Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mexico's "Queso Fresco" has Antihypertensive Activity

A study was conducted by the Eastern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture. They state that "Hispanic-style cheeses are one of the fastest growing varieties in the United States, making up approximately 2% of the total cheese production in this country. Queso Fresco is one of most popular Hispanic-style cheeses."

The Study
Proteins from 18 different "queso fresco" cheeses were analyzed for potential antihypertensive activity. 6 were Mexican-style "queso fresco," made from raw milk, 12 were made from pasteurized milk and did not utilize starter cultures.

Researchers were looking for the proteins' ability to inhibit the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) - an enzyme that participates in vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels).

Cheeses were aged, and proteins were extracted periodically.

The Results
All cheeses produced ACE-inhibiting proteins.

The 6 Mexican style "queso fresco" cheeses stood out, however - the proteins were found only a few days after being aged. The model cheeses, made from pasteurized milk, produced these same results "after 8 weeks of aging when they were no longer consumable."

[PubMed]: Short communication: Assessing antihypertensive activity in native and model Queso Fresco cheeses

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Intense Exercise Better Than Endurance Training

A recent study identified "high intensity exercise [to be] more beneficial than traditional endurance training" for those concerned about their cardiovascular health.

The study
47 boys and 10 girls volunteered for the study. The kids were randomly assigned to two groups - the moderate intensity group and the high intensity group.

Both groups performed 3 exercise sessions a week for 7 weeks. The moderate intensity group was asked to jog, non-stop, for 20 minutes while the high intensity group was asked to run a series of 20m sprints in a period of 30 seconds.

By the end of the study the moderate intensity group had 420 minutes of exercise and the high intensity group had only done 63 minutes. The moderate intensity group had burned an approximate 4,410kcals while the high intensity group had only burned 907.2kcals.

The Results
"The results revealed that both groups demonstrated improved CVD risk factors. However, the total exercise time over seven weeks was six times higher for the MOD group compared to the HIT group. Thus, significant improvements in CVD risk factors in the HIT group occurred in only 15% of the total exercise time."

This states that the body benefits MOST from high intensity training - kids in the high intensity group had same results in less than a fifth of the time as the kids in the moderate intensity group. This suggests that, "brief, intense exercise is a time efficient means for improving CVD risk factors in adolescents."

[Medical News Today]: Better A Sprint Than A Marathon: Brief Intense Exercise Better Than Endurance Training For CVD

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Roxarsone, Poultry, and Your Health

News that Roxarsone will no longer be used in poultry hit the web today.

Roxarsone is a 67 year-old drug that has been administered to poultry to protect it against certain diseases. Pfizer (Roxarsone's manufacturer), along with the FDA, opted to stop giving the medication to poultry because the compound contains levels of organic arsenic that can convert into inorganic arsenic which is known to cause certain cancers.

It doesn't look like there will be a recall of any chicken. "FDA officials stress that the levels of inorganic arsenic detected were very low and that continuing to eat chicken as 3-Nitro is suspended from the market does not pose a health risk." And really... why should there be a recall? We've been eating this junk for decades.

Is There a Cover-up on the Way?
We're not advocates of conspiracies but we did find it odd that for the first time, the Medical News Today displays a 404 (page not found) error when following links from Google and Twitter.

Here are three screen shots (one of Google, one of the tweet, and one of the page).

Google Results Screenshot

Tweet that Informed Us About this

Error Page on Medical News Today

[LA Times]: Arsenic-containing drug in chicken feed to be pulled from U.S.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Potassium-to-Sodium Ratio

Recent literary reviews suggest that salt balance may be key to preventing heart disease.

Literary Review
"Americans are consuming too much sodium and not enough potassium."

"This imbalance is taking a toll in the form of higher rates of heart disease and stroke, the first and third most deadly diseases in the U.S., respectively, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

The article names some fruits and vegetables that are good potassium sources. The idea is that if you eat these foods you will increase your potassium intake, balancing your potassium-to-sodium ratio.

Why is this important? According to the article, recent scientific research suggests that it is low potassium-to-sodium ratio that damages the heart, and not necessarily a person's total sodium intake.

[Medical News Today]: High Potassium-To-Sodium Ratio May Reduce Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease