Olive oil could help to reverse heart failure

Olive oil could help reverse a patient’s heart failure "immediately", scientists have claimed.
Oleate - the fat found in the golden liquid - could help a diseased heart pump blood more effectively and use body fat as fuel, researchers at the University of Illinois have found.
The most common reason a person may suffer from heart failure is when the muscle becomes damaged, including after a heart attack, through drug or alcohol abuse, and high blood pressure. Shortness of breath, both during activity or rest; swelling of the feet, ankles, stomach and lower back; and fatigue are all symptoms of heart failure.
Currently, there is no way to reverse heart disease, and a combination of medication and lifestyle changes help patients manage their symptoms and keep their condition stable.
Scientists made their findings based on previous studies which show that a healthy heart absorbs fat to keep pumping, but if damaged the muscle can no longer process or store far – starving it of energy. This means the heart is unable to work hard enough, and toxic fat deposits are left to clog up arteries.
Scientists believe that oleate helps the body produce enzymes which break down fat so the heart is once again able to absorb it.

Traditional healing: modern medicine's friend or foe?

The WHO recently launched the traditional medicine strategy 2014-2023 to mainstream traditional medicine alongside allopathic (modern, western) care, with an emphasis on improving safety and expanding access. The report aims to set up traditional medicine for contemporary health needs, diseases and standards.Traditional medicine in its many forms has proven to be an effective treatment for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – one of the biggest health burdens for developing countries. NCDs, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lung disease, kill more than 36 million people each year and 80% of the deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Founder of AyurVaid chain of ayurvedic hospitals Rajiv Vasudevan says today’s “quick fix” society turns too quickly to pills and elective surgery but traditional medicine treats the root-cause. He says that allopathic medicine provides symptomatic treatment that, for example, returns blood pressure back to normal, but ignores the underlying conditions – a person’s constitution, the surrounding environment, diet – that cause the illness in the first place.
Source  - Guardian

Eating full-fat milk, cream and cheese CUTS risk of type 2 diabetes

High fat dairy products such as cream, full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese can actually reduce the risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study.
Swedish researchers found that people with the highest consumption of high-fat dairy products - eight or more portions a day - have a 23 per cent lower risk of developing the condition than those who eat one portion or less per day.
However they also found eating a lot of meat - especially low-fat forms - increased the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body's cells don't react to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance. This type of diabetes tends to be diagnosed in older people, and is commonly a result of being overweight or obese and inactive.
By 2030, it is expected that there will be 4.6 million people diagnosed with diabetes, with 90% of those affected having type 2, according to NHS Choices.

Source  - Daily Mail

Sweeteners 'linked to rise in obesity and diabetes'

Sugar-free sweeteners could increase glucose intolerance and diabetes risk by affecting bacteria in the gut, a study has suggested.
Far from improving metabolism and helping people to slim, widespread use of artificial sweeteners may be fuelling the obesity and diabetes epidemic, it is claimed.
Scientists found that giving mice water laced with three commonly used sweeteners in doses corresponding to those recommended for humans caused them to develop glucose intolerance. The condition occurs when sugar levels in the blood rise and can lead to Type-2 diabetes, which affects around 2.7 million people in the UK.
Tests showed that in mice, sweeteners altered the balance of gut microbes that have been linked to susceptibility to metabolic diseases. They also affected the composition and function of gut bacteria in a small number of human volunteers, resulting in glucose intolerance after one week. 
The lead researcher, Dr Eran Elinav, from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, said: “This calls for reassessment of today’s massive, unsupervised consumption of these substances.”
The study, reported in the journal Nature, found that people’s reaction to sweeteners varied depending on the kind of bacteria they harboured.

Berries in cancer therapy experiment

Wild berries native to North America may have a role in boosting cancer therapy, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.
Scientists suggest chokeberries could work in combination with conventional drugs to kill more cancer cells. But the UK research is at an early stage, with experiments carried out only on cancer cells in laboratories.
Cancer Research UK says much more work is needed to test the effectiveness of berries, particularly in human trials. Researchers from the University of Southampton and King's College Hospital, London, tested a berry extract on pancreatic cancer samples. Pancreatic cancer is particularly hard to treat and has an average survival period of just six months after diagnosis.
The study found that when the berry extract was used, together with a conventional chemotherapy drug called gemcitabine, more cancer cells died than when the drug was used alone. But the scientists say the chokeberry had no effect on normal body cells tested in this way.

What's Wrong with Alternative Medicine?

If unconventional therapies like acupuncture can make patients feel better by bringing them a vague sense of well being, why not let them? Some scientists say we shouldn't.
It's safe to say that most everyone allows for some form of mysticism in their lives. If you'll permit the oversimplification, one can imagine a spectrum of tolerance: At one extreme we have those who welcome with indiscriminate, crystal-clutching gusto the spiritual, the transcendent, and the utterly bogus. At the other end stand the most fanatical of skeptics, the ones who revel not so much in ruining your fun as nuking it from orbit in an eye-rolling fit of vitriolic contempt.
Thanks to Alessandro Littara on G+ for the link.

