Posts

Showing posts from 2008

Study Shows Bismuth Safe and Effective for H.Pylori Treatment

Image
According to a new study, bismuth is a safe and effective addition for the treatment of H.Pylori, when used short-term. The findings are published Dec. 31, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

H.Pylori is the bacteria that leads to peptic ulcer disease. Bismuth subsalicylate is used in chewable and liquid medications for the treatment of diarrhea and upset stomach. Bismuth compounds have been used medically for centuries, but too much can cause neurological problems.

The study, led by Professor Paul Moayyedi from McMaster University, Canada, included a review of thirty-five randomized controlled trials that included over 4500 patients. The trials compared the effect of bismuth combined with antibiotics, no treatment, or placebo, on H. Pylori bacteria.

The only side effect found was dark stools. Bismuth was found to be an effective treatment as part of overall treatment for H. Pylori.

The new information is considered important to physicians and patients. Treatment of H.Pylor…

Lab Study Shows Grape Seed Extract Kills Leukemia Cells

Image
University of Kentucky researchers have discovered that an extract of grape seed killed seventy-six percent of leukemia cells when exposed to the substance during laboratory studies. Xianglin Shi, Ph.D., professor in the Graduate Center for Toxicology at the University of Kentucky, conducted the research that shows promise for treatment of cancer using natural compounds that do not destroy normal cells.

The object of the study was to discover if grape seed extract had the same effect on leukemia, a hematological, or blood cancer, as it does on cancer of the skin, breast, colon, lung and prostate, as shown in previous studies. Hematological cancers are the fourth leading type of cancer and cause of cancer death in the United States.

Evidence has been mounting showing the cancer preventive effects of fruits and vegetables. Dr. Shi and colleagues have specifically been studying the role of proanthocyanidins, a substance found naturally in fruits and vegetables, as well as in the seeds of …

Higher Heart Rate at Rest Increases Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

Image
New research shows that people with higher resting heart rate seem to be at increased risk for atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disturbance experienced by 2.2million Americans, according to statistics from the American Heart Association. Atrial fibrillation causes blood to circulate less effectively to the organs of the body, and can lead to blood clots and stroke.

The Losartan Intervention for End Point Reduction in Hypertension (LIFE) study, published in the December 2008 issue of Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, tracked 8828 patients with high blood pressure over a period of five years, evaluating heart rates at baseline, six months, and yearly.

The research found that resting heart rate greater than 84 beats per minute increased the risk of atrial fibrillation by sixty one percent. The study also showed that for every increase in resting heart rate of ten beats per minute, the risk of atrial fibrillation increased by nineteen percent.

The risk of developing atrial f…

Increased Energy to the Brain May Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Image
Some forms of Alzheimer’s disease might be avoided by making sure the brain gets enough energy from glucose, through good blood flow. Lead study author, Robert Vassar, discovered that the protein eIF2alpha, acts like a switch when the brain does not receive enough energy. The result is the formation of the sticky protein material (amyloid plaques) found in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Vassar, a professor of cell and molecular biology at the Feinberg School of Medicine, "If people start early enough, maybe they can dodge the (Alzheimer’s) bullet. For people who already have symptoms, vasodilators, which increase blood flow, may help the delivery of oxygen and glucose to the brain.”

The research is significant, especially given statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association. Estimates show that ten million baby boomers will likely develop Alzheimer’s disease during their lifetime. Dr. Vassar believes that drugs could potentially be developed to block …

Say Good Night to Heart Disease with at Least Six Hours of Sleep

Image
According to findings from University of Chicago Medical Center researchers, skipping out on adequate rest sets us up for heart disease. Adding just one hour of sleep to your nightly routine has the same positive effect as lowering systolic blood pressure by 17mm/Hg.

Study director Diane Lauderdale, PhD, associate professor of health studies at the University of Chicago Medical Center, finds the results puzzling. Twenty-seven percent of those who slept less than five hours per night had calcified arteries during a five-year follow-up. Only eleven percent of the 495 participants who slept five to seven hours nightly had signs of coronary artery disease. The number dropped to six percent for those who slept more than seven hours, and the greatest impact was on women.

