Thursday, February 26, 2009

Now eggs are GOOD for you

And fried eggs are best of all, would you believe? In the '90s eggs were of course very bad for you. It shows you how slapdash much "research" is and how unwise it is to take official pronouncements seriously

Starting the day on an egg could keep your blood pressure in check, research suggests. Scientists have shown that eggs produce proteins that mimic the action of powerful blood pressure-lowering drugs.

The finding comes a few days after a study exploded the myth that they can increase the danger of heart attacks. It now appears that eggs may be good for the heart, lowering blood pressure in the same way as Ace inhibitors, prescription-only pills taken by millions around the world. The drugs lower blood pressure by stopping the hormone angiotensin narrowing the body's blood vessels.

The researchers, from the University of Alberta in Canada, showed that when eggs come in contact with stomach enzymes they produce a protein that acts in the same way. Fried eggs proved particularly successful at blocking angiotensin, lab-based tests showed, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports. But the researchers, whose study was funded by the poultry industry, said more work was needed to show the effects outside a lab and in the human body.

Earlier this month, British researchers proclaimed that, contrary to popular perception, it is healthy to go to work on an egg. Researchers for the British Nutrition Foundation - part-funded by the poultry industry - concluded that the type of cholesterol found in eggs has minimal effect on raising heart disease risks. It is saturated fat, rather than the cholesterol found in eggs, that is the main dietary culprit in raising cholesterol levels. Smoking, being overweight and lack of exercise also influence blood fat and cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.

Researcher Professor Bruce Griffin, of the University of Surrey, said: 'The ingrained misconception linking egg consumption to high blood cholesterol and heart disease must be corrected. 'The amount of saturated fat in our diet exerts an effect on blood cholesterol that is several times greater than the relatively small amounts of dietary cholesterol. The UK public do not need to be limiting the number of eggs they eat. 'They can be encouraged to include them in a healthy diet as they are one of nature's most nutritionally dense foods.'

The British Heart Foundation dropped its three-egg-a-week limit in 2005. However, almost half of Britons believe the limit still applies, a poll found.


One-shot jab for every type of flu `ready in 5 years'

A universal therapy or vaccine for every type of flu is "within our grasp", according to scientists who have identified proteins that can neutralise most strains of the virus that affect humans. The discovery of three immune proteins that are effective against a broad range of influenza viruses promises to provide a new line of defence against a pandemic, and could prevent many of the 250,000 deaths from seasonal flu that occur worldwide every year. A treatment based on the research is expected to begin patient trials during the winter of 2010-11, and could be ready for widespread use within five years.

At present, vaccines against one sub-type of the virus do not protect against others, meaning that three kinds must be incorporated in the seasonal flu jab. "I certainly believe that a pan-therapy for all kinds of inluenza may be within our grasp," Robert Liddington, of the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, California, who led the research, said.

In the new research, published in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, Dr Liddington's team identified three monoclonal antibodies that are effective against flu viruses belonging to 10 of the 16 H subtypes. Both the H5N1 avian flu virus, which has so far infected 408 people and killed 254, and the Spanish flu virus, were neutralised by the antibodies.


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