Archive for July 5th, 2012
A low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a large study in Swedish women.
The study, published in the journal BMJ, was based on a random sample of 43,396 women ages 30 to 49, each of whom completed a dietary questionnaire. The researchers used the data to create a 20-point scale, with higher scores indicating a lower ratio of carbohydrates to protein.
During an average of 15 years of follow-up, there were 1,270 cardiac events, mostly ischemic heart disease and strokes. After controlling for numerous risk factors, the researchers found that women had a 5 percent increase in cardiovascular events for each increase of 2 points on the scale. (That translates into a daily 20-gram decrease in carbohydrates and a 5-gram increase in protein.)
Previous studies have had mixed results.
It's a strange paradox: Obesity is one of the main contributing factors to heart failure but, once the problem develops, obesity mitigates its effects. "Heart failure may be one of the few health conditions where extra weight may prove to be protective," said Dr. Tamara B. Horwich, a cardiologist at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine. New research by Horwich and her colleagues quantifies the magnitude of the benefit from being overweight and for the first time shows that the effects are comparable for men and women.
Does being an intense mother make women unhappy? According to a new study by Kathryn Rizzo and colleagues, from the University of Mary Washington in the US, women who believe in intensive parenting — i.e., that women are better parents than men, that mothering should be child-centred, and that children should be considered sacred and are fulfilling to parents — are more likely to have negative mental health outcomes.
The American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network wants the U.S. surgeon general to study the effects of sugar-sweetened beverages on consumer health and obesity. The group says an unbiased report, similar to a landmark study on the dangers of smoking in the 1960s, could increase public awareness and begin to change behaviors.
Children born to mothers who were obese during their second trimester had significantly lower language scores than those born to overweight and normal-weight mothers, according to a study presented at a meeting of the Endocrine Society. Another study featured at the meeting linked second-trimester obesity to lower full-scale IQ and verbal subscale scores.
Strawberries, the traditional summer treat associated with Wimbledon could be serving up some unexpected health benefits.
Scientists at the University of Warwick have been studying the beneficial effects of strawberries on our cardiovascular health, particularly around how they prevent the development of heart disease and diabetes.
Professor Paul Thornalley from Warwick Medical School heads the team that discovered extracts from strawberries positively activate a protein in our bodies called “Nrf2” which is shown to increase antioxidant and other protective activities. This protein works to decrease blood lipids and cholesterol, the very things which can lead to cardiovascular problems.