Monday, April 30, 2007

Tooth decay is on the rise for kids

Tooth decay in young children's baby teeth is on the rise, a worrying trend that signals the preschool crowd is eating too much sugar, according to the largest government study of the nation's dental health in more than 25 years.

Experts are concerned about the prevalence of cavities in baby teeth of children ages 2 to 5. It increased to 28 percent in 1999-2004, from 24 percent in 1988-1994, according to the report.

Tooth decay in young children had been decreasing for 40 years. Some studies have suggested the trend might have ended, but the new report contains the first statistically significant proof the trend has reversed, dental experts said.

One reason is that parents are giving their children more processed snack foods than in the past, and more bottled water or other drinks instead of fluoridated tap water, Dye said.

"They're relying more on fruit snacks, juice boxes, candy and soda" for the sustenance of preschoolers, he said.

The results are being reported Monday at a meeting of the American Association for Public Health Dentistry in Denver.

Steve - the comment about kids drinking more bottled water instead of tap water being a possible reason for the increase is a joke. Most bottled water comes from public water sources anyway. It sounds to me like they are trying to cover up the fact that fluoridating our public water source has had no effect on reducing tooth decay. The diet part we agree with, however.

Sugar users lobbying to change farm bill

U.S. sugar users and consumer advocates have formed a group hoping to reform the government sugar program in the 2007 farm bill. The Sugar Policy Alliance is focused mainly on candy and food manufacturers and job losses affecting them. The alliance has 75 signers, including Sara Lee Corporation (SLE), Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. (WWY) and World Business Chicago. Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., a member of the Senate agriculture appropriations subcommittee, said at a news conference in Chicago that he supports changing the sugar program, and pointed to losses of " thousands of good-paying jobs in the candy industry" in Illinois as companies shut plants or moved to other countries where sugar is cheaper. Nationally, segments of the food industry using sugar have lost 70,000 jobs, Durbin said, without giving a time frame. "As Congress works on this year's farm bill, I intend to push hard for sugar policy reforms that are good for farmers, consumers, processors and taxpayers," Durbin said.

Steve - is it not a coincidence that Sara Lee and Wrigley are both Chicago-based corporations who have been hit hard by competition from cheaper manufacturing? They are also being hit hard because their candy/cake/junk food options are not as in demand as they once were. Sara Lee has been playing catch-up the last few years trying to offer healthier fare. As this is not their specialty, they are having a rough go of it.

With Durbin being on the committee, however, there is a good chance The Sugar Policy Alliance they will get what they want.

New wrinkle on how advertising is linked to obesity

According to researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, it is understood that food-associated cues, such as advertising, can influence food intake. However, until now, the reason why was unknown. Researchers now believe that food-associated cues have a powerful influence on neuronal activity and gene expression in areas of the brain that control cognition, emotion, and motivation, which can lead to excessive food intake.

Steve - food companies are no dummies. Why do you think junk food advertisements dominate marketing to children? Start 'em young. Train their brains through genetic expression to become excited when the advertisements appear. This is why the public is so adamant about removing junk food advertising to kids, and why food companies are fighting desparately to deflect any regulation. The food companies are losing in Europe. However, in the US, the food companies are still holding their ground.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Black cohosh may halve breast cancer risk - study

Women taking supplements of black cohosh may cut their risk of breast cancer by more than 50 per cent, suggests an epidemiological study from the US.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, needs significant support from future studies before it can be recommended as a breast cancer preventative, but the research could offer a new avenue of research for the herb most commonly used by women to reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.

Lead researcher Timothy Rebbeck from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine used a population-based case-control study consisting of 949 breast cancer cases and 1,524 controls. Demographic information and the use of hormone-related supplements were identified using questionnaires.

After adjusting for potential confounding factors the use of black cohosh was associated with a 61 per cent reduction in the risk of breast cancer, said the researchers.

"Substantial additional research must be undertaken before it can be established that black cohosh, or some compound found in black cohosh, is a breast cancer chemopreventive agent," wrote the researchers.

Steve - obviously, a population control study is not an exact science. However, the statistical percentage of reduction with black cohosh use was so high that the study needed to be highlighted.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Apples during pregnancy protects babies from asthma

According to a recent study in Thorax, researchers found that children of moms who ate more than four apples per week were 37 percent less likely to have a history of wheezing and 53 percent less likley to have doctor-confirmed asthma, compared to moms who ate one or no apples per week while pregnant.

The association is believed to an apple-specific effect, potentially from the flavanoid content.

Steve - we can tell you what the flavanoid is...quercetin. Besides apples, we have recommend ed Allergy Fighters and Quercetin + C supplements for years, both of which have quercetin as the main ingredient. Many of our clients have found it immeasurably helpful for allergic/asthmatic response.

Study sees major depression connection to diabetes

Elderly people who are depressed are more likely to become diabetic than those who are not, according to a study that suggests depression may play a role in causing the most common form of diabetes. Writing on Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers said people with a high number of symptoms of depression were about 60 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset diabetes, than people not considered depressed.

For 10 years,
4,681 men and women were screened annually for 10 symptoms of depression, including those related to mood, irritability, calorie intake, concentration and sleep. "People who report higher depressive symptoms may not take as good a care of themselves as they should," lead researcher Mercedes Carnethon of the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine said in an interview. "For example, they may be less physically active, and thus more likely to gain weight, which is the primary risk factor for diabetes," Carnethon said. But the study statistically accounted for known lifestyle risk factors for diabetes like being overweight and sedentary, and still found that depression increased the risk of diabetes. Carnethon said a high level of the stress hormone cortisol in depressed people may be the reason. High cortisol levels, the researchers said, may cut insulin sensitivity and raise fat deposits around the waist.

Bonnie - depression is a neurological imbalance often triggered by diet and lifestyle (stress, in particular). Excessive inflammatory stressors create negative gene expression, leading to neurological imbalance (which includes excess cortisol production). Depression is a common symptom that can precede diabetes, so this study is not surprising.

