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I homeschool and have a health ministry for friends, family, and health lovers world-wide. I'm totally into all-natural and avoid chemicals, food additives, etc. even in my cosmetics. I am working toward eating Vegan, Organic, and raw as much as possible (my family too). I'm married, and have two small kids and two grown step kids. Optimal Health - God's Way ".....and the fruit thereof shall be for meat (FOOD), and the leaf for MEDICINE." Ezekiel 47:12 KJV

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Study: Lycopene may reduce risk of ASTHMA (great for EYE HEALTH too)

New Study: Lycopene may reduce risk of ASTHMA (great for EYE HEALTH too)

By the way, both Gac and Goji fruit extracts contain some of the highest levels of lycopene known (i.e. Gac fruit contains 70 times more lycopene than a tomato).

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Lycopene may reduce risk of asthma: Study
By Stephen Daniells, 30-Apr-2010



Supplements of lycopene may protect against inflammation in the lungs and reduce the risk of developing asthma, suggest results from a study with mice.

The carotenoid, most commonly associated with tomatoes, was found to decrease the response of inflammatory cytokines in the lungs of mice, as well as a two-fold decrease in the number of eosinophils - white blood cells associated with an allergic or asthmatic immune response, according to findings published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

"This study provides evidence that dietary supplementation with lycopene prior to and during the onset of allergic airways disease may be of clinical benefit in reducing eosinophilic infiltrates both in the lungs and systemically," wrote the researchers, led by Paul Foster from the University of Newcastle, UK.

The scientists used Lycored's Lyc-O-Mato ingredient at a dose that would equate to about 50 mg per day for a human.

As an antioxidant, lycopene has been shown to have heart, blood pressure, prostate, osteoporosis, skin and other benefits in both natural and synthetic form and it has been commonly used in food supplements and cosmeceutical applications.

Study details

The Newcastle-based scientists used BALB/c mice to model the effects of lycopene on allergic inflammation and asthma. According to the European Federation of Allergy and Airway Diseases Patients Association (EFA), over 30m Europeans suffer from asthma, costing Europe €17.7bn every year. The cost due to lost productivity is estimated to be around €9.8bn.

The mice were divided into two groups: one received a normal diet and water, while the other received additional lycopene (Lyc-O-Mato). The animals subsequently inhaled ovalbumin in order to induce asthma-like symptoms in their lungs.

Results showed that the lycopene-rich supplementation reduced eosinophilic infiltrates in the lung fluid, tissue and blood. Furthermore, levels of inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and IL-5, which were found to increase in the control group, were also reduced following lycopene supplementation.

"We conclude that supplementation with lycopene reduces allergic inflammation both in the lungs and systemically, by decreasing cytokine responses," wrote the researchers. "Thus, lycopene supplementation may have a protective effect against asthma," they concluded.

Source: The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2009.12.003
"Dietary lycopene supplementation suppresses Th2 responses and lung eosinophilia in a mouse model of allergic asthma"
Authors: L.C. Hazlewood, L.G. Wood, P.M. Hansbro, P.S. Foster


Gac Fruit " The Super Fruit"
Gac fruit certainly deserves its place, as one of the 'super fruits' of our planet; packed full of goodness, bursting with vitamin C, an abundance of lycopene and considerable amounts of beta-carotene; Gac fruit is without question one of the most exciting fruits to come to people's attention since the early days of Noni!

Gac Fruit " The Buzz"
As more people ventured to South East Asia and in particular Vietnam, the fruit began to get noticed and it is now creating a incredible buzz in the health food markets.

Gac Fruit "The Secret"
Originally found in South East Asia, Gac fruit has remained a well kept secret for centuries, used primarily as a food and medicine in countries such as Vietnam and Laos. Known for centuries as one of the best fruits to use for various ailments, the Vietnamese people have used it to promote healthy eyesight, enhance longevity and increase energy.

Gac Fruit "Packed Full of Nutrients"
Gac fruit is often cooked with rice and is traditionally served during festive occasions. The fruit is also frequently used as a traditional remedy for arthritis, and cardiovascular and macular degeneration. Studies on this fruit found it to be amongst the most nutrient-dense fruits known, containing high concentrations of beta-carotene and lycopene, besides other nutrients.

