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Study: Tea Prevents type-2 Diabetes

The Gilmer Free Press

A new study from researchers in the US found that black tea inhibits the body from absorbing glucose sugars, too much of which can cause type-2 diabetes.

The researchers, who brewed the tea under laboratory conditions, said tea could help control diabetes in humans.

“Our findings suggest that black tea and black tea pomace has potential for carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzyme inhibition and this activity depends on high molecular weight phenolic compounds,” the authors of the paper wrote.

The research, which was conducted by researchers at Framingham State University in the United States, builds on work done by Japanese scientists two decades earlier, The Independent reported.

A 1995 study from the Hokkaido Pharmaceutical University School of Pharmacy found that black tea has what scientists call “anti-hyperglycaemic effects”.

The study found that rats had “significantly” reduced levels of blood glocuse and that black tea could both prevent and cure rats with diabetes.

“The study reveals that, like green tea, black tea also possesses antidiabetic activity,” the researchers found.

According to NHS statistics there are approximately 3.1 million adults with diabetes in the UK, with the number expected to rise of 4.6 million by 2030.

Ninety percent of those suffering from the condition have type-2 diabetes, which is affect by black tea consumption.

Health officials say the increased level in type-2 diabetes is due to increasing level of obesity, a lack of exercise and unhealthy diets.

Bon Appétit: Rigatoni with Lemon-Chile Pesto and Grated Egg

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Ingredients:

Servings: 4

  12 ounces rigatoni or other short pasta
  Kosher salt
  4 hard-boiled large egg yolks
  8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1 teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
  2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
  ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  Freshly ground black pepper
  ½ ounce Pecorino, finely grated (about ½ cup)


Directions:

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente (pasta will still be opaque and very firm in the center). Drain pasta, reserving 1½ cups pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, finely grate egg yolks on the small holes of a box grater and set aside.

Heat 6 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add both kinds of lemon zest and juice and red pepper flakes, swirling pan to incorporate. Add pasta and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid and cook, tossing often and adding more cooking liquid to help finish cooking pasta, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened and coats pasta, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Add Pecorino and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter to pasta and toss until melted. Serve pasta topped with reserved grated egg yolks.

Study: Nuts May Lengthen Life

The Gilmer Free Press

Eating nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter, may help you live longer, a new study suggested.

Researchers looked at the diets of more than 200,000 people in both the United States and China, and found nut consumption was linked with a lower risk of premature death from heart disease and other causes.

The findings lend support to previous evidence on the heart-healthy benefits of nuts, said study researcher Dr. Xiao-Ou Shu, associate director of global health and professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn, WebMD reported.

However, Shu said, the finding is “based on an observational study,“ so the researchers cannot prove cause-and-effect with certainty. “That said, the totality of evidence from nutrition and health research suggests that nut and peanut consumption can be considered a healthy lifestyle choice,“ she said.

Shu’s team asked men and women about their intake of nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter. Peanuts are often less expensive than other nuts, an important feature for the many low-income men and women who were studied, Shu said.

The group who ate the most nuts, peanuts and peanut butter reduced their risk of early death from heart disease and all other causes by about 20 percent, compared to the group eating the least, she said.

“Because peanuts [which do not grow on trees] are much less expensive than tree nuts, as well as more widely available to people of all races and all socioeconomic backgrounds, our study finding suggests that increasing peanut consumption may provide a potentially cost-efficient approach to improving cardiovascular health,“ Shu said.

How many peanuts should one eat, exactly? The U.S. group in the top 20% of peanut consumption ate more than 18 grams a day, or about 0.63 ounces, roughly 2 tablespoons of shelled peanuts, Shu said.

Why You Should Stop Giving Your Kid A Bath Every Night

When my oldest son was just an infant, we, like so many other new parents, struggled to get him to sleep for long stretches of time at night. We tried everything, including incorporating a nightly bath as part of the “soothing routine” that so many parenting experts recommend. And while he seemed to enjoy the routine (especially as he grew older and could play in the tub), his skin did not. He developed rough, itchy patches of skin on his back and legs — a mild eczema that we treated with lotion after each bath.

