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Green Tea Extracts Linked to Healthier Bones According To A New Study

Specific Antioxidants, Carotenoids and Phytonutrients Now Recognized For Helping Support Bone & Joint Health. greentea2

A new study shows specific natural compounds from Green Tea may lead to stronger bones by promoting bone formation, while also inhibiting bone resorption, which leads to weakening.

The new study looked at three tea compounds called epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG), and found that EGC produced the greatest bone boosting potential.

“Our study has provided the first laboratory evidence on the bone promotion effects of the green tea catechin EGC as was demonstrated by the promotion of osteoblastic differentiation and inhibition of osteoclast formation,” wrote researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong report their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Osteoblasts are cells responsible for bone formation, while osteoclasts are cells which break down bone, ultimately leading to resorption and weakening.

The study is consistent with data from epidemiological studies. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Oct. 2007, Vol 86, pp. 1243-1247) reported that bone mineral density levels were 2.8 per cent greater in tea drinkers than non-tea drinkers, suggesting the beverage has the potential to aid in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is currently second only to cardiovascular disease in terms of global healthcare burden, according to the World Health Organization. This condition affects nearly 200 million people today but the number of sufferers is expected to increase steadily with growing numbers of elderly living longer, and obesity adding extra strain on bone health.

Green tea contains between 30 and 40 per cent of water-extractable
polyphenols, while black tea (green tea that has been oxidized by fermentation) contains between 3 and 10 per cent.

The four primary polyphenols found in fresh tea leaves are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin.

EGC was found to stimulate bone mineralization, while simultaneously inhibiting the formation of osteoclasts. The other catechins were found to be less effective;”The present study illustrated that the tea catechins, specifically EGC, had positive effects on bone metabolism through a double process of promoting osteoblastic activity and inhibiting osteoclast differentiations,” explained the researchers.

“Our observations would serve as groundwork for further studies,” they concluded.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Who doesn’t love Peppermint, especially this time of year?peppermint1

The smooth cool bursting flavor is so refreshing and the health benefits far exceed the taste!

Some of the properties found in peppermint helps to relax muscle tissue which aids and relieves upset stomachs and other digestive conditions.

Mostly everyone loves the scent of peppermint and this time of year with tons of stuffy noses, it helps open up the airways for easier breathing. Not to mention the scent of garlic on your breath from last night’s dinner, get close to your loved ones with the help of some peppermint tea!

In pill form, or tea, the healing properties of peppermint are tremendous and nutritious. Peppermint provides a very good source of dietary fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Its low calorie status qualified peppermint as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids too!

There are 25 variations of mint. Mint’s characteristic smell has made it one of the more popular perfuming herbs throughout history. It has also played an important role in the American tradition, while the Native Americans were using mint even before the arrival of the European settlers. This prized herb has long been honored for its therapeutic properties throughout the world.

Studies show that patients who took peppermint oil capsules for four weeks had a major reduction in irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint also relaxes the gastro-esophageal sphincter, thus promoting belching. Restaurants usually take advantage of this effect by taking advantage of its use as what we all know as the after-dinner mint.

You can buy fresh mint to use as tea, chop up in salads, season food, chew a leaf….it makes a fragrant and festival plant to have around the house during the holiday season too, and you can continue to grow indoors year round. Soak some in water and add to your bath!

Enjoy the benefits….freshen up and live it up, with delicious peppermint!

Green Tea Extracts Linked To Healthier Bones According To New Study
Antioxidants, carotenoids and phytochemicals derived from botanical, fruit and vegetable sources are now being recognized for helping support bone and joint health.

skeletonA new study shows specific natural compounds from Green Tea may lead to stronger bones by promoting bone formation, while also inhibiting bone resorption, which leads to weakening. The new study looked at three tea compounds called epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG), and found that EGC produced the greatest bone boosting potential.

“Our study has provided the first laboratory evidence on the bone promotion effects of the green tea catechin EGC as was demonstrated by the promotion of osteoblastic differentiation and inhibition of osteoclast formation” wrote researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong report their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Osteoblasts are cells responsible for bone formation, while osteoclasts are cells which break down bone, ultimately leading to resorption and weakening.

The study is consistent with data from epidemiological studies. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Oct. 2007, Vol 86, pp. 1243-1247) reported that bone mineral density levels were 2.8 per cent greater in tea drinkers than non-tea drinkers, suggesting the beverage has the potential to aid in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is currently second only to cardiovascular disease in terms of global healthcare burden, according to the World Health Organization. This condition affects nearly 200 million people today but the number of sufferers is expected to increase steadily with growing numbers of elderly living longer, and obesity adding extra strain on bone health.

Green Tea contains between 30 and 40 per cent of water-extractable polyphenols, while black tea (green tea that has been oxidized by fermentation) contains between 3 and 10 per cent.

