quinta-feira, 31 de dezembro de 2015
Sociedade Portuguesa de Botânica
Fotos no álbum: Uso de plantas autóctones como ornamentais – Nerium oleander.
O Nerium oleander (também conhecido como aloendro) é um arbusto espontâneo da região mediterrânica, desenvolve-se nomeadamente nas margens dos ribeiros e barrancos da zona sul do país.
O Nerium é amplamente utilizado em jardinagem pela sua floração vistosa, rosa ou branca, que ocorre no fim da Primavera e no Verão, quando grande parte das plantas anuais já floresceram. Forma um arbusto que pode chegar aos 2-3 metros de alto, com uma longevidade superior a quarenta anos. Destaca-se a resistência desta planta às temperaturas elevadas, à aridez do substrato, às chuvadas torrenciais, características do clima mediterrâneo, para além de se propagar facilmente por estacas.
Estas características fazem do Nerium uma planta de jardinagem decorativa, adaptada ao clima do sul do país, de baixo custo e manutenção fácil.
Refere-se também que é uma planta tolerante à poluição, podendo absorver a partir das folhas vários elementos presentes na poluição atmosférica e acumulá-los nas raízes (Rossini Oliva, S., Valdés, B. &. Mingorance, M. D:, 2007).
No entanto, é uma planta muito venenosa, e a sua toxicidade vem mencionada em numerosas obras, da antiguidade à actualidade:
• Dioscórides, século I “De materia medica” (tradução latina). (fonte: Dioscorides interactivo. Tradução multilíngua. Universidade de Salamanca)http://dioscorides.eusal.es/p2.php?numero=653
• Font Quer, P. (1961) Plantas medicinales. Ed. Labor (re-ed.Península).
• Ortiz, P. L. & Arista, M. (2012) Nerium oleander L. in Castroviejo, S. (coord. gen.) Flora iberica Vol. XI: 103-106. Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC, Madrid. http://www.floraiberica.es/…/texto/pdfs/11_131_01_Nerium.pdf
• Em Espanha, Nerium oleander está incluído na lista das plantas cuja venda ao público se encontra restringida ou proibida devido à sua toxicidade (ORDEN SCO/190/2004, de 28 de enero, in Boletín Oficial del Estado, 6 febrero 2004).http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2004/02/06/pdfs/A05061-05065.pdf
O composto mais característico do Nerium oleander é a oleandrina. A oleandrina e os seus derivados estão presentes em todas as partes da planta (folhas, flores, latex, madeira, raízes), a sua concentração é variável no tempo e consoante as condições de cultura. A oleandrina é solúvel na água de rega, podendo encontrar-se nomeadamente na água acumulada quando a cultura do Nerium é feita em contentores; pode estar presente igualmente no fumo quando a planta é queimada.
O uso do Nerium em jardins de escolas apresenta portanto riscos; convem que a zona onde se encontram as plantas seja mantida limpa para as crianças não brincarem com as folhas ou com as flores que caírem ao chão e por descuido levarem o material à boca.
Como muita gente sabe, existem diversas universidades pelo mundo que estão disponibilizando cursos e aulas gratuitamente na Internet. Mas hoje não vamos falar destas instituições e sim das 7universidades brasileiras que oferecem cursos online grátis. Se você gostaria de ampliar seus conhecimentos com professores de algumas das melhores universidades do Brasil, esta é uma excelente oportunidade para quem não tem a chance de estudar em instituições conceituadas. Confira a lista!
1 – USP (Universidade de São Paulo)
A USP oferece seus cursos e aulas em três diferente plataformas, são elas: UNIVESP TV, e-Aulas e Veduca.
2 – UNB (Universidade de Brasília)
A UNB disponibilizou gratuitamente um curso de graduação a distância através do portal Veduca.
3 – PUC – RJ (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro)
As aulas estão disponíveis de graça no portal Condigital.
4 – UNICAMP (Universidade Estadual de Campinas)
Basta escolher um dos 5 sites a seguir para acessar o conteúdo dos cursos e aulas da Unicamp: UNIVESP TV, OCW UNICAMP, GGTE UNICAMP, e-UNICAMP e Câmera Web.
5 – FGV (Fundação Getulio Vargas)
Os cursos gratuitos estão disponíveis no site da FGV Online.
6 – UNESP (Universidade Estadual Paulista)
São mais de 70 cursos online grátis oferecidos através do portal UNESP ABERTA.
7 – UFF (Universidade Federal Fluminense)
Visite o site Videoaulas UFF para ter acesso de graça as aulas da instituição.
Esperamos que tenha gostado. Ajude a divulgar esta lista e assim atingir mais pessoas que querem aprender.
Quantos livros você conseguiria ler a mais se não perdesse de duas a três horas do seu dia no trânsito caótico que percorre entre casa e trabalho, na cidade em que vive? E se pudesse, entre um semáforo e outro, ler um livro?
Pois milhares de brasileiros já utilizam o tempo no trânsito para ter mais acesso à cultura, informação e entretenimento, por meio dos audiolivros, um formato que surgiu nos Estados Unidos e que veio para o Brasil há cerca de 15 anos. E tudo indica que veio para ficar!
Além dos motoristas, muitas pessoas optam por esse produto para ouvir enquanto caminham no parque, andam de bicicleta e até enquanto trabalham em frente ao computador.
No audiolivro, a narração do texto obedece ao conteúdo do livro. A leitura do livro é feita por um ator/narrador profissional em estúdio especializado, só depois de revisado o conteúdo recebe trilhas sonoras e é fechado no que chamamos de ‘matriz de áudio’, e que vai seguir para a prensagem e impressão.
