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Grapes cut risk of heart diseases
Grape consumption can lower blood pressure, improve heart function and reduce other risk factors for heart disease and metabolic syndrome, according to a new study.
The effect is thought to be due to phytochemicals — naturally occurring antioxidants — that grapes contain, say researchers.

The research shows encouraging results of a grape-enriched diet preventing risk factors for metabolic syndrome.To reach the conclusion, researchers studied the effect of regular table grapes (a blend of green, red and black grapes) that were mixed into a powdered form and integrated into the diets of laboratory rats as part of a high-fat, American style diet. All of the rats used were from a research breed that is prone to being overweight.
They performed many comparisons between the rats consuming a grape-enriched diet and the control rats receiving no grape powder.

Eat like the Greeks to boost your brainpower
People who eat a classic Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, olive oil, cereals and fish improve their brainpower, says an ongoing prospective study.
The study has shown that adherence to the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of cognitive decline with older age.

“Instead of espousing avoidance of foods, the data support that adults over age 65 should look to include more olive oil, legumes, nuts, and seeds in their diet in order to improve their recall times and other cognitive skills, such as identifying symbols and numbers,” said lead author Dr Christy Tangney.

The participants included black and white adults aged 65 and older. They were given a battery of cognitive tests which were assigned scores and then a clinical interview. Those who ranked in the highest in terms of following such a Mediterranean-type diet were more protected from cognitive decline. The adults were given these cognitive tests every 3 years for 15 years. “Finally, we want older adults to remember that physical activity is an important part of maintaining cognitive skills,” added Tangney.

Exercise forestalls osteoporosis
Physical activity can help forestall osteoporosis, according to Medical College of Georgia researchers.

Declining estrogen levels have long been linked to osteoporosis, but bone density starts to decline years before these levels drop, according to Dr Joseph Cannon, principal investigator of the study. It’s during that time that levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, released by the pituitary gland to help regulate ovarian function, actually increase.
Cannon theorises that higher levels of FSH decrease bone mineral density by increasing cytokines, regulatory proteins produced by white blood cells. One cytokine in particular, interleukin-1, signals certain cells to transform into osteoclasts, which break down and resorb bone.

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