Showing posts from 2012

Can eating eggs lower your cholesterol?

Study suggests eating eggs might lower, not raise heart risks

There has been much confusion about whether eggs should be included in a heart healthy diet, especially for anyone with known heart disease or history of heart attack. If your cholesterol level is already high, your doctor has probably asked you to avoid saturated fat and foods naturally high in cholesterol - like eggs, but particularly the yolk.

But a newer study from Canada suggests if you have metabolic syndrome you might benefit from incorporating eggs in your diet.

Eating foods high in cholesterol is believed to lead to the formation of atherosclerosis or plaques in the arteries that can lead to blockages and cause heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. 

In the latest study, researchers looked at 2 groups of middle-aged adults with metabolic syndrome who were overweight to find out if eggs - complete with the yolk - promote unhealthy cholesterol levels. 

One group ate 3 whole eggs a day. The second group ate …

CDC survey: Why are more teens smoking marijuana?

A new report shows more teenagers are using marijuana on a regular basis that researchers say is a cause for concern. According to this year's survey, most teens don’t think smoking pot is harmful.
Results of the 2012 “Monitoring the Future survey” found that 6.5 percent of 8th, 10th and 12th graders smoke marijuana daily, which is an increase from 5.1 percent reported in 2007.
This year’s survey included 45,449 students from 395 public and private schools. The study was conducted by the University of Michigan.
According to the results, 23 percent of teens said they had used marijuana in the month prior to the survey. Thirty-six percent reported smoking pot within the previous year.
More than 11 percent of students in the 8th grade reported they used pot within the last year. Twenty-eight percent of 10th grade students reported smoking marijuana within the past year; 3.5% answered that they smoke daily.
The concern is that most teenagers don’t see marijuana as harmful. Researchers say…

Indian spice turmeric shown to help rheumatoid arthritis

Researchers have been exploring the anti-inflammatory and safety profile of curcumin, the compound in the Indian spice turmeric for treating RA, finding the spice can help patients improve symptoms of the disease significantly.
Curcumin compared to drug therapy alone Finding ways to manage pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis can be challenging, especially when you consider side effects of prescription drugs.
For their study, researchers compared curcumin in turmeric to prescription drugs. 
Authors for the study say their finding, "…provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA [rheumatoid arthritis]." 
For the study, three groups of patients were assigned to receive either 500 mg. of curcumin daily, 50 mg diclofenac sodium daily  (brand name Voltaren, among others), or both curcumin and diclofenac.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were given curcumin experienced the most significant improvement in Disease Ac…

Healthy diet trumps medication use alone for preventing second heart attack

Patients who have had a heart attack or stroke are put on a variety of medications to prevent recurrence. Results of a new study show eating a heart healthy diet further lowers a person’s chances of a second stroke or heart attack that goes beyond what medication alone can do to boost cardiovascular health.
Authors for the study suggest patients with heart disease often rely on their medicines to keep their blood pressures lower and cholesterol levels intact.
But the study authors say relying on medication use alone is “wrong”. Changing your diet can have additional benefits that can lower your chances of dying from heart disease significantly.
Eating a heart healthy diet can significantly reduce your chances of a second heart attack or stroke, shown in one of the first studies of its kind.
McMaster University researchers found people who ate plenty of fruits and vegetables and low animal fat diet:
·Lowered their risk of dying from heart disease by 35 percent·Reduced their risk for new h…

Rice bran: How it might help prevent cancer

Researchers are testing bioactive compounds in rice bran in hopes that it may prevent cancer as well as cancer recurrence.
Scientists say rice bran contains polyphenols that could thwart cancer include ferulic acid, tricin, β-sitosterol, γ-oryzanol, tocotrienols/tocopherols, and phytic acid.
Elizabeth P. Ryan, PhD, Colorado University Cancer Center investigator, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences at the CSU Animal Cancer Center, and the review’s senior author explained in a press release, “There’s a delicate balance of bioactive components in rice bran that together show anti-cancer activity including the ability to inhibit cell proliferation, alter cell cycle progression and initiate the programmed cell death known as apoptosis in malignant cells.”
What that means is that rice bran could stop the spread of cancer and destroy what’s already there – much like chemotherapy goals, but without the toxicity.
The goal of from the researchers …

Top three reasons to get a physical exam this year

Men are especially notorious for ignoring their health; especially at the holidays. But women shouldn't postpone having an annual physical either. Scheduling a health exam can give you and your family peace of mind. Also, most insurance co-payments will go up in 2013, making getting a health check-up now a good budgetary decision.
Disease prevention   According to University of Alabama physician and Professor of Internal Medicine, Stephen Russell, M.D, getting a physical helps with prevention, which in turn saves cost in the long run.
“We think it’s important for all people in their twenties to establish relationships with a primary care physician, because that’s when we can get baseline health information, discuss family health history, talk about lifestyle changes and evaluate for obesity-related illnesses,” Russell said in a press release.
Cost savings Knowing your current health status means you’ll save money.
“Evidence is clear that we can save a tremendous amount of money through …

How vegetables with a meal makes you a better cook

Cooks who add vegetables to their family’s plates aren’t just adding nutrition. A new finding shows serving up a plate of veggies with your main dish can change how you’re perceived as a person and as a cook.
Trying to get Americans to boost their vegetable intake has been a public health challenge.
Researchers Brian Wansink, Misturu Shimzu and Adam Brumberg at Cornell University wanted to see if serving up pasta, steak or chicken with vegetables changed eaters’ perception of a meal or of the cook.
The study was done in two phases and included a series of 22 interviews among 500 American mothers with two or more children under the age of 18.
The participants were asked to evaluate meals with and without veggies in addition to their perception of the cooks who served the dinner meals.
Ratings for meals – and the cooks too - were higher with vegetables on the plate.
Meals with veggies were more likely to be described as ‘tasty’. The cook was more likely to be perceived as ‘loving’ or ‘though…

How drinking alcohol during pregnancy affects your baby's brain

Researchers have mapped what happens to fetal brains exposed to alcohol during pregnancy to find visible changes in brain structure that lead to later psychological and physical development problems.

