use the proceeds of a sugar tax to discount fruit and veg.

However, it is not clear how big a health impact there could be without knowing who it would be for (everyone or just the poor), how big the discount would be and then how that would change shopping habits.

Harriet, who started cooking family meals at the age of 12, thinks more should be done to get children eating more.

“I think it comes from schooling and the traditional British meat and two veg.

“I think if you teach children to always have something green on their plate in addition then they’ll naturally start having more.

“There’s just so many different veg that people don’t have like bean sprouts and chard.”

Not all of the 95 studies that were analysed fully accounted for other aspects of lifestyle, such as exercise levels, that could also play a role in prolonging lives.

However, Dr Aune said the conclusions were “quite robust”.

Follow James on Twitter.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39057146


100 years of Dog Breeding Before And After

An oblong head, well-arched toes, a broad chest, and nostrils tilted downward at the tipwhat could be more attractive? This is the epitomeof beauty for Bull Terriers,at least according to dog show standards.

Yet, the inner workings of purebred dogs may not be quite as exquisite as their glossy fur suggests. Heart disease, kidney disease, and neurological diseases (including obsessive compulsive tail-chasing) plague purebreds of this breed.

Issuessuch as these are not just relegated to Bull Terriers, either. In general, purebreds are considered more high-risk from health problems due to a lack of genetic diversity that results in inherited disorders.

Inbreeding dogs as showpieces, rather than as anexemplarof health, can lead to some pretty grim complications. For example, half of all cavalier King Charles spaniels by the age of 5 will develop heart mitral valve disease (MVD), which is the breed’s leading cause of death. The perfect flat, wrinkled face of a pug can lead to severe obstructions in breathing, and for large, ill-proportioned dog breeds, debilitating hip and elbow dysplasia are common even at a young age.

As this video from Business Insider reveals, sometimes the best in show is not the best in health.

[H/T: Dog Behavior Science]

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/100-years-of-dog-breeding-before-and-after/


One third of world now overweight, with US leading the way

(CNN)More than two billion adults and children globally are overweight or obese and suffer health problems because of their weight, a new study reports.

This equates to one-third of the world’s population carrying excess weight, fueled by urbanization, poor diets and reduced physical activity.
The United States has the greatest percentage of obese children and young adultcs, at 13%, while Egypt led in terms of adult obesity, with almost 35%, among the 195 countries and territories included in the study.
    While 2.2 billion people were obese or overweight in 2015, more than 710 million of them were classed as obese, with 5% of all children and 12% of adults fitting into this category.
    An increasing number globally are dying from health problems linked to being overweight, such as cardiovascular disease, said the study, which published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
    Almost 40% of the 4 million dying as a result of their higher body mass index were not yet obese, highlighting that deaths are occurring almost as often in those considered overweight as those considered obese.
    Body mass index is the ratio between a person’s weight and height; a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while anything over 30 is obese.
    “People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk — risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who worked on the study.
    “Those half-serious New Year’s resolutions to lose weight should become year-round commitments to lose weight and prevent future weight gain,” he said in a statement.

    The global obesity picture

    The IHME researchers analyzed data from 68.5 million people between 1980 and 2015 to explore trends as well as figures regarding overweight and obesity rates.
    Data was obtained from the most recent Global Burden of Disease study, which explores all major diseases, conditions and injuries globally by age, sex and population.
    The data revealed that the number of people affected by obesity has doubled since 1980 in 73 countries, and continued to rise across most other countries included in the analysis.
    Obesity levels were higher among women than men across all age groups, which correlates with previous findings on obesity.
    Percentages of children who were obese were lower than adults, but the rate at which their numbers have increased was greater, signifying more risk in the future if nothing is done to curb the problem.
    In terms of numbers, the large population sizes of China and India meant they had the highest numbers of obese children, with 15.3 million and 14.4 million, respectively.
    Despite a smaller population, the United States had the greatest number of obese adults, with 79.4 million (35% of the population), followed by China with 57.3 million.
    The lowest obesity rates were seen in Bangladesh and Vietnam, at 1%.
    “This re-emphasizes what we already know about the obesity epidemic,” said Goodarz Danaei, assistant professor or global health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “But it raises the alarm that we may be facing a wave of obesity in the coming years across high and low income countries.”
    Danaei believes that while the epidemic may have plateaued in terms of growth among certain adult populations, such as the US population, the greater rate of change among children means there will be a future cohort of people who have been exposed to a high BMI for a longer period of time, which researchers will not have faced before.
    “We don’t really know what the long-term effects will be if exposed to high BMI over 20, 30, 40 years,” said Danaei, who was not involved in the study. “It may be larger than we have already seen.”

