WHAT DO BLUEBERRIES AND VIAGRA HAVE IN COMMON? THEY BOTH INVOLVE INTERACTION WITH THE INNER LINING OF BLOOD VESSELS
Researchers at Harvard have published a study suggesting that blueberries may help women lower the chance of a heart attack. Beginning in 1991, they tracked more than 100,000 women ages 25 to 42 with food-frequency questionnaires every four years through 2009. They found that women who ate more blueberries and strawberries had a lower chance of heart attack. They write, “Blue and red fruits and vegetables have bioactive compounds that can be connected with the decreased risk of MI in middle-aged and young women”.
Heart attacks can happen because of a disturbance to the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, which can lead to the formation of a clot that results in a heart attack. The inner lining of the blood vessels is surprisingly important in the function of the heart and the control of various body functions. The inner lining of the arteries, the endothelium is surprisingly complex and surprisingly important. The endothelial function includes producing vital chemicals that help to control the body.
“The combination of consuming 2 foods-rich with anthocyanin, strawberries, and blueberries is connected with a lower risk of MI (95% confidence interval, 0.40–1.08, hazard ratio, 0.66) for the ones who intake >3 servings per week and those with lower intake”. They suspect that the chemical in blueberries may impact the endothelium of arteries.
The endothelium is the thin layer of cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels, the inner lining. The endothelium among other things produces nitric oxide, a vasodilator (makes arteries wider), (nitric oxide is also produced elsewhere) which is a potent signaling molecule, that happens to be a gas and thus can move more easily among cells that can cause widening of the blood vessels,i.e. vasodilation. Widening the blood vessels can be good as when it lowers your blood pressure or bad if it lowers it too much as in shock. It is interesting that drugs such as Viagra work through the nitric oxide pathway.
The scientists came to the conclusion that the woman who consumed more than 3 servings of strawberries and blueberries per week- had a lower risk of heart attack than the ones who consumed less.
CAN USING ASPIRIN LOWER CANCER?
It would certainly be a wonder drug if it was discovered today. Nevertheless, aspirin is still in the headlines almost every week as the results of one study or another seem to shed light on yet another remarkable property of aspirin. Controversy swirls around aspirin with some doctors swearing by aspirin and others swearing at it.
HEART ATTACK PREVENTION BUT CANCER TOO?
Probably the most well-documented benefit of aspirin is a probable effect to lower the chance of heart attack. Sure aspirin isn’t for everybody, say people with ulcers, bleeding problems and some people with asthma for example. Yet, it seems the studies of aspirin benefits just keep rolling in.
LONG TERM EFFECTS OF ASPIRIN
Take for example, “Long-term aspirin effects on Colorectal Cancer Mortality and Incidence: Using Five Randomised Trials”. Gee! The title is almost as long as the whole study!
Basically, the authors looked at four trials in the 1980s and 1990s with cardiovascular (heart-related) outcomes. Even though the studies were about the effect on the heart, the authors looked to see whether the participants in the study had died of colon cancer. There were made four aspirin trials – British Doctors Aspirin Trial, Thrombosis Prevention Trial in primary and secondary prevention- UK-TIA Aspirin Trial, Swedish Aspirin Low Dose Trial and one additional trial Dutch TIA Aspirin Trial.
WHAT DID THE STUDY SAY?
What the heck are they talking about? Well, what they are saying is they looked at 14,033 people in control or intervention groups. They found that aspirin given at any dosage for an average of 5.8 years lowered the long term colon cancer risk. They suggested the strongest benefit might be in an area that is hard to reach by common diagnosis methods such as colonoscopy.
Several reports have alluded to cancer reduction by aspirin such as a previous study by Harvard scientists.
Concussion and Head Injury in Sports Concussion Even Without Head Hit: In 1904 Theodore Roosevelt Threatened to Ban Football
CHILDREN’S FOOTBALL GAME LATEST SPARK TO IGNITE SPORTS CONCUSSION CONTROVERSY
The NY Times had a shocking article about a little league football game where 5 concussions were diagnosed and yet the game went on. The repercussions from that game are still reverberating. “The whole debate that was fueled even further looks like it won’t be calming any time soon. Head injuries in the National Football League remain the league’s greatest safety concern and the league’s greatest legal liability”.
“With the sole purpose of reducing the brain injuries, Ivy League universities set limits on the practice contacts. since young boys’ brains are very vulnerable, the national organization that has hundreds of thousands of children, made its own safety guidelines. “.
A head concussion is one of the most prominent sports injuries. Diagnosis requires a high degree of suspicion when you suspect an injury. A concussion is a disturbance in brain function. It can be caused by an indirect or direct force that results in shear stress to the head. You don’t need to get hit in the head to have a concussion. Brain injury can happen by rotation or angular force. In 1904, 19 college football players were paralyzed or killed from a spinal cord and brain injuries, President Theodore Roosevelt made threats to outlaw football.
You may or may not pass out. Even though the brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, protected by the skull and cushioned by the meninges i.e. the linings of the central nervous system, the impact of a concussion can cause brain damage and repeated concussions can cause cumulative damage to the brain.
“Nowadays the coaches are far better educated regarding concussions. Long gone are the days of simply patting on the athlete’s backside and sending them back in the game. Most coaches are realizing now that when the student has a concussion he or she needs to rest, even take a break from the sport or school. The brain needs to allocate all its resources for its healing process”.