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Daily Dose of Lycopene Can Protect Skin Against UV-Induced Free Radicals, According To A New Study

Lycopene supplementation can enhance the natural protective qualities of the skin against UV and visible light, the company claims.

Researchers are investigating the ability to counteract the free radicals produced when the skin is exposed to UV and visible light.

The principal behind Lycopene supplement, which contains tomato lycopene, beta-carotene, phytoene and tocopherol, is to enhance the natural protection already provided by small levels of lycopene and
other phytonutrients in the skin.

“We do obtain these components from the diet but the levels are
typically low, with proper supplementation, with we are trying to
boost levels up,” The mechanism is different from sunscreens which
block the UVA and UVB rays as the Lycopene counteracts the free
radicals that are produced on exposure, and for this reason that the
researchers do not suggest the supplementation as an alternative
to topical sunscreens.

“With Lycopene supplementation, we are augmenting the performance of the sunscreen, even if you have an SPF of 50 you will still have some light coming through,” they said.

In addition, the supplement can help protect the skin against the damage of short term sun exposure when people may not think to apply sunscreens.

The study looked at the production of sunburn cells, described as
cells whose DNA has been so badly damaged by radiation they
destroy themselves. Fewer sunburn cells indicate lower levels of
damage. The number of sunburn cells after daily supplementation
was significantly lower than those found in individuals taking a daily
placebo of soy oil.

Replenishment of the bodys Lycopene supply can help bolster the bodys defense mechanisms, resulting in greater protection of the bodys enzymes, DNA and cellular lipids.

Lycopene eliminates a particularly destructive form of oxidation called free radicals. In fact, its more than twice as powerful as beta carotene
at quenching free radicals. Lycopene is also one of the most abundant carotenoids in human blood serum and is the most bundant carotene
in prostate tissue.

Blueberries Help Counteract Intestinal Diseases

It is well known that blueberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. New research from the Lund University Faculty of Engineering in Sweden shows
that blueberry fiber are important and can alleviate and protect against intestinal inflammations, such as ulcerative colitis. The protective effect is even better if the blueberries are eaten together with probiotic foods such as yogurt.

The project originated as an attempt to determine whether various types of dietary fibre and health-promoting bacteria, known as probiotic bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria from yogurt, can help alleviate and prevent the risk of ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer. In recent years, the research community has been recognizing that our health is governed to a great extent by the activities in our large intestine.
The researchers tested various types of diets of blueberry husks, rye bran and oat bran with or without a mixture of probiotic bacteria. The results showed that the protective effect of blueberries was reinforced if they were eaten together with probiotics. “The probiotics proved to have a protective effect on the liver, an organ that is often negatively impacted by intestinal inflammations.” they explained.

Blueberries are rich in polyphenols, which have an antimicrobial and
antioxidative effect. The combination of blueberries and probiotics
reduced inflammation-inducing bacteria in the intestine at the same
time as the number of health-promoting lactobacilli increased.

The researchers also noted that if blueberries are eaten together
with probiotics, the content of butyric acid and propionic acid
increased in the blood, two substances that are formed when fiber
are broken down and that have previously been known to be
important energy sources for intestinal cells. In recent years they
have also been shown to favorably impact the immune defense.
According to their findings, it seems as if the absorption of these
beneficial components is effectively facilitated by the presence of
probiotics. A large portion of the butyric acid not only was taken up
by the intestinal cells but was also transported onward to the blood.

“A further explanation for the extremely positive effect of blueberries
may be that the blueberry fiber are not degraded to such a high
degree in the large intestine. This means that inflammation-inducing
substances do not come into contact with the mucous lining of the
intestine but are embedded in the fiber instead. Then these
substances are transported out of body together with the regular

The researchers also found that rye bran was broken down in the
large intestine, in the same place that ulcerative colitis and large-
intestine cancer often occur, and that the rye bran provided a rich
supply of butyric acid and propionic acid. On the other hand, the
fiber in oat bran were degraded earlier in the large intestine. The
most striking result, however, was that blueberries themselves had
such a favorable effect compared with both rye bran and oat bran.

For individuals who suffer from stomach pains, diarrhea, or
constipation, complaints resulting from intestinal disorders and
more undefined intestinal problems, these readily available foods
should be a regular part of their dietary intake. The disease ulcerative
colitis is one of the inflammatory intestinal diseases included under
the general name IBD, inflammatory bowel diseases.

What are you waiting for? lady in pool

The adverse affects of being overweight are not limited to physical function but also extend to neurological function, according to research in the latest issue of The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological and Medical Sciences.

The publication presents a collection of ten articles highlighting new findings related to obesity in older persons.

“One of the unanticipated consequences of improved medical management of cardiovascular disease is that many obese individuals reach old age,” reported Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences from scientists from the National Institute on Aging. “We need a better understanding of the causes and consequences of obesity in older individuals — especially when
obesity is associated with sarcopenia.”

