Category: Prior Clinic Blog
STUDY: Summer fruit a major source of antioxidants
JOURNAL: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
ABSTRACT: New government research shows that tomatoes should not be considered our only major source of lycopene, the phytochemical (natural plant substance) that could help prevent certain cancers and other health problems. Watermelon is just as good a source.
COMMENTARY: Lycopene is the substance that gives tomatoes, watermelon, guava, and red and pink grapefruit their characteristic color. Besides adding color, lycopene seems to be a powerful antioxidant. It neutralizes highly unstable molecules that would otherwise react with and damage our cells.
In a large Harvard University study, the risk of prostate cancer was a third lower in men who ate the most tomato products compared to men who ate the least, and many researchers believe lycopene was the reason. Later studies also linked greater consumption of foods high in lycopene with a lower risk of prostate and other cancers.
According to a new report published in Agricultural Research, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) tested 13 varieties of watermelon for lycopene content and found that watermelon contains more than tomatoes do. The amount of lycopene varied among varieties (red seedless have most) as well as growing conditions.
Even without these new findings about lycopene, watermelon has always been an excellent choice for snacks, desserts and salads. Each cup (about half a large slice) offers about 14 milligrams of vitamin C (16 to 19 percent of recommended daily intake). Watermelon also offers a weight-control bonus. A one-cup serving can satisfy a sweet tooth with just 49 calories, making it one of the fruits least concentrated in sugar and calories.
STUDY: Computer users also more likely to experience physical pain
JOURNAL: American Journal of Industrial Medicine
AUTHORS: Dr. Tetsuya Nakazawa
ABSTRACT: Prolonged daily computer use can make you sore and sap your strength, energy and motivation.
COMMENTARY: Japanese researchers discovered that people who sat in front of computer screens were more likely to experience physical pain such as eye and shoulder strain, and to suffer from motivational symptoms such as lethargy.
Although workers are spending an increasing amount of time in front of their computers, no consistent guidelines exist about how long is safe to sit at a computer screen.
Workers who spent more than five hours per day in front of a computer screen reported significantly higher complaints of sleep-related symptoms and mental stress.
Physical symptoms increase with duration of daily VDT (visual display terminal) use without threshold, while mental- and sleep-related symptoms increase with VDT work of more than five hours per day.
STUDY: Organ may harbor stem-cell reserves
JOURNAL: The New England Journal of Medicine 2002;346:5-15, 55-56
AUTHORS: Dr. Piero Anversa
ABSTRACT: In a study that turns on its head the traditional view that the heart cannot help heal itself, scientists have found evidence that the organ may indeed harbor stem-cell reserves capable of regenerating damaged tissue.
COMMENTARY: Their study of men who received heart transplants from female donors revealed that primitive cells from the recipients migrated into the donor hearts, after which new muscle cells and small blood vessels formed. The researchers were able to pin down the phenomenon by finding a considerable number of cells in the donor heart that bore the Y chromosome--the "male" sex chromosome, which could only have come from the transplant recipients themselves.
Now that there is strong evidence of the heart's regenerative capacity, scientists can study the possibility of harnessing this self-healing potential to treat damaged hearts, according to Anversa.
The study looked at autopsied tissue from eight men who died sometime after receiving a heart from a female donor. The patients had lived with their new hearts for anywhere from 4 to 552 days.
Anversa's team found that up to 20% of the cells in the men's heart muscle and small blood vessels called arterioles and capillaries bore the Y chromosome. Even the patient who died 4 days after his transplant had Y-bearing cells in the donor heart.
According to the researchers, this suggests that the recipients' own primitive cells moved into the foreign heart and matured to aid in the "remodeling" of the organ.
In addition, when they looked at a small group of autopsied normal hearts, the investigators found small populations of immature cells. This gives further evidence that there is a "stem-cell population normally there that helps regenerate the heart," Anversa explained.
The discovery of primitive cells in normal hearts is one of the most intriguing findings of this remarkable study.
If researchers can figure out how to mobilize self-repair cells in the heart, they could become an important weapon against a "host of disorders" including coronary artery disease and heart muscle conditions.
STUDY: Eat your Tumeric
JOURNAL: ENVIRONMENTAL MUTAGENESIS, 2000, Vol 465, Iss 1-2, pp 131-137
ABSTRACT: Dietary antioxidants are showing evidence of preventing chromosomal damage in non-tumor cells, which is induced by anti-tumor drugs.
COMMENTARY: Curcumin is a dietary antioxidant that has been reported to protect against disruption or breakages in chromosomes.
A study investigated the effects of curcumin on chromosomal aberrations in rat bone marrow cells and whether there is any enhancement of these effects with the combination of curcumin and vitamin C. Animals treated with curcumin plus a single dose of cisplatin (an anti-tumor drug), between 18-72 hours after the drug.
The results showed a significant reduction in the total amount of chromosomal damage and in the number of abnormal metaphases (2nd stage of cell division). Thus, curcumin could prevent damage to chromosomes, caused by a tumor suppressor drug, by acting as a free radical scavenger.
Glycyrrhizin, an active component of liquorice roots, and replication of SARS-associated coronavirus.June 10th, 2004 , by admin
STUDY: Licorice for SARS
JOURNAL: Lancet (2003Jun14)
AUTHORS: Cinatl J ,Morgenstern B ,Bauer G ,Chandra P ,Rabenau H ,Doerr HW
ABSTRACT: The outbreak of SARS warrants the search for antiviral compounds to treat the disease. At present, no specific treatment has been identified for SARS-associated coronavirus infection.
COMMENTARY: We assessed the antiviral potential of ribavirin, 6-azauridine, pyrazofurin, mycophenolic acid, and glycyrrhizin against two clinical isolates of coronavirus (FFM-1 and FFM-2) from patients with SARS admitted to the clinical centre of Frankfurt University, Germany.
Of all the compounds, glycyrrhizin was the most active in inhibiting replication of the SARS-associated virus. Our findings suggest that glycyrrhizin should be assessed for treatment of SARS.