Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Notebook

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Notebook

Article excerpt

Grapefruit Treatment?

Grapefruit is poised to enter the national battle against high cholesterol.

Animal and preliminary human studies suggest pectin, the water-soluble fiber found in grapefruit and other citrus fruit, lowers total cholesterol and the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol associated with heart disease, says Dr. James Cerda of the University of Florida College of Medicine.

In a recent study, 27 adults ate a regular diet supplemented daily with pectin equal to about two grapefruits. The pectin was packaged as a capsule.

After four weeks, their total cholesterol dropped an average 11 percent and their LDL dropped an average of 10 percent, says Cerda.

The link between fiber and health isn't new, adds Cerda, a professor in the division of gastroenterology and nutrition and chief of nutritional support services at Shands Hospital, Gainesville.

A high fiber diet is linked to a variety of health benefits, including a decreased risk of colon cancer and other gastrointestinal problems, better glucose tolerance and lower blood cholesterol. Scripps Howard

***** Singing Statistics

Songbirds apparently prefer living in old neighborhoods to new developments, researchers from Purdue University and the U.S. Park Service have found.

In a four-year study, the scientists found that old-growth forests with trees several hundred years old had 50 percent more species of songbirds as well as 50 percent more individuals than did newer forests.

Kerry Rabenold, a Purdue biologist, said that simply setting aside forest land as wildlife preserves may not be as important as protecting well-established forests in the quest to bring back declining songbird species.

***** Heartening Finding

You are never too old to benefit from aortic-valve surgery, according to researchers at New England Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine. …

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