Thursday April 2, 2020

Tofu consumption May improve Your Heart Health: Study

Many other factors can influence the development of heart disease, including physical exercise, family history and a person's lifestyle habits

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Tofu
Tofu and other isoflavone-rich, plant-based foods are excellent protein sources and alternatives to animal proteins. Pixabay

If you want a healthy heart, eat tofu daily as eating food that contain higher amounts of isoflavones is linked to a moderately lower risk of heart disease.

Isoflavones are a type of polyphenol found in legumes, including soybeans, chickpeas, fava beans, pistachios, peanuts and other fruits and nuts. Soybeans are the richest source of isoflavones, and soy foods and ingredients contain varying concentrations of isoflavones.

After eliminating a number of other factors known to increase heart risk, the researchers found that consuming tofu, which is high in isoflavones, more than once a week was associated with an 18 per cent lower risk of heart disease, compared to a 12 per cent lower risk for those who ate tofu less than once a month.

Published in the journal Circulation, the study from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital analysed data from more than 200,000 people who participated in three prospective health and nutrition studies; all participants were free of cancer and heart disease when the studies began.

The favourable association with eating tofu regularly was found primarily in young women before menopause or postmenopausal women who were not taking hormones. “Despite these findings, I don’t think tofu is by any means a magic bullet. Overall diet quality is still critical to consider, and tofu can be a very healthy component,” said study lead author Qi Sun from Harvard University.

Soymilk, on the other hand, tends to be highly processed and is often sweetened with sugar. The study found no significant association between soymilk consumption and lower heart disease risk.

Tofu, Korean, Korean Food, Traditional Food
If you want a healthy heart, eat tofu daily as eating food that contain higher amounts of isoflavones is linked to a moderately lower risk of heart disease. Pixabay

“Other human trials and animal studies of isoflavones, tofu and cardiovascular risk markers have also indicated positive effects, so people with an elevated risk of developing heart disease should evaluate their diets,” Sun said.

“Tofu and other isoflavone-rich, plant-based foods are excellent protein sources and alternatives to animal proteins,” he added. For the study, researchers analysed health data of more than 74,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS).

The researchers emphasized that the study should be interpreted with caution because their observations found a relationship but did not prove causality.

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Many other factors can influence the development of heart disease, including physical exercise, family history and a person’s lifestyle habits, they added. (IANS)

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Researchers Develop AI Algorithm That Can Diagnose Skin Diseases

The researchers caution that AI cannot definitively interpret images, that it is not trained to interpret even when the problem presented is straightforward

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Recently, there have been remarkable advances in the use of AI in medicine. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a deep learning-based artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that can accurately classify cutaneous skin disorders, predict malignancy, suggest primary treatment options, and serve as an ancillary tool to enhance the diagnostic accuracy of clinicians. With the assistance of this system, the diagnostic accuracy of dermatologists, as well as the general public, was significantly improved, said the study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Skin diseases are common, but it is not always easy to visit a dermatologist quickly or distinguish malignant from benign conditions. “Recently, there have been remarkable advances in the use of AI in medicine. For specific problems, such as distinguishing between melanoma and nevi, AI has shown results comparable to those of human dermatologists,” said lead investigator Jung-Im Na from Seoul National University in South Korea. Most prior studies have been limited to specific binary tasks, such as differentiating melanoma from nevi.

“Our results suggest that our algorithm may serve as an Augmented Intelligence that can empower medical professionals in diagnostic dermatology,” Na added.

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Using a “convolutional neural network,” a specialised AI algorithm, the research team developed an AI system capable of predicting malignancy, suggesting treatment options, and classifying skin disorders. They collected 220,000 images of Asians and Caucasians with 174 skin diseases and trained neural networks to interpret those images.

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Researchers have developed a deep learning-based artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that can accurately classify cutaneous skin disorders. Pixabay

They found that the algorithm could diagnose 134 skin disorders and suggest primary treatment options, render multi-class classification among disorders, and enhance the performance of medical professionals through Augmented Intelligence.”Rather than AI replacing humans, we expect AI to support humans as Augmented Intelligence to reach diagnoses faster and more accurately,” Na said.

The researchers caution that AI cannot definitively interpret images, that it is not trained to interpret even when the problem presented is straightforward. For example, an algorithm trained only to differentiate between melanoma and nevi cannot differentiate between an image of a nail hematoma and either a melanoma or a nevus. If the shape of the hematoma is irregular, the algorithm may diagnose it as melanoma.

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They also pointed out that the algorithm was trained and tested using high-quality images and its performance is generally suboptimal if the input images are of low quality. “We anticipate that the use of our algorithm with a smartphone could encourage the public to visit specialists for cancerous lesions such as melanoma that might have been neglected otherwise, however, there are issues with the quality or composition of photographs taken by the general public that may affect the results of the algorithm, Na said. (IANS)