In another recent study, patients with Type 2 Diabetes were found to be 83% more likely to develop Parkinson's disease later in life than people in the general population, according to Diabetes Care.

Do we see a vicious cycle forming here? Once diabetes takes hold, neurologic function that was depressed turns into chronic diseases like Parkinson's or Alzheimers, the result of years of constant genetic inflammatory stress.

We must be kind to our kinases!

Dark Chocolate Similar to Blood Pressure Drugs

Eating dark chocolate may be almost as effective at lowering blood pressure as taking the most common antihypertensive drugs. From more than 3,000 papers, researchers picked 5 of the largest randomized and controlled prospective studies and used statistical techniques to combine the data which appear in the April 9 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine. Four of the five studies on chocolate found reduced blood pressure after eating, but none of the tea studies that the researchers looked at showed significant benefit. The magnitude of the effect of eating three and a half ounces of dark chocolate a day was clinically significant, comparable to that of beta-blockers like atenolol, known by the brand name Tenormin, or propranolol, known as Inderal. The authors acknowledge that the studies were short and that results may not apply to habitual use. Milk proteins prevent the absorption of polyphenols, so milk chocolate is not effective.

Bonnie - this is not anything new. However, I want to propose the reason why dark chocolate showed much more benefit for blood pressure than tea. Tea and chocolate are both high in polyphenols and have shown therapeutic properties for various maladies. However, dark chocolate is high in magnesium. Tea is not. Magnesium has always been linked to maintaining healthy blood pressure.

I was also impressed that the lead researcher mentioned that milk chocolate consumption usurps the polyphenol's effectiveness. As I have said, 70% or more cocoa content for therapeutic value.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Studies line up on Parkinson's and pesticides link

Evidence that pesticides can cause Parkinson's disease is stronger than it has ever been. One study shows that farm workers who used the common weedkiller paraquat had two to three times the normal risk of Parkinson's, a degenerative brain disease that eventually paralyzes patients. A second study shows that animals exposed to paraquat have a build-up of a protein called alpha-synuclein in their brains. This protein has been linked to Parkinson's in the past. A third piece of the puzzle shows that this buildup of protein kills the same brain cells affected in Parkinson's. "All of these pieces really look like they are coming together now," Dr. William Langston, founder of the non-profit Parkinson's Institute, told Reuters. Langston and colleagues said they were energized by research presented at the Parkinson's Disease Environmental Research meeting in Monterey, California. Langston also said inflammation could be a factor. "Give an animal a compound that creates a marked inflammation response in the body ... and months later the animal loses cells in same area of the brain that is associated with Parkinson's. This suggests that systemic inflammation may somehow sensitize the brain."

Courtesy of Reuters

Steve - Bingo!'ve have been hearing that word from us incessantly. As we have discused, chemicals, just as food triggers, can create an inflammatory response which sends stressor signals to our genes. For those of us with a genetic predisposition to Parkinson's, if we continually send inflammatory stressor signals to our genes, we will exhibit Parkinson's symptoms.

Success for UK child obesity plan

A community program which aims to encourage obese children to be more healthy has proved highly successful, a study has found. A year after the nine-week program, 107 moderately obese eight to 12-year-olds were fitter healthier, and more confident. Details of the Mend program (which stands for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do-it!), now running in 100 areas across England, will be presented to an obesity conference in Budapest on Monday.

The program involves the whole family and aims to teach both parents and children about healthy attitudes and behaviors relating to eating and activity, and to help children see being active as fun. Many of them say the fact that their parents are involved gives them extra confidence.

Funding for the program, which will cost £11m in total, is coming from the Big Lottery Fund, Sainsbury's and Sport England. Paul Sacher, research director of the program and an honorary specialist dietician at Great Ormond Street Hospital, said the focus of the program was not weight loss.
"We do measure them, but their weight is just one of the things we measure. It's more about living healthily." Mr Sacher said: "We were delighted to see that the results were largely sustained at 12 months. "Obviously sustaining a healthy lifestyle is the Holy Grail of health and fitness."

Steve - wow, is this nice to see! A public health nutrition program completely focused on lifestyle change and prevention! It is so refreshing to hear a public health official say that the program was not focused just on weight loss. Most importantly, I believe the real success of the program comes from getting the entire family involved. Kids take their cues and receive support from their parents. How can a kid change his/her lifestyle if the parents do not change theirs?

How a chiropractic adjustment might lower blood pressure

Like most medical doctors, Bruce Bell was skeptical when it came to chiropractic. Then patient after patient returned from a chiropractor with relief from low back pain - and their blood pressure improved, too. Bell, who runs a large family medical practice in Fox River Grove, decided to investigate the technique, which involves a special adjustment to the Atlas vertebra at the top of the spine. He got a well-known hypertension researcher to design a pilot study, and together they published the surprising results: Of 25 patients who received the Atlas adjustment, all 25 experienced a significant drop in blood pressure. A placebo group who got a sham treatment saw a much smaller change.The reduction was the same as in people who are taking two drugs to lower blood pressure."When we looked at the numbers, it was astonishing," said Dr. George Bakris, director of the hypertension center at the University of Chicago and the lead author of the study, which was published last month in the Journal of Human Hypertension."I was expecting to see some change, but this was very significant, and it was very consistent."Patients who received the real adjustment saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and an 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number).

Most chiropractors are not trained in the Atlas adjustment. The technique is practiced by a relatively small number of chiropractors certified in National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association techniques. NUCCA chiropractors take precise measurements with x-rays to determine the proper alignment of the Atlas vertebra. If the patient is out of line, the chiropractor uses his or her hands to restore it to its proper position.

Courtesy of Daily Herald

FDA reviews Italian aspartame study

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reaffirmed its position on the safety of aspartame, following a review of a European study that had linked the artificial sweetener to cancer.

The regulatory agency on Friday said it does not support the conclusion of the Italy-based European Ramazzini Foundation (ERF) study that aspartame is a carcinogen. The announcement comes after an FDA review of ERF data. The Ramazzini findings, published in 2005, followed a long-term feeding study on aspartame conducted on rats.

