April 2011

What are Whole Grains?

We all keep hearing that we need to eat more whole grains, but does everyone know what they are?   It’s pretty obvious they are NOT that swishy white bread that we used to make dough balls out of when we were kids (to use for bait while fishing!).    Whole grains are cereal grains that consist of the intact, ground, cracked or flaked kernel, which includes the bran, the germ and the inner most part of the kernel (endosperm).  Examples of whole grains include whole wheat, oatmeal, whole-grain cornmeal, brown rice, whole-grain barley, whole rye, and buckwheat.

Four New Alzheimer’s Genes Discovered

Scientists have discovered four new genes associated with an increased risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The findings will help researchers explore new therapies and allow doctors to better predict who will develop the disease.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium conducted the research in collaboration with 44 different universities and research centers, including Northwestern University. The study, published in the current issue of Nature Genetics, is the largest of its kind.

The results of the study double the number of genes currently known to contribute to Alzheimer’s. Of the four genes previously confirmed, the gene for apolopoprotein E-e4, called APOE-e4, has the largest effect on risk. The genes discovered in this study are called MS4A, CD2AP, CD33 and EPHA1.

Teens with Eating Disorders Often Go Untreated

About 3 percent of U.S. adolescents are affected by an eating disorder, but most do not receive treatment for their specific eating condition, according to an  National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded study published online ahead of print March 7, 2011, in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Women’s Health Gets through First Round of Budget Negotiations but the Game Is Still On

The White House and Congress have reached a budget deal over last weekend to keep the federal government running for the short term. Congress is expected to vote on the longer-term budget soon.  Women’s health and reproductive health was taken off the table for the short term solution, however, these issues are likely to rise when Congress begins debating long term budget solutions.  Here’s the issue:

The Environment and Women’s Reproductive Health

Chemicals and other substances that pollute the environment can also cause serious health problems in human reproductive health. There is increasing evidence that some toxic substances harm the body by disrupting the endocrine (hormone) system which regulates biological processes from conception to old age.

Add Fiber Now, Avoid Heart Disease Later

High-fiber diets during early adult years may lower lifetime cardiovascular disease risk

A new study from Northwestern Medicine shows a high-fiber diet could be a critical heart-healthy lifestyle change young and middle-aged adults can make. The study found adults between 20 and 59 years old with the highest fiber intake had a significantly lower estimated lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease compared to those with the lowest fiber intake.  This is the first known study to show the influence of fiber consumption on the lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.