Preventing Cancer

How to Get Maximum Health Benefits from Tomatoes

Tomatoes are so ubiquitous in the American diet, from the fresh tomatoes just now coming into prime season to countless processed products, that its hard to believe they were once commonly avoided as poisonous. Its true that tomatoes, like potatoes and peppers, belong to the nightshade family, and their leaves contain alkaloids that can indeed be toxic to pets. Europeans who saw the plants from the New World thought tomatoes resembled belladonna-deadly nightshade-and gave the fruit the forbidding name wolf peach.

New Questions About Benefits from Vitamin D Beyond Bones

If youve been popping vitamin D supplements for benefits beyond bone health-such as preventing heart disease, cancer or diabetes-its too soon to know if those pills are really doing you any good. Thats the lesson, experts say, from a sweeping new review of 290 observational studies and 172 randomized trials of vitamin D, chronic disease and mortality. Although vitamin D deficiency was associated with a variety of health problems in the observational studies, the trials in which participants were actually given extra vitamin D failed to prove a benefit.

Daily Handful of Nuts Linked to Lower Mortality Risk

Eating a daily handful of nuts-about one ounce or three tablespoons-could reduce your risk of dying from the most common causes of death. Results from the largest study of its kind, following nearly 119,000 men and women for up to 24 years, show that regular consumers of any type of nuts were less likely to die from heart disease, cancer and lung disease or from all causes than non-nut eaters. As frequency of nut consumption went up, mortality risk dropped.

Does Fish Oil Really Raise Prostate Cancer Risk?

Over and over again, youve read in the pages of this newsletter and elsewhere that eating fish like salmon high in omega-3 fatty acids is good for you. Youve seen countless ads touting the similar benefits of fish-oil pills containing those same omega-3s (EPA and DHA). Now suddenly comes a flurry of headlines suggesting a scary downside to these health-promoting omega-3s, at least for men: High Levels of Fish Oil May Boost Risk for Prostate Cancer, Omega-3 Supplement Taken By Millions Linked To Aggressive Prostate Cancer.

Are You Getting Enough B12 to Fight Mental Decline?

Even if youre only a little low in vitamin B12, you might be at greater risk for cognitive decline than previously thought. While prior research has linked serious B12 deficiency to higher likelihood of cognitive problems, a recent Tufts study found that moderately low levels of B12 also put older people at significantly increased risk.

Q: I recently attended an informational program on prostate cancer at which I...

Answer : A The concern about flaxseed oil-and, to a much lesser extent, canola oil-stems from the alphalinolenic acid (ALA) content of these oils.

Low-Dose Aspirin Might Combat Colon Cancer

T aking low-dose aspirin-often recom- mended to protect your heart-may also reduce your odds of colon cancer. A team of researchers whod previously shown a link between high-dose aspirin and lower colon-cancer risk looked at fve trials totaling 16,488 participants taking lower doses, since long-term high-dose aspirin usage can have adverse bleeding effects. Over nearly 20 years of followup, the new analysis found that people assigned to low- dose aspirin regimens for six years were at one-quarter lower risk of colon cancer and one-third less likely to die of the disease.

No Link Between Folic Acid Supplements and Colorectal Cancer

A new American Cancer Society study concludes that theres no evidence folic acid from fortified foods or supplements increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Earlier research, including a 2007 Tufts study

News About Soft Drinks

Quenching your thirst for answers about sodas and your health. Soft-drink lovers who thought they were doing something good for their health got a jolt-not the highly caffeinated soda kind-earlier this year when a report linked diet sodas to greater risk of stroke and heart attack. The surprising findings captured headlines and blared over the nightly news: In a study of 2,564 people

European Study Finds No Extra Bladder-Cancer Risk for Meat Eaters

In a rare bit of good news for red-meat lovers, a study of nearly a half-million people from 10 European countries has found no link between eating red or processed meat and risk of bladder cancer