The four primary polyphenols found in fresh tea leaves are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin.

EGC was found to stimulate bone mineralization, while simultaneously inhibiting the formation of osteoclasts. The other catechins were found to be less effective.

“The present study illustrated that the tea catechins, specifically EGC, had positive effects on bone metabolism through a double process of promoting osteoblastic activity and inhibiting osteoclast differentiations” explained the researchers.

“Our observations would serve as groundwork for further studies” they concluded.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Phytochemicals In Plant-based Foods Could Help Battle Obesity, Disease

Eating healthy servings of broccoli or leafy greens first could help people battle metabolic processes that lead to obesity and heart disease, a new study from University of Florida reports.
garden

Eating more plant-based foods, which are rich in nutritive substances called phytochemicals, seems to prevent oxidative stress in the body, a process associated with obesity and the onset of disease, according to findings published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

To get enough of these protective phytochemicals, researchers
suggest eating plant-based foods such as leafy greens, fruits,
vegetables, nuts and legumes at the start of a meal. Using what is
known as a phytochemical index, which compares the number of
calories consumed from plant-based foods compared with the
overall number of daily calories, could also help people make
certain they remember to get enough phytochemicals during their
regular meals and snacks.

“We need to encourage people to pull back on fat and eat more
foods rich in micronutrients and trace minerals from fruits,
vegetables, whole grains and soy. Fill your plate with colorful,
low-calorie, varied-texture foods derived from plants first. By slowly
eating phytochemical-rich foods such as salads with olive oil or
fresh-cut fruits before the actual meal, you will likely reduce the overall
portion size, fat content and energy intake. In this way, you’re
ensuring that you get the variety of protective, disease-fighting
phytochemicals you need and controlling caloric intake.” explained
the researchers studying a group of young adults; The team analyzed
their dietary patterns over a three-day period, repeating the same
measurement eight weeks later. The participants were broken into
two distinct groups: normal weight and overweight-obese.

Although the adults in the two groups consumed about the same
amount of calories, overweight-obese adults consumed fewer
plant-based foods and subsequently fewer protective trace minerals
and phytochemicals and more saturated fats. They also had higher
levels of oxidative stress and inflammation than their normal-weight
peers. These processes are related to the onset of obesity, heart
disease, diabetes and joint disease.

Diets low in plant-based foods affect health over the course of a
long period of time. This is related to annual weight gain, low levels
of inflammation and oxidative stress. Those are the onset processes
of disease that debilitate people later in life.

Oxidative stress occurs when the body produces too many damaging
free radicals and lacks enough antioxidants or phytochemicals to
counteract them. Because of excess fat tissue and certain enzymes
that are more active in overweight people, being obese can actually
trigger the production of more free radicals, too.

Because many phytochemicals have antioxidant properties, they
can help combat free radicals. Phytochemicals include substances
such as allin from garlic, lycopene from tomatoes, isoflavones from
soy, beta carotene from orange squashes and anythocyanins from
red wine, among others.

“People who are obese need more fruits, vegetables, legumes
and wholesome unrefined grains,” the researchers stressed.
“In comparison to a normal-weight person, an obese person
typically has many adverse metabolic processes going on.”

“Instead of making drastic changes, people could substitute one
or two choices a day with phytochemical-rich foods to make a
difference in their diets. For example, substituting a cup of black tea
or green tea instead of coffee or eating an orange instead of a candy
bar could increase a person’s phytochemical intake for the day
without even changing the feeling of fullness. Over time, replacing
more pre-packaged snacks with fresh produce or low-sugar grains
could become a habit that fights obesity and disease” they said.

“We want to encourage people to go back to the whole sources of
food, the non-processed foods whenever possible,” the researchers
said. “That would be the bottom line for anyone, regardless of age
and body size, keep going back to the purer plant-based foods.
Remember to eat the good quality food first.”

aloe
My grandfather drank aloe every day to heal his stomach ulcer. He lived in South Florida where it was readily available to him by walking out to his garden. It took a year or so to heal but no more ulcer!

The healing properties work internally and externally. The internal benefits include using aloe as a laxative and colon cleaner; it’s powerful and not intended to be used frequently for this purpose. The external benefits nourish the skin and helps optimize cell renewal and defends the skin against damaging environmental conditions such as sun, wind and pollutants. The healing properties of aloe vera also helps heal skin conditions that include burns, rash, hives, ulcerations, poison ivy, and other serious skin ailments.

This succulent plant can be grown in a window sill or outdoors in warmer climate and there are a number of varieties. You can clip a tiny piece and scoop out the slimy gel and apply directly to skin or add to your health drinks and smoothies. The taste isn’t very appealing but the benefits far exceed the flavor. On your skin it gets sticky and doesn’t smell that great either but it does wonders.