    A rise and fall in numbers affected by disease

    In addition to highlighting the scale of the global obesity epidemic, the researchers hope to raise awareness of the diseases linked to being overweight that can prove fatal.
    Almost 70% of deaths related to an elevated BMI in the analysis were due to cardiovascular disease, killing 2.7 million people in 2015, with diabetes being the second leading cause of death.
    However, in more recent years, while rates of cardiovascular disease have risen, the number of deaths have fallen. The researchers believe this may in large part be due to better clinical interventions becoming available, such as measures to control high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which all fuel heart disease.
    This is the case in countries like the United States, argues Danaei, adding that prevention services leading up to the onset of cardiovascular disease, such as blood sugar monitoring, or care after a heartattack, or stroke, have improved in developed countries.
    But these service are expensive and are not currently the norm in most low- and middle-income countries. “After a heart attack, the chance of dying is much higher in developing countries,” he said.

    Why is this happening?

    Obesity levels have risen in all countries, irrespective of their income level, meaning the issue is not simply down to wealth, the authors say in the paper.
    “Changes in the food environment and food systems are probably major drivers,” they write. “Increased availability, accessibility, and affordability of energy dense foods, along with intense marketing of such foods, could explain excess energy intake and weight gain among different populations.”
    They add that reduced levels and opportunities for physical activity that came with increased urbanization are also potential causes, but add that these are “unlikely to be major contributors.”

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    “Over the past decade, numerous interventions have been evaluated, but very little evidence exists about their long-term effectiveness,” said Dr. Ashkan Afshin, assistant professor of global health at IHME, who led the research.
    “Over the next 10 years, we will work closely with the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) in monitoring and evaluating the progress of countries in controlling overweight and obesity,” he said, adding his team will share data and findings with scientists, policymakers, and other stakeholders seeking evidence-based strategies to address this problem.
    “We need to control the consequences of obesity much better globally … and help people who are obese to lose weight,” said Danaei. “That’s where we need research and public health interventions.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/12/health/global-obesity-study/index.html


    Newly Discovered Enzyme Prevents Sugar Being Stored As Fat

    Its January, and many of you are likely scrambling to pick a diet in an attempt to lose some of the post-Christmas weight gain. Your body’s conversion of all the excess sugar consumed into fat certainly didn’t help, but a team of researchers from the University of Montreal may have found a way to regulate this. As reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a new enzyme has been discovered that can directly control how your body converts sugar and fats.

    Mammalian cells use both sugar (glucose) and fatty acids as their main sources of energy. Much of this glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen, a dense compound that can be mobilized whenever the body requires it for energy production. Those in developed countries tend to have diets that are too sugar-rich, giving themselves far more glucose than their body needs at the time. An excess of carbohydrates will also produce too much sugar for the body to be able to immediately use. Any large glucose excess is converted and stored as fat, and a major build up can lead to obesity.

    Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreatic beta cells, causes the liver to convert glucose into glycogen. Those with type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin when required, or they produce ineffective insulin that isnt able to interact with the glucose in the blood, meaning glucose remains in the bloodstream.

    Excess glucose in the blood also leads to the over-generation of a glycerol 3-phosphate (Gro3P) within cells. Normally, Gro3P participates in many cellular processes, including the formation of fats (lipids) andthe conversion of glucose into other useful compounds (glycolysis).

    However, too much Gro3P is toxic to cells; tissues can be damaged, and the metabolic, glucose, and fat conversion processes are unable to operate properly. The derangement of these can lead to type 2 diabetes and even cardiovascular (heart) disease. Thus, excess glucose in the body is essentially toxic for a variety of reasons.

