Research Roundup

June 2015 Issue

Research Roundup: June 2015

Beetroot Juice Lowers Blood Pressure.

Drinking beetroot juice may be an effective way to reduce blood pressure to normal levels among hypertensive individuals, according to English researchers. Study participants, who had elevated blood pressure, either were taking medication or not taking medication. The participants were assigned to drink 8.5 ounces of beetroot juice daily for four weeks or take a placebo. Individuals drinking the beetroot juice found a decrease of about 8/4 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury,) which brought most of them back to normal levels.

(Hypertension, February 2015)

High Temp Cooking May Raise Alzheimer’s Risk.

Diets containing higher amounts of foods cooked at high temperature, hence with higher levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), were associated with higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, according to French and English researchers. AGEs are produced when foods are cooked at high temperatures; meat is the highest contributor to AGEs, followed by vegetable oils, cheese, and fish.

(Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, January 2015)

Trim Belly Fat by Snacking on Almonds.

Substituting almonds for a high-carbohydrate snack may help to reduce belly fat, according to a study with fifty-two overweight, middle-aged adults with high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and total cholesterol. They ate identical cholesterol-lowering diets, with the exception of one snack. One group was given a snack of 1.5 ounces of whole almonds while the other was given a banana muffin with the same number of calories. There was no difference in body weight or total fat mass at the end of the study, but those who ate almonds had reduction in abdominal fat mass, waist circumference, and leg fat mass.

(Journal of the American Heart Association, November 2014)