You can find liquid versions in the super markets, and health food stores just about anywhere. There are many forms available depending on your needs. Mixing the liquid form with apple cider or some other juice makes the taste bearable especially when you consider the positive effects it will have to your health. It’s also available in pill form when you don’t have time to mix up a smoothie or dislike the flavor so much you avoid ingesting all together.

Aloe Vera has many benefits and can be used for so many things. It’s a gift from nature with endless benefits!

Researchers at The University of Leicester in England and Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal Studied New Protective Properties of Vitamin C in Cells From The Human Skin, Which Could Lead To Better Skin RegenerationVit C

The research determined that a form of Vitamin C helped to promote wound healing and also helped protect the DNA damage of skin cells. The findings have been published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

This report is the latest in a long line of publications from these researchers, at the University of Leicester, concerning Vitamin C. Previously, the group has published evidence that DNA repair is unregulated in people consuming Vitamin C supplements. The researchers have now provided some mechanistic evidence for this, in cell culture, using techniques for examining gene expression, and to study DNA damage and repair.

The exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation increases in summer, often resulting in a higher incidence of skin lesions. Ultraviolet radiation is also a genotoxic agent responsible for skin cancer, through the formation of free
radicals and DNA damage.

The study analyzed the effect of sustained exposure to a Vitamin C derivative and investigated which genes are activated by Vitamin C in these cells, which are responsible for skin regeneration.

“The results demonstrated that Vitamin C may improve wound healing by stimulating quiescent fibroblasts to divide and by promoting their migration into the wounded area. Vitamin C could also protect the skin by increasing the capacity of fibroblasts to repair potentially mutagenic DNA lesions.” explained the researchers.

Even though Vitamin C was discovered over 70 years ago as the agent that prevents scurvy, its properties are still under much debate in the scientific community. In fact, the annual meeting of the International Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine, which will be held this year in San Francisco, will feature a session dedicated to Vitamin C,
entitled “New Discoveries For An Old Vitamin”.

The study indicates a mechanism by which vitamin C could contribute to the maintenance of a healthy skin by promoting wound healing and by protecting cellular DNA against damage caused by oxidation.

Free radicals are associated with premature skin aging, and antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, are known to counter these highly damaging compounds. This new evidence suggest that, in addition to ‘mopping up’ free radicals, Vitamin C can potentially help remove the DNA damage
they form, if they get past the individual cell’s defenses.

The study has the potential to lead to advances in the prevention and treatment of skin lesions specifically, as well as contributing to the fight against cancer.

Bran May Slash Hypertension Risk, According to New Cardiovascular Health Study From Harvard – Increased Intakes of Whole Grains, and Bran in Particular, May Reduce The Incidence of Hypertension, According to Important New Findings.

Data from over 30,000 participates in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study indicated that increased intakes of whole grains are associated with a 19 per cent lower incidence of hypertension.

The research from Harvard School of Public Health, report the findings online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “These findings have implications for future dietary guidelines and prevention of hypertension,” they reported.

High blood pressure (hypertension),defined as having a systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) greater than 140 and 90 mmHg, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) – a disease that causes almost 50 per cent of deaths in modern society.

While the potential heart health benefits of whole grains have been reported before, the Harvard researchers note that no studies have reported if the total grams of whole grains are linked to the risk of hypertension.

The 31,684 health professionals aged between 40 and 75 without known hypertension, cancer, stroke, or heart disease were followed for 18 years. During this time, 9,227 cases of incident hypertension were documented.

Comparing the highest intakes of whole grains to the lowest intakes, the researchers calculated that whole grains were associated with a 19 per cent reduction in the incidence of hypertension.

When they subsequently looked at total bran, a 15 per cent reduction in the incidence of hypertension was observed for individuals with the highest intakes, compared to the lowest.

“In summary, we found an independent inverse association between intake of whole grains and incident hypertension,” wrote the researchers. “Bran may play an important role in this association,” they concluded.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Exercise Shown To Improve Insulin Sensitivity In Obese Sedentary Adolescents

A new study published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) reports how a moderate aerobic exercise program can improve insulin sensitivity in both lean and obese sedentary adolescents. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that permits glucose to enter cells to be used for energy or stored for future use by the body.

Because obese adolescents are resistant to insulin, in order to maintain normal blood sugar levels, they have to increase their production of insulin. Increased insulin production however, places bigger demands on the pancreas. These higher demands can exhaust pancreatic beta cells to the point that they no longer produce sufficient amounts of insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal, which
subsequently leads to type 2 diabetes.

