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- Grape consumption may offer benefits for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis
- Bad habits that lead to cancer, chronic disease corrected by simple lifestyle intervention
- The blueberry component pterostilbene has potent anti-myeloma activity
- Exercise makes the blood of obese people healthier
- People who go to bed late have less control over OCD symptoms
- Green tea-capsaicin-ginger combo linked to weight and metabolic improvements
Grape consumption may offer benefits for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis
Texas Woman’s University, June 20, 2022
New research suggests that regular grape consumption may help alleviate pain associated with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee, and improve joint flexibility and overall mobility. Researchers attribute these potential benefits to the polyphenols found in grapes.
The sixteen week clinical study, undertaken by Texas Woman’s University, was designed to investigate the benefits of grape consumption on inflammation and osteoarthritis outcomes. 72 men and women with knee osteoarthritis (OA) were assigned to either consume grapes in the form of a whole grape freeze-dried powder, or a placebo powder.
The study results showed that both men and women consuming a grape-enriched diet had a significant decrease in self-reported pain related to activity and an overall decrease in total knee symptoms. This beneficial effect was more pronounced in females. Additionally, age-related differences were observed: there was a 70% increase in very hard activity for those under 64 years of age consuming the grape powder, while those receiving the placebo reported a significant decrease in very hard activity. Participants over 65 years, whether consuming grapes or the placebo, reported a decline in moderate to hard activities.
Evidence of increased cartilage metabolism was observed in men consuming the grape-enriched diet; they had higher levels of an important cartilage growth factor (IGF-1) than those on placebo. This protective effect was not observed in the females. TBad habits that lead to cancer, chronic disease corrected by simple lifestyle intervention
Northwestern University, June 19, 20122
Does this sound like someone you know? He or she spends too much time in front of screens, gets little exercise and eats a diet high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables. It likely sounds familiar because it describes a significant portion of the U.S. population.
A new Northwestern Medicine study found that a lifestyle intervention could fully normalize these four unhealthy behaviors, which put people at risk of developing heart disease and common cancers, including breast, colon and prostate.
“Our findings suggest that prevention of chronic disease through behavior change is feasible. They contradict the pessimistic assumption that it’s not possible to motivate relatively healthy people to make large, long-lasting healthy lifestyle changes,” said lead author Bonnie Spring at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
With the help of a smartphone app, a wearable activity tracker, some social support from a coach and a small financial incentive, study participants made large improvements in their eating and activity habits. From a starting point of less than two servings of fruits and vegetables per day, they increased their intake by 6.5 servings per day. They decreased saturated fat intake by 3.6 percent to consume less than 8 percent of their calories from saturated fat. From a baseline of 4.5 hours per day of leisure screen time, they decreased screen time by almost three hours and increased their moderate to vigorous exercise by 25 minutes per day over a nine-month trial.
Previous research has found that healthy behavior change usually reverts once financial incentives cease. But this study stopped offering the financial incentive after only 12 weeks, and participants still achieved positive results throughout the nine-month trial.
The blueberry component pterostilbene has potent anti-myeloma activity
Tongji University (China), June 23, 2022
Investigators at Tongji University School of Medicine Zero stated, “Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable hematologic malignancy because of its drug resistance. Pterostilbene (Pter) is found mainly in blueberries and grapes.”
The effects of Pter and its exact pharmacologic mechanisms on chemoresistant myeloma are not known. Herein, we investigated the anti-myeloma activity of Pter in bortezomib-resistant cell line H929R and explored the related mechanism of action for the first time. We found that Pter inhibited proliferation of H929R cells and promoted apoptosis of the cells through a caspase-dependent pathway, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and activation of Akt and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. DNA damage and S-phase arrest might be involved in Pter-related toxicity in H929R cells.
The research concluded: “These data supported that Pter might be a promising natural compound for relapsed/refractory myeloma therapy, especially against myeloma resistant to bortezomib chemotherapy.”Exercise makes the blood of obese people healthier
Exercise can reduce inflammation in obese people by changing the characteristics of their blood, according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.
University of Illinois, June 20, 2022
Many of the health problems linked to obesity are a result of chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a natural process in the body in response to harm, but in obese people it can become long term and this can lead to damage of healthy tissue. Certain blood cells are more likely to cause inflammation, and if these cells are made in the body in greater numbers than normal they can spread to organs in the body and cause them to malfunction.
The blood cells responsible for causing inflammation are formed from stem cells within the body.
This new research is the first to show that exercise alters the characteristics of these blood forming stem cells and therefore reduces the number of blood cells likely to cause inflammation. These findings provide a new explanation of how exercise may improve health in adults with obesity.
Young, lean adults and young, obese adults (who were otherwise healthy) were recruited for this study. The exercise program consisted of three bicycling or treadmill running sessions per week with each session lasting approximately one hour. Blood was collected before and after the exercise training intervention to quantify blood-forming stem cells. The results of the study demonstrated that exercise reduced the number of blood-forming stem cells associated with the production of the type of blood cells responsible for inflammation.
People who go to bed late have less control over OCD symptoms
Binghamton University, June 24, 2022
A late bedtime is associated with lower perceived control of obsessive thoughts, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Binghamton University Professor Meredith E. Coles monitored twenty individuals diagnosed with OCD and ten individuals endorsing subthreshold OCD symptoms during one week of sleep. Participants completed sleep diaries and daily ratings of perceived degree of control over obsessive thoughts and ritualized behaviors. The researchers found that previous night’s bedtime significantly predicted participants’ perceived ability to control their obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior on the subsequent day.
“We’re really interested in how this kind of unusual timing of sleep might affect cognitive functioning,” said Schubert. “It might be that something about shifting the timing of your sleep might reduce your ability to control your thoughts and your behaviors, so it might make it more likely that you’re going to have a hard time dismissing intrusive thoughts characteristic of obsessions, and it might make it more difficult for you to refrain from compulsive behaviors that are designed to reduce the anxiety caused by obsessive thoughts.”
On average participants in the study went to bed around 12:30 at night. Patients who met criteria for delayed sleep phase disorder, about 40% of the sample, went to bed around 3 a.m.
Green tea-capsaicin-ginger combo linked to weight and metabolic improvements
Kashan University of Medical Sciences (Iran), June 24, 2022
Dietary supplements containing green tea, capsaicin and ginger extracts may lead to weight loss and improvements in BMI, says a new study.
Data from the randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 50 overweight women also produced beneficial changes in insulin levels, and measure of insulin resistance.
“Our study indicated that taking green tea, capsaicin and ginger co-supplements for 8 weeks among overweight women had beneficial effects on weight, BMI, markers of insulin metabolism and plasma [glutathione] levels,” wrote the scientists.
Women were assigned to consume daily supplements containing 500 mg green tea, 100 mg capsaicin, and 200 mg ginger extracts, while another 25 women were assigned to consume placebo. After eight weeks, the results showed that, in addition to the improvements in body weight and BMI, women receiving the extracts showed significant decreases in serum insulin concentrations (-2.6 µIU/mL) compared to the placebo (-0.6 µIU/mL).
Insulin resistance, as measured by HOMA-IR, also improved compared to placebo, while levels of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione also improved in the women consuming the green tea, capsaicin and ginger supplements (+73.8 µmol/L), while levels decreased in the women receiving placebo (-28.3 µmol/L).