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SAFE AND EFFECTIVE WEIGHT LOSS MAY RESULT FROM TAKING CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID, a naturally occurring fatty acid found in meat and dairy products, states a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. For 12 months, 180 overweight but healthy men and women took either 4.5 grams of CLA in free-fatty acid or triacylglycerol form or they received an olive-oil placebo; the subjects’ diets and exercise habits were unchanged. Volunteers in both CLA groups lost from 7 percent to 9 percent body fat compared to the placebo group.
PAXIL, TAKEN WITH A HIGH-FIBER DIET, SOOTHES SYMPTOMS OF IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh gave 81 men and women with IBS either the popular anti-anxiety medication or a placebo daily. Overall well-being, including more energy and less discomfort, improved in 63 percent of the Paxil group, compared to only 26 percent in the placebo group; abdominal pain and bloating didn’t improve in either group. Study participants showed no signs of depression, and all potential participants with depression were excluded.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS IN FISH OIL REDUCE THE RISK OF HEART ATTACK AND CARDIAC DISEASE by removing triglycerides from the blood, concludes a recent review of clinical trials requested by the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements. Eating fish or taking a fish-oil supplement procured the same cardiovascular protection, but the omega-35 in plants and seeds like flaxseed, soybeans and walnuts were less effective. Triglycerides may be a key to obesity, according to a related study at St. Louis University. High amounts of the blood fat appear to prevent leptin, a hormone that signals us to stop eating, from getting to the brain.
CALCIUM IN FOOD MAY PREVENT KIDNEY STONES IN YOUNGER WOMEN, according to a study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. In data collected for eight years from 96,245 women ages 27 to 44, subjects who consumed a median of 1,300 milligrams of calcium daily in their diets had a 27 percent lower risk of developing kidney stones. Consuming 939 mg a day of phytate, a salt that’s found in cold cereals, dark breads and beans, offered 37 percent less risk. Calcium supplements showed no protection.
BREAKFAST IN THE BLOOD Before you succumb to fast food for your a.m. meal, consider a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Healthy adults were fed an Egg McMuffin, a Sausage McMuffin and two servings of hash browns. The meal, with its 930 calories and 51 grams of fat, resulted in a deluge of arterial inflammatory markers and free radicals that remained high for up to four hours. In a separate study, a 900-calorie low-fat breakfast of fruit and fiber was found to be infinitely more heart-friendly.
HEPATITIS C INFECTIONS THAT DON’T RESPOND TO INTERFERON MAY BE HEALED WITH HERBS, according to a report at Digestive Disease Week held last May in New Orleans. After administering extracts of mistletoe, green tomato, and wild strawberry and grape leaves to patients for two years, 44 percent completely responded to treatment, while another 28 percent experienced partial results.