The Facts
Laboratory testing and scientific research have shown that Gac Fruit contains: 70 Times More Lycopene Than Tomatoes, 20 Times More Beto-carotene Than Carrots, 40 Times More Vitamin C Than Oranges 40, Times More Zeaxanthin Than Yellow Corn

Gac Fruit "The Conclusion"
Gac fruit is without question a fruit that provides some extremely healthy ingredients. The fruit is packed full of nutrients, that for decades, have been known to be good for you. In fact in South East Asia they have known for centuries and used it sparingly in all manner of various ailments. There is no doubt it is packed full of goodness and with the facts above, it is hard not to see the benefits.

Goji Super nutrients:

All the following nutrients are present in goji berries. Data sources are from two recently published books (3,6).

1-3. Antioxidant vitamins A-C-E. Vitamin A, formed from precursors called retinol (from dairy products) or retinal (from plant carotenoids like beta-carotene present in goji), serves antioxidant, filtering and immune functions in the eye. Vitamins C and E are, respectively, water-soluble and lipid-soluble antioxidants that become resident in the eye with a variety of protective functions against oxidative and intense light stress. Goji berries are an exceptionally good source of vitamin C (29 mg/100 g dried fruit, approx. 30% of the US Dietary Reference Intake, DRI) (3).

4. Zinc. As a cofactor for numerous enzymes, some of which play antioxidant roles, zinc can be viewed as a complementary element guarding eye health. Its precise role especially in age-related macular degeneration is not yet defined, but it is nonetheless included as one of the AREDs nutrients currently under clinical study. Zinc content per gram in goji berries (2 mg/100 g, 20% DRI) is high among edible plants (3).

5-6. Zeaxanthin and lutein. Almost identical in chemical structure, these two carotenoids present in green, orange, red and yellow plant foods are selectively absorbed from the blood by the retina. They are deposited in a retinal compartment called the macula lutea where scientific studies have proved a light-absorbing filter role against intense sunlight and an antioxidant role against reactive oxygen species. Goji berry is one of nature's richest sources of zeaxanthin (162 mg/100 g; there is no DRI for this nutrient) (3).

7-8. Beta-carotene and lycopene. Not only a precursor to vitamin A formation, beta-carotene also serves as a potent antioxidant source that seeks fat layers for storage. This has significance to eye protection, as the neural elements of the retina are lined with fatty sheaths where antioxidant protection is needed. Usually associated with tomatoes (a botanical relative of the goji berry), lycopene provides antioxidant functions. Beta-carotene and lycopene contents in goji berries are exceptional among edible plants (7.4 mg and 1.4 mg/100 g, respectively) (3,4,6).

9-10. Magnesium and selenium. Although the research is preliminary at present, there is evidence that magnesium and selenium, essential minerals with rich contents in goji berries (109 mg and 50 mcg/100 g; 30% and 97% DRI, respectively), participate as cofactors in retinal antioxidant reactions (3).

11. Riboflavin (vitamin B2). Like other B vitamins, riboflavin supports energy production by aiding the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It has not been conclusively proved that riboflavin serves a health function in the eye. Recent research has shown, however, that riboflavin is associated with nutrition of collagen fibrils affected by cataracts and keratoconus, a degenerative corneal disease. Goji berries have among the highest riboflavin content per gram in nature (1.3 mg/100 g or 100% DRI) (3).

12. Phenolics. These chemicals from colorful plants are pigments with a great diversity of chemical structures and names. They are the main dietary antioxidants in foods Americans eat, and so likely contribute to eye health in ways not yet clear from modern research. In goji berries, phenolic concentration is particularly enriched (total phenolics of 1309 mg/100 g), with preliminary evidence that the phenolic well-known in red raspberries – ellagic acid – is also localized in goji fruit (86 mg/100 g) (6).

Although it will take years for modern science to unravel the eye health nutrients in goji berries, we have enough evidence already by knowing that these dozen nutrients are involved in supporting vision and overall health (1,2,5).

Our choice is to involve plant foods containing these nutrients in our diets, whether by using goji berries or other colorful plants foods with similar nutrient characteristics (2,6).

References

1. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group, A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001 Oct;119(10):1417-36.
2. Bartlett H, Eperjesi F. An ideal ocular nutritional supplement? Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2004 Jul;24(4):339-49.
3. Gross PM, Zhang X, Zhang R, Wolfberry: Nature's Bounty of Nutrition and Health, Booksurge Publishing, 2006.
4. Gross PM, Exploring exotic antioxidant superfruits. Nat Prod Insider Oct 16, 2006, p 92-4.
5. Naguib Y, Eye Health Update, Nutraceuticals World, May 2005, 46-55.
6. Young G, Lawrence R, Schreuder M, Discovery of the Ultimate Superfood, Essential Science Publishing, 2005
7. Wolfberry (goji) site, http://wolfberry.org

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