"Based on the available data we have identified significant shortcomings in the design, conduct, reporting, and interpretation of this study. FDA finds that the reliability and interpretation of the study outcome is compromised by these shortcomings and uncontrolled variables, such as the presence of infection in the test animals," it said.

"Based on our review, pathological changes were incidental and appeared spontaneously in the study animals, and none of the histopathological changes reported appear to be related to treatment with aspartame."

A review of the study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also found the conclusions flawed. Iona Pratt, chair of a group of scientists who reviewed the Ramazzini study for EFSA, said that it did not reveal any evidence that would point to aspartame as a cancer causing agent.

Since its discovery in 1965 aspartame has be the source of controversy within the scientific community and industry over whether it causes health problems. Some studies have indicated a health risk, some have indicated that it does not cause harm to humans. Industry has consistently denied that the artificial sweetener poses a health risk, claiming that the numerous scientific studies were faulty.

They also point to four previous long term studies sponsored by G.D. Searle, a chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, which were the basis for regulatory acceptance worldwide. Searle was later bought by Monsanto and became NutraSweet Co.

However Kathryn Knowles, a spokesperson for Ramazzini, said that the Ramazzini research was the first long term independent study relating to cancer. Knowles said the study should be a valuable lesson for industry, which can learn from the experience, no matter if it turns out to be painful.

"There should be a quality assurance partnership between researchers and the food additive industry," she said. "There should be independent evaluations using long term studies."

Steve - the fact that the FDA looked so long and hard at the study, in addition to making a statement, shows you that they are worried about aspartame. The long-term studies that G.D. Searle supposedly had done were a sham. This is the first long-term study done on rats. Of course, there have been no human studies.

To tell if this study is valid, all you have to do is read it (click on the link below). The Ramazzini study was structured very well and its findings were not "spontaneous."

What's most important is the Ramazzini spokesman's comments about ensuring quality with long-term studies before a chemical like aspartame, or for that matter, medications, come to market. This is the real problem and there are no standards in place to address it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dairy food linked with Parkinson's disease in men

A new study has confirmed a relationship between consuming large amounts of dairy products and an increase in the rate of Parkinson's disease in men. Researchers found that among more than 130,000 U.S. adults followed for 9 years, those who ate the largest amount of dairy foods had an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease. There was a clear pattern seen among men, whose Parkinson's risk increased in tandem with consumption of diary, particularly milk. The results were more ambiguous among women, however. The findings, which appear in the American Journal of Epidemiology, echo those of earlier studies that found a link between dairy consumption and Parkinson's in men, but not women.

The findings are based on detailed dietary and lifestyle information collected from 57,689 men and 73,175 women who took part in a cancer prevention study. Over 9 years, 250 men and 138 women were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Men with the highest levels of dairy consumption were 60 percent more likely to develop the disease than those who consumed the least amounts of dairy, the study found. Milk, rather than dairy products like yogurt and cheese, explained most of the association.

This study and previous ones indicate that calcium, vitamin D and fat are not responsible for the link between dairy foods and Parkinson's disease. One theory is that pesticides or other nerve-damaging toxins present in milk could contribute to Parkinson's disease over time.

Bonnie - as I have said in the past, men should totally avoid milk and eat other dairy products in moderation, if tolerated. This large sample study is very interesting. Dairy products, especially milk, have also been implicated in prostate cancer and calcification in arteries for men. Certainly pesticides, hormones, and antibiotic residues can be part of the picture, because the study was only in the U.S. We also know that excess calcium interferes with magnesium. Magnesium has over 300 functions in the human body, including optimal neurological function. In the U.S., two recent NHANES studies have found that 70-75% of all people living in the U.S. have inadequate magnesium intake. Couple that with a high calcium to magnesium ratio of 6:1 (in the U.S.) and you have the risk of many serious medical problems, including heart disease.

Americans Fed Up with Drug Industry Influence, FDA Corruption

A striking new survey from Consumer Reports is based on a telephone survey of 1,026 American adults conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. Some of the most interesting results include:

* 96 percent agreed the government should have the power to require warning labels on drugs with known safety problems.

* 84 percent agree that drug companies have "too much influence over the government officials who regulate them." More than two-thirds of those surveyed are concerned that drug companies actually pay the FDA to review and approve their drugs.

* 92 percent agree that pharmaceutical companies should disclose the results of ALL clinical trials, not just the ones with positive results that they wish to publicize. (Currently, drug companies can bury negative drug trials, and the FDA has in fact been caught conspiring with drug companies to keep negative drug data secret from the public.)

* More than half of those surveyed said they are currently taking prescription drugs, indicating that more than half of American adults are now on drugs. Forty percent said they have experienced a negative reaction (side effect) from taking prescription medications.

Most side effects go unreported, and there is currently no enforced legal requirement that doctors or drug companies report known side effects to the FDA. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, prescription drugs currently kill approximately 100,000 Americans each year. None of those deaths are accurately recorded as "death by pharmaceuticals."

As Bill Baughan, a senior policy analyst with Consumers Union (Consumer Reports), said, "Consumers expect Congress to take their concerns about drug safety seriously, and deliver legislation that will prevent future Vioxx-type disasters. Failure to act this year on the strongest possible bill, when more than 80 pecent of Americans agree that Congress should do whatever is necessary to ensure drug safety, would equate to gross legislative malpractice."

Pharmaceuticals are now the 4th leading cause of death in America.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hospital opts for cage-free hens?

Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago makes their swedish meatballs with grass-fed beef, their bananas are organic, and now, their eggs are cage-free. They are the first hospital in the nation to implement a cage-free egg policy.

Steve - this is great to see! Many of us know the abysmal food choices and quality in hospitals.

