Study Says Chemicals in Apple Skins, Red Wine, Turmeric Could Help Fight Alzheimer’s

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Supplements derived from apple skins, red wine and turmeric might someday help slow the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s and related diseases, says a new study.

In scientists’ view, a group of chemicals called type-2 alkenes, which are widespread in both the environment and the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, act as major drivers of the disease.

In turn, said chemical neurotoxicologist Richard LoPachin, neutraceuticals of the future could stop these brain-damaging chemicals in their tracks.

Already, LoPachin’s group has developed just such a compound that, in Petri dishes at least, sops up type-2 alkenes and protects nerves from harm.

“If you talk to someone else, they may tell you I’m nuts. We know that humans are pervasively exposed to type-2 alkenes, but nobody has ever considered the possibility that type-2 alkenes in the environment might be involved in Alzheimer’s. It’s a new theory of Alzheimer’s,” Discovery News quoted LoPachin, of the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, as saying.

Alzheimer’s is a multi-faceted disease and efforts to understand it have followed a variety of paths. One line of research focuses on the endings of nerve cells in the brain, which degenerate as the disease progresses.

When that happens, communication among nuerons breaks down, leading to confusion, forgetfulness and other hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

While scientists disagree about what causes nerve-ending degeneration, studies have clearly shown that the progression of the disease itself produces type-2 alkenes in the brain.

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Weight Watchers Unveils Revolutionary Revamp of Popular Diet Plan

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Weight Watchers, after helping a lot of people lose their weight, is now changing its diet formula.

The weight-loss giant has replaced its Points plan in the U.S. with a new system called PointsPlus.

PointsPlus, seen as the biggest innovation in more than a decade, uses the latest scientific research to create a program that goes far beyond traditional calorie counting to give people the edge they need to lose weight and keep it off in a fundamentally healthier way.

The net effect is weight loss that is satisfying, healthful and flexible all at the same time.

The new formula takes into account the energy contained in each of the components that make up calories – protein, carbohydrates, fat and fibre – and it also factors how hard the body works to process them (conversion cost) as well their respective eating satisfaction (satiety).

In addition to the new formula, foods that are low in energy density and therefore, more highly satisfying, are emphasized within the program. Specifically, all fresh fruits and most vegetables now have zero PointsPlus values.

The new program features, combined with the fundamentals of the Weight Watchers approach make PointsPlus the most revolutionary and innovative program the company has ever offered.

“Our new PointsPlus program is based on the latest scientific research and is designed to guide people to foods that are nutrient dense and highly satisfying, ensuring they will make healthful decisions, have successful weight loss and learn to keep their weight off long-term,” said Karen Miller-Kovach, chief scientific officer, Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Coffee Sugar Combo ‘Boosts Memory, Attention Span’

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Coffee with sugar may be the best way to boost brain performance and get you ready for a busy day ahead, say scientists.

Researchers at the University of Barcelona in Spain found that taking caffeine
and sugar at the same time boosted the brain’s performance more than taking them on their own.
They now believe each one boosts the effect of the other on brain functions such as attention span and working memory. The findings come from brain scans carried out on 40 volunteers who were tested after they had coffee with sugar, coffee without sugar, sugar on its own or just plain water.

“The two substances improve cognitive performance by increasing the efficiency of the two areas of the brain responsible for sustained attention and working memory,” the Daily Mail quoted researcher Dr Josep Serra Grabulosa as saying.

“The brain is more efficient under the combined effect of the two substances, since it needs fewer resources to produce the same level of performance than when volunteers took only caffeine, glucose or water,” Serra Grabulosa added.

Study Says Chronic High Cholesterol Diet Leads to Brain Damage

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Chronic high fat cholesterol diet
in rats exhibit pathologies similar to Alzheimer’s disease, a new study by Laboratory of Psychiatry and Experimental Alzheimers Research at the Medical University Innsbruck (Austria) has demonstrated.

The major pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease are extracellular aggregates (plaques)
of the small peptide beta-amyloid, hyperphosphorylation of the protein tau and subsequent formation of intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, degeneration of neurons secreting the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, inflammation, and cerebrovascular dysfunction.

