Off the record


Published in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, the study is unique because it did not include subjects who were diagnosed for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, which predispose women to breast cancer.
 The study entirely focused on lifestyle factors like smoking, exercise, nutrition and weight. All women analysed in the study were direct ancestors of the first French colonists.  The study found that weight gains after the age of 20 increased the risk of breast cancer.
Women who gained more than 10 kilos after age 30, or more than 5.5 kilos after age 40, were found to be almost twice as likely to suffer from breast cancer as a those whose weight was stable.
 Smoking a pack a day for nine years was also found to increase breast cancer risks by 59 per cent. Though the impact of smoking seemed to decrease for menopausal women, it remained at 50 percent.  

Blueberry juice helps combat obesity
Canadian scientists have revealed that biotransformed blueberry juice holds great promise for treating obesity and diabetes.
 The research team from the Universite de Montreal, the Institut Armand-Frappier and the Universite de Moncton have found that juice extracted from North American lowbush blueberries, biotransformed with bacteria from the skin of the fruit can help fight obesity and diabetes.
 "Results of this study clearly show that biotransformed blueberry juice has strong anti-obesity and anti-diabetic potential," said senior author Pierre S. Haddad, a pharmacology professor at the Universite de Montreal's Faculty of Medicine.   "Biotransformed blueberry juice may represent a novel therapeutic agent, since it decreases hyperglycemia in diabetic mice and can protect young pre-diabetic mice from developing obesity and diabetes," Haddad added.
 In the new study, the researchers tested the effect of biotransformed blueberry juice on a group of mice prone to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and hypertension.

Workouts improve insulin sensitivity
British health experts have warned that daily limits on alcohol consumption are meaningless and pose health risks. The UK government says males should drink no more than three to four units per day and women no more than two to three.
Liver specialist Dr Nick Sheron, of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, however, believes that the limits were devised by civil servants with “no good evidence” for doing so, reports The BBC. Although binges are dangerous, it is the average amounts consumed over the weeks, months and years that count.
Consumption of fermented blueberry juice gradually and significantly reduced high blood glucose levels in diabetic mice. After three days, our mice subjects reduced their glycemia levels by 35 percent," said Tri Vuong, lead author and recent PhD graduate from the Universite de Montreal's Department of Pharmacology. 

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