Hoje é mais comum encontrar audiolivros gravados em formato MP3, por conta do tamanho dos livros. Para aqueles que gostam de ouvir os audiolivros em celulares, tablets etc podem comprar apenas o conteúdo sonoro, ou seja, dispensa-se o CD e a embalagem, compra-se apenas o áudio, por download. Além de ser um processo mais rápido de acesso ao conteúdo é também mais barato!
Se você ainda nunca ouviu um audiolivro, experimente!
Abaixo 3 sites com audiolivros gratuitos:
Início de ano costuma ser o momento ideal para refletir sobre a carreira e pensar em como avançar profissionalmente. Se o primeiro passo geralmente é apostar nas resoluções e criar metas para si mesmo, o próximo costuma ser arranjar os meios de alcançá-las. Mas e quando os objetivos não cabem no bolso?
A resposta pode estar on-line, disponível para download ou streaming, e inteiramente grátis. Diversas instituições de ensino renomadas oferecem cursos e aulas abertas que podem ser a oportunidade ideal para quem quer investir na carreira por conta própria – é só ter conexão com a internet e, é claro, um pouco de disciplina.
FGV Online: A Fundação Getulio Vargas oferece cursos pela internet com carga horária entre 5 e 30 horas sobre finanças pessoais, empreendedorismo, direito e sustentabilidade.
Unicamp: A Universidade Estadual de Campinas disponibiliza todo o material de algumas disciplinas no portal Opencourseware. O centro de computação da instituição também oferece minicursos relacionados à tecnologia da informação.
BMF&Bovespa: A bolsa de valores de São Paulo possui cursos on-line sobre finanças pessoais e mercado de ações.
Sebrae: A instituição de apoio aos pequenos negócios oferece cursos a distância voltados a empreendedores individuais e micro e pequenos empresários.
Receita Federal: Com a intenção de esclarecer dúvidas comuns a empresários, a Receita Federal disponibiliza cursos sobre o funcionamento do CNPJ, Simples Nacional e Pedido Eletrônico de Restituição, Ressarcimento ou Reembolso e Declaração de Compensação.
Senar: Oferece gratuitamente programas on-line para as pessoas do meio rural de todo território nacional.
Projeto Cidadania Digital: É uma iniciativa da Fundação CDL e o Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia – MCT para qualificar profissionais com as tecnologias utilizadas no mercado.
Fundação Bradesco: São cursos rápidos, em diversas áreas do conhecimento. Você está iniciando no mundo da informática? Busca aperfeiçoamento ou especialização? Aqui você encontrará um curso sob medida para suas necessidades!
No mundo (sites e aulas em inglês):
Harvard: Por meio da iniciativa Open Learning, uma das universidades mais conceituadas do mundo oferece algumas disciplinas inteiras em vídeo.
Berkeley: O campus virtual da Universidade da Califórnia tem vídeos e áudios de disciplinas de 20 departamentos disponíveis para streaming ou download, gravadas ao longo dos últimos seis anos.
Yale: A universidade disponibiliza vídeos de disciplinas introdutórias de diversos departamentos, entre eles economia, ciência política e engenharia biomédica.
MIT: Com um dos acervos mais completos, o Massachussetts Institute of Technology disponibiliza recursos de mais de duas mil disciplinas nesse canal, com vídeos das aulas, notas e material didático. As áreas variam entre as mais esperadas quando se pensa no instituto, como tecnologia, engenharia e computação e cursos da área de humanas, como antropologia, artes e estudos de gênero.
Stanford: Com uma conta no iTunes, é possível baixar vídeo e áudio de várias aulas de Stanford.
UCLA: O campus de Los Angeles da Universidade da Califórnia possui um canal no YouTube em que disponibiliza aulas de diversos temas.
NYU: A Universidade de Nova York começou em 2009 um programa piloto de educação aberta e hoje disponibiliza material para seis disciplinas, além de um ambiente on-line onde os alunos ao redor do mundo podem discutir os assuntos das aulas.
Google Code University: O Google oferece tutoriais e aulas gratuitas de universidades de várias partes do mundo sobre linguagens de programação como Java e HTML5.
Saiba onde procurar mais:
iTunes U: A iTunes Store, loja da Apple recém-chegada ao Brasil mais conhecida por disponibilizar downloads de músicas e filmes, possui um braço acadêmico. Nele, cerca de 400 universidades disponibilizam material de graça (Stanford, Yale e Berkeley são alguns exemplos). Para ter acesso aos vídeos e áudios no computador, iPad ou iPhone é preciso ter cadastro na loja e baixar o aplicativo.
Academic Earth: Site que reúne palestras e aulas disponibilizadas por universidades ao redor do globo. Possui ranking das mais assistidas e mais votadas pelos usuários.
Open Culture: Portal que reúne oportunidades de cursos por área profissional e também de idiomas.
Opencourseware Consortium: Comunidade que reúne centenas de universidades e instituições de ensino do mundo todo comprometidas com a disseminação do conhecimento, incluindo a maioria das citadas aqui. No site, é possível buscar cursos por país, tema, língua e instituição de ensino.
Fonte: Valor Econômico
New open-label trial of prescription cannabidiol shows overall safety, efficacy
Date: December 23, 2015
Source: NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Cannabidiol (CBD), a medical marijuana derivative, was effective in reducing seizure frequency and well-tolerated and safe for most children and young adults enrolled in a year-long study, researchers report. These latest findings provide the first estimates of safety, tolerability and efficacy of prescription CBD in children and adults with severe, highly treatment-resistant epilepsy.
Cannabidiol (CBD), a medical marijuana derivative, was effective in reducing seizure frequency and well-tolerated and safe for most children and young adults enrolled in a year-long study led by epilepsy specialists at NYU Langone Medical Center.
