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A DIET FOR HEALTHY BONES


ge-related bone mass loss and decreased bone strength affect both genders. Now, the first randomized study, published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocri- nology and Me- tabolism, indicates that con- suming a Mediter- ranean diet


enriched with


olive oil may be associ-


ated with increased serum levels of osteocalcin, a protein that plays a vital role in bone formation. Earlier studies have shown that the inci- dence of osteoporosis in Europe is lower in the Mediterranean basin, possibly due to the traditional Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, olives and olive oil.


healthbriefs


Getting the Lead Out T


he U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently redefined the “action level” for lead exposure in children. Youngsters are now considered at risk and qualify for careful medical monitoring if they have more than five micrograms per deciliter of lead in their blood—half the previous threshold. Lead poisoning can cause cognitive and behavioral prob- lems, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recom- mends testing blood lead concentration levels at age 1 and again at 2, when concentrations peak.


Most lead poisoning cases occur in substandard housing units, especially those with window frames still coated with lead-based paint banned since 1978. Families in dwellings built before 1950 should also be vigilant about lead. The Consumer Products Safety Commission cautions that home lead test kits sold online and at hardware stores may not be reliable enough to identify and remove sources of exposure. Professional contractors offer more accurate results. Children exhibiting blood lead levels above the new threshold are usually monitored, rather than treated with medications that carry serious risks. Once lead sources are removed, children’s blood lead levels typically return to a more normal range within weeks.


The CDC confirms that rather than remedial treatment, the primary goal should be making sure children aren’t exposed to lead in the first place. Fortu- nately, the levels of most of America’s youngest children today are well below the revised action point, with average blood lead content of 1.8 micrograms, while school-age children, teenagers and adults face little risk.


Turmeric Acts Against Cancer T


hroughout history, the spice turmeric has been a favored seasoning for curries and other Indian dishes. Its pungent flavor is also known to offer medicinal qualities— turmeric has been used for centuries to treat osteoarthritis and other illnesses because its active ingredient, curcumin, can inhibit inflammation. A new study led by a research team at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, in Munich, Germany, has shown that tur- meric can also restrict the formation of metastases and help keep prostate cancer in check. The researchers discovered that


what we all have in common. ~Wendell Berry


The Earth is 10 Hudson County NAHudson.com


curcumin decreases the expression of two pro-inflammatory proteins asso- ciated with tumor cells and noted that both prostate and breast cancer are linked to inflammation. The study further noted that curcumin is, in prin- ciple, suitable for both prophylactic use (primary prevention) and for the suppression of metastases in cases where an established tumor is already present (secondary prevention).


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