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November 14, 2007, 9:19 PM CT

Grape powder blocks genes linked to colon cancer

Grape powder blocks genes linked to colon cancer
Low doses of freeze-dried grape powder inhibit genes associated with the development of sporadic colorectal cancer, University of California, Irvine cancer scientists found.

The study suggests that a diet rich in grapes may help prevent the third most common form of cancer, one that kills more than a half a million people worldwide each year. Around 7 percent of all Americans develop colon cancer during their lifetimes.

Led by Dr. Randall Holcombe, director of clinical research at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Irvine, the study followed up on prior in vitro studies showing that resveratrol, a nutritional supplement derived from grape extract, blocks a cellular signaling pathway known as the Wnt pathway. The Wnt pathway has been associated with more than 85 percent of sporadic colon cancers, which is the most common form of colon cancer.

The UC Irvine scientists conducted their study with patients with colon cancer. One group was given 20 milligrams daily of resveratrol as a pill; another drank 120 grams daily of grape powder mixed in water; and a third drank 80 grams daily of grape powder.

While the supplements did not have an impact on existing tumors, biopsied colon tissue showed that Wnt signaling in the patients taking 80 grams of grape powder was significantly reduced. Similar changes were not seen in patients taking the higher dose of grape powder or the resveratrol pills.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


November 14, 2007, 8:44 PM CT

Endometrial cancer and vitamin D status

Endometrial cancer and vitamin D status
Using newly available data on worldwide cancer incidence, scientists at the Moores Cancer Center at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have shown a clear association between deficiency in exposure to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet B (UVB), and endometrial cancer.

UVB exposure triggers photosynthesis of vitamin D3 in the body. This form of vitamin D is also available through diet and supplements. Prior studies from this research team have shown associations between higher levels of vitamin D3 and lower risk of cancers of the breast, colon, kidney and ovary.

Approximately 200,000 cases and 50,000 deaths from endometrial cancer occur annually worldwide, including 41,000 new cases and 7,400 deaths in the United States.

The study will be published November 16, 2007, in the journal Preventive Medicine.

This is the first study, to our knowledge, to show that higher serum levels of vitamin D are linked to reduced risk of endometrial cancer, said Cedric F. Garland, Dr. P.H., professor of Family and Preventive Medicine in the UCSD School of Medicine, and member of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Prior epidemiological studies have focused on estrogen levels either natural or through hormone replacement treatment which play the major role in development of the disease, and on fat intake, which plays a smaller role. Since most women cannot control their natural levels of estrogen, and very low levels of fat intake are not acceptable to most American women, this article provides evidence that vitamin D adequacy should be considered as part of a comprehensive program for prevention of this cancer.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 14, 2007, 8:42 PM CT

Genes influence age-related hearing loss

Genes influence age-related hearing loss
Waltham, MAA new Brandeis University study of twins shows that genes play a significant role in the level of hearing loss that often appears in late middle age. The research, in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, examined genetic and environmental factors affecting hearing loss in the frequency range of speech recognition.

This research confirms the importance of genetic factors in age-associated hearing loss, and the need for vulnerable individuals and their families to take extra care to prevent further hearing damage, said lead author Brandeis neuroscientist Arthur Wingfield.

The research suggests that middle-aged and older people with a genetic vulnerability to hearing loss should be especially careful about environmental risk factors such as harmful noise and medications whose side-effects could be detrimental to hearing.

The study examined 179 identical and 150 fraternal male twin pairs, ranging in age from 52 to 60 years, as part of the Viet Nam Era Twin Study of Aging (VETSA). About two-thirds of the hearing loss in the individual subjects better ears could be accounted for by genetic factors. In the subjects poorer ears, about one-half of the hearing loss was due to genes, the study concluded.

Wingfield, an expert on the relationship between memory performance and hearing loss in elderly adults, said that even mild hearing loss can indirectly lead to declines in cognitive performance because intellectual energy normally reserved for higher-level comprehension must be directed toward perceptual effort for accurately hearing speech.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


November 13, 2007, 10:03 PM CT

A low-carb diet may stunt prostate tumor growth

A low-carb diet may stunt prostate tumor growth
A diet low in carbohydrates may help stunt the growth of prostate tumors, as per a new study led by Duke Prostate Center researchers. The study, in mice, suggests that a reduction in insulin production possibly caused by fewer carbohydrates may stall tumor growth.

