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Fish Oils Might Prevent Age-Related Blindness

A typical fish oil softgel
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Superfoods containing omega 3 and fish oils may help prevent the most common cause of blindness in old age, say scientists.

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The benefits of eating oily fish like mackerel and nuts are already recognised in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and heart attacks.

But new US research suggests omega 3 fatty acids can also protect against the .loss of vision that develops with age,known as AMD (age-related macular degeneration).
Around 200,000 Britons each year suffer AMD and there is no preventative treatment, although laser surgery and drugs can limit damage caused by the disease.
It is the most common cause of sight loss in people over 50 and robs people of the central vision necessary for reading, driving or simply recognising people’s faces.
A team at the National Eye Institute in Maryland, US, who fed mice with high levels of Omega 3 found those eating more fish oils had lower levels of AMD.
The condition improved in 57 per cent of mice fed the highest levels for at least 12 weeks, compared with just four per cent on lower levels of omega 3.
It is unclear how omega 3 works but the mechanism may be anti-inflammatory.
The mice that responded best had lower levels of inflammation – thought to be linked with the development of AMD – and higher rates of anti-inflammatory molecules.
In a report that will appear in the American Journal of Pathology next month, the scientists said ‘The results provide the scientific basis for omega 3 fatty acids in the prevention and treatment of AMD.
Dr Chi-Chao Chan, who led the research team, said the results should apply in humans although the exact amount and duration of omega 3 needed to confer long-term benefits had to be determined.
She said: ‘The results in these mice are in line with epidemiological studies of AMD risk reduction and we plan to use this model to evaluate other therapies that might delay the development of the disease.
‘We think the findings are applicable in humans and it probably means a daily intake of omega 3.’The findings suggest regular consumption of a diet high in omega 3 would cut the risk of the disease and might also improve sight if taken up after it had developed, she added.
Britons are currently advised to eat fish at least twice a week, including one portion of oily fish.
The best dietary source of omega 3 fatty acids is oily fish because the human body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids.
There has been an explosion in the number of foods fortified with omega-3 oils, such as chickens, margarine, eggs, milk and bread, but they contain only small amounts.
Types of fish that contain high levels include tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovies.Fish oil supplements are recommended as protection against heart attacks and sudden death, with regular fish eaters a third more likely to survive a heart attack.

Omega 3 fats work in several ways to reduce heart attack risk by cutting blood fats, reducing the chances of a blood clot and blocking dangerous heart rhythms that might otherwise prove fatal.In addition, trials have shown fish oils can help prevent depression.Taking fish oils in pregnancy has been found to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, and improve birthweight.
Previous research also shows supplements of certain antioxidant vitamins and other nutrients may ward off AMD.

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Source:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1201603/Fish-oils-help-prevent-age-related-blindness.html#ixzz0MKIHCxTX

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Edible Coating Makes Fish Nutritious

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Oregon State University have extended the shelf life of lingcod fillets and possibly made them more nutritious by dipping them into an  edible, protective coating enriched with fish oil.

The research may give consumers a chance to eat longer-lasting, potentially healthier fish fillets.

“With this coating, you can easily keep the fillets in the display case for two to three more days,” said OSU food science professor Yanyun Zhao, the lead researcher in the study.

The liquid coating contained chitosan, which comes from crustacean shells and can be made into film for food wrapping to keep out bacteria and fungi and prolong storage life.

What’s unusual about the OSU study is that fish oil was added to the chitosan coating, which wasn’t visible once it dried. After the coating was applied, some fillets were refrigerated for three weeks while others were frozen for three months.

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Food Chemistry, found that the coating tripled the omega-3 fatty acids in the refrigerated and frozen fish when compared against the uncoated fish.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines, but lean fish such as cod, grouper, catfish and swordfish have lower amounts.

In addition to increasing the omega-3 levels in the lingcod, the OSU study also found that the coating reduced lipid oxidation, which causes rancidity, in the refrigerated and frozen samples when compared with the uncoated fillets.

The coating also kept the fish moister than the uncoated samples as the frozen ones were thawing. Additionally, the coating delayed the growth of microorganisms in the fresh fillets, and it prevented their growth in the frozen ones. The coating did not affect the color of the fillets.

Eating high levels of fructose may impair memory
Washington, July 17 (ANI): Diets high in fructose – a type of sugar found in most processed foods and beverages – could impair spatial memory, says a study on adult rats.

To reach the conclusion, Amy Ross, a graduate student in the lab of Marise Parent, associate professor at Georgia State’s Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychology, fed a group of Sprague-Dawley rats a diet where fructose represented 60 percent of calories ingested during the day.

She placed the rats in a pool of water to test their ability to learn to find a submerged platform, which allowed them to get out of the water. She then returned them to the pool two days later with no platform present to see if the rats could remember to swim to the platform’s location.

“What we discovered is that the fructose diet doesn’t affect their ability to learn,” Parent said.

“But they can’t seem to remember as well where the platform was when you take it away. They swam more randomly than rats fed a control diet,” the expert added.

Fructose, unlike another sugar, glucose, is processed almost solely by the liver, and produces an excessive amount of triglycerides – fat which get into the bloodstream. Triglycerides can interfere with insulin signaling in the brain, which plays a major role in brain cell survival and plasticity, or the ability for the brain to change based on new experiences.

