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Cocoa lowers cardiovascular disease risk; Scientist behind simufilam charged with fraud; Mediterranean diet reduces mortality – Morning Medical Update


The top news stories in medicine today.

Morning Medical Update : © sonyakamoz - stock.adobe.com

Morning Medical Update : © sonyakamoz - stock.adobe.com

Cocoa lowers cardiovascular disease risk

A new meta-study looked at the effect of consuming cocoa in patients with cardiovascular disease risk factors. Cocoa use was linked to varying degrees of improvement in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose.

Researchers also found that cocoa consumption proved to have no effects on body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and HbA1c, a crucial biomarker of diabetes. Find out more about the benefits of cocoa on cardiovascular health here.

Scientist behind simufilam charged with fraud

Last Friday, the Justice Department announced the indictment of Hoau-Yan Wang, a neuroscientist whose work helped develop a new Alzheimer’s drug candidate. Wang has had multiple studies retracted in the past, and was investigated by the City University of New York, his employer, which was later halted.

Wang’s charges are related to the alleged fabrication of research images and data that the neuroscientist may have used to secure federal grants from the National Institutes of Health. He was awarded $16 million in grants for the early-stage drug development of simufilam in collaboration with Cassava Sciences, a pharmaceutical company in Austin, Texas.

The indictment charges Wang with one count of fraud against the US, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of false statements. It also accuses Wang of manipulating or adding to images of Western blots, a method researchers use to identify proteins, to boost evidence and help secure grants.

Mediterranean diet reduces mortality

In a study published in JAMA Network Open last Friday, researchers examined 25,315 women over the age of 25, and found that a higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with 23% reduced risk of all-cause mortality. There were also decreased risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality.

A Mediterranean diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.

“Participants with higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet generally exhibited healthier lifestyles, including lower BMI and higher intake of fruits, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and fish, while consuming less red and processed meat,” the authors of the study said. “A higher Mediterranean diet score was associated with an overall healthier biomarker profile.”

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