Ginger knee pain osteoarthritis

To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a standardized and highly concentrated extract of 2 ginger species, Zingiber officinale and Alpinia galanga (EV.EXT 77), in patients with #osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.

Two hundred sixty-one patients with OA of the knee and moderate-to-severe pain were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, parallel-group, 6-week study. After washout, patients received ginger extract or placebo twice daily, with acetaminophen allowed as rescue medication. The primary efficacy variable was the proportion of responders experiencing a reduction in "#kneepain on standing," using an intent-to-treat analysis. A responder was defined by a reduction in pain of > or = 15 mm on a visual analog scale.

In the 247 evaluable patients, the percentage of responders experiencing a reduction in knee pain on standing was superior in the #ginger extract group compared with the control group (63% versus 50%; P = 0.048). Analysis of the secondary efficacy variables revealed a consistently greater response in the ginger extract group compared with the control group, when analyzing mean values: reduction in knee pain on standing (24.5 mm versus 16.4 mm; P = 0.005), reduction in knee pain after walking 50 feet (15.1 mm versus 8.7 mm; P = 0.016), and reduction in the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis composite index (12.9 mm versus 9.0 mm; P = 0.087). Change in global status and reduction in intake of rescue medication were numerically greater in the ginger extract group. Change in quality of life was equal in the 2 groups. Patients receiving ginger extract experienced more gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events than did the placebo group (59 patients versus 21 patients). GI adverse events were mostly mild.

A highly purified and standardized ginger extract had a statistically significant effect on reducing symptoms of OA of the knee. This effect was moderate. There was a good safety profile, with mostly mild GI adverse events in the ginger extract group.


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Sugar increases risk of heart disease

A sugar-laden diet may raise your risk of dying of heart disease even if you aren’t overweight. So says a major study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Over the course of the 15-year study, participants who took in 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those whose diets included less than 10% added sugar. Overall, the odds of dying from #heartdisease rose in tandem with the percentage of #sugar in the diet—and that was true regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level, and body-mass index.

Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, #energydrinks, and #sportsdrinks are by far the biggest sources of added sugar in the average American’s diet. They account for more than one-third of the added sugar we consume as a nation. Other important sources include cookies, cakes, pastries, and similar treats; #fruitdrinks; #icecream, frozen #yogurt and the like; #candy; and ready-to-eat cereals.

Nutritionists frown on added sugar for two reasons. One is its well-known links to weight gain and cavities. The other is that sugar delivers “empty calories” — calories unaccompanied by fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Too much added sugar can crowd healthier foods from a person’s diet.

Could it be possible that sugar isn’t the true bad guy boosting heart disease risk, but that it’s the lack of heart-healthy foods like fruits and veggies? Apparently not. In this study, the researchers measured the participants’ Healthy Eating Index. This shows how well their diets match up to federal dietary guidelines. “Regardless of their Healthy Eating Index scores, people who ate more sugar still had higher cardiovascular mortality,” says Dr. Teresa Fung, adjunct professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Source: Harvard Health 

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Lima beans diabetes

A new study suggests a compound in the lima beans helps to regulate blood sugar, increase fitness levels, and may boost longevity.

The study, published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology FASEB Journal, found that pills containing prunetin — a isoflavone found in lima beans —reduced glucose levels in male fruit flies and also expanded their lifespans.

The findings open the door to potential clinical trials to determine if prunetin holds promise as a new therapeutic tool in treating diabetes. "Our study provides novel insights into plant bioactive research and suggests a potential to combat aging comparatively simple by the intake of a plant bioactive," said Anika E. Wagner, a researcher involved in the work from the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, in Kiel, Germany. "Further studies in mammalian species/humans are needed to validate [the] initial data."
Thoru Pederson, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal, said the research is the latest in a long line of studies linking diet, health, and plant-based compounds. "This research shows that the connection between diet and health is important for all living animals, no matter how complex or how simple they are," Pederson said.
Source: Newsmax

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Banana may not be vegan

The Food and Drug Administration’s Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 ruling requires food manufacturers to label common food allergens, leading some companies to be more transparent about the source of their ingredients. However, the FDA does not require food companies to clearly indicate all ingredient sources on the label. This has presented concerns for vegetarians and vegans who have to deal with the ambiguity of ingredients like “natural flavors,” which could be derived from either an animal or plant source.

