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Linus Pauling Institute Fall/Winter 2005

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Editorial by Director Balz Frei - LPI recommendations for a healthy diet and lifestyle relate to the new food pyramid BUT include less milk and meat, a daily multivitamin/mineral, and supplements including vitamins C and E. In addition, avoid soft drinks, animal fat, many processed foods, and white flour products. And it is impossible to overemphasize the importance of daily physical activity...

According to the Congressional Budget Office, of the estimated $17 Billion in farm subsidies provided by the government in 2005, $7.3 billion go for corn and other feed grains (for animal meat for us to eat). Soybeans get $1.6 billion, fed to livestock to make partially hydrogenated soybean oil, or trans fats. You have to go all the way to the bottom of the list to find $200 million for fruits. Thus, the government's farm subsidies make for inexpensive meat and cheap ingredients for processed foods while health-conscious consumers following the same government's nutrition advice are left paying more for their fruits and vegetables...I [Balz Frei] think it's time for the USDA and Congress to let science and common sense, not politics and lobbyists, drive national nutriton policies!

Biannual meeting notes -

A study in 451 elderly humans found that 200IU/day of supplemental synthetic vitamin E for one year decreased the incidence of upper respiratory infections, including the common cold, by 35%. Such a strategy, if widely implemented, may prevent nine million upper respiratory infections in the elderly each year...(markers of lipid oxidation) doubled in runners given placebos, but were not significantly changed from baseline in runners supplemented with 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 400 IU of natural vitamin E.

There are over 25,000 dietary constituents present in fruits and vegetables.

High flavonoid cocoa imporves vasodilation and reduces plasma levels of F2-isoprostanes, which are markers of lipid oxidation. Fifty grams of dark chocolate have antioxidant functions equivalent to six apples, 4.5 cups of tea, or seven onions.

Feeding blueberries, which contain anthocyanin flavonoids, to rats increases neurogenesis and improves cognitive and motor function. Spinach, strawberries, cranberries, and purple grape juice also improve either cognitive or motor function, depending on the region of the brain to which the specific anthocyanins migrate. Recent experiments suggest that the role of blueberry anthocyanins in cell signaling may be more important than their antioxidant activity.

Vitamin C and Cancer - Linus Pauling proposed that vitamin C might destroy cancer at high concentrations. A study published in PNAS on September 20th showed that pharmacological concentrations of vitamin C administered by IV would preferentially kill cancer cells. Ten human cell lines and four normal cell types were studied. Cancer cells were killed by apoptosis and necrosis, while normal cells were not affected.

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