What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Raising Vitamin C intake may lower BP

Taking large doses of vitamin C may moderately reduce blood pressure, a new study has revealed.

However, the researchers from Johns Hopkins University stopped short of suggesting people load up on supplements.

“Our research suggests a modest blood pressure lowering effect with vitamin C supplementation, but before we can recommend supplements as a treatment for high blood pressure, we really need more research to understand the implications of taking them,” Edgar “Pete” R. Miller III, the study leader, said.

Roughly 30 percent of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, or hypertension, an important risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Successful treatment may include drugs, exercise, weight loss, and dietary changes such as reducing salt intake.

Some experts believe that large amounts of vitamin C, an essential micronutrient found primarily in fruits and vegetables, could lower pressure as well, but randomized, controlled dietary intervention studies — the gold standard of nutrition research — have produced mixed results.

500 milligrams of vitamin C is the amount in about six cups of orange juice. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 90 milligrams.

“Although our review found only a moderate impact on blood pressure, if the entire U.S. population lowered blood pressure by 3 milliliters of mercury, there would be a lot fewer strokes,” Miller said.

Anorexia may be caused by brain abnormality

A new study has suggested that anorexia may be triggered by a defect in the brain, offering new hope that the potentially deadly eating disorder can be treated. The pioneering research, carried out on anorexics as young as eight and using powerful new brain-imaging techniques, could lead to different treatments. Anorexia is defined as a body weight at least 15 per cent below that expected, the Daily Express reported.

“We believe subtle problems in early brain development make patients susceptible to anorexia. We need to re-examine other mental health problems,” said Psychologist Dr Ian Frampton of Exeter University, one of two researchers leading the study. The work was led by Professor Brian Lask of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, a leading expert on the potentially deadly eating disorder. He and his team used novel scanning techniques to reveal that the brains of anorexics were malfunctioning in the insula, a key area that controls eating, anxiety and body image.

This persists after weight recovery, suggesting the problem exists before the onset of the illness.

Up to a third of sufferers are affected by the brain abnormality, which is highlighted only by the sophisticated tests. The team believes other biological causes in the brain affect the remaining two-thirds of sufferers, which is why so many patients relapse.

Exercise helps smokers kick the butt and reduce death risk

Exercise may help smokers to quit and remain smokefree, newly presented data has revealed.

According to the data, exercise increases life expectancy in smokers and non-smokers alike.

The study of 434,190 people who went through medical examination program at a private fee-paying company between 1996 and 2008 in Taiwan revealed that active smokers (those engaged in at least moderate activity) were 55 percent more likely to quit smoking that those that were inactive.  Furthermore, these active smokers were 43 percent less likely to relapse than smokers that were inactive.

Physical activity among these subjects was also shown to increase life expectancy, even among smokers.

Smokers that participated in physical activity had an increased life expectancy of 3.7 years and a reduction in all-cause mortality of 23 percent – equivalent to levels achieved by ex-smokers with low activity levels. The results also demonstrated that active ex-smokers increased their life expectancy by 5.6 years and reduced their all-cause mortality by 43 percent – equivalent to the levels seen in inactive non-smokers.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)