Breast cancer: Higher levels of vitamin D can reduce risk of breast cancer mortality by 50% in women with lower body mass index (BMI), says a new study.
Obesity coupled with vitamin D deficiency in postmenopausal women may pose a significant risk of breast cancer — the most common and leading cause of death in women, finds a study. The findings showed that higher levels of vitamin D — well known for its benefits in building healthy bones — may reduce breast cancer mortality by 50% in women with lower body mass index (BMI). Vitamin D reduces cancer risk by inhibiting cell proliferation, the researchers said.
“This study suggests that higher levels of vitamin D in the body are associated with lowered breast cancer risk,” said JoAnn Pinkerton, Executive Director at The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in the US. “Vitamin D may play a role in controlling breast cancer cells or stopping them from growing. Vitamin D comes from direct sunlight exposure, vitamin D3 supplements, or foods rich in vitamin D,” Pinkerton added.
Reproductive risk factors such as early onset of puberty, late menopause, later age at first pregnancy, never having been pregnant, obesity, and a family history have all been shown to be associated with breast cancer development. For the study, published in the journal Menopause, the team involved more than 600 Brazilian women.
They found that postmenopausal women had an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency at the time of their breast cancer diagnoses, associated with higher rates of obesity, than women of the same age group without cancer. The results showed that women in the highest quartile of vitamin D concentrations, in fact, had a 50% lower death rate from breast cancer than those in the lower quartile, suggesting that vitamin D levels should be restored to a normal range in all women with breast cancer.
Quick Weight Loss Tips To Control High Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is defined as the high blood pressure in the arteries. Also known as the silent killer, high blood pressure can lead to several heart problems like heart attack, cardiac arrest and even kidney diseases. High blood pressure can be due to obesity, unhealthy diet, excessive smoking and drinking and lack of physical activity. Mild to moderate hypertension can be treated by a healthy diet, weight management, active lifestyle and alcohol restriction. In some extreme cases hypertension needs to be treated with medicines and a healthy lifestyle. Majority of high blood pressure patients are obese. Weight loss can lead to lowering of blood pressure. So it is very necessary to achieve and maintain body weight for your overall health.
Have a look at some simple tips which can help manage high blood pressure:
- Regular physical activity
One should engage in regular physical activity for at least 30-40 minutes everyday. Physical activity is extremely important for your overall health. It not only helps in weight loss but will help keep you fit and healthy. Include any sort of physical activity in your diet. It could be running, jogging, swimming or playing any sport.
- Restrict alcohol and cigarette smoking
Since excessive cigarette smoking and alcoholism can lead to high blood pressure. People who smoke and drink regularly should avoid it. Excessive intake of alcohol can lead to weight gain.
- Limit junk food from your diet
Junk and fatty foods have a lot of calories and can make you put on weight. Also, these foods are high in fats and have no nutritional value. Therefore, you should limit the intake of these foods at all costs. Look for some healthier options instead and try eating home-cooked food.
- Include fiber and proteins in your diet
Fiber and proteins are two extremely essential nutrients for quick weight loss. This is because these two nutrients can help curb hunger pangs and promote fullness.
This in turn helps you to prevent overeating in the next meal. Therefore, you must include fruits and vegetables, eggs, chicken, healthy nuts and seeds, fish and dairy products in your diet.
- Avoid sweetened beverages
Yet another reason to avoid sweetened beverages! Sugary drinks, canned juices and sweetened beverages are loaded with harmful chemicals and artificial sweeteners.
These can make you gain weight. Therefore, you should avoid these drinks and look for healthy options. Some healthy alternatives include lime water, coconut water and fresh fruit juice.
- Adequate sleep
Many people might not know this but lack of sleep can also lead to weight gain. This is because when you are sleep deprived, you often look for comfort and junk food. These foods have high calorific value and can be an obstacle to weight loss.
Decoded: How does oestrogen protect bones?
Researchers have found a new molecular link between oestrogen and bone ageing, which may eventually lead to new strategies to treat osteoporosis among post-menopausal women.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and prone to fractures. Women over 50 are at a high risk of developing osteoporosis, which may be due to the loss of oestrogen that occurs after menopause.
“Over the last few decades, we’ve learned that oestrogen plays an important role in maintaining a functional bone matrix,” said Tomoki Nakashima from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) in Japan.
However, how oestrogen does this, was not fully understood, the researchers said. In the study, the researchers discovered a protein called Sema3A, which was found to maintain bone matrix — proteins and minerals in bone — suggesting a relationship between oestrogen and Sema3A.
Further, the researchers found that blood serum levels of the protein Sema3A decreased in pre-menopausal women as they get older and dropped even more once they reach menopause.
In the study done on mice, the ovaries of mice were removed but it was found that the loss of oestrogen did not prevent their bones from deteriorating. In addition, Sema3A was found to promote the survival of osteocytes — bone cells — in these mice.
“We believe that as women lose oestrogen with age and Sema3A levels drop, osteocytes begin to die and bone loses the ability to maintain its supportive structure,” Mikihito Hayashi from the varsity said.
Drinking hot tea may increase risk of esophageal cancer: Study
Most people enjoy sipping on a piping hot cup of tea. However, a recently conducted study that was published in the International Journal of Cancer throws light on the association between drinking hot tea and the risk of developing esophageal cancer.
“Previous studies have reported an association between hot tea drinking and risk of esophageal cancer, but no study has examined this association using prospectively and objectively measured tea drinking temperature. We examined the association of tea drinking temperature, measured both objectively and subjectively at study baseline, with future risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in a prospective study”, the study stated.
Researchers, led by Dr Farhad Islami, the strategic director of Cancer Surveillance Research at the American Cancer Society, looked at the data of over 50,000 people in Golestan, a province in northeastern Iran for the purpose of the study. The researchers clinically followed the participants for an average period of 10.1 years, between 2004 and 2017, during which period, 317 people developed esophageal cancer.
To arrive at specific conclusions, as per Medical News, “researchers divided tea temperature into “very hot” – a temperature of over 60°C, and “cold [or] lukewarm,” that is, a temperature that is or falls below 60°C. In their analysis, the researchers also considered a “reported shorter time from pouring tea to drinking” it — that is, on a scale between 2 and 6 minutes’ wait, as well as “reported preference for very hot tea drinking.””
As far as the quantity is concerned, the study found that drinking 700 milliliters (ml) of “very hot” tea per day increased the chances of esophageal cancer by 90 per cent compared to drinking the same amount of cold or lukewarm tea daily.
“Our results substantially strengthen the existing evidence supporting an association between hot beverage drinking and [esophageal cancer risk],” conclude the researchers.
As per the same report, Dr Islami and colleagues continue, “It may thus be a reasonable public-health measure to extrapolate these results to all types of beverages, and to advise the public to wait for beverages to cool to [lower than] 60°C before consumption.”