The causes for Alzheimer’s disease are not known, but dysregulation of amyloid-precursor protein expression and beta-amyloid clearance is hypothesized (beta-amyloid cascade). Alternatively, a pathological cascade of events may trigger hyper-phosphorylation of tau, putting the tau-hypothesis into the center. A third hypothesis suggests that chronic long-lasting mild cerebrovascular damage, including inflammatory processes and oxidative stress, may cause Alzheimer’s disease. It has been suggested that Alzheimer’s disease starts 20-30 years before first symptoms appear and recent studies have shown, that high cholesterol levels are linked to the pathology of this disease.

Meat and Milk from Cloned Cows Safe for Consumption: Experts

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A panel of experts has suggested meat and milk from cloned cows is safe for consumption.
The panel concluded that there was no material difference between meat and milk from standard animals and products from cloned specimens.
Andrew Wadge, the chief scientist at the Food Standards Agency, said an independent study had shown that there was no difference between ordinary cattle and cloned cattle.
Wadge’s statement was in response to a study by the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes, an independent body that examines all new food products for the FSA to assess whether they are safe to go on sale.
Studies of possible issues over allergies, toxins and possible side-effects of eating cloned meat “did not highlight any issues of concern”, said its report.
“The ACNFP has confirmed that meat and milk from cloned cattle and their offspring shows no substantial difference to conventionally produced meat and milk and therefore is unlikely to present a food safety risk,” the Telegraph quoted Wadge as saying.

 

“Pure Chocolate? No Way!” EU Tribunal Rules

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“Pure chocolate? No way!” the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg told Italy Thursday.

It was ruling on an Italian law that recognizes some delicacies as “pure chocolate.”

The court said if a product is made from 100 percent cocoa butter, that fact must be listed on the ingredients table only. It also said the European Union’s 1999 chocolate labeling rules make no room for a “pure chocolate” reference like the one Italy enacted in a 2003 law. It runs “contrary to the system of denominations for products sold under Union law,” the court said.

Once vegetable fats are included in the production of chocolate — a popular practice in some EU nations, notably Britain — then the label must say, “contains vegetable fats in addition to cocoa butter,” the court said.

Allowing an extra sales name for chocolate that contains no vegetable fat “is likely to mislead consumers and thus interfere with their right to obtain correct, neutral and objective information,” the court decreed.

The EU labeling rules took effect in 1999 after a lively debate pitting countries like Britain — where chocolate usually contains a substitute vegetable fats — against purists like Belgium, Italy and others, where traditionalist chocolate makers use only cocoa butter.

The new rules were aimed at enabling companies to sell common products across the region, whereas under the old rules, countries such as Italy were allowed to block imports of chocolate made with alternative

Yellow, Green Vegetable Consumption Extends Lifespan: Study

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High blood levels of the antioxidant alpha-carotene, found in yellow and green vegetables, appear to reduce the risk of dying over a 14-year period, according to a new study.
Oxygen-related damage to DNA, proteins and fats may play a role in the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer, reveals the study.
Carotenoids-including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lycopene-are produced by plants and microorganisms and act as antioxidants, counteracting this damage.

Chaoyang Li of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and colleagues assessed the relationship between alpha-carotene and the risk of death among 15,318 adults age 20 and older who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-up Study.

Participants underwent a medical examination and provided blood samples between 1988 and 1994, and were followed through 2006 to determine whether and how they died.

Over the course of the study, 3,810 participants died; the risk for dying was lower with higher levels of alpha-carotene in the blood.

Higher alpha-carotene concentration also appeared to be associated with lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer individually, and of all other causes.

The results support increasing fruit and vegetable consumption as a way of preventing premature death, the researchers conclude.

Yellow-orange (carrots, sweet potatoes or pumpkin and winter squash) and dark-green (broccoli, green beans, green peas, spinach, turnips greens, collards and leaf lettuce) vegetables have high alpha-carotene content.

The finding was posted online today and will be published in the March 28 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

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