This study showed that cutting carbohydrates may slow tumor growth, at least in mice, said Stephen Freedland, M.D., a urologist at Duke University Medical Center and lead researcher on the study. If this is ultimately confirmed in human clinical trials, it has huge implications for prostate cancer treatment through something that all of us can control, our diets.

Freedland conducted most of the research for this study while doing a fellowship in urology at Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute under the tutelage of William Isaacs, Ph.D., a molecular geneticist there.

The scientists published their results on November 13, 2007 in the online edition of the journal Prostate. The study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Surgery and the Division of Urology at Duke University Medical Center, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program.

The scientists hypothesized that since serum insulin and a related substance known as insulin-like growth factor (IGF) had been linked with the growth of prostate tumors in earlier research in mice, a reduction in the bodys levels of these substances might slow tumor growth, Freedland said.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 13, 2007, 10:01 PM CT

New therapeutic targets in the treatment of ulcerative colitis

New therapeutic targets in the treatment of ulcerative colitis
Social, environmental and dietary changes are linked to the changes of disease spectrum in a country. Ulcerative colitis has become a usually seen disease in China, probably due to extensive consumption of Western foods in recent years. Unfortunately, the etiology and pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis have not been clarified yet. Therefore, no effective etiological therapy is available at present. But a recent study published in issue 44 of the World Journal of Gastroenterology may offer new insight into this difficult-to-treat disease.

A research team from the First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University's Department of Gastroenterology, China, led by Professor Ying-De Wang, investigated the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-alpha). MMP-1 is a peptidase that degrades the extracellular matrix in the colonic mucosa, while TNF-alpha is an important and harmful inflammatory cytokine produced in macrophages in colon. The research team observed that both MMP-1 and TNF-alpha were over expressed in the colonic mucosa of patients with ulcerative colitis. The over expressed MMP-1 excessively degrades the extracellular matrix, and subsequently damages the colonic mucosa and causes ulceration and inflammatory changes in ulcerative colitis, and the over expressed TNF-alpha directly damages the colon mucosa. MP-1 and TNF-alpha proteins have the so-called synergistic action. The study revealed that the excessively expressed TNF-alpha stimulated MMPs secreting cells to produce more MMP-1, aggravating the mucosa damage. Meanwhile, MMP-1 promoted secretion of TNF-alpha in a positive feedback manner to cause further injury in the mucosa of colon. So it is very likely both MMP-1 and TNF-alpha play a central role in the development of ulcerative colitis.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


November 13, 2007, 9:55 PM CT

Diabetics risk serious foot problems

Diabetics risk serious foot problems
More than six out of ten people with diabetes are walking around in the wrong-sized shoes, exposing themselves to serious foot problems that could lead to amputation, as per research in the recent issue of IJCP, the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

Published to coincide with World Diabetes Day (14 November) the study, by the University of Dundee, has been welcomed by an expert in podiatry. She says that ulceration can have serious implications for patients and health services, including impaired quality of life, increased amputation risk and even elevated death rates.

The United Nations, which passed a landmark resolution in December 2006 recognising diabetes as a chronic, debilitating and costly disease, has designated World Diabetes Day as an official United Nations Day for the first time in 2007.

And the World Health Organization has said that the number of people suffering from diabetes could double to 366 million by 2030 and that 80 per cent of diabetic foot amputations could be prevented.

A hundred patients aged 24 to 89 volunteered to take part in the shoe-size study carried out at a general diabetic clinic at Ninewells Hospital Medical School in Dundee, Scotland.

Patients who were also attending specialist foot clinics were excluded, as were patients who had problems standing or were wearing specially provided footwear.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 13, 2007, 9:30 PM CT

Cranberry sauce: good for what ails you

Cranberry sauce: good for what ails you
Cranberry sauce is not the star of the traditional Thanksgiving Day meal, but when it comes to health benefits, the lowly condiment takes center stage. In fact, scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have observed that compounds in cranberries are able to alter E. coli bacteria, which are responsible for a host of human illnesses (from kidney infections to gastroenteritis to tooth decay), in ways that render them unable to initiate an infection.

