Blueberry Extracts Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Adults

In the United States, 23.6 million children and adults — 7.8% of the population — have diabetes and one-third of U.S. adults are obese [1-2]. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as insulin resistance, a condition that precedes the development of type 2 diabetes. New research published in the Journal of Nutrition now suggests that blueberries can help improve insulin sensitivity in obese, non-diabetic and insulin-resistant people [3].

Increased Coffee Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Liver Cancer

Here’s another reason to enjoy your coffee. A recent study in the July edition of the Journal Hepatology found a significant inverse association (meaning opposingly related; an increase in one variable results in a decrease in another) between coffee drinking and the risk of primary liver cancer [1]. The study also found that serum levels of an antioxidant enzyme, elevated in people with low coffee consumption, were associated with an increased risk of developing the disease.

Healthy Fast Food Not So Healthy

Have you ever wondered if those healthy fast food meals are really any better for you? McDonald’s has the Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait, Wendy’s offers Garden Sensations salads and at Burger King you can even get a veggie burger.

Yogurt, salad, veggie burger … these are all healthy foods.

However, new research suggests that healthy fast food meals have the same effect on your cardiovascular system as a burger, fries and a soda.

Bitter Coffee, Better Health?

I love my coffee. Who doesn’t want (or need for all you coffee addicts out there) a cup of freshly brewed java to start their day? However, the bitterness of coffee is something most of us could do without.

Now chemists in Germany and the U.S. say they have identified the chemicals that are largely responsible for coffee’s bitterness. Their study, one of the most detailed chemical analyses of coffee bitterness to date, was presented this week at the 234th national meeting of the American Chemical Society [1].

Quercetin Boosts Immunity and Helps Maintain Mental Performance

In February 2007, researchers at Appalachian State University announced the results of a clinical study on the flavonoid quercetin at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, held in Charlotte, N.C. Their results showed that quercetin may help reduce illness and maintain mental performance in physcially stressed test subjects. I’ve written about the antioxidant quercetin in a previous article as an alternative to dichloroacetate (DCA), a chemotherapeutic agent that was recently shown to selectively inhibit cancer cell growth in lung, breast and brain tumor cells grown in culture and lung tumors grown in immunocompromisted rats.