Antioxidants complement cancer treatment

Antioxidants complement cancer treatment

BOSTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Antioxidants -- such as green tea extract, vitamins C and E -- do not interfere with radiation treatment for cancer, says a U.S. study.

"This study provides evidence that antioxidants as a complementary therapy in cancer treatment do not interfere with external beam radiation therapy," said lead author Timothy Birdsall, vice president of integrative medicine for Cancer Treatment Centers of America. "Antioxidants are one of many complementary and alternative medicine therapies that are crucial in today's fight against cancer."

Researchers at Cancer Treatment Centers of America reviewed PSA levels of prostate cancer patients after receiving radiation therapy. They found no difference between patients taking antioxidants and those who did not. Antioxidants used in the study included green tea extract, melatonin, high-potency multivitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E.

The study addressed the concern that antioxidants might interfere with cancer cell oxidation levels that contribute to tumor killing by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The findings are scheduled to be presented at the Society of Integrative Oncology's Third International Conference in Boston.


Lifestyle changes shown to cut risk of diabetes

Lifestyle changes shown to cut risk of diabetes

By Patricia Reaney Thu Nov 9, 7:05 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) Losing weight, cutting down on saturated fats, eating more fiber and exercising 30 minutes a day can make a difference when it comes to diabetes.

Finnish researchers have shown that lifestyle changes not only reduce the odds of high-risk people developing type 2 diabetes but can also postpone the onset of the illness.

"From a public health point of view there is an important message: an intensive lifestyle intervention lasting for a limited time can yield long-term benefits in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes," said Jaakko Tuomilehto of the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki.

About 194 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes and public health experts predict the number could reach more than 300 million by 2025. Most cases are type 2 diabetes, which is caused by an inability to regulate glucose (sugar) in the body properly, and linked to being overweight and obese.

Diabetes also raises risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness and kidney damage, so preventing or delaying the illness can have huge health benefits.

"Lifestyle intervention works very well," Tuomilehto told Reuters.

People with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) have a higher chance of suffering from diabetes. About 50 percent will develop diabetes during the next 10 years if nothing is done, according the researchers who reported their findings in The Lancet medical journal.

Tuomilehto and his colleagues compared the effects of lifestyle changes on more than 500 men and women in Finland with IGT. Half were given intensive diet and exercise counseling while the other half acted as a control group.

During a seven-year follow up of the patients, the scientists found a significant difference between the two groups. There was about a 15-20 percent reduction in diabetes risk in the intervention group.

"Although a lifestyle intervention alone, even if successful, does not necessarily prevent type 2 diabetes in all individuals, it will still postpone the onset of the disease," Tuomilehto added.

Diabetes UK said the study confirms the importance of lifestyle changes in reversing the type 2 diabetes epidemic.

"It clearly shows the prolonged benefits that physical activity and an improved diet can bring, especially to those most at risk," said the charity's Jemma Edwards.


Soy yogurt could help control diabetes: study

Thu Nov 9, 7:08 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) Soy yogurt, especially with fruit in it, may help control both type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

Although people with diabetes are usually discouraged from eating sweet snacks, soy yogurt and some dairy yogurts rich in fruit seem to help regulate enzymes that affect blood sugar levels, the researchers report in the Journal of Food Biochemistry.

"What one eats should be part of an overall approach to therapy," said Kalidas Shetty of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 15 million Americans and up to 150 million people globally, is characterized by an abnormal rise in blood sugar right after a meal. This effect, known as hyperglycemia, can damage blood vessels, the kidneys, heart, eyes and nerves.

Shetty was interested in studying certain plant compounds that affect enzymes targeted by diabetes drugs, notably alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase.

He also wanted to check on foods' effects on angiotensin converting enzyme or ACE inhibitors, medicines used to fight high blood pressure.

Shetty and his team went to a local supermarket and bought peach, strawberry, blueberry and plain yogurt made by four different producers, including a soy brand.

Tests in their lab showed that soy blueberry yogurt strongly affected all three of the enzymes. Peach and strawberry yogurt also affected alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase.

The researchers tested the yogurt varieties for antioxidants and plant compounds called phenols. Phenols and polyphenols give red wine and tea some of their heart-healthy benefits.

Plain soy yogurt was the most potent, with blueberry dairy yogurt scoring second on phenol and antioxidant content, the researchers said.

Soy yogurt was also the best at inhibiting ACE, which causes blood vessels to narrow and raises blood pressure.

Shetty noted that type 2 diabetes is most prevelant in poor communities and especially among Native Americans.

"Cost-effective dietary changes are essential for fighting this disease, and traditional diets that have a higher content of these protective antioxidants are an important part of the solution," Shetty said.

"We should be able to use diet along with other therapies, and diabetes is a disease where this especially makes sense."

Diets rich in fruits and vegetables, along with regular exercise, can prevent and help control diabetes and high blood pressure alike.




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