A study conducted at Sweden’s Jönköping University, found that
individuals with higher midlife body mass index (BMI) scores had
significantly lower general cognitive ability and significantly steeper
decline than their thinner counterparts over time. These statistics
were compiled from a study of Swedish twins that took place over
the course of nearly 40 years, the results were the same for both men and women.

Other studies reported in the journal show that obesity appears
particularly threatening in the presence of other health problems,
such as poor muscle strength and depression.

Similarly, changes in weight also signify declines in overall health.
A team of researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle,
found that such fluctuations are significant indicators of future
physical limitations and mortality in the elderly. The researchers
used data from the Cardiovascular Health Study, which included
information from over 3,000 individuals aged 65 and older.
They discovered that a history of cyclically losing
and gaining weight increased a person’s chance of having
difficulty with activities of daily living including the simple tasks
of bathing, dressing, eating, etc., by 28 percent.

Source: The Gerontological Society of America.

The chocolate cure for emotional stress is getting new support from a clinical trial.

And what a fabulous time to indulge in a little chocolate than on Valentine’s Day!!

The “chocolate cure” for emotional stress is getting new support from a clinical trial published online in ACS’s Journal of Proteome Research.
The study found that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed.

This favorite treat also helped correct other stress-related biochemical imbalances.

Researchers noted growing scientific evidence that antioxidants and other beneficial substances in dark chocolate may reduce risk factors for heart disease and other physical conditions. Studies also suggest that chocolate may ease emotional stress. Until now, however, there was little evidence from research in humans on exactly how chocolate offers the “stress-busting” effects.

In the study, scientists identified reductions in stress hormones and other stress-related biochemical changes in volunteers who rated themselves as highly stressed and ate dark chocolate for two weeks. “The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 grams [1.4 ounces] during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers,” the scientists say.

Journal reference: Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects. Journal of Proteome Research, 2009

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“My Daily Food & Activity Diary” – A Powerful Tool For Your Health

How it works for you.

Keeping a food diary actually works! Many dieticians, doctors, and nutritionists support using a food diary and here are a few reasons why.

Studies repeatedly show that tracking what goes in your mouth will help you lose weight in half the time as it would without. But this isn’t a fade diet, and you won’t be asked to rush the process and risk gaining it all back. Keeping a food diary is a safe, practical, and effective method…here’s why keeping a diary is so powerful:

The process is very simple and takes little discipline. If you are serious about getting fit all you need is a little common sense because machines aren’t required for this exercise. “The trick is to write down everything you eat or drink that has calories,” says Victor Stevens, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research and coauthor of a powerful study on weight-loss and diary keeping, which appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. My Daily Food and Activity Diary made the process simple by providing a food calorie guide that you can easily reference, it also includes a way to figure out how many calories you’re burning during a particular exercise. These resources are at your finger tips so no juggling around or guessing.

Being aware of how many calories you consume everyday will keep you on track. You’ll never have to guess if you’ve had too much or too little by writing it down and keeping track. When you’re done eating, you’re done….and that’s that.

TRACKING: If you know exactly how many calories you wish to consume each day, you’ll easily be able to stay on track. If you’ve had too much for breakfast cut back at lunch. If you know in advance you have a business meeting or dinner engagement, you’ll be able to adjust your calorie consumption at any time during the day. You may need to increase your exercise that day as well, in order to stay within your dietary goals and plan. Keeping a food diary will help you stay on track.

ACCOUNTABLE: Whether you choose to go it alone or are working with a professional trainer, nutritionist or part of a weight-loss program, keeping a food diary will force you to be accountable for your plan. For anyone that is dedicated to their program and has a strong desire to get fit, being ambitious by taking a few moments to write everything down, is a sure way to reach your goals and stay on your plan. Keeping a food and activity diary requires commitment, and courage to be true to oneself.

SUCCESS: Celebrate your success! We are certain this plan works; once you make the decision to get on board, success is inevitable. Look ahead and imagine your new self, be truthful and think about what holds you back from achieving your weight-loss goals and how your life will change once you do. Keeping a food diary is a habit you can benefit from for a lifetime!


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Blueberries May Boost Memory in Older Adults, According to New Study

Whether you are young or old, blueberries are fun to eat, and good for you too!

How often have you misplaced your car keys or walked into a room and can’t remember what the heck you are looking for? Blueberries can help combat that lapse of memory especially as we grow older.

….a little berry can go a long way!blueberry

Naturally-rich source of key Antioxidants, Flavonoids and Phytonutrients beneficial to cognitive and mental function…

Supplemental blueberries for only 12 weeks may boost memory in older people with early memory problems, says a new study from the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and currently affects over 13 million people worldwide. The direct and indirect cost of Alzheimer care is over $100 billion in the US alone.

