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What does broccoli sprout tea have to do with cancer?

From a young age, kids are taught to eat their vegetables for the healthy benefits they pose. Now research is suggesting cruciferous vegetables like broccoli sprouts could offer more gains — cancer prevention.

Stephen Hecht, Ph.D., a University of Minnesota professor of laboratory medicine and pathology, and member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, conducts research focusing on tobacco-related cancer prevention. He recently was part of a different kind of groundbreaking research finding the right diet has the ability to decrease risks of developing certain types of cancer.

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U of M expert: Maximize your health through diet and exercise

Courtesy: Arya Ziai, Flickr

Regular exercise is extremely important for people of all ages in order to stay healthy, whether it’s running a marathon or simply setting aside time to power walk a few times per week. But knowing when to eat, what to eat and what exercises are safe at a given age can have a major impact on how someone gains muscle or loses excess fat.

In order to fully understand some variables that impact the effectiveness of a diet and exercise routine, Health Talk consulted David Jewison, M.D. in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

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University of Minnesota researchers find better time to start HIV therapy

Patients suffering from an AIDS-related infection should start therapy later than expected, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota Medical School.

In a report set to appear in the June 26, 2014, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that waiting 4-6 weeks to start HIV therapy after cryptococcal meningitis diagnosis resulted in 15% better survival than starting HIV therapy 1-2 weeks after diagnosis.

“The overall result is quite surprising. As with every other AIDS-related infection, starting HIV therapy sooner is better,” said the study’s lead author David Boulware, M.D., M.P.H. “It appears that brain infections are different.”

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Men’s health: Ganesh Raveendran, M.D., and the fight against heart disease

Heart disease is the top killer of Americans, both men and women, accounting for about one in four deaths each year. From diets high in fat and sugar to a growing sedentary lifestyle, combating heart disease is difficult. To curb this national epidemic, University of Minnesota researcher Ganesh Raveendran, M.D., is working to provide improved cardiac treatment.

Raveendran, director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at the University of Minnesota Medical School, has conducted multiple studies on regenerative cardiac repair. Throughout his research, Raveendran has worked to find a way to help regrow damaged human hearts.

“If we identify the correct cell population, if we identify the correct dosage of cells, if we identify the correct rate of injection, I think that will make a huge difference in the patients who suffer from heart attack,” Raveendran said.

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In The News: From research to reality

Taking research from the test tube and turning it into treatment for people in need can take a lot of time.

“Making the leap from basic science to a treatment is formidable. The failure rate exceeds 95 percent,” Jeffrey Miller, M.D., and Timothy Schacker, M.D.Medical School wrote in a recent edition of Minnesota Health Care News.

But the degree of success could go up with a newer way of approaching studies, called translational research. The method aims to take discoveries and turn them into practical solutions that can improve the health of people.

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Shlafer turns advocacy for incarcerated pregnant women into legislation

Credit: Steven Depolo, Flickr Creative Commons

Rebecca Shlafer, Ph.D.Department of Pediatrics, has been busy lately. After assisting with Isis Rising to help incarcerated mothers at Shakopee Women’s Prison, the Assistant Professor was part of Sesame Street’s Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration project. The initiative supports young children who have an incarcerated parent with interactive resources.

While Shlafer has been educating others about the issues surrounding incarcerated parents, last month she saw her advocacy turn into legislation. Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill that will help address the needs of incarcerated women around the periods of pregnancy and childbirth.

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