Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Also famously not good for us (except from a distance) is ozone, an unstable gas not only found (less and less?) in the upper atmosphere but also produced by cars and photocopiers, is a major component of smog. And, it seems, it may be even more harmful to our health: researchers have found that ozone reacts with cholesterol in the blood to increase atherosclerosis, leading to heart disease.
Unlike ozone and trans-fats, folic acid is good for you; women should be especially sure to get plenty of it, as a deficiency early in pregnancy can lead to spina biffida and other birth defects. For the rest of us, it now seems that folic acid may in fact help prevent against throat cancer. Too much, however, may speed its progression.
Finally, the fight against Alzheimer's Disease may be getting a big boost from an unexpected source: some forms of the sugar, inositol, have been found effective in both preventing and clearing beta-amyloid plaque formations in mouse models of the disease, improving outcomes and survival significantly. Phase I human trials are now underway, and hopefully will lead to an effective (and cheap!) way to combat this disease.