Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Greens kill cancer genes

The study below appears to have been conducted in laboratory glassware so is poorly generalizable as yet

IT turns out that mum was right - you really should eat your greens. Numerous studies have found cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage contain cancer-fighting nutrients.

But in a further breakthrough, researchers from Oregon State University in the US have uncovered how green vegetables fight disease in a new study published in the Clinical Epigenetics journal.

They found a key component of broccoli sprouts - sulforaphane - helps suppress breast cancer proliferation and growth, particularly by working through a mechanism called DNA methylation.

Linus Pauling Institute associate professor Emily Ho said this process "turns off genes" and helps control what DNA material gets read as part of genetic communication within cells. This process gets mixed up in cancer sufferers.

She said young sprouts contain more than 50 times the sulforaphane contained in mature broccoli.

"It appears that DNA methylation and HDAC inhibition, both of which can be influenced by sulforaphane, work in concert with each other to maintain proper cell function," she said. "They sort of work as partners and talk to each other."


Time to come clean: little white lies found to be a health hazard

Research from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana has shown telling the truth improves health.  Hard to know how far the finding will generalize but there's probably something in it

 Honesty may actually help your health, suggests a study presented to psychologists at the weekend that found telling fewer lies benefits people physically and mentally.

For this "honesty experiment", 110 individuals aged 18 to 71 participated over a 10-week period. Each week, they visited a laboratory to complete health and relationship measures and to take a polygraph test assessing the number of major lies and white lies they had told that week.

"Recent evidence indicates that Americans average about 11 lies per week. We wanted to find out if living more honestly can actually cause better health," said lead author Anita Kelly, a psychology professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

"We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health."

Researchers instructed half the participants to stop telling lies for the 10 weeks. The instructions said "refrain from telling any lies for any reason to anyone. You may omit truths, refuse to answer questions, and keep secrets, but you cannot say anything that you know to be false."

The other half - who served as a control group - received no such instructions. Over the study period, the link between less lying and improved health was significantly stronger for participants in the no-lie group, the study found. As an example, when participants in the no-lie group told three fewer white lies than they did in other weeks, they experienced, on average, about four fewer mental-health complaints and about three fewer physical complaints.

For the control group, when they told three fewer white lies, they experienced two fewer mental-health complaints and about one less physical complaint. The pattern was similar for major lies, Ms Kelly said.

Overall, Ms Kelly says participants in the more truthful group told significantly fewer lies across the study. By the fifth week, they saw themselves as more honest, she says. For both groups, when participants lied less in a given week, they reported their physical health and mental health to be significantly better that week.

And for those in the more truthful group, telling fewer lies led them to report improvements in close personal relationships. Overall, they reported that their social interactions had gone more smoothly, the study found.

Among those asked not to lie, the participants explained how they did it. Their responses included realising they could: simply tell the truth rather than exaggerate; stop making false excuses for why they were late or had failed to complete tasks; answer a troubling question with another question; change the topic or be vague; and laugh as if the questions were ridiculous.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Scientists find new mechanism behind resistance to cancer treatment

Medical Xpress-Aug 5, 2012

A team of scientists led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center ... enable cancer cells to grow, invade surrounding tissue and resist chemotherapy. .... cancer position is critical to accurately targeting the radiation beam to ...