Today’s Healthy Picks

A few headlines today demonstrate some beneficial foods to keep you healthy.
Eat pistachios, and macadamia nuts … also, drink your daily cup of coffee – or five! Picstachios were found to lower cholesterol and provide antioxidants, macademia nuts were shown to reduce cardiovascular disease (according to researchers) and coffee was shown (in moderate consumption) to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease in addition to previous studies showing it reduces kidney stones, gallstones, depression and suicide.

Eat Your Berries!

Cyanidin-3-rutinoside, or C-3-R which is found in fruits and vegetables has been found to have extremely high chemopreventive properties. When extracted from black raspberries, it was found to cause apoptosis (programmed cell death) in leukemia and lymphoma cell lines. It is thought that this compound can prevent other cancers from developing as well. One of the most interesting aspects of the research discusses how C-3-R, an antioxidant, that usually stabilizes reactive oxygen species (free radicals), actually increases the amount of peroxides (reactive oxygen species) within leukemia cells through an activated mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway. See full story for more details.

Chicken McNuggets

Okay, this may not have to do with biotech, but since there was mention of mutations, mutagens and tumorigenic additives, I figured it “could fit”. In any case, I loved McD’s Chicken McNuggets (notice the past tense there…) until I read this article, that got its founding from the book called The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

Apparently McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets are composed of 38 ingredients, and are 56% corn! The book goes into each in detail, but I want to concentrate on the genetics aspect of this. Here is a list of chemical additives that are harmful to your DNA:

dimethylpolysiloxene: suspected carcinogen, established mutagen, tumorigen, and reproductive effector. It is also flammable.

tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ): antioxidant derived from petroleum. TBHQ is a form of butane (lighter fluid). FDA limits addition of TBHQ to less than 0.02% percent of the oil per nugget [Suggestion: choose hotdogs over chicken mcnuggets in a spur of the moment eating contest.]

So, what are you eating next time you go out to McDonald’s?

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