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Tomatoes may cut risk of prostate cancer

The University of Illinois scientists, who suggested that eating tomatoes reduces risk of prostate cancer, have developed a tool that may help trace the metabolism of tomato carotenoids in the human body.

“Scientists believe that carotenoids — the pigments that give the red, yellow, and orange colours to some fruits and vegetables — provide the cancer-preventive benefits in tomatoes, but we don’t know exactly how it happens,” said John W Erdman, of the University of Illinois.

The researchers will use isotopic labelling of three tomato carotenoids with heavier carbon atoms than are commonly seen in nature, which will allow tracking of the tomato components’ absorption and metabolism in the body, he said.

“We have two questions we’d like to answer. First, are the carotenoids themselves bioactive, or are their metabolic or oxidative products responsible for their benefits? Second, is lycopene alone responsible for the tomato’s benefits, or are other carotenoids also important?” he said.

Chemicals in apple skins, could help fight Alzheimer’s

A new study has revealed that supplements derived from apple skins, red wine and turmeric might someday help slow the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s and related diseases.

In scientists’ view, a group of chemicals called Type-2 alkenes, which are widespread in both the environment and the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, act as major drivers of the disease.

In turn, said chemical neurotoxicologist Richard LoPachin, neutraceuticals of the future could stop these brain-damaging chemicals in their tracks.

Already, LoPachin’s group has developed just such a compound that, in Petri dishes at least, sops up Type-2 alkenes and protects nerves from harm.

“If you talk to someone else, they may tell you I'm nuts. We know that humans are pervasively exposed to Type-2 alkenes, but nobody has ever considered the possibility that Type-2 alkenes in the environment might be involved in Alzheimer’s. It’s a new theory of Alzheimer’s,” said LoPachin, of the Montefiore Medical Centre in Bronx, New York.

Inhaled steroids up diabetes risk: Study

A new research has found that inhaled steroids increase the risk of diabetes.
Researchers at Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research concluded that patients taking inhaled corticosteroids are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and more so with higher doses.

However, the risk is of special concern for patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and much less significant for asthmatics. These medications are very effective in asthma, so the benefits clearly outweigh the risk for asthmatics.

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