Saturday, February 25, 2012

How eating oranges and grapefruit can cut the risk of a stroke by their anti-inflammatory properties

This appears to be just data dredging. "The researchers did not find a beneficial association between total flavonoid consumption and stroke risk", so they looked and looked until they found just one flavonoid with a significant correlation -- which was probably just a random fluctuation

Eating oranges and grapefruit could cut your risk of stroke, claim researchers. Both the whole fruit and breakfast juices appear to protect against having a ‘brain attack’, probably due to their high content of a certain type of antioxidant.

A new study looked at citrus fruit for the first time, rather than a range of fruit and vegetables which have been linked to stroke protection.

The study involved thousands of women taking part in the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study in the US, but experts believe the benefits may also apply to men.

Every year in the UK, approximately 120,000 people have a stroke and 20-30 per cent die within a month, while 300,000 people are living with disabilities as a result.

A research team based at Norwich Medical School in the University of East Anglia investigated the strength of protection from flavonoids, a class of antioxidant compounds present in fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate and red wine.

The study used 14 years of follow-up data provided by 69,622 women who reported their food intake, including details on fruit and vegetable consumption every four years.

The research team examined the relationship of the six main subclasses of flavonoids - flavanones, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavonoid polymers, flavonols and flavones - with risk of ischemic, hemorrhagic and total stroke.

The researchers did not find a beneficial association between total flavonoid consumption and stroke risk, as the biological activity of the sub-classes differ.

But women who ate high amounts of flavanones in citrus had a 19 per cent lower risk of blood clot-related (ischemic) stroke than women who consumed the least amounts.

The highest level of flavanones was around 45mg a day compared with 20mg a day. A glass of commercial orange juice can provide 20-50mg depending on processing and storage conditions.

In the study, reported in the medical journal Stroke flavanones came primarily from oranges and orange juice (82 per cent) and grapefruit and grapefruit juice (14 per cent).

However, researchers recommended that consumers wanting to increase their citrus fruit intake should eat more whole fruit rather than juice, due to the high sugar content of commercial fruit juices.

Lead researcher Aedin Cassidy, proessor of nutrition, said ‘Studies have shown higher fruit, vegetable and specifically vitamin C intake is associated with reduced stroke risk.

‘Flavonoids are thought to provide some of that protection through several mechanisms, including improved blood vessel function and an anti-inflammatory effect.”

A previous study found that citrus fruit and juice intake, but not intake of other fruits, protected against risk of ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage.

Another study found no association between yellow and orange fruits and stroke risk, but did link increased consumption of white fruits like apples and pears with lower stroke risk.

An additional study found that Swedish women who ate the highest levels of antioxidants - about 50 percent from fruits and vegetables - had fewer strokes than those with lower antioxidant levels.

More studies are needed to confirm the association between flavanone consumption and stroke risk, and to gain a better understanding about why the association occurs, said Prof Cassidy.

Dr Sharlin Ahmed, Research Liaison Officer at The Stroke Association said ‘We all know that eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg is good for our health. This study suggests that eating citrus fruits in particular, such as oranges and grapefruits, which are high in vitamin C could help to lower your stroke risk.

‘However, this should not deter people from eating other types of fruit and vegetables as they all have health benefits and remain an important part of a staple diet.

'More research is needed in this area to help us understand the possible reasons why citrus fruits could help to keep your stroke risk down.

‘Everyone can reduce their risk of stroke by eating a healthy balanced diet that is low in saturated fat and salt, exercising regularly and ensuring that your blood pressure is checked and kept under control.’


The moron act of branding normal healthy kids as "obese" has now spread to Australia

A MELBOURNE mother is horrified after a child and maternal health nurse labelled her healthy three-year-old daughter "obese".

Helen Karalexis said the incident occurred when she took Viktoria to the Sunshine Child and Maternal Health clinic for a routine check-up on Wednesday.

Ms Karalexis was concerned this was not an isolated case, and that it was sending children the wrong messages.

Her daughter is 108cm tall and weighs 21.1kg - when the nurse put these measurements into the computer, she told her Viktoria was obese. "I said, 'how can you tell me my daughter is obese? Look at her'," Ms Karalexis said. "She's very energetic, she's always outside playing, she's got a lot of muscle, which is heavier than fat."

The nurse recommended Ms Karalexis switch her daughter to low-fat milk, reduce her meal portions and not give her any cordials, soft drinks or fruit juice. "She almost convinced me my daughter was obese," Ms Karalexis said.

Nurses should not be relying solely on a computer program to determine whether a child was obese, but also use discretion and common sense, she said. "It's hard enough trying to get kids to eat as it is, but this could make them start thinking 'I can't eat this because I'm going to get fat'," she said.

Ms Karalexis urged parents suffering a similar experience to seek a second opinion.

A Brimbank City Council spokesman said discussions were being held with Isis Primary Care, which provides maternal and child health services in the area on its behalf, over Ms Karalexis's allegations.

Isis director of community services Michael Girolami said body mass index (BMI), which took into account a child's age, height and weight, was used to determine if a child was in a healthy weight range.

The online BMI assessment tool was available from the US Government's National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Mr Girolami said. "In this particular case, the child was placed in the 95th percentile, which is defined as "obese" in the chart," he said.

Dietitian Karen Inge said the BMI system had limitations because it measured only height and weight, not body composition, and muscle weighed more than fat.


1 comment:

John A said...

oranges and grapefruit

Danger! Even beyond your objections, these are not the same fruit. I was advised to cut grapefruit because it interferes with many medications, but oranges are usually OK. This is similar to the confusion netween oranges and limes which caused the British Navy to go from nearly having eliminated scurvy to a resurgence of the dietary disease.

I note also the usual warning against saturated fat and salt...

branding normal healthy kids as "obese"

The usual `one size fits all` junk. I have read that according to current US "standard" BMI tables, Marilyn Monroe was dangerously underweight.

Believe the espoused model rather than actual observation? Seldom if ever a good idea. Centuries of very intelligent and educated people wasted enormous amounts of effort on "epicycles" to calculate Solar System and other astronomical orbits because they could not bring themselves to question the basic premise/assumption of our Earth being the center of all things.