Healthy Take

Healthy Take

Two over easy can lead to smaller waist size

Overweight and obese women who ate a breakfast of two eggs per day, five days a week or more for eight weeks, lost more weight than women who consumed a calorically equivalent bagel breakfast. Researchers at Louisiana State University ’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center found women who ate the two-egg breakfast:

 • Lost 65 percent more weight than those who ate the bagel breakfast.

 • Had 83 percent greater reductions in waist circumference.

 • Reported greater improvements in energy levels.

Eggs, it is believed, evoke feelings of greater satiety and, therefore, reduce short-term food intake. In the study, the bagel and egg breakfasts were equal in both calories and weight mass.

Food containing melatonin may help delay aging

If you’re worried about aging, perhaps a little corn on the cob, followed by a bowl full of cherries, and topped off with a glass of red wine might be in order. Why? Because all of these foods contain melatonin, and recent studies indicate the substance may be the long sought-after “fountain of youth.” Melatonin, a substance that helps

neutralize oxidative damage and delays neurodegenerative processes, might have a hand in putting off old age, according to a University of Granada study.

In the study, five-month-old mice, which are the human age equivalent of 30-year-olds, were used. This is the age where mice start to show signs of aging, due to an increase in free radicals (oxygen and nitrogen), which cause inflammation. This “oxidative stress” can cause cell membranes to become more fragile, making them easier to break and damage. The mice then received melatonin in small amounts. The melatonin not only neutralized the damages, but also delayed the negative effects of aging in the mice. Researchers believe that daily intake of melatonin by humans beginning at the age of 30 could

prevent, or at least delay, some of the negative consequences of aging, such as neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s disease) and other illnesses such as diabetes. More research is being done in the hope of developing a supplement containing enough melatonin to positively affect the aging process.

In the meantime, melatonin can be found naturally in small amounts in certain fruits and vegetables like cherries, bananas and onions; in cereals such as corn, oats and rice; and in aromatic plants such as mint, lemon verbena, sage or thyme; and last, but not least, in red wine.

Secondhand smoke is dangerous – even outdoors

If you’re dining alfresco, you might want to see if there’s a no-smoking section, even though you’re outdoors.

Stanford researchers have found that sitting a few feet downwind from a smoker when you are out-of-doors means that you are likely to be at least periodically exposed to substantial levels of contaminated air.

Neil Klepeis, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and the lead author of the study, says, “Some folks have expressed the opinion that exposure to outdoor tobacco smoke is insignificant, because it dissipates quickly into the air. But our findings show that a person sitting or standing next to a smoker outdoors can breathe in wisps of smoke that are many times more concentrated than normal background air-pollution levels.”

Researchers say they were surprised at some of the findings. Wayne Ott, professor of environmental engineering and co-author of the study says, “If you’re at a sidewalk cafe, and you sit within 18 inches of a person who smokes two cigarettes over the course of an hour, your exposure to secondhand smoke could be the same as if you sat one hour inside a tavern with smokers. Based on our findings, a child in close proximity to adult smokers at a backyard party also could receive substantial exposure to secondhand smoke.”

The researchers found that if people move about six feet away from an outdoor smoker, exposure levels drop significantly.

The results of the study were published in the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association.


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