Monday October 21, 2019

Eating Blueberries Every Day Improves Heart Health

Eating one cup of blueberries per day results in sustained improvements in vascular function

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The key health feature on Apple Watch is yet to arrive in India. Pixabay

Eating a cup of blueberries daily reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by up to 15 per cent, according to a study.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that blueberries and other berries should be included in diets to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Having metabolic syndrome significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes and often statins and other medications are prescribed to help control this rise,” said study lead author Aedin Cassidy, Professor at the University of East Anglia in Britain.

The researchers studied whether eating blueberries had any effect on metabolic syndrome – a condition, affecting 1/3 of westernised adults, which comprises at least three of the following risk factors: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, low levels of ‘good cholesterol’ and high levels of triglycerides.

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Eating a cup of blueberries daily reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers investigated the effects of eating blueberries daily in 138 overweight and obese people, (aged between 50 and 75), and having metabolic syndrome.

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“We found that eating one cup of blueberries per day resulted in sustained improvements in vascular function and arterial stiffness – making enough of a difference to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by between 12 and 15 per cent,” said Peter Curtis, co-author of the study. (IANS)

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2 Drinks a Day Put Adults at a Higher Risk of Developing Dementia

If you drink nearly 14 drinks per week (2 drinks per day), you may be at a higher risk of developing dementia than those who enjoy drink a week

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No amount of alcohol consumption was significantly associated with higher risk for dementia compared with drinking less than one drink per week. Pixabay

If you drink nearly 14 drinks per week (2 drinks per day) and already suffer from mild cognitive impairment (MCI), you may be at a higher risk of developing dementia than those who enjoy drink a week, say researchers.

According to researchers from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, among those adults with MCI, the risk of dementia according to numbers of alcoholic drinks per week wasn’t statistically significant, although it appeared to be highest for drinking more than 14 drinks per week compared with less than one drink.

In this cohort study of 3,021 participants aged 72 years and older, alcohol intake within recommended limits was not significantly associated with a lower risk of dementia among participants with or without mild cognitive impairment at baseline.

Among participants without mild cognitive impairment, daily low-quantity drinking was associated with lower dementia risk compared with infrequent higher-quantity drinking.

“The findings suggest that physicians caring for older adults need to carefully assess the full dimensions of drinking behaviour and cognition when providing guidance to patients about their alcohol consumption,” said the research led by Manja Koch from T.H. Chan School of Public Health and published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

The study analyzed 3,021 adults (72 and older) who were free of dementia (2,548 were without MCI and 473 with MCI). During about six years of follow-up, there were 512 cases of dementia, including 348 cases of Alzheimer disease.

Among those adults without MCI, no amount of alcohol consumption was significantly associated with higher risk for dementia compared with drinking less than one drink per week.

Given the rapidly growing burden of Alzheimer disease (AD) and other dementias, including 50 million people currently living with dementia and 82 million expected by 2030, the identification of factors that prevent or delay the onset of dementia remains of paramount concern.

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The participants reported their frequency of beer, wine, and liquor consumption in days per week and their usual number of 12-oz cans or bottles of beer, 6-oz glasses of wine, and shots of liquor consumed on each occasion. Pixabay

During the study, the participants reported their frequency of beer, wine, and liquor consumption in days per week and their usual number of 12-oz cans or bottles of beer, 6-oz glasses of wine, and shots of liquor consumed on each occasion.

“We categorized participants according to their alcohol consumption as follows: none, less than 1 drink per week, 1 to 7 drinks per week, 7.1 to 14 drinks per week, and more than 14 drinks per week,” the authors wrote.

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In this study of older adults, the association of self-reported alcohol consumption with dementia risk appeared to cluster into 3 separate dimensions—baseline cognition, dose and pattern.

“At present, our findings cannot be directly translated into clinical recommendations, and these findings warrant additional studies to confirm these associations further,” the authors suggested. (IANS)