These latest findings provide the first estimates of safety, tolerability and efficacy of prescription CBD in children and adults with severe, highly treatment-resistant epilepsy. Led by Orrin Devinsky, MD, professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry and director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone, the study is published in the December 23 issue of Lancet Neurology. While early findings have been released at medical meetings -- including the 2015 American Academy of Neurology conference -- these are the first findings from the trial to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The study took place at 11 epilepsy centers across the country. Patients were given the oral CBD treatment Epidiolex over a 12-week treatment period. Results showed a median 36.5 percent reduction in monthly motor seizures, with the median monthly frequency of motor seizures falling from 30 motor seizures a month at the study's start to 15.8 over the 12 weeks. Equally important, CBD was shown to have a sufficient safety profile and was well-tolerated by many patients, despite some isolated adverse events.
"We are very encouraged by our trial results showing that CBD was safe and well-tolerated for most patients, and that seizures dropped significantly," says Devinsky. "But before we raise hopes for families who regularly deal with the devastation of treatment-resistant epilepsy, more research, including further studies through our ongoing randomized controlled trial, are needed to definitively recommend CBD as a treatment to patients with uncontrolled seizures."
How the Research Was Conducted
The study was an open-labeled trial, meaning that both the researchers and participants' families knew they were receiving CBD, a compound in medical marijuana that does not contain psychoactive properties. Between January 15, 2014, and January 15, 2015, 214 patients between 1 and 30 years of age with intractable, or treatment-resistant, epilepsy were enrolled in the trial. Of that cohort, 162 (76 percent) had at least 12 weeks of follow-up after the first dose of CBD and were included in the safety and tolerability analysis. In addition, 137 of the original study cohort (64 percent) were included in the analysis to determine the drug's efficacy.
Patients were given an oral CBD regimen from 2-5 mg/kg per day, with a dose up-titrated until intolerance occurred or to a maximum dose of 25 mg/kg or 50 mg/kg per day, depending on the trial site. Seizures were recorded by parents or caregivers in diaries and reviewed by the study team at each visit.
Lab screenings also were conducted at baseline, and after 4, 8 and 12 weeks of CBD treatment. The study showed variability in responses of individual seizure types to cannabidiol treatment. For example, the median change in total seizures was 34.6 percent , with the greatest reduction occurring in patients with focal and atonic seizures followed by tonic or tonic-clonic seizures. Two patients were free of all seizure types over the entire 12 weeks.
Adverse events were reported among participants, including drowsiness, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fatigue and convulsion. Most were mild to moderate and transient, but 20 patients had serious adverse events related to CBD use -most commonly status epilepticus, or seizures that last too long or too close together. Five patients had to discontinue treatment due to these adverse events.
Devinsky is currently leading a randomized, controlled trial -- considered the gold standard of scientific research -in which CBD or a placebo is randomly assigned to patients to better tease out the drug's effects and better eliminate research bias.
"I empathize with parents who are looking for answers and will try anything to help their children suffering the devastating effects of intractable epilepsy. But we must let the science, and not anecdotal success stories and high media interest, lead this national discussion," cautions Devinsky. "Taking CBD in a controlled medical setting is vastly different from going to a state where medical marijuana is legal and experimenting with dosing and CBD strains."
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Orrin Devinsky, Eric Marsh, Daniel Friedman, Elizabeth Thiele, Linda Laux, Joseph Sullivan, Ian Miller, Robert Flamini, Angus Wilfong, Francis Filloux, Matthew Wong, Nicole Tilton, Patricia Bruno, Judith Bluvstein, Julie Hedlund, Rebecca Kamens, Jane Maclean, Srishti Nangia, Nilika Shah Singhal, Carey A Wilson, Anup Patel, Maria Roberta Cilio.Cannabidiol in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy: an open-label interventional trial. The Lancet Neurology, 2015; DOI:10.1016/S1474-4422(15)00379-8
Cite This Page:
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. "Marijuana derivative reduces seizures in people with treatment-resistant epilepsy: New open-label trial of prescription cannabidiol shows overall safety, efficacy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151223221532.htm>.
Benefícios, propriedades e efeitos estimulantes do chá verde, considerado um termogênico natural muito poderoso e seguro.
Chá verde: termogênico natural e estimulante seguro para a saúde
O chá verde é considerado um dos melhores termogênicos naturais e possui um efeito particularmente ativo sobre o sistema nervoso central, coração e fígado, apesar de estimular todos os órgãos do corpo. Esta reação estimulante é ainda mais acentuada quando o paciente está com sono ou com sintomas de cansaço. Uma xícara de chá verde ajuda a despertar a mente no período da manhã ou até mesmo após um longo período sem dormir.
Estudos demonstraram que os componentes bioativos isolados do chá verde são importantes fontes de estímulo metabólico e que o extrato de chá verde pode aumentar a utilização de energia do organismo (efeito de termogênese), além de proporcionar outros benefícios para a saúde.
O que são termogênicos?
Termogênicos são substâncias que tendem a produzir calor através da estimulação metabólica, ou por meio de microrganismos que geram calor dentro de resíduos orgânicos. Na musculação, atletas que desejam perder gordura corporal usam drogas ou suplementos que possuem efeito termogênico natural ou artificial para aumentar a taxa metabólica basal, elevando o gasto de energia. Dentre as substâncias termogênicas, a cafeína e efedrina, esta última, proibida em vários países, incluindo o Brasil, são comumente usadas para essa finalidade.