Omega-3 fish oil 'reduces epileptic seizures'

Consuming low doses of omega-3 fish oil each day could help to reduce the risk of seizures in people with epilepsy, new research has suggested.
Epilepsy is a medical condition that affects the brain and causes the individual to experience multiple seizures, or fits. According to the NHS, more than 500,000 people in the UK have epilepsy, with the condition usually occurring in childhood - although it can affect a person at any age.
Past studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in maintaining heart rhythm and can prevent heart attacks. This could also be useful for individuals with epilepsy, since they have a higher risk of experiencing a heart attack in comparison to those without the condition. Omega-3 fatty acids are primarily found in oily fish - such as mackerel, tuna, sardines and salmon - and can also be obtained through fish oil supplements.
Researchers from the Department of Neurology at the University of California-Los Angeles set out to investigate whether there is a link between omega-3 fish oil consumption and the frequency of seizures in epileptic patients.

Twelve highly toxic chemicals to banish from your home

Here are twelve highly toxic chemicals found in and around the house that you must avoid at all costs.
1. DEET (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. One-third of all Americans use this repellant, which has been shown to be toxic to the central nervous system. Natural insect repellant solutions exist; otherwise, candles with eucalyptus oil or citronella oil in the area will do the trick.
2. Glyphosate is the chief ingredient used in Monsanto’s Roundup, which has been link to birth defects, DNA damage, hormone disruption, cancer and neurological disorders. Ditch this weed killer for good. Get rid of weeds naturally, using boiling water, vinegar, salts or pulling them out by hand.
3. Phthalates are most commonly found in air fresheners. They also exist in vinyl, wood varnishes and lacquers. Pthalates disrupt the endocrine system, which can cause reproductive and neurological damage. Avoid the word “fragrance” on air fresheners, as it can be a synonym for pthalates. Candles are a better alternative.
(The remaining 9 can be found in the article!)

What To Eat Now: soya, because new science says it helps prevent cancer

We nutrition professionals aren't known to be a rowdy bunch, not unless someone has slipped some vodka into a kale smoothie and so you wouldn't expect heckling at a nutrition workshop. Yet that's exactly what happened recently whilst an eminent researcher presented work about soya and the incidence of cancer as a well-known medic repeatedly interrupted him.No other plant-based foods have elicited such passion amongst consumers and a handful of my peers, so why all the controversy?
The issue centres on isoflavones, naturally occurring compounds that have a potential theoretical oestrogen-like effect in the human body. Some cells, including those in breast tissue, can be vulnerable to increased oestrogen levels, and based on animal and laboratory studies, phyto-oestrogens, such as isoflavones, do have that effect. However, it is important to note that all human studies to date highlight that isoflavones' actions differ significantly from human oestrogen, or oestradiol.

Sleeping on animal fur is best for baby, says allergy study

Sleeping on animal skin may reduce a baby’s risk of developing asthma, new research suggests.
Germs in the hide and fur prime the immune system not to trigger allergies, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society’s International Congress in Munich.
The finding comes from a study of 2,441 healthy German infants whose progress was monitored until the age of 10. More than half (55 per cent) slept on animal skin during their first three months of life. They were 79 per cent less likely to develop asthma by six years of age than children not exposed to animal skin.
The results lend support to the “hygiene hypothesis”, which suggests that too much cleanliness early in life can increase susceptibility to allergies.
Dr Christina Tischer, the lead researcher in the study, who serves at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen Research Centre, said: “Previous studies have suggested that microbes found in rural settings can protect from asthma.”

Why superfoods could be BAD for you.

From goji berries to acai, chia seeds to quinoa, every day there seems to be a new ‘superfood’ hitting the supermarket shelves.
Each has huge health claims — promising to protect against everything from cancer to weight gain — and often a price tag to match. Not to mention a celebrity following.
According to the British Dietetic Association (BDA), 61 per cent of people questioned had purchased a food just because it had been labelled a ‘superfood’. But what exactly is a superfood — and are they really all they’re cracked up to be?
Nutritionist Ian Marber is sceptical: ‘There is no definition of a superfood, except that it’s a food with a marketing department,’ he says. ‘It helps when the food in question comes from an exotic, remote area and “has been widely used by tribesmen for thousands of years”. They tend to have a hefty price tag, which adds to the allure.’
Marber is not the only one with reservations. The EU has banned the term on packaging, unless it can be backed up with substantial science, and Cancer Research has deemed the phrase ‘just a marketing tool’. Even worse than the foods not living up to the hype, some claims have been made that, in high doses, these foods can actually be harmful, resulting in thyroid problems and arthritis flare-ups.
Which? magazine says we could save up to £440 a year by ditching expensive superfoods in favour of old-fashioned, vitamin-rich foods such as kiwi fruit and broccoli.
So just how super are superfoods?

Source  - Daily Mail

Spinach helps you lose weight

Spinach could be the latest weight-loss aid curbing food cravings by nearly 95 per cent, new research has found.
Scientists at Lund University in Sweden discovered a spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids boost weight loss by almost 43 per cent.  They based their findings on analysis of 38 overweight women. 
Food cravings are also known as hedonic hunger - the urges people have for unhealthy foods including sweet treats and fast food.
The study shows that taking thylakoids reinforces the body's production of satiety hormones and suppresses hedonic hunger, which leads to better appetite control, healthier eating habits and increased weight loss. 
Professor Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson who took part in the study, said: 'Our analyses show that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast reduces cravings and keeps you feeling more satisfied all day.'

Source  - Daily Mail