MicroRNA mediates gene-diet interaction related to obesity

Eating more n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, commonly known as omega-3 fatty acids, may help carriers of a genetic variant on the perilipin 4 (PLIN4) gene locus lose weight more efficiently.

Led by Jose M. Ordovas, PhD, director of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA, researchers genotyped seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), also known as gene variants, from men and women of mostly white European ancestry enrolled in the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN) study and the Framingham Offspring Study. Carriers of the gene variant tended to weigh more and exhibit higher body mass index (BMI), which would increase their risk of becoming obese. Yet carriers with higher omega-3 fatty acid intakes tended to weigh less than carriers who consumed little or no omega-3 fatty acids. Continue reading “MicroRNA mediates gene-diet interaction related to obesity”

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Diet of Walnuts, blueberries found to improve cognition; may help maintain brain function and treat brain disorders

Junk food junkies take notice. What you eat does more than influence your gut. It also may affect your brain. Increasing evidence shows that mom was right: You should eat your vegetables, and your blueberries and walnuts, too.

Scientists are confirming that this age-old adage is worth following. And new studies show that diet may have implications for those who suffer from certain brain ailments.

Diets containing two percent, six percent, or nine percent walnuts, when given to old rats, were found to reverse several parameters of brain aging, as well as age-related motor and cognitive deficits, says James Joseph, PhD, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University in Boston.
Continue reading “Diet of Walnuts, blueberries found to improve cognition; may help maintain brain function and treat brain disorders”

New Insights Into How Natural Antioxidants Fight Fat

Scientists in Taiwan are reporting new insights into why diets rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of obesity. Their study focuses on healthful natural antioxidant compounds called flavonoids and phenolic acids.  Continue reading “New Insights Into How Natural Antioxidants Fight Fat”

Broccoli and cauliflower reduce aggressive prostate cancer risk

A study reported in the August 1, 2007 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concluded that men who consume more cruciferous vegetables, particularly broccoli and cauliflower, have a lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer. The cruciferous family of vegetables, which also includes cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts, has been associated in previous research with protection from colon, breast, prostate, thyroid, cervical, and other cancers, as well as with slower disease progression.

Continue reading “Broccoli and cauliflower reduce aggressive prostate cancer risk”

A natural compound found in fruits, cocoa and tea enhances memory in mice

A natural compound found in blueberries, tea, grapes, and cocoa enhances memory in mice, according to newly published research. This effect increased further when mice also exercised regularly.

“This finding is an important advance because it identifies a single natural chemical with memory-enhancing effects, suggesting that it may be possible to optimize brain function by combining exercise and dietary supplementation,” says Mark Mattson, PhD, at the National Institute on Aging.
Continue reading “A natural compound found in fruits, cocoa and tea enhances memory in mice”

Blueberries contain chemical that may help prevent colon cancer

A compound found in blueberries shows promise of preventing colon cancer in animals, according to a joint study by scientists at Rutgers University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The compound, pterostilbene, is a potent antioxidant that could be developed into a pill with the potential for fewer side effects than some commercial drugs that are currently used to prevent the disease. Colon cancer is considered the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, the researchers say.
Continue reading “Blueberries contain chemical that may help prevent colon cancer”

Unique tomatoes tops in disease-fighting antioxidants

Deep red tomatoes get their rich color from lycopene, a disease-fighting antioxidant. A new study, however, suggests that a special variety of orange-colored tomatoes provide a different form of lycopene, one that our bodies may more readily use.

Researchers found that eating spaghetti covered in sauce made from these orange tomatoes, called Tangerine tomatoes, caused a noticeable boost in this form of lycopene in participants’ blood.
Continue reading “Unique tomatoes tops in disease-fighting antioxidants”