    Cupcakes, of course, will input a fairly high amount of sugar into your bloodstream. Ruth Black/Shutterstock

    As this new study details, an enzyme called Gro3P phosphatase, or G3PP, has been discovered, hiding within all types of body tissue. This enzyme appears to be able to regulate both the conversion of glucose and fats into other compounds, and the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell’s “energy currency.” This means that G3PP has direct influence over how glucose and fats are used within the body.

    Using laboratory rats, the researchers showed that increasing the activity of G3PP within their livers ultimately lowers their weight gain and ability to produce glucose from the liver. Murthy Madiraju, a researcherat the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM), noted in a statement that G3PP prevents excessive formation and storage of fat and it also lowers excessive production of glucose in liver, a major problem in diabetes.

    This offers a stepping stone for researchers hoping to manipulate this enzyme within humans. By using G3PP to alter how glucose and fats are absorbed and produced, those unable to control this themselves such as those suffering from type 2 diabetes could potentially be treated.

    Photo Gallery

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/newly-discovered-enzyme-prevents-sugar-being-stored-fat


    8 Foods To Boost Your Brain Power Just In Time For Back-To-School Season

    I don’t know if it’s out of procrastination, boredom, writer’s block, or all of the above, but when I sense my motivation levels are falling, the first place I resort to is my refrigerator. If you have a snacking habit, too, munching to mend a brain fog may not be such a bad idea. Instead of relying on a caffeine fix to help you focus, there are plenty of healthy, whole foods to boost your brain power.

    These brain foods are sure to come in handy as the school year quickly approaches. Be sure to include some of these bad boys on your next grocery list.

    1. Beans

    Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat, the healthier your heart which is connected to your brain!

    The high fiber, potassium, and vitamin content in garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, contribute to low cholesterol, improving blood flow to the brain and decreasing your chance of heart disease.

    You can snack on a can of these legumes raw, or season and bake them for a flavorful treat.

    2. Blueberries

    Loaded withantioxidants,blueberriesimprove the communication of brain cells, so if you don’t care for blueberries plain, adding them to smoothies or sprinkling a serving on top of yogurt for breakfast can jumpstart your brain.

    3. Sunflower Seeds

    I could literally eat sunflower seeds all day long. I always keep a jar in my fridge for emergency munching, especially when the creative juices aren’t flowing.

    One serving contains an impressive 30 percent of the FDA suggested daily intakeof vitamin E, so adding a handful to your favorite trail mix, snacking on them solo, or throwing them in asalad could do wonders for your brain health.

    4. Walnuts

    Stephanie Perruzza MS, RD; Health & Wellness Specialist, KIND Healthy Snacks tells Elite Daily,

    Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat found in foods like nuts and chia seeds, have been shown to be beneficial to brain health by helping to improve memory.

    Walnuts contain a ton of vitamin E, and healthy fats, making this lobe-looking nut an awesome study snack, but I won’t blame you if you want toswap out the plain for the candied variety.

    5. Eggs

    Power up the brain early with a plate of eggs for breakfast. Just make sure you’re not separating the yolks.

    Yolk is high in choline, which has been linked to memory and communication among brain cells.

    6. Dandelion Greens

    Did you think these weeds were worthless? Think again.

    Dandelion greens are loaded with healthy vitamins and nutrients across the board that cater to regulating your digestion, blood sugar, and improving cholesterol.

    If you’re not sold on plucking a few from the back yard and steaming them for salads, dandelion tea is also an option, and these greens are great to throw into smoothies.

    7. Bone Broth

    Bone broth has been making its way across Instagram feeds for some time now, but I’m thinking this photogenic soup alternative will be a hit come fall.

    Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of DrAxe.com, best-selling author of , and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, tells Elite Daily,

    [Bone broth’s] high levels of collagen help reduce intestinal inflammation, and healing amino acids like proline and glycine keep your immune system functioning properly and help improve memory.

    Bone broth is what I prescribe most frequently to my patients because it truly helps heal your body from the inside out.

    8. Mangoes

    Mangoes are the optimal option for brain-boosting fruits, as they’re loaded with vitamin B6 which, according to Dr. Axe, maintains healthy brain neurotransmitters, improves your sleep patterns, and keeps you happy.