Scientists used advanced MRI techniques to study the brains of babies developing in the uterus whose mothers consumed alcohol during pregnancy.

According to statistics from the CDC, the incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome that leads to physical and mental developmental problems for children is 0.2 to 1.5 per 1,000 births.

Researchers from Poland used 3 different types of MRI to track fetal brain changes that occur from alcohol use during pregnancy.

The study included 200 children whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. Researchers compared the finding to 30 children whose mothers did not drink when they were pregnancy or breastfeeding.

They discovered that alcohol consumption leads to changes in the way the area of the brain develops that connects the right and left hemisphere; known as t…

Music therapy helps surgery patients recover

Findings from a new study show patients given music therapy before, during and after surgery have less pain and shorter recovery time.

The research is important and shows a non-drug approach from listening to music can reduce anxiety, calm and reduce a patient’s perception of pain.
Patients in the study reported higher satisfaction with their medical experience and required less sedatives and pain medication when they were exposed to music.
Lori Gooding, UK director of music therapy and lead author on the review said in a press release, "Here at UK, our music therapists regularly use music-based interventions to help patients manage both pain and anxiety.”
To facilitate healing from surgery, therapists suggest letting the patient choose which type of music they enjoy.
But the music also has to have certain characteristics and be chosen by trained personnel to have the desired effect. Giving patients a choice from several playlists is recommended.
For music to have a positive effect on…

Alcohol may add more calories than known to our diet

Alcohol adds more calories to the daily diet than might be suspected, finds a CDC survey. When you factor in beer and wine consumption, the boost in calorie intake might be even more significant.
The message is important as the holidays approach. If you’re trying to diet, it’s important to consider findings that alcohol can add 100 or more calories a day that can thwart weight loss, exercise goals for weight maintenance and dieting.
According to results of a report that included survey data from adults over age 20 participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2010, beer, wine, liquor, or mixed drinks added an average of 174 calories a day for men aged 20 to 29.
For men, the calories came mostly from drinking beer. For women, the average increase from drinking was found to be about 50 calories. Women with higher income had a tendency to drink more.
The study also found that 19% of men and 12% of women exceeded recommendations for moderate drinking – on…

Exercise benefits possible for high blood pressure during pregnancy

Findings published in the December, 2012 issue of the journal Hypertension shows exercise for pregnant women with high blood pressure, also known as gestational hypertension, might be beneficial, contrary to popular belief.
Human physiology professor Jeff Gilbert at University of Oregon and his team found exercising before and during pregnancy could help prevent preeclampsia that occurs in 5 to 8 percent of pregnancies and poses health dangers to mother and fetus.
"The data from our study raise the possibility that exercise regimens if started before pregnancy and maintained through most of gestation may be an important way for women to mitigate the risk of preeclampsia," Gilbert said in a press release.

But the finding didn't show when or how much exercise is required or whether exercise has to start before pregnancy to get the beneficial effects.

Gilbert also says more studies are needed to see if exercise could be included as a therapy for high blood pressure that stems …

Fewer abortions associated with free birth control program

A new study by investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, published online Oct. 4, links free birth control to lower abortion rates. 

The researchers say free birth control had a ‘far-greater’ impact than expected, in a press release. The study is published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology Gynecology.
Jeff Peipert, MD, PhD, the Robert J. Terry Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said in a news release:
 “We think improving access to birth control, particularly IUDs and implants, coupled with education on the most effective methods has the potential to significantly decrease the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions in this country.”
According to background information from the study, approximately 50% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned – a statistic that is much higher than other developed countries.
Women enrolled in The Contraceptive Choice Project in the St. Louis area betw…

Birth control pill for men could become a reality

Other than vasectomy, sexual abstinence or condoms that sometimes fail, there have been no birth control options for men. Researchers think they may have discovered a compound that means a male contraceptive pill could become a reality. The news is good for women who have had the primary responsibility in the birth control arena. 
Researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Baylor College of Medicine report in the  Aug. 17 issue of the journal Cell that they’ve used a compound called JQ1 in male mice to create a form of birth control that seems to have no ill effects.
”Our findings demonstrate that, when given to rodents, this compound produces a rapid and reversible decrease in sperm count and mobility with profound effects on fertility,” said Dana-Farber’s James Bradner, MD, the paper’s senior author in a press release.
J-Q1 was named for the lead chemist, Jun Qi, PhD, in the Bradner laboratory. The compound was originally developed to block a gene that causes cancer, called BRD…

Tiny vitamin in milk found to have remarkable health benefits

Researchers have discovered a small,  hidden vitamin in milk that has remarkable health benefits. The finding comes from mouse studies. Scientists discovered that high doses of a novel form of vitamin B3 that is present in small quantities in milk, and possibly other foods, makes mice stronger, faster and leaner without dieting and without exercise.
Hidden milk vitamin could prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes
Though the researchers aren’t sure about the human effects of the form of vitamin B3 -nicotinamide riboside or NR - which is a cousin to a precursor of the B vitamin Niacin, they now understand there are some potential benefits for preventing obesity and even type 2 diabetes.
In the mouse study, nicotinamide riboside offered the same benefits for health as eating a low-calorie diet and exercise, but the mice didn’t have to do either.
Dr. Anthony Sauve, associate professor of Pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical College where the study was conducted explained in a press release: