Category Archives: Mediterranean diet

Anti-cancer compound identified in Mediterranean Diet

FoodFacts.com has been finding fascinating health benefits linked to the Mediterranean diet for the past several months. We’re always excited by the new findings because the traditional Mediterranean diet is such a flavorful, fresh way to eat that incorporating it into your lifestyle is an easy transition for most to make. Today we found more information we wanted to share with our community.

There’s new research out of Ohio State University that links a compound that is abundant in the Mediterranean diet to eliminating the power of cancer cells to escape cell death. It appears that this compound alters a specific step in gene regulation and turns the cancer cells into normal cells that will die.

One of the reasons that cancer is a difficult disease to cure is that cancer cells thrive by inhibiting the regular cell death process. The researchers from Ohio State discovered that a compound found in some plant-based foods, apigenin, could re-educate breast cancer cells, leaving them to live and die by the regular cell lifecycle.

Though finding that apigenin can influence cancer cell behavior was an important outcome of the work, the researchers noted the importance of their new biomedical research technique and its contribution to nutraceutical research. The technique was compared to “fishing” for human proteins in cells that interact with molecules available in the diet.

Through experimentation, the researchers established that apigenin has relationships with proteins that have specific functions. The most important was a protein called hnRNPA2. It appears that this protein influences the activity of messenger RNA, which contains the instructions to produce a specific protein. The production of messenger RNA results from splicing RNA. It is noted that abnormal splicing is the problem with about 80 percent of all cancers. It appears that in cancer cells, two types of splicing occur when only one takes place in a normal cell. It’s an integral part of how cancer cells stay alive and continue to reproduce instead of following the normal cell lifecycle.

When apigenin was introduced, the splicing that inhibited cell death was eliminated. The single-splice characteristic was restored to the cells, causing them to die in a natural manner.

Parsley, celery and chamomile tea are the most common sources of apigenin, but it is found in many fruits and vegetables. Since the Mediterranean Diet is rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables, the compound is most readily available through this particular style of eating.

FoodFacts.com is once again thrilled by the knowledge being uncovered about the powerful health benefits that come to us through pure, fresh foods. It’s exciting to imagine a future where nutraceuticals become the chosen treatments for the chronic and often fatal diseases that plague so many in our population. In the meantime, the Mediterranean Diet is rich in many health benefits. It’s easy to incorporate into your lifestyle and allows for an abundance of food options. You’ll enjoy your food. You won’t be bored with your diet. And you’ll be doing something positive for your health!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130520154303.htm

Mediterranean Diet linked to memory preservation and cognitive function

FoodFacts.com’s main focus and mission has always been to educate consumers on the relationship between our diets and our health. With so many controversial ingredients present in our food supply, as well as unhealthy amounts of added sugar and sodium levels, consumers need straight answers and unbiased information on developing the dietary habits that will help them live longer, healthier lives.

So just how should we be eating? While there are a plethora of opinions on different dietary habits, the Mediterranean diet and its health benefits always seems to find its way into the news through continuing research. Today we found a study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Athens, Greece linking the Mediterranean diet to the preservation of memory and cognitive abilities.

The researchers collected data from the REGARDS study (Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke). This study included data on over 30,000 people over 45 years of age between 2003 and 2007. Participants were followed up on regularly to record health changes. Among these participants, over 14,000 Caucasians and African-Americans who followed the Mediterranean diet were examined. The average age for this sub-group was 64. They were given tests to measure their memory and cognitive abilities over a period of four years. Seventeen percent of them had diabetes.

It was found that among those without diabetes who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely, the risk of memory problems and declining cognitive ability was lower by 19% in comparison to the rest of the population of the subgroup. In addition, the differences in declines among Caucasians and African-Americans was not statistically significant. The presence of diabetes seemed to hinder the effects of the Mediterranean diet as no benefit was realized amongst those participants who had the disease.

The researchers noted that diets high in omega-3 fatty acids are linked to better memory and cognitive functioning. The Mediterranean diet is rich in foods containing omega-3 fatty acids.

Prior studies have pointed out many other health benefits of the Mediterranean diet … some of which linked it to increased mental health, as well as brain health, as it appears to reduce damage to small blood vessels.

The Mediterranean diet incorporates the dietary patterns traditionally found in Southern Italy, Greece and Spain. It includes the consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products, moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.

FoodFacts.com feels that the Mediterranean diet has shown so many potential benefits that it’s something to be seriously considered. This relatively simple style of eating is a fairly easy transition for most consumers who are already focused on the consumption of fresh, whole foods. Its benefits continue to unfold and we’re sure that this isn’t the last of the good news that we’ll hear regarding its advantages.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/259793.php

An unhealthy recipe revealed: the immediate effects of junk food on arterial health

There are some subjects that FoodFacts.com has always been aware of … and the subject matter here is one of them. We’ve been strong advocates of the “no junk food diet” – understanding that the controversial ingredients contained in junk food combined with their saturated fat content creates a recipe for poor health. New research coming from the EPIC Center for the Montreal Heart Institute makes a clear point regarding the effects of consuming just one meal of junk food.

The study focused on a comparison between the effects of junk food and a typical Mediterranean meal on the inner lining of blood vessels. This is called endothelial function and measuring it actually determines how the arteries dilate after eating. The dilation of arteries is linked to the risk of the development of coronary artery disease.
28 non-smoking men participated in the study. Prior to beginning, each participant had an ultrasound of a specific artery at the elbow crease after fasting for 12 hours. This reading was used to assess a baseline for endothelial function.

The first week, each of the men consumed a Mediterranean-style meal. This meal included salmon, almonds and vegetables cooked in olive oil. 51% of the total calories of the meal came from fat that was either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. At two hours and four hours after meal consumption, the mean received an ultrasound to determine the effect of the meal on their endothelial function.

The following week, the men consumed a different meal. This time it was a breakfast sandwich with an egg, sausage, a slice of cheese and three hash browns. This meal contained a total of 58% of calories from fat and was high in saturated fats. Again, they each underwent ultrasounds at two and four hours after meal consumption.

It was discovered that after consuming the meal high in saturated fats, the arteries of the study participants dilated 24% less than they did when fasting. After consuming the Mediterranean meal that was high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, the participants arteries dilated normally.

The study clearly indicates that junk food containing high levels of saturated fats is bad for your health no matter how infrequently you’re eating it. The effect is immediate and noticeable by your body. FoodFacts.com understands the importance of this detailed research that can plainly communicate the dangers of junk food consumption to our health and mark the differences that take place in our bodies immediately after eating different types of fats.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121030062007.htm