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Safflower oil reduces heart disease risk

A dose of safflower oil, a common cooking oil, each day for 16 weeks may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Researchers found that a dose of safflower oil can improve such health measures as good cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and inflammation in obese postmenopausal women who have Type 2 diabetes.

This finding comes about 18 months after the researchers discovered that safflower oil reduced abdominal fat and increased muscle tissue in a group of women after 16 weeks of daily supplementation.

This combination of health measures that are improved by the safflower oil is associated with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that can increase risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A daily dose of safflower oil in the diet — about 1 2/3 teaspoons — is a safe way to help reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

“The women in the study didn't replace what was in their diet with safflower oil. They added it to what they were already doing. And that says to me that certain people need a little more of this type of good fat — particularly when they’re obese women who already have diabetes,” said Martha Belury, Ohio State University and lead author of the study.

Kids born to smoking moms likely to become smokers

A research found that prenatal exposure to nicotine increased the vulnerability to nicotine self-administration in adolescent mice.

The results support the hypothesis that adolescents with prenatal nicotine exposure are more likely to start smoking earlier than their peers and that they are also more susceptible to the addictive effects of nicotine, especially as a result of stress and peer pressure.

The study performed with mice is part of a project researching the behavioural and molecular mechanisms of nicotine addiction. The research project was carried out under the Academy of Finland’s Research Programme on Substance Abuse and Addictions.

The key observation made by the Finnish and Russian researchers in the project was that adding nicotine to the drinking water of pregnant mice led to differences between the control and nicotine-exposed offspring in terms of nicotine self-administration.

Treating the dams with nicotine during the prenatal period increased the frequency of self-administration in the offspring compared to the control group, even at lower doses.

Umbilical cord blood cells accelerate wound healing

Korean scientists have found that transplanting human umbilical cord blood-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) ‘significantly accelerate’ wound closure in diabetic mouse models.

Diabetes is often associated with impaired wound healing, according to study’s corresponding author, Wonhee Suh of the CHA University Stem Cell Institute.
“EPCs are involved in revascularisation of injured tissue and tissue repair,” said Suh.

“Wounds associated with diabetes that resist healing are also associated with decreased peripheral blood flow and often resist current therapies.”

“Normal wounds, without underlying pathological defects heal readily, but the healing deficiency of diabetic wounds can be attributed to a number of factors, including decreased production of growth factors and reduced revascularisation,” he said.

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