It may seem “bananas” that this potassium-rich food is not vegetarian, but it turns out a spray-on coating designed to lengthen its shelf life may contain animal parts. Chitosan, a bacteria-fighting compound derived from shrimp and crab shells, is used to prevent bananas from ripening, softening and rotting into mush, according to Science Daily. This presents bad news for vegetarians, vegans and those with a shellfish allergy.

Although the banana itself is fine, it’s the spray used to extend its shelf life that makes it non-veg. Gina Keatley, a New York-based dietician at Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, told Medical Daily in an email: “The coating is made of shellfish and works amazingly well; however, this makes the product no longer vegan.” She suggests vegetarians and vegans go organic to avoid the spray.

The coating is a so-called "hydrogel," a superabsorbent material like those with many medical and commercial uses, made from chitosan, a substance derived from shrimp and crab shells said Xihong Li, Ph.D., who presented the report.
Li explained that bananas, like other fresh fruit and vegetables, are alive and actually "breathing," or respirating. He is with Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin, China


Science Daily 

Medical Daily 

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Grapes oranges diabetes

A combination of two compounds found in red grapes and oranges could be used to improve the health of people with #diabetes, and reduce cases of obesity and heart disease.

The find has been made by University of Warwick researchers who now hope that their discovery will be developed to provide a treatment for patients.

The research ‘Improved glycemic control and vascular function in overweight and obese subjects by glyoxalase 1 inducer formulation’ has been published in the journal Diabetes.

A team led by Paul Thornalley, Professor in Systems Biology at Warwick Medical School, studied two compounds found in fruits but not usually found together. The compounds are trans-resveratrol (tRES) – found in red grapes, and hesperetin (HESP) – found in oranges. When given jointly at pharmaceutical doses the compounds acted in tandem to decrease blood glucose, improve the action of insulin and improve the health of arteries.

The compounds act by increasing a protein called glyoxalase 1 (Glo1) in the body which neutralises a damaging sugar-derived compound called methylglyoxal (MG). MG is a major contributor to the damaging effects of sugar. Increased MG accumulation with a high energy diet intake is a driver of insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes, and also damages blood vessels and impairs handling of cholesterol associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Blocking MG improved health in overweight and obese people and will likely help patients with diabetes and high risk of cardiovascular disease too.
Source: Warwick

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Red and blue food anti-cancer agents

Foods with the highest levels of the compounds were most effective at slowing cancer growth, with exotic purple corn and chokeberries stopping the growth of colon cancer cells and killing 20% in lab tests. Foods less enriched with the pigments, such as radishes and black carrots, slowed the growth of colon cancer cells by 50% to 80%. Because the pigments, which belong to a class of antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanins, are not easily absorbed by the bloodstream, they travel through the stomach to the gastrointestinal tract, where they are taken up by surrounding tissues.

Their survival through to the lower part of the intestine may be the key to their role in preventing cancers in the tract, the scientists believe.

Researchers led by Monica Giusti, an expert in plant nutrients at Ohio State University, extracted anthocyanins from a variety of exotic and more common fruits and vegetables that all had a deep red, blue or purple hue and added them to flasks containing a suspension of human colon cancer cells.

When the team calculated how much of each extract was needed to reduce cancer cell growth by 50%, they found anthocyanin from purple corn to be the most potent. Chokeberries and bilberries were nearly as effective, while radish anthocyanin required nine times as much - or 131 micrograms per millilitre of cancer cell solution to cut cell growth by half.

In a second study, the researchers fed rats with colon cancer a diet of anthocyanin extracts from bilberries and chokeberries, which are most often used as flavourings in jams and fruit drinks. Colon tumours in the rats fell by 60% to 70% compared with a control group that were not given anthocyanin.

Source:The Guardian 

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