Regular consumption of black raspberries can reduce stiffness of arteries and boost levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells which act as a healing agent on damaged arteries, a South Korean study claims. Arterial stiffness is one of the key indicators of cardiovascular diseases. Researchers from Korea University Anam Hospital and Gochang Black Raspberry Research Institute randomly assigned patients with metabolic syndrome to receive 750 mg/day of black raspberry extract or a placebo. After 12 weeks of observation they found that the artery augmentation index (a measurement of arterial stiffness) decreased significantly in the black raspberry group compared to the placebo group. The study was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
Women face lower risk of kidney diseases due to cyclical changes in female hormones. These hormones provide women with an increased resistance against kidney damage, an Austrian study suggests. Researchers from Medical University of Innsbruck collected urine samples of healthy women to study the associated changes in different proteins. The researchers believe recurring changes in hormonal levels leads to periodic tissue remodelling in the kidneys and is the reason why the chances of kidney disease is lower in women. The study was published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Extreme heat and heavy rainfall can worsen asthma and increase risk of hospitalization in adults as well as children, a US study suggests. Researchers from University of Maryland School of Public Health examined over 115,923 asthma hospitalization cases recorded between 2000 and 2012 and found increase in temperature was responsible for 23% increase in risk of asthma hospitalizations. While extreme precipitation during summer months increased the risk of asthma hospitalizations by 11%, the risk was found to be higher in youngsters in the age group of 5 to 17 years. The study was published in the journal Environmental Health.