What's the Buzz

What's the Buzz

Tart cherries may reduce heart diseases

Tart cherries have a unique combination of powerful antioxidants that may help reduce risk factors for heart disease and inflammation.

In a series of three studies, researchers from University of Michigan, University of Arizona and Brunswick labs studied the antioxidant levels and anti-inflammatory benefits of tart cherries. They found drinking eight ounces of tart cherry juice daily for four weeks significantly reduced important markers of inflammation and cardiovascular risk in a study of 10 overweight or obese adults.

Many of the adults also had lower levels of uric acid (linked to inflammation and gout) and triglycerides (linked to heart disease). They also found that a cherry diet (at 1 per cent of diet as tart cherry powder) reduced C reactive protein and other markers of inflammation by up to 36 per cent and lowered levels of total cholesterol by 26 per cent in a five-month mouse study.

Aerobic exercise may curb fatty liver disease in obese

Doing aerobic exercise regularly may slow the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in obese people with pre-diabetes.

Walking on a treadmill for one hour a day appears to benefit these patients by increasing their metabolism and slowing the oxidative damage caused by the liver disease.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic observed 15 obese people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease who walked on a treadmill at 85 per cent of their maximum heart rate for one hour a day for seven consecutive days.

They found that the exercise increased the participants’ insulin sensitivity and improved the liver’s polyunsaturated lipid index (PUI) — believed to be a marker of liver health — by 84 per cent.

These improvements are linked to an increase in the hormone adiponectin, which plays a role in the body’s response to insulin and has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the risk of heart attack.

Injectable gel offers hope for arthritis sufferers

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have developed a potentially new way to treat arthritis. They have made an injectable gel that could spell the future for treating rheumatoid arthritis or its cousin osteoarthritis, diseases characterised by often debilitating pain in the joints.

Among its advantages, the gel could allow the targeted release of medicine at an affected joint, and could dispense that medicine on demand in response to enzymes associated with arthritic flare-ups.

The researchers tackled the problem by first determining the key criteria for a successful locally administered arthritis treatment. The delivery vehicle should be injectable and allow high concentrations of the drug.

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