Research Roundups


Even moderately paced walking for at least one hour a week can cut heart disease risk in women, say Harvard University researchers. Previous guidelines have recommended brisk walking for at least two-and-a-half hours a week to confer benefits. Among nearly 40,000 healthy women 45 years and older, those who averaged walking a total of one hour to one-and-a-half hours a week were only half as likely to develop heart disease as women who did not walk regularly. The amount of time spent walking is more important than speed, says the report.
The Journal of the American Medical Association, March 21, 2001.
It’s important to supplement with vitamin B6 in addition to folic acid and vitamin B12 when trying to lower blood homocysteine levels. Although folic acid and B12 lower homocysteine (a risk factor for heart disease) dramatically, researchers in Northern Ireland found that supplementing 60- and 70-year olds with B6 lowered it even further, provided they were not deficient in blood folate, B12 or riboflavin (involved in B6 metabolism).
Nutrition, April 2001.
The Scan Diet can aid weight loss, while improving blood cholesterol levels, suggests a well-controlled study of 100 obese volunteers conducted at the New York Obesity Research Center in New York City. For the 74 who stuck it out, those taking in 1,200 calories from the Scan Diet meal replacement system (see EN, February 2001) lost more weight (15 pounds) in 12 weeks than those following a traditional 1,200-calorie diet plan (6 pounds). Blood cholesterol levels also fell significantly and there were no serious side effects. However, one-quarter of the participants dropped out of the study, highlighting how difficult it is to adhere to any weight-loss program.
Findings presented at the Experimental Biology 2001 meeting in Orlando, April 4, 2001.

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