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Medicine of 121 participants diagnosed with diabetes mel- litus, daily consumption of approximately one cup of legumes (peas and beans) was found to improve glycemic control and reduce systolic blood pressure and heart rate, thereby reducing participants’ calculated risk score for coronary heart disease (CHD).


Legumes Improve Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure A


cup of beans a day may keep the doctor away. In a randomized trial published in the Archives of Internal


Body weight, waist circumference and fasting blood glucose and triglyceride levels also decreased on the legume diet. Legumes appear to make dietary carbohy- drates digest more slowly and with a lower glycemic index, which has been associ- ated with reduced hypertension and fewer CHD events in pre-diabetic individuals.


Vitamin E Hope for Cancer Care E


lusive anti-cancer elements of vitamin E, natural tocopherols, have been identified by researchers at Ohio State Universi- ty as being able to deactivate an enzyme essential for cancer cell survival.


Although both alpha and gamma forms of natural tocoph-


erols worked, the gamma was the most potent in shutting down the troublesome enzyme. Through manipulating the structure of the gamma molecule, the scientists were able to create an agent 20 times more effective than the original vitamin. In mice, this agent reduced the size of prostate cancer tumors. Over-the-counter vitamin E supplements are limited because many use syn- thetic forms that do not contain the natural gamma tocopherols. The study’s authors, led by Ching-Shih Chen, Ph.D., note that the human body cannot absorb the high dosages of natural vitamin E required to achieve the anti-cancer effect; their goal is to develop a safe pill that could be taken daily for cancer prevention.


Superfoods Defend Against Radiation T


Coming Next Month


wo superfoods show promise for protecting people from radiation damage—cruciferous vegetables and miso, a food paste made from fermented soybeans. Scientists have identified a specific chemical byproduct, 3,3’diindolyl- methane (DIM), derived from the digestion of


cruciferous vegetables and especially concentrated in broccoli, that is responsible for the defensive effect. The source of miso’s beneficial properties needs further investigation, but appears to stem from the fermentation process. Research led by Gary Firestone, Ph.D., of the University of California-Berkley, and physician Eliot Rosen, Ph.D., of Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C., concluded that administering supplemental DIM before or immediately following lethal levels of radiation exposure protected rats from immediate death. If clinical trials with humans are successful, the compound could be used to minimize acute radiation sickness. A comprehensive research review published in the Journal of Toxicologic


Pathology lends credence to miso’s shielding power. Mice that ate miso a week before irradiation appeared to be protected from radiation injury.


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