Chá verde: termogênico natural saudável
O efeito termogênico natural do chá geralmente é atribuído ao seu teor de cafeína. Uma pesquisa realizada pelo Institute of Physiology, da Universidade de Friburgo, na Suíça, e publicada no International Journal of Obesity, concluiu que o extrato de chá verde estimula a termogênese do tecido adiposo de uma forma que é muito maior do que pode ser atribuído ao seu teor de cafeína por si mesmo, e que as suas propriedades termogênicas podem residir principalmente na interação entre o seu alto teor de catequina-polifenois e cafeína, que por sua vez, protegem a noradrenalina do organismo.
A noradrenalina, também chamada de norepinefrina, é uma das monoaminas (também conhecidas como catecolaminas) que mais influenciam o humor, ansiedade, sono e alimentação, juntamente com a serotonina, a dopamina e a adrenalina. As catequinas do chá verde conhecidas por serem capazes de inibir a catecol o-metiltransferase (enzima que degrada a noradrenalina), e a cafeína inibe a fosfodiesterase (enzimas que decompõem a AMPc induzida por noradrenalina), o que propõe-se que o extrato de chá verde, através das suas catequinas-polifenóis e cafeína, é um termogênico natural eficaz em estimular a termogênese. Essa interação sinérgica entre catequinas e cafeína aumenta e prolonga a estimulação simpática da termogênese, o que pode ser de grande valor em dietas para perda de peso e para auxiliar o tratamento da obesidade.
A quantidade de cafeína contida em porções normais de chá verde pode estimular a musculatura esquelética e facilitar a contração muscular. Por esta razão, é bastante indicado beber chá verde no meio de trabalho para refrescar a mente e restaurar o corpo. A cafeína presente no chá verde é extraída principalmente na primeira infusão das folhas, mas as quantidades de cafeína nas infusões subsequentes serão ainda maiores do que o café. A ação da cafeína presente no chá verde é dito que é mais suave do que outras bebidas.
O chá verde é considerado uma planta medicinal e um termogênico natural mais seguro que o próprio café. Contudo, algumas pessoas são muito sensíveis aos efeitos da cafeína e não conseguem dormir depois de consumir chá no período noturno. Desta forma, é aconselhável beber chá verde mais fraco logo após o jantar.
Dulloo AG, Seydoux J, Girardier L, Chantre P and Vandermander J. Green tea and thermogenesis: Interactions between catechin-polyphenols, caffeine and sympathetic activity. International Journal of obesity 24: 252-258 (2000)
segunda-feira, 28 de dezembro de 2015
Date: December 17, 2015
Source: James Cook University
A diet favored by body-builders may be effective in treating schizophrenia, suggest researchers. The ketogenic diet may work by providing alternative energy sources in the form of so-called ketone bodies (products of fat breakdown) and by helping to circumvent abnormally functioning cellular energy pathways in the brains of schizophrenics.
See more at:
Date: December 17, 2015
Source: Cell Press
A first-of-a-kind drug that interferes with the metabolic activity of gut microbes could one day treat heart disease in humans, according to a mouse study. Dietary supplementation with a compound that is naturally abundant in red wine and olive oil prevented gut microbes from turning unhealthy foods into metabolic byproducts that clog arteries.
This visual abstract depicts how drugging the gut microbiota with a nonlethal inhibitor that blocks production of the metabolite trimethylamine reduces the formation of atherosclerotic lesions and represents the first step toward treatment of cardiometabolic diseases by targeting the microbiome.
Credit: Wang et al./Cell 2015
A first-of-a-kind drug that interferes with the metabolic activity of gut microbes could one day treat heart disease in humans, according to a mouse study published December 17 in Cell. Dietary supplementation with a compound that is naturally abundant in red wine and olive oil prevented gut microbes from turning unhealthy foods into metabolic byproducts that clog arteries.
The findings suggest that a Mediterranean diet exerts its beneficial health effects by altering the activity of gut microbes. If replicated in humans, the study could lead to a new strategy for treating and possibly preventing heart disease and stroke--the top two causes of death worldwide.
"This study shows for the first time that one can target a gut microbial pathway to inhibit atherosclerosis," says senior study author Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic. "This new approach opens the door to the concept of drugging the microbiome to affect a therapeutic benefit in the host."
Atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries, has been linked to the consumption of high amounts of nutrients such as choline and carnitine, which are abundant in foods such as meat, egg yolks, and high-fat dairy products. Gut microbes convert these nutrients into a compound called trimethylamine (TMA), which in turn is converted by host enzymes into a metabolite called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which accelerates atherosclerosis in animal models and is associated with an increased risk for heart disease in humans.
Until now, efforts to target this pathway for therapeutic benefit have focused on inhibiting the host enzymes that convert TMA into TMAO. However, this approach causes liver damage as well as an unhealthy build-up of TMA. Hazen and his team figured that a more promising approach would be to directly target gut microbes to prevent the formation of TMA in the first place.
Toward this goal, Hazen and first author Zeneng Wang of the Cleveland Clinic screened for inhibitors of microbial TMA production from choline. They identified a compound called 3,3-dimethyl-1-butanol (DMB), which is naturally abundant in some cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and grape seed oils. In mice that were on a choline-rich diet and genetically predisposed to atherosclerosis, DMB treatment substantially lowered TMAO levels and inhibited the formation of arterial plaques without producing toxic effects.
Additional experiments suggested that DMB exerted its beneficial effects by inhibiting TMA formation. Moreover, DMB did not kill the gut microbes, but it did reduce the proportions of some bacteria associated with high levels of TMA, TMAO, and atherosclerosis. "It was especially nice to see that the drug blocked the pathway without killing the microbe," Hazen says. "There should be less selective pressure for the development of resistance against a non-lethal drug than an antibiotic."
DMB treatment would also differ from cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Lipitor because it targets molecular pathways in gut microbes, not in human cells. "If we replicate our findings in upcoming human studies, this could be a whole new approach to the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases," Hazen says. "In the meantime, our findings suggest that it might not be a bad idea to consume a Mediterranean diet to help stave off heart disease and other health problems."
