Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Now bacon and eggs are good for you!

The food freaks won't like this. The anti-meat brigade have got most pregnant women warned off bacon and smoked meats by now. They could have damaged a lot of children. It's only a mouse study below but it serves as a warning that food fads could do harm

Eating a traditional breakfast of bacon and eggs could help pregnant women boost the intelligence of their unborn child, a new study suggests. Scientists have found that a chemical in pork products and eggs can help the growing brain to develop. A new study suggests that the micronutrient, called choline, is critical to helping babies in the womb develop parts of their brains linked to memory and recall.

Previous studies have demonstrated that a woman’s diet during pregnancy can affect her unborn child and women are given a list of foods to avoid until their baby is born. Scientists at the University of North Carolina tested the effects of choline on the brains of baby mice. Mice fed a low choline diet while in the womb had genetic differences in their brain cells than those given large amounts of the micronutrient. "Our study in mice indicates that the diet of a pregnant mother, especially choline in that diet, can change the … switches that control brain development in the foetus," said Steven Zeisel, who led the study.

Dr Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal, which published the research, said: "We may never be able to call bacon a health food with a straight face, but (similar studies are) already making us rethink those things that we consider healthful and unhealthful.

“This is yet another example showing that good prenatal nutrition is vitally important throughout a child's entire lifetime."


Eating huge quantities of pomegranates may help prevent breast cancer

Another bit of nonsense coaxed out of laboratory glassware

Eating pomegranates could reduce the risk of breast cancer, researchers have said. Scientists have found chemicals in the fruit being hailed as a superfood after the launch of several juice drinks play a key role in blocking the growth of breast cancer. The study may lead to new drugs to prevent cancer and in the meantime the researchers said eating more of the fruit may be beneficial. Tests in the lab have found that the chemicals called ellagitannins block the production of oestrogen which can fuel the growth of cancer cells.

The study is published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Experts said it unclear how much of the chemicals would be required to have an effect in humans and it may not be possible to gain enough from diet alone. Prof Gary Stoner, professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University, said that "relatively high levels of ellagitannin compounds" were needed in the study to have an effect. He added "It's not clear that these levels could be achieved in animals or in humans because the ellagitannins are not well absorbed into blood when provided in the diet."

He said the findings were promising enough to warrant further studies with pomegranates. Prof Stoner added people "might consider consuming more pomegranates to protect against cancer development in the breast and perhaps in other tissues and organs."

Dr Powel Brown, medical oncologist and chairman of the Clinical Cancer Prevention Department at the University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Centre, said: "More research on the individual components and the combination of chemicals is needed to understand the potential risks and benefits of using pomegranate juice or isolated compounds for a health benefit or for cancer prevention."


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