According to Dr. Lauderdale, "The consistency and the magnitude of the difference came as a surprise. It's also something of a mystery. We can only speculate about why those with shorter average sleep duration were …

Mix of Protein and Carb Drinks Boost Athletic Performance

Image
Athletes who consume sports drinks with protein and carbohydrates perform better than those who use drinks containing only carbohydrates. The study comes from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, following research that measured improvements in cyclist’s recovery following exercise.

Researchers from Gettysburg College and The University of Western Ontario performed the carbohydrate, protein drink study, in conjunction with Dr. John Berardi, from Precision Nutrition.

The study showed that protein and carbohydrate combination drinks improved power and endurance of the cyclists, though energy expenditure was the same for the two groups. The athletes who drank the protein carbohydrate drink also had a decreased perception of fatigue compared to the carbohydrate only group.

Fifteen trained male cyclists were given a standardized breakfast. Two hours later, they performed a sixty-minute cycling time trial using a Computrainer indoor trainer where the cyclists compete …

Stanford Researcher Challenges use of Mice for Human Disease Studies

Image
Mark Davis, PhD, director of the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, says it is time for researchers to start looking at humans instead of mice for answers to disease prevention and cures in humans. According to Davis, "Mice are lousy models for clinical studies. Dr. Davis points out that mice are not part of our evolutionary ancestry. Instead, Dr. Davis suggests we use a system based on the human genome for developing a better understanding of human disease.

In his essay, published December 19 in Immunity, Dr. Davis writes…”think about what we can do with people. People come to hospitals, get vaccinations, give blood and tissue samples for routine lab tests and clinical trials. We're not learning nearly as much as we could from these samples. As with the recent history of human genetics, we could be much bolder."

Davis instead, suggests the formation of a national or international infrastructure that could acquire information from human bloo…

Counseling Helps Women Switch to Mediterranean Diet

Image
In just three months, a group of women doubled their fruit and vegetable intake through dietary counseling. University of Michigan researchers helped 69 women switch to a Mediterranean diet through face-to-face interviews, provision of a food exchange list, and phone counseling. The women were able to make beneficial changes in their diet by simply substituting good fat for bad. Caloric intake remained the same.

Adopting a Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce mortality from diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. In the current study, the women successfully switched to a Mediterranean diet in three months, and continued to follow the diet for six months.

The women were divided into two groups. One group received guidelines from a registered dietician regarding food exchanges that provided the same number of calories contained in the women’s regular diet, but replacing bad fat with good fat. Included in the exchange were dark green leafy vegetables, and high monosat…

Mediterranean Diet Including Nuts Leads to Better Heart Health

Image
Researchers again find that consuming nuts can lead to better heart health, especially when combined with a Mediterranean diet. According to new research, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, incorporating olive oil and a handful of nuts into our daily diet can reduce our risk of metabolic syndrome, a known cause of heart disease and other chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Researchers studied 1224 older people who had major risk factors for developing heart disease. They divided them into groups. One received 1 liter of virgin olive oil, the other 30 grams, or one ounce of nuts, and another a low fat diet. All of the participants had signs of metabolic syndrome. After one year, they again measured indicators of heart health, using guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III.

The entire study group received periodic education regarding the Mediterranean diet. None of study group limited food intake, eating to…

Researchers Discover how Natural Immunity Kills HIV Infected Cells

Image
Researchers have identified cells that halt the progression of HIV to AIDS. They studied people who have had HIV for years, yet never develop symptoms of AIDS. The findings could allow scientists to find an effective AIDS vaccine.

A small group of HIV infected people; referred to as long-term non-progressors (LTNPs), have a special type of immunity that kills HIV when it infects the cells, known as CD8+ T cells. According to the new research, CD8+ T cells become highly effective HIV killers when they team up with other molecules in the body. When the molecules get together, they destroy HIV infected cells, halting the progression of HIV to AIDS.

Stephen Migueles, M.D., senior author Mark Connors, M.D., and colleagues at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), studied CD8+ T with innovative technology that allowed them to watch how CD8+ T cells, taken from long-term HIV survivors, kill HIV infected cells.

