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Tea to fight diabetes March 18, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Drinks & Beverages, Food Drinks News, Health.
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Drinking tea could help combat diabetes, scientists claimed today. The potentially therapeutic properties in black tea have been discovered by scientists at the University of Dundee.

Green tea has long been held to possess various health benefits. Dr. Graham Rena, of the University’s Neurosciences Institute, said his team’s research into tea compounds is at a pre-clinical, experimental stage. However, he said, “There is definitely something interesting in the way these naturally occurring components of black tea may have a beneficial effect, both in terms of diabetes and our wider health.”

However, people with diabetes should continue to take their medicines as directed by their doctor, Rena stressed. He added, “This is something that needs further research, and people shouldn’t be rushing to drink masses of black tea, thinking it will cure them of diabetes. We are still some way from this leading to new treatments or dietary advice.”

Rena’s team are interested in identifying agents capable of substituting for insulin in Type 2 diabetes, the form of diabetes where the body stops responding to insulin properly. They have discovered that several black tea constituents, known as theaflavins and thearubigins, mimic insulin action.

“What we have found is that these constituents can mimic insulin action on proteins known as FOXOs,” said Rena. “FOXOs have previously been shown to underlie associations between diet and health in a wide variety of organisms including mice, worms and fruit flies. The task now is to see whether we can translate these findings into something useful for human health. Our study is just the first step. If we can identify substances that restore FOXO regulation in people with Type 2 diabetes, we might be able to use these to reduce the considerable burden of serious health problems associated with this diagnosis.”

The results of the research appear in the current issue of the journal Aging Cell. Rena now hopes to secure additional funding for his research to determine more precisely how the tea components mimic insulin action.

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Energy drinks erode teeth March 18, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Drinks & Beverages, Food Drinks News, Health.
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Energy drinks are fast gaining popularity and may give the consumer that extra zing, but they are bad for the teeth, a new study contends.

More than sodas and colas, whose effect on teeth are well documented, energy drinks play a significant role in the erosion of enamel, reports Sciencedaily, quoting a report in the peer reviewed journal General Dentistry.

Earlier research has warned consumers how the pH levels in sodas and colas lead to tooth erosion, caused by the effect of acid on the teeth that leads to decay. The latest study, however, says the pH level of soft drinks is not the only factor that causes dental erosion. A beverage’s “buffering capacity”, or the ability to neutralize acid, plays a significant role in dental erosion.

The study found that energy and sports drinks had the highest buffering capacity, resulting in the strongest potential for erosion of enamel. According to the study, the popularity of energy drinks, billed to become a $10 billion industry in the U.S. by 2010, is on the rise, especially among adolescents and young adults, exposing their teeth to decay.

The journal suggests three ways to curb teeth decay among those who consume such beverages.

  • Position the straw at the back of the mouth so the liquid avoids the teeth,
  • Rinse the mouth with water after drinking acidic beverages,
  • Llimit the intake of sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks.

Is fluoride damaging brain? March 18, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Drinks & Beverages, Food Drinks News, Health.
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“It is not clear that the benefits of adding fluoride to drinking water outweigh risks of neurodevelopment or other effects such as dental fluorosis,” according to an Institute for Children’s Environmental Health report.

Fluoride chemicals are added to 2/3 of U.S. public water supplies ostensibly to reduce tooth decay. Fluoride is found in dental products, supplements and virtually all foods and beverages.

“Excessive fluoride ingestion is known to lower thyroid hormone levels, which is particularly critical for women with subclinical hypothyroidism; decreased maternal thyroid levels adversely affect fetal neurodevelopment,” reports a prestigious committee of scientists and health professionals in a Scientific Consensus Statement on Environmental Agents Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Studies they reviewed and others link fluoride to brain abnormalities and/or IQ deficits.

“The question is what level of exposure results in harmful effects to children. The primary concern is that multiple routes of exposure, from drinking water, food and dental care products, may result in a high enough cumulative exposure to fluoride to cause developmental effects,” they write. “Given the serious consequences of LDDs, learning and developmental disabilities, a precautionary approach is warranted to protect the most vulnerable of our society,” the authors caution.

“It’s time to stop water fluoridation,” says lawyer Paul Beeber, president, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation. “With many neurological diseases, such as autism and ADD, afflicting too many American children, fluoride’s dubious promises of less cavities no longer outweigh fluoride’s serious health risks.”

The National Research Council reviewed fluoride toxicology evidence and reported in March 2006 that studies linking fluoride to lowered IQ are plausible.