    Slice one up and take it on-the-go or add to salads for a taste of fruity flavor among a bowl of greens.

    Read more: http://elitedaily.com/envision/food/8-foods-boost-brain-power-just-time-back-school-season/2042032/


    Stem Cell Implant Is Being Trialled To Cure” Type 1 Diabetes

    A groundbreaking attempt to”cure” Type 1 diabetes with stem cells began last week. Embryonic stem cell implants were given to two people, one in the US and one in Canada, with high-risk Type 1 diabetes. The researchers hope that this willhelp the patients manage the condition.

    The stem cells, developed by private company ViaCyte, are implanted underneath the patient’s forearm, where they take about three months to mature into islet cells. In the pancreas, these cells are responsible for the production of insulin. In people with Type 1 diabetes, these cells are attacked by the bodys own immune system.

    If it works, we would call it a functional cure, Paul Laikind of Viacyte told New Scientist. Its not truly a cure because we wouldnt address the autoimmune cause of the disease, but we would be replacing the missing cells.

    A smaller implant has already been trialled on 19 people for safety and the company expects to extend the trial to 40 more people later this year, in order to understand both the safety and efficacy of the full-size implant. ViaCyte would like to get preliminary results during the first half of 2018 and to know if the system works between six and12 months later.

    Islet transplants have been used to successfully treat patients with unstable, high-risk Type 1 diabetes, but the procedure has limitations, including a very limited supply of donor organs and challenges in obtaining reliable and consistent islet preparations, trial investigator James Shapiro, from the University of Alberta, said in a statement. An effective stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy would solve these issues and has the potential to help a greater number of people.

    If a success, the implant will improve the lives of the patients as they wont have to closely monitor their blood levels or inject insulin, but there is a trade-off. They will have to take immunosuppressive drugs, so that their bodies dont attack the newly implanted cells. This iswhy the procedure is targeted atpeople who are at ahigher risk.

    Researchers estimate that 140,000 people in Canada and the US are currently suffering from high-risk Type 1 diabetes. The condition can lead to severe episodes of hypoglycemia in the short term and heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease (among others) in thelong term.

    [H/T:New Scientist]

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/stem-cell-implant-is-being-trialled-to-cure-type-1-diabetes/


    HRT and vaginal moisturisers? Here’s what really helps menopausal women

    Products claiming to fix the menopause are now a multibillion-dollar global industry. We asked the experts for their advice on what works and what doesnt

    Even though 80% of women going through the menopause will get symptoms, such as hot flushes and night sweats (and in 25% of cases they will be severe enough to affect quality of life), few are confident talking about it. A global industry worth about US$4bn (3.4bn) flogs books and products, but reliable information is hard to come by. So how can women distinguish fact from marketing hype and what helps?

    Managing the symptoms

    Kathy Abernethy, chair of the British Menopause Society, says: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is absolutely the best treatment for hot flushes and sweats that affect daily life. It can also help sleep disturbance caused by night sweats and is one of several strategies to keep bones strong. Dr Mark Vanderpump, an endocrinologist (hormone specialist), agrees: If men got hot flushes, theyd be screaming for HRT, he says. Other options include the non-hormonal drugs clonidine, venlafaxine and gabapentin, or lifestyle measures such as avoiding spicy foods, alcohol and hot places.

    HRT and cancer risks

    The risk of cancer from HRT is overstated, says Vanderpump. Cancer Research UK puts it in perspective; if 1,000 women start HRT at the age of 50 and take it for five years, there will be two extra cases of breast cancer and one extra case of ovarian cancer compared with among non-HRT users. There will also be some extra cases of heart attack and stroke, but the overall negative effects are small. Avoiding HRT could prevent 1,700 cancer cases a year, but staying a healthy weight could prevent 18,000 cancer cases and not smoking would prevent 64,500 in a year. Women need to be given information and choices, says Vanderpump. Abernethy recommends the Womens Health Concern factsheets and the website Manage My Menopause, which offers tailored advice.

    Natural supplements

    Campaigner and author Maryon Stewart advocates a diet rich in plants such as soy that contain oestrogen-like chemicals called phytoestrogens. But Abernethy says we dont know how much soy you need to eat to get the same effect as HRT. And if phytoestrogens have similar benefits to synthetic oestrogens in HRT, they may share the risks: an increased chance of blood clots and a possible increase in breast cancer.

    Dietary supplements containing isoflavones (the active chemicals in phytoestrogens), herbal remedies such as black cohosh and vitamin E are all available over the counter, but there is little evidence about their effectiveness or otherwise, according to the North American Menopause Society.

    Eating a varied, Mediterranean-style diet, avoiding obesity, and doing regular weight-bearing exercise will help to minimise the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, depression and osteoarthritis. Most women dont need calcium supplements, but those at particular risk of osteoporosis should get specialist advice.

    Preventing heart disease and strokes

    June Davison of the British Heart Foundation says women need to be aware that their risk of heart disease and stroke increases dramatically after the menopause. Oestrogen, which has a protective effect on artery linings, falls and other factors, such as high blood pressure, raised cholesterol and the ageing process kick in. Davison says: Heart disease kills three times as many women as breast cancer does; its common and certainly not a male disease. The best approach is to get a health check at your GP, optimise blood pressure, cholesterol and weight, dont smoke, eat well and exercise. We dont advise HRT to protect against heart disease; it may increase the risk of thrombosis (blood clots) if you are at increased risk and there is some evidence that heart disease is increased in the first year of HRT use. Women who want to take HRT for other reasons, such as hot flushes, and are at low risk of heart disease, can be reassured that the increased risk will be very low.

    Sex drive and dry vagina

    Loss of sex drive is common around the time of the menopause. Low mood, tiredness, hormonal changes and relationship problems may all play a part. It doesnt help that sex can be painful as the fall in oestrogen levels makes the vagina dry and sore. Non-hormonal vaginal moisturisers such as Replens, lubricants, and oestrogen pessaries (on prescription only) can restore vaginal moistness; the other factors may be more complex to fix.

    Supplements for skin and hair

    Vanderpump says women and men in midlife often experience thinning hair, rougher skin and various other age-related changes to their looks. But these are more likely to be due to genetics and environmental factors, such as sun exposure and smoking. If you eat a normal, varied diet, there is no reason to think that nutritional supplements will help hair, nails or skin. HRT doesnt turn the clock back and isnt recommended for these factors.

    How can my employer help?

    A government review examined 104 studies and found that the years around the menopause can have a big, usually negative, impact on womens working lives. Study co-author Professor Jo Brewis of the University of Leicester school of business says: We need to talk about the nitty gritty of menopause without embarrassment or fear being judged. Brewis says the analogy is with pregnancy 20 years ago when women feared telling employers that they were pregnant and needed certain reasonable adjustments in the workplace. For menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, that might include fans, open windows, adjustable air conditioning, non-synthetic uniforms and flexible working hours.

    We need to normalise the menopause, understand that it affects women differently and that many of the problems are relatively short-lived, says Brewis.

    What are bioidentical hormones?

    This form of HRT marketed in the private sector claims to offer hormones derived from plants that are chemically closer to the ones that occur naturally in the body. But the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is clear that they are no safer or more effective than standard HRT. Vanderpump says that if you find HRT helps symptoms, the exact preparation can be tailored to your specific needs; adding low-dose testosterone (Testim) gel, for instance, may help libido even though it is only licensed for men.

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    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/07/hrt-and-vaginal-moisturisers-heres-what-really-helps-menopausal-women


    Science Says These 11 Foods Can Reduce Stress, So Go Add Them To Your Grocery List

    Comfort food pretty much does it all, from mending a broken heart, to nursing a period-induced sugar craving, and everything in between. Seriously, nothing feels better than providing your body with the nourishment it needs, and deserves. And oftentimes, those changes in your mood after a tasty snack aren’t just in your head many foods have been scientifically shown to reduce stress.

    The key, however, is to know what you should and shouldn’t be eating when you’re looking for a little stress relief.

    Nutritionist and founder ofPure ChangeDr. Charles Passlertells Elite Daily processed foods, no matter how satisfying they are to munch on, won’t make you feel better in the long run.

    He explains,

    Chemicals and processed foods stress the liver and high-carb foods stress the pancreas. Both situations force the body to work harder and can cause an increased production of the stress hormone cortisol.

