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Two studies show that various botanicals may have an impact on type 2 diabetes risk and blood-sugar management.


A small U.S. and Canadian study shows that prediabetic men and women who are overweight or obese can lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by eating a small, daily dose of flaxseed.

In a randomized, crossover trial, researchers at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, the University of Montana and the University of Sherbrooke in Canada recruited 25 overweight or obese men and postmenopausal women with prediabetes. Each subject was given either 0, 13 or 26 grams of ground flaxseed daily for 12 weeks. The results of the study were published in the May 2013 issue of Nutrition Research.


A large meta-analysis has found that consuming omega-3s can have a “significant clinical impact” on hypertension, and may be as effective for lowering blood pressure as increasing physical activity or reducing sodium or alcohol consumption.

The meta-analysis, which was published in March 2014 in the American Journal of Hypertension, has been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the basis for a blood pressure–reduction health claim for omega-3s.


Probiotics can be effective at reducing the runny eyes and other ocular symptoms caused by hay fever, according to a study published in February 2014 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial was performed by a group of European researchers. Participants included 425 people with hay fever/grass-pollen sensitivity who were taking the antihistamine loratadine.


A pair of studies suggests that resveratrol is an effective adjunct to conventional drug therapies for type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is often treated with the oral hypoglycemic agents (OHA) metformin and/or glibenclamide, which can cause weight gain and hypoglycemia while not significantly reducing the vascular complications associated with the disease.


A recent study presented at a research conference at Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus shows that supplementation with vitamin D2 can lessen neuropathic pain and depression associated with type 2 diabetes. This supports a 2012 study published in Case Reports in Endocrinology that reported similar successes in treating neuropathic pain in type 1 diabetics.

The 2012 case report looked at a 38-year-old type 1 diabetic patient. His neuropathic pain became so severe that he had to stop working. Within 2 weeks of weekly D2 supplementation (50,000 IUs), his pain began to decrease. Within a month, he no longer had to take the narcotic pain killer that had been prescribed to control his pain.


A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that vitamin E supplementation can result in slower functional decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group randomized study, 613 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease at various Veterans’ Administration clinics across the country were analyzed over the course of 2 years. Patients received either 2000 iu of alpha tocopherol daily,20mg of memantine daily, the combination or placebo. The group that received vitamin E had a delay in clinical progression of 19% per year compared to placebo. In other words, it took them on average 6.2 months to catch up with the functional decline experienced by those who received the placebo.


A large new study is the first to identify a gene-diet interaction that can counteract stroke risk.

Data from the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) trial showed that the Mediterranean diet—which is rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil, and complex carbohydrates—may interact with a variant in the transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene that is strongly linked to development of type 2 diabetes. This gene-diet interaction appears to prevent stroke, concluded researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University and the CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición in Spain. Their study results were published online in August 2013 in Diabetes Care.


The perils of short sleep duration are well documented: Lack of shuteye has been linked to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and psychiatric illness. But sleeping too long can also be bad for physical and mental health, According to a study conducted at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, along with another study from researchers from the Faculty of Nutrition and Food Technology in Tehran, there is an impact of selected nutrients on sleep duration.


A meta-analysis of 25 interventional studies showed that infants who receive probiotics either prenatally or postnatally had significantly reduced atopic sensation and related ailments such as eczema. However, the researchers found that other allergic disorders like asthma and wheezing were not affected.

The study, published in Pediatrics in August 2013, was included only double-blind, randomized, controlled trials published between 2001 and 2012 that measured outcomes on children who didn’t have atopic diseases when they were given probiotics. Probiotic supplementation was either prenatal or in the child’s first year of life. Strains included Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria and probiotic mixtures.

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