HEALTH NEWS YOU CAN USE: More Benefits of Tea, Onions, Garlic, and Nuts / New Technology Against Skin Cancer
by Leonore Dvorkin
NOTE: This article was originally published in the October 2019 issue of Bob Branco’s online newsletter, The Consumer Vision Magazine, to which I contribute monthly and which I also help to edit.
Following are my short summaries of health articles that printed out to texts of one to three pages each. I have left out the more technical details.
1. Drinking tea improves brain health, study suggests
Source: Science Daily, 9/12/19 / National University of Singapore
A recent study revealed that compared to non-tea drinkers, older regular tea drinkers have better organized brain regions, which is associated with healthy cognitive function. Past studies have shown that tea intake is beneficial to human health, with positive effects including mood improvement and cardiovascular disease prevention. The improved brain organization is brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections. The research team found that people who consumed green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were interconnected in a more efficient way.
A personal note: This is very good news to me and my husband, as we are regular consumers of black tea. We each have at least three large mugs of it every day.
2. Study finds onion and garlic consumption may reduce breast cancer risk
Source: EurekAlert, 9/23/19 / University at Buffalo (Buffalo, New York)
Puerto Rico has lower breast cancer rates compared to the mainland U.S., which makes it an important population to study.
Onions and garlic are key ingredients in sofrito, a staple of Puerto Rican cuisine. Other ingredients are red and green peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro. So why the focus on the onions and garlic? They are rich in flavonols and organosulfar compounds, which show anti-carcinogenic properties in humans and in experimental animal studies. The study referenced here was the first population-based study to examine the association between garlic and onion consumption and breast cancer in Puerto Rico. The results were published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.
Personal notes: Fortunately, onions and garlic are prominent ingredients in many cuisines, and we love both of these foods. A Web search will show you that both onions and garlic have numerous health benefits.
I had breast cancer and a mastectomy in 1998, and thus am interested in any news connected with foods or beverages (such as alcohol) that might pose cancer risks, as well as in foods or beverages that might reduce risk.
For information about the book I wrote about my breast cancer experience, go here:
The title is Another Chance at Life: A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Journey.
The third and most recent edition of the book is from 2012.
It’s in e-book and print, and it’s also in Spanish. The second edition, from 2009, is also in audio.
3. Boosting daily nut consumption linked to less weight gain and lower obesity risk
Source: EurekAlert, 9/23/19 / BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health
Note: This was a 20-year study involving close to 300,000 health professionals, both males and females, many of them nurses.
On average, U.S. adults gain about one pound a year. This is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Now a large, long-term study has shown that replacing some unhealthy foods such as processed meats, French fries, and potato chips with half a daily serving of any type of nuts (just 14 grams, or 1/2 ounce) may be a simple strategy for warding off the gradual weight gain that so often accompanies the aging process.
Nuts are rich in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also calorie-dense, and thus not often thought of as good for weight control. But emerging evidence suggests that the quality of what is eaten may be as important as the quantity.
There seem to be several reasons why consuming nuts helps with weight control. The high fiber content of nuts can delay stomach emptying, making a person feel satisfied for longer. Nut fiber binds well to fats in the gut, meaning that more calories are excreted. There is also some evidence that the high unsaturated fat content of nuts increases resting energy expenditure. Last but not least, eating less meat and more environmentally friendly, plant-based protein is good for the planet.
4. Stevens researchers to develop handheld device to diagnose skin cancer
Source: EurekAlert, 9/17/19 / Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, New Jersey)
Headline: The proven technology will be designed into a handheld device that could reduce the need for painful biopsies by 50% — and disrupt the $5.3 billion diagnostics market.
Some 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. At the present time, dermatologists must rely on magnifying glasses to examine suspicious blemishes and on scalpels to cut tissue for lab analysis. Now, using shortwave rays used in cellphones and airport security scanners, researchers at Stevens have developed a technique that detects skin lesions and determines whether they are cancerous or benign. This could be incorporated into a handheld device that could rapidly diagnose skin cancer without a scalpel in sight.
The article goes on to say that the devices could be configured to interpret images automatically and deliver basic diagnostic information, such as a warning to go get checked out by a doctor, without needing a trained operator. They could be placed in pharmacies, so people could go get checked out and then go to a doctor for a follow-up if necessary.
The lead researcher on this technology is the 2019 inaugural recipient of the Paul Kaplan Award for Distinguished Doctoral Research. He plans to launch a start-up to commercialize the scanners.
A personal note: Again, this is encouraging news for David and me. We are both very pale-skinned, and we both had bad sunburns in the past. Although we have not sunbathed in decades and never will again, we’ve had a total of six bouts of skin cancer. We are happy to read about anything that might make the skin cancer diagnosis process easier and faster.
About the Author
Leonore Dvorkin and her husband of 51 years, the prolific author David Dvorkin, live in Denver, Colorado. They are the authors of a total of 33 published books, both fiction and nonfiction; 29 of those books are by David.
David’s latest book is When We Landed on the Moon: A Memoir. It’s about his years spent working at NASA on the Apollo program, including Apollo 11. On Amazon, the e-book is only $2.50, and the print edition is $8.50. Full details and buying links are here: http://www.dvorkin.com/moonland/
Leonore’s four books are her novel Apart from You, a one-act fantasy play called The Glass Family, her breast cancer memoir (mentioned above), and that last book in Spanish.
Together, David and Leonore have been running DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services since 2009. In that time, they have edited and produced more than 75 books, both fiction and nonfiction, for more than 35 authors, the majority of whom are blind or visually impaired.
In addition to editing books and writing, Leonore tutors four languages and teaches exercise classes, mainly weight training (exercises with weights). She works almost entirely at home.
David and Leonore invite you to visit any of their websites for information about their many books and their various services.
David Dvorkin: http://www.dvorkin.com/
Leonore Dvorkin: http://www.leonoredvorkin.com/
DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services: http://www.dldbooks.com/