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Snack-based diet is bad for health

A study has found that a high-fat diet can be bad for your health, but what is even worse is a snack-based cafeteria-style diet of highly palatable, energy-dense foods.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that rats that ate snack foods commonly consumed by children and adults, ate more, gained more weight, had more tissue inflammation and were intolerant to glucose and insulin (warning signs of diabetes) than rats whose diets were high fat from lard.

The study showed that the ‘cafeteria diet’ (an experimental system for studying obesity, also known as CAF, that mimics buffet-style access to junk food such as cookies, chips and processed meats) contributed more to diet-induced obesity than common high-fat diets typically used in rodent studies.

The results suggest that researchers can get more accurate information from animal models that eat a diet that may resemble what humans consume. Use of the CAF model may be useful for identifying novel options for preventative interventions or therapeutics to treat obesity in humans, the study noted.

“Obesity has reached epidemic level,” Liza Makowski, assistant professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health said.  “These findings provide us with a better animal model to help explore what factors are contributing most to this dangerous trend, and what strategies for prevention and treatment of obesity will be most successful," she said.

Black tea can help shrink and kill cancer cells

Researchers have suggested that a daily cup of tea can help slash the risk of developing cancer by shrinking tumours.

According to the researchers, green or black tea are packed with antioxidants, which can fight harmful molecules accumulating in the body and damaging cells.

Researchers found that drinking two cups of tea provides as many antioxidants as eating five portions of vegetables or two apples. Now two further studies have shown that black tea could help prevent cancer.

In the first study, US researchers analysed the compound theaflavin-2 (TF-2), found only in black tea and oolong Chinese tea, which has been shown to kill cancer cells.

In the second study, researchers from India examined the effect of polyphenols in black and green tea on the development of breast cancer in female rats. 

Both significantly reduced the number of mammary tumours by 77 per cent and 92 per cent respectively and reduced their growth.  
   
 “Taken together, these two studies have demonstrated that components of black tea can help shrink and kill cancer cells and result in helping to reduce the number of tumours,” the Daily Express quoted Dr Tim Bond, of the Tea Advisory Panel, as saying.

“These findings suggest the need for clinical trials to evaluate the effect of black tea and its components on the risk of cancer in humans. New studies are needed to shed further light on clinical applications of black tea ingredients,” added Bond.

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