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Nov 18, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- APPLES MAY HELP GUARD AGAINST ALZHEIMER'S

New York researchers suggest a compound in apples -- quercetin -- may protect cells from oxidative stress associated with Alzheimer's. "Fresh apples have some of the highest levels of quercetin when compared to other fruits and vegetables and may be among the best food choices for fighting Alzheimer's," said study leader C.Y. Lee of Cornell University. "People should eat more apples, especially fresh ones," Lee said, but he cautioned that eating any food to protect against Alzheimer's remains an unproven strategy. In studies published in the Journal of Food Science and Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Lee found apple phenolics, naturally occurring antioxidants found in fresh apples, can protect nerve cells from neurotoxicity induced by oxidative stress.


The American Society of Plastic Surgeons in Arlington Heights, Ill., say pills to enlarge women's breasts are unproven and could be dangerous. A study, published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, says many breast enhancement pills contain one or more ingredients that can directly interfere with prescribed medications. "There are upward of 30 different herbal products advertised widely on television, in magazines and on the Internet alleging to enhance the size of women's breasts; however, there have been no scientifically sound clinical trials proving they work," says Dr. Thomas Lawrence, head of the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation Device and Technique Assessment Committee. "The primary active ingredients found in these supplements can be dangerous when mixed with other medications."


Drinking Concord grape juice significantly increases HDL -- the good cholesterol -- which could help U.S. adults fight heart disease. Historically, HDL increases have been linked to drinking red wine and attributed to the alcohol found in the wine, however, researchers may now be looking more closely at the polyphenolic compounds found in both wine and grape juice. "There has been great interest in the possible benefits of drinking red wine for people with cardiovascular disease," says study leader Jane E. Freedman of Boston University School of Medicine Freedman. "But it has been offset, to a certain extent, by concerns about promoting alcohol consumption." Freedman also writes in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology grape juice has a positive effect on soluble CD40 ligand, an emerging marker of cardiovascular inflammation.


St. Louis University finds families that eat out are more likely to skimp on the fruits and vegetables. "The more often parents eat out, the lower their intake of fruits and vegetables," says Amanda Harrod, of the St. Louis University School of Public Health, who presented her findings at the American Public Health Association conference. She studied young families and found that about 73 percent of the parents don't consume the government recommended five or more fruits and vegetables each day. The reason given for not eating more produce? The adults said they didn't like the taste of fruits and vegetables.


(EDITORS: For more information on BREASTS, contact Brian Huggins at (847) 228-9900 or For PRODUCE, Nancy Solomon 314-977-8017 or (314)977-8017)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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