Source: The Times Of India

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Apples, avocados and a glass of red wine ‘can ease arthritis’

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Suffering from arthritis? Make sure you eat apples, avocados, oily fish and drink a goblet of red wine everyday, for a new study has  revealed that these could ease the painful joint condition.
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Researchers have carried out the study and found a definite link between the food people eat and the severity of the symptoms — in fact, apples, avocados and red wine contain anti-oxidants which reduce the rate at which cartilage breaks down, helping to slow the process of osteoarthritis.

Likewise, oily fish like salmon are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that oil the joints and thereby damp down inflammation. Omega-3 could also reduce the long-term need for painkillers in those with joint problems.

The study has also suggested that drinking plenty of fluids, two to three litres a day, to maintain good hydration and a steady flow of nutrients to your joints, leading British newspaper the ‘Daily Mail‘ reported.

And, the foods most commonly found to worsen arthritis are wheat, corn, rye, sugar, caffeine, yeast, dairy products, oranges, grapefruit, lemons and tomatoes. Meats most likely to provoke symptoms are bacon, pork, beef and lamb.

According to researchers, these foods trigger joint pain in those with arthritis. But when these are avoided about 70 per cent of sufferers have been seen to be reporting less pain and improved mobility.

The researchers have based their findings on an analysis of 82 people with osteoarthritis. The study also found that pain intensity reduced during the six-week period they had weekly Reiki sessions.

Source:The Times Of India

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Eating Fish ‘Prevents Eye Disease’

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Want to keep your vision clear as the years go by? Put fatty fish on your menu, at least twice a week, says a new study.

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Researchers have found that eating fish, like salmon and tuna at least twice a week can help prevent a devastating eye disease — the age-related muscular degeneration which is said to be the leading cause of blindness in the elderly
.

Over time the back part of the eye can degenerate, causing the disease, which can also be triggered by new blood vessels growing and bleeding in the region.

And, according to the study by Tufts University, the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish offers protection against the eye disease, the British media reported.

For their study, the researchers questioned 3,000 people about their general diet and then monitored development of the condition over eight years. Half of the volunteers were given some form of daily supplement, including antioxidants such as vitamins C
and E and beta-carotene.

The findings showed show that progression to both the dry and wet forms of advanced disease was 25 per cent less likely among those who ate a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

And, those who took the antioxidants as well as zinc and beta-carotene were 50 per cent more likely to develop the advanced disease, according to the study published in the ‘British Journal of Ophthalmology’.

Source: The Times Of India

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Suppliments our body needs

Fucoxanthin

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Definition:Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid, with formula C42H58O6. It is found as an accessory pigment in the chloroplasts of brown algae and most other heterokonts, giving them a brown or olive-green color. Fucoxanthin absorbs light primarily in the blue-green to yellow-green part of the visible spectrum, peaking at around 510-525 nm by various estimates and absorbing significantly in the range of 450 to 540 nm. Some metabolic and nutritional studies carried at Hokkaido University indicate that fucoxanthin promotes fat burning within fat cells in white adipose tissue by increasing the expression of thermogeniIt is a type of carotenoid found naturally in edible brown seaweed such as wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) and hijiki (Hijikia fusiformis), which are used widely in Asian cuisine. Wakame is the seaweed used in miso soup….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Fucoxanthin is also found in much smaller amounts in red seaweed (the kind typically used in Japanese sushi rolls) and green seaweed.

Both wakame and hijiki are available at Japanese specialty food stores, some health food stores and online. Although brown seaweed is the richest source of fucoxanthin, you would have to eat an unrealistic amount of it daily to get fucoxanthin levels close to those used in research studies.

Fucoxanthin is also available as a nutritional supplement in capsule form and can be found in some health food stores and online.

Medicinal Uses:

Weight Loss
Fucoxanthin is being explored for weight loss. So far, only animal studies have been done. Japanese researchers have found that fucoxanthin (isolated from wakame) promotes the loss of abdominal fat in obese mice and rats. Animals lost five to 10% of their body weight.

Although it’s not fully understood how fucoxanthin works, it appears to target a protein called UCP1 that increases the rate at which abdominal fat is burned. Abdominal fat, also called white adipose tissue, is the kind of fat that surrounds our organs and is linked to heart disease and diabetes. Fucoxanthin also appears to stimulate the production of DHA, one of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon.

Although it’s promising and already a popular nutritional supplement, more research is needed to determine if fucoxanthin will work in the same way in humans. If it does prove to be effective, fucoxanthin could be developed into a diet pill for obesity.

You may click to see:->Brown Seaweed that may Help Fight Obesity

Diabetes
Fucoxanthin has also been found in animal studies to decrease insulin and blood glucose levels. Researchers hypothesize that fucoxanthin anti-diabetes effect may be because fucoxanthin appears to promote the formation of DHA (the omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil). DHA is thought to increase insulin sensitivity, improve triglycerides and reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

Cancer
Preliminary research in test tubes suggests that fucoxanthin may have anti-tumor effects. No studies have looked at whether this holds true in humans or if taken orally. It’s far too early for fucoxanthin to be used as a complementary treatment for cancer.

Side Effects
Because there hasn’t been research on fucoxanthin in humans, the possible side effects aren’t known.

People shouldn’t consume large amounts of wakame or other types of seaweed as a source of fucoxanthin. Seaweed is rich in iodine and excessive consumption may result in iodine poisoning. High levels of iodine can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland. Also, consuming excess amounts of iodine-rich foods isn’t recommended if there is a known allergy or hypersensitivity to iodine.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fucoxanthin
http://altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/fucoxanthin.htm