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Archive for September, 2015

Heart failure linked to fructose

Posted on: 30th September 2015

Can fructose in drinks and ready-meals lead to heart failure?

Fructose – often used as a ‘healthier’ alternative sweetener in fruit juices and drinks – can trigger uncontrolled growth of the heart, leading to heart failure, new research has found.

What has research found?

The discovery adds to earlier research that found the liver converts fructose very efficiently into fat, and people who drink large quantities of fructose-sweetened drinks are more likely to put on weight, develop high blood pressure and become insulin resistant, a range of conditions collectively known as metabolic syndrome.

Now Wilhelm Krek from ETH Zurich’s Institute for Molecular Health Sciences has discovered that fructose can also cause the heart to grow uncontrollably.

Fructose seems to be involved in a fatal chain reaction that is more commonly seen in people with high blood pressure (HBP). In HBP patients, the heart grows in order to pump the blood around; however, as it runs out of its usual energy supply of fatty acids, it seeks out sugars, including fructose.

How can I help myself?

The key, as with most things, is moderation. Consuming fruit, which naturally contains fructose, and a fruit juice a day isn’t going to do you any harm, say Krek. But drinking sweet soft juices, often with added sugar, together with ready meals and other foods that contain artificial fructose sweetener can produce a surplus in the body that triggers the mechanisms which can lead to heart failure.

Source – Nature, 2015; doi: 10.1038/nature14508


Omega 3s and B vitamins work together in the brain

Posted on: 24th September 2015

What the study involved

A new study from Oxford scientists suggests that combining omega 3 fish oils and with B vitamins might slow the progression of brain shrinkage in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

As part of this new study, researchers divided 168 people over the age of 70 years with mild cognitive impairment into two groups, one of which took high-dose B vitamins (folic acid 0.8mg, vitamin B6 20mg, vitamin B12, 0.5mg) while the other took inactive placebo for two years.

What has research shown?

In those taking the B vitamins, the rate of brain atrophy slowed by 40 per cent compared with those on placebo but only if they had high blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids.


This is the first evidence to suggest that Alzheimer’s-related brain shrinkage might be slowed through dietary intervention, and has been hailed by experts as a major breakthrough in dementia prevention.

Source – Lifespan 2015

Acupuncture – Menopause

Posted on: 17th September 2015

Can it help the menopause?

Those hot flushes can be helped with acupuncture, benefits up to three months after treatment.

Source: Menopause 2014