Sharp Drop in Rates of Breast Cancer Holds

Breast cancer rates fell sharply in 2003, and the lower rate remained in 2004, researchers are reporting today. The finding, they say, fits with a hypothesis they advanced last December when they had data only from 2003. At that time, national data showed that breast cancer rates fell by nearly 15 percent in the 18 months from July 2002 through December 2003. The most likely reason for the fall in rates, the investigators, led by Donald A. Berry of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said, was that large numbers of women stopped taking hormone therapy for menopause. And that therapy, a combination of estrogen and progestins, can increase the incidence of breast cancer. Now, with the 2004 data, the researchers say the effect is less likely to be an anomaly. If rates had gone up again, they explain, it would have meant that their hypothesis was incorrect, according to the paper published today in The New England Journal of Medicine. Over all, in 2003 and 2004, there were nearly 10 percent fewer breast cancer cases than expected. It is the first substantial drop in breast cancer incidence in more than a quarter century.

The hormone connection came because the Women’s Health Initiative, a large federal study examining the health effects of Prempro, the most popular drug prescribed for menopause, was halted in July 2002. The study found that women taking Prempro had an increased risk of heart disease, rather than protection from it. In addition, there was more breast cancer among women taking Prempro than those taking a placebo for comparison. Immediately, sales of Prempro, made by Wyeth, plummeted, falling by 50 percent, and they continued to fall slightly in 2004. The drop in breast cancer followed immediately. “Those are the facts,” said Dr. Peter Ravdin, an oncologist and Dr. Berry’s colleague. “We think there is a likely connection between them.” Any alternative explanation must also take into account the fact that the drop in breast cancer rates was almost entirely estrogen-fed tumors, Dr. Ravdin said. Dr. Berry said the researchers were well aware of the limitations of their analysis and never said they proved that declining hormone use led to 10 percent less breast cancer. “Of course, we’re not sure. We never are,” Dr. Berry said. “But it fits. It’s a smoking gun.”

Courtesy of the New York Times

Bonnie - there has been a resurgence of talk touting the safety of synthetic hormone therapy in younger women. After reading this and a recent Lancet study linking synthetic hormones to ovarian and breast cancer, I cannot see how one would want to take a chance.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fatty acid tied to depression and inflammation

The imbalance of fatty acids in the typical American diet could be associated with the sharp increase in heart disease and depression seen over the past century, a new study suggests. Specifically, the more omega-6 fatty acids people had in their blood compared with omega-3 fatty acid levels, the more likely they were to suffer from symptoms of depression and have higher blood levels of inflammation-promoting compounds, according to a report that appears in Pyschosomatic Medicine.

These compounds, which include tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-6, are "all-purpose 'nasties' for aging," and have been tied to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and other ailments. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods such as fish, flax seed oil and walnuts, while omega-6 fatty acids are found in refined vegetable oils used to make everything from margarine to baked goods and snack foods. The amount of omega-6 fatty acids in the Western diet increased sharply once refined vegetable oils became part of the average diet in the early 20th century. Hunter-gatherers consumed two or three times as much omega-6 as omega-3, but today Westerners consume 15- to 17-times more omega-6 than omega-3.

Bonnie - obviously, for those of you who are clients of mine and/or read our blogs and newsletters regularly, this is old news. The reason I blogged this is because of its significance to "mainstream" medicine. The more studies we see like this in "mainstream" journals, the more doctors will take notice.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Teaching Doctors to Teach Patients About Lifestyle

You should give a copy of this New York Times article to all of your primary care health professionals.

Look for "Teaching Doctors to Teach Patients About Lifestyle" in the Health Section.

Clinical trial boosts omega-3's ADHD benefit claims

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioural Pediatrics recruited 132 kids with ADHD aged 7 to 12.

For the first 15 weeks of study, the kids were given daily supplements or placebo. Parents were asked to rate their child's condition after 15 and 30 weeks with the 14 ADHD scales of the Conner's Parent Rating Scales. After 15 weeks of supplements, improvements were recorded in half of these scales. After 30 weeks, the parental ratings of behaviour improved significantly in nine out of 14 scales.

"The present study is the largest PUFA trial to date with children falling in the clinical ADHD range on Conners Index. The result support those of other studies that have found improvements in developmental problems symptomatic of ADHD with PUFA supplementation," wrote Sinn.

Painful concoction?

The painkiller ibuprofen may increase heart problems in osteoarthritis patients who are taking daily aspirin to lower cardiovascular risk, a new study finds. Use of ibuprofen and aspirin boosted arthritis patients' one-year heart attack and stroke risk ninefold compared with patients who were taking a cox-2 inhibitor pain reliever, the study found. Published in The Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, the study says ibuprofen may cancel the cardio-protection of daily low-dose aspirin.

Treatments: Study Sees Little Benefit in Chondroitin for Arthritis

A study released in The Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that chondroitin may not offer any real benefit for advanced osteoarthritis. Researchers said a review of 20 earlier studies had found that the benefit of the supplement was “minimal or nonexistent.” “For patients with advanced osteoarthritis, a clinically relevant benefit is unlikely and the use of chondroitin should be discouraged,” the study said. The lead author is Dr. Stephen Reichenbach of the University of Bern in Switzerland.

Steve - we absolutely agree that Glucosamine/Chondroitin offers little benefit for those with advanced osteoarthritis. We have seen as much in our clients. However, research has shown that glucosamine/chondroitin is very effective in treating mild osteoarthritis. We have seen this with many of our clients. This recent study is a waste because, first, it is another review study (which are very often flawed). Second, chondroitin has always been studied in conjunction with glucosamine, never alone.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sodas lose fizz in 2007 forecast

Carbonated soft drinks maintain their hold over the US beverage market, but the category experienced a steady decline last year, and this is expected to accelerate in 2007.

Carbonated soft drinks saw volumes down one percent in the fourth quarter 2006, compared with the equivalent period a year earlier. Colas - the traditional mainstay of the category - particularly suffered.

At the same time, diet carbonates have become a growing source of concern for the industry, says the researcher. Sales during the last three months of 2006 were down by more than 3 percent, despite several years of solid growth and significant brand support, new launches, re-launches and reformulations.

USA Soft Drinks Service Quarterly Beverage Review

Bonnie - this is good news for those in my profession!

