Posts Tagged "Alcohol"

ALZUp to two-thirds of Alzheimer’s cases worldwide may stem from any of nine conditions that often result from lifestyle choices, a broad research review suggests. The findings were published online Aug. 20 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Jin-Tai Yu, M.D., Ph.D., an associate specialist in neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues reviewed the findings of 323 studies completed between 1968 and 2014. Collectively, the studies involved more than 5,000 patients and looked at 93 conditions with the potential to affect Alzheimer’s risk. The team set out to determine which factors appeared to offer some protection against developing Alzheimer’s.

The strongest evidence suggested that coffee, vitamins C and E, folate, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ALZ 2statins, antihypertensive medications, and estrogen supplementation all appeared to reduce Alzheimer’s risk. Patients battling several serious health conditions also seemed to see their risk fall, including those with arthritis, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and/or cancer. Those who were light or moderate drinkers of alcohol similarly saw their Alzheimer’s risk dip, alongside current smokers (apart from those of Asian descent), those struggling with stress, and seniors with high body mass index.

By contrast, a complex statistical analysis enabled the research team to zero in on the nine factors that appeared to elevate Alzheimer’s risk among 66 percent of those who ultimately get the disease. Those include high body mass index in midlife; carotid artery disease; hypertension; depression; frailty; being poorly educated; having high levels of homocysteine; and (specifically among those of Asian descent) being a smoker and/or having type 2 diabetes. “The current evidence from our study showed that individuals would benefit from [addressing] the related potentially modifiable risk factors,” Yu told HealthDay. Yu is also senior editor of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Source: MPR

The winter season is chock full of delicious dishes and treats, but no one likes the extra calories and added pounds that can come with the seasonal food. Use these smart tips on substitutions and choices to enjoy your favorite winter beverages and foods.

EggnogEggnog

  • Mix it up. Fill your glass with half- to three-quarter-parts of low-fat or skim milk and one part eggnog. You’ll still get the flavor without all the calories.
  • Act like a kid. Take out the alcohol. This simple step will reduce the caloric content.
  • Cut the fluff. Pass on that big dollop of whipped cream to avoid the extra sugar and saturated fat.

Hot Chocolate

  • Skip the heavy stuff. If you order hot chocolate at a restaurant or coffee shop, ask that it be made withhot chocolate low-fat or skim milk, and without the whipped cream.
  • Do some research. To make instant hot chocolate at home, look for product packets marked “low-fat/fat-free” or “low-sugar/sugar-free.” Be sure to add the mix to low-fat milk, skim milk or hot water.
  • Go easy on the toppings. Use five to eight mini-marshmallows instead of large ones. If using whipped cream, look for low-fat versions and stick to less than one tablespoon. If you have hot chocolate regularly, try to limit the toppings to “once in a while treats” since they can pack a lot of calories and added sugars.

Apple Ciderapple cider

  • Read the labels. When buying cider at the store, check its added sugar content. Many products contain added sugars, which can increase your calorie intake and cause weight gain. Choose low-sugar and sugar-free options.
  • Do it yourself. When making cider at home, use low-sugar apple juice and a variety of spices (like cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg and whole cranberries). You’ll keep the flavor while cutting calories.

Cocktails and Other Alcoholic Beveragescocktail

  • Enjoy cocktails. Serve non-alcoholic versions of your favorite cocktails to lower the calories. Be sure to check the nutrition label, because sometimes products that are alcohol-free have more added sugar.
  • Break it up. To reduce the amount of calorie-laden drinks you consume during a holiday gathering, drink a glass of water or sparkling water between each beverage. This will help fill your stomach, leaving less room to overindulge.

Sodium

  • Limit your sodium. Did you know that many of your favorite holiday dishes may be packed with sodium? Breads and rolls, poultry, and canned soups are three common foods that can add sodium to low sodiumyour diet. When shopping for ingredients to prepare your holiday meal, compare the labels to find lower sodium varieties.
  • Savor the flavor. Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of salt or butter.
  • Go fresh. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables to use in your dishes. If using canned products, rinse with water in a colander before cooking and serving.

Turkey

  • Outsmart the bird. Reach for the lighter pieces of meat; they have fewer calories and less fat than the Turkeydarker ones. Another way to cut calories is to take off the skin.
  • Keep portions in check. A serving size of meat is 3 oz., about the size of a deck of cards. So, be conscious of how much you put on your plate, and pass on that second helping. If you’re also having another meat, like ham or lamb, take smaller portions of each.
  • Watch out for the gravy train. Turkey usually comes with gravy, which can add excess fat, calories and sodium. Limit gravy to a tablespoon, and keep it off other items, like the dressing.

