Health and Nutrition

July 11, 2013

Cherries a superfood?

Filed under: Cancer,Diet,General Health — Doc Joe @ 2:29 pm

 

Originally published July 11 2013

Cherries a superfood? Research confirms this well-known fruit tackles cancer, insomnia, high blood pressure and gout

by Carolanne Wright

(NaturalNews) For those of you who love cherries, this ruby sweet fruit is much more than a tasty summer treat. Shown to combat cancer, improve sleep, balance blood pressure and ease gout, you really cannot lose. Compounds found within cherries also relieve pain as well as aspirin. Possessing potent anti-inflammatory properties, these delicious gems are an excellent way to ward off disease. Rich in vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants, cherries are a powerhouse of nutrition and should be enjoyed often.

Relish the bounty of the season along with improved health

With the cherry season upon us, now is a great time for basking in all the pleasurable, health promoting benefits of the fruit. Here are a few examples of how cherries can enhance your well-being:

Cancer protection – Overflowing with beta carotene, vitamin C, boron and a class of powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, cherries offer a formidable defense against cancer. As reported by Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D., in Eating Well, “… preliminary studies suggest the anthocyanin cyanidin may prevent genetic mutations that can lead to cancer and keep cancer cells from growing out of control. While tart cherries contain some anthocyanins, sweet cherries pack nearly three times as many (two-thirds are found in the skins). The riper the better: As cherries darken, they produce more antioxidants.”

Better sleep – Cherries provide one of the few naturally occurring sources of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep/wake cycles. According to a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, “These data suggest that consumption of a tart cherry juice concentrate provides an increase in exogenous melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women and might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep.”

Pain relief – Research at Michigan State University discovered anthocyanins in cherries relieve pain as effectively as aspirin. Lead researcher Muralee G. Nair, Ph.D., observes, “It is as good as ibuprofen and some of the nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs.” The lab results indicate consumption of 20 tart cherries can significantly reduce inflammation and discomfort.

Regulate blood pressure – Loaded with potassium, cherries are an exceptional food for easing high blood pressure. A balancing mineral, potassium helps to maintain fluid equilibrium within the body by offsetting the bloating effect of sodium. Cherries are also a good source of quercetin, an antioxidant that maintains blood vessel integrity.

Tame gout – A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that women, aged 22 to 40, who consumed approximately 45 sweet cherries after fasting had improved urinary uric acid levels and lowered C-reactive protein. Further research demonstrated anti-inflammatory characteristics of the fruit. When rats were fed 2 ounces of cherries, joint swelling was significantly reduced. Both findings indicate cherries are an exceptional food for painful gout flare-ups.

Sources for this article include:

http://naturalmedicinejournal.com/article_content.asp?article=227

http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22038497

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

http://pubs.acs.org

http://www.eatingwell.com

Statins Linked With Risk of Musculoskeletal Injury

Filed under: General Health — Doc Joe @ 2:07 pm

 

Statins Linked With Risk of Musculoskeletal Injury

Michael O’Riordan

Jun 05, 2013DALLAS, TX – The use of statins appears to be associated with an increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries, including an increased risk of dislocations, strains, and sprains, according to a new analysis[1]. Researchers suggest the full range of musculoskeletal adverse events might not be fully known and that further studies are needed, especially in active individuals.

“These findings are concerning because starting statin therapy at a young age for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases has been widely advocated,” report Dr Ishak Mansi (VA North Texas Health Care System, Dallas) and colleagues in a paper published online June 3, 2013 in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Internal Medicine. “Moreover, the numbers needed to be exposed for one additional person to be harmed were 37 to 58 individuals for various outcomes.”

The study included 6967 statin users propensity-matched with 6967 nonusers. Of the statin users, the majority was treated with simvastatin (73.5%) and approximately one-third had been prescribed maximum doses of the drugs, including simvastatin 80 mg, atorvastatin 80 mg, or rosuvastatin (Crestor, AstraZeneca) 40 mg. Simvastatin 80 mg is currently restricted on the US market because of concerns about muscle damage.

In the propensity-matched analysis, treatment with a statin was associated with a 19% increased risk of any type of musculoskeletal injury (p<0.001), a 13% increased risk of dislocations, strains, and sprains (p=0.001), and a 9% increased risk of musculoskeletal pain (p=0.02). There was a trend toward a 7% higher risk of osteoarthritis/arthropathies, but the association was not statistically significant in the propensity-matched analysis. There was an increased risk of osteoarthritis/arthropathies in two analyses that first adjusted for and then excluded patients with comorbidities at baseline.

In contrast, researchers observed no association between the number of years an individual took simvastatin and the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

The group says that musculoskeletal adverse events with statins may represent a lesser known side effect of the drug class and should be studied further, especially in individuals who continue to be physically active. A better understanding of the full risks of statins will also “provide more complete data for cost/benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses of statin use,” write Mansi et al.

References

  1. Mansi I, Frei CR, Pugh MJ, Makris U, Mortensen EM. Statins and musculoskeletal conditions, arthropathies, and injuries. JAMA Intern Med 2013; DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6184. Available at: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/journal.aspx.

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