October 24, 2008

Scientists Developing Foods To Help You Lose Weight

At the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, England, foods are being developed that would help a person lose weight by slowing down the digestive system and triggering a signal to the brain to suppress appetite. It would control appetite by tricking the brain into thinking that you have eaten too much when you actually haven’t. The products could possibly be sold on the market in a few years.

Scientists at the University of Newcastle are testing a seaweed extract called alginate that would reduce fat absorption by cutting the level of glucose that is digested by the body before it is broken down in the large intestine. In taste testings done with several dozen people, it is found that most people felt that the foods enhanced by alginate tasted as good or even better.

Scientists in North America and Europe are developing products to control appetite, such as chemical injections and implantable devices that would interfere with the digestive system. It is not certain if appetite controlling foods could cure all cases of obesity.

October 19, 2008

The Health Benefits of Omega-3s

Omega-3s are a family of unsaturated fatty acids that are important for good health but are not naturally made by the body. They are mostly found in fish and offer good healthy benefits for the heart, eyes, joints, and brain.

Omega-3s have been found to reduce the rate of fatal and nonfatal heart attacks and can slightly lower blood pressure levels. It can reduce heart attacks by reducing inflammation and blood clots. It also slows the buildup of plaque in the arteries that can cause a heart attack. It can lower blood pressure by making it possible for blood to flow better in the veins through the reduction of plaque buildup.

Omega-3s can protect against the development and progression of retinopathy, which is the deterioration of the retina. DHA is in the omega-3 group and it is used by the photoreceptor cells of the retina in the eye. Not getting enough omega-3s in your diet can cause vision problems.

When it comes to the joints, omega-3s can improve morning stiffness and joint pain related to rheumatoid arthritis and reduce inflammation in the joints.

Omega-3s have an effect on the brain because they can increase the grey matter in the brain that is related to mood and behavior. This could help depression and improve mood and emotions.

October 18, 2008

ThermoSuit for Cardiac Arrest Patients

When a person has been revived after cardiac arrest but is still unconscious, cooling the body is the first thing done by emergency staff. Reducing the body temperature would improve the patient's chance for a full recovery. Blowing cold air over the body or using ice packs can take hours to work effectively.

Now, there is a product called a ThermoSuit that can reduce a person's body temperature in about 30 minutes. The product is a plastic suit that is filled with cold water. There are medical centers that are currently using it and say that the survival rate of their cardiac arrest patients has risen from 35 percent to 60 to 70 percent.

October 14, 2008

Pediatricians Double Vitamin D Recommendation

The American Academy of Pediatrics has doubled its recommendation for the daily dose of vitamin D that children should take to try to prevent diseases, such as rickets, and they say that this decision could have life-long benefits. It is now recommended that children receive 400 international units of vitamin D per day, starting in the few days of their life.

Not getting enough vitamin D can result in the disease rickets, which causes bone-softening, stunted growth, and skeletal deformities if it is not corrected while the child is young. Babies that are breast-fed have a big risk of being vitamin D deficient but these babies can be given supplements of the vitamin.

Good sources of vitamin D include exposure to sunlight, vitamin D fortified milk, fortified cereals, tuna, mackerel, and sardines.

October 13, 2008

Oats for a Healthy Heart

Eating oats are good for a healthy heart. They are rich in dietary fiber, manganese, selenium, the antioxidant flavonoid, and magnesium. They are also rich in beta-glucan and have shown to be able to reduce the risk of heart attack and lower cholesterol levels. Eating oats on a regular basis can lower cholesterol levels by 6 to 10 percent and lower the risk of heart attack by up to 25 percent. Also adding whole grains, beans, soy, vegetables, and fruits to your diet can reduce the risk of heart attack by 40 to 60 percent.