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….
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. With a 5-year survival rate of only 15%, it is estimated that lung cancer will cause almost twice as many deaths as breast cancer among US women in 2012. Prognosis is affected by a number of factors, including age at diagnosis and tumor stage. It also appears that female sex hormones may affect lung cancer survival….
Japan has one of the lowest rates of breast cancer among developed countries. That rate is climbing though, as more Japanese women have been diagnosed with this disease over the past several decades. While there are many possible reasons for this, the biggest suspect is a shift toward a more western diet. In particular, women who are trading in soyfoods for other sources of protein may be losing some of the protection of their traditional pattern of eating….
Research on soy along with the growing interest in potential health benefits of these foods focuses largely on their phytoestrogen estrogen content. These plant estrogens, called isoflavones, have been shown to reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, and may also reduce heart disease risk by improving health of the arteries….
Soyfoods can make important contributions to a heart-healthy diet. They are low in saturated fat so that replacing animal foods with soy products can help to lower blood cholesterol levels. Soy protein itself also lowers blood cholesterol directly. This is an effect that was formally acknowledged by the US Food and Drug Administration more than a decade ago.
But elevated cholesterol is just one risk factor for heart disease. Two new studies add to existing evidence that soyfoods potentially reduce risk of heart disease and stroke independent of their effect on cholesterol….
Chronic functional constipation (CFC) is defined as having one bowel movement every 3 to 15 days. As many as 36% of children who see a pediatrician have CFC. Some research has identified a sensitivity to cow’s milk protein as a possible cause of CFC. Australian researchers recently examined whether children with CFC would benefit if soymilk replaced the cow’s milk in their diet. Children with an average age of about 6 ½ years consumed a little more than 1½ cups of soymilk or cow’s per day for two weeks Following that 2-week period, the children consumed no milk and then for two weeks, they switched milk consumption so that those who had consumed soymilk for the first two weeks were now consuming cow’s milk. Constipation completely resolved when children drank soymilk instead of cow’s milk but the problem returned in several children when going back to drinking cow’s milk. These results agree with previously published research and strongly suggest that replacing cow’s milk with soymilk can be effective for alleviating constipation.