Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

Archive for November, 2012

More fiber, longer lives

Researchers in this large study measured the diets of 452,717 European men and women. After 13 years of follow-up, those who got more fiber in the diet were less likely to have died from any cause overall. Higher-fiber diets protected particularly from circulatory, digestive, non-cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, non-cancer inflammatory diseases and smoking related cancers. People got the most protection against digestive diseases, which were 40 percent lower in the high-fiber group. Overall, for every 10 grams of fiber per day, the chances of dying from any cause were 10 percent lower. Doctors saw the benefit from fruit fiber, with the greatest benefit from fiber in cereals and vegetables.

Low-fat, high-fiber diets improve health later in life

The Western diet is high in total and saturated fats, and in refined grains, which raises the chances for metabolic syndrome, doctors said. In this study, doctors followed up on 230 women, aged 25 to 29, who had participated in a diet study nine years earlier. The diet limited fats to 28 percent of total calories, and encouraged participants to eat more fiber through whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Some of the women ate a normal Western diet.

While none had metabolic syndrome, women in the Western diet group had average systolic blood pressure of 110.0 mmHg compared to 107.7 for the low-fat, high-fiber group. Also, women on the Western diet had fasting blood sugar levels of 89.1 mg/dL compared to 87.0 for the low-fat, high-fiber group. Doctors concluded a lower-fat, higher-fiber diet may help control blood pressure and sugar long-term.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; May, 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the October 2012 newsletter


Van's Health on November - 28 - 2012
categories: Healthy Eating

Exercise is key for losing weight, and overweight individuals tend to report more fatigue during physical activity than healthy-weight people. In this study, 20 obese adults ate a calorie-controlled diet with or without 500 mg vitamin C per day. Before and after the study, everyone exercised for one hour at half the rate of his or her estimated maximum oxygen consumption capacity. After four weeks, both groups had lost almost nine pounds, but compared to the non-vitamin C group, the vitamin C group reported feeling much less exertion and fatigue and had significantly lower heart rates during exercise.

Reference: Nutrition Journal; June, 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the October 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on November - 23 - 2012
categories: Vitamins, Weight Loss

Cinnamon helps control blood sugar

Doctors said that there are few human studies on the effects of cinnamon on blood sugar, but that earlier animal studies suggest cinnamon may lower blood sugar by slowing absorption through the intestine, or stimulating cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Researchers reviewed six cinnamon studies involving 435 men and women who took from 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon per day for 40 to 120 days. On average over the various study periods, long-term blood sugar levels dropped 0.1 percent, and fasting blood sugar levels dropped 0.84 micromoles per liter of blood. Doctors think that cinnamon may help diabetics control blood sugar and urge more study.

Vitamin C reduces oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes

Even if diabetics successfully control blood sugar, complications will still occur due to oxidative damage to cells from free radicals, doctors said. In this study, 30 men and women, aged 30 to 65, who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for at least one year, took 1,000 mg of the antioxidant vitamin C per day, or a placebo. All were controlling blood sugar with oral medication, were non-smokers, had no vascular or inflammatory disease, and were not being treated for high cholesterol, or taking hormone replacement therapy, beta blockers, diuretics, or aspirin. After six weeks, while the placebo group had not improved, those who had taken vitamin C had significantly lower levels of oxidative stress both after fasting and after a meal. Discussing their findings, doctors said vitamin C may be a safe, inexpensive way to reduce complications from type 2 diabetes.

Reference: Clinical Nutrition; May 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the September 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on November - 16 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins

In this study, 175 adults flew in coach class over a one to five week period, from Australia to America, Europe, or Africa, on flights lasting from 15 to 25 hours, with stopovers of less than 12 hours. Starting two weeks before flying, and continuing two weeks afterward, the travelers took a placebo or 600mg of echinacea angustifolia root, 675 mg of echinacea purpurea root, plus 4.4 mg of echinacea alkylamides, twice per day. Participants doubled the dose while flying, and could triple or quadruple the dose for a short time when cold or flu symptoms occurred.

Researchers measured cold and flu symptoms before and immediately after travel, and again four weeks later. Upper respiratory symptoms increased for everyone during long-haul flights, but symptoms in the echinacea group were half as severs as symptoms were for placebo.

Reference: Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the September 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on November - 7 - 2012
categories: Supplements