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Increasing Soda Consumption Fuels Rise in Diabetes, Heart Disease new
      #356625 - 03/12/10 11:26 AM
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Increasing Soda Consumption Fuels Rise in Diabetes, Heart Disease

FRIDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) --Increasing consumption of sugary soft drinks contributed to 130,000 new cases of diabetes, 14,000 new cases of heart disease and 50,000 more life-years burdened with heart disease in the last decade, a new U.S. study finds.

"The finding suggests that any kind of policy that reduces consumption might have a dramatic health benefit," said senior study author Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who was to present the finding Friday during the American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference, in San Francisco.

The study used a computer simulation of heart disease that has been applied to other cardiovascular risk factors, such as obesity and dietary salt, Bibbins-Domingo explained. "We probably underestimated the incidence, because the rise is greatest among the young, and our model focuses on adults 35 and older," she said.

One plausible explanation is that the increased incidence of cardiovascular problems is due to a rising incidence of diabetes, Bibbins-Domingo said, while an increase in obesity might also be responsible.

"Whatever the mechanism, large population studies do suggest an effect of drinking large lots of sweetened beverages," she said. "No one argues that these drinks are not fine in moderation, but over the past decade their consumption has been on the rise, while consumption of other beverages has declined."

A statement by Maureen Storey, senior vice president for science policy for the American Beverage Association, noted that the study had not yet been published in a scientific journal, and therefore had not undergone review by outside, qualified scientists.

"What we do know is that both heart disease and diabetes are complex conditions with no single cause and no single solution," Storey said in the statement, which noted that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is not listed as a risk factor by the American Heart Association. "Rather, we need to continue to educate Americans about the importance of balancing the calories from the foods and beverages we eat and drink with regular physical activity."

But the study does suggest that any kind of policy that reduces consumption might have a health benefit, Bibbins-Domingo noted. One such policy is a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, she noted. "The reason why there is a current debate about a tax is that scientific evidence in populations has consistently shown that more than one drink a day increases your risk," she said.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks such as soda pop, while "alternative choices are available," said Dr. Robert H. Eckel, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado and a past president of the association.

"Juice from fruit itself is nutrient-rich, and its nutritional value goes beyond the carbohydrate content," Eckel said.

The recommended daily sugar intake amounts to just one can of sugar-sweetened soda a day for a man and slightly less for women, he said.


SOURCES: Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Robert H. Eckel, professor, medicine, University of Colorado, Denver; March 5, 2010, presentation, American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference, San Francisco

http://www.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=636642

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Processed Meat May Harm the Heart new
      #356626 - 03/12/10 11:27 AM
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Processed Meat May Harm the Heart

FRIDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- Conventional wisdom has dictated that fat from red meat is a risk factor for heart disease, but a new analysis from Harvard researchers finds it's eating processed meat -- not unprocessed red meat -- that increases the risk for heart disease and even diabetes.

The term "processed meat" refers to any meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting or with the addition of chemical preservatives. The researchers defined "red meat" as unprocessed meats such as beef, hamburger, lamb and pork.

"To lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes, people should avoid eating too much processed meats -- for example, hot dogs, bacon, sausage or processed deli meats," said lead researcher Renata Micha, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. "Based on our findings, eating up to one serving per week would be associated with relatively small risk."

Micha was scheduled to present the finding Friday at an American Heart Association conference on cardiovascular disease in San Francisco.

For the study, Micha's team analyzed data from 20 studies that included more than 1.2 million participants. Among them, 23,889 had coronary heart disease, 2,280 had had a stroke and 10,797 had diabetes.

The researchers found that people who ate unprocessed red meat did not significantly increase their chances of developing heart disease or diabetes. However, eating processed meat was linked to an increased risk for the two conditions.

In fact, for every 50-gram (1.8-ounce) serving, the risk for heart disease jumped 42 percent and the risk for diabetes increased 19 percent.

