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A Weekly Shot of News and Notes

Tuesday, April 5, 2005; Page HE02

LOW-CARB BEATS NO-CARB Unsold crates of Atkins low-carb energy bars, shakes and breakfast mixes have been pouring into charities serving the poor of Appalachia.

"You can't go wrong with giving any kind of food away," said Ken Slone, manager of a Christian Appalachian Project warehouse. Since September, the group has received 14 truckloads of food from Atkins Nutritionals.

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Bob Goldin of food research firm Technomic Inc., said many companies overproduced low-carb foods trying to cash in on the diet craze and now are stuck with large amounts of it. When the products show up in food banks, he said, they usually have lost commercial value.

Atkins Nutritionals said in a statement that the company routinely provides free foods to charitable organizations.

INFLAMED AND AT RISK In another report connecting inflammation to heart problems, a new study shows that systemic inflammation increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

The rate of illness and death from cardiovascular disease is higher among rheumatoid arthritis patients, and there is increasing evidence that inflammation plays a key role in the development of atherosclerosis, Sherine E. Gabriel of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues report in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.

The researchers said studies should investigate whether aggressive treatment of systemic inflammation can reduce risk of cardiovascular death in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

-- From News Services

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