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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
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ANIMAL CARE
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Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
CANCER
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HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
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CAREGIVING
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New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
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Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
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COSMETIC
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Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
The High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Debate
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
EYE CARE, VISION
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
FITNESS
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Tune Up Your Health With Music
U.S. Prepares for Possible Return of Swine Flu in Fall
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
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HEARING
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Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
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Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
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INFERTILITY
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KID'S HEALTH
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MEN'S HEALTH
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Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
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PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
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Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels

An analysis of studies has produced what its authors describe as a precise description of the beneficial effects of nut consumption on cholesterol and other heart-related fats.

It provides "the best evidence yet that eating nuts reduces LDL cholesterol and improves the blood lipids profile," said Dr. Joan Sabate, who chairs the nutrition department at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California and was a co-author of the report, published May 10 in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Sabate and fellow researchers at the university pooled data on 583 men and women who had participated in 25 nut consumption trials. The results showed that eating about 2.3 ounces of nuts a day -- a third of a cupful -- reduced total cholesterol levels by 5.1 percent and "bad" LDL cholesterol by 7.4 percent.

That amount of nut eating also improved the ratio of LDL cholesterol to "good" HDL cholesterol by 8.3 percent and caused a decrease of 10.2 percent in triglyceride levels among people with high levels of those blood fats.

Sabate is a leading figure in the somewhat limited field of nut nutrition. His first report on the beneficial effects, published in 1993, led to other studies that eventually prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a qualified health claim for nuts a decade later.

The 2003 FDA statement said that "scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces of most nuts per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease."

On food labels, that claim is followed by a caution: "See nutrition information for fat content."

The FDA statement was issued in response to a petition filed by the International Tree Nut Council Research and Education Foundation, which supports the work done by Sabate and other nut nutrition researchers. The foundation helped fund the latest report.

The new study found that the benefits from eating nuts was greatest among thin people, those with high LDL cholesterol and those consuming a fat-rich diet.

But enthusiasm for nuts should be restrained, Sabate said. They are highly caloric, and thus can contribute to obesity. A 3-ounce-a-day limit was recommended.

Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association who is in private practice in Sacramento, Calif., said that "nuts can be a very healthy addition to any diet," but she recommends eating somewhat less of them.

She said she suggests that her clients consume about an ounce a day of nuts -- about 22 walnuts, for example, providing about 150 calories -- as part of their daily diet. "They are rich in protein and dietary fiber as well as numerous proteins and in various vitamins," Gazzaniga-Moloo said.

"They should eat the nuts they enjoy," she said. "They can try a variety."

Sabata said that the type of nuts eaten doesn't seem to matter. The study found essentially the same results for walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamias and pistachios.

"Nuts are a matrix of healthy nutrients, and the most obvious reason for the cholesterol-lowering effect is their unsaturated fat content," Sabate said. "Nuts also contain fiber, vegetable protein, phytoesterols and other antioxidants."

The best evidence for the beneficial effect of nuts, though, has come from studies of walnuts and almonds, he added.

SOURCES: Joan Sabate, chairman, nutrition department, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, Calif.; Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, Ph.D., R.D., dietitian, Sacramento, Calif.; May 10, 2010, Archives of Internal Medicine Published on: May 10, 2010