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CHECKUP TEA AND CHOCOLATE: NOT A BIT OF SYMPATHY NEEDED.

Byline: - Staff and Wire Services

If you really want to show your love this Valentine's Day, serve your sweetheart some chocolates and tea.

A new study adds to the growing body of evidence that both foods can be good for the heart - and not only in the romantic way.

The key, say researchers, is the high flavinoid content of both chocolate and tea. A type of anti-oxidant, flavinoids have been shown in studies to possess powerful disease-fighting properties, particularly when it comes to cardiovascular health.

``No single food will confer immunity from illness. But both tea and chocolate can be components of a healthy diet if (taken) in moderation along with other flavinoid-rich plant foods, such as fruits and vegetables,'' says study author Penny Kris-Etherton, a professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University.

Anti-oxidants such as flavinoids protect the heart by helping to reduce the vessel-clogging effects of cholesterol, a waxy, fatlike substance that can keep blood from reaching the heart.

In addition, says Kris-Etherton, tea has some other healthful properties. It can cut your rate of stroke and heart attack by helping you to reduce the risk of blood-clot formation, as it works to decrease inflammation within blood vessel walls. Many doctors now believe that is key to reducing the risk of heart disease and controlling blood pressure.

PROSTATE CANCER STUDY: Several organizations are hoping to determine how hereditary prostate cancer affects African-American men. P&E Associates, an independent pharmaceutical and biogenetic survey organization, is working in partnership with the National Human Genome Institute at Howard University and the African-American Hereditary Prostate Cancer Study Network to locate at least 100 study participants by March 31. To locate them, they are asking for volunteers for a confidential survey.

Although more lives are being saved through early detection, African- American men continue to show disproportionately higher numbers of deaths from prostate cancer. Having access to information and funding is critical in fighting this disease.

``I'm really concerned about prostate cancer. Too many of us are not getting the message,'' said U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles. ``Our men should start getting screenings by age 40. If not, some of them are going to die. My husband gets his checkup twice a year.''

Recent studies on prostate cancer, done at the National Institute of Health, indicate that prostate cancer may run in the families of black men. In a previous study of 100 men, only one was African-American. In his case, prostate cancer was found in three other family members. The new study will allow researchers to examine how the disease specifically affects African-American men. It is the only genetic study of its type currently being done.

If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, or you are a doctor treating prostate cancer patients, you can call the toll-free Family Referral Associates Hotline at (800) 677-8441, or visit the Web site at www.hudhosp.org/hucc/research.htm.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 11, 2002
Words:493
Previous Article:HEART OF THE MATTER HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE, AWARENESS OF RISK FACTORS KEY TO CARDIAC HEALTH.
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