Ambient Air Pollution Associated with Chronic Respiratory Disease

A recent study from the US finds a strong association between ambient air pollution and increased rates of emphysema, chronic respiratory disease.Ambient Air Pollution Associated with Chronic Respiratory Disease

A team of researchers, led by Joel D. Kaufman, MD, MPH, of the School of Public Health at University of Washington, and R. Graham Barr, MD, DrPH, of the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, used data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) which included patients aged 45 to 84 years from 6 metropolitan areas in the US.

Researchers found that median percent emphysema was 3% at the beginning of the study, then increased a mean 0.58 percentage points per 10 years. Mean ambient concentrations of PM2.5 and NOdecreased substantially during the follow-up period. Concentrations of each of the observed ambient pollutant estimates were associated with increases in percent emphysema per 10 years.

Walnut Consumption May Protect from Ulcerative Colitis

A new study, conducted by researchers from the University of Connecticut, US, suggests that walnuts may protect against ulcerative colitis thanks to the high content of natural compounds and phytochemicals.Walnut Consumption May Protect from Ulcerative Colitis

The effect of walnuts was checked using a mouse model where the colonic mucosal injury was induced by the ulcerogenic agent dextran sodium sulfate. The daily dose of walnuts in the study was equivalent of 20 to 25 walnuts in a human which was 14% of the studied diet.

Dr. Daniel Rosenberg, professor of medicine, and Masako Nakanishi, post-doctoral fellow, at the Center for Molecular Oncology at UConn Health, who led the study, says: “We are continuing our work to understand whether those metabolic changes are part of the protection. We are not suggesting that people with ulcerative colitis be maintained on a large walnut diet between active flares. But, we are hoping that we’ll be able to determine the active compounds — nutrients, phytochemicals — in walnuts that cause protection.”

Plant-Based Diet Connected to Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Death

A new study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore adds to the mounting body of evidence that plant-based diet may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (and death from it) by 32%.Plant-Based Diet Connected to Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Death

For the study, a team of researchers checked data from 12,168 people of middle age involved in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, in which the participants were followed from 1987 to 2016.

The analysis of the available data showed that those people who consumed more plants had a 25% lower risk of dying from any cause and a 32% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The lead author of the new study Casey M. Rebholz, Ph.D., says: “There might be some variability in terms of individual foods, but to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, people should eat more vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fruits, legumes, and fewer animal-based foods.”

Dark Chocolate Reduces Depression Symptoms, Another Link Found

A recent study from University College London (UCL), UK, finds another link between dark chocolate consumption and fewer depression symptoms.Dark Chocolate Reduces Depression Symptoms, Another Link Found

To conduct the study, a team of researchers took data from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on 13,626 participants aged 20 and over.

They assessed depressive symptoms with the help of the Patient Health Questionnaire. Information on chocolate consumption came from two 24-hour dietary recalls. The scientists took the first one in a face-to-face interview and the second through a telephone interview 3–10 days later.

Having completed analysis, the authors of the study concluded: “Individuals who reported any dark chocolate consumption had 70% lower odds of reporting clinically relevant depressive symptoms than those who did not report any chocolate consumption.”

Choosing Chicken Instead of Pork May Cut Breast Cancer Risk

A new study suggests that eating chicken instead of beef, lamb, or pork may decrease a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by 28%.Choosing Chicken Instead of Pork May Cut Breast Cancer Risk

For the study, the US National Cancer Institute analyzed the diets of more than 42,000 women and tracked their health and wellbeing for 8 years. The analysis showed that those women who ate red meat the most were almost 25% more likely to develop the condition than those who ate the least.

Study author Dr Dale Sandler says: “Red meat has been identified as a probable carcinogen. Our study adds further evidence red meat consumption may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer whereas poultry was associated with decreased risk.”

Scientists Identified Top 6 Exercises Offsetting Obesity Genes

Recent research from the National Taiwan University in Taipei City examined the effect of 18 different exercises and identified the top six exercises able to offset the obesity genes according to 5 measures.Scientists Identified Top 6 Exercises Offsetting Obesity Genes

A team of scientists analyzed data taken from 18,424 Chinese adults aged between 30 and 70 years participating in the Taiwan Biobank study in the past. The analysis of exercise routine and a person’s genetic risk of obesity showed that jogging was the best exercise to reduce obesity.

Other best options of workouts to offset the genetic risk of obesity include mountain climbing, walking, exercise walking, international standard dancing, and a longer practice of yoga. Such popular activities as cycling, stretching exercise, swimming, dance dance revolution, and qigong did not this type of effect.

The researchers conclude in their study: “Our findings show that the genetic effects on obesity measures can be decreased to various extents by performing different kinds of exercise. The benefits of regular physical exercise are more impactful in subjects who are more predisposed to obesity.”