Skipping Breakfast For Long Could Increase Risk Of Heart Disease and Diabetes

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Not only is breakfast good for weight management, but it is also good for reducing other risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, such as blood insulin and cholesterol levels, researchers say.

Skipping breakfast is a fairly common practice with 23 per cent of adults and 10 per cent of children reporting they did not regularly eat breakfast in the 1995 National Nutrition Survey (Australia) and there is evidence that skipping breakfast is becoming more common. Dangers in such a practice have now been revealed.

“People who reported skipping breakfast both during childhood and adulthood had more risk factors for diabetes and heart disease than their peers who ate breakfast at both times in the study,” said PhD student Ms Kylie Smith at the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania. She is the first author and chief investigator of the new study.

The investigation was part of the national Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (CDAH) study. Over 2,000 participants were involved with the breakfast skipping study.

“We used data from a large nation-wide study with a 20 year follow-up from childhood to early adulthood.”

“Compared to those who ate breakfast both as a child and an adult, those who skipped breakfast on both occasions had a larger waist circumference, and had higher fasting insulin, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), which are all risk factors for heart disease and diabetes,” Ms Smith said.


Orange Juice Can Lower BP, Cut Heart Disease Risk: Study

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Scientists have found that two glasses of orange juice a day can lower blood pressure and cut the risk of heart disease.

They discovered that middle-aged men who drank half-a-litre of juice every day for a month, equivalent to about two glasses, saw a significant decline in their blood pressure readings.

Findings confirm the presence of a natural plant chemical called hesperidin – part of a class of disease-fighting compounds found in plant foods like tea, fruit, soya and cocoa.

High blood pressure, which puts our arteries under greater pressure when the heart beats, affects one in five people and is one of the major risk factors contributing to a cardiac arrest.

The World Health Organisation estimates that 50 per cent of all heart attacks and strokes are due to raised blood pressure.

Guidelines state that the ideal limit for blood pressure is a systolic reading – the pressure inside the arteries when blood is forced through them – of 140mmHg.

To test their theory that it is hesperidin that gives orange juice its cardiovascular benefits, scientists at the University of Auvergne in France recruited 24 overweight but otherwise healthy middle-aged men.

Each one spent four weeks drinking half-a-litre of orange juice every day, followed by four weeks where they drank sweetened water and took a capsule containing hesperidin.

In the final four weeks of the experiment, they drank the same water and took a dummy capsule that had no hesperidin in it.

Making Your Child Clean His Plate Can Produce a Fussy Eater

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A study has suggested that telling your child to clean his plate may help produce a fussy eater, while tight control of what they eat could make children prone to overeating.

Jane Wardle and colleagues at University College London surveyed 213 mothers of 7- to 9-year-old children.

In the study, mothers were asked about how their children responded to food: whether they would typically overeat if given a chance, along with whether they’d eat slowly or routinely fail to finish meals.

Mothers also reported on their own mealtime strategies, including whether they tried to get their children to eat when they weren’t hungry or whether they believed their children would overindulge without eating restrictions.

Overall, Wardle and her colleagues found a correlation between the mothers’ pressure to eat healthy food and children’s degree of fussiness over food. In addition, the more mothers restricted their children’s food, the more likely mothers were to say their children would overindulge if allowed.

The links were seen regardless of the children’s weight.

But the team also said the parental strategies could be responding to how the children ate, with thin children often being pressured to eat and more diet restrictions being put on a heavier child.

“With growing evidence of a genetic basis to eating behavior and food intake in children, the present results are consistent with the idea that mothers’ feeding practices are, to some extent, responsive to their children’s predispositions towards food,” Wardle and her colleagues wrote.

But they added that it’s important to recognize that children may both influence, and be influenced by, their parents’ diet management.

The study has been published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Diet of Fruits, Vegetables Benefits Kidney Disease Patients

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Patients with kidney disease would benefit from a diet that focuses on friuits and vegetables, recommends a new study.

In patients with kidney disease, the Western diet produces an acidic environment in the body that has numerous negative effects and worsens with age as kidney function declines.

Nimirit Goraya, MD (Texas A and M College of Medicine and Scott and White Healthcare) and her colleagues conducted a study to see if consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables that counteract this acidity might improve the kidney health of 40 patients who have moderately reduced kidney function due to high blood pressure.