“These preliminary memory findings are encouraging and suggest that consistent supplementation with blueberries may offer an approach to forestall or mitigate neurodegeneration” reported the researchers from the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center.

Blueberry consumption has previously been linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, with reports leading to a boom in sales.

The beneficial effects of the blueberries are thought to be linked to their flavonoid content… In particular anthocyanins and flavanols. The exact way in which flavonoids affect the brain are unknown, but they have previously been shown to cross the blood brain barrier after dietary intake.

It is believed that blueberries may exert their effects on learning and memory by enhancing existing neuronal connections, improving cellular communications and stimulating neuronal regeneration.

Study details:
The researchers recruited nine older people (average age of 76.2 ) and an average educational level of 15-16 years. Subjects were assigned to receive a daily dose of blueberry juice equivalent to between 6 and 9 mL per kilogram of body weight per day.

Results showed significant improvements in improved learning and word list recall. There was also a trend towards reduced depressive symptoms and lower glucose levels. The researchers further expressed that it would be interesting in future studies to examine if changes in cognitive function are associated with metabolic improvements.

“Replication of the findings in a larger, controlled trial will be important to corroborate and amplify these data,” wrote the researchers. “On balance, this initial study establishes a basis for further human research of blueberry supplementation as a preventive intervention with respect to cognitive aging,” they concluded.

The other researchers were affiliated with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and Tufts University.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Published online “Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults”

A new study of nearly 50,000 individuals from all socio-economic backgrounds supports this theory about health & wellness…

Does listening to music at work or at play make you more productive, less stressed? Some say ‘yes it does!’

Do you enjoy visiting museums, art galleries, and the theatre?

Better yet, do you like to sing, act, dance or draw?

If you do, chances are you may actually be much more content in life than those that do not engage, appreciate, or participate in some form of art and culture.

Studies show that there is clearly a positive relationship between cultural participation and self-perceived health for both women and men, reported researchers.

The medical researchers were most impressed by the fact that
these findings held true no matter the individual’s socio-economic
status…whether the individual was a grocer, bank president, or surgeon. Participating in some way in the arts, theatre or music, as player or participant, had a positive effect on that individual’s sense of health and well-being.

While we may all experience anxiety on some level, having music, art, theatre, and other forms of creativity in our lifes is certainly a good thing. Our increasing focus on more positive opportunities and developing creative outlets in which to enjoy is an all natural stress reliever.

Why not get some culture today?

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Walnuts Cut Cholesterol According To New Harvard Study walnuts

Eating a diet high in walnuts may decrease cholesterol and fight inflammation, two major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Consumption of nuts has been associated with a decreased risk
of cardiovascular disease events and death,” the researchers wrote.
“Walnuts in particular have a beneficial nutritional profile; they are
especially rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may improve
blood lipids and other cardiovascular disease risk factors.”

Walnuts are also considered valuable dietary sources of fiber,
magnesium, complete B complex vitamins, vitamin E and natural

Researchers analyzed the results of 13 different studies conducted
on a total of 365 participants who had obtained between 10 and 24
percent of their calories from walnuts for four to 24 weeks. They
discovered that participants on a high-walnut diet experienced
significant decreases in total and LDL (”bad”) cholesterol.

“When compared with control diets, diets supplemented with walnuts
resulted in a significantly greater decrease in total cholesterol and in
LDL-cholesterol concentrations,” the researchers wrote.

The researchers also found other indicators that even though a
high-walnut diet is relatively high in fat, it seems to lower the risk
of cardiovascular disease rather than raising it.

“Other results reported in the trials indicated that walnuts provided
significant benefits for certain antioxidant capacity and inflammatory
markers and had no adverse effects on body weight,” the researchers wrote.

Prior studies have linked diets high in nuts and berries to a reduced
risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms related to cardiovascular disease. Other nuts previously linked to improved cardiovascular health include macadamia nuts and almonds.

Other studies show diets high in walnuts may also reduce the risk
of breast cancer.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Enjoy them…here’s how!

Crack some for fun and snack on the them plain.

Walnut oil is available which can be used on salads or whipped up in a protein drink or fresh fruit smoothie.

Delicious pieces on top of hot or cold cereal or your favorite yogurt.

Sprinkle finely crushed on fresh fruit or on salads.

Old fashion family recipe for poultry stuffing includes fresh walnut halves, mushrooms, celery, onion, black olives sauteed and added to soaked whole grain bread, herbs include parsley and tarragon, yum!

Bake in your favorite breads, cakes or muffins; carrot, pumpkin, banana, add to pancakes too, makes a great topping with maple syrup!

You can whip up in a blender for a buttery consistency and make yourself a delicious open face sandwich of walnut and fruit spread on a piece of hearty bread.