Though neither unprocessed red meat nor processed meats were linked to an increased risk for stroke, the researchers pointed out that just three studies looked at the connection between eating meat and stroke, so the data was insufficient to draw a valid conclusion.

"When we looked at average nutrients in unprocessed meats and processed meats eaten in the U.S., we found that they contained similar amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol," Micha said. "In contrast, processed meats contained, on average, four times higher amounts of sodium and two times higher amounts of nitrate preservatives."

This suggests that salt and other preservatives, rather than fats, probably explain the higher risk for heart attacks and diabetes seen with processed meats, Micha said.

"Health effects of unprocessed red meats and processed meats should be separately considered," she said. "More research is needed into which factors in meats -- especially salt or other preservatives -- are most important for health effects."

Samantha Heller, a registered dietitian, clinical nutritionist and exercise physiologist in Fairfield, Conn., said that "scientists are looking into why processed meats are so hazardous to our health."

"They may never know the exact reason, but we do know that people should limit their consumption of foods such as bacon, hot dogs, salami and pepperoni to reduce the risk of chronic diseases," Heller said.

"In addition, studies show that eating unprocessed red meat does increase the risk for disease as well," she said. "A study of over 500,000 people found that people who ate the most both red and processed meats had a higher risk of mortality, cancer and cardiovascular disease than those who ate lesser amounts of these foods."

Both red and processed meat and other foods, such as butter and cheese, that are high in saturated fat have been linked to chronic disease, Heller said, adding that people should limit consumption of them as well.

"Going low- or no-fat with dairy products helps lower our intake of saturated fat," she said. "Choosing healthy protein sources -- such as white-meat poultry, low-mercury fish, soy, nuts and beans -- and focusing on moving in the direction of a more plant-based diet will help us all live longer, healthier lives."

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that "various studies have suggested that higher levels of consumption of red and processed meat is associated with higher risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and premature death."

However, the results have not always been consistent, and some earlier studies have suggested there may be differences in health risk between unprocessed red meat and processed meat, he said. More study is needed to verify the link and explore the mechanisms behind it, Fonarow said.

Although unprocessed red meat might not increase the risk for heart disease or diabetes, it might increase the risk for some cancers, according to a 2007 report from researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

They found elevated risks for colorectal and lung cancer with high consumption of both processed and unprocessed meats, along with borderline higher risks for advanced prostate cancer. High intake of red meat was also associated with an increased risk for esophageal and liver cancer and a borderline increased risk for laryngeal cancer. And high consumption of processed meat was linked to a borderline increased risk for bladder cancer and myeloma, a kind of bone cancer.


SOURCES: Renata Micha, R.D., Ph.D., research fellow, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist, Fairfield, Conn.; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiovascular medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; March 5, 2010, presentation, American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference, San Francisco


http://www.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=636701


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Adding gluten early may cause constipation in babies new
      #356628 - 03/12/10 11:31 AM
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Adding gluten early may cause constipation in babies

Rachael Myers Lowe
Tue Mar 9, 2010 3:54pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Giving gluten-containing foods to infants too soon may trigger long-lasting tummy troubles but more study is needed before changing recommendations for parents, Dutch researchers conclude.

Health

Writing in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, J. C. Kiefte-de Jong and colleagues at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam report that 2-year-olds introduced to gluten before 6 months of age had a "significantly higher" rate of "functional" constipation -- defined as fewer than 3 bowel movements per week and/or hard stools for 2 or more weeks -- than children who were introduced to gluten later.

At the same time, introducing other allergy-inducing foods in the first year of life such as peanuts, cow's milk, or hen's eggs was not linked to constipation.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye and, as a result, is present in many cereals and breads. It is not present in all grains, however. Wild rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, oats, soybeans, and sunflower seeds do not contain gluten protein.

Earlier studies implied a relationship between early gluten introduction and celiac disease, a digestive disorder caused by an abnormal immune response to gluten. The disease damages structures in the lining of the small intestine called villi, impairing the body's absorption of nutrients.