The findings are the result of research by Terri Camesano, associate professor of chemical engineering at WPI, and a team that includes graduate students Yatao Liu and Paola Pinzon-Arango. Funded, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the Cranberry Institute and Wisconsin Cranberry Board, the work has been reported in many publications and presentations, including FAV Health 2007 (The 2nd Annual Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables), the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in September 2006, and the January/February 2007 issue of the Italian publication AgroFOOD industry hi-tech.

For the first time, the research has begun to reveal the biochemical and biophysical mechanisms that appear to underlie many beneficial health effects that have long been ascribed to cranberries and cranberry juicein particular, the ability of cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). The mechanism by which cranberry juice prevents such infections has not been clear, though researchers have suspected that compounds in the juice somehow prevent bacteria from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 13, 2007, 9:14 PM CT

Real-Time Analysis of Breast Cancer Biopsies

Real-Time Analysis of Breast Cancer Biopsies
A sophisticated microscope that offers a "real-time" 3-D analysis of tissue samples might, in the future, reduce the number of needle biopsies traditionally needed from women suspected of having breast cancer, as per recent research published at Georgetown University Medical Center's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Such an instant test would mean that physicians could immediately tell if they have collected adequate samples of breast tissue and limit the number of repeat biopsies, said the investigators, whose study appeared in the September/recent issue of the Journal of Biomedical Optics.

Currently, physicians extract 6-8 tissue samples during a needle biopsy procedure to ensure proper sampling of the area of concern. In addition, at least one day is mandatory to prepare the samples for analysis using traditional methods. The new technology is designed to limit patient discomfort and anxiety.

"With this microscope, we can tell instantly whether we have cancer cells or not, or what kind of cells we are looking at, whether they are fat, structural, or epithelial cells that line breast milk ducts-all of this could give us a great advantage in treating breast cancer," said the study's lead investigator, Maddalena T. Tilli, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Priscilla Furth, MD, at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 13, 2007, 9:10 PM CT

Model explains how abused moms decide to leave

Model explains how abused moms decide to leave
Two University of Illinois researchers have found a way to help health-care providers, social workers, and abused womens families understand the stages that these women go through when deciding to leave their partners.

The process of leaving an abusive relationship can take years, and there may be a number of attempts before a woman finally leaves permanently. It can be a frustrating experience for the people who are trying to help her, particularly if they dont understand the stages that women go through before they are able to leave, said Jennifer Hardesty, a U of I assistant professor of human and community development.

Hardesty and graduate student Lyndal Khaw, who adapted Prochaska and DiClementes Stages of Change model for the study, said there are clear markers that help identify where an abused woman is in the process of leaving. However, not all women leave in the same way, they said.

Some women get hung up moving from the thinking stages to the action stages, Khaw said. Particularly in the later stages, there can be a lot of back-and-forthing. If a woman is driven to react in a dramatic way, she may even leapfrog over a stage.

Khaw worked with 19 mothers who were divorcing or seeking to modify their custody or child support arrangements. The participants indicated that their former husbands had committed at least one of seven acts of physical abuse more than once.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 12, 2007, 10:11 PM CT

Early academic skills, best predict school success

Early academic skills, best predict school success
An educational study unprecedented in scope finds that children who enter kindergarten with elementary mathematics and reading skills are the most likely to experience later academic success -- whether or not they have social or emotional problems.

We find the single most important factor in predicting later academic achievement is that children begin school with a mastery of early math and literacy concepts, said Northwestern University researcher Greg Duncan and the study's primary author. Attention-related skills, though more modestly, also consistently predict achievement.

But it is the seeming lack of association between social and emotional behaviors and later academic learning that most surprised the scientists -- a lack of association as true for boys as for girls and as true for children from affluent families as for those from less affluent families.

Children who engage in aggressive or disruptive behavior or who have difficulty making friends wind up learning just as much as their better behaved or more socially adjusted classmates provided that they come to school with academic skills, said Northwestern's Duncan. We do not know if their behavior affects the achievement of other children.

Appearing in the recent issue of Developmental Psychology, the study findings are based on an analysis of existing data from more than 35,000 preschoolers in the United States, Canada and England.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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