Vegetarian diets could help avert one-third of early deaths, new research finds

April 26, 2018 by  
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Vegetarians, rejoice! While scientists have long touted the health benefits of  plant-based diets , they may be even more effective than we thought. According to new calculations from Harvard University scientists, one-third of early deaths might be avoided if people switched to a  vegetarian diet. The scientists’ research suggests that we have underestimated the positive effects of a vegetarian diet. For example, while figures from the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics  suggested that 141,000 deaths a year in Britain were preventable, the new research from Harvard has produced a much higher figure: about 200,000 lives could potentially be saved each year if people removed meat  from their diets . Related: Here’s what could happen if America went 100% vegan Harvard Medical School epidemiology and nutrition professor Walter Willett, a speaker at the Unite to Cure Fourth International Vatican Conference , said, “We have just been doing some calculations looking at the question of how much could we reduce mortality shifting towards a healthy, more plant based diet, not necessarily totally vegan , and our estimates are about one third of early deaths could be prevented. That’s not even talking about physical activity or not smoking, and that’s all deaths, not just cancer deaths. That’s probably an underestimate as well as that doesn’t take into account the fact that obesity is important and we control for obesity.” Committee for Responsible Medicine president Neal Barnard, another speaker at the conference, agreed that people should be more aware of the health benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets. He said, “I think we’re underestimating the effect. I think people imagine that a healthy diet has only a modest effect and a vegetarian diet might help you lose a little bit of weight. But when these diets are properly constructed I think they are enormously powerful.” Via The Telegraph Images via Lefteris kallergis on Unsplash and James Sutton on Unsplash

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Vegetarian diets could help avert one-third of early deaths, new research finds

Breast cancer spread connected to amino acid in asparagus

February 16, 2018 by  
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Scientists have linked the spread of the disease breast cancer in mice to a compound that’s in asparagus and several other foods, The Guardian reported . Studies with mice revealed asparagine drives the advance of the cancer , and when researchers reduced asparagine, the amount of “secondary tumors in other tissues” dropped. Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute director Greg Hannon told The Guardian, “This is a very promising lead and one of the very few instances where there is a scientific rationale for a dietary modification influencing cancer.” Research with mice showed the amino acid asparagine is important for breast cancer to spread, and scientists think the process could be similar in humans. Researchers found that blocking the amino acid hampered the spread of the cancer. Hannon said in a statement , “It could be that manipulating levels of asparagine in the body might be used as a way to boost a patients’ cancer treatment.” Related: Many anti-aging products contain ingredients that can cause breast cancer The researchers blocked asparagine in mice tested, which had an aggressive type of breast cancer, to reduce the cancer’s ability to spread with the drug L-asparaginase. Giving the mice a low-asparagine diet worked to a lesser extent, according to The Guardian. There’s still a lot work to be done. The Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute cautioned research is in the early stages and “doesn’t form the basis for DIY diets at home.” This work also doesn’t seem to offer a cure for cancer; per the press release, “So far the story suggests that lowering asparagine levels blunts the ability of cancer cells to spread in mice, but doesn’t affect the original tumor.” Lowering asparagine didn’t prevent breast tumors from forming, the researchers found. Hannon said, “The difficulty is finding ways to study this in the lab that are relevant to patients. It’s a challenge, but I think it’s worth pursuing.” The journal Nature published the research online this week . 21 scientists at institutions in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States contributed. + Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute + Nature Via The Guardian Images via Stephanie Studer on Unsplash and Tambako The Jaguar on Flickr

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Breast cancer spread connected to amino acid in asparagus

The world’s largest wildlife sanctuary proposed for Antarctica

January 17, 2018 by  
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While the US is busy trying to open more precious areas to fishing and drilling , a campaign led by the EU and Greenpeace seeks to protect an area the size of Germany in Antarctica. A nearly 700,000 square-mile area around the Antarctic Peninsula and the Weddell Sea would become the world’s largest sanctuary if the proposal is accepted, protecting killer and blue whales, seals, penguins and other sea life. The idea for the massive sanctuary was initially put forth by the EU and then backed by Greenpeace. Multiple EU countries support the idea, and the concept will go to conference in October. Not only will the sanctuary be essential for protecting wildlife, it will also go a long way towards mitigating the effects of climate change. Related: Meteorologist warns collapse of two Antarctic glaciers could flood every coastal city on Earth One of the major impacts of protecting this area is that it would eliminate krill fishing within its borders. Krill is a major component of the diet of many animals, from penguins to whales. Countries including Russia, Norway and China are active in the krill fishing industry, which means getting their approval will be essential in the process. Via The Guardian Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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The world’s largest wildlife sanctuary proposed for Antarctica

