|DECEMBER NEWS 2000|
|IN THE NEWS|
LUNG CANCER TIED TO WEIGHT?
Being overweight is tied to lung cancer risk, reveals an analysis of a lung
cancer patient study.
Researchers used data from a study of lung cancer patients in New York from
1982 to 1985. They focused on patients who had never smoked, or those who
hadn't smoked in the last 10 years, then took into account physical data on
patients' heights and weight. Researchers found that study subjects who were
at the most extreme levels of obesity had the highest risk for lung cancer.
The study is a first for linking being overweight to lung cancer; it has
previously been shown to play a role in breast, uterine, and colon cancer.
Researchers are unsure why being obese plays a role in lung cancer; some
researchers suggest it's related to hormones such as higher levels of
estrogen and insulin. In addition, being overweight puts an added strain on
the lungs, reduces lung capacity, and increases asthma risk.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women in the
U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. About 164,100 new cases of
the disease will be diagnosed this year and 156,900 people will die from the
This study was published in the September 2000 issue of the American Journal
FRESH CARROTS MAY NOT MEASURE UP TO COOKED
To get the most out of your carrots, stir frying, steaming, or any other
means of cooking them may increase their nutritional value.
A recent University of Arkansas in Fayetteville study showed the antioxidant
level in cooked and pureed carrots was three times higher than levels of the
compound measured in raw carrots. The study refutes the common belief that
fresh vegetables are always superior in nutritional quality to processed
Researchers heated carrots with and without the skin. They stored samples at
104 degrees Fahrenheit for four weeks, measured antioxidant levels, and
compared measurements with antioxidant levels in raw carrots. Investigators
used an antioxidant method that measures the ability of plant extracts
containing phenolics, a type of antioxidant found in red wine and chocolate,
to prevent oxidation of beta-carotene.
Antioxidant levels increased by more than 34% immediately after carrots were
cooked. Researchers theorize the heating softens the carrot tissue and
allows the release of the phenolics attached to the cell wall.
In addition, antioxidant levels continued to rise during the first week of
storage and then fell after two weeks in storage. However, antioxidant
levels of stored carrots remained higher than that of fresh raw carrots.
This study was presented at a recent meeting of the American Chemical
Society. It was also published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food
KNEE ARTHRITIS ALLEVIATED BY WEIGHT LOSS, EXERCISE
Overweight and have bad knees? Diet and exercise can help.
A new study of 24 older men and women suggests weight loss improves knee
symptoms. A six-month program of diet and exercise helped patients lose
about an average of 19 pounds, as well as experience benefits such as less
knee pain and disability.
Researchers compared the effects of diet and exercise on knee arthritis with
those of exercise alone. All patients in the study exercised three days a
week for one hour; one group also cut calories. After six months, the diet
group had lost 19 pounds, compared to four pounds in the exercise-only
group. Both groups improved their mobility and pain, but the diets made even
greater gains in certain measures, such as ability to climb stairs.
Researchers say this is the first study to show that older, obese adults
with knee arthritis can lose significant amounts of weight. The study showed
diet changes seemed to be key in cutting weight and improving knee symptoms.
Study results appeared in the September 2000 issue of the Journal of the
American Geriatrics Society.
SUBLINGUAL VITAMIN B12 TABLETS MEASURE UP TO INJECTION
Sublingual vitamin B12 tablets are just as beneficial as intramuscular
injections of the nutrient, according to a recent study.
A study of 18 patients deficient in vitamin B12 was performed by the
Institute of Hematology and the Department of Gastroenterology at the Rabin
Medical Center in Petah Tiqva, Israel. Subjects' blood levels increased to
normal levels after only a few days of treatment.
Of the patients, five had pernicious anemia, two had Crohn's disease, and
seven were vegetarian. All started with vitamin B12 blood levels close to
half of what it should have been. Patients were asked to take two of the
sublingual (placed under the tongue) nuggets daily for seven to 10 days,
half an hour before breakfast, but after drinking a glass of water. Each
nugget contained 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12. All patients eventually attained
normal blood levels of the vitamin.
This study was presented at the 28th World Congress of the International
Society of Hematology.