Flavonol-rich diet may slash pancreatic cancer risk

A diet rich in flavonols from foods such as onions, apples and berries may cut the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by about 25 per cent, scientists have told attendees at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

According to the US National Cancer Institute almost 38,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed every year in the US, with almost 34,000 deaths from the disease. The new study, part of the Multiethnic Cohort Study of 183,518 residents of California and Hawaii, reports that subjects with the highest consumption of flavonols from the diet had significant risk reductions, compared to the lowest consumption, with smokers particularly benefiting from flavonol-rich diets.

The researchers also stated that theirs is the first study to examine prospectively specific classes of flavonols (quercetin, found in onions and apples; kaempferol, found in spinach and some cabbages; and myricetin, found mostly in red onions and berries) and pancreatic cancer risk.

Bonnie - it is wonderful to see such copious research lately lauding the benefits of quercetin and other flavanols. Quercetin is the active ingredient in Allergy Fighters and Quercetin + C, two supplements I have recommended for years for inflammation reduction from allergies.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Omega-3 studies show slowing of mental decline

An increasing number of studies are reporting potential benefits for regular fish consumption and omega-3 fatty acids with respect to Alzheimer's, but only a limited number of studies have looked at the decline in cognitive function that precedes these diseases.

Two new studies published in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition report that regular consumption of omega-3-rich food could prevent age-related cognitive decline.

The first study concluded that, over a period of five years, consumption of approximately 400 mg omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day had less cognitive decline than those who consumed only about 20 mg per day of the fatty acids.

A second study investigated the potential benefits of omega-3 levels in the blood with cognitive decline in 2251 white adults (average age 57 at baseline). Blood fatty acid concentrations were measured in all subjects at the start of the study and correlated with cognitive function assessed three and nine years later. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, the researchers report that global cognitive decline was not associated with omega-3 blood levels at baseline, but a subgroup analysis examining specific types of cognitive decline found that greater blood omega-3 fatty acid levels may prevent a decline in verbal fluency.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

TV Diners Miss the Big Health Picture

The findings, which appear in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, essentially corroborate previous research that has found, among other things, that preschoolers who spend more time glued to the television have worse diets and that families dining together tend to have better eating habits. "Lots of studies have found that when families eat together and presumably talk, kids eat healthier and do better, they're less likely to drink and use drugs. It's pro-social behavior," said Dr. Barbara A. Dennison, senior author of the study and director of the Bureau of Health Risk Reduction, Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and Adult Health at the New York State Department of Health. And when diners are focusing on the TV set, they're not paying attention to what they eat.

More than 1,300 parents or guardians of children participating in New York's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children were surveyed on how many days a week the family ate dinner together, the number of days each week the TV was turned on during dinner, and how often fruits and vegetables were served. More fruits and vegetables were served on the nights families ate dinner as a unit. Servings of fruits and vegetables decreased each night the TV was turned on during the meal. Neither eating together nor having the television on seemed to have any relationship with servings of milk.

Steve - here's any easy way to remedy the not have TVs in rooms that you eat in!

How stress can strain the heart

The centers of the brain responsible for learning, memory and emotion may play a key role in putting the heart under strain in times of stress. UK scientists have shown that signals from these areas can destabilize the cardiac muscle of someone who already has heart disease. This, the research suggests, can trigger potentially fatal abnormalities in the heart's rhythms. The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It has long been known that stress triggers increased activity in the heart. This is designed to maximise blood flow, so that the body is primed to take quick action. However, it had been thought that this change was due to signals from more primitive areas of the brain. The results showed that activity in the 'higher level' regions of the brain, such as the cortex closely reflected the response measured in the heart.

Bonnie - this should bring more interesting findings in the future. However, we blogged this as a reminder that stress is something that should always be taken into account in your overall balanced lifestyle choices. In some individuals, you can be doing everything perfectly, but if you are under an inordinate amount of stress, it is often not enough to stay healthy.

Many dieters 'finish up heavier'

Dieting is unlikely to lead to long-term weight loss and may put a person's health at risk, a study says. US researchers found people typically lose between 5% and 10% of their weight during the first six months of a diet. But the review of 31 previous studies, by the University of California, said up to two-thirds put more weight on than they had lost within five years. Repeatedly losing and gaining weight is linked to heart disease and stroke, the American Psychologist journal reported.

Lead researcher Traci Mann said: "We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. "Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people. The study did not name any diets in particular, but looked at a broad spectrum of approaches. Professor Mann said in her opinion eating in moderation was a good idea for everybody as was regular exercise. Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of Weight Concern, said too many people approached dieting as a short-term measure. "Keeping weight off is a life-long challenge. It is just like heart disease or mental health problems, if you stop taking your medicine you can get worse. "People who are overweight often don't have a balanced lifestyle and after losing weight too many stop keeping active or eating healthily."

Bonnie - this is good to see. Public Health professionals are finally realizing that changing your dietary lifestyle is not a short-term solution. As long as I have been a health professional, I have been a major detractor of crash/fad diets. "Rome wasn't built in a day" is something I say very often!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fat hormone 'boosts colon cancer'

A new study could help explain why severely overweight people appear to be at far greater risk of the disease. A team at the University of California, San Diego found that the hormone leptin triggered increased growth in human colon cancer cells. Obese people are up to three times more likely to develop colorectal cancer. Other researchers have already found that some colon cancer cells appear to be set up to respond to leptin, with "receptors" for the chemical on their surfaces.

The more fat cells a person has, the more leptin will be in their bloodstream. The San Diego team wanted to find further evidence of the link by watching what happened to human cancer cells exposed to the hormone. In a laboratory, they added the hormone to different varieties of cancer cell. Growth was stimulated in all the cell lines - and in two out of three tested, the hormone also hampered the usual process of programmed death that allows the body to replace normal cells, but which often malfunctions in cancers.

Steve - as we said in our April newsletter, we want to keep our fat cells happy, not sad. When fat cells proliferate and create excess hormones such as leptin, bad things are going to happen.

Study shows arsenic contamination in kelp supplements

A study done at University of California at Davis found that eight of nine brands of herbal kelp supplements, that one can find at a health food store, showed detectable levels of arsenic higher than the Food and Drug Administration tolerance level.

