Sunday, November 19, 2006

Enriched cocoa snack bars cut cholesterol

CocoaVia Crunch is a chocolate-based "heart-healthy" snack line marketed by Masterfoods USA since Oct. 2005. This kind of snack bar is enriched with plant-derived compounds called phytosterols. Phytosterols are plant-derived compounds that are structurally similar to the cholesterol found in mammals. Foods (such as margarine spreads) containing phytosterols have been shown to help cut cholesterol.
A latest study has concluded that eating CocoaVia Crunch snack bar can reduce people's bad cholesterol by 6%.
Considering CocoaVia's great chocolate taste (it comes from the makers of DOVE brand), it's richness in naturally occurring flavanols (which improve blood flow - similar to grape juice, red wine and green tea), I don't think I will eat chocolate bar of any other kind.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Light Drinking Cuts Risk for Death, Heart Attack

It has been know for years that moderate drinking are good for heart. Here is another study adds to the growing evidence that a drink each day helps lower heart risks and extend life span.
The study follows adults in their 70s found that those who regularly had one to seven drinks per week were 30% less likely to develop heart disease over six years. They were also less likely to die of any cause.
The findings add to evidence that modest alcohol intake benefits the cardiovascular system. However, the researchers found no evidence that the anti-inflammatory effects of alcohol deserved the credit, as some experts have suspected.
Whatever the reason, this study confirms a protective effect of light alcohol drinking.
Still, researches are quick point out that heavy drinking is a health hazard, and even moderate drinking does not have the same benefits for everyone. In their study, light drinking showed the strongest benefits in men with high levels of a protein called interleukin-6, which is associated with an elevated heart disease risk. There was also no clear benefit among women.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Juice consumption reduced risk of Alzheimer's

Here is a story made my day - according to recent study conducted by Dr. Qi Dai, assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease was dramatically reduced for older people who drank fruit or vegetable juices regularly.
The incidence of Alzheimer's was 76% lower for those who drank juice three or more times a week than for those who drank juice less than once a week. It was 16% lower for those drinking juice once or twice a week, according to the report.
It's not the general kind of antioxidants in fruit juices that produce the benefit, according this study. Rather, researcher attributed the effect to polyphenols, a particularly strong antioxidant. Polyphenols are typically found in the outer sections of fruits and vegetables, only in the peel or skin. When you process the whole fruit, they go into the juice.
Studies of the biochemistry of Alzheimer's disease have focused on deposits of beta-amyloid proteins that form in the brain and the potential for antioxidants in the diet to prevent those deposits. Since studies looking at antioxidants such as beta-carotene have been disappointing, so Dr. Qi Dai and the research team turned their attention to polyphenols in fruit juice.
Next time when you drink O.J or apple cider, say Cheers !