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Green-Lipped Mussels: Are They a Boon for Asthma Suffers?

Atopic asthma causes chronic inflammation of the respiratory airways. It has been well proven that lipid mediators, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes, are responsible for activating the inflammatory response. By altering the lipid composition of these substrates, it may be possible to reduce the unpleasant and often dangerous side effects of inflammation in the person with asthma. With this in mind, a lipid extract of New Zealand green-lipped mussels was given to 46 patients with atopic asthma. In a double-blind crossover design, patients were given either lipid extract or placebo twice a day for 8 weeks. The study found that subjects had a significant decrease in daytime wheezing, and concentration of exhaled H2O2 and an increase in morning PEF when they were taking the lipid extract vs. when they were taking the placebo. Although more studies of larger size are needed, watch those green-lipped mussels! (European Respiratory Journal 2002;20[3]:596-600)


5-A-Day: Working as Well as We Would Like?

Americans still are confused about what they should be eating and how much, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. A 2002 Department of Health and Human Services survey found that more than half of all men queried did not know the recommendations 5-A-Day suggests for fruit and vegetable intake. Identifying what constitutes a portion was another stumbling block. Only a third of the survey's participants could identify a standard portion for many of the fruits and vegetables included in the survey. The 5-A-Day program is part of a government campaign to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease by increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed. (Food 1/23/2003)


Guidelines for Food Terrorism

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed guidelines to help countries prepare for terrorist attacks aimed at food supplies. The guidelines include information on establishing prevention, surveillance, and response capacities. Presently, many countries are not prepared to handle a mass food safety emergency. (On the Pulse, February 7)


High-Dose Calcitriol and Docetaxel May Decrease PSA Levels in Patients With Prostate Cancer

Patients given oral calcitriol (.5 [mu]g/kg) and docetaxel and who followed a reduced calcium diet reduced their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels by 50%. (Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2003;21:123-128). PSA is a marker for prostate tumor activity, and its decline indicates a positive response to therapy.