The study was enacted based upon the symptoms of a woman who came into the UC-Davis clinic exhibiting alopecia (hair loss) and memory loss. She was taking daily kelp supplements and after testing for heavy metals, found extrordinarily high blood arsenic level.

The study was published in the April 4th Environmental Health Persepctives.

Steve - unfortunately, they do not mention the brands in the study. I have a feeling they will release the brands names at some point.

We have always been wary of recommending herbs because plants (by land or sea) absorb high levels of heavy metals and contaminants. Because herbs are most therapeutically effective intact, they are often not processed for chelating heavy metals and contaminants.

The large percentage of herbs come from China, where ground pollution is extremely high and herbal testing standards are non-existsent. This is why one must be diligent in screening any dietary herbal supplement. While we recommend few products that contain herbs, we always look at lab assays to make sure they meet legal toxicity standards and label claim.

Most reputable manufacturers have strict policies in place to screen for heavy metals before the product is even formulated. For instance, Metagenics screens every batch of raw material they receive and often refuses product because of impurities. This process costs money and unfortunately, not all manufacturers abide by this doctrine.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Treatment may fuel cancer's spread, study finds

Treating cancer with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation may sometimes cause tumors to spread and U.S. researchers said on Thursday they may have nailed down one of the causes -- a compound called TGF-beta. Tests in mice show that using the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin or radiation both raised levels of TGF-beta, which in turn helped breast cancer tumors spread to the lung. But using an antibody to block TGF-beta stopped the process, Dr. Carlos Arteaga and colleagues at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee reported. Developing drugs that block TGF-beta might help prevent cancer from recurring, Arteaga's team reports in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Cancer experts have wondered if the so-called primary tumor -- the first and biggest tumor -- might somehow suppress the growth of other tumors, and that removing or destroying the first tumor might allow other, undetectable, tumors to then grow. TGF-beta, which is involved in both the growth and suppression of tumors, may hold part of the answer, Arteaga's team said.

Bonnie - this is interesting. However, I would venture to say that it is not the "answer." One reason I have always been of the opinion that with slow growing cancers, such as prostate, surgery should be a last resort. I have seen too many times that soon after the surgery, the cancer has spread somewhere else.

As we have urged time and time again, prevention is the key to reducing your cancer risk. Step number one for cancer prevention is to drastically reduce or eliminate sugar consumption.

Most Americans don't eat smart and exercise: CDC

Only one in seven Americans exercises enough and eats enough fruits and vegetables, and men are worse than women, federal health officials said on Thursday. The CDC tracked the percentage of Americans who eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and engage in moderately intense exercise for at least 30 minutes five days per week or vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes three days per week as recommended by the government. Overall, 14.6 percent of Americans met both the dietary and exercise benchmarks, including 12.4 percent of men and 16.6 percent of women.

"The population right now really needs to take responsibility for their own health," Mary Kay Solera, head of the CDC's National Fruit and Vegetable Program and one of the report's authors, said in a telephone interview. 'WE'RE NOT DOING IT' "People know that they need to be eating more fruits and vegetables and they know they need to be doing more physical activity. But we're not doing it," Solera added.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Med diet 'could prevent asthma'

Eating a Mediterranean diet could help protect children from respiratory allergies and asthma, according to UK, Greek and Spanish researchers who assessed the diet and health of almost 700 children living in rural areas of Crete, where such conditions are rare. They found those with a diet rich in fruit and vegetables were protected against both conditions. The study, in Thorax, added to existing evidence that diet could help control asthma symptoms.

Parents of the children, who were aged between seven and 18, were also asked how often they ate 58 foods in nine categories; vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, cereal, dairy products, meat, poultry and margarines and oils. The research found 80% of the children ate fresh fruit, and over two-thirds of them fresh vegetables, at least twice a day. Eating oranges, apples, tomatoes and grapes each day, which around 300 children did, was shown to have a protective effect against wheezing and allergic rhinitis. Red grape skin contains high levels of antioxidants as well as resveratrol, a potent polyphenol, known to curb inflammatory activity, say the authors. Children who ate nuts - a rich source of vitamin E - at least three times a week, again just over 300, were less likely to wheeze. Vitamin E is the body's main defence against cell damage caused by free radicals. Nuts also contain high levels of magnesium, which other research has suggested may protect against asthma and boost lung power.

However, high consumption of margarine more than once a week (331 children) doubled the chances of asthma and allergic rhinitis, compared with those who ate it less frequently, the findings showed. Dr Paul Cullinan, of the Royal Brompton Hospital and National Heart and Lung Institute, said: "It may be that diet is an important link in translating skin test responses to actual allergies. "The message of the study is that foods with high antioxidant levels are good for you."

Bonnie - surprising? I think not.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Monsanto hits dairy ads on hormones

Monsanto Corp. yesterday asked two federal regulatory agencies to investigate what it alleges are false and misleading advertising claims made by many dairies, including some of the biggest in New England. Many dairies, such as H.P. Hood LLC in Chelsea and Garelick Farms in Franklin, now say their milk comes from cows not treated with the artificial growth hormone recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST, which is manufactured by St. Louis-based Monsanto. Hood and Garelick made the shift last year to better compete against organic milk producers , which have seen their sales rise sharply. Monsanto, in letters to the US Federal Trade Commission and the US Food and Drug Administration, said the advertising of some dairies falsely suggests that there are health and safety risks associated with milk from cows treated with the artificial growth hormones.

The FDA approved the use of the synthetic hormone in 1993. Some consumers fear the synthetic hormones cause cancer or premature development in children. Some countries have banned the use of such hormones, but primarily because of its effect on cows. The synthetic hormone boosts a typical cow's milk production by about 10 pounds per day. Officials at Hood and at Dean Foods Co. in Dallas, which owns Garelick, said they agree there is no difference . The officials said their dairies are using milk from cows not treated with the artificial growth hormone because their customers want it. "When a consumer asks for it, we provide it as a service," said Marguerite Copel, a Dean Foods spokeswoman, noting that only 17 of Dean's 100 dairies rely on milk from cows not treated with the synthetic hormone. "This is a small niche product."