    High cortisol decreases cognitive function and energy. Eating healthy balanced snacks allows the hormones, energy, and cognition to remain stable.

    Greasy french fries and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s may sound like a great idea at the time, but delicious quick-fixes typically only yield short-term benefits.

    Rather than over-indulging in sugar-loaded snacks that can actually make you feel pretty gross after the fact, opt for any one of these healthy alternatives to snack your stress away.

    1. Warm Milk

    Stress can often affect your sleeping pattern, so if you’re struggling to get some shut-eye, you may want to consider drinking a warm glass of milk before bed.

    The amino acid tryptophan in milk relaxes your body, allowing you to drift off to sleep more easily.

    For a non-dairy alternative, golden mylk would also suffice.

    2. Dark Chocolate

    Kelly Spring, MS, RD, CDN, and owner of Kelly’s Choice Nutrition Company, tells Elite Daily dark chocolate is a great stress-reliever, asit works to decrease cortisol levels and brighten your mood.

    So the next time work has you worried, skip happy hour and get chocolate-wasted instead!

    3. Avocado

    Avocado is literally life and, it turns out, an edible stress-reliever.

    This Insta-worthy toast-topper is loaded with glutathione, a natural substance that blocks intestinal absorption of harmful fats and vitamin E. Avocados also boast a generous serving of folate, which helps relax your entire body.

    4. Black Tea

    My mother has convinced me there’s nothing a cup of tea can’t solve.

    And, if you don’t believe my mom (ahem, how dare you), according to a study performed by University College London, participants who drank four cups of black tea every day for six weeks had lower levels of cortisolin their blood.

    Pinkies up!

    5. Berries

    These summery fruits keep you cool, calm, and collected. Vitamin C combats stress, so you’ll definitely want to top your oatmeal, smoothie bowls, salads, and yogurt with a handful (or two) of your favorite variety.

    6. White Bean Dip

    Nutrition Coach and Carrots N’ Cake blogger Tina Haupert says her go-to stress-buster is a bowl of her signature white bean dip, made with canned white beans, almond butter, honey, cinnamon, salt, and a dash of vanilla extract.

    She tells Elite Daily,

    The white beans and honey mix makes for a winning combination that provides plenty of nutrients and staying power from protein, fiber, and healthy fats that can lower stress levels.

    The honey adds natural flavor to the spread, so you don’t taste the beans at all!

    7. Salmon

    You don’t typically see people casually snacking on salmon, but maybe it’s high time someone starts the trend.

    High in omega-3 fatty acids, once slice of salmon could be the difference between brain fog and salary bonus. Take a bite when you feel like you’re lackingmotivation, and you’ll be well-equipped to deal with anystress that comes your way.

    8. Nuts

    Recognizedby the FDA as an excellent food source to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, macadamia nuts are also a stress-relieving snack.

    Spring recommendssnacking on macadamia nuts from Royal Hawaiian Orchards, ravingthey even have dark chocolate blueberry acai macadamia nuts for an even bigger stress-relieving punch!

    9. Greens

    You don’t have to wait for lunch or dinner to snack on produce.

    Veggies like spinach, kale, chard, and broccoli are allloaded with folate whichhelps regulate your mood. So if you’re feeling the emotional munchies, steam some greens and snack on, baby.

    10. Coconut

    I’ll slice, dice, and put coconut on everything, but did you know just one whiff of the tropical fruit is enough to reduce stress levels?

    According to a pilot study performed by Columbia University, those who breathed in a coconut scent after a challenging task saw their blood pressure regulatemore quickly than those who did not.

    My advice? Buy the coconut, cut it in half, and sniff the stress away.

    11. Turmeric

    OK you add the spice to food, but curcumin, the active compound found in turmeric, boosts DHA levels in the brain, in addition to helping your body maintain a healthy gut.

    There’s a reason turmeric is considered a super, friends.

    The next time you’re feeling stressed to the point of mindless indulgence, do yourself (and your body) a favor by snacking smart.

    You’ll feel better, faster, and your body will thank you.

    Read more: http://elitedaily.com/envision/food/science-says-11-foods-can-reduce-stress-go-add-grocery-list/2026976/