Hesperidin in Orange Juice Improves Hypertension and Arterial Function

 

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“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


HESPERIDIN IN ORANGE JUICE IMPROVES

HYPERTENSION AND ARTERIAL FUNCTION

 

Polyphenols are chemical compounds that are found in most of the plant-based foods that we commonly eat.  As I discuss in detail in my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, some polyphenolic compounds, such as green tea flavonoids, soy-based isoflavones, quercetin, curcumin, and resveratrol, among other polyphenols, may possess important cancer prevention properties.  There is also abundant research data suggesting that diets rich in certain natural dietary polyphenols may be associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well.

Hesperidin, which is a flavonoid polyphenol, is found in a variety of plant-based foods, including oranges, orange juice, and other citrus fruits.  A newly published prospective, randomized, blinded clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, offers intriguing evidence that hesperidin may actually decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease in high-risk patients.

In this pilot study, 24 overweight (but otherwise healthy) men, ages 50 to 65 years, were subjected to 4-week intervals in each of three experimental groups.  The first group was assigned to drink 500 ml (17 ounces) of orange juice per day.  The second experimental group drank a “control drink” that appeared similar to orange juice, but which did not contain any actual orange juice.  However, this “sham orange juice” was fortified with hesperidin.  The third group was also assigned to drink the fake orange juice, and to which was added a supplement portrayed (to the study volunteers, and to the research nurses who administered the beverages to these research volunteers) as hesperidin, but which, in fact, was an inert placebo that contained no hesperidin or other polyphenols.

Physical examinations and blood tests were performed before and after the men rotated through each of these three experimental groups.

The findings of this small but high quality clinical research study were quite interesting.  When compared to the control group that consumed the fake orange juice and fake hesperidin supplement, the men in the other two experimental groups experienced a significant reduction in their blood pressure measurements.  Specifically, the diastolic blood pressure was significantly reduced, which suggests that these men experienced an improvement in the elasticity, or compliance, of their arteries, as a direct result of the hesperidin contained in both orange juice and in the non-juice beverage supplemented with hesperidin.  This observation was again confirmed through additional testing that revealed improved vascular compliance associated with hesperidin intake.  Moreover, this significant improvement in arterial compliance was observed only after the ingestion of hesperidin, and disappeared when these same men were retested after undergoing an overnight fast.  (Improved arterial compliance is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and stroke.)

To summarize the findings of this study, hesperidin, when taken in the form of either orange juice or as a supplement, appeared to significantly improve arterial elasticity, and lower diastolic blood pressure, in middle-aged overweight men.  While this brief study cannot prove that these observed and transient improvements in arterial compliance subsequently reduced the incidence of cardiovascular disease in these high-risk men, there is abundant data from other research studies linking improved arterial compliance with a reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease.  A much larger version of this small pilot study should now be repeated, and the volunteers in this larger study need to be followed for a much longer duration of time, before we can say, with certainty, that hesperidin significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.  That being said, the findings of this small but well-conducted, and elegant, randomized, controlled, prospective clinical research study are still quite compelling.

   

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO OUR MANY HEALTH-CONSCIOUS

WEEKLY HEALTH UPDATE” READERS AROUND THE WORLD!

 

PEACE, LOVE, AND GOOD HEALTH TO ALL OF YOU!

 

For a complete discussion of the role of dietary flavonoids and polyphenols in cancer prevention, and other important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, now!  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

 

GIVE  THE  GIFT  OF  HEALTH  THIS  HOLIDAY  SEASON!  For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores! 

On Thanksgiving Day, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com Top 100 Bestseller’s List for Kindle e-books!  On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.



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Job and Workplace Stress

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


JOB AND WORKPLACE STRESS

 

The global economy remains in the doldrums, unemployment remains at historically high levels around much of the world, and many people are feeling stressed in both their professional and personal lives.  In today’s highly competitive job market, many employees are feeling increasingly vulnerable.  There is also the perception among many workers that the poor job market has given employers the upper hand when it comes to the workplace environment.  Employees are working longer hours (and often without traditional overtime pay, and the other economic incentives of the pre-recession era), taking more work home with them, and in general, are feeling a great deal more stress and insecurity than they experienced before the economy took a nose-dive in 2008.

Increased levels of chronic stress have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, depression, obesity, increased drug use (including tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs), domestic abuse, interpersonal conflicts (at home and at work), and some cancers.  With no end in sight to this second-worst economic downturn in modern history, the odds remain relatively high that many employees will continue to face increased demands in the workplace, increased difficulty in finding a reasonable work-home life balance, and will continue to feel vulnerable and anxious about the stability of their jobs.  Many employers recognize that treating their employees fairly, and helping them to feel secure and appreciated in their jobs, is a “win-win” for everyone.  Employees who are treated fairly, and who come to work each day knowing that their workplace environment is both supportive and free of unnecessary strife, are more efficient and more productive, and tend to take fewer days of sick leave.  On the other hand, employees who feel that they are not being treated fairly, or that they are being taken advantage of, or that their jobs are at risk for reasons other than their performance, are less productive, more prone to interpersonal conflicts, and take more days of sick leave than employees who enjoy a healthy workplace climate.  While some employers may see the current economic downturn as an opportunity to take advantage of their employees, and to exploit and mistreat their employees at a time when many workers already feel insecure and vulnerable, most employers understand that when their employees look forward to coming to work in a healthy, supportive, and fair workplace climate, both employer and employees are more likely to thrive.

