Fruits and Vegetables Improve Memory

 

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


FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IMPROVE MEMORY

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in meat and other animal products, has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of those top two killers, cardiovascular disease and cancer.  Now, a newly published public health study, from Norway, suggests eating your fruits and veggies may also be good for your brain, as well.

In this study, which appears in the current issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, 2,013 research volunteers between the ages of 70 and 74 underwent extensive cognitive testing and evaluation of their dietary habits. 

Overall, memory and other higher cognitive functions were significantly improved among those patient volunteers who consumed the most fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and mushrooms.  Among these foods, the frequent intake of both fruits and vegetables (up to 500 grams per day) was, specifically, linked to the highest level of cognitive function in these older men and women.

Further study of dietary preferences revealed that cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, among others), carrots, citrus fruits, and whole-grain breads were the foods most closely associated with improved cognitive function.  (On the other hand, white bread consumption was associated with decreased levels of cognitive function!)

This interesting little study, therefore, suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (and cruciferous vegetables and carrots, in particular) may help to preserve memory, and other higher cognitive functions, in the aging brain.  The findings of this study are especially interesting in view of the rapidly aging populations of many countries around the world, including the United States.           

 

For an evidence-based review of the critical importance of diet in a cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new landmark book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon or Barnes & Noble!



 

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: 

 

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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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Cruciferous Vegetables, Soy & Breast Cancer Risk

April 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Weekly Health Update

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



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

CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES, SOY & BREAST CANCER RISK

 

The role of soybean-derived isoflavones in cancer prevention is not entirely clear at this time.  However, there has been intense interest in tofu, and other soy-derived foods, as potential breast cancer prevention agents.  At the same time, because genistein, and other soy isoflavones, are known to variably act as both inhibitors and mimics of estrogen (the primary female sex hormone), cancer experts remain divided regarding the safety of regularly consuming soy isoflavones by women who are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer (chronic estrogen stimulation of the breast is a known risk factor for breast cancer).  Meanwhile, the high level of tofu consumption among women in the Far East, coupled with the much lower incidence of breast cancer in those countries when compared to the United States and other western countries, has fuelled speculation that tofu and other soy-derived foods may actually be associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. 

In addition to soy isoflavones, there is also research data available suggesting that the frequent consumption of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, may also be associated with a decreased risk of at least some types of cancer, including breast cancer.

A newly published public health study from Singapore evaluated the impact of the regular intake of vegetables, fruit, and soy-derived foods on the risk of breast cancer within the large Chinese population in that country.  This enormous prospective epidemiological study, which began in 1993, and which appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, included more than 34,000 women volunteers.  All of the 34,018 women in this study underwent detailed evaluation of their diets when they entered into this prospective public health study.  Among this very large group of women, 629 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed during the course of this ongoing study. 

Based upon their self-reported dietary patterns, the women participating in this large epidemiological study were divided into two groups.  The first group consisted of women who regularly consumed cruciferous vegetables, fruit, and tofu.  The second group of women generally favored meat and starchy foods (such as dim sum), and consumed far fewer portions of vegetables, fruit, and tofu when compared to the first group.

The results of this study indicated that increasing levels of vegetable, fruit and tofu intake were associated with a significant decrease in breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.   Among the women reporting the highest levels of intake of these foods, there was, on average, a 30 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer when compared to the women who rarely ate these healthy foods.  Moreover, among the postmenopausal women who frequently consumed vegetables, fruit, and tofu, and who were observed for 5 or more years in this study, the apparent reduction in the risk of breast cancer grew even stronger, and these women were found to be 43 percent less likely to develop breast cancer when compared to women who rarely consumed vegetables, fruit, and tofu in their diets.

Therefore, in this large diet survey-based, prospective public health study,  a diet rich in vegetables (and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, in particular), fruit, and tofu was strongly associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer risk in postmenopausal Chinese women living in Singapore.

Although there remains some concern that soy isoflavones may, under some conditions, actually stimulate the growth of either new or previous breast cancers (or cancers of the ovary or uterus), this public health study’s favorable findings are additive to a growing body of research data suggesting that both cruciferous vegetables and soy-derived isoflavones may be associated with a substantial decrease in the risk of breast cancer in women. 

 

To learn more about the potential role of cruciferous vegetables and soy isoflavones as part of a cancer prevention lifestyle, look for the publication of my new landmark evidence-based book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in the summer of this year.



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: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the nearly 120,000 new and returning readers who visited our premier global health information website last month.  As always, we 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. 


In view of the extreme devastation and human misery brought about in Haiti and Chile by the recent earthquakes, Weekly Health Update asks our tens of thousands of caring readers to give generously to established charities that are currently working in those countries to assist the injured, the ill, and the homeless.  There are many such legitimate charities, including the following two:

http://www.redcross.org/

http://www.imcworldwide.org/haiti 


 

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