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Mediterranean Diet ‘Cuts Cancer’

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Adopting just a couple of elements of the Mediterranean diet could cut the risk of cancer by 12%, say scientists.

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The Mediterranean Pyramid
The Mediterranean diet begins with the same basis of lots of grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Major differences from the USDA pyramid include:
• Using olive oil as the primary fat
• Allowing for only moderate amounts of milk products
• Using fish and poultry, rather than red meat, as the main source of high protein food from animals
• Including wine with meals

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruit and vegetables

A study of 26,000 Greek people found just using more olive oil alone cut the risk by 9%.

The diet, reports the British Journal of Cancer, also includes higher amounts of fruits, vegetables, cereals, and less red meat.

A separate study found adding broccoli to meals might help men vulnerable to prostate cancer cut their risk.

The Mediterranean diet came under scrutiny after researchers noticed lower rates of illnesses such as heart disease in countries such as Spain and Greece.

They noticed that people living there generally ate more vegetables and fish, less red meat, cooked in olive oil and drank moderate amounts of alcohol.

The latest study is one of the largest yet to look at the potential impact on cancer of the various parts of this diet.

‘No superfood’

Researchers from Harvard University persuaded thousands of Greek people of various ages to record their food intake over an eight-year-period.

Their adherence to the Mediterranean diet was ranked using a scoring system, and the group with the worst score compared with those who followed a couple of aspects of the diet, and those who followed it the most closely.

The biggest effect they found – a 9% reduction in risk – was achieved simply by eating more “unsaturated” fats such as olive oil.

But just two changes – eating less red meat, and more peas, beans and lentils, cut the risk of cancer by 12%.

Dr Dimitrios Trichopoulos, who led the study, said: “Adjusting one’s overall dietary habits towards the traditional Mediterranean pattern had an important effect.”

Sara Hiom, from Cancer Research UK, said the research highlighted the importance of a healthy balanced diet.

“It shows there are a number of things you can do, and there is no one ‘superfood’ that can stop you developing the disease” says Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK

Broccoli benefit

The other study suggesting that food had the power to prevent cancer came from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich.
Broccoli may help ward off prostate cancer:- CLICK & SEE
Scientists compared the effects of adding 400 grams of broccoli or peas a week to the diet of men at high risk of prostate cancer – and in the case of broccoli found differences in the activity of genes in the prostate which other studies have linked to cancer.

Their findings raised the possibility that broccoli, or other “cruciferous” vegetables, such as cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, could help prevent or slow down the disease, particularly if the man had a particular gene variant – GSTM1.

Professor Richard Mithen, who led the research, published in the Public Library of Science journal, said: “Eating two or three portions of cruciferous vegetables per week, and maybe a few more if you lack the GSTM1 gene – should be encouraged.”

Professor Karol Sikora, medical director of CancerPartnersUK, said the study was the first time in a properly controlled clinical trial that broccoli had been shown to change the expression of specific genes in the prostate gland.

“Although the observation period was too short and the numbers too small to show that the incidence of cancer actually fell, it is the first clear demonstration that broccoli and presumably other cruciferous vegetables may well reduce cancer risk.”

You may click to see:->Mediterranean diet benefits

>Diet Plans & Weight

>The Food Groups and the Food Pyramid

Sources: BBC NEWS:July 2, ’08

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Juice ‘Prevents Clogged Arteries’

Juices made from apples or purple grapes – and the fruit themselves – protect against developing clogged arteries, a study suggests.

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Juice made from purple grapes had the most beneficial effect

Researchers fed hamsters the fruit and juice or water, plus a fatty diet.

The animals who were fed grape juice had the lowest risk of developing artery problems, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research reports.

The University of Montpellier team said the juice’s benefits came from its high levels of phenols – an antioxidant.

Antioxidants in various foods have been regularly cited as being beneficial to heart health.

The French team looked at how juicing affected the phenol content of fruit – because most studies look at raw fruit.

Four glasses a day

They then looked at how being fed various kinds of fruit affected the hamsters’ risk of atherosclerosis – the build-up of fatty plaque deposits in the arteries that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

The amount of fruit the hamsters consumed was equivalent to three apples or three bunches of grapes daily for a human.

Hamsters given juice drank the equivalent of four glasses daily for a person weighing 70 kilograms (154 pounds).

The apples and grapes had about the same phenol content, while the purple grape juice had 2.5 times more phenols than apple juice.

Compared with animals given water, those given fruit or fruit juice had lower cholesterol levels, less oxidative stress, and less fat accumulation in their aorta, the main vessel supplying oxygenated blood to the body.

Purple grape juice had the strongest effect, followed by purple grapes, apple juice and apples.

The researchers say their findings suggest the amount of phenols contained in a food have a direct effect on its antioxidant properties.

Other antioxidant compounds in the fruits, such as vitamin C and carotenoids, could also contribute to their effects, they added.

The team, led by Kelly Decorde, said their findings “provide encouragement that fruit and fruit juices may have a significant clinical and public health relevance.”

A British nutritionist said: “High levels of antioxidants are recognised as being good for you.”

You may also click to see:->Beetroot ‘May Cut Blood Pressure’

Apple juice ‘may prevent asthma’
Berry juice may be a heart tonic

Molecular Nutrition and Food Research April ’08

Sources: BBC NEWS:MAY 16, ’08