Scientists Map the Human Metabolome

27 01 2007

The first draft of the human metabolome has been published by scientists at the University of Alberta, in Canada.

The metabolome will complement the information of the human genome. It will be like a database of the different metabolic pathways, making it easy for scientists to develop new treatments for many kind of diseases.

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High DHA Levels Linked to Lower Dementia Risk

24 01 2007

Individuals with higher levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have a significantly lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a new study suggests.

Researchers found individuals with the highest DHA levels had a 47% reduction in all-cause dementia and a 39% lower risk of developing AD.

DHA is a omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid specially found in fish with high fat content.

The investigators also note that future research should focus on determining whether the combination of dietary supplementation with DHA can prevent further mental deterioration in patients with established dementia.

The article appears in the journal Archives of Neurology.

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Trans Fatty Acid Intake Increases Risk for Ovulatory Infertility

23 01 2007

The January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has an article about the risks of trans fats in women fertily.

According to the study it seems that women with a high intake of trans fatty acids instead of carbohydrates or unsaturated fats have an increased risk for ovulatory infertility.

Trans unsaturated fats may increase the risk of ovulatory infertility when consumed instead of carbohydrates or unsaturated fats commonly found in nonhydrogenated vegetable oils,” the authors write.

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Milk eliminates cardiovascular health benefits of tea

22 01 2007

A recent study has found that the protective effect that tea has on the cardiovascular system is totally wiped out by adding milk.

Tests on volunteers showed that black tea significantly improves the ability of the arteries to relax and expand, but adding milk completely blunts the effect. Experiments in animal models have shown the same effect.

Caseins (a group of milk proteins) interact with the tea to decrease the concentration of catechins in the beverage. Catechins are the flavonoids in tea that mainly contribute to its protection against cardiovascular disease.

Researchers think that their findings could also have implications for cancer, against which tea has also been shown to be protective. “Since milk appears to modify the biological activities of tea ingredients, it is likely that the anti-tumour effects of tea could be affected as well.”

These findings have led the researchers to suggest that tea drinkers who customarily add milk should consider omitting it some of the time.

The study has been published in the January issue of the European Heart Journal.

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