In Pictures: Character Bento


Study Finds High Protein Diets Lead to Lower Blood Pressure

Adults who consume a high-protein diet may be at a lower risk for developing high blood pressure (HBP). The study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), found participants consuming the highest amount of protein (an average of 100 g protein/day) had a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to the lowest intake level.

One of three U.S. adults has hypertension and 78.6 million are clinically obese, a risk factor for the development of hypertension. Because of the strain that it puts on blood vessel walls, HBP is one of the most common risk factors of stroke and an accelerator of multiple forms of heart disease, especially when paired with excess body weight.

The researchers analyzed protein intakes of healthy participants from the Framingham Offspring Study and followed them for development of high blood pressure over an 11-year period. They found that adults who consumed more protein, whether from animal or plant sources, had statistically significantly lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure levels after four years of follow-up. In general, these beneficial effects were evident for both overweight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) and normal weight (BMI <25 kg/m2) individuals. They also found that consuming more dietary protein also was associated with lower long-term risks for HBP. When the diet also was characterized by higher intakes of fiber, higher protein intakes led to 40–60 percent reductions in risk of HBP.

"These results provide no evidence to suggest that individuals concerned about the development of HBP should avoid dietary protein. Rather, protein intake may play a role in the long-term prevention of HBP," explained corresponding author Lynn Moore, associate professor of medicine at BUSM. "This growing body of research on the vascular benefits of protein, including this study, suggest we need to revisit optimal protein intake for optimal heart health," she added.

Source: EurekAlert!

Today’s Comic

My Recipe

Shantung Pulled Chicken


1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, about 900 g
cilantro for garnish

Seasoning for Steaming Chicken:

1 slice ginger
3 stalks green onion
2 whole pieces star anise
one 5 cm x 1 cm piece cinnamon bark
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp cooking wine
4 oz water


4 oz liquid from steaming chicken
1½ tsp dark soy sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp Chinkiang vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp chicken broth mix
1 red chili (finely minced)
1 Tbsp garlic (minced)
5 Tbsp green onion (chopped)


  1. Mix seasoning for steaming chicken.
  2. Put chicken in a heat-proof deep dish. Pour seasoning in Step 1 over chicken. Steam on high heat in a wok of boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Set chicken aside until cool enough to handle. Reserve steaming liquid for sauce and discard ginger, green onion and spices.
  3. Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Tear chicken into shreds and place on a serving platter. Pour sauce over chicken. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot or cold.

Nutrition value for 1/8 portion of recipe:

Calorie 301, Fat 21.2 g, Carbohydrate 1 g, Fibre 0 g, Sugar 0 g, Cholesterol 144 mg, Sodium 951 mg, Protein 27 g.

Gadget: Intelligent Chopsticks

Baidu Wi-fi Chopsticks 百度筷搜

Watch video at You Tube (2:21 minutes) …..

Restricting Calories May Improve Sleep Apnea, Blood Pressure in Obese People

Restricting calories may improve obstructive sleep apnea and reduce high blood pressure in obese adults, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions 2014.

People with sleep apnea may experience pauses in breathing five to 30 times per hour or more while sleeping. It prevents restful sleep and is associated with high blood pressure, arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), stroke and heart failure.

In a 16-week ramdomized clinical trial, researchers analyzed 21 obese people 20-55 years old with a history of sleep apnea. Researchers instructed one group to reduce their calorie intake by 800 calories per day, while another group continued their current diet. Researchers found those in the calorie-restricted group had fewer pauses in breathing during sleep, lower blood pressure, higher levels of oxygen in their blood and a greater reduction in body weight. .

“This study suggests that in obese patients with obstructive sleep apnea, moderate energy restriction can reduce not only body fat but also the severity of obstructive sleep apnea,” said Marcia R. Klein, M.D., Ph.D., co-author of the study and adjunct professor in the Department of Applied Nutrition at Rio de Janero State University in Brazil. “So moderate energy restriction in these patients has the potential to reduce cardiovascular risk.

“Losing weight was most likely the key to all the benefits observed in the calorie-restricted group. A greater reduction in systolic blood pressure can be explained, at least partially, by the reduction in body weight that was associated with reduction in obstructive sleep apnea severity and sympathetic nervous system activity.” Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading, which measures the force of the blood in the arteries when the heart is contracted.

Source: American Heart Association

Skewers of Bacon-wrapped Oyster


8 fresh oysters
4 slices bacon
1/2 lemon
salt and pepper


  1. Wash oysters with salted water. Drain.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper on oyster. Blanch in boiling water. Set aside.
  3. Slice bacon in half. Wrap up the oyster in bacon. Thread two rolls in one skewer. Set aside.
  4. Heat some oil in a pan. Pan-fry skewers until done. Squeeze lemon juice on rolls before serving.

Makes 4 skewers.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

Today’s Comic

New Guidelines for Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer

Men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer often turn first to testosterone-depleting therapies, since male hormones help prostate tumors grow.

But, those therapies almost always fail over time as the tumor develops resistance, according to oncologists.

Now, experts are issuing updated guidelines to help patients in this situation decide what to do next.

The guidelines, issued jointly by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) in Canada, highlight recent advances in treating this more advanced form of prostate cancer.

“We have seen unprecedented progress against advanced prostate cancer recently, with six new treatments approved in the last couple of years,” Dr. Ethan Basch, co-chair of the ASCO/CCO panel of experts that developed the guidelines, said in a news release from the two groups.

“There are a lot of nuances about treatment selection in terms of disease stage and what prior therapies the patient received,” he said. “We hope this guideline will help doctors and patients make informed treatment decisions.”

After a prostate tumor becomes resistant to hormonal treatment, other therapies may come into use. But the ASCO/CCO team said they took men’s quality of life into consideration as well when they drew up their guidelines.

“Including quality of life data in the guideline helps people understand how the different treatments will make them feel,” Dr. Andrew Loblaw, co-chair of the ASCO/CCO expert panel, said in the news release. “We also have to be conscious of cost, because it can affect access to treatment and quality of life.”

The new guidelines for hormone therapy-resistant tumors that have spread (metastasized) include the following recommendations:

  • Continue hormone-deprivation therapy indefinitely, either in drug or surgical form;
  • Offer patients one of three treatment options — abiraterone/prednisone, enzalutamide, or radium-223 (if cancer has spread to the bones) — in addition to hormone deprivation, “as all three treatments are associated with improved survival, quality of life, and favorable balance of benefits and harms”;
  • When considering chemotherapy, docetaxel/prednisone should be an option but side effects must be discussed;
  • Offer cabazitaxel to men whose disease worsens even if docetaxel has been tried, but again, discuss side effects;
  • Offer sipuleucel-T to men with no symptoms or minimal symptoms of cancer;
  • Offer mitoxantrone, but include a discussion of the drug’s “limited clinical benefit and side effect risk”;
  • Offer ketoconazole or the anti-androgen therapies bicalutamide, flutamide or nilutamide but discuss the limited clinical benefit for these three medications;
  • Do not offer the drugs bevacizumab (Avastin), estramustine, or sunitinib;
  • Begin discussion of palliative care early on while discussing treatment options.

The experts on the panel said the optimum sequence in which various treatment should be given remains unclear, but “ongoing clinical trials are exploring this question, as well as potential benefits of combining various treatments.”

The new guidelines are based on a review of 56 randomized clinical trials published since 1979, the panel experts said.

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer remains the leading cancer type for men, other than skin cancer. More than 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, and almost 30,000 men die from the illness annually. But most men diagnosed with prostate cancer don’t die from it. More than 2.5 million American men diagnosed with the disease are still alive.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services