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Showing posts from December, 2008

Study Shows Bismuth Safe and Effective for H.Pylori Treatment

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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…