For decades nutritionists have debated the merits of polyunsaturated and saturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature whereas saturated fats are solid. Saturated fats are found primarily in animal products and are thought to raise risk of heart disease in part by raising blood cholesterol levels. In contrast, polyunsaturated fats are thought to lower blood cholesterol levels and consequently, to lower risk of heart disease….
Among women in Asia, epidemiologic (observational) studies show higher soy consumption is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer (1). However, clinical (intervention) studies involving adults show that the consumption of soy or soy isoflavones has no effect on markers (indicators) of breast cancer risk (2). These markers include breast cell proliferation and breast tissue density. One explanation for the protective effect observed in observational studies but the lack of benefit observed in clinical studies, is that protection occurs as a result of soy consumption during childhood and/or adolescence. Women who consume more soy as adults are also likely to have consumed more soy during childhood as early dietary habits track into adulthood….
Scientists have made important gains in recent years in understanding the aging process. One important key appears to be telomeres, or more specifically, telomere length. These are stretches of DNA that sit at the end of chromosomes and protect genetic data, making it possible for cells to divide. They are like the plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces. Just like those tips prevent shoelaces from fraying, telomeres do the same for chromosomes, preventing damage that would scramble genetic information in ways that may raise risk for chronic disease….
Evidence for the safety of soyfoods for women with breast cancer continues to accumulate. Recently, researchers from the Mayo Clinic and the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine concluded that breast cancer patients should not be advised against eating soyfoods. Similar conclusions have been made by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society….
Currently 13.7 million people in the United States are cancer survivors. The number is expected to rise to 18 million by the year 2022. Of these, 2.5 million are men who have had prostate cancer.
A growing body of research is looking at dietary factors that lower risk for developing this type of cancer. Less is known, however, about how diet affects outcome in men who have already had the disease….
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in western countries. This condition, which usually affects older adults, causes damage to the retina resulting in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula). Macular degeneration makes it difficult (or sometimes impossible) to read, and also to recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life….
Acute inflammation—characterized by redness, heat, swelling, and pain around an injury—is a normal immune response to infection or injury. It’s healthy and temporary. In contrast, low-grade, chronic, and “systemic” inflammation is an abnormal condition that may raise risk for heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease and arthritis, among many other conditions….