Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nutritional News

Drinking Green Tea May Improve Plasma Lipid Profile in Adults


"Green tea consumption improves plasma lipid profiles in adults," Coimbra S, Santos-Silva A, et al, Nutrition Research, 2006; 26(11): 604-607. (Address: Faculdade de Farmácia, Serviço de Bioquímica, Universidade de Porto, 4057-040 Porto, Portugal. E-Mail: Susana.coimbra@netcabo.pt ).

In a study involving 29 healthy Portuguese subjects, results indicate that daily consumption of green tea may improve plasma lipid profile. After an initial 3-week washout period in which the subjects consumed 1 liter of water daily, the subjects were assigned to 1 liter of green tea daily (prepared daily under the same conditions of temperature, infusion time and concentration) for another 4 weeks. At intervention end, a decrease in LDL cholesterol (mean 8.9%) was observed in 90% of subjects, and an increase in HDL cholesterol (mean 4%) was observed in 69% of subjects, as compared to baseline. Additionally, at intervention end, a 6% decrease in the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol was observed in the subjects. No significant differences were observed for triacylglycerol and lipoprotein(a). Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "Our data suggest that drinking green tea has a beneficial effect protecting against the risk for cardiovascular disease by impr oving blood lipid levels."

High Dietary Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Depressive Symptoms in Older Men

Keywords: DEPRESSION, CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE - Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Eicosapentaenoic Acid, EPA, Docosahexaenoic Acid, DHA

"Depression and cardiovascular mortality: a role for n-3 fatty acids?" Kamphuis MH, Geerlings MI, et al, Am J Clin Nutr., 2006; 84(6): 1513-1517. (Address: Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands).

In a 10-year prospective cohort study involving 332 men aged 70-90 years who were free from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes at baseline, high dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with fewer depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms were measured at baseline with the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale. Using logistic and Cox regression analyses adjusted for demographics and CVD risk factors, high dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids (mean intake: 407 mg/d) was associated with fewer depressive symptoms (odds ratio=0.46), as compared to low dietary intake (mean intake: 21 mg/d). High intake of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a nonsignificant reduced risk of 10-year CVD mortality (hazard ratio, 0.88), compared to low intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids could not explain the relation between depressive symptoms and cardiovascular mortality (recent studies indicate that depression plays an important role in the occurrence of CVDs). Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "An average intake of approximately 400 mg n-3 FA/d may reduce the risk of depression. Our results, however, do not support the hypothesis that the intake of n-3 FAs explains the relation between depression and CVD."

Brown Rice Is Much More Beneficial to Diabetics than White Rice

Keywords: DIABETES TYPE 2, INSULIN RESISTANCE, GLYCEMIC INDEX - Brown Rice, Milled Rice, White Rice, Polished Rice, Diet, Carbohydrate, Glucose

"Blood glucose lowering effects of brown rice in normal and diabetic subjects," Panlasigui LN, Thompson LU, Int'l Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 2006; 57(3-4): 151-158. (Address: Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Home Economics, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines).

In a study comparing the effects of brown rice versus milled rice (hulls and bran removed - also called white rice or polished rice), brown rice was found to have a significantly lower glycemic area and glycemic index, as compared to white rice. The rice samples came from the same batch and were the same variety of rice, just the level of processing differed. The study involved 9 subjects with type 2 diabetes and 9 healthy subjects. The first part of the study, involving an in vitro analysis of the starch digestion rate of both types of rice, found that brown rice released 23.7% less total sugar as compared to the white rice. The second part of the study found that consumption of brown rice led to a 35.2% lower glycemic area and 35.6% lower glycemic index than white rice, in diabetic subjects, and a 19.8% lower glycemic area and 12.1% lower glycemic index than white rice, in healthy non-diabetic subjects. The authors cite the higher amounts of dietary fiber, oil, polyphe nols, and phytic acid content in brown rice, in addition to differences in cooking time and degree of gelatinization as possible contributors to this significant difference. These results suggest that subjects with blood sugar abnormalities such as diabetes, and subjects monitoring the glycemic index of the foods they eat, would benefit from consuming brown rice instead of white rice.

Supplementation with Pycnogenol May Reduce Edema in Hypertensive Subjects Taking Antihypertensive Medication

Keywords: HYPERTENSION, EDEMA - Pycnogenol, French Maritime Pine Bark Extract, ACE Inhibitor, Calcium Channel Blocker

"Control of edema in hypertensive subjects treated with calcium antagonist (nifedipine) or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors with Pycnogenol," Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, et al, Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2006 Oct;12(4):440-4. (Address: Department of Biomedical Sciences, Irvine Vasc Lab, G D'annunzio University, Italy. E-Mail: Cardres@abol.it ).

In a randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 53 hypertensive subjects with edema who were receiving treatment with antihypertensive medications, supplementation with Pycnogenol was found to be effective in controlling the edema. Twenty-three subjects were receiving treatment with an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, and 30 patients were receiving treatment with a calcium antagonist (nifedipine). The subjects were randomized to one of two groups for a period of 8 weeks: 1) Pycnogenol group (n=27) - received supplementation with 150 mg Pycnogenol/day; 2) placebo group (n=26) - received treatment with placebo. At intervention end, a 35% decrease in edema was observed among subjects in the Pycnogenol group receiving treatment with an ACE inhibitor, and a 36% reduction in edema was observed among subjects in the Pycnogenol group receiving treatment with nifedipine. No reduction in edema was observed in the placebo group. Thus, authors of this study conclud e, "Pycnogenol controls this type of edema, it helps to prevent and limit long-term damage in the microcirculation in hypertensive patients, and allows the dose of anti-hypertensive drugs to be reduced in most patients."

Source: Vitagram.com


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