Archive for September, 2011

Spice Up Your Broccoli

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which converts in the body to a compound known as sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate that is responsible for broccoli’s cancer-preventive benefit. While the gut’s flora enable the release of sulforaphane in the lower intestine, it is necessary for glucoraphanin to be hydrolyzed by the enzyme myrosinase in order for sulforaphane to be released in the upper intestine. Myrosinase in found in broccoli sprouts, mustard, horseradish and other foods.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana evaluated the absorption of a glucoraphanin-rich broccoli powder alone and in combination with fresh broccoli sprouts. Four men were assigned to consume four meals enhanced with broccoli powder, broccoli sprouts, broccoli powder and sprouts, or neither, after which sulforaphane metabolites were measured in blood and urine.

Within 30 minutes plasma isothiocyanate levels were higher after meals containing broccoli sprouts.

Coauthor Elizabeth H. Jeffrey stated: “If myrosinase is present, sulforaphane is released in the ileum, the first part of your digestive system.”

So spice up your broccoli and live healthier.

Life Extension, Oct. 2011

Another Reason to Think Organic

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Every year about two million pounds of arsenic-containing chemicals have been fed to chickens in the United States. Why would the industry do such a thing? When tens of thousands of birds are crammed into filthy, football field-sized sheds to lie beak-to-beak in their own waste they can become so heavily infested with internal parasites that adding arsenic to the feed to poison the bugs can result in a dramatic increase in growth rates. Also, arsenic can give the carcass a pinkish tinge, which consumers prefer.

Though arsenic-based feed additives have been banned in Europe for over a decade, they continue to be legal in the United States. One drug company did announce this summer, though, that it has suspended sales to poultry companies after the FDA found concerning levels of a particularly toxic form of arsenic in edible tissues of chickens given feed laced with the arsenic-containing drug.


High Dose of Vitamin D Helps Lung Disease Patients

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Findings presented at the American Thoracic Society conference in Denver, May 13-18,2011, showed that a monthly dose of 100,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D given to COPD patients gave significant improvements in exercise capacity and respiratory muscle strength compared to a placebo group.

COPD is an affliction suffered mostly by smokers and is described as chronic inflammation.

Currently the United States government recommends 600 IU of vitamin D per day for adults up to age 70 and 800 IU for people over 70. This is way to little. I take 5,000 a day and feel that is a minimum dosage.

“Low levels of vitamin D in the blood have been related with muscle weakness,” said Miek Hornikx from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.

More in Life Extension, August 2011.

What’s Wrong With This Picture

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Here is the posting for Frito Lay with mostly fried foods:

Frito-Lay snacks start with real farm-grown ingredients.  You might be surprised at how much good stuff goes into your favorite snack. Good stuff like potatoes, which naturally contain vitamin C and essential minerals. Or corn, one of the world’s most popular grains, packed with Thiamin, vitamin B6, and Phosphorous – all necessary for healthy bones, teeth, nerves and muscles.

And it’s not just the obvious ingredients. Our all-natural sunflower, canola, corn and soybean oils are considered to be healthier oils by the FDA because they contain good polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which help lower total and LDL “bad” cholesterol and maintain HDL “good” cholesterol levels. They also contain <20% of the bad saturated fat, which raises LDL, cholesterol and 0g fo trans fat. Even salt, when eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, provides sodium which is essential for the body.

The FDA allows this advertising for Pepsi but Diamond Company cannot say that raw walnuts are healthy after at least 35 scientific studies have shown the good results of walnuts. Processed foods have most of their nutrition taken out of them while raw foods have all their nutrition within them. What’s wrong with this picture?

FDA Ignores Science

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Last year the FDA determined that walnuts sold by Diamond Foods cannot be legally marketed because the walnuts “are not generally recognized as safe and effective” for the medical conditions that Diamond Foods put on their website.

There are at least 35 peer-reviewed published papers supporting a claim that ingesting walnuts improves vascular health and may reduce heart attack.

Members who have been reading the monthly reports of  Life Extension, or visited their website, know that walnuts support the inner arterial lining and guard against abnormal platelet aggregation.

For the whole story go to Life Extension, August 2011.

Probiotics Boost Immune System

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

The British Journal of Nutrition published a study that showed daily supplements of Bifidobacterium anamalis ssp. lactis (BB-12) or Lactobacillus paracasel ssp. paracasei (L. casel 431) were associated with 66% and 46% increases in levels of the antibody IgG3. This study along with previous studies show that supplementation with these probiotic strains strengthen the immune system.

So it is good to get a good probiotic supplement for daily health. I use a probiotic from Nordic Naturals for my wife and I each day.

Fish Oil Reduces Brain Shrinkage in Alzheimer’s Patients

Friday, September 9th, 2011

A new study shows that taking fish oil not only supports better cognitive functioning, but also is now demonstrated to actually enable better physical structure of brain regions associated with better memory and cognition.

Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center followed 819 older adults for three years with periodic memory testing and brain MRIs. The participants were divided into three groups, those with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s Disease. 117 of the particpants were taking fish oil at the start of the study and continued to do so during the study.

Use of fish oil supplements was associated with better cognitive functioning during the study. There was a clear association between fish oil supplements and brain volume. Lead author, Lori Daiello, reports, “In the imaging analyses for the entire study population, we found a significant positive association between fish oil supplement use and average brain volumes in two critical areas utilized in memory and thinking (cerebral cortex and hippocampus)…In other words, fish oil use was associated with less brain shrinkage in patients taking these supplements during the ADNI study compared to those who didn’t report using them.”

This does not mean that fish oil or its most active component, DHA, is a cure for Alzheimer’s. It does mean that regular use of the supplement by individuals concerned about cognitive function is one step a person can take to help preserve the health of their brain.

Byron Richards, CCN, Wellness Resources, August, 2011

Green Tea Fights Alzheimer’s

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

The study led by Dr. Ed Okello and published in Phytomedicine,suggests that regularly drinking green tea could protect the brain against developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Its the polyphenols found in green and black tea that seem to protect the brain cells.

Life Extension, June 2011, p.19

Neuropathy in Extremities

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The scientists from Johns Hopkins recently showed in a study that burning, tingling pain of neuropathy may affect feet and hands before other parts of the body because the nerve cells called mitochondria age and can become dysfunctional.

Mitochondria for most cells in the body replace themselves every month or so, but mitochondria in nerve cells often live longer.

Annals of Neurology, 2011:69(1):100; Life Extension, June 2011: p.17