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High Blood Pressure and mental Decline

Oct 06, 2004

Previously we have reported studies concerning the impact of increasing blood pressure and its connection to decreasing mental function in older adults. This new study shows that this mental decline with increasing blood pressure also applies to younger adults in their 20s and 30s. The researchers evaluated the link between blood pressure and mental decline in 529 subjects followed for 20 years. The researchers found that blood pressure was inversely related to mental performance over time, with elevations causing a decline in performance. The subjects were initially split into two groups, those 47 to 83 years of age, and those 18 to 46 years of age. The worsening mental function with increasing blood pressure levels was similar in both age groups. The study is published in the current issue of Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Mercury in Swordfish at a Dangerous Level

A new study found that two-thirds of the swordfish samples tested had mercury levels high enough to trigger enforcement action by the Food and Drug Administration. In a random sample, 17 out of 25 packages of frozen swordfish were contaminated with toxic mercury above the FDA's action level of 1 part per million. At this level or greater the FDA can take legal action to remove products from the supermarket. In the current sampling, the levels of mercury exceeding the FDA's action level were 1.02 parts per million to 4.15 parts per million. At 2 parts per million of mercury, a 120 pound person eating just 3 ounces per week of swordfish would exceed the EPA's safety guideline for mercury intake by four times.

The samples were purchased in various California supermarkets, but mercury in fish and swordfish is a national problem. The new findings add to concern about contaminants in large fish at the top of the aquatic food chain. The mercury contamination most likely comes from rock formations, industrial emissions, or discharges by coal-burning power plants.

Even at low levels mercury can harm the development of a fetus or young child. Each year an estimated 630,000 infants are born with unsafe levels of mercury. Recently warnings have been issued by the FDA advising pregnant and nursing mothers, and young children to not eat swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish, and be cautious with albacore tuna.

The story is published in the Wednesday, September 29th edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, and is published on the World Health News site from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Resveratrol Improves the Activity of Chemotherapy for Liver Cancer

Liver cancer was induced in mice. Resveratrol was supplemented at a dosage of 10mg/kg or 15mg/.kg versus inactive placebo for 10 days. The Resveratrol inhibited the liver cancer growth by 36.3% at the lower dosage and 40.3% at the higher, it continued to grow on placebo. Resveratrol at a dosage of 10mg/kg was added to two different dosages of 5-FU, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug. The 5-FU was given at 10mg'kg or 20mg/kg. In mice receiving 5FU 10mg/kg with Resveratrol the growth of the liver tumor was inhibited by 72.4% and with the Resveratrol plus 5-FU at the 20mg/kg dosage the growth of the liver cancer was inhibited by 77.4%. 5-FU alone at 10mg/kg inhibited the growth by 43.8%, and at 20mg/kg 5-FU the growth was inhibited by 53.4%. The Resveratrol increased the effectiveness of the chemotherapeutic drug 5-FU in liver cancer while also decreasing its toxicity. The study is published in the October 2004 issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

The Many Ways that Resveratrol Protects Your Cardiovascular System

Resveratrol protects the cardiovascular system in many ways including:

  • Defense against ischemic reperfusion injury (blood rushing back into the heart after a heart attack causing major damage to the heart muscle)
  • Promoting the relaxation of blood vessels (improves blood flow, decreases elevated blood pressure if it decreases peripheral resistance)
  • Protects and maintains healthy blood vessel walls
  • Helps reduce inflammation in blood vessel walls that triggers atherosclerosis
  • Helps prevent LDL-cholesterol from going rancid (reducing its ability to contribute to hardening of the arteries)
  • Helps prevent abnormal thickening of the blood

This review is published in the Fall 2004 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food.

Resveratrol Increases Levels of a Gene that Stimulates the Production of Protective HDL

LDL-cholesterol goes rancid easily and causes cardiovascular disease. HDL can prevent this from happening. Human paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) is an enzyme that is released by our liver. PON-1 gives HDL its ability to help prevent LDL-cholesterol from going bad and causing hardening of the arteries and cardiovascular disease. Resveratrol does this by increasing levels of a gene that trigger the release of protective PON-1 enzyme in HDL. The study is published in the September 30th issue of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.