30 days of this diet reduced urine excretion of three indicators of kidney injury: albumin, transforming growth factor, and N-acetyl-á-D- glucosaminidase.

“These preliminary studies support the need for larger long-term studies to determine if this simple and relatively inexpensive intervention helps reduce the risk of subsequent worsening of kidney function in patients with hypertension-associated kidney disease,” said Dr. Goraya.

Study co-authors include Jan Simoni, PhD (Texas Tech University Health Sciences); Kristine Broglio (Texas A and M University); and Donald E. Wesson, MD (Texas A and M College of Medicine and Scott and White Healthcare).

Research Shows How Eating Less can Make You Live Longer

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A molecular pathway that is a key determinant of the aging process and could explain why eating less could extend lifespan has been found in a new study.

“We’re getting closer and closer to a good understanding of how caloric restriction works. This study is the first direct proof for a mechanism underlying the anti-aging effects we observe under caloric restriction,” said Tomas A. Prolla at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The team found that an enzyme known as Sirt3 has anti-aging effects in mammals, according to John M. Denu of UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

Under reduced-calorie conditions, levels of Sirt3 amp up, altering metabolism and resulting in fewer free radicals produced by mitochondria – structures inside cells that produce energy and that are the sources of highly reactive forms of oxygen known as free radicals, which damage cells and promote the effects of aging.

The work involved a mouse model that exhibits age-related hearing loss.

“Hearing loss is associated with the loss of specific cell types in the cochlea. And hearing loss is prevented through caloric restriction,” said Prolla.

The team showed that elevated levels of Sirt3 protect cells from cell stress and death caused by free radicals. Knowing the molecular basis of how the sirtuin enzymes work may ultimately lead to the rational development of drugs that activate the pathways of enzymes like Sirt3 to slow down the process of aging.

Study Reveals Why Men Shouldn’t Give Women Dieting Advice

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A dietary advice by a man had ‘little’ impact on women, an Australian study has found.

A research conducted at the Australian National University showed that when it came to influencing views on weight and eating for good or bad, women looked to their own, reports the Age.

Women participants rated their response to a number of short videos featuring supposed healthy eating experts of either gender.

“We found that the women who watched the videos with the woman speaking were far more persuaded by the message,” said student Tegan Cruwys.

The same messages when delivered by a man were shown to have ‘little effect’ in comparison.

About 40 percent of women who watched one healthy eating message delivered by a woman clicked on a computer link to find out more information, compared to just eight percent who heard the same message from a man.

Another video promoted a ‘dangerous’ crash-course approach to dieting, including strict calorie counting and excessive exercise.

This again evoked a much stronger response when delivered by a woman.

Cruwys said it showed how women could be strongly influenced by their peers towards healthy eating or dangerous dieting, and it underscored the problem posed by highlighting mostly very skinny models in billboards, television and in magazines.

“Women don’t diet and worry about their weight for men, they worry about it for other women,” she said.

Potassium Citrate Supplement May Help Prevent And Treat Osteoporosis

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Potassium citrate may be effective for preventing and even treating osteoporosis, suggests a new study.

The Western diet creates an acidic environment in the body that removes calcium from bones and may contribute to the development of osteoporosis.

Healthy adults who consume the standard US diet sustain a chronic, low-grade state of acidosis that worsens with age as kidney function declines, limiting urinary acid excretion.

Reto Krapf, MD (University of Basel, in Bruderholz/Basel, Switzerland) and colleagues designed a study to see if daily alkali as potassium citrate supplement tablets might neutralize these effects.

They enrolled 201 healthy elderly individuals of both genders with normal bone mass in a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Participants received either 60 mmol alkali as potassium citrate (a base) or a placebo every day for 2 years.

Bone density and high resolution computed tomography scans after 2 years revealed that neutralizing diet-induced acid production with potassium citrate significantly and safely increased subjects’ bone density vs. placebo.

“In addition, we discovered that bone architecture improved significantly, suggesting that not only bone mass, but also its quality was improved,” said Dr. Krapf.

These results suggest and predict that potassium citrate may be effective for preventing and even treating osteoporosis.

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