Vitamin D supplements could help high blood pressure

Vitamin D supplements might be a cheap and effective way to treat high blood pressure, scientists have said, after a study uncovered the best evidence yet of a link between vitamin levels and hypertension.
The benefits of vitamin D for patients with high blood pressure has been suggested before, but evidence has been sketchy. In a new study, scientists were able to determine whether low levels of vitamin D had a causal link with high blood pressure more reliably than ever before, by measuring genetic variations which affect a person’s vitamin D levels, and measuring them against blood pressure.
The research, published in The Lancet medical journal today looked at data on more than 146,000 patient records from Europe and North America.
They found that for each 10 per cent increase in vitamin D concentration, the chance of likelihood of developing high blood pressure, or hypertension, decreased by eight per cent. 

Watercress, spinach and chicory are the most nutritious vegetables you can eat

We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us - but just how good?
A new league table, showing the nutrient density of different fruits and vegetables, has been drawn up by diet experts - and watercress has come out on top. The researchers, from the William Paterson University of New Jersey, aimed to define ‘powerhouse fruit and vegetables’.
They tested 47 different types of fruit and vegetables for their levels of 17 nutrients which are generally considered to be of high importance to our health. The nutrient density score was based on the percentage of a person’s daily needs for each nutrient the food provides.
The foods were scored by their content of potassium, fibre, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.
Watercress achieved the top score of 100. Broccoli got 34.89, kale 49.07 and tomatoes 20.37. 
While fruits and vegetables such as oranges are thought to be healthy, many contain just one main nutrient, such as Vitamin C, whereas so-called powerhouse vegetables contain multiple nutrients.

The key to preventing chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma

Eating plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains helps prevent people from developing more than one chronic disease, new medical research shows.
The world-first research conducted by the University of Adelaide examined the link between diet and 11 chronic diseases, including anemia, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, arthritis, hepatitis, coronary heart disease, asthma, stroke, fracture and cancer. 
It found that people who eat a higher amount of fruit are less likely to develop any chronic disease, while a high intake of vegetables helps prevent people with one chronic disease from developing a second.

The study, done in conjunction with universities and health organisations in China and Canada, is published in the Clinical Nutrition journal.

While links between good diet and disease prevention are well established, this is the first study that had linked poor nutrition to the development of multiple chronic diseases, otherwise known as 'multimorbidity'. The researchers studied more than 1000 Chinese people over a five-year period.

Source  - Daily Mail

Drinking cocoa 'fights dementia'

A nightly cup of cocoa could help stave off Alzheimer’s, scientists claim.
Tests showed that a specific type of cocoa stops clumps of proteins from building up in the brain and damaging nerve cells – causing the disease to progress.
Lavado cocoa is full of polyphenols, antioxidants which are also found in fruit and vegetables, with past studies suggesting that they prevent degenerative brain diseases. The team also tested the effects of extracts of Dutched and Natural cocoa, but Lavado, which has the highest levels of polyphenols, was found to be most effective at combatting the build up of harmful proteins.
The findings are published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s DiseaseThe study by scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York looked at synapses - the gaps between nerve cells.
Because loss of synaptic function may have a greater role in memory loss than the loss of nerve cells, rescue of synaptic function may serve as a more reliable target for an effective Alzheimer's disease drug, said study leader professor Giulio Maria Pasinetti.

Source  - Daily Mail

Eating strawberries may lower blood pressure

Could eating strawberries lower blood pressure? 
In a trial at Florida State University, 60 post-menopausal women with mild to moderately high blood pressure will have a handful of freeze-dried strawberries or a placebo once a day for eight weeks. 
Their blood pressure before and after the trial will be compared.
The women in the study have blood pressure greater than 130/85, but less than 160. Higher blood pressure is common after the menopause, possibly because of hormonal changes and weight gain.  
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, which may lower blood pressure by relaxing the endothelium, the lining inside blood vessels.  Relaxing the endothelium widens the arteries, reducing pressure.