The researchers discovered that cells taken from LTNP’s …

Renowned MRI Expert Alerts Public to New Concerns Possibly Exposing Infants to Superbug Infections

Infants Taped to Torn and Contaminated Pads When Undergoing MRI

CHICAGO, Illinois — December 2, 2008 — During the third day of the Radiologic Society of North America (RSNA 2008) conference, Chicago, IL, Dr. Peter Rothschild, one of the world's foremost MRI experts, is alerting the public to a common practice that endangers young immunosuppressed patients by exposing them to damaged pads and possible Superbug infections during MRI.

Peter Rothschild M.D. is considered one of the world's foremost MRI experts. He formerly served as Medical Director of the research laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco, where he helped develop the first commercially available Open MRI scanner. He is the editor of the first textbook on Open MRI and the author of the landmark paper “Preventing Infection in MRI: Best Practices for Infection Control in and Around MRI Suites.”

Rothschild warns that a common procedure in hospitals and free standing MRI centers is to tape infa…

Study Shows Constipation in Children Poses Serious Health Issues

Image
Researchers at Columbia University have found that constipation in children can pose serious health issues that parallel the cost of treating children with asthma and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study is scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics, early 2009.

Gastroenterologists and researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital teamed up to find out the actual cost and use of health care facilities associated with children in the United States who suffer from constipation. The research group collected data from surveys targeting children under age 18 who were treated for constipation over two years (2003-2004), receiving laxatives or a diagnosis of constipation.

The study results showed that constipated children use health care services more than do other children, costing $3.9 billion annually. The hospital group believes constipation in children should receive more attention from public health campaigns.

Study author, Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD, chief of …

How Binge Drinking Leads to Heart Attack

Image
Heart attack from the formation of atherosclerosis (plaque in the arteries) can follow binge drinking. New research supports the notion that how much alcohol we consume is not as important as our pattern of alcohol consumption. Binge drinking might be an important factor that can lead to heart attack. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as five or more drinks for men, and four or more drinks for women, in two hours.

The current research discovered a direct association between irregular drinking habits and heart attack. Regular alcohol consumption has shown to be beneficial to health (e.g. red wine). Binge drinking can lead to dangerous changes in the lining of the blood vessels that promote inflammation, leading to plaque formation and heart attack.

Research shows that blood cells attack fatty plaque and other foreign substances that inflame the lining of the arteries. When inflammation occurs in the blood vessels, an immune response f…

Increased Resting Heart Rate Predicts Risk of Death

Image
The number of times your heart beats while at rest may predict your risk of death. A newer study from Dr Xavier Jouven (Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Paris, France), and colleagues showed that minor increases in resting heart rate bumps up our risk of death by 20%. Conversely, a reduction in heart rate shows a 14% reduced risk of death. The research group studied healthy police officers who had no additional risk of heart disease, studying the men over a five year period.

The scientists are not certain whether their findings can be applied to women or other groups of individuals. Nevertheless, past studies have supported their findings. Past theories include the possibility that increased heart rate induces stress on the walls of the artery and heart, contributing to mortality.

The researchers studied men who were healthy, following them for five years. The study took place between 1967 and 1972 and included 5139 subjects. The authors say "We found that change in HR over 5-ye…

Researchers Discover How Bacteria Become Lethal

Image
Researchers at Scripps University have discovered how bacteria become lethal. When bacteria enter the body, they are initially harmless. Bicarbonate in our organs and body fluid helps us maintain normal PH, otherwise described as alkalinity or acidity. If normal PH is not maintained, metabolic disturbance occurs that can lead to physical distress and serious illness. Unfortunately, bicarbonate also teams up with bacteria to cause much harm.

The researchers discovered how bacteria become activated to cause death while exploring the lethal effects of Anthrax. Bicarbonate tells the bacteria to attack. Without the help of bicarbonate, which acts as a transport, anthrax bacteria were found to be harmless.The study is published in the November 21 edition of the journal PLoS Pathogens. The findings are significant, because other bacteria, such as E.coli, likely behave in the same fashion.

Scientists have known that bicarbonate plays a key role in activating bacteria after it enters the body. …

Patients develop Superbug MRSA infections after undergoing MRI Scanning

Image
HAYWARD, California — Nov. 10th, 2008 — The CDC reports that 1.7 million people in the United States each year contract a "Hospital Acquired Infection" and over 100,000 people die each year as a result of these infections. Reports show that in 2005 nearly 19,000 people died from hospital acquired infections. Hospital acquired infections are killing more people each year than AIDS.

