Friday, April 13, 2012

Miracle Apples Lower Bad Cholesterol

" 'I consider apples a magic food," said Bahram H. Arjmandi, Ph.D., director for the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging at Florida State University....

"According to Arjmandi, apple pectin -- the white stuff under the skin -- binds to cholesterol in the gut and ferries it out of the body. This is well-known, but what surprised Arjmandi is how much cholesterol a couple of apples can remove from the body.

"In one recent study, he divided 160 women between the ages of 45 and 65 into two groups. One group ate 75 grams of dried apple per day -- about 2 1/2 ounces -- while the other ate the same amount of dried prunes. To his amazement, the women who ate apples experienced a 23% decrease in LDL 'bad' cholesterol, and increased their HDL 'good' cholesterol by 3 to 4% -- a boost difficult to achieve with drugs or exercise....

"Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver. Statin drugs, such as Lipitor and Crestor, reduce cholesterol very effectively by blocking an enzyme needed to make it. The problem is that statins can be hard on the liver, which is why people who take them must have a blood test periodically to make sure their liver is not becoming irritated and inflamed.

"The liver is one of the largest organs in the body, and it can remain pretty functional if only 50% of it stays healthy. You do not see an abnormality in the blood unless you do substantial damage to the liver.

" 'Drugs have their place,' said Arjmandi, 'but if you have to check your liver enzymes, that means the drug is doing something not so good for you, and I don't understand why we would go for drug therapies when eating two apples a day reduces LDL cholesterol so effectively. Eat apples and you not only don't harm your liver, but you substantially benefit your health.' "

Read the entire article, by Tom Valeo of the Tampa Bay Times.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Caffeine Prevents Skin Cancer -- IF You Excercise!

If you didn't already have enough reasons to go to Starbucks, China's Xinhua News Agency now reports that caffeine might protect you from skin cancer -- provided that you also exercise!

"The combined effects of exercise plus caffeine consumption may be able to ward off skin cancer, U.S. researchers reported Wednesday," according to the Xinhua News Agency. "The findings were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2012, held in Chicago on March 31 - April 4.

"The researchers evaluated the effects of caffeine and exercise on mice at high risk for developing skin cancer. Results showed that mice that took a dose of caffeine and exercised with a running wheel experienced 62% fewer skin tumors. The volume of tumors also decreased by 85% compared with the mice that did not consume caffeine or exercise.

"Positive effects were found with either caffeine or exercise alone, but to a lesser extent...."

Read the full report.