Courtesy of The Boston Globe

Bonnie - why should Monsanto worry about a few dairy labels that want to boast that they are rBST-free? Because they are scared. They know that the public is wary of hormones and want an alternative other than organic. Is non-rBST milk and rBST milk equal? Read the following from Nutrition for Optimal Health Organization (NOHA) and you can judge for yourself.

FDA: ease irradiated-food rules

The government proposed Tuesday relaxing its rules on labeling of irradiated foods and suggested it may allow some products zapped with radiation to be called "pasteurized."

The Food and Drug Administration said the proposed rule would require companies to label irradiated food only when the radiation treatment causes a significant change to the product. Examples include changes to the taste, texture, smell or shelf life of a food, which would be flagged in the new labeling.

The FDA also proposed letting companies use the term "pasteurized" to describe irradiated foods. To do so, they would have to show the FDA that the radiation kills germs as well as the pasteurization process does. Pasteurization typically involves heating a product to a high temperature and then cooling it rapidly.

The proposal also would let companies petition the agency to use terms other than "irradiated." Alternatives already are allowed, but no companies have pursued them, the FDA said.

The agency posted the proposed revisions Tuesday and will accept public comments on them for 90 days.

A consumer group opposes the idea. "This move by FDA would deny consumers clear information about whether they are buying food that has been exposed to high doses of ionizing radiation," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch.

A 1984 FDA proposal to allow irradiated foods to go label-free drew more than 5,000 comments. The agency's final ruling reversed course, requiring the few FDA-regulated foods now treated with radiation to bear identifying labels.

"We have long argued that the use of the term irradiation or radiation has such a negative impact on the consumer that it basically acts as a warning label," said Jeff Barach, vice president of the Grocery Manufacturers/Food Products Association, an industry group. "Fixing this problem will help in food industry efforts to provide consumers with safe and wholesome foods with reduced risk of food-borne pathogens."

Courtesy Associated Press

Steve - do they ever learn? Was the response from the public back in '84 not strong enough? It is absolutely outrageous that they are revisiting this issue. This is a blatant attempt to force irradation into the mainstream food supply as a response to the recent foodborne illness outbreaks. Hiding it under the term pastuerized? If I was was Dairy Council, I would be crying foul. If there is a major public outcry because of this, and we stay away from pasteurized foods in droves, see how quickly the FDA will back off.

Irradiation is a band-aid, not the cure for preventing food-borne illness. The entire food supply chain needs to be overhauled. For example, back in 2002, when the egg industry was in the throes of a full-blown salmonella outbreak, they did not turn to irradiation.
Egg producers became more more diligent about sealing henhouses against pests and wild birds; they require people who enter to wear shoe coverings, hairnets and other special clothing; and they make sure feed and water are salmonella-free
. Now the cases of salmonella from egg consumption has dropped dramatically.

In the interim, there are many natural band-aids, such as oregano and other spices, that have been found to be very effective for preventing foodborne illness. However, these are not money makers for Big Biotech.

The FDA is taking public comment on this issue for the next three months. Please inundate them with emails explaining your extreme disapproval of the idea. Make sure you let them know that it is crucial that irradiated foods stay labeled!

Red, processed meat may double breast cancer risk - study

In a study of 35,372 women aged 35 to 69, it was found that high meat intake, particularly red meat and processed meats, was associated with a significant increase in the risk of breast cancer amongst pre- and post-menopausal women.

The UK Women's Cohort Study (UKWCS) assessed dietary intakes of the women using a self-administered 217-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Over a mean follow-up of eight years, 395 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in post-menopausal women and 283 cases in pre-menopausal women.

The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, reports that the associations between red meat and processed meat intake was most striking for post-menopausal women, with highest intake of red meat (greater than 57 grams per day) at a 56 per cent increased risk of breast cancer, and highest intake of processed meat (more than 20 grams per day of meat such as bacon, sausages, ham or pies) associated with a 64 per cent greater risk of breast cancer, compared to those who ate none.

Pre-menopausal women with a daily intake of more than 20 grams per day of processed meat were associated with a 20 per cent increase in breast cancer risk.

Steve - this was study was performed using food frequency questionnaires, so it must be taken with some degree of skepticism. However, the increases risk rates are alarmingly high.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

23 years of documented vitamin safety

A 23-year review of US poison control center annual reports tells a remarkable and largely ignored story: vitamins are extraordinarily safe. Annual deaths alleged from vitamins:

2005: zero
2004: two
2003: two
2002: one
2001: zero
2000: zero
1999: zero
1998: zero
1997: zero
1996: zero
1995: zero
1994: zero
1993: one
1992: zero
1991: two
1990: one
1989: zero
1988: zero
1987: one
1986: zero
1985: zero
1984: zero
1983: zero

The zeros are not due to a lack of reporting. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), which maintains the USA's national database of information from 61 poison control centers, has noted that vitamins are among the 16 most reported substances. Even including intentional and accidental misuse, the number of alleged vitamin fatalities is strikingly low, averaging less than one death per year for more than two decades. In 16 of those 23 years, AAPCC reports that there was not one single death due to vitamins.

Minerals, which are chemically and nutritionally different from vitamins, have an excellent safety record as well, but not quite as good as vitamins. On the average, one or two fatalities per year are typically attributed to iron poisoning from gross overdosing on supplemental iron. Deaths attributed to other supplemental minerals are very rare. Even iron, although not as safe as vitamins, accounts for fewer deaths than do laundry and dishwashing detergents.

Researchers find prenatal multivitamins reduces risk of childhood cancers

Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children have found that taking prenatal multivitamins fortified with folic acid can reduce the risk of three common childhood cancers: leukemia, brain tumours and neuroblastoma. This research was published online on February 21, 2007, in the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

“Our research indicates that a large proportion of several early childhood cancers can be prevented by taking a prenatal multivitamin before and during pregnancy,” said Dr. Gideon Koren, the study’s principal investigator, director of the Motherisk Program at SickKids, a senior scientist in the SickKids Research Institute and a professor of Paediatrics, Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Medicine and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto. “This affordable approach could contribute to a significant reduction in the number of childhood cancer cases diagnosed each year, which has huge implications for society at large.”

