• The herb Gingko biloba may reduce the amount of brain damage caused by a stroke

    Oct 23, 2008
    Ginkgo biloba as a standardized herbal extract is prescribed in several countries particularly for its medicinal properties in the brain. It protects neurons (brain nerve cells) from damage caused by free radical production. The current study was conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers finding a protective effect by Ginkgo biloba against the brain damage that occurs after a stroke.
  • Blocking the activity of vitamin K can harm the bones of children

    Oct 22, 2008
    Blocking vitamin K activity in the body via the use of the anticoagulant drug warfarin can have a detrimental effect on bone health in children, according to researchers. They found children who took Coumadin anticoagulants long-term for preventing blood clots could inhibit vitamin K recycling, disturbing the equilibrium between bone formation and resorption. Thrombotic events are less frequent among children than adults, but the incidence is rising among children, said the researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
  • Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples and onions, may protect athletes from the flu

    Oct 21, 2008
    Quercetin, one of the flavonol-antioxidants found in green tea, red wine, apple skins and onions, may boost the immune system and protect against flu, according to results of a study with mice. The researchers from the University of South Carolina and Clemson University also report that stressful exercise increased the mice’s susceptibility to flu, but Quercetin was found to negate these effects. A study from last year reported that the flavonoid found could help reduce illnesses in people who have carried out extensive exercise.
  • Soy reduces the risk of specific breast cancers

    Oct 20, 2008
    High intake of soy foods specifically reduce the risk of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative tumors in a study of  678 women with breast cancer and 3,390 cancer-free controls matched by age and menopausal status Japanese researchers report in the International Journal of Cancer. For women who ate the most soy compared with those who ate the least amount the odds of having ER-positive breast cancer were reduced by 26 percent and for women with HER2-negative breast cancer, the reduced risk was 22 percent. However, the research team found that "when the three receptors were jointly examined, a reduced risk was observed only for patients with ER-positive/PR-positive/HER2-negative tumors," with a 27-percent reduction seen only in the women who ate the most soy.  "These findings are biologically plausible, and suggest a potential benefit of soybean products in the prevention of breast cancer," the investigators conclude.
  • Vitamin D may protect skin from within

    Oct 17, 2008
    Oral supplements of vitamin D may boost production of protective compounds in the skin, and may ultimate help prevent skin infections, according to a new study. The clinical study focused on patients with atopic dermatitis; a condition characterised by areas of severe itching, redness and scaling. Atopic dermatitis (AD) a form of eczema is one of the first signs of allergy during the early days of life and is due to incomplete or faulty development of the immune system.