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Wang et al. Non-lethal Inhibition of Gut Microbial Trimethylamine Production for the Treatment of Atherosclerosis. Cell, December 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.055
Cite This Page:
Cell Press. "Drugging the microbiome may treat heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151217130328.htm>.
Date: December 18, 2015
Source: American Society of Nephrology (ASN)
Vitamin D2 supplements taken for 6 months did not reduce dialysis patients’ need for anemia drugs that stimulate red blood cell production, report investigators at conclusion of the largest randomized clinical trial to date on the effects of nutritional vitamin D in dialysis patients.
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Date: December 18, 2015
Source: American Society of Nephrology (ASN)
Individuals with failing kidneys are at increased risk of developing heart problems, and they're more likely to die from cardiovascular causes than from any other cause. Now investigators suggest that ingesting a drink rich in cocoa flavanols improved blood vessel function and reduced diastolic blood pressure in patients with kidney failure.
Consuming a beverage containing cocoa flavanols improves blood vessel function in patients with kidney failure, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The findings suggest that the plant-derived compounds may benefit the cardiovascular health of patients with poor kidney function.
Individuals with failing kidneys are at increased risk of developing heart problems, and they're more likely to die from cardiovascular causes than from any other cause. Lifestyle and dietary modifications to maintain vascular health or reduce disease risk might help protect patients' heart health, but there are currently limited diet-based therapeutic approaches to counteract cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney failure.
Tienush Rassaf, MD (University Hospital Essen, Germany) and his colleagues tested the potential of cocoa flavanols, a subgroup of plant-derived polyphenols that are present in cocoa and have been shown to have beneficial effects on blood vessel function in individuals with normal kidney function.
The team randomized 57 dialysis patients to ingest either a test beverage rich in cocoa flavanols (900 mg per day) or a control beverage that was free of cocoa flavanols but matched the nutrient content of the test beverage in all other aspects. After 30 days, the investigators found that cocoa flavanol ingestion was well-tolerated by patients and it improved blood vessel function and reduced diastolic blood pressure. No effects were observed in the group that consumed the control beverage.
"Impressively, the degree of reversion of vessel dysfunction was comparable to the effects observed through administering statins or making dietary and lifestyle changes," said Dr. Rassaf. "Whether this approach also leads to a reduction in mortality is not clear and has to be investigated."
In an accompanying editorial, Carmine Zoccali, MD and Francesca Mallamaci, MD (CNR-IFC, in Italy) noted that "the burden of cardiovascular disease in dialysis patients is so devastating that a promising intervention like cocoa flavanols deserves full attention by the nephrology community." They added that if the findings are confirmed in additional studies, they may represent a turning point in patient care.
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
C. Zoccali, F. Mallamaci. Cocoa Flavanols: A Magic Potion for Protecting the Endothelium in Kidney Failure? Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2015; DOI: 10.2215/CJN.12141115
T. Rassaf, C. Rammos, U. B. Hendgen-Cotta, C. Heiss, W. Kleophas, F. Dellanna, J. Floege, G. R. Hetzel, M. Kelm. Vasculoprotective Effects of Dietary Cocoa Flavanols in Patients on Hemodialysis: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2015; DOI: 10.2215/CJN.05560515
Cite This Page:
American Society of Nephrology (ASN). "Dietary cocoa flavanols improve blood vessel function in patients with kidney dysfunction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151218090224.htm>.
Date: December 18, 2015
Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Eating a moderate amount of almonds each day may enrich the diets of adults and their young children. In the study, when parents and children were eating almonds, their Healthy Eating Index increased for total protein foods, seafood and plant proteins and fatty acids, while they ate fewer empty calories.
Eating a moderate amount of almonds each day may enrich the diets of adults and their young children, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
"Almonds are a good source of plant protein -- essential fatty acids, vitamin E and magnesium," said Alyssa Burns, a doctoral student in the UF/IFAS food science and human nutrition department. Burns conducted the study as part of her graduate work.
Her statement is backed by the federal government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend people eat unsalted nuts.
For the 14-week study, published in the journal Nutrition Research, UF/IFAS nutrition scientists gave almonds daily to 29 pairs of parents and children. Most of the adults were mothers with an average age of 35, while their children were between 3 and 6 years old. The children were encouraged to consume 0.5 ounces of almond butter daily. Parents were given 1.5 ounces of almonds per day.
Participants ate almonds for a few weeks, then they resumed eating their typical intake, which included other foods as snacks.
Researchers based their conclusions about improved dietary intake on participants' scores on the Healthy Eating Index (HEI), a tool used to measure diet quality and adherence to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
UF/IFAS researchers used an online dietary recall to find out what adults had eaten and how much. That way, researchers could measure diet quality, Burns said.
When parents and children were eating almonds, their HEI increased for total protein foods, seafood and plant proteins and fatty acids, Burns said, while they ate fewer empty calories. Parents also decreased sodium intake. Parents and children consumed more vitamin E and magnesium when eating almonds, she said.
HEI is based on 12 dietary components which should be consumed adequately or in moderation, Burns said. All components receive a score between 0 and 10 for maximum score of 100. For all components, a higher score indicates higher diet quality.
When parents and children ate almonds, their HEI score increased from 53.7 to 61.4, Burns said.
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The original item was written by Brad Buck. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Alyssa M. Burns, Michelle A. Zitt, Cassie C. Rowe, Bobbi Langkamp-Henken, Volker Mai, Carmelo Nieves, Maria Ukhanova, Mary C. Christman, Wendy J. Dahl. Diet quality improves for parents and children when almonds are incorporated into their daily diet: a randomized, crossover study. Nutrition Research, 2016; 36 (1): 80 DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2015.11.004
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University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "Almonds may help augment nutrients in diet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151218095435.htm>.