It can lead to severe health problems including anemia, poor bone health, fatigue and weight loss. There is no cure, and the only treatment is a life-long gluten-free diet.

The authors wanted to know whether gluten might also be linked to constipation, which is the main reason for up to 5 percent of all visits to pediatricians. It often develops around the time solid foods are added to an infant's diet, and when parents transition from breast milk or formula to cow's milk.

The Dutch researchers analyzed data from more than 4,600 children from birth until young adulthood. Parents completed a questionnaire at 6 and 24 months about their child's general health, breast feeding, the introduction of solid foods, medications, cow's milk allergy and other information.

At 24 months, 12 percent - about one in eight -- of the study's children had functional constipation.

After examining family traits and diets, Kiefte-de Jong concluded that introducing gluten in the first year of life was "a trigger for functional constipation" in some children. On the flip side, constipation may make cow's milk allergies last longer.

Still, researchers said the study had some weaknesses, including the need to rely on self-reporting by parents about food allergies and the lack of information about lifestyles and psychological factors, and said they would want to see more studies before making any new recommendations to parents.

Dr. Rita Steffen, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, agreed.

Parents are usually urged to introduce solids slowly, starting with rice cereal and moving to other grains after 6 months, Steffen told Reuters Health, while acknowledging that parents will do what they want, often jumping the gun on introducing other solids.

If a child is tolerating gluten, Steffen said, there's no reason yet to remove it from the diet.

"I wouldn't jump out and change the world based on this," she said. "There's not enough evidence to support removing gluten from diets."

SOURCE: American Journal of Gastroenterology, March 2010.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6284HZ20100309

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White Rice for Functional Constipation new
      #361419 - 10/13/10 02:53 PM
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J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2007 Jun;53(3):232-8.

Dietary patterns associated with functional constipation among Japanese women aged 18 to 20 years: a cross-sectional study.

Okubo H, Sasaki S, Murakami K, Kim MK, Takahashi Y, Hosoi Y, Itabashi M; Freshmen in Dietetic Courses Study II Group.

Department of Nutrition Sciences, Kagawa Nutrition University, Saitama 350-0288, Japan.
Abstract

Although several nutrients and foods have been suggested to be preventive for constipation, all previous studies have examined a single nutrient or food in each analysis. In contrast, analysis of dietary patterns may provide new insights into the influence of diet on functional constipation. We conducted a cross-sectional examination of the association between dietary pattern and functional constipation in 3,770 Japanese female dietetic course students aged 18-20 y from 53 institutions in Japan. Diet was assessed with a validated self-administered diet history questionnaire with 148 food items, from which 30 food groups were created and entered into a factor analysis.

Functional constipation was defined using the Rome I criteria, which has previously been used in several epidemiologic studies on constipation. The prevalence of functional constipation was 26.0% (n=979). Four dietary patterns were identified: (1) "Healthy", (2) "Japanese traditional", (3) "Western," and 4) "Coffee and dairy products."

After adjustment for several confounding factors, the "Japanese traditional" pattern, characterized by a high intake of rice, miso soup, and soy products and a low intake of bread and confectionaries, was associated with a significantly lower prevalence of functional constipation. In comparison with the lowest quintile, the multivariate adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) was 0.52 (0.41-0.66) in the highest quintile (p for trend < 0.0001). Other dietary patterns were not associated with functional constipation.

The Japanese traditional dietary pattern, characterized by a high intake of rice and a low intake of bread and confectionaries, may be beneficial in preventing functional constipation in young Japanese women.

