Author Archive: avanibhimani

Cocoa Might Be Healthy For Your Brain

A new study conducted in 60 elderly people found; two cups of cocoa a day improves blood flow to the brain. Improved blood flow to the brain is associated with better memory function. Researchers believe that it is flavanol in the cocoa that plays a big role in vascular health. In this study, one group received high-flavanol cocoa and another low-flavanol cocoa. There was no difference found between the two groups. However, 88% of the people who had impaired blood flow at the beginning of the study saw improvements in blood flow and some cognitive tests. Moreover, 37% of the people with normal blood flow at the beginning of the study saw an improvement as well. Researchers concluded that it might be another component in cocoa that is associated with improved blood flow, or it could be that only small amount of flavanol was needed. One of the limitations of this study was that there was no control group to assess the effects of drinking no cocoa at all. What are your favorite foods with healing properties?

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Effect of Exercise on Hot Flashes

Image courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

A new study was performed to show the effect of exercise on hot flashes among women going through menopause. Study included 248 women randomized into two groups, one group that exercised three times per week for 12 weeks and other group that did their usual activity. All the women included in the study were going through menopause or had already gone through it. Confounders were reduced by only including women that were already presenting frequent hot flashes at the start of the study. Participants were told to keep track of the number and severity of hot flashes using daily diary. Researchers found no connection between exercise and reduction in hot flashes. Author of the study still recommended women to exercise because of its beneficial effects on other menopausal symptoms such as depression and insomnia. What are your thoughts about these findings?

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Breastfeeding found to be tied to kids’ intelligence

Image courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

A new prospective cohort study performed in Massachusetts examined the relationship between breastfeeding duration and child’s cognition at ages three and seven years. Study included 1,312 pregnant women from April 22, 1999 to July 31, 2002 and followed their children up to age of seven years. At age three, children who were breastfed for longer time period did better on language test. At age seven, children who were breastfed for longer time period did much better on intelligence tests which included reading and writing. Breastfeeding also has other benefits including lowering risk of eczema, ear and stomach infections in young children. A question was raised on whether mother’s intellectual level played a role in children’s intelligence, but this study showed the association of breastfeeding with intellectual development while controlling those parameters. How often do you discuss the length of breastfeeding with patients who are new mothers?

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Effects of Resveratrol on Exercising

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Image courtesy of creativedoxfoto/freedigitalphotos.net

Resveratrol is the antioxidant found in red grapes used to make red wine. According to the new research resveratrol is found to block the health benefits of exercise in older men. The study was done on 27 healthy men that were nonsmokers and around 65 years of age. Resveratrol was found to offset the positive effects of exercise on blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body’s capacity to transport and use oxygen. There were previous animal studies reporting that resveratrol may improve the benefits of exercise on heart health and diabetes. What do you commonly recommend resveratrol for to your patients? How satisfied are you with the effectiveness?

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Eating breakfast is associated with lower risk of heart disease

Image Courtesy of: Marcus/freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of: Marcus/freedigitalphotos.net

We’ve all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and a recent study published in the journal Circulation re-affirms this saying.  This prospective cohort study enrolled 26,902 American men without heart disease or cancer from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and eating habits were assessed using a questionnaire every 4 years.  During 16 years of follow-up, 1,527 men developed heart disease and men who did not eat breakfast had a 27% increased risk of heart disease.  It is important to note that many other confounders can increase risk of heart disease and further research is needed to confirm the findings of this study.  How often do you skip breakfast?  Will the results of this study change your eating habits?

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Foods that beat the heat

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Image courtesy of: rakratchada torsap/freedigitalphotos.net

Heat wave may have passed where you live but it is still summertime. Foods that keep you cool during the summertime are: raspberries, red bell peppers, tomatoes, oranges, peaches, and strawberries. Raspberries provide fiber which will lower colon cancer risk as well as provide better overall health. Red bell peppers contain vitamin C in large amounts and they are good source for vitamin A and folate. Tomatoes are great for you as they contain vitamin C and lycopene. Oranges are good source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium and calcium. Peaches are great antioxidants giving protection against disease and also a good source of vitamin C and fiber. Strawberries are a great source of fiber and only contain 50 calories per cup. These are some foods recommended by nutritional experts to keep you cool as well as nourish your body. What foods would you recommend to your patients to beat the heat?

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Soy Consumption Won’t Prevent Reoccurrence of Prostate Cancer

Image Courtesy of:  Winnond/freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of: Winnond/freedigitalphotos.net

A study was performed to observe the effects of soy after surgical removal of prostate. Study included 177 men in which some were assigned to drink powdered soy protein drink and the others to drink placebo beverage daily for two years. Study was stopped early since there was no benefit seen with soy. There was no significant difference seen in reoccurrence of prostate cancer between these two groups, but there were no adverse effects found associated with soy either.  What are your general thoughts on soy consumption and what groups of patients do you currently recommend soy to?

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Poor Fetal Growth and Maternal Smoking Has an Important Effect on Young Men’s Testicular Health in His Adult Life

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Image Courtesy of: hin255/freedigitalphotos.net

A team in Australia looked at 423 men aged 22 and 23 years old born to mothers between 1989 and 1991. The study measured testicular volume, semen quality, hormone production and body fat composition in these men. Looking at the results, the team found that one out of six men had sperm characteristics below normal such as low sperm volume, low sperm count and less sperm motility. Researchers found that smoking during pregnancy was associated with a lower sperm production. This study generated a new hypothesis of the possibility of men’s sperm count being related to what happens in the womb. After knowing about the effects of maternal smoking on young men’s testicular health, how would that change your counseling?

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New Meta-Analysis Evaluating Fiber-Rich Grains effect on common disease states

Image Courtesy of: Marcus/freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of: Marcus/freedigitalphotos.net

A recent analysis evaluated an association between fiber and reduced disease risk using 28 studies on diabetes, 33 studies on cardiovascular disease and 19 studies on obesity.  Researchers found that people consuming fiber-rich diet had 18 to 40 percent reduced risk of developing diabetes compared to people who did not eat high amounts of fiber. Less stroke risk and death from cardiovascular disease was also tied with high fiber intake. Eating more fiber-rich grains was also associated with a small but significant weight loss. Although, the study found a benefit with fiber-rich diet, an amount of fiber is yet to be determined. Based on all the data out there, how much fiber do you recommend your patients to consume daily?

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Red Meat is Tied to Poor Colon Cancer Outcomes

Red meat consumption is in the news again. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology evaluated the association between high consumption of red or processed meat and colon cancer prognosis. Researchers found that people who consume 10 servings of red or processed meat per week before diagnosis, are at a higher chance of dying from colon cancer than people who consume 2 servings per week. Based on all the negative recent press about red meat, have more of your patients asked you how to make changes to their diet?

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