ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
CANCER
Vitamin C Shows Promise as Cancer Treatment
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
FITNESS
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Cocaine Spurs Long-Term Change in Brain Chemistry
Go To Work But Skip The Car
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
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Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health

MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Vegetables, nuts and the so-called "Mediterranean" diet are heart-friendly, while trans fats and foods with a high glycemic index can harm your heart, say researchers who reviewed 189 studies published between 1950 and 2007.

The studies included 146 prospective cohort studies (which examined past habits of participants) and 43 randomized controlled trials (volunteers were randomly assigned to consume a certain kind of diet).

"The relationship between dietary factors and coronary heart disease has been a major focus of health research for almost half a century," wrote Andrew Mente, of the Population Health Research Institute, and colleagues. But even though there are many published studies on the topic, "the strength of the evidence supporting valid associations has not been evaluated systemically in a single investigation."

When they pooled the findings from the studies and applied a predefined algorithm, Mente and his team identified "strong evidence of a causal relationship for protective factors, including intake of vegetables, nuts and monosaturated fatty acids and Mediterranean, prudent and high-quality dietary patterns, and harmful factors, including intake of trans-fatty acids and foods with a high glycemic index or load and a Western dietary pattern," the researchers wrote.

"Among these dietary exposures, however, only a Mediterranean dietary pattern has been studied in randomized controlled trials and significantly associated with coronary heart disease," they said.

The Mediterranean died is typically loaded with fruits, vegetables, grains and olive oil.

The researchers also found modest evidence of a causal relationship between heart health and several other foods and vitamins, such as fish, omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources, folate, whole grains, alcohol, fruits, fiber, dietary vitamins E and C and beta carotene. There was weak evidence of a causal relationship between heart health and vitamin E and C in supplement form, saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and total fats, alpha-linoleic acid, meat, eggs and milk.

"The modest or weak evidence of these dietary exposures is mostly consistent with the findings of randomized controlled trials, although randomized controlled trials have yet to be conducted for several factors," the study authors wrote.

"Taken together, these findings support a causal relationship between only a few dietary exposures and coronary heart disease, whereas the evidence of most individual nutrients or foods is too modest to be conclusive," the team said.

The review was published in the April 13 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Although investigations of dietary components may help to shed light on mechanisms behind the benefits of dietary patterns, it is unlikely that modifying the intake of a few nutrients or foods would substantially influence coronary outcomes," Mente and colleagues concluded. "Our findings support the strategy of investigating dietary patterns in cohort studies and randomized controlled trials for common and complex chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease."

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about eating for a healthy heart.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, April 13, 2009

Last Updated: April 13, 2009

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