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Fighting obesity: Do diets really work?

Image Source: telegraph.co.uk

Image Source: telegraph.co.uk

 

Obesity is a growing problem, especially in the US, where, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of adults are obese. Most people are averse to exercising, and thus look for alternatives, one of which is dieting.

Dieting actually began in the 19th century, but it is only during the 20th century that it became part of popular culture. Since then, many diet programs and fads have been popping up, like the Atkins and South Beach diets, all claiming to be effective in helping people lose weight. But do diets really work?

 

Image Source: dhfitness.com

Image Source: dhfitness.com

 

This UCLA article states that dieting does not work. Traci Mann, UCLA associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study, found out that individuals can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of their weight on any number of diets, but the weight comes back and that sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority, leading to the conclusion that diets do not result to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people.

Mann adds that “diets are not effective in treating obesity” and that its benefits are “too small and the potential harm is too large.”

Eating in moderation and exercising regularly can be more effective in losing weight and treating obesity. In fact, most studies find that people who exercised the most also lost the most weight.

 

Image Source: elegraph.co.uk

Image Source: elegraph.co.uk

 

For more information regarding health, visit Satori World Medical’s website.

Big Doses of Vitamin C May Lower Blood Pressure

Discover how Vitamin C help lower blood pressure and reduce risks of heart disease in this article from ScienceDaily.com

Image credit: mysupplementstore.com

Image credit: mysupplementstore.com

Taking large doses of vitamin C may moderately reduce blood pressure, according to an analysis of years of research by Johns Hopkins scientists. But the researchers stopped short of suggesting people load up on supplements.

“Our research suggests a modest blood pressure lowering effect with vitamin C supplementation, but before we can recommend supplements as a treatment for high blood pressure, we really need more research to understand the implications of taking them,” says Edgar “Pete” R. Miller III, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in the division of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Image credit: .cbc.ca

Image credit: .cbc.ca

Roughly 30 percent of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, or hypertension, an important risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Successful treatment may include drugs, exercise, weight loss, and dietary changes such as reducing salt intake. Some experts believe that large amounts of vitamin C, an essential micronutrient found primarily in fruits and vegetables, could lower pressure as well, but randomized, controlled dietary intervention studies — the gold standard of nutrition research — have produced mixed results.

Miller and his colleagues reviewed and analyzed data from 29 randomized, controlled, previously published clinical trials that reported systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure values and also compared vitamin C intake to a placebo. What they found is that taking an average of 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily — about five times the recommended daily requirement — reduced blood pressure by 3.84 millimeters of mercury in the short term. Among those diagnosed with hypertension, the drop was nearly 5 millimeters of mercury.

By comparison, Miller says, patients who take blood pressure medication such as ACE inhibitors or diuretics (so-called “water pills”) can expect a roughly 10 millimeter of mercury reduction in blood pressure.

Five hundred milligrams of vitamin C is the amount in about six cups of orange juice. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 90 milligrams.
“Although our review found only a moderate impact on blood pressure, if the entire U.S. population lowered blood pressure by 3 milliliters of mercury, there would be a lot fewer strokes,” Miller says. Miller cautions, however, that none of the studies his team reviewed show that vitamin C directly prevents or reduces rates of cardiovascular disease, including stroke.

Image credit: healthyconnectionscorp.com

Image credit: healthyconnectionscorp.com

Scientists have focused on vitamin C’s potential role in blood pressure reduction because of the nutrient’s biological and physiological effects. For example, vitamin C may act as a diuretic, causing the kidneys to remove more sodium and water from the body, which helps to relax the blood vessel walls, thereby lowering blood pressure.

Nutritional supplements are a $28 billion-a-year industry, and marketing claims, newspaper stories and testimonials often make them hard to resist, Miller says. People often view supplements as a “natural alternative” and preferable to drugs for high blood pressure or other ailments, he adds, despite mounting evidence that many supplements don’t work and in some cases may cause harm.

“People love to take vitamins regardless of the evidence or lack of it,” Miller says. “We’re trying to raise the bar and provide evidence-based guidance about whether supplements help or actually do harm.” With respect to vitamin C, he says, the jury is still out.

Other study authors from Johns Hopkins include Stephen P. Juraschek, an M.D., Ph.D. candidate; Eliseo Guallar, M.D., Dr.Ph.; and Lawrence J. Appel, M.D., M.P.H.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120418111810.htm