Monday, April 18, 2011

Onions help peel off weight, prevent diabetes and reduce blood pressure

If you are a white rat. White rats are not even normal rats. And most of us probably eat a fair amount of onions one way or another anyway -- e.g. in the dreaded hamburgers! Hamburgers couldn't be good for us, could they?

A new Queensland study has revealed onions can combat obesity, diabetes and increased blood pressure.

The research by the University of Southern Queensland biomedical scientists highlights that rutin extracted from onions reversed fat stores in laboratory rats, lowered blood pressure, reversed glucose problems and repaired liver damage.

The research was conducted by Professor Lindsay Brown, Sunil K Panchal, Hemant Poudyal and Thiruma Arumugam and will be published in next month's prestigious Journal of Nutrition.


Diabetes drug could treat breast cancer patients

Research on the effects of metformin is not actually described below

A 10p-a-day diabetes drug could be used to treat breast cancer sufferers, it is claimed. Scientists have developed a new test that identifies patients who could benefit from the cheap treatment. They found that the people whose cancer cells “fed” off high-energy compounds were more likely to see their tumours spread or to die. This meant they could be helped by being given the diabetes drug, metformin, which stops the “fuel supply” for aggressive cancer cells.

Professor Michael Lisanti, from the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit at the University of Manchester, said: “We’ve shown that the saying, ‘you are what you eat’ holds true for cancer. The food cancer cells consume is crucial to how well a patient does and what treatment they need.

“If cancer cells are consuming high-energy food, this makes a tumour more aggressive and harder to treat. However, patients could benefit from metformin, which cuts off this fuel supply. There is more work to do but this test could be an important new way of tailoring treatments to a patient’s needs, across a range of cancers.”

Last year it was reported that metformin was being tested to see if it can stop the growth of lung cancers. In a new paper published in the journal Cell Cycle, researchers from Manchester and Thomas Jefferson University in the US describe their attempts to see if it will also help breast cancer sufferers.

They studied 219 breast cancer patients and worked out which ones had tumours that fed on high-energy foods, known as ketones and lactate, found in healthy cells. The researchers found that the patients whose cancer cells consumed high levels of ketones and lactate were more likely to have their disease return, spread to other organs or die.

This group is most likely to benefit from being given metformin, the standard treatment for Type 2 diabetes that costs as little as 10p a day.

Professor Anthony Howell, Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit in Manchester, said: “It is particularly encouraging that some of those treatments might already be in the doctor’s drug cabinet, and cheap to prescribe. "We have some way to go but we hope that drugs like metformin will be saving lives of breast cancer patients over the next few years.”


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