Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Living the healthy life

Turns out two of my passions are actually good for me (offsetting my heavy-duty chocolate consumption). My beloved green tea:

Researchers at the University of Murcia in Spain (UMU) and the John Innes Center (JIC) in Norwich, England have shown that a compound called EGCG in green tea prevents cancer cells from growing by binding to a specific enzyme. "We have shown for the first time that EGCG, which is present in green tea at relatively high concentrations, inhibits the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), which is a recognized, established target for anti-cancer drugs, " Professor Roger Thorneley, of JIC, told Reuters. "This is the first time, to our knowledge, a known target for an anti-cancer drug has been identified as being inhibited by EGCG," he added. Green tea has about five times as much EGCG as regular tea, studies have shown. It decreased rates of certain cancers but scientists were not sure what compounds were involved or how they worked. Nor had they determined how much green tea a person would have to drink to have a beneficial effect, he said. Thorneley said EGCG is probably just one of a number of anti-cancer mechanisms in green tea.*
My even more beloved yogurt:
New study findings suggest that yogurt may be another weapon in the battle against bad breath. "Yogurt intake may improve oral hygiene, namely tongue-coating bacteria and halitosis," study author Dr. Kenichi Hojo of Tsurumi University in Yokohama, Japan told Reuters Health. He and his colleagues found that study participants who consumed 90 grams of yogurt twice a day for six weeks tended to have lower levels of hydrogen sulfide and other volatile sulfide compounds that contribute to bad breath.
*One green tea warning:
The findings could also explain why women who drink large amounts of green tea around the time they conceive and early in their pregnancy may have an increased risk of having a child with spina bifida or other neural tube disorders. Women are advised to take supplements of folic acid because it protects against spina bifida. But large amounts of green tea could decrease the effectiveness of folic acid.