“Because weight loss can be difficult to achieve and maintain in obese sedentary children, the purpose of this study was to determine whether a controlled exercise program, without any diet intervention and with no intention of weight loss, would improve fat distribution and sensitivity to insulin,” explained the senior author of the study conducted at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. “We found that a 12-week moderate aerobic exercise program consisting of four 30-minute workouts a week increased fitness and improved insulin sensitivity in both lean and obese adolescents.”

In this study, 29 adolescents (14 lean and 15 obese) completed the 12-week moderate aerobic exercise program. During the exercise sessions, subjects worked out on a treadmill, elliptical or bicycle. The goal of each exercise session was to get the participants’ heart rate to increase to at least 70 percent of their maximum capacity.

Glucose and insulin concentrations were measured both before and after the exercise program. Cardiovascular fitness was determined using an oxygen consumption test which consists of measuring oxygen uptake of the participant during a treadmill exercise where speed and incline is increased every three minutes until the subject reaches his maximum exercise capacity.

“Many studies include both diet and exercise interventions, which makes it difficult to determine which intervention is most effective and best accepted by adolescents,” said the researchers. “Our findings show that exercise alone can increase fitness and improve insulin sensitivity, making an aerobic program like the one used in this study a potential useful tool in preventing obesity-related illnesses.”

Researchers working on the study include scientists from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas; The University of Padova in Padua, Italy; and The University of Groningen in The Netherlands.

High Blood Pressure Linked To Memory Problems In Middle Ages
High blood pressure is linked to memory problems in people over 45, according to research published in the August 25, 2009, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study found that people with high diastolic blood pressure, which is the bottom number of a blood pressure reading, were more likely to have cognitive impairment, or problems with their memory and thinking skills, than people with normal diastolic readings.

For every 10 point increase in the reading, the odds of a person having cognitive problems was seven percent higher. The results were valid after adjusting for other factors that could affect cognitive abilities, such as age, smoking status, exercise level, education, diabetes or high cholesterol.

The study involved nearly 20,000 people age 45 and older across the country who participated in the Reasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study and had never had a stroke or mini-stroke. A total of 1,505 of the participants, or 7.6 percent, had cognitive problems, and 9,844, or 49.6 percent, were taking medication for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is defined as a reading equal to or higher than 140/90 or taking medication for high blood pressure.

“It’s possible that by preventing or treating high blood pressure, we could potentially prevent cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to dementia,” explained a research team from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, including members of the American Academy of Neurology.

Research has shown that high diastolic blood pressure leads to weakening of small arteries in the brain, which can result in the development of small areas of brain damage. They explained more research is needed to confirm the relationship between high blood pressure and cognitive impairment.

The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The REGARDS study is one of the largest population-based studies of risk factors for stroke. These latest data suggest that higher blood pressure may be a risk factor for cognitive decline, but further studies will be necessary to understand the cause-effect relationship,

The deputy director of the American Academy of Neurology noted “The National Institutes of Health is now organizing a large clinical trial to evaluate whether aggressive blood pressure lowering can decrease a number of important health outcomes including cognitive decline.”

Adapted from materials provided by American Academy of Neurology.

Chocolate Again Linked To Better Heart Health

Increased intakes of chocolate may decrease the risk of a heart attack victim from dying from heart-related problems, according to a new US-Swedish study.

Eating chocolate two or more times per week was associated with a 66 per cent reduction in cardiac mortality, while less frequent consumption was also associated with smaller decreased risks, report researchers in the Journal of Internal Medicine. The study is said to be the first to assess the possible effects of chocolate consumption on the prognosis of men and women following a heart attack.

The health benefits of antioxidant-rich chocolate have received recognition in recent years, with positive findings from a number of studies impacting on consumer awareness. Chocolate manufacturers are using high cocoa content (over 70 per cent) as a method of differentiation, and cocoa has also received attention for its potential in functional food applications.

Study Details
The researchers followed 1,169 non-diabetic people hospitalized after their first heart attack, and participating in the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program. After completing a questionnaire to assess chocolate consumption over the course of 12 months, the participants were then followed to eight years.

According to the results, consuming chocolate less than once per month, up to once per week and twice or more per week was associated with 27, 44, and 66 per cent reductions in cardiac mortality, respectively.

Intakes of other sweets and candies were not linked to any changes in cardiac or total mortality risk. “Chocolate consumption was associated with lower cardiac mortality in a dose dependent manner in patients free of diabetes surviving their first acute myocardial infarction,” wrote the researchers.

“The new findings support increasing evidence that chocolate is a rich source of beneficial bioactive compounds, confirmation of this strong inverse relationship from other observational studies or large-scale, long-term, controlled randomized trials is needed,” they concluded.

The researchers were affiliated with Karolinska Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, The National Board of Health and Welfare (Stockholm), and Uppsala University.

Source: Journal of Internal Medicine
“Chocolate consumption and mortality following a first acute myocardial infarction: the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program”