PMID: 17874828 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Free Article

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17874828

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Red meat linked to cancer risks new
      #361985 - 11/10/10 11:24 AM
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Red meat linked to esophageal, stomach cancer risks
By Amy Norton

NEW YORK ' Fri Nov 5, 2010 11:34am EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Red-meat lovers may have a greater likelihood of developing certain cancers of the throat and stomach than people who limit their intake of steaks and hamburgers, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among nearly 500,000 older U.S. adults followed for a decade, only a small number developed cancers of the esophagus or stomach. However, the risks were relatively greater among those who ate a lot of red meat, or certain compounds generated from cooking meat.

Overall, study participants in the top 20 percent for red-meat intake were 79 percent more likely than those in the bottom 20 percent to develop esophageal squamous cell carcinoma -- a cancer that arises in the lining of the upper part of the esophagus.

Meanwhile, the risk of a type of cancer in the upper portion of the stomach near the esophagus (gastric cardia) was elevated among men and women with the highest estimated intake of one form of heterocyclic amine (HCA). HCAs are compounds that form when meat is cooked using high-temperature methods, such as grilling over an open flame; they have been found to cause cancer in lab animals.

The findings, reported in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, do not prove that red meat promotes the two cancers, the researchers emphasize.

But the results add to what has been an uncertain body of evidence on the link between red meat and esophageal and stomach cancers.

A 2007 research review by the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research, both non-profit groups, concluded that red and processed meats were associated with a "limited suggestive increased risk" of esophageal cancer.

The report also said there was a similar level of evidence for a link between processed meats and stomach cancer, and insufficient data on whether red meat intake is connected to the cancer at all.

However, most of the studies considered in the report were so-called case-control studies, where researchers ask patients with a given disease about their past lifestyle habits and other health factors, then compare them to a group of healthy individuals.

That type of study design can offer only limited evidence about whether a particular exposure -- like red meat in the diet -- is related to a disease risk, explained Dr. Amanda J. Cross, a researcher at the U.S. National Cancer Institute who led the new study.

Studies with prospective designs, which follow initially healthy people over time, provide stronger evidence.

In addition, most earlier research did not look at meat intake and different subtypes of esophageal and stomach cancers. That is important, Cross told Reuters Health, because the different subtypes seem to have different risk factors.

So for their study, Cross and her colleagues prospectively followed 494,979 U.S. adults ages 50 to 71 over roughly 10 years. At the outset, participants completed detailed questionnaires on their diets -- including the methods they typically used for cooking meat, and the usual level of "doneness" they preferred -- as well as other lifestyle factors.

Over the next decade, 215 study participants developed esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; that included 28 cases among the bottom 20 percent for red-meat intake, and 69 cases in the top 20 percent.

Another 454 men and women were diagnosed with gastric cardia cancer. There were 57 cases among participants with the lowest red-meat intake, and 113 in the group with the highest intake.

Continue full article here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6A43IG20101105

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Colon response to food is abnormal in irritable bowel syndrome new
      #364363 - 04/19/11 01:42 PM
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Digestive Diseases and Sciences
DOI: 10.1007/s10620-011-1700-4

Original Article
Is the Colonic Response to Food Different in IBS in Contrast to Simple Constipation or Diarrhea Without Abdominal Pain?

Michel Bouchoucha, Ghislain Devroede, Jean-Jacques Raynaud, Cyriaque Bon, Bakhtiar Bejou and Robert Benamouzig

Abstract

Colonic response to food (CRF) is abnormal in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients.

Aims

The aim of this study was to compare CRF in patients who complain of abnormal defecation pattern according to the presence or absence of abdominal pain.

Methods

One hundred forty-nine patients and 50 controls were studied: 96 IBS patients (46 IBS-C, 13 IBS-D, 15 IBS-M, and 22 IBS-U not included), 43 patients with functional constipation (group C) and ten with functional diarrhea (group D). Clinical evaluation and visual analog scales about four items (constipation, diarrhea, abdominal bloating and abdominal pain) were filled by all subjects. Colonic transit time (CTT) was measured in fasting conditions and after eating a standard 1,000-cal test meal. CRF was quantified by calculating the variation in number of markers between the two films.

