Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Month: February 2013

Trojan Horse therapy eliminates prostate cancer in mice

salmon stk.

salmon stk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

RESEARCHERS in the UK have ‘hidden’ cancer-killing viruses in white blood cells so they can ‘sneak’ them into a tumour. When inside, tens of thousands of viruses were released to kill the cancerous cells.

At the end of the 40-day trial, all the mice that received the treatment were still alive and had no signs of cancer. However, cancer spread in the mice that received other treatments, and some of them died.

All the mice had advanced prostate tumours, and had already been treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Researchers hope to begin human trials in 2013 but warn that many trials that involve treating mice, fail to have any effect on humans.

Dr Emma Smith, from Cancer Research UK, said: “Harnessing the body’s own immune system to deliver a deadly virus to tumours is an exciting approach that many scientists are pursuing.”

The number one thing you can do to reduce the risk of cancer – after giving up smoking – is to lose weight. Being overweight is linked with around 20,000 deaths from cancer each year. Ideally, your body mass index (BMI) should be between 20 and 25.

To achieve this, eat a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables, plus oily fish, nuts, seeds and wholegrains.

Source: Macrophage Delivery of an Oncolytic Virus Abolishes Tumor Regrowth and Metastasis After Chemotherapy or Irradiation Cancer Res canres.3056.2012; Published Online First November 20, 2012

Could a virus cause asthma?

Journal of Asthma

Journal of Asthma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A STUDY in Sweden has shown 39 percent of infants taken to hospital with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) developed asthma by the age of 18, compared with only nine percent of infants who were not ill.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine think they know why. They found that the virus impairs part of the immune system called regulatory T cells. They think their finding could help towards a treatment, particularly for infants in families with a strong family history of asthma.

Researchers also found women who are stressed during pregnancy are more likely to have babies who suffer from asthma and allergies, so it’s important to control your stress. You can try deep breathing, meditation, yoga and other stress-control practices.

Source: Thorax 2010;65:1045-1052 doi:10.1136/thx.2009.121582

Job loss and heart attack link

grilled veggiesRESEARCH on older adults in the US has found people who have multiple job losses have the same risk of heart attack as smokers, those with high blood pressure and people with diabetes.

The research, by a team from Duke University, North Carolina and published recently in JAMA’s Archives of Internal Medicine followed 13,451 Americans aged 51-75. The Health and Retirement Study monitored them every two years from 1992-2010.

The team found the risk of heart attack was 35 percent higher among the unemployed than those who had not experienced job loss, with 22 percent for people with one job loss, rising to 63 percent for those who lost four or more jobs. The risk was particularly elevated during the first 12 months after job loss.

Unemployment is clearly a great source of stress, in much the same way as a stressful job can be. In hard economic times, you may not be able to do much to ensure your job is safe, but you can take steps to make sure your heart is healthy. These include maintaining a healthy weight, cutting down on table salt by using herbs and spices for seasoning, and ditching trans fatty acids – hydrogenated fats – often found in margarines, cakes, pies, biscuits, ready meals, cheap chocolate, sweets and ice cream.

Eating garlic or taking garlic supplements, along with a good intake of fruit and vegetables a day is also beneficial for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Fruit and vegetables are all high in fibre. Oily fish such as mackerel or salmon twice a week has also been found to help maintain a healthy heart.

Taking regular exercise is also important along with managing your stress levels. Supplements containing all the B vitamins, magnesium, Siberian ginseng and L-theanine are all helpful.

Source: The Journal of the American Medical Association. The Cumulative Effect of Unemployment on Risks for Acute Myocardial Infarction Arch Intern Med. 2012;():1-7doi:10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.447.

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