IN THE NEWS
SOY MAKES HEART SENSE
If cholesterol is of concern, make soy part of your meals.
Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in
Winston-Salem, N.C., say soy that's high in plant estrogens (called
isoflavones) significantly lowers cholesterol.
In the study, participants ate a soy-protein diet that contained one of
four amounts of isoflavones ranging from three mg to 62 mg. The most
dramatic results during the nine-week study appeared for those consuming
the 62-mg isoflavone diet. These study participants experienced a 10
percent reduction in their low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), the
"bad" cholesterol that clogs arteries.
Exactly how the isoflavones lower cholesterol requires additional study.
This study appeared in the October 1999 issue of the Archives of Internal
HERBAL COMBINATION IS CLINICALLY PROVEN IN TREATING COMMON COLD
A recent study shows a fixed combination herbal remedy is a safe and
effective treatment for the common cold. The best results were experienced
by patients who started treatment early on in the course of their colds.
The remedy was a fixed combination of two forms of Echinacea root and the
herbs Baptisia and Thuja. Nearly 240 patients who visited their family
doctor for an acute common cold received three tablets of this remedy,
three times a day for seven to nine days.
The study was randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, and
Results show the administration of the herbal remedy resulted in an earlier
response and a more rapid improvement from acute cold symptoms than in
patients receiving a placebo. The herbal remedy's benefit was present on
day two, reached statistical significance on day four, and continued until
the end of the treatment.
COLLEGE STUDENTS SCORE POORLY ON MAGNESIUM
College students are short-changing themselves on magnesium, putting
themselves at risk for osteoporosis later in life.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut at Storrs and Yale University
in new Haven, Conn., report both male and female college students are
The research team followed college students' diets for three days. They
analyzed food records of students' diets for levels of key nutrients. All
students in the study were majors in health fields.
More than 40 percent of the students took supplements that included calcium
and vitamin D; all appeared to get sufficient amounts of these nutrients.
Neither males nor females in the study got enough magnesium, even though 39
percent received it in their daily supplements. In fact, their average
daily magnesium intake was about 15 percent below the recommended amount.
SOW OATS FOR HEART HEALTH
Begin the morning with oatmeal and you just might reduce the risk of heart
attack or stroke.
The soluble fiber in oats, beans, and other foods is believed to prevent
blood vessel restriction by slowing the absorption of fat and carbohydrates
into the blood stream, according to study findings shared at the annual
meeting of the American College of Nutrition held Oct. 4.
In the study, 50 healthy adults ate a high-fat meal once a week for three
weeks. Each meal was accompanied by either a bowl of oatmeal, a bowl of
whole-wheat cereal, or 800 IU of vitamin E. Researchers used ultrasound to
measure the diameter of each subject's blood vessels within three hours
before and after each meal.
Compared to pre-meal levels, post-meal blood vessels were constricted 13.4
percent in subjects who ate high-fat meals combined with whole-wheat
cereal. However, study subjects who ate high-fat meals in combination with
either oatmeal or vitamin E did not experience a change in vessel
Vitamin E's antioxidant properties are believed to prevent the damaging of
cells in the blood vessels that affect the arteries' ability to dilate in
response to blood-flow changes.
Oatmeal's soluble fiber is believed to prevent fewer free radicals from