Results

The frequency of meal-related symptoms did not vary among the different groups of patients but was significantly higher than in controls. Compared to IBS-C patients, constipated patients of the group C had longer total and segmental colonic transit time, and compared to IBS-D patients, diarrheic patients of the group D had shorter oro-anal and segmental colonic transit time except in the recto-sigmoid area. CRF was different in patients and controls, and differed between IBS and non IBS patients with similar transit abnormalities. Stool output was greater in patients of the group D than in patients of the IBS-D group.

Conclusion

The different subgroups of IBS patients have different CRF patterns, distinct from subjects with constipation and diarrhea, but without abdominal pain.


http://www.springerlink.com/content/r171452531017984/

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Soluble Fiber Appears Key to Trimming Bad Body Fat new
      #365433 - 07/06/11 11:52 AM
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Soluble Fiber Appears Key to Trimming 'Bad Fat'

For every 10-gram daily increase, belly fat cut by nearly 4 percent over five years, researchers say

FRIDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing daily soluble fiber intake may help you lose dangerous visceral fat, which produces hormones and other substances linked to a host of chronic diseases, according to a new study.

Unlike the subcutaneous fat found just under the skin, visceral fat is located deep in the belly and wraps around a person's vital organs. Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found the way to hone in on this deep belly fat is to get moderate amounts of regular exercise and to eat more soluble fiber from vegetables, fruits and beans.

"We know that a higher rate of visceral fat is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes and fatty liver disease," said the study's lead researcher, Dr. Kristen Hairston, assistant professor of internal medicine at Wake Forest Baptist in a news release from the medical center. "Our study found that making a few simple changes can have a big health impact."

Researchers analyzed 1,114 black and Hispanic Americans since those populations are at higher risk for high levels of visceral fat as well as developing high blood pressure and diabetes. The study, published in the June 16 online issue of the journal Obesity, examined whether certain lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise habits, were associated with a change in the participants' belly fat over a period of five years.

Using CT scans to measure subcutaneous and visceral fat, researchers found that increased intake of soluble fiber was associated with a reduction in belly fat, but not subcutaneous fat.

In fact, for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, visceral fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over five years. In addition, regular moderate exercise (30 minutes of vigorous exercise two to four times per week) resulted in a 7.4 percent reduction over the same time period.

So what exactly does a person need to eat to get 10-grams of soluble fiber each day? The researchers noted this could be achieved by eating two small apples, one cup of green peas and one-half cup of pinto beans daily.

The study pointed out, however, that more research is needed to explain the link between soluble fiber intake and reductions in visceral fat. "There is mounting evidence that eating more soluble fiber and increasing exercise reduces visceral or belly fat, although we still don't know how it works," said Hairston.

"Although the fiber-obesity relationship has been extensively studied, the relationship between fiber and specific fat deposits has not," Hairston added. "Our study is valuable because it provides specific information on how dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber, may affect weight accumulation through abdominal fat deposits."

More information

The National Institutes of Health provides more information on soluble fiber.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, news release, June 27, 2011.


Copyright 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=654356

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Helpful Gut Microbes May Differ Based on Diet new
      #366030 - 09/07/11 12:16 PM
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Helpful Gut Microbes May Differ Based on Diet

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- You are what you eat -- especially when it comes to the microbes that live in your gut.

New research shows that people who eat a diet that's high in fats and animal proteins have a certain group of bacteria that flourish in their digestive tract, while the guts of people who eat a more plant-based, higher carbohydrate fare favor other microbes.

What that means for human health is still unknown. But there's increasing evidence that the "microbiota" that live in the human gut may play an important role in health, including possibly contributing to obesity and other ailments, researchers said.

The findings are published in the Sept. 1 issue of Science.

In the study, researchers asked 98 healthy, non-obese America adults to report on their usual diet and the diet they ate in the week prior to giving a stool sample. From each sample, researchers then isolated the DNA of the bacteria present.

