Over the past two decades, cholesterol lowering drugs have proven
to be effective and have been found to significantly reduce the
risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). However, a good diet and a
healthy lifestyle are still recognized as the first line of intervention
for CHD risk reduction by the National Cholesterol Education Program
and the American Heart Association. They now both advocate consuming
viscous fibers and plant sterols, Soy Protein, and some nuts.
In a series of controlled studies, these researchers have combined
these four cholesterol-lowering dietary components (fiber, phytosterols,
soy protein, and nuts) in the same diet in an attempt to achieve the
greatest reduction in LDL-cholesterol. The researchers have found that
the portfolio diet including these four reduced LDL-cholesterol by
approximately 30% and achieved clinically significant reductions in
CHD risk. These reductions are the same as found with a starting dose
of a first-generation statin drug (Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lescol,
and Mevacor, are first generation statins, [so was Baycol], Crestor is
a second generation statin). The studies were performed at the Department
of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto,
and is published in the November 2004 issue of the journal Current
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
Considering the lack of toxicity and additional health benefits
from these nutrients it is silly for most people not to try them
Respiratory tract infections are prevalent in the elderly often
resulting in severe illness, trips to the doctor, hospital admission,
and death. Supplementing with vitamin E has improved the immune
system response to infection in the elderly. This study examines
the level of clinical benefit of vitamin E supplementation. 617
elderly nursing home residents from 33 different facilities took
part in this study over a 28 month period. All of the participants
were given a low-dose multiple-vitamin, and then some received a
vitamin E supplement and some received placebo. The vitamin E group
had fewer upper respiratory tract infections and fewer colds than
the placebo group. The study is published in the August 18th issue
of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
5 New Green Tea Studies
The major polyphenol in Green Tea, EGCG, dramatically
suppressed the experimental induction of autoimmune
encephalomyelitis (experimentally induced animal Multiple
Sclerosis). Also, after the experimental version of MS was
initiated, EGCG limited brain inflammation, and brain nerve
damage, reducing clinical severity. In living brain tissue EGCG
directly blocked the formation of neurotoxic free radicals.
EGCG inhibited immune cells from causing inflammation and
destruction in human myelin tissue. EGCG may open up a new
therapeutic avenue for young, disabled adults with inflammatory
brain disease by combining on one hand, anti-inflammatory, and
on the other hand, neuroprotective capacities. Institute of
Neuroimmunology, Neuroscience Research Center, Charite, Berlin,
and Published in the November 2004 issue of The Journal
Green Teas major polyphenol, EGCG was added to human leukemia
cells (HL-60 cells). EGCG causes the death of these leukemia
cells. To see how EGCG regulates the death of these cells a
DNA study was performed. EGCG affected 97 genes out of a possible
8398. Some genes were stimulated by EGCG (39 genes) and some
genes were inhibited 58 genes), showing that EGCG's ability to
destroy these leukemia cells is a progressive transformation
process regulated by a variety of genes (it is very complex).
Tea and Health laboratory, Central-South University Xiangya
School of Medicine, Hunan, China and is published in the November
22nd, 2004 issue of the journal Mutation Research.
Activation of immune cells in the brain and spine (microglial
cells) is a pivotal step in several neurodegenerative disorders
including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. EGCG
inhibits the activation of these cells and inhibits the formation
of chemicals that trigger destruction of central nervous system
tissue. Additionally, EGCG protected dopaminergic receptor sites
from damage (the sites damaged in Parkinson's disease). The study
is published in the October 11th, 2004 issue of the Journal of
After a heart attack, when blood starts to rush back into the
heart, massive heart muscle tissue damage takes place, this is
called ischemic reperfusion injury. Male rats were subjected to
30 minutes of myocardial ischemia (lack of blood flow and oxygen
to the heart as in a heart attack), then subjected to up to 2
hours of reperfusion. At the end of ischemia, and throughout
reperfusion, rats were treated with either EGCG or placebo. In
placebo treated rats there was extensive infiltration of immune
cells into the heart muscle, with heart inflammation and extensive
heart injury. In the rats treated with EGCG (from Green tea) there
was reduced inflammation and immune activity in the heart and reduced
damage to the heart muscle. The results of this study suggests that
EGCG is useful for preventing the damage to the heart caused by a
heart attack. Department of Pediatrics, Division of Critical Care
Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and College
of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, and published in the
January-June 2004 issue of the journal Molecular Medicine.
Tamoxifen is a chemotherapeutic drug used to decrease the risk
of breast cancer in high risk women, and used to treat existing
breast cancer. High concentrations of the Green Tea catechin EGCG,
inhibits the proliferation of many different cancer cell types.
Low levels of EGCG was toxic to estrogen receptor positive breast
cancer cells, and increased the effectiveness of tamoxifen in
highly malignant estrogen receptor negative cells (MDA-MB=231 cells).
From the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University
of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand and published in the October 15th,
2004 issue of the journal Anticancer Drugs.
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