 

 

Two newly published public health studies, which appear in the current issue of the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, offer both employees and employers important insights into creating a healthier, more productive, and more collegial work environment. 

 

The first study was a long-term longitudinal, prospective occupational health study of 326 men and 338 women who originally enrolled in this research study in 1980 (while between the ages of 9 and 18 years).  These children and adolescents were then followed for an impressive 27 years, until 2007.  This study found that the now adult workers who had engaged in frequent leisure-time exercise, and effort-intensive sports, during childhood and adolescence were significantly less likely to complain of chronic workplace stress after they reached adulthood (i.e., when compared to employees who had rarely engaged in exercise or sports during their youth).  Interestingly, after being tested for cardiovascular fitness during adulthood, this study found that a high level of physical fitness in adulthood only partially explained the apparent benefit of increased physical activity during late childhood and adolescence on perceived workplace stress.   In addition to engaging in regular exercise and sports, having a “Type A” personality also appeared to be predictive of less workplace-associated stress.  (People with “Type A” personality traits are highly goal-oriented, performance-oriented, “take charge” people, as opposed to people with so-called “Type B” traits.  “Type B” people tend to feel more comfortable in delegating tasks, are less confrontational than Type A” folks, and also do not feel the sense of task-oriented urgency that their “Type A” peers constantly experience.)

While we probably cannot change our basic personality type, we can all increase our levels of physical activity, starting in childhood and continuing through adulthood, as a means of coping with the increased levels of chronic stress that many of us are feeling these days.  (Importantly, there are many clinical research studies that have demonstrated a strong correlation between regular exercise and a decrease in the incidence of stress-related physical and mental illnesses.)

 

 

The findings of the second occupational health study should serve as a wake-up call to those employers that take advantage of hard economic times to exploit their workers, as well as those employers that permit an unhealthy or unfair work environment to persist.  In this study, 2,763 randomly selected employees from the general population were interviewed and evaluated with respect to their workplace environment and their satisfaction with their jobs.  A second group of 3,044 employees who appeared on their companies’ sick lists for more than 14 days, over a 2 month period, were similarly evaluated.

Among the women employees, a perceived unhealthy or unfair workplace environment was associated with an 80 percent increase in the likelihood that these female employees would end up on chronic sick lists.  The impact of a toxic workplace environment on the male employees was even more profound, as men who complained of an unhealthy or unfair workplace climate were 174 percent more likely to chronically call in sick when compared to the men who were generally satisfied with their workplace environment and their jobs.  (Interestingly, increased workload alone, in the absence of an unhealthy workplace environment, increased the risk of absenteeism among women, but not among men.)

 

 

In summary, these are tough times for many, many people.  Most employers treat their employees in a fair and ethical manner, knowing that happy and secure employees are more efficient, more productive, more reliable, easier to get along with, and less likely to take excessive sick leave.  Unfortunately, there are also employers who, sensing the insecurity of their employees during difficult economic times, exploit their employees through excessive and unfair workloads, and through their permissiveness in allowing unhealthy or unfair workplace environments to persist.  For employees who must navigate these uncertain times, regular and frequent exercise can be a very important coping mechanism, and can pay important dividends in both one’s personal and professional lives (including a reduction in the risk of stress-related physical and mental ailments).  For the minority of employers who take advantage of their anxious employees, or who turn a blind eye towards unhealthy or unfair workplace environments, such employers not only betray their responsibilities to their employees (and their responsibilities to society, in general), but their unethical treatment of their employees may also be detrimental to the overall success of these organizations, as disaffected employees often respond to such treatment with passive-aggressive work-avoidance behaviors, increased absenteeism, and in some cases, with litigation. 

In time, we will emerge from this terrible global recession.  When that happens, companies that have treated their employees fairly, and according to high ethical standards, during the worst of times will have an inherent advantage over those companies that took the low road.  High levels of productivity, excellent employee morale and loyalty, and low levels of absenteeism and workforce turnover, will improve the competitiveness, stability, and productivity of the companies that treated their employees well during tough economic times (while the companies that did not treat their employees well are more likely to face increased employee turnover as the economy improves, as their disenfranchised employees seek better opportunities within an improving employment marketplace). 

  

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO OUR MANY HEALTH-CONSCIOUS

WEEKLY HEALTH UPDATE” READERS AROUND THE WORLD!

 

PEACE, LOVE, AND GOOD HEALTH TO ALL OF YOU!

 

 

For a complete discussion of the role of stress on cancer risk, and important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention (including exercise), order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, now!  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

  

Click the following link to join Dr. Wascher on Facebook

 








GIVE  THE  GIFT  OF  HEALTH  THIS  HOLIDAY  SEASON!  For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores! 

On Thanksgiving Day, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com Top 100 Bestseller’s List for Kindle e-books!




Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 

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Metformin, Diabetes and Death

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


METFORMIN, DIABETES AND DEATH

Metformin is a diabetes medication that is of great interest to me, and to other cancer specialists, because of intriguing research data suggesting that it may reduce the risk of cancer occurrence and cancer recurrence in people with diabetes.  (Diabetes is, itself, a risk factor for certain types of cancer, including one of the most lethal of all cancers, pancreatic cancer.)

Metformin has been shown to be particularly beneficial in reducing the risk of death due to the complications of diabetes in overweight and obese patients, who are especially prone to developing diabetes.  However, there has been some concern regarding the potential safety of metformin in patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease and kidney disease, and so this first-line diabetes medication has not been extensively prescribed to diabetic patients with these diseases.  (Somewhat ironically, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease are, themselves, known complications of diabetes.)  For this reason, the clinical research study that I will be discussing in today’s column is especially important to the estimated 24 million patients in the United States, alone, who have diabetes, and to the hundreds of thousands of diabetic patients who have already developed cardiovascular disease and kidney disease in the US. 

This newly published study, which appears in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, reports on the results of the massive Reduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health (REACH) Study, which included 19,691 patients with documented diabetes.  (The researchers involved in the REACH Study have been following this huge number of patient volunteers since they enlisted in the study between December 2003 and December 2004.) 

The findings of this very large prospective public health study validate the findings of smaller prior clinical studies.  In this study, diabetic patients with cardiovascular disease were significantly less likely to die during the course of this study if they took metformin instead of other diabetes medications (or no diabetes medication at all).  The patients in this study who took metformin were 24 percent less likely to die when compared to the diabetic patients who did not take metformin.  Among patients with congestive heart failure, which has until recently has been considered a contraindication to taking metformin, the use of metformin was associated with a 31 percent reduction in death due to all causes.  Moreover, patients with other health conditions that have previously thought to preclude diabetes treatment with metformin also appeared to benefit from metformin in this study.  Diabetic patients with cardiovascular disease who were older than 65 years were 23 percent less likely to die if they took metformin, while patients with decreased kidney function (estimated creatinine clearance of 30 to 60 ml/minute) experienced a whopping 36 percent decrease in the risk of death if they took metformin. 

As this was an observational study (i.e., there were no randomized groups of patients, and there was no placebo-control group), it should be urgently followed with a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical research study to confirm these highly important clinical findings.  Taken together, however, the findings of this pivotal public health study are certain to eventually expand the number of patients with diabetes who will be considered eligible to receive metformin! 

 

For a complete discussion of metformin as a potential cancer prevention agent, as well as other important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, now!  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

  

Click the following link to join Dr. Wascher on Facebook




GIVE  THE  GIFT  OF  HEALTH  THIS  HOLIDAY  SEASON!  For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores! 

On Thanksgiving Day, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com Top 100 Bestseller’s List for Kindle e-books!




Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 

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Vitamin D and Depression

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


VITAMIN D AND DEPRESSION

Regular readers of this column already know that Vitamin D, which functions more as a hormone than a vitamin, has been linked to multiple potential health benefits.  These include a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, improved strength and balance in older men and women, and a decreased risk of certain cancers.  In a newly published clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of the International Archives of Internal Medicine, increased blood levels of this hormone-like vitamin also appear to be associated with a significantly decreased level of risk for depression.

This large public health study assessed 7,970 research volunteers between the ages of 15 and 39 years in the United States.  All of these young study volunteers had blood Vitamin D levels measured, and this group of nearly 8,000 adolescents and young adults was also assessed for depression using a validated mental health survey.  The findings of this large clinical study were impressive:  After adjusting for other factors known to be linked with depression, this very large study found that people who were deficient in Vitamin D (blood levels less than or equal to 50 nmol/L) were 85 percent more likely to be clinically depressed when compared to people with normal Vitamin D blood levels (greater than or equal to 75 nmol/L).

Although this clinical research study identified a strong and significant association between the risk of depression and levels of Vitamin D in the blood, the findings of this study cannot prove that low levels of Vitamin D in the blood directly cause depression.  There could be other explanations for this finding, including decreased exposure to sunlight which is, itself, linked to depression (the majority of the Vitamin D in our bodies is manufactured in our skin, following exposure to sunlight).  However, recent research has also demonstrated that cellular receptors for Vitamin D are present within the brain, including those areas of the brain that regulate mood, and which are also thought to be the areas of the brain responsible for mood disorders like depression.  Therefore, it is certainly possible that Vitamin D, like multiple other hormones and neurotransmitters, may also play a direct role in the modulation of our moods.

As always, I strongly recommend that readers consult with their physician prior to taking supplements of Vitamin D, as serious health side effects can occur after taking large doses of this essential nutrient, particularly in patients with kidney or parathyroid gland disorders.

 

For a complete discussion of the important role of Vitamin D in cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, now!

  

 

Click the following link to join Dr. Wascher on Facebook


 

GIVE THE GIFT OF HEALTH THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!  For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores! 

On Thanksgiving Day, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com Top 100 Bestseller’s List for Kindle e-books!



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 

Bookmark and Share



 

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