South Pacific islands introduce ban on western junk food

February 3, 2017 by  
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South Pacific islands are banning western junk food in favor of a more nutritious diet. As the islands can grow organic, local food themselves, leaders in Torba, a Vanuatu province, said they want to ban imported foreign food. Their goal is to be the first organic province in Vanuatu by 2020. Torba is Vanuatu’s most isolated province, according to community leader Father Luc Dini. Around 10,000 people reside in the province; most are subsistence farmers. But Dini said the remote islands are experiencing an intrusion of foreign junk food, the most popular of which have been sweets, biscuits, tinned fish, and rice. In contrast, the islands can yield pineapple, yams, paw paw, shellfish, crabs, and other fish for what Dini sees as a healthier diet. He told The Guardian, “It is easy to boil noodles or rice, but they have almost no nutritional value and there is no need to eat imported food when we have so much local food grown organically on our islands.” Related: Michael Moss Investigates How Junk Food is Engineered to Be Addictive Dini also leads the local tourism council, and starting this week, with the support of other local chiefs, he has ordered tourism bungalows to serve only local, organic food. He aims to introduce legislation in the next two years to wholly ban imports of foreign food. Vanuatu’s central government, in Port Vila, has been supportive, according to Dini. “In other provinces that have adopted western diets you see pretty young girls but when they smile they have rotten teeth, because the sugar has broken down their teeth. We don’t want that to happen here and we don’t want to develop the illnesses that come with a western junk food diet,” he told The Guardian. “If you really want to live on a paradise of your own, then you should make do with what you have and try and live with nature .” Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons and Harsha K R on Flickr

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South Pacific islands introduce ban on western junk food

Ecofriendly Elixir: How To Save Water By Drinking Alcohol

December 28, 2015 by  
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Okay, we’ll admit it, you can’t actually save water by drinking alcohol. After all, saving water by drinking alcohol is like cutting out sugars from your diet and then doubling-down on pasta and bread – it’s a zero-sum exercise. But you can help…

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Ecofriendly Elixir: How To Save Water By Drinking Alcohol

10 vegan probiotic foods that boost immunity & promote good gut health

November 8, 2015 by  
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There is never a bad time to add some ‘good’ bacteria to your diet. Probiotics are often taken in supplement form to help strengthen immune defenses , especially on the cusp of the winter flu season. Pills and chalky powders aren’t the only way, though. It turns out there are some delicious alternatives available – and some of them might take you by surprise! We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite vegan foods that naturally contain the healthy bacteria your body needs to maintain proper digestion and intestinal health, in addition to protecting you from sickness and infection. These probiotic foods aren’t just good for your guts, they are really tasty additions to anyone’s diet . Read on to learn about 10 awesome options for adding healthy bacteria to your menu today. READ MORE >

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10 vegan probiotic foods that boost immunity & promote good gut health

Researchers discover that architecture has an impact on which microbes thrive around you

September 29, 2015 by  
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Microbes: our bodies are made up of them, our environment is teeming with them, and when they get out of balance, things go bad quickly . And while most of us are aware of the impact our diet and antibiotic use has on the bacteria, fungi and viruses that surround us, it’s a pretty safe bet that most of us haven’t considered how design impacts these microbes. But new research from the University of Oregon suggests that design has a vital influence on the balance of microbes in any given space, and the balance can shift from room to room depending on the design. Given the fact that humans spend a vast  majority of their lives indoors, it could mean big things for our health. Read the rest of Researchers discover that architecture has an impact on which microbes thrive around you

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Researchers discover that architecture has an impact on which microbes thrive around you

This bindi delivers life-saving iodine supplements to India’s women

June 21, 2015 by  
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In rural India, many women suffer from a deficiency of iodine . Iodine is a necessary part of nutrition, as it helps cells metabolize food into energy. A deficiency can cause a host of health problems, ranging from breast cancer to pregnancy complications. Many people get adequate iodine from their diet, from sea vegetables, dairy products, and other legumes and vegetables, and it can also be easily absorbed into the body from supplements. For the iodine-deficient women in India , where a balanced diet may be challenging and supplements are too expensive, Grey Group Singapore, and the NGO Neelvasant Medical Foundation and Research Centre have created a unique solution : an iodine-dosing bindi. The bindi makes it easy for women to get an adequate iodine supplement, absorbed directly through the skin, without adding any new steps to their daily lives. Read on to learn more about how the bindi works to save women’s lives in India. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: grey group singapore , iodine deficiency india , iodine supplements india , iodine women health , Neelvasant Medical Foundation and Research Centre , rural india health , women in india , women’s health

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This bindi delivers life-saving iodine supplements to India’s women

Polar bears are eating dolphins stranded by climate change

June 16, 2015 by  
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Arctic polar bears have been forced to rethink their diet as a result of climate change. No, they aren’t considering vegetarianism to help offset the droughts in other parts of the world. Instead, they have been feasting on frozen white-beaked dolphins who have found themselves trapped in the surrounding ice. This practice was previously unheard of, since this species of dolphin doesn’t usually venture so far north in the Arctic Ocean during the winter or spring months. With fewer seals to hunt, bears in the region are availing themselves of an unexpected source of sustenance. Read the rest of Polar bears are eating dolphins stranded by climate change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arctic ocean , Climate Change , global warming , polar bear eats dolphin , polar bears , sea level rising , svalbard islands , white-beaked dolphin

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Study Projects Over Half of World’s Population Could Rely on Food Imports by 2050

May 8, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock With tomatoes from Chile, salmon from Norway, chocolate from Africa, and coffee from Indonesia, a trip to the local grocery store can seem like a journey around the world. But food security is a serious issue in the 21st century, as countries around the world struggle to produce enough food to feed their growing populations. A new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany that was published in the journal  Environmental Research Letters suggests that over half of the world’s population could depend on imported foods by 2050. Read the rest of Study Projects Over Half of World’s Population Could Rely on Food Imports by 2050 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: central america , Climate Change , diet , food security , germany , imported food , marianela fader , Middle East , North Africa , Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research , self sufficiency        

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