The analysis showed that participants could be generally grouped into one of two categories, or "enterotypes", based on the prevalence of certain species of bacteria in the gut. People in the first group had high levels of the bacteria Bacteroides. In type 2, Prevotella was more prevalent.

"You could see the people who consumed more animal protein and fat tended to fall into an enterotype characters by Bacteroides, whereas those who tended to have a diet high in carbohydrates [more plant-based] fell into an enterotype characterized by Prevotella," said study co-senior author Dr. James Lewis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

In a second experiment, researchers had 10 participants, all of whom fell into the Bacteroides group, stay in a research lab for 10 days. Both groups were fed an identical diet and an identical amount of calories, with one exception: one group was put on a high fat/low fiber diet, while the other group was put on a low fat/high fiber diet.

The dietary change did impact bacteria levels in the gut, the study found, but not enough to move the Bacteroides group into the Prevotella group.

That suggests that long-term dietary habits, rather than any short term changes, have a bigger impact on gut microbiota, Lewis said.

The next step for researchers is getting a better handle on how the bacteria that resides in our gut may influence the development of disease, said Justin Sonnenburg, an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He praised the researchers for being able to correlate specific enterotypes with actual human diets.

Though no one has yet proven a cause-and-effect relationship, researchers have linked altered microbiota with many diseases and conditions, including obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and potentially colorectal cancer.

What's almost certain is that gut microbes play a significant -- and underestimated -- role in human health, he added.

One theory is that our immune systems may react to certain bacteria in the gut, triggering an inflammatory response that could contribute to several diseases, Lewis said.

"There's also a whole another line of research that's looking into to what extent the bacteria living in our intestines is related to the host's risk of becoming obese, perhaps by influencing the efficiency of absorbing nutrients," he said.

It's known that the bacteria living in the gut help humans harvest energy from the food we eat. If the bacteria there are really good at that, some people may be getting more calories from a given food that others, he theorized.

Prior studies in mice have shown that if you transplant the bacteria in the intestines from an obese animal to an ordinary mouse, that second one will become obese.

"The major question that springs from this work is, will long-term dietary change be able to move somebody out of their dietary enterotype?" Sonnenburg said. "This study suggests that dietary change will not do it in the short term, but may require a long term change in diet and lifestyle."

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about how gut microbes may impact metabolic syndrome.
SOURCES: James D. Lewis, M.D., professor, medicine and epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; Justin Sonnenburg, Ph.D., assistant professor, microbiology and immunology, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.; Sept. 1, 2011, Science.
Copyright 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
This is a story from HealthDay, a service of ScoutNews, LLC.

http://generic.e-healthsource.com/index.php?p=news1&id=656479

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Dietary and other modifiable risk factors may account for as many as 90 percent of colorectal cancers new
      #367289 - 04/23/12 01:14 PM
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ACG and Campaign to End Obesity Join to Highlight Link Between High BMI and Colorectal Cancer

Written by Rob Kurtz ' March 16, 2012


The American College of Gastroenterology and the Campaign to End Obesity have announced they have joined together to bring attention to the potentially deadly link between higher body mass index and colorectal cancer, according to a news release.



The two organizations are working together in March, which is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, on a goal to educate the public about obesity as a major risk factor for colorectal cancer and the importance of colorectal cancer screening in patients with high BMI.



"Dietary and other modifiable risk factors may account for as many as 90 percent of colorectal cancers, and recent studies suggest that about one-quarter of colorectal cancer cases could be avoided by following a healthy lifestyle," said ACG President Lawrence R. Schiller, MD, FACG, in the release. "Consumers need to understand the link between a higher BMI and colorectal cancer, take this risk factor seriously and talk to their doctor about colorectal cancer tests."


