The first journal article discussed in this week's class was data from an intervention study concerning the effect of nut consumption on cardiovascular risk factors. After a three month period, increased nut consumption was found to decrease indicators of cardiovascular disease such as blood pressure in those individuals with hypertension. This was a preliminary report of an ongoing study that will be carried out for four years.
The second article was a cell study analyzing the effects of olive oil extracts on atherogenic markers. An extract containing the phenolic compounds of olive oil was found to decrease the gene expression of atherogenic markers when cells were treated with an inflammatory agent, indicating the potential of olive oil in diminishing the inflammatory response.
The third article concerned a prospective study of the effect of fiber consumption on colon cancer risk. Increased fiber consumption was not found to decrease risk of colon cancer in either men or women. Other studies examining this relationship have been retrospective case-control studies.
The evening's lecture was on immigration patterns in the United States and the effect that immigrant populations have had in shaping the foods of this country. Future lectures will delve into the specific foods and traditions brought by immigrants that have become part of the American diet and are considered American fare.