Source  - Daily Mail

Honey: The Solution for Antibiotic Resistant “Super Bugs”

Antibiotic resistance is a true crisis, one that is growing and is even recognized by the federal government as a near-future crisis. An over-dependence on antibiotics and the sanitization of everything has helped bacterial evolve into unstoppable “super bugs”, or those that are capable of resisting conventional drugs designed to kill them. The solution is complex and involves reducing our use of antibiotics, but it may also include the use of something as beautifully simple as honey.
“The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance,” said Susan M. Meschwitz, Ph.D. , leader of a study presented at the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Honey, Dr. Meschwitz went on, acts using a combination of components toxic to bacterial cells, including osmotic effect, high sugar content, polyphenols, acidity, and hydrogen peroxide. “Honey may also disrupt quorum sensing, which weakens bacterial virulence, rendering the bacteria more susceptible to conventional antibiotics,” Meschwitz said.

How meditation brought me back from burnout

I spent yesterday morning at an event in central London surrounded by over 100 entrepreneurs, leaders and investors.
A sea of slick hair, smooth faces, and crisp tailoring; they spoke of thriving businesses, relentless networking regimes and daily acrobatics juggling parenthood with staying fit and healthy. They were some of the most successful people in their field. And they had two things in common. They were all women, and they all felt guilty.
Their shared drive towards career success mirrored an internal trend that was alarmingly clear: deep and utter panic in the face of a never completed to-do list, and a crippling sense of shame at simply being who they were. Not just some of the time. But most of the time. And it goes way beyond working women in the city.
A 2010 survey by Stylist magazine found that more than 96% of women feel guilty at least once a day, while for almost half, the feeling arose up to four times a day.

Could red wine BOOST your memory?

Few people need an excuse to have a glass of wine, but there is now good news for those who do.
A compound found in red wine and dark chocolate could improve memory, scientists say. German researchers found that resveratrol boosts short-term recall and improves concentration.
The scientists, at the Charité РUniversitätsmedizin Berlin, studied a group of 23 overweight people who took resveratrol supplements for six months, Live Science reports.
Participants took a memory test and had their brains scanned before and after taking the supplement for six months. The researchers found that these people had better memories after taking the supplement than a second group who were given a placebo.

Is the noise of modern life making you ill?

We are surrounded by the sounds of the machinery that make our lives comfortable and convenient. The constant thrum of traffic, the thunder of jet engines overhead.
But when we have to listen to these noises for too long or at the wrong time, they can inflict silent and stealthy damage. Increasing evidence shows this damage isn't just to our ears, but to our blood vessels and hearts. Nor is this just a problem for people who live near busy roads or under flight paths. New research suggests noise pollution also causes harm in places such as hospitals.
Last week the world's experts gathered in Japan to discuss the latest findings about noise and health. Perhaps most eye-catching was the study that linked noise pollution to your waist size. 
In a four-year project published last year, researchers from Karolinska University in Sweden found that the louder the traffic noise to which people in different parts of Stockholm were exposed, the greater the increase in their waist size - there was nearly a centimetre increase for every ten-decibel rise in the noise levels. 

Source  - Daily Mail

'Tomato pill' hope for stopping heart disease

Taking a tomato pill a day could help keep heart disease at bay, say UK scientists who have carried out a small but robust study.
The trial, which tested the tomato pill versus a dummy drug in 72 adults, found it improved the functioning of blood vessels. But experts say more studies are needed to prove it really works.
The pill contains lycopene, a natural antioxidant that also gives tomatoes their colour.Experts have suspected for some time that lycopene might be good for avoiding illnesses, including certain cancers and cardiovascular disease. There is some evidence that eating a Mediterranean-style diet, which is rich in tomatoes (as well as other fruit and vegetables and olive oil), is beneficial for health.
Following a healthy diet is still advisable but scientists have been researching whether there is a way to put at least some of this good stuff into an easy-to-take pill.