Women's Health

Vegan diet improves diabetes markers in overweight adults: study

16 Feb 2018 --- A plant-based diet improves beta-cell function and insulin sensitivity in overweight adults with no history of diabetes, according to a new study published in Nutrients by researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Measuring the function of beta cells, which store and release insulin, can help assess future type 2 diabetes risk.

UK researchers call for fortification of flour with folic acid as upper limit for intake of folate is “invalid”

31 Jan 2018 --- There is no need for an upper limit of folate intake as the maximum suggested intake of folate (1 mg/day) is based on a “flawed” analysis, according to a study by Queen Mary University of London and the School of Advanced Study, University of London. The findings support recent calls for the UK Department of Health to approve the fortification of flour with folic acid, to protect babies from having neural tube defects.

Omega 3s from fish trump flax for cancer prevention, study finds

29 Jan 2018 --- Omega 3s from fish pack a stronger punch than flaxseed and other oils when it comes to cancer prevention, according to a study conducted at the University of Guelph. Marine-based omega 3s are eight times more effective at inhibiting tumor development and growth, says lead scientist Professor David Ma.

Low carb intake linked to increased risk of congenital disabilities

25 Jan 2018 --- Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant may want to avoid diets that reduce or eliminate carbohydrates, as they could increase the risk of having babies with neural tube birth defects, according to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Further findings showed that the dietary intake of folic acid – an essential nutrient for pregnant women – among women with a restricted carbohydrate intake was less than half of other women.

Paleolithic diet healthier for overweight women, Swedish study finds

22 Jan 2018 --- Overweight women after menopause who follow a Paleolithic diet can maintain weight loss in the long term, according to a study at Umeå University in Sweden. Further findings show that the diet also causes the levels of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to decrease.

Female athletic performance boosted by newly developed mineral supplement, study finds

19 Jan 2018 --- A small-scale study has found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute. The minerals in the study included forms of iron, copper and zinc along with two other nutrients – carnitine (derived from an amino acid) and phosphatidylserine (made up of fatty acids and amino acids). The women who took the supplement also saw improvements in distance covered in 25 minutes on a stationary bike and a third test in which they stepped on and off a bench, according to research from Ohio State University. 

Estrogen-mimicking compounds in foods may decrease effectiveness of breast cancer treatment

12 Jan 2018 --- Two estrogen-mimicking compounds found in many foods appear to potently reverse the effects of palbociclib/letrozole, a popular drug combination for treating breast cancer, according to research by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). Their study, published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology, suggests that exposure to chemical compounds called xenoestrogens may significantly reduce the effectiveness of anti-estrogen treatments for cancer.

Choline: Pregnant women may require twice the current recommendations

08 Jan 2018 --- New research recently published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (The FASEB Journal) provides compelling evidence that significantly higher choline intakes during pregnancy, particularly in the last trimester, may result in faster information processing for their babies.

DASH ranked best diet overall by US News and World Report

04 Jan 2018 --- US News and World Report has for the eighth consecutive year ranked the National Institutes of Health-developed DASH Diet “best overall” diet among nearly 40 it reviewed. The announcement came just as new research suggests that combining DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), with a low-sodium diet has the potential to lower blood pressure as well as or better than many anti-hypertension medications.

Folic acid: CRN welcomes study on supplementation before and during pregnancy

03 Jan 2018 --- The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a US trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, has issued a statement calling attention to the benefits of folic acid for all women of childbearing age. The statement comes in response to a new study, “Association of Folic Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy With the Risk of Autistic Traits in Children Exposed to Antiepileptic Drugs In Utero,” published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Neurology.

Study combines radiation therapy, blueberry extract to improve cervical cancer therapy

02 Jan 2018 --- One of the most common treatments for cervical cancer is radiation, which destroys cancer cells but also destroys nearby healthy cells. Researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine studied in vitro human cancer cells to show that combining blueberry extract with radiation can increase the treatment's effectiveness.

Soy, cruciferous vegetables linked to fewer breast cancer treatment side effects

11 Dec 2017 --- Consuming soy foods and cruciferous vegetables – such as cabbages, kale, collard greens, bok choy, Brussels sprouts and broccoli – may be associated with a reduction in common side effects of breast cancer treatment in breast cancer survivors, according to a team of scientists led by Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Understanding the role of life style factors with regard to the side effects is important because diet can serve as a modifiable target for possibly reducing symptoms among breast cancer survivors.

Modifying gut microbiome may eventually prevent asthma in infant boys

29 Nov 2017 --- The family risk for asthma – typically passed from mothers to babies – may involve the microbes found in a baby's digestive tract. This is according to a new University of Alberta study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and AllerGen and published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Prenatal supplements – Never too early: Growth, trends and popular ingredients for mother and child

27 Nov 2017 --- When it comes to the supplements industry, one area that may not be considered by every company is prenatal supplements. However, this could be a mistake; nutritional fortification during pregnancy is an area in which there is quite a bit of consumer interest.

Vitamin D linked to improved live birth rates in women undergoing assisted reproduction treatment

15 Nov 2017 --- Researchers are stressing the need to investigate the potential role of vitamin D supplementation in improving live birth rates following assisted reproduction treatment (ART). This follows a review and meta-analysis published in Human Reproduction, which shows a strong link between low vitamin D concentrations in women and lower live birth rates after ART compared to women who have the right amount of vitamin D in their bodies.

Eating fish could be just as effective as fish oil supplements in fighting asthma in pregnant women

02 Nov 2017 --- Pregnant women who consume fish rather than fish oil supplements are just as likely to protect their offspring from developing asthma. This is according to researchers at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, US, who just published a scientific review of two studies that conclude children whose mothers consume high-dose omega 3 fatty acids daily during the third trimester are less likely to develop such breathing problems.

Folic acid: Gnosis reports more research into metabolism benefits of Quatrefolic 5-MTHF

01 Nov 2017 --- Gnosis SpA has reported multiple studies that show its 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), known as Quatrefolic, has advantages for human health over folic acid. According to the natural ingredients company, this is because it is the circulating bioactive folate and does not need to be metabolized.

Obesity’s promotion of breast cancer via “as-yet-unknown mechanism” explained

23 Oct 2017 --- Obesity leads to the release of cytokines into the bloodstream which impact the metabolism of breast cancer cells, making them more aggressive as a result. This is according to scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum München, Technische Universität München (TUM) and Heidelberg University Hospital, who report on their findings in Cell Metabolism. The team also reports that it has already been able to halt this mechanism with an antibody treatment.

Taking iron supplements every other day may help with absorption

20 Oct 2017 --- A study has found that in iron-depleted women, providing iron supplements daily as divided doses increases serum hepcidin and reduces iron absorption. According to the results, providing iron supplements on alternate days and in single doses optimizes iron absorption and might be a preferable dosing regimen.

Brussels sprouts and green tea could convert breast cancer from lethal to treatable form

19 Oct 2017 --- Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have found a dietary combination that transforms the most lethal of all breast cancers into a highly treatable breast cancer. Specifically, scientists involved in the Scientific Reports study say sulforaphane – from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli sprouts – along with polyphenols from green tea may be the key.