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Health effects of 'functional foods' featured during four-day symposium, Sept. 10-13

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10 -- Scientists worldwide are discovering new and unexpected benefits from a wide variety of foods that go beyond their basic nutritional value. These so-called 'functional foods' contain natural or modified compounds that have been shown to help fight some of the most challenging health problems, including cancer and heart disease. More than 50 research papers on these and other topics will be presented during a four-day symposium, "Functional Foods and Health," from Sunday, Sept. 10, through Wednesday, Sept. 13, at the 232nd national meeting of the American Chemical Society. All papers in this symposium, which begins at 8:00 a.m., will be presented at the San Francisco Marriott, Nob Hill C.

Selected highlights are shown below:

Mandarin oranges may reduce risk of liver cancer, other diseases -- A pair of studies from Japan suggests that eating mandarin oranges may cut your risk of developing liver cancer as well as other serious diseases:

In one study, researchers at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine found that drinking mandarin orange juice may reduce the risk of developing liver cancer in patients with chronic viral hepatitis. After a one-year study period, no liver cancer was detected among a group of 30 patients with viral hepatitis who were given one cup daily of a specially prepared beverage containing mandarin orange juice, whereas an 8.9 percent rate of liver cancer was found among a group of 45 patients who did not drink the juice supplements, according to Hoyoku Nishino, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at the university. (AGFD 011, Sunday, Sept. 10, 8:45 a.m.)

In an epidemiological study by scientists at the National Institute of Fruit Tree Science in Japan, scientists surveyed 1,073 people in a Japanese town noted for its high consumption of mandarin oranges. The researchers found certain chemical markers in the subjects' blood that are associated with a lower risk of several health pro
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