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healthbriefs


Juggling Bumps Up Brainpower


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an rhythmically tossing and catching balls in the air help grow the


brain? Researchers from the Universität Regensburg, in Germany, after studying two dozen people using brain scans, say yes. Half were asked to learn to juggle; the others were given no special instructions. After three months, the brains of the jugglers had grown by 3 to 4 percent in the areas that process visual and motor information; the more skilled the jugglers became, the greater the brain growth. No change occurred in the non-juggling group. The research team says the study proves that new stimuli can alter the brain’s structure, not just its function.


Source: Nature.com


Eggs’ Sunny Upside O


RED MEAT RAISES DIABETES RISK


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study by the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, shows that men are at greater risk than women for Type 2 dia- betes, because they tend to develop it at a lower body mass index. Furthermore, red meat, a favorite food among many men, is a suspected risk agent. Harvard School of Public Health re-


searchers have found a strong associa- tion between the regular consumption of red meat—particularly processed options like bacon and hot dogs—and a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabe- tes. Their study notes that replacing red meat with healthier proteins, such as low-fat dairy, nuts or whole grains, can significantly lower the risk.


ften considered one of nature’s most perfect foods, eggs are an


excellent source of protein, lipids, vi- tamins and minerals. Now, researchers at the University of Alberta, in Canada, have discovered that they also contain antioxidant properties that help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Jianping Wu and his team of re-


searchers at the university’s Department of Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science examined egg yolks produced by hens that were fed typical diets of either primarily wheat or corn. They


found the yolks contained two amino acids; tryptophan and tyrosine, which have high antioxidant properties. The researchers found that two raw egg yolks offer almost twice as many antioxidant properties as one apple and about the same as half a serving (25 grams) of cranberries. When the eggs were fried or boiled, how- ever, the beneficial properties were reduced by about half. “It’s a big reduction, but it still leaves eggs equal to apples in their antioxidant value,” says Wu. In prior research, Wu found that egg proteins converted by digestive enzymes produced peptides that work in the same way as ACE inhibitors, prescription drugs used to reduce high blood pressure. That finding contradicted the notion that eggs increase high blood pressure because of their cholesterol content.


14 New Haven / Middlesex NaturalNewHaven.com


CAN CANNED BPA T


hink twice before sipping soda or soup that comes in a can. A recent


study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers discovered people that ate one serving of canned food daily for five days had significantly elevated levels of bisphenol-A (BPA), an endocrine disrupter sometimes found in plastic bottles, that also lines most food and drink cans. Studies have linked high urine levels of BPA to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other health conditions. The spike in BPA levels recorded by the Harvard researchers was one of the highest seen in any study.


Source: Journal of the American Medical Association


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