At the time, I did not put two and two together, that the constant bathing could be the culprit of his irritated skin. But as the years wore on and our demands grew (namely adding two more little boys to the mix), the nightly bath routine didn’t always pan out. Sometimes we ran out of time, other times we were just too exhausted. Then a funny thing happened. During the times our children went for three (or more, I admit) days without a bath, I noticed that our oldest boy’s skin seemed healthier and less irritated. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that none of our kids smelled or looked dirty. Mind you, it’s much easier to get away with fewer baths during the winter months when there is less muddy outdoor play. But I began to wonder, is a daily bath really necessary for little kids? Moreover, do the negative effects of constant cleanliness outweigh the positives? How clean is too clean?

According to Rob Dunn, professor of biology and author of The Wild Life of our Bodies, the medical community has worked relentlessly (and well-meaningfully) to remove as many microbes from our bodies as is possible without living in a plastic bubble, and the overuse of antibiotics, antiseptics, antihelminthics, and pesticides today has the potential to do our bodies more harm than good. He goes on to say that overly clean living can be bad for our immune systems, which need certain microbes and gut bacteria to function properly and to keep us healthy from the more dangerous pathogens.

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As a society, we have developed germophobia for a reason. From the 1600s all the way through the 1800s, Puerperal fever took the lives of high numbers of women giving birth in maternity institutions, sometimes reaching as high as 40 percent, all caused by the doctors who attended births with unwashed hands (often right after performing an autopsy in the next room). With the development of hygienic practices during surgery and childbirth, the occurrence of such infections has all but disappeared, and the few cases that do occur are swiftly eradicated with antibiotics. Clearly we need cleanliness to prevent infection and death, especially in the delicate environment of hospitals and surgery centers. But should we be applying the same rules to our healthy, robust children in day-to-day life?

The answer is no, of course not.

Obviously there’s quite a jump between daily bath time and overuse of antibiotics, but I believe it is all closely tied in to a societal mentality of cleanliness. We have become accustomed to antibacterial wipes and gels; parents carry around mini bottles of hand sanitizers and are encouraged to douse their children’s hands in the liquid during every public outing. Take a trip to the grocery store and you’ll find disposable antibacterial cloths meant for you to wipe down your grocery cart should the filthy person who touched it before you carry some horrible pathogen. But recent research as shown that those “healthy” antibacterial cleaning wipes contain some pretty scary stuff, including pesticides that are not only dangerous to bacteria, but also dangerous to us, including an array of chemicals that are considered “asthmagens,” substances that can cause asthma in otherwise healthy people.

Other concerns include increasing allergies in kids as their immune systems shift away from fighting infections and instead focus inward. Plus, the real kicker is that the FDA recently found that antibacterial products are no more effective than regular soap and water. But there’s quite a profitable industry out there advertising the importance of killing all the germs, and we are constantly inundated with the latter message.

But back to the question of bathing. Search for “how often should I bathe my child” and you will find varying opinions. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that children aged 6 to 11 should bathe at least once or twice a week, or after they have been playing in dirt or mud, have been swimming in a pond, lake, ocean, or pool, or when they get sweaty or have body odor while others, like pediatrician David Geller, says that swim in a pool or lake counts as the bath.

For newborns, the story is even less clear. Despite the fact that babies are born with a natural skin protectant which is also full of immune properties (vernix), it is considered routine for hospitals to administer a baby’s first bath within hours of the baby’s birth. Delaying baby’s first bath for at least a couple of days is reasonable– wiping with a wet cloth around the neck and diaper area should be sufficient in keeping baby clean.

It all seems pretty straightforward; wash your kid if he stinks or is visibly dirty, but otherwise we can relax a bit on being clean as a whistle. Wash hands regularly with good old fashioned soap and water and spot clean with a washcloth between baths, and I’m willing to bet everyone will be happier (and healthier). After all, haven’t we all heard the saying, “A little dirt doesn’t hurt?”

~~  Lauren Knight ~~

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