Monday, August 14, 2006

$2 worth of mixed Veg please...

The fact that vegetables are good for you isn't news. But scientists are trying to pin down exactly why they are good for you. A study has shown that eating a mix of five vegetables can reduce the formation of plaques in arteries, and so the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The research was on mice, though the team thinks the results should be applicable to humans, and so do I. There is no point whatsoever in testing human metabolic changes in mice. The team fed one group of mice a mixture of broccoli, green beans, corn, peas and carrots, while another group went on a vegetable-free diet. Those eating vegetables developed plaques that were about 38 per cent smaller than those in the second group of mice.

The researchers, at Wake Forest University, also found that a marker of inflammation was lower in the vegetable-eating mice - they think anti-inflammatories in the vegetables might explain the results.

Footnote: Mice generally live on a herbivore diet, but are actually omnivores: they will eat meat, the dead bodies of other mice, and have been observed to self-cannibalise their tails during starvation. Grasshopper mice are an exception to the rule, being the only fully carnivorous mice. Mice eat grains and fruits for a regular diet, which is the main reason they damage crops.

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