February 2010 Newsletter

Vitamin D May Fight Crohn's Disease

UPI.com reports that Canadian researchers say vitamin D can counter the effects of Crohn's disease.

Researchers at Montreal's McGill University Health Center and University of Montreal found vitamin D acts directly on the beta defensin 2 gene, which encodes an anti-microbial peptide and the NOD2

Both Beta-defensin and NOD2 have been linked to Crohn's disease -- an autoimmune disorder in which a defect in innate immune handling of intestinal bacteria leads to inflammatory bowel disease.

"Our data suggests, for the first time, that vitamin D deficiency can contribute to Crohn's disease," study leader Dr. John White of McGill says in a statement. White suggests siblings of patients with Crohn's disease who have not as yet developed the disease make sure they are vitamin D sufficient.

"It's something that's easy to do, because they can simply go to a pharmacy and buy vitamin D supplements," he says.

The study findings are published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Cholesterol High in Teens

The Washington Post tells us that a federal health officials report showed that one out of every five U.S. teenagers has a cholesterol level that increases the risk of heart disease. This striking new evidence reveals that obesity is making more children prone to illnesses once primarily limited to adults.

A nationally representative survey of blood test results in American teenagers found that more than 20 percent of those ages 12 to 19 had at least one abnormal level of fat. The rate jumped to 43 percent among those adolescents who were obese.

Previous studies had indicated that unhealthy cholesterol levels, once a condition thought isolated to the middle-aged and elderly, were increasingly becoming a problem among the young, but the new data document the scope of the threat on a national level.

"This is the future of America," said Linda Van Horn, a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University who heads the American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee. "These data really confirm the seriousness of our obesity epidemic. This really is an urgent call for health-care providers and families to take this issue seriously."

"The current epidemic of childhood obesity makes this a matter of significant and urgent concern," said Ashleigh May, an epidemic intelligence service officer with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's division for heart disease and stroke prevention, who led the analysis.

Use Probiotics to Treat Illness
Natural News reports that millions of people suffer from colds, flu and stomach upset every year. Research is now showing that this could be caused by a lack of good bacteria in your stomach. Fortunately, there are supplements you can take to increase the amount of good bacteria and improve your health.It's strange to think that you can treat and even prevent illness with bacteria, but it's true. Your body contains trillions of bacteria - some are good and some are bad. When the number of good bacteria starts to decrease due to antibiotics or a poor diet your chances for illness are increased. Probiotic supplements have been shown to have many health benefits. Research has also shown that taking probiotics can help aid digestion and keep you regular.

Did You Know???
  • Broccoli sprouts may help fight allergies.

    Marc A. Reidl, MD. department of medicine, section of clinical immunology and allergy, University of California, Los Angeles, and coauthor of a study published in Clinical Immunology, reported his recent findings that people who ate seven ounces of broccoli sprouts daily for three days had up to a 200% increase in the production of antioxidant enzymes in the nasal passages. The antioxidants help fight the inflammation that contributes to allergy symptoms. Broccoli sprouts are very high in sulforaphane, which starts a process that leads to the antioxidant increase.

  • Cold weather raises blood pressure.

    Based on a study of 8,801 people age 65 and older by researchers in three metropolitan areas in France, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, systolic and diastolic numbers rise about five millimeters for every 25-degree drop in temperature. Cold temperatures have the greatest effect on people age 80 and older.

  • Americans consume more than 22 teaspoons of sugar a day.

    Rachel Johnson, PhD, RD, associate provost and professor of nutrition, University of Vermont, Berlington, and lead author of the American Heart Association Scientific Statement on Dietry Sugars and Cardiovascular Health, published in Circulation reported that Americans consume more than 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. One 12-ounce can of regular cola has about eight teaspoons of sugar. Sweetened dairy products, fruit drinks, alcoholic beverages and and candy account for 16%...cakes, cookies and pies, 13%.

    New American Heart Association guidelines say that men should have no more than 150 calories of added sugar per day-about nine teaspoons.

    Women should have no more than 100 calories- about six teaspoons.

  In this Issue:
Vitamin D May Fight Crohn's Disease
Cholesterol High in Teens

Use Probiotics to Treat Illness

Did You Know???

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