Dietary Timeline

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Research study found no association for green leafy vegetables, 8 botanical groups, and 17 specific fruits and vegetables and conclude: "These results suggest that fruit and vegetable consumption during adulthood is not significantly associated with reduced breast cancer risk".

Smith-Warner SA, et al.Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Risk of Breast Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of Cohort Studies. JAMA. 2001; 285: 769-776.

Eating fish 'cuts strokes' Eating more fish each week can help cut the risks of having a stroke, say researchers. Scientists found that eating fish five times a week can cut the chances of having most forms of stroke by more than half. The Stroke Association has welcomed the findings and has called on the nation to increase its intake of fish, particularly oily fish like herring, mackerel, tuna and sardines.© BBC


Apple juice 'protects the heart'. Apples include a beneficial compound. An apple juice a day could keep a trip to the heart doctor away, says new research. A team of researchers at UC Davis School of Medicine in the US have found that drinking apple juice appears to slow down a process that can lead to heart disease. Compounds in apples and apple juice called phytonutrients act in much the same way that red wine and tea do to delay the break down of LDL or "bad" cholesterol. When LDL oxidises, or deteriorates in the blood, plaque accumulates along the walls of the coronary artery and causes atherosclerosis (a dangerous thickening of the artery). © BBC

Cancer benefit of vegetables queried. It is accepted that vegetables are good for you. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables offers women little, if any, protection against breast cancer, say researchers. However, cancer experts say the finding should not put people off eating a healthy diet. A team from the Harvard School of Public Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts, analysed data on 350,000 women. However, they could find no strong evidence that women who ate fruit and vegetables reduced their risk of breast cancer in any significant way. ©BBC


Milk drinking protects health The Bristol University study revealed that even drinking full fat milk, more common a couple of decades ago, was not linked to an increase in deaths from coronary heart disease. In fact heart disease death rates among regular milk drinkers were even found to be lower. Report author Dr Andy Ness, a senior lecturer at Bristol University, said his research could not find any health problems associated with moderate milk consumption. "People have been discouraged from drinking milk, but we cannot find a link between this and heart problems.© BBC

Health risk of 'faddy diets'. Which? assessed diet books for those who want to lose weight. They may promise a fast way to lose the flab, but consumer experts have warned some diet books could damage your health. Which? magazine, published by the Consumers' Association, asked experts in nutrition, exercise and psychology to assess the most popular diet books on the market. Those which provided balanced nutritional advice, stressed the importance of exercise and spelled out who should not follow the diet were praised. © BBC

Sushi 'could prevent lung cancer' A diet including plenty of raw or fresh fish could protect smokers against lung cancer, research suggests.The research comes from Japan, where lung cancer rates are lower than in countries such as the UK, even though smoking rates are the same if not higher.© BBC


Low calorie diet 'could halt cancer' Low calorie intake could help prevent cancers. Eating a low calorie diet could help affect the ability of cancer cells to reproduce within the body. Scientists in Israel developed a mathematical model to show how fast-growing cancer cells need more calories to survive than healthy ones. However, so far there have been no clinical trials to show whether this works in humans and dieticians are urging people with cancer not to starve themselves in a bid to beat their tumours. We don't know if we can improve the efficacy of our cancer therapy if we put people on different dietary regimens. © BBC

Cracking the cholesterol problem Walnuts could cut the risk of heart disease by reducing the levels of harmful cholesterol. Nuts have long been linked with good health. Eating as little as five ounces of nuts a week has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems by up to 50%.© BBC

Diet boost for diabetics Eating less meat and sugar may help some diabetics, a US research team has said. Replacing animal protein with vegetable protein also helps, according to the team from the University of South Florida. Patients were able to reduce the amount of insulin they took, or even stop using it altogether, after six months on the diet. © BBC

Green veg keep arteries clear A pigment found in certain vegetables could help people resist the hardening of the arteries, a condition which leads to heart disease.Lutein, which also provides the yellow colour for egg yolks, may stop blood vessels clogging up. © BBC


Margarine 'may increase asthma risk' A diet high in polyunsaturated fats – found in many margarines and vegetable oils – may double a child's chances of having asthma, according to researchers.© BBC


Milk could be a super-medicine. Milk may be able to fight cancer Scientists are testing the theory that drinking milk can help the body fight viral infections and diseases including cancer. There is growing evidence that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of fat found in cow's milk, can improve the immune system. We want to find out what happens to the immune system. In the first trial of its kind on humans, scientists at the Universities of Southampton and Reading are investigating whether CLA can help the body to fight off bacterial infection, and even reduce the growth of tumours. © BBC


High protein diet warning. High protein diets often contain a lot of meat products. High-protein diets may pose a risk to health, leading nutrition experts have said. The influential American Heart Association has issued a warning about the fashionable diets. It says that there is no evidence that they are effective – and they might actually do more harm than good. © BBC

Caffeine 'can ease headaches' A cup of tea or coffee might be able to tackle certain types of headache, say researchers. The caffeine it contains could help a higher number of people gain complete relief from "tension headaches". © BBC


Vitamin D 'reduces risk of diabetes' Sunlight is an important source of vitamin D. Vitamin D has been linked to a reduced risk of developing type 1 diabetes. A Finnish study following over 12,000 babies born in 1966 found those who were given the recommended amounts of vitamin D supplement had an 80% reduced risk of developing diabetes. Researchers followed the children until 1997, and found 81 had been diagnosed with diabetes during the study. © BBC


Milk 'best calcium source' for girls. Milk is a rich, natural source of calcium. Girls would do better to drink milk than take calcium supplements to build bone density, according to new research. Scientists at Sheffield University asked half a study group of 86 girls, aged 11 and 12, to take a calcium supplement added to fruit juice and got the rest to take fruit juice without any added calcium. While the girls were taking the supplemented fruit juice, their bone density improved by 1.2%, but two years after treatment, researchers found the bone gain had reversed. © BBC

Mushrooms: 'the new medicine'. We may be still in the dark about mushrooms' potential. Scientists and doctors are beginning to realise the magic of mushrooms. One prominent surgeon in the UK recently developed gall stones but swore he would not allow his fellow surgeons to operate on him. The West is now well aware of herbal medicines. The next class of natural medicines will be mushrooms. So he turned solely to eating mushrooms from the supermarket for three months and the gall stones slowly disappeared. The low fat content of his diet may have contributed to his recovery. © BBC

Doubt cast on soya for menopause. Cooking with soya could help reduce cholesterol. Many women swear by chemicals found in soya to relieve the effects of the menopause – but research has undermined evidence of some benefits. The research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that there was no difference in the hormone levels of women taking the supplements compared with other women. However, there was evidence that soya could help women keep strong bones – and good cholesterol levels – after the menopause. © BBC