Related Articles on Colorectal Cancer Prevention:

ASGE Provides Tips for a Quality Colonoscopy

Gastroenterologist David Keisler Shares 10 Observations on Reducing Colorectal Cancer in Local Publication

NJAASC Promotes Colon Cancer Awareness

Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2012.

http://www.beckersasc.com/gastroenterology-and-endoscopy/acg-and-campaign-to-end-obesity-join-to-highlight-link-between-high-bmi-and-colorectal-cancer.html

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Eating fish tied to lower risk of colon polyps
      #367291 - 04/23/12 01:25 PM
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Eating fish tied to lower risk of colon polyps

By Kerry Grens

NEW YORK ' Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:25pm EST

(Reuters Health) - Women who eat about three servings of fish per week have a somewhat lower chance of having polyps found during a routine colonoscopy than women who eat just one serving every two weeks, according to a new study.

The research doesn't prove that seafood protects against polyps, but it "does increase our confidence that something real is going on," said Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who was not involved in this study.

A polyp, also called an adenoma, is a mushroom-shaped tag of tissue that grows in the colon and can develop into colorectal cancer.

The idea researchers have been pursuing is that the omega-3 fats in fish might have an anti-inflammatory effect, similar to aspirin, that could prevent the development of polyps.

Giovannucci said that earlier experiments in animals have showed that omega-3 fats can reduce the risk of this cancer, but that studies of humans have had mixed results.

In the latest study, the researchers surveyed more than 5,300 people about their eating habits. All of the participants had come in to the researchers' practices for a colonoscopy.

The team then compared more than 1,400 women without polyps to 456 who had adenomas detected during the procedure.

Among women with adenomas, 23 percent were in the bottom fifth among fish eaters, while 15 percent were in the top fifth. That means people who eat lots of seafood are somehow protected against polyps, because otherwise the percentages should have been the same.

After accounting for differences like age, smoking and aspirin use, women who ate the most fish -- three servings a week -- were 33 percent less likely to have a polyp detected than those who ate the least -- less than a serving a week.

Of course, it's never possible to rule out that other factors could explain the findings. For instance, it's possible that fish lovers have other healthy behaviors that decrease their risk of polyps.

What's more, the study didn't follow the women to see whether either group was more likely to go on to develop cancer. But Dr. Harvey Murff, the lead author of the study and a professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, said polyps are a reliable predictor for cancer risk.

"Adenomas are generally believed to be the precursor" to cancer, Murff told Reuters Health. "You would think most things that would reduce adenoma risk would subsequently reduce cancer risk."

A 33 percent lower risk is not enormous, but Giovannucci said "it is important because colorectal cancer is a common cancer."

About 140,000 new cases of colon and rectal cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, and more than 50,000 people will die from the cancer. The lifetime risk of developing the disease is about 20 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

The men in Murff's study who ate a lot of fish did not see the same reductions in polyp risk as women, however.

Murff said he doesn't have a good explanation for that, but perhaps men are less sensitive to the omega-3s in fish and need to eat more to get any benefit. It could also be that men might eat more omega-6 fats, counteracting the effects of the omega-3s.

Omega-6 fatty acids are related to the production of a hormone called prostaglandin E2, which is associated with inflammation.

Murff explained that eating omega-3 fatty acids tamps down the body's levels of omega-6 fatty acids. In turn, the body then has reduced levels of prostaglandin E2.

He and his colleagues demonstrated this by showing that the women in the study who ate more fish -- and presumably, more omega-3s -- had lower levels of prostaglandin E2.

"We know people who have higher levels of this (hormone) are more likely to develop colorectal cancer. So in essence, by eating more omega-3 fatty acids, it's almost like taking an anti-inflammatory medication," Murff told Reuters Health.

There is still more work to be done to prove that the omega-3 fatty acids are actually the reason for the reduced colorectal cancer risk.

But, Giovannucci said, "I think this (association) has a pretty strong biologic rationale."

SOURCE: bit.ly/zWMCyQ The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 25, 2012.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/31/us-fish-polyps-idUSTRE80U1T120120131

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Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She is the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

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