Date: December 18, 2015
Source: University of Georgia
The caffeine in a morning cup of coffee could help improve athletic endurance, according to a new review study.
The caffeine in a morning cup of coffee could help improve athletic endurance, according to a new University of Georgia review study.
Authored by Simon Higgins, a third-year doctoral student in kinesiology in the College of Education, the study was published in this month's issue of theInternational Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
To research the issue, Higgins reviewed more than 600 scholarly articles and screened them for those that focused only on caffeinated-coffee conditions, measured the caffeine dose and measured an endurance performance. Of these, nine randomized control trials specifically used coffee to improve endurance.
"Previous research has focused on caffeine itself as an aid to improve endurance," Higgins said. "Coffee is a popular source of caffeine, so this paper looked at the research surrounding its ergogenic benefits."
Looking at the nine trials, Higgins found that between 3 and 7 milligrams per kilogram of body weight of caffeine from coffee increased endurance performance by an average of 24 percent. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary from 75 mg to more than 150, depending on the variety and how it's roasted and brewed.
"This is helpful for athletes because coffee is a naturally occurring compound," Higgins said. "There's the potential that getting your caffeine by drinking coffee has similar endurance benefits as taking caffeine pills."
In the nine trials, participants either cycled or ran after drinking coffee. They then exercised vigorously and the results were measured. In a majority of cases, endurance was noticeably improved after the use of coffee.
When researching the effects of caffeine from coffee, Higgins found two important discoveries: that caffeine from coffee has ergogenic benefits -- that it enhances physical performance -- and that more research is needed on the use of caffeine from coffee versus pure caffeine use.
"While there is a lack of high-quality research on coffee as a source of caffeine, there is an abundance of research on pure caffeine," he said. "It's surprising how little we know about caffeine from coffee when its endurance effects could be just as beneficial as pure caffeine."
Higgins said that coffee shouldn't be dismissed as less beneficial for endurance. He found that coffee appears to be just as helpful as taking caffeine in the form of powder or tablets.
"There's a perception that coffee won't give you the same benefits as pure caffeine," he said. "New research could mean that athletes could have a cup of coffee versus taking a pill."
Higgins says that more research is needed before giving official recommendations to athletes, especially since the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary depending on how it's prepared.
"There is a caveat to athletes using coffee: Be careful because you don't know how much caffeine is in some coffee, especially when it's prepared by someone else," he said. "Athletes should run their caffeine use through their sports dietician as the NCAA lists it as a banned substance."
Co-authors of the paper are Richard D. Lewis, UGA Foundation Professor in Family and Consumer Sciences, and Chad R. Straight, previously a graduate student at the University of Georgia.
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Georgia. The original item was written by Molly Berg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Simon Higgins, Chad R. Straight, Richard D. Lewis. The Effects of Pre-Exercise Caffeinated-Coffee Ingestion on Endurance Performance: An Evidence-Based Review. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2015; DOI: 10.1123/ijsnem.2015-0147
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University of Georgia. "Coffee may improve athletic endurance performance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151218095439.htm>.
Date: December 18, 2015
Source: Indiana University
Researchers have found that magnesium intake may be beneficial in preventing pancreatic cancer. Using information from the VITamins and Lifestyle study, the study analyzed data on more than 66,000 men and women, between the ages of 50 and 76, looking at the direct association between magnesium and pancreatic cancer.
Indiana University researchers have found that magnesium intake may be beneficial in preventing pancreatic cancer.
Their study, "Magnesium intake and incidence of pancreatic cancer: The VITamins and Lifestyle study," recently appeared in the British Journal of Cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the United States. The overall occurrence of pancreatic cancer has not significantly changed since 2002, but the mortality rate has increased annually from 2002 to 2011, according to the National Cancer Institute.
"Pancreatic cancer is really unique and different from other cancers," said study co-author Ka He, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. "The five-year survival rate is really low, so that makes prevention and identifying risk factors or predictors associated with pancreatic cancer very important."
Previous studies have found that magnesium is inversely associated with the risk of diabetes, which is a risk factor of pancreatic cancer. But few studies have explored the direct association of magnesium with pancreatic cancer; of those that did, their findings were inconclusive, said Daniel Dibaba, a Ph.D. student at the School of Public Health-Bloomington, who led the IU study.
Using information from the VITamins and Lifestyle study, Dibaba and the other co-authors analyzed an enormous trove of data on over 66,000 men and women, ages 50 to 76, looking at the direct association between magnesium and pancreatic cancer and whether age, gender, body mass index, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs use and magnesium supplementation play a role.
Of those followed, 151 participants developed pancreatic cancer. The study found that every 100-milligrams-per-day decrease in magnesium intake was associated with a 24 percent increase in the occurrence of pancreatic cancer. The study also found that the effects of magnesium on pancreatic cancer did not appear to be modified by age, gender, body mass index or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use, but was limited to those taking magnesium supplements either from a multivitamin or individual supplement.
"For those at a higher risk of pancreatic cancer, adding a magnesium supplement to their diet may prove beneficial in preventing this disease," Dibaba said. "While more study is needed, the general population should strive to get the daily recommendations of magnesium through diet, such as dark, leafy greens or nuts, to prevent any risk of pancreatic cancer."
In addition to He and Dibaba, other contributors included Pengcheng Xun, a faculty member in IU's Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Kuninobu Yokota of The Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan; and Emily White of the University of Washington in Seattle.
