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Showing posts from May, 2009

Omega 3-6 Fatty Acid Balance Changes Gene Expression

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Researchers have discovered that omega fatty acids can alter gene expression and boost immunity, explaining the potent effect of omega fatty acids seen in studies. Consumption of a diet consisting of omega fatty acid ratio of 2:1 (omega 6: omega 3) was found to alter gene expression after five weeks in 27 study participants.

Lack of omega 3, 6 fatty acid balance, found in the typical Western diet, may explain soaring rates of allergy, autoimmune diseases, heart disease and other inflammatory diseases. The research study, conducted by Floyd Chilton and colleagues, was initiated to seek out the effects of eating a diet that more closely resembles that of our human ancestors, and the expression of inflammatory pathway genes. The scientists discovered widespread changes in gene expression associated with omega 3-6 balance.

Increased consumption of omega 6 fatty acids has occurred over the past century. The authors write, “Over the past 100 years, changes in the food supply in Western nati…

BPA Found in Human Urine after Normal use of Plastic Bottles

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Whether or not to ban BPA (Bisphenol A) has been the subject of much debate, but a new study shows BPA was found in high levels in human urine, even with normal use of plastic drinking bottles. The findings could have significant implications for human health.

The study comes from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). Harvard College students drank cold beverages only from stainless steel bottles for one week before they were asked to drink from plastic bottles for one week. During each phase, urine samples were obtained to find out whether BPA could be found in human urine after normal use of plastic bottles.

Lead study author Karin B. Michels, associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH and Harvard Medical School says, "We found that drinking cold liquids from polycarbonate bottles for just one week increased urinary BPA levels by more than two-thirds. If you heat those bottles, as is the case with baby bottles, we would expect the levels to be considerably higher. This would …

Sleeping Longer Helps Weight Loss

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Another new study shows that sleeping longer helps with weight loss. Researchers at Walter Reed Medical Center have found that even with increased activity, less sleep seems to contribute to higher body mass index, and more difficulty with weight loss. The scientists say maybe sleeping longer keeps hormones that signal food satiety intact, in turn leading to success with weight loss and maintenance.

Lead investigator of the study, Arn Eliasson, M.D. says, “Primarily, we want to know what is driving the weight differences, and why sleep and weight appear to be connected.” Study participants who were more active, but slept less, were not successful with weight loss, even though energy expenditure among overweight study participants was 1000 calories more per day.

The study showing that longer sleep helps weight loss was part of the Integrative Cardiac Health Project at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Researchers analyzed sleep patterns and observed energy expenditure, and activity among …

Promoting Childhood Health Could Save Billions

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Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say interventions targeting obesity, exposure to tobacco, mental health, and injury prevention in children, before age five, could significantly reduce lifetime costs for health care. Promoting childhood health, beginning in preschool, could save billions in health care spending throughout a lifetime.

The study authors found convincing evidence that health promotion for children, starting early, can amount to huge savings in healthcare spending. Bernard Guyer, MD, lead author of the study and the Zanvyl Kreiger Professor of Children's Health with the Bloomberg School's Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health estimate a savings of $50,000 per child, per lifetime, through health interventions that control tobacco exposure and focus on injury prevention in kids.

“The currently available research justifies targeted investments in early childhood health promotion as a means to averting future health co…

Trauma before Pregnancy may Affect Child Behavior

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Researchers from University of Haifa, studying animal behavior, find that trauma experienced by a mother even before pregnancy can have emotional and behavioral effects on a child’s behavior. Even though past trauma does not directly affect pregnancy, the study revealing the behavior of offspring of traumatized animals is viewed as important by the study authors for its implications in human children and the potential impact of trauma experienced by mothers, and how it affects childhood behavior before conception.

For the study, the scientists observed rat behavior because of their sociability and human-like cerebral activity. They found that trauma experience by mother rats before pregnancy influence how their offspring behaved. The study looked at three groups, one of which was exposed to stressful activities two weeks prior to mating, and a second treated the same, one week before mating. A third control group was not exposed to any form of stress. The researchers found that the of…

Personalizing Mailed Nutritional Information Improves Diets

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Researchers from Brown University have found that mailing personalized nutritional information to diverse ethnic groups with lower income might be an easy and inexpensive way to cut healthcare spending. The program has proven so successful that the researchers are now involving community agencies in the personalized mailing programs that can improve diet and reduce disease risk among low-income families through improved dietary habits.

Lead author Kim Gans, associate professor (research) of community health at Brown University and co-director of Brown’s Institute for Community Health Promotion explains, “It’s a lot less expensive to send (people) material in the mail than to sit down with them and do multiple counseling sessions over time. And people really liked the materials.” Personalized nutritional information sent in the mail in small batches was found to improve vegetable and fruit intake among less educated consumers.

