Lead Exposure Raises Risk of Cataract

Dec 08, 2004

Having elevated levels of lead over time triples your risk of developing a cataract. Researchers compared the eye examinations and levels of lead in 642 men over the age of 60. Cataracts had developed in 122 of the men. It was found that people who had the highest levels of lead in their shinbone (a way of examining the length of exposure) were 3.2 times more likely to develop a cataract. The study is published in the December 8th, 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Green Tea Polyphenol "EGCG" Protects Brain During Stroke

EGCG is a potent antioxidant that protects the brain from the damage caused by a stroke (interruption in blood flow and oxygen deprivation kill portions of brain tissue). Rats were treated with inactive placebo or EGCG for one day, and again one hour before scientists caused a stroke. They were fed EGCG for a further 2 days after the stroke. During the stroke EGCG significantly reduced the size of the infarct (tissue that has died due to a lack of oxygen because a blood clot blocks an artery) when compared to the placebo. In addition to its antioxidant effect, EGCG had other protective effects in the brain. It reduced the level of an enzyme known as nitric oxide synthase - a metabolite that adds to the inflammatory damage caused during a stroke, and it also preserved the ability of brain cells to create energy. The study appears in the November 29th issue of the FASEB Journal, the official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Aged Garlic May Protect from Heart Attack and Stroke

Individuals with heart disease may lower their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke by taking an aged garlic extract according to this preliminary study. Aging garlic allows the sulfur containing smelly substances to be converted to scores of non-odorous health-promoting substances. Studies have shown that aged garlic extract effectively lowers cholesterol and reduces other cardiovascular risk factors.

In this new study 19 older adults diagnosed with heart disease, or at high risk of heart disease were randomly assigned to receive aged garlic extract or placebo for one year, in addition all 19 received statin and aspirin therapy. In those on placebo, plaque deposits in the arteries increased by 22%, and those on aged garlic only had a 7.5% increase. The aged garlic reduced the progression of atherosclerosis by 66% after one year of treatment. The Aged Garlic supplement significantly enhanced the effectiveness of statin drug therapy. The study is published in the current issue of the journal Preventive Medicine.