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Indiana University.Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Daniel Dibaba, Pengcheng Xun, Kuninobu Yokota, Emily White, Ka He.Magnesium intake and incidence of pancreatic cancer: the VITamins and Lifestyle study. British Journal of Cancer, 2015; 113 (11): 1615 DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2015.382
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Indiana University. "Magnesium intake may be beneficial in preventing pancreatic cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151218161439.htm>.
Um estudante está fazendo um experimento inusitado no centro de São Paulo: criar 5 mil abelhas na sala de seu apartamento de 42 m².
Para tornar isso possível, Celso Barbieri Jr., de 24 anos, teve de contornar alguns problemas.
O apartamento não tem sacada e ele precisa manter a janela da sala fechada para que sua gata não fuja. A solução foi montar as colmeias em duas caixas de madeira que ele mantém em uma prateleira sobre a janela.
Também criou um sistema de "túneis" feitos com canos de PVC - para as abelhas saírem para se alimentar -, que tem até uma entrada de madeira para simular uma árvore.
Depois, o mais difícil foi pensar em um toldo na ponta de um dos canos para evitar que as abelhas morressem atraídas pelas luzes noturnas e fossem parar nas casas dos vizinhos.
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Date: December 22, 2015
Source: Kazan Federal University
Rational use of medicines remains to be one of the most challenging problems in health systems worldwide. Now researchers have conducted a practical study to assess the impact of introducing evidence-based principles to the practice of medicine procurement in order to manage budget expenditures on medicines of a multidisciplinary health facility for the period of 2011-2014.
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Mice tumor free, protected from metastases after treatment
Date: December 22, 2015
Source: Case Western Reserve University
Shells of cowpea mosaic virus inhaled into a lung tumor or injected into ovarian, colon or breast tumors, not only triggered the immune system in mice to wipe out the tumors, but provided systemic protection against metastases, scientists report.
Inhaled or injected into tumors of several types of cancer, the shell of cowpea mosaic virus with infectious components removed, in blue, turned on the immune system in mice to wipe out tumors and protect against metastases.
Credit: Nicole Steinmetz
The shells of a common plant virus, inhaled into a lung tumor or injected into ovarian, colon or breast tumors, not only triggered the immune system in mice to wipe out the tumors, but provided systemic protection against metastases, researchers from Case Western Reserve University and Dartmouth University report.
The scientists tested a 100-year-old idea called in-situ vaccination. The idea is to put something inside a tumor and disrupt the environment that suppresses the immune system, thus allowing the natural defense system to attack the malignancy.
That something--the hard coating of cowpea mosaic virus--caused no detectible side effects, which are a common problem with traditional therapies and some immunotherapies.
The team's research is published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
"The cowpea virus-based nanoparticles act like a switch that turns on the immune system to recognize and fight against the tumor -- as well as to remember it," said Nicole Steinmetz, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve, appointed by the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.
"The particles are shockingly potent," said Steven Fiering, professor of microbiology and immunology at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine. "They're easy to make and don't need to carry antigens, drugs or other immunostimmulatory agents on their surface or inside."
The professors studied the nanoparticles with Dartmouth's Pat Lizotte, a molecular and cellular biology PhD student; Mee Rie Sheen, a postdoctoral fellow; and Pakdee Rojanasopondist, an undergraduate student; and Case Western Reserve's Amy Wen, a biomedical engineering PhD student.
Taking another shot
The immune system's ability to detect and destroy abnormal cells is thought to prevent many cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute. But when tumors start to develop, they can shut down the system, allowing tumors to grow and spread.
To restart immune defenses, the scientists used the tumor itself as if it were the antigen in a vaccine--that is, the target for antibodies produced by the immune system.
The cowpea virus shell, with its infectious components removed, acts as the adjuvant--a substance that triggers and may enhance or prolong antigen-specific immune responses.
The process and results
The researchers first switched on the immune system in mice to attack B16F10 lung melanoma or skin melanoma, leaving the mice tumor-free. When the treated mice were later injected with B16F10 skin melanoma (to re-challenge the cured mice), four out of five mice were soon cancer free and one had a slow-growing tumor.
The nanoparticles proved effective against ovarian, breast and colon tumor models. Most of the tumors deteriorated from the center and collapsed. The systemic response prevented or attacked metastatic disease, which is the deadliest form of cancer.
"You get benefits against disease you don't even know is there yet," Fiering said.
"Because everything we do is local, the side effects are limited," despite the strength and extent of the immune response, Fiering said. No toxicity was found.
Harsh side effects, such as fatigue, pain, flu-like symptoms and more are common with chemo and radiation therapies and with some immunostimulation drugs.
The researchers are now trying to understand how the virus shell stimulates the immune system.
"It's not cytotoxic, there's no RNA involved or lipopolysaccharides that may be used as adjuvants, and it's not simply an irritant," Steinmetz said. "We see a specific immune response."
Unlike most other adjuvants, Fiering said, the virus shells stimulate neutrophils, a type of white blood cell. What role that plays is not yet known.
The researchers are seeking grants to study whether the shell's physical traits or something virus-specific causes the immune response. They are also seeking grants to test the therapy in animal models that have immune systems closer to humans.
If the virus shell continues to prove effective, the researchers believe it could eventually be used in combination with other therapies tailored to individual patients.
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
P. H. Lizotte, A. M. Wen, M. R. Sheen, J. Fields, P. Rojanasopondist, N. F. Steinmetz, S. Fiering. In situ vaccination with cowpea mosaic virus nanoparticles suppresses metastatic cancer. Nature Nanotechnology, 2015; DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2015.292
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Case Western Reserve University. "Simple shell of plant virus sparks immune response against cancer: Mice tumor free, protected from metastases after treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151222113154.htm>.