Dressing

  • Call it what it is. Dressing is intended to be a complement to your meal, not an entrée. To keep calories gravyand excess fat in check, aim for ¼ cup (or about half a scoop with a serving spoon).
  • Judge it by its cover. If the dressing is filled with fatty meats like sausage and pork, looks greasy or buttery, and is made with white bread or sweet rolls, it may be best to pass. Better options would be dressings that have whole grain or cornbread, lean meat (or no meat), nuts (like almonds or walnuts), and lots of veggies and fruits.

Desserts

  • Treat yourself right. The best way to enjoy an occasional sweet without losing control is by sampling a pecan pieselection or two, rather than having full servings. For example, have one bite of pie, half a cookie or one small square of fudge. Find a friend or family member who will stick to the sampling rule with you.

Source: American Heart Association

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A single alcohol binge can cause bacteria to leak from the gut and increase levels of bacterial toxins in the blood, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Increased levels of these bacterial toxins, called endotoxins, were shown to affect the immune system, with the body producing more immune cells involved in fever, inflammation, and tissue destruction.

Binge drinking is defined by NIAAA as a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08g/dL or above. For a typical adult, this pattern corresponds to consuming five or more drinks for men, or four or more drinks for women, in about two hours. Some individuals will reach a 0.08g/dL BAC sooner depending on body weight. Binge drinking is known to pose health and safety risks, including car crashes and injuries. Over the long term, binge drinking can damage the liver and other organs.

“While the negative health effects of chronic drinking are well-documented, this is a key study to show that a single alcohol binge can cause damaging effects such as bacterial leakage from the gut into the blood stream,” said Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of NIH.

The study was led by Gyongyi Szabo, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair of Medicine and Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. .

In the study, 11 men and 14 women were given enough alcohol to raise their blood alcohol levels to at least .08 g/dL within an hour. Blood samples were taken every 30 minutes for four hours after the binge and again 24 hours later.

The researchers found that the alcohol binge resulted in a rapid increase in endotoxin levels in the blood and evidence of bacterial DNA, showing that bacteria had permeated the gut. Endotoxins are toxins contained in the cell wall of certain bacteria that are released when the cell is destroyed. Compared to men, women had higher blood alcohol levels and circulating endotoxin levels.

“We found that a single alcohol binge can elicit an immune response, potentially impacting the health of an otherwise healthy individual,” said Dr. Szabo. “Our observations suggest that an alcohol binge is more dangerous than previously thought.”

Earlier studies have tied chronic alcohol use to increased gut permeability, wherein potentially harmful products can travel through the intestinal wall and be carried to other parts of the body. Greater gut permeability and increased endotoxin levels have been linked to many of the health issues related to chronic drinking, including alcoholic liver disease.

About the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health, is the primary U.S. agency for conducting and supporting research on the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and alcohol problems. NIAAA also disseminates research findings to general, professional, and academic audiences.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases.

Source: NIH

 

Olive-Oil-Bottles

Worldwide prevalence of dementia is expected to reach 65.7 million and 115.4 million in 2030 and 2050, respectively. Currently, there is no effective therapy to delay the onset or halt the progression of dementia, a growing public health problem with priority for research. The potential protection on cognition has been examined for some nutrients such as fatty acids, vitamins, fish, fruit and vegetables but observational and experimental studies have provided inconsistent results. Defining the effect of diet on health by the overall dietary pattern instead of a single or a few nutrients allows to study the synergy among nutrients and avoids problems due to confounding, multiple testing and collinearity among them. The Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) is characterized by the use of olive oil as the main culinary fat and high consumption of plant-based foods (fruits and nuts, vegetables, legumes and minimally processed cereals). It also includes moderate-to-high consumption of fish and seafood and low consumption of butter or other dairy products and meat or meat products. Regular but moderate intake of alcohol, preferentially red wine during meals, is customary. An intervention with MedDiets enhanced with either EVOO or nuts appears to improve cognition compared with a low-fat diet. (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry)

Read more here.

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Diet soda may help or hinder attempts to lose weight. But it definitely can get you drunker. Because a drink made from alcohol and a diet mixer boosts breathalyzer readings higher than the same drink with a sugary mixer, according to a new study. The finding was published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. For the study, 16 casual drinkers knocked back one of three drinks: vodka mixed with sugary soda, vodka mixed with sugar-free soda, or a placebo beverage. Over three different sessions, each participant received each drink. After finishing the drink, the subjects were given breathalyzer tests and reaction time measurements. Participants also did a self-assessment in which they estimated their own drunkenness, tiredness and willingness to drive. When both men and women drank vodka with the diet mixer, their breath alcohol levels were on average 18 percent higher than when they consumed the alcohol with full-calorie soda mixers. And their reaction times were slower. Although a diet mixer impaired the subjects more, they rated themselves as not being any drunker. So if you’re watching your weight, be sure to watch out for what you drink.

Source: Scientific American

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