Nutrients from food more beneficial than from supplements

Adequate intake of certain nutrients is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality when the nutrient source is foods, but not supplements, according to a new study. There was no association between dietary supplement use and a lower risk of death.

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Blueberries, Strawberries may help preserve brain function

A Harvard research study indicates regular berry consumption may help preserve brain function. The study focused on women who reported eating blueberries and strawberries in particular. Starting in 1995, cognitive, or intellectual function, was measured in the participants on two separate occasions. The data indicates participants who had recorded increased servings of blueberries and strawberries preserved their brain function to a greater degree than those who had not.

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Hot red chili peppers and mortality

A study done at the Larner College of Medicine indicates regular consumption of hot red chili peppers correlates with a 13 percent reduction in mortality. The frequency of hot red chili pepper consumption was measured in 16,179 participants at least 18 years of age. Total and cause-specific mortality were the main outcome measures. During 273,877 person-years of follow-up (median 18.9 years), a total of 4,946 deaths were observed. Total mortality for participants who consumed hot red chili peppers was 21.6% compared to 33.6% for those who did not (absolute risk reduction of 12%; relative risk of 0.64).

See the study abstract here



New Dietary Guidelines Released

The US Department of Agriculture announces the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the federal government's evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity.

See the latest Nutritional Goals for Age-Gender Groups...

Zinc effective in treating colds, multiple studies find

An evaluation of 15 studies concludes that zinc lozenges, tablets or syrup can help cut the duration of cold symptoms by a day and reduce their severity. In the latest report, published by the Cochrane Library, an international network of experts who conduct systematic reviews of research, scientists in India evaluated 15 studies, including four published since 2000.

Two of the studies evaluated focused on zinc's effectiveness in preventing colds and the rest on its ability to shorten the duration of colds. The 15 studies involved 1,360 participants ranging in age from 1 to 65 with good overall health. Pooling the data, researchers found that people who took zinc within 24 hours of the start of symptoms were over their colds about one day sooner than people who took placebos.

The analysis also found that the severity of cold symptoms was somewhat milder among people who took zinc.

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