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Fruits and Veggies Help Smokers Quit, 4 Ways to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk, and Diabetes Drug Actos’ Link to Cancer

admin - July 17, 2012

Tuesday Roundup:

Fruits and Veggies to the Rescue: Helping Smokers Quit

Itching for a cigarette? Instead, eat some fruits and veggies.

The benefits of fruits and vegetables are numerous. They’re good for your waistline, help lower heart disease and stroke risk, provide energy and stamina and are just flat out good for your body. Now, researchers have found yet another benefit: they help smokers kick their nicotine addiction easier and faster. 

Public health researchers at the University of Buffalo found that by consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, smokers are three times more likely to succeed in their quest to quit. It also found that eating produce helps former smokers stay smoke-free longer.

The study, which was published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, surveyed 1,000 smokers ages 25 and older over the telephone about their diet and smoking habits. It then conducted a follow-up call 14 months later asking participants how much they’d smoked in the past month.

Results showed that not only did smokers who consumed more fruits and vegetables smoke fewer cigarettes daily, they also waited longer before smoking their first cigarette of the day and were therefore less dependent on nicotine.

The reason? Researchers say fruits and vegetables worsen the taste of cigarettes, making them less desirable to smokers who consume daily produce.

Negative consequences of nicotine are abundant and yet, many Americans continue to smoke. The study pointed out that 19 percent of Americans smoke cigarettes and of them, many want to quit. Using a diet of fruits and vegetables as a weapon in the fight to beat nicotine can help thousands of people quit.

Smoking cigarettes puts you at risk for an abundance of ailments including heart disease, stroke, cancer, emphysema and more. Life Line Screening provides heart disease and stroke early detection screenings for those who may be at risk. Take control of your health status and get screened today.

Read the full article on the study linking fruit and vegetable consumption to helping smokers quit by visiting this web page:

4 Ways to Lower Your Alzheimer’s Risk

Dementia and memory loss are serious concerns for many elderly Americans. According to the 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report produced by the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and one in eight older Americans has the disease. What’s more frightening is that Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and is the only cause of death in the top ten that can’t be prevented, slowed or cured.

Even though Alzheimer’s can’t be prevented, there are actions you can take to lower your risk. Simply making a few lifestyle changes can greatly reduce your odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

One way is by drinking more coffee. In a previous Life Line Screening blog post, we discussed the positive effects drinking three cups of coffee a day can have on the development of Alzheimer’s. Among people older than 65, those who had higher levels of caffeine in their blood developed Alzheimer’s two to four years later than those who had lower levels of caffeine.

Another way to reduce your Alzheimer’s risk is by exercising more. In a report in the journal Neurology, participants who had the lowest amount of daily physical activity were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as those who were the most active. This activity can be modest tasks like walking, washing dishes or even pushing yourself in a wheelchair. The key is to keep moving.

Eating more fish, nuts and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been found to cut Alzheimer’s risk as well. Eating these foods decreases the amount of beta-amyloid protein within your blood. Beta-amyloid proteins are associated with memory loss because they’re commonly found during autopsies in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The last way to lower your Alzheimer’s risk is to avoid overeating. Studies have shown that eating more than 2,100 calories a day doubles an elderly person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. By watching what you eat and not overindulging, you are avoiding one major risk factor associated with memory loss

Life Line Screening encourages people of all ages to take control of their health status and make healthy, informed lifestyle choices. To read more about the latest Alzheimer’s facts and figures, visit this web page:

The Increased Cancer Risk from Diabetes Drug Actos

Type 2 diabetes has already been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Now studies show that a drug taken by people with type 2 diabetes may increase that risk even more.

A new analysis was compiled from previously conducted studies. The analysis is made up of 10 studies that included 2.6 million people. Of those people, 3,643 had been newly diagnosed with bladder cancer. Results showed that the drug pioglitazone (commonly known as Actos), raises the risk of bladder cancer by one-fifth. That’s a 22 percent increased risk of bladder cancer.

Although the studies discovered the link between Actos and bladder cancer, it didn’t discover how exactly Actos raises the risk. Plus, people with type 2 diabetes are already at a greater risk of bladder cancer—they have a 40 percent increased risk than those who don’t have type 2 diabetes. This is said to be caused by the increased amount of insulin in people with this type of diabetes. Because insulin is a growth hormone, cancer cells can use insulin to grow.

Researchers of the study found that although risk of developing bladder cancer increases for those taking Actos, the likelihood of developing the cancer is still small. Bladder cancer is rare for individuals who don’t have other bladder cancer risk factors like smoking or being an elderly male. In that case, Actos can be very beneficial in dealing with type 2 diabetes.

Life Line Screening offers a glucose screening for type 2 diabetes for those who may be at risk. It is used to identify diabetes. Learn more about Life Line Screening’s preventive health screenings today and gain peace of mind by knowing your health status.

To read the full article about the link between type 2 diabetes drug Actos and bladder cancer, visit the following link:


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