Numerous patients have expressed concern about developing so called “superbug” infections that are resistant to conventional antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the common superbugs that patients have contracted after undergoing an MRI scan. The most famous of these cases is that of 15 year old honor roll student Nile Moss, who died from an MRSA infection after an outpatient visit to a hospital where he under went an MRI. After leaving the hospital, Nile developed a high temperature and three days after being admitted to the hospital he died. After hearing…

Indoor Pollution Linked to Heart Disease Risk – Are Statins the Answer?

Image
Researchers have uncovered the role of low-level air pollution on heart health. Studies have shown that EPA standards are not low enough to protect our blood vessels from inflammation leading to heart disease and stroke. CRP blood test levels measure inflammation in the body, and can be controlled with cholesterol lowering medicines, or statins. Elevated CRP levels promote heart attacks.

Taking things a bit further, newer research shows that we can’t seem to escape damage to blood vessels even in the home. Community monitoring stations fall short of measuring the total amount of individual exposure to pollutants that can increase our risk of heart disease.

According to study co-author, Robert Bard, cardiologists need to develop a greater awareness that pollution is contributing to heart disease. The amount of exposure experienced by 65 study participants fitted with pollution-monitoring vests showed that exposure to particulate matter in the home impacted blood flow and systolic blood …

Allergies may Protect from Cancer says Cornell Study

Image
According to a new study from Cornell University, allergies might be the body’s defense against toxins that can cause cancer. The study raises questions about whether or not we should be quelling allergy symptoms. The research found the greatest correlation between cancers that develop in body tissue exposed to the environment, which includes skin, bladder, colon, mouth, throat, cervix, uterus, lung and gastrointestinal tract cancers. The link weakens when it comes to breast and prostate cancer, myeloma, and myelocytic leukemia – tissues that are less environmentally susceptible. Hives, hay fever, allergies to food and meat, and eczema were strongly associated with lower cancer rates from environmental exposure of body tissues.

Paul Sherman, Cornell professor of neurobiology and behavior, led the Cornell study. Dr. Sherman believes that allergies serve to rid the body of toxins, including those that cause cancer. When we sneeze and cough, it seems possible that the body is ridding it…

Music may Protect from Heart Disease – Study

Image
According to the results of a new study, listening to music that makes you feel good has a positive effect on the blood vessels. The effects are measureable. We’ve long known that emotion can affect health. Simply enjoying country, classical music, or R&B appears to decrease your chances of heart disease. The benefits may extend to overall health, helping to fight infection and recover from injury.

Researchers found that when we feel joyful, in this case in response to music, the blood vessels dilate, increasing blood flow. The same response occurs when we laugh. Stressful music had the opposite response – the blood vessels narrow, restricting blood flow to the heart and other organs. Michael Miller, M.D., director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine says "We knew that individual people would react differently to different types of music, so in this study, w…

Potassium from Food may Control Blood Pressure

Image
A new study shows that increasing dietary potassium might keep blood pressure in check - especially in African Americans. Controlling salt intake has been the mainstay recommendation for blood pressure control. The study, from the American Society of Nephrology suggests that getting more potassium may be as important as limiting salt intake. The research is presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 41st Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Susan Hedayati, MD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and the Dallas VA Medical Center, led the study, which also identified a gene that may have a direct influence on how potassium affects blood pressure.

Data from the Dallas Heart Study was analyzed, involving 3,300 subjects, half of whom were African American. The amount of potassium found in urine samples directly correlated with the incidence of high blood pressure. "The lower the potassium in the urine, h…

Better Health Through Compassion - Bloggers Unite for Refugees

There's no question that we can learn, but can we translate our learning into action? We face disasters, and none of us are immune. Hunger, climate change, and the threat of displacement from war and natural disasters are real. You could easily become a victim.

We are not disempowered. Helping others means learning more about what goes on in the world, and exploring initiatives. It's a matter of personal growth and sharing - and yes, it can help you remain healthier.

Blog Catalog has teamed up with Refugees United to do exactly that.

Creating change in the world means making a conscious effort. It takes compassion and maturity to get involved in helping others. Today's effort is directed at helping refugees.

There are currently an estimated 14 million refugees worldwide. They come from all cultures, and they are our kin. There are many ways to help. Choose just one. We all have the ability to do something positive.

Refugees can't go home - they have no home. They'…

Researchers Find Drug to Reverse Effects of Aging

Image
According to a report from the University of Virginia Health System, an anti-aging pill may be in the making. During a two year investigation, researchers found they were able to increase muscle mass in healthy senior adults by providing a single daily dose of MK-677, a drug currently under investigation for safety. The scientists plan to explore the potential of the drug for helping improve quality of life for frail seniors.

The study, Published in the November 4, 2008 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, found that MK-677 acted much like the “fountain of youth”. Study participants experienced increased levels of the growth hormones (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I(IGF- I), without serious side effects. The hormone levels were found to be comparable to those of healthy young adults. The result was a 20% increase in muscle mass in the arms and legs of the study participants.

We are living longer, but quality of life is an issue associated with loss of muscle mass, and weakness …

Vitamin D Shown to Activate Immune Fighting Genes

Image
According to a new study, Vitamin D plays an even bigger role in health than previously thought. Researchers have discovered that Vitamin D activation occurs in the cells that line the lungs, setting off a cascade of events that boosts immunity through the activation of immune fighting genes.

The study, from the University of Iowa, published this month in the Journal of Immunology, shows that epithelial cells in the airways convert Vitamin D to the useful form, 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. The result is more active Vitamin D in the body to fight infection and boost immunity. The study authors say, “Primary epithelial cells generate active vitamin D, which then influences the expression of vitamin D-driven genes that play a major role in host defense”. The research team found that Vitamin D could mediate inflammation caused by infection.

Gary Hunninghake, M.D., Professor of internal medicine, and the study's senior author says, "Controlling inflammation through vitamin D is good …

Study - Minorities Slighted when it Comes to Depression Treatment

Image
According to the results of a large study, published n the November issue of Psychiatric Services, minorities with depression have limited access to treatment. Those who seek treatment receive inadequate care. The findings reveal that even when variables such as poverty, insurance coverage, and education were taken into account, ethnicity and race still impacted treatment. The authors say, "The findings paint a stark, recent picture of care for depression among racial- and ethnic-minority populations in the United States and clearly point to areas in need of further sustained attention."

Looking at a period of twelve months, Harvard Medical School investigators discovered that 63.7% of Latinos, 68.7% of Asians, and 58.8% of African Americans did not access any mental health treatment, compared with 40.2% of non-Latino whites. Patients who sought treatment included 12% of African Americans, 13% of Asians, and 22% of Latinos compared with 33% of whites, but their needs were not…

There’s Something about Grapes

Image
A study from the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center suggests that grapes may be even more powerful than thought for maintaining a healthier heart. According to the study, published in the October issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, a blend of red, green and black grape powder mediated blood pressure, reduced inflammation and improved heart function in lab rats prone to hypertension that were fed a salty diet. "These findings support our theory that something within the grapes themselves has a direct impact on cardiovascular risk, beyond the simple blood pressure-lowering impact that we already know can come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, " says Mitchell Seymour, M.S., who led the research.

High blood pressure affects millions of Americans and can lead to congestive heart failure. Though the scientists aren't exactly certain which compounds in the grapes are responsible for the health boost seen in the study, they suspect it’s t…

Co-Enzyme Q Shown to Extend Lives of Heart Failure Patients

Image
Heart failure patients may have had a difficult time convincing their physicians of the benefits, but a newer study again supports Co-enzyme Q for increasing life span of patients suffering from congestive heart failure - a condition caused by congenital defects, heart attack, enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy) high blood pressure and heart rhythm problems. Congestive heart failure means the heart can’t pump sufficient amounts of blood to all the organs, leading to fluid accumulation. Symptoms include swelling, weight gain and difficulty breathing - symptoms that decrease quality of life and shorten lifespan.

There is no cure for congestive heart failure. Management includes the use of medications and lifestyle interventions including exercise, stress reduction, treatment of depression, weight loss, and low salt, heart healthy diet. Co-enzyme Q, according to recent findings, provides energy to the heart cells, helping it pump more efficiently and with less effort.

Studies conducted in New …