Bilirubin has been a mystery of a molecule, associated with better health if there’s just a little more than normal, but best known for being at the root of the yellow color in jaundice and, at high levels, for causing brain damage in newborns. In the current online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a research team from Johns Hopkins reports that bilirubin and the enzyme that makes it appear to be the body’s most potent protection against oxidative damage.
Scientists have developed a rapid new blood test which may help predict the likelihood of a heart attack. The research published in Nature Medicine shows how a new science called Metabonomics can be used to test for coronary artery disease, using minimally invasive procedures. The test, which only needs a few drops of blood, measures the magnetic properties of molecules in blood using high frequency radio waves, which are then analysed using an advanced computer programme capable of detecting abnormal patterns of signals associated with heart disease.
Researchers have shown that an age-related loss of specific stem cells that continually repair damage to blood vessels is critical to determining the onset and progression of atherosclerosis. Stem cells are immature cells that have the potential to mature into a variety of different cells. This novel view of the disease, based on experiments in mice, constitutes a potential new avenue in the treatment of one of the leading causes of death and illness in the U.S., the researchers said.
Obese men can significantly reduce heart disease risk on a three-week low-fat, high-fiber diet and daily exercise ? even though they may lose only a few pounds, according to research announced today in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Men who consumed a diet high in grains, vegetables and fruit and took brisk daily walks reduced their high blood pressure, a hallmark risk factor for congestive heart failure, kidney disease, coronary artery disease and stroke.