Date: December 22, 2015
Source: Penn State
Zinc levels in breast milk may be able to serve as an indicator of breast function during lactation, according to health researchers who suggest that by identifying women with abnormally low levels of zinc in breast milk, they may be able to more quickly recognize mothers who might have trouble breast-feeding.
Zinc levels in breast milk may be able to serve as an indicator of breast function during lactation, according to Penn State health researchers.
In previous studies, Shannon L. Kelleher and colleagues found that the protein ZnT2 is critical for secreting zinc into breast milk, and women who have mutations in the gene that encodes ZnT2 have substantially lower milk zinc levels, leading to severe zinc deficiency in exclusively breast-fed infants.
They had also found that in mice the deletion of ZnT2 alters milk composition and profoundly impairs the ability of mice to successfully nurse their offspring.
Now the researchers have found that genetic variation resulting in either loss or gain of function may be common in women and in some cases is associated with indicators of poor breast function. They suggest that by identifying women with abnormally low levels of zinc in breast milk, they may be able to more quickly recognize mothers who might have trouble breast-feeding.
In the current study, the researchers found that of 54 breast-feeding women, 36 percent had at least one non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) -- or mutation -- in the protein ZnT2, and that genetic variation was associated with abnormal levels of zinc in their breast milk. Twelve previously unknown variants of ZnT2 were identified in the participants, and five of these variants were statistically associated with abnormal zinc levels in breast milk.
"We had no idea that genetic variation in ZnT2 would be so common," said Kelleher, associate professor of cellular and molecular physiology and pharmacology, College of Medicine.
The protein ZnT2 transports zinc in specific tissues of the body, including the mammary glands. Women who have mutations, or SNPs, in ZnT2 may have difficulty breast-feeding because zinc is necessary for the growth of mammary glands and the function of mammary epithelial cells and secretion pathways. Even if they do successfully breast-feed, their breast milk will likely contain a lower than normal amount of zinc, which can cause severe zinc deficiency in exclusively breast-fed infants. Infants who don't receive enough zinc in their diet are in danger of immunological and developmental problems.
In the current study, among the 36 percent of breast-feeding women found to have at least one genetic variant in ZnT2, all had an abnormally low or high level of zinc in breast milk. However, abnormal zinc levels did not automatically imply a problem with ZnT2, indicating that other factors remain to be identified. The researchers report their results in the current issue of the Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia.
The participants were sorted into four groups, according to breast milk zinc levels -- from low to high. In the group with the lowest levels of zinc, researchers identified ZnT2 variants in 79 percent of the women; in the group with the highest levels, 29 percent of the women had ZnT2 variants.
"Importantly, among the subjects with 'normal' milk (zinc levels), no variants in ZnT2 were detected," the researchers wrote.
The researchers also looked at the women's ratio of sodium to potassium (Na/K) in the milk because this ratio is known to be an indicator of breast dysfunction, including infection and inflammation of the breast. In this study, 12 percent of women had the most common ZnT2 variant, T288S, and had a significantly higher Na/K ratio compared with women who had no variation in ZnT2, while another 9 percent of women with a different, less common ZnT2 variant, D103E, had a higher Na/K ratio than women with no variation in ZnT2, although this was not significant due to the fewer number of women in the study with this variant.
The researchers noted that this observation points to genetic variation of ZnT2 as a modifier of breast function.
While further research is needed to better understand how genetic variation affects milk zinc levels and breast function, these findings are an important step in identifying breast-fed infants who are at risk for zinc deficiency before they become deficient as well as identifying women who might have trouble breast-feeding.
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Samina Alam, Stephen R. Hennigar, Carla Gallagher, David I. Soybel, Shannon L. Kelleher. Exome Sequencing of SLC30A2 Identifies Novel Loss- and Gain-of-Function Variants Associated with Breast Cell Dysfunction. Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia, 2015; 20 (3-4): 159 DOI: 10.1007/s10911-015-9338-z
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Penn State. "Low zinc levels may suggest potential breast-feeding problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151222113507.htm>.
Date: December 22, 2015
Source: University of Notre Dame
How should a concerned mother discuss issues of diet and weight with her daughter? Very carefully, according to a developmental psychology doctoral student.
How should a concerned mother discuss issues of diet and weight with her daughter? Very carefully, according to Erin Hillard, a developmental psychology doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame.
In an article recently published in the journal Body Image, Hillard and her colleagues, fellow Notre Dame psychology graduate student Rebecca A. Morrissey, and Notre Dame faculty members Dawn M. Gondoli, associate professor of psychology, and Alexandra F. Corning, research associate professor of psychology, reported on results from their study of a representative group of sixth- through eighth-grade girls and their mothers.
"Generally, we found that for the daughters who were being encouraged to lose weight by their mothers, outcomes were worse if their mothers were not also discussing their own weight concerns," Hillard said. "The daughters who were being encouraged to lose weight but whose moms were not also discussing their own weight concerns were more at risk for development of disordered eating, based on the higher scores on measures of dieting behavior and drive for thinness they reported in eighth grade."
Hillard acknowledged that the study findings as a whole suggested more about what mothers should not be talking about than what they should. "After all," she said, "the best outcomes were found for daughters whose mothers were not engaging in either type of conversation. They do shed light on the complexity of the issue of talking to children about their weight in ways that don't lead to poor health outcomes in the long run."
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Notre Dame. The original item was written by Michael O. Garvey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Erin E. Hillard, Dawn M. Gondoli, Alexandra F. Corning, Rebecca A. Morrissey. In it together: Mother talk of weight concerns moderates negative outcomes of encouragement to lose weight on daughter body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. Body Image, 2016; 16: 21 DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2015.09.004
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University of Notre Dame. "Mothers should be cautious when discussing weight with daughters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151222163421.htm>.