The study involved 1,841 people, mostly in Rhode Island, begi…

One in Six Elders Living at Home Face Malnutrition

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Researchers at Linkoping University, Sweden have found that one in six elders who live at home are undernourished, facing the possibility of complications from malnutrition. The scientists studied 579 older people aged 75 and 80, finding that 14.5 percent, or one in six of the elders studied, were at risk for malnutrition.

Elderly women were found to be at higher risk for undernourishment and malnutrition than were men. Elderly men were at higher risk of being undernourished if they were depressed.

Yvonne Johansson from the Department of Medical and Health Sciences at the University says, "We carried out a wide range of physical and biochemical tests on the people who took part in the study and asked them lots of questions, including how they perceived their health and their health-related quality of life. Our aim was to discover how prevalent the problem was and identify key factors that can predict an increased risk of malnutrition among older people living at home. We discovere…

Avastin Approved for Recurrent Deadly Brain Cancer

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The FDA has approved Avastin for the treatment of glioblastoma, a recurrent and deadly type of brain cancer. Clinical trials have shown that Avastin increases survival time among patients with recurrent glioblastoma, improving quality of life.

Avastin, given intravenously to patients with glioblastoma every two weeks, improved survival among patients studied, from three to nineteen months. The drug works by preventing cancerous tumors from growing new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis.

David Schiff, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Virginia Cancer Center took part in the Avastin research that lead to FDA approval of the drug for treatment of glioblastoma, a type of deadly brain cancer that affects approximately 10,000 people annually in the US alone. Dr. Schiff says Avastin is “not a cure, but this treatment does improve quality of life and prolong life. In our clinical trials, we saw 30 to 40 percent of patients with dramatic shrinkage of tumors.”

Glioblastoma us…

How Sleep Apnea Leads to Heart Disease

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Sleep apnea affects more than twelve million Americans, according to the Sleep Apnea Foundation. Researchers from Emory University have discovered how sleep apnea leads to heart disease. The new findings suggest a different approach to treating sleep apnea that targets lowering expression of the enzyme NADPH oxidase in sleep apnea sufferers to decrease risk of heart disease.

Researchers from Emory University identified NADPH and its role in sleep apnea. NADPH enzymes become more prevalent in the presence of sleep apnea, leading to heart disease from thickening of the blood vessels in the lung. The researchers found that mice lacking NADPH were immune to the effects of low oxygen levels (hypoxia) that occurs during sleep apnea.

Senior study author C. Michael Hart, professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center explains,” Anything that blunts sleep apnea’s effects on blood vessel physiology could reduce its impact on (heart) dise…

Study Shows Women More Vulnerable to Lung Cancer

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Findings presented at the European Multidisciplinary Conference in Thoracic Oncology
(EMCTO), Lugano, Switzerland, shows that women are more vulnerable to lung cancer from smoking tobacco, compared to men.

Researchers compared lung cancer rates among men and women, finding that women who smoked significantly less than men were diagnosed earlier with lung cancer, showing that women are more vulnerable to carcinogens in tobacco.

The study examined 633 men and women with lung cancer between 2000 and 2005, referred for treatment to a cancer centre in St Gallen. Women were found to develop lung cancer at a younger age, even though they smoked significantly less tobacco than men, leading the researchers to conclude that women are more vulnerable to developing lung cancer from smoking tobacco.

According to Dr Enriqueta Felip, “Several case-control studies seem to suggest that women are more vulnerable to tobacco carcinogens than men”. Dr. Felip, from Val d'Hebron University Hospital in Bar…

Increased Heart Rate Before Exercise Doubles Risk of Sudden Death

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Increased heart rate before exercise doubles the risk of sudden cardiac death from heart attack later in life. Researchers from France find that taking a pulse before an exercise stress test is an easy way to intervene early to prevent sudden death when heart rate is increased in response to the mental stress of taking an exercise test. Professor Xavier Jouven, of the Hopital Européen Georges Pompidou (Paris, France), and colleagues found that men studied had double the risk of sudden death if their heart rate was increased before exercise.

The scientists suggest that clinicians should hone in on the value of intervening early for heart disease prevention. Increased heart rate before exercise seems to be a strong predictor of sudden death in the future, shown by the study that followed 7746 French male civil service employees for twenty-three years to find the association between increased heart rate before exercise and risk of sudden death later in life.

"People who showed a highe…

Some Hydroxycut Weight-Loss Products Causing Liver Damage, Death

Lovate Sciences, a manufacturer of Hydroxycut, has agreed to a recall of Hydroxycut products because of reports of liver damage and death. One report of death from Hydroxycut has been reported by the FDA.

Not all Hydroxycut products are associated with liver damage. So far, 23 reports of liver injury, causing elevated liver enzymes have been reported.

The list of Hydroxycut products that Lovate Sciences is recalling include:

Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix)
Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Liquid Shots
Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink)
Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed
Hydroxycut 24
Hydroxycut Carb Control
Hydroxycut Natural

If you have used any of the above Hydroxycut products, and experience symptoms that might indicate liver damage, n…