The study examined the findings of seven articles that met the inclusion criteria and found that prenatal supplementation of multivitamins containing folic acid is associated with a 47 per cent protective effect for neuroblastoma, 39 per cent for leukemia and 27 per cent protective effect for brain tumours. While other studies have investigated the effect of prenatal vitamins on rates of paediatric tumours, this is the first systematic review and meta-analysis of prenatal multivitamin use before and during early pregnancy and its protective effect for several paediatric cancers.

This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Research Leadership for Better Pharmacotherapy during Pregnancy and Lactation. The research also received funding from Duchesnay Inc., which did not have a prenatal vitamin on the market during the time covered by this study.

Bonnie - keep in mind this is a meta-analysis, which we take with a grain of salt because there is usually such a disparity in the age groups and degrees of health with mutliple studies. However, in this case, the studies focus on two specific groups of people: prenatal/pregnant women and young children. Moreover, the studies focus on prevention, which is a better model for a review of multiple studies.

Monday, April 02, 2007

IBS Drug Zelnorm Taken Off U.S. Market

FDA: Voluntary Withdrawal Due to Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke, Chest Pain

A popular drug for irritable bowel syndrome and constipation was pulled from the U.S. market Friday amid new evidence that it raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Novartis, the manufacturer of Zelnorm, confirmed that Food and Drug Administration officials asked for the drug’s withdrawal.

Agency officials said they based their decision on a Swiss government analysis of 29 Zelnorm studies that showed a higher chance of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack, stroke, or severe heart-related chest pain in patients treated with Zelnorm compared with those given a placebo. The analysis turned up 13 cases of heart attack, stroke, or angina (chest pain related to heart disease) in about 11,600 patients who took the drug. One of the 13 died, the agency said. This was compared with just one nonfatal event in more than 7,000 patients who took the placebo. John Jenkins, MD, head of the FDA’s Office of New Drugs, described the overall number of dangerous events as “quite small.” But he said the rate of cardiovascular events -- about 10 times higher in patients taking Zelnorm -- raised alerts about the drug.

Bonnie - this drug was very controversial because it was heavily marketed to women by showing pictures of tight, bare-midrift tummies, implying that you could look like that if you take Zelnorm.

Bonnie quoted in the Chicago Tribune

Taste of freedom bad for teen diet
The problem: Out with breakfast and in with fast food

By Marla Krause

Special to the Tribune

April 1, 2007

As teenagers become more independent, they are famous for making bad choices; now it seems those bad choices can extend to what and when they eat. A recent study not only supports the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but also suggests that teens who run out the door in the morning without eating are more prone to consuming fast food later in the day and gaining weight.

The study, published in the December 2006 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health by researchers at the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at The Miriam Hospital and Brown Medical School, suggests that as teens enter adulthood, they are at greater risk of weight gain due to poor nutritional choices.

Up late, up early

"I have seen this for years," said Bonnie Minsky, a dietitian, public health educator and founder of Nutritional Concepts in Northbrook. "Teenagers like to be up late, but they have to get up early to go to school. When they get up, they are likely to have no appetite since they are tired and possibly have been snacking late. Also, since they are tired, they are in a rush in the morning and don't have time to sit down for breakfast."

The Miriam/Brown study analyzed data from 9,919 adolescents over several years. The first set of data covered the adolescents aged 11 to 21 from April to August 1996. The next data was collected from the same group from August 2001 to April 2002 when they were 17 to 27.

"We found that both fast-food consumption and breakfast skipping significantly increased between the two periods," said Heather Niemeier, a psychologist at The Miriam Hospital.

During the five-year interval from adolescence into adulthood, the number of participants considered overweight increased to 47 percent from 29 percent. Fast-food consumption increased to 2.5 days a week as young adults from two days a week as adolescents while the number of participants who reported that they consumed breakfast went to three days per week by young adulthood from four to five days a week in adolescence.

Authors of the study attribute these numbers to the increased independence and responsibility for food preparation that adolescents face.

Once teens have passed on breakfast, the pattern for the day is set. They will get ravenous later and thus often overeat as well as settle for fast food because it is, well, fast and easy.

"Fast food is a quick, easy and tasty option for aging adolescents who may be used to relying on Mom or Dad to prepare their meals," Niemeier said.

"By the late teen years a lot of parents just give up," Minsky said, "and kids are left to eat whatever they want. Parents must keep reinforcing eating a healthy breakfast as a way to curb hunger later in the day." Also, she suggested, parents can make it easier for the teen running out the door by keeping good choices available to grab in the morning.

"Hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, nuts are all great things to eat in the morning on the run," Minsky said. "I am a big fan of Handful of Nuts that Trader Joe's sells as well as the Breakstone Cottage Cheese individual servings."

Blair Engerman, a 13-year-old client of Minsky's, said that when she skips breakfast, she is tired and sluggish all day and "I feel like I am coming down with a cold." Engerman, who sees Minsky for help managing her diet due to food allergies, said she feels better all day if she has eaten breakfast. "It doesn't have to be big, just some eggs and a whole-wheat English muffin," Engerman said. "Otherwise your body doesn't know when its next meal will be and you just get hungrier later."

Parents set the example

Parents can set the best example by eating a healthy breakfast, said Shari Lieberman, a certified nutrition specialist and a fellow of the American College of Nutrition. "Your children watch you, and what you do leaves an imprint. With teens you must keep it simple as they are always in a hurry." Lieberman adds whole-grain toaster waffles and fruit to the easy-to-grab list. Engerman said that sometimes when she is in a hurry, she will just grab something left over from the previous night's dinner.

The good news, according to Minsky, is that many young adults turn around those bad eating habits in college when they have control over their own schedule and don't have to get up as early.

"And by 22," she said, "they are turning into adults, and you often see a whole different desire to eat better."

Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune