Research Roundup

July 2015 Issue

Research Roundup: July 2015

Healthy Diet Lowers COPD Risk. Diet quality which reflects high intakes of whole grains, polyunsaturated fatty acids, nuts, and omega-3 fats, and low intake of processed meats, refined grains, and sugary beverages is associated with reduced risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in men and women. Researchers analyzed data from over 120,000 individuals from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and found that those with the highest quality diet (based on the Alternate Healthy Eating Index score) had a one-third lower risk of developing COPD than those who ate the least healthy diet.

(The BMJ, February 2015)

Eating Blueberries Lowers Blood Pressure. Women who consumed 22 grams of blueberry powder (equivalent to 1 cup of berries) daily for 8 weeks experienced significant decreases in systolic (5 percent reduction) and diastolic (6 percent reduction) blood pressure, compared to women assigned to the control group. Benefits of daily blueberry consumption, which also included reduced arterial stiffness, may be in part due to increased nitric oxide production, which helps dilate blood vessels and keep them elastic.

(Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, January 2015)

Nut Consumption Increases Longevity. Nut and peanut intake reduced the risk of total mortality among subjects in the U.S. by 21 percent and in China by 17 percent. Researchers from Vanderbilt University and Shanghai Cancer Institute investigated data on 71,764 adults in the U.S. and 134,265 adults in Shanghai, China, finding that regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, or risk for metabolic disorders, high nut and peanut intake was linked with a lower risk of total and cardiovascular disease deaths.

(Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, March 2015)