HEALTH

Study: Breast-feeding reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, related illnesses

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH The longer women breast-feed, the lower their risk of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular disease, reported University of Pittsburgh researchers in a study published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, so it’s vitally important for us to know what we can do to protect ourselves,” stated Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology, and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. “We have known for years that breastfeeding is important for babies’ health; we now know that it is important for mothers’ health as well.”

According to the study, postmenopausal women who breastfed for at least one month had lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all known to cause heart disease. Women who had breastfed their babies for more than a year were 10% less likely to have had a heart attack, stroke, or developed heart disease than women who had never breastfed.

Schwarz and colleagues found that the benefits from breastfeeding were long-term ? an average of 35 years had passed since women enrolled in the study had last breastfed an infant.

“The longer a mother nurses her baby, the better for both of them,” Schwarz pointed out. “Our study provides another good reason for workplace policies to encourage women to breastfeed their infants.”

The findings are based on 139,681 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative study of chronic disease, initiated in 1994.

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Nutrition researchers awarded for findings by ASN

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Norman Farnsworth and Susan Talcott were honored Monday with the Mary Swartz Rose Senior Investigator Award and the Mary Swartz Rose Young Investigator Award respectively, at the American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting held in conjunction with Experimental Biology 2009 in New Orleans, La.

The awards, jointly presented by the ASN and the Council for Responsible Nutrition, are given with the intent to recognize outstanding research on the safety and efficacy of bioactive compounds for human health.

“Sound scientific research is absolutely essential to the growth of the supplement and functional foods industries,” stated Andrew Shao, VP scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN. “It is a privilege for CRN to collaborate with ASN, the preeminent nutrition research society in the world, in providing grants to honor nutrition researchers for their work. We look forward to expanding our on-going commitment to supporting scientific research and scientific researchers in the field of nutrition and health.”

Farnsworth, director of the National Institutes of Health Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, currently focuses his research on the study of botanical dietary supplements such as valerian, black cohosh, dong quai and red clover, and the potential roles they play in the overall health of consumers.  His past research included extensive work on the isolation and structure elucidation of biologically active principles from natural sources, making him a pioneer in his field. He serves in a number of additional capacities including as editor-in-chief of the Natural Products Alert database.

Talcott is currently the assistant research scientist, Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University.  Her research focuses on the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cancer preventive properties of plant derived bioactive compounds. She has helped elucidate the health benefits of many “superfruits,” such as pomegranate and acai as well as bioactive compounds such as ellagic acid and quercetin that are found in foods that have a long history of use. Talcott is also the current secretary/treasurer of the Bioactive Compounds Research Interest Section of ASN.

These awards are named in honor of the late Mary Swartz Rose (1874–1941), a founder and president of the American Institute of Nutrition (now known as ASN).The Mary Swartz Rose Senior Investigator Award is given to an investigator with 10 years or more of postgraduate training, for outstanding preclinical and/or clinical research on the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements as well as essential nutrients and other biologically active food components that might be distributed as supplements or components in functional foods. The Mary Swartz Rose Young Investigator Award is based on the same research qualifications, but is given to an investigator with 10 or less years of postgraduate training.

Made possible by a $50,000 grant from CRN to fund the awards annually over five consecutive years, this is the second year the award was given out.

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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NXT Nutritionals to host ‘Spring for a Cure’ for Type 1 diabetes

BY Michael Johnsen

HOLYOKE, Mass. NXT Nutritionals Holdings, a developer and marketer of natural sweeteners, food and beverage products, on Thursday announced that former NBA Rookie of the Year, Ralph Lee Sampson, Jr., will be making a personal appearance on behalf of NXT at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International’s “Spring for a Cure” event April 30.

“We are excited to have [Sampson] join us at the Spring for a Cure event next week,” stated Mike McCarthy, president and CEO of NXT Nutritionals. “He has been actively supporting the research and the fight for a cure for diabetes, especially since hitting close to home with one of his daughters having the disease. We want to thank him for taking this opportunity to help us educate those attending the event about our Susta Natural Sweetener.”

The “Spring for a Cure” event, of which NXT is a sponsor, is a culinary, wine and spirits tasting event featuring fine cuisine and signature products from some New York restaurants.

The event is dedicated to raising money and awareness for Type 1, or juvenile diabetes.

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