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In This Issue

Blueberries Top Antioxidants List

Ulcerative Colitis improved by Curcumin

'Go out and play' is missing today

Did you know?





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Blueberries Top Antioxidants List

Stephen Laifer tells us in July's edition of Life Extension Magazine that blueberries top antioxidants list.

He says that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) compared the antioxidant capacity of more than 20 different fruits. Blueberries were at the top of the list. The study found that a one cup serving of wild blueberries had more antioxidant capacity than a comparable serving of cranberries, strawberries, plums, or raspberries. The antioxidant capacity of wild blueberries was 48% higher than that of cultivated blueberries.1

Scientists attribute these powerful antioxidant properties to polyphenols in blueberries known as anthocyanins, deep blue-purple pigments that confer strong anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant effects. 2

Blueberries have shown a remarkable ability to reverse the effects of aging on the brain, helping to restore memory and cognition to a more youthful state. Blueberries also appear to help ward off deadly cancers, while protecting cells against damage incurred by diabetes. Blueberries may even help prevent bothersome urinary tract infections.

Nutritional Content of Blueberries

Blueberries are an outstanding source of antioxidants and rich in fiber and essential nutrients. One cup of raw blueberries (184 grams) contains: 3

Calories: 84,Total carbohydrates: 21.4 grams, Dietary fiber: 3.6 grams, Sugars: 14.7 grams, Protein: 1.1 grams, Total fat: 0.5 grams, Vitamins and Minerals (Vitamin A: 79.9 IU, Lutein and zeaxanthin: 118mcg, Vitamin E: 0.8 mg, Folate: 8.9 mcg, Thiamine: 0.1 mg, Riboflavin: 0.1 mg, Niacin: 0.6 mg, Calcium: 8.9 mg, Magnesium: 8.9 mg, Iron: 0.4 mg, Phosphorus: 17.8 mg, Sodium: 1.5 mg, Potassium: 114 mg, Zinc: 0.2 mg, Copper: 0.1 mg, Selenium: 0.1 mcg)

For maximum benefit (and best taste), store ripe blueberries in a covered container in the refrigerator and eat them within a week. Avoid washing blueberries until just before eating, as washing removes the "bloom" that protects the fruit's skin from degradation. 4

References:

1. Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, et al. Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jun 16;52(12):4026-37
2. Kalt W, Ryan DA, Duy JC, et al. Interspecific variation in anthocyanins, phenolics, and antioxidant capacity among genotypes of highbush and lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium section cyanococcus spp.). J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Oct;49(10):4761-7
3. Available at: http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c20Tr.html. Accessed April 19,2007
4. Murray M, Pizzorno J. Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books; 2005:260


Ulcerative Colitis improved by Curcumin

Hanai H. of Townsend Letter says that 89 patients with ulcerative colitis in remission were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, curcumin (1 g after breakfast and 1 g after dinner) or placebo for six months. All patients also received sulfasalazine or mesalamine. Among the 82 patients who completed the trial, the relapse rate was 4.7% in the curcumin group and 20.5% in the placebo group (p = 0.04). In intent-to-treat analysis, the respective recurrence rates were 4.4% and 15.1% (p < 0.05). Curcumin treatment improved both the mean clinical activity index (p < 0.04) and the mean endoscopic index (p = 0.0001) compared with baseline, whereas these values became worse in the placebo group.


'Go out and play' is missing today

Schools are eliminating recess and physical education to cram in lessons on reading and math to meet nationally prescribed academic standards. Overprogrammed children are under stress to perform with few or no outlets for that stress. A report in the journal "Pediatrics" in January by Dr. Kenneth R Ginsburg and two committees of the American Academy of Pediatrics summed up the importance of free play to a child's development:

  • Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive and emotional strength.
  • Play is important to brain development.
  • Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles.
  • Play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face challenges.
  • Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate and to resolve conflicts.
  • Some play must remain child-driven, with parents either not present or as passive observers. When play is child- driven, children practice decision-making, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue.
  • When play is controlled by adults, children acquiesce to adult rules and concerns and lose some benefits of play, particularly in developing creativity, leadership and group skills.
  • In contrast to passive entertainment, play builds active, healthy bodies.



Did You Know?

  • Diabetes drug raises heart risk. San Diego Union Tribune reports that study finds that the drug sold as Avandia and Avandamet widely used to control diabetes increases the risks of heart attacks and possibly death. Review of more than 40 existing clinical studies involving nearly 28,000 patients, showed that Avandia increased the risk of heart attacks by 43%, compared with other diabetes drugs or a placebo. It also found that the drug may boost the risk of dying of such an attack or stroke by 64%.
  • Heat therapy relieve back pain. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, found that five days of heat therapy-mostly in the form of wraps-significantly reduced pain compared with oral placebos and other remedies.
  • Walk for memory. A University of Illinois study looked at adults ages 60 to 80. MRI scans showed that after six months of exercise, the walkers' brains looked two to three years younger than others their age who only stretched.
  • Menstruation arrival predicts obesity.

    The younger a woman is when she has her first period, the more likely her children are to be overweight. A new study at the Medical Research Council in London tested the relationship between a mother's age at menarche, her adult body size and her children's growth and obesity risk in more than 6,000 children in England.

    They looked at 9-year-old children of women who had their first period at 11 or younger and at 15 or older. The children of women in the earlier group were on average a half-inch taller and 8 pounds heavier than those in the later group. In addition, these children were almost three times as likely to be obese. The risk of obesity was similar in boys and girls. The researchers suggest that genetics and nongenetic modes of inheritance may be at work.




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