Or, add yogurt and spices to whipped up walnuts to make a delicious dip for carrot sticks, celery or any of your favorite fresh vegetables, especially yummy with artichokes.

Homemade walnut granola is easy to prepare as follows:
1/2 cup honey
4 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon of vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg.
6-8 cups of rolled oats
1 cup walnuts pieces
Mix and toss well until everything is covered and gooey….spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 275°F for 30-45 minutes. Once mixture is cool, add walnuts. Delicious and healthy!

New Study Now Links Soy Intake To Improved Lung Health


Regular consumption of soy products could decrease the risk of lung disease and breathlessness, according to a new respiratory health study from Japan.

Published in the Journal Respiratory Research, the new study examined nearly 300 patients diagnosed with lung disease, and measured their reported soy food intake. “Soy consumption was found to be positively correlated with lung function and inversely associated with the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The epidemiological evidence also indicated an inverse association between total soy intake and breathlessness,” wrote the researchers from Japan and Australia.

The study was conducted on 278 patients aged 50-75, who had been diagnosed with COPD within the past four years. Another 340 participants recruited from the general Japanese population were used as a control group. All participants were tested for respiratory function. Food consumption and lifestyle characteristics were determined based on structured questionnaires.

The researchers identified the self-reporting of dietary intake as a limitation to their study, but said that they also included individual interviews with relatives in order to increase response rate and improve the accuracy of answers. They also said all interviews were conducted by the same investigator to eliminate inter-interviewer bias. Participants were asked specifically about their soy food consumption for the five years prior to the interview date. For the purposes of the study, soy foods included tofu, natto, bean sprouts, and soy milk. Other variables measured were age, gender, body mass index, education level, physical activity, smoking status, and dietary intake of fruit, vegetables, fish, red meat and chicken.

Cautious Benefits
Overall, the researchers found that those participants diagnosed with
COPD had significantly lower soy intake than controls. Researchers
then examined the relationship with lung function, and found that this
was positively correlated with total soy consumption.

“A significant reduction in COPD risk was evident for the highest versus lowest quartile of daily total intake of soybean products,” wrote the researchers.

The observed benefits, consistent with findings from previous studies, could be a result of the anti-inflammatory benefits of soy foods, they said, but added that more research is needed to understand the underlying biological mechanism.

“The present case-control study has suggested an inverse association between soy products and COPD risk for adults,” concluded the researchers.

“More research and/or replications are required to ascertain whether
the observed findings can be generalized to other populations, before incorporating these foods into dietary guidelines so as to encourage consumption.”

“Besides experimental studies, long-term prospective cohort studies
collecting detailed dietary exposure information are recommended
to provide epidemiological evidence on both morbidity and mortality
due to COPD.”

Source: Soy consumption and risk of COPD and respiratory symptoms: a case-control study in Japan Respiratory Research 2009.

Omega-3 plus Glucosamine Improves Effectiveness for Joint Health

skeleton 2

Combining omega-3 fatty acids with glucosamine achieves better improvements in joint health than glucosamine alone, reports a new study from Germany.

The study, published in the Journal Advances in Therapy, is said to be the first clinical trial to employ the combination of glucosamine omega-3 fatty acids in people suffering from osteoarthritis.

Approximately seven million people in the UK alone are reported to have long-term health problems associated with arthritis. Experts report it affects the economy worldwide with millions of lost working days and reduced productivity.

In a randomized controlled clinical trial with 177 patients suffering with osteoarthritis, researchers proved that the combination of glucosamine sulfate and omega -3-fatty acid is superior to glucosamine alone.this difference was statistically significant.”

The joint health market is dominated by glucosamine, which is extracted from the shell of crabs, lobster and shrimps. Glucosamine is often used in combination with chondroitin sulphate, extracted from animal cartilage, such as sharks.

The research team recruited 177 people with moderate-to-severe hip or knee osteoarthritis and randomly assigned them to receive either a glucosamine sulfate supplement or glucosamine plus omega-3 fatty acids (concentrated fish oil, of which 200 mg were omega-3-fatty acids).

After 26 weeks of supplementation, the researchers tested pain levels using the established Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthrosis index (WOMAC) score.

While there was no significant difference between the number of responders in each group when a minimal pain reduction of at least
20 per cent was used, significant differences were observed when
a higher responder criterion of at least 80 pain reduction was used.

Most importantly, the combination product reduced morning stiffness
and pain in the hips and knees by between 48.5 and 55.6 per cent,
compared to 41.7 to 55.3 per cent in the glucosamine only group.

Explaining the potential mechanism, the researchers noted that the
ingredient combination probably acted in a synergistic way. “Omega-3
fatty acids inhibit the inflammation process in Osteo Arthritis, whereas glucosamine sulfate further supports the rebuilding of lost cartilage substance,” they stated.

Source: Advances in Therapy Volume 26, Issue 9, Pages 858-871