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UPI NewsTrack Health and Science News

Animal foods not linked to breast cancer

BOSTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Three studies provide no evidence that animal food consumption increases the risk of breast cancer, U.S. and European researchers said.

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In one study, 35 obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes received conjugated linoleic acid supplements or a control supplement each for 36 weeks. In a second study, researchers examined the association between conjugated linoleic acid intake from natural sources and breast cancer incidence in a large cohort of initially cancer-free Swedish women for 17.4 years.

The third study assessed whether the consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products was associated with breast cancer risk in a group of healthy European women, who were tracked for 8.8 years.

The findings, scheduled to be published in the September issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, provide strong evidence that consumption of meat and dairy products by women does not, by itself, increase breast cancer risk, but moderate and mindful consumption of these foods can be very important in attaining optimal nutrition for most women who often do not consume sufficient iron and calcium. However, conjugated linoleic acid supplementation may decrease adiposity -- fat.

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Pork farmers concerned about H1N1

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. pork producers say they'll seek vaccinations for farm workers to prevent the H1N1 swine flu virus from infecting their hogs.

Pigs aren't spreading the virus, but they can catch it from people and a vaccine for pigs won't be developed in time for this fall's flu season, Jennifer Greiner, a spokeswoman for the National Pork Producers Council said.

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are evaluating an experimental H1N1 vaccine for hogs, but that vaccine isn't expected to be ready until late winter, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The demand for pork has dropped since April when the H1N1 virus began spreading from Mexico. Further damage could be done if pigs start getting sick this fall, even though there is no danger of market contamination, USDA chief veterinarian John Clifford told the Journal.

The H1N1 virus was dubbed swine flu because it comes from a strain traditionally found in hogs, though the current H1N1 strain contains swine, human and avian viral genes.


Asparagus extract may ease hangovers

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Asparagus extract may ease hangovers and protect the liver against toxins found in alcohol, researchers in South Korea said.

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Asparagus, a common vegetable used worldwide, long has been known for its antifungal, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.

Building on that knowledge, researchers at the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in South Korea analyzed the effects of young asparagus shoots and leaves on liver cells from humans and rats, lead researcher B.Y. Kim wrote in the Journal of Food Science.

"The amino acid and mineral contents were found to be much higher in the leaves than the shoots," Kim said.

Together, however, in an extract, the leaves and shoots significantly eased alcohol's oxidative stress on liver cells and the toxic effects associated with a hangover, Kim said.


Baltimore doctor to 'Twitter' surgery

BALTIMORE, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The social networking site Twitter is to keep parties updated as surgeons in Baltimore perform a gastrectomy on a morbidly obese man, doctors said.

The 40-year-old man weighs 362 pounds. His ideal weight would be 159 pounds, said Dr. Alex Gandas, head of Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Sinai Hospital.

Monday, Gandas is to perform a relatively new procedure called a sleeve gastrectomy, which will be "tweeted" live by one of Gandas's associates, the hospital said Friday in a release.

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The procedure involves removing as much as 85 percent of the stomach to create a small sleeve that holds food and creates a feeling of fullness with a small meal, Gandas said.

Unlike a gastric bypass, the sleeve procedure involves no rerouting of the small bowel, and no plastic devices used in stomach banding, Gandas said.

The gastric sleeve is faster and less complicated than gastric bypass and is safer for patients suffering severe heart ailments, he said.

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