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Foods That Keep Chronic Diseases at Bay

Chronic diseases persists for long period and it generally gets developed gradually. The prevalence of Chronic diseases is increasing at a very high rate. About 70% of deaths in United States of America is due to chronic illness conditions. The term chronic is used because these diseases can be controlled but may not be cured. Now you are going to see the various nutrients and foods that prevents and even cures chronic diseases.

How Fish Oil Inhibits Rheumatoid Arthritis

In a new study, scientists from Queen Mary, University of London and Harvard Medical School have shown for the first time how taking fish oils can help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. In a paper published in Nature, the researchers describe how the body converts DHA, am omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, into a chemical called resolvin D2, which reduces inflammation that can lead to a variety of diseases. For example, arthritis is caused when the body’s natural defenses against infection are mistakenly directed at healthy tissue, causing inflammation. Resolvin D2 protects healthy cells from inflammation by triggering the production of small amounts of nitric oxide, which acts as a chemical signal, discouraging white blood cells from sticking to the healthy cells. Unlike anti-inflammatory drugs, resolvin D2 does not suppress the immune system. (Queen Mary, University of London, Oct. 2009)

A Mediterranean Diet Curbs Depression

People in Mediterranean countries who eat a diet rich in vegetable, fruits, legumes, nuts, fish, and whole grains experience less depression and mental disorders than those living in other European countries, reports an article in the October issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, a JAMA journal. Previous research attributed this lower risk of depression to the monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil, but new findings by Spanish researchers reveal that it is the entire diet that lowers the risk, rather than its individual parts. Questioning 10,094 healthy Spanish participants on their dietary habits and adherence to the Mediterranean diet found that individuals who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely had a more than 30 percent reduction in the risk of depression than those with the lowest Mediterranean diet scores. These results also didn’t change when they were adjusted for other markers of a healthy lifestyle. The researchers concluded that only as a whole, the diet improves blood vessel function, fights inflammation, reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and repairs oxygen-related cell damage, all of which contribute to the chances of developing depression. (JAMA and Archives Journals, Oct.2009)

How Soy Reduces the Risk of Diabetes

Many studies have shown that what we eat can have tremendous impact on our health because nutrients interact with certain genes. Now, a study from the University of Massachusetts shows how bioactive compounds in soy, called isoflavones, can lower the risk of diabetes, decrease blood glucose levels, and improve glucose tolerance, much like antidiabetic drugs. In an experiment with mouse cells, the scientists studied how fat cells develop in the body and how one isoflavone called daidzein exerts its antidiabetic effects. The researchers discovered that daidzein and its metabolite, equol, target fat-cell-specific transcription factors and signal molecules that are important for glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity, much like antidiabetic drugs. It’s complicated, but the bottom line is that soy really does contain biologically active compounds that can reduce the risk of diabetes. (University of Massachusetts Amherst, Oct. 2009)

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