Showing posts from 2013

How sugary drinks might raise a woman's risk of endometrial cancer

Women who are postmenopausal may be increasing their risk of the most common type of cancer of the uterus, endometrial cancer, according to an observational study.

Researchers compared women with high intake of sugar-laden beverages to find the link. 

The increase in endometrial cancer was 78 percent higher for women who drank the most sugary beverages. 

The study finding, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, isn't a surprise, said  Maki Inoue-Choi, Ph.D., M.S., R.D., who led this study as a research associate in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis.

"Other studies have shown increasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has paralleled the increase in obesity. Obese women tend to have higher levels of estrogens and insulin than women of normal weight. Increased levels of estrogens and insulin are established risk factors for endometrial cancer," the …

Sunshine linked to lower incidence of ADHD

Understanding the cause of ADHD, also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADD - attention deficit disorder - has been difficult for researchers. A new study suggests something about lack of a sunny climate may be linked to higher incidence of the condition.

Scientists don't know what causes ADHD. What they do know is genes play a role. Prenatal exposure to tobacco and alcohol as well as environmental toxins like lead are also associated with hyperactivity that is associated with impulsiveness, inability to pay attention and delayed brain maturation in children.

Other causes that are linked to ADHD include premature birth and low birth-weight.

Other things scientists know is that the incidence of ADHD varies by region. 

Data maps released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Energy show ADHD prevalence rates by states. Those with more sunshine have fewer children with ADHD. 

Dr. Martijn Arns and his colleagues at Southwestern…

What type of diet helps fertility?

A Loyola University expert has some tips on how women can boost their chances of getting pregnant by eating the right diet. It's also important to manage your weight, says Brooke Schantz, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN.

Mediterranean diet best for fertility

According to Schantz, women who eat a Mediterranean diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils and beans have a higher chance of conceiving. 

Eating the right foods can enhance a woman's fertility, so Schantz has the following nutrition tips:
Consume healthy fats like avocados and olive oil that are monounsaturated fatsAvoid trans-fats and saturated fatsFocus on vegetable protein and reduce your intake of animal proteinMake sure you get plenty of fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetablesEat foods with plenty of iron that can be found in legumes, tofu, nuts, seeds and whole grainsTake a women's multivitaminConsume high-fat dairy instead of low-fatWeight management important if you want to start a family
It's also imp…

Feeling blue? Expert shares tips on beating depression

We all experience 'down days' when we feel blue that we consider to be a normal part of life. But a mental health expert from University of Alabama says it's just as important to address having a bad day at work or a "bad week" as it is to treat any type of depression.

In order to 'beat the blues', start by paying attention to your feelings says Diane Tucker, Ph.D., professor of psychology.

Feeling down is a form of depression that can affect our appetite and how well we sleep.

Tucker said in a press release:
“One of the first steps to feel better is to reach out to your network of good friends or social contacts. They can help provide a validation of the strongest parts of oneself.”She adds that it's important to look at how we spend time nourishing ourselves. 

“When people feel down, they’re less likely to be doing things that help them feel centered and personally efficacious.”

Other ways to stay happy and fend off the 'blues'

Find an enjoyable ac…

How melanoma changes phenotype to resist treatment uncovered

Melanoma is a deadly form of cancer that can become resistant to treatment and spread rapidly. Researchers have now uncovered how melanoma changes its genetic coding to escape destruction and spread throughout the body.
What the finding means to patients being treated for the disease is more targeted therapy.
Phenotype switching changes melanoma’s appearance
According to the research published in the journal Cancer Discovery,a process known as phenotype switching” may be involved in how melanoma tumors change their appearance.  
“We were able to demonstrate for the first time that different receptors within a single signaling pathway – in this case, the Wnt signaling pathway – can guide the phenotypic plasticity of tumor cells, and increased signaling of Wnt5A in particular can result in an increase in highly invasive tumor cells that are less sensitive to existing treatments for metastatic melanoma,” saidAshani Weeraratna, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Tumor Microenvironment and Meta…

Does vitamin D increase our chances of kidney stones?

Studies have suggested higher levels of vitamin D might raise our risk of developing painful kidney stones, leaving consumers and clinicians in a quandary about taking supplements. 
Researchers now say they find no link to higher vitamin D levels and kidney stone formation in a study that included 2,000 people. 
The new study that included 2, 012 participants is published in the  American Journal of Public Health
Levels of the vitamin studied were between 20 to 100ng/mL.
Cedric F. Garland DrPH from the University of California, San Diego led the study that looked at data from 2,000 men and women of all ages for 19 months; extracted from the public health promotional group GrassrootsHealth.
During the study period, only 13 people developed kidney stones that were self-reported. 
"Mounting evidence indicates that a Vitamin D serum level in the therapeutic range of 40 to 50 ng/mL is needed for substantial reduction in risk of many diseases, including breast and colorectal cancer,” said …

Your pee contains thousands of metabolites that can diagnose serious diseases

Urine has more compounds than previously known
Now researchers know more about your pee than ever before.  University of Albertascientists say they have uncovered the chemical composition of human urine, finding there are more than 3,000 metabolites.
The finding means new ways to discover what’s going on in the environment and in our bodies.
David Wishart, the senior scientist for investigation said in a press release, "Urine is an incredibly complex biofluid. We had no idea there could be so many different compounds going into our toilets.”
He adds, "Most medical textbooks only list 50 to 100 chemicals in urine, and most common clinical urine tests only measure six to seven compounds.”
Expanding our knowledge of what we metabolize in our urine means faster, more inexpensive, less invasive and painless ways to test for a variety of diseases.
For their study, the researchers used several sophisticated tools including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, gas chromatography, m…

Every minute of brisk exercise counts for fighting obesity

Less than 10 minutes of brisk exercise is enough to fight obesity, researchers say. Findings published in the American Journal of Health Promotion show taking the stairs, jumping rope or going for a brisk walk can have a "significant" impact on helping us maintain a healthy weight and promoting cardiovascular health.

According to the study authors, every minute of brisk exercise counts when it comes to maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI). 

University of Utah investigator for the study,Jessie X. Fan, PhD said in a press release:

"When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, every little bit of exercise counts, as long as it’s of reasonable intensity..."
Fan explained that even one-minute of brisk activity can help keep weight in check, which is an important note for helping us maintain weight loss.

Current guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week, but busy schedules often make it impossible to reach that goal. 

According to informat…

Cocoa again shown to boost brain health

If you’re looking for an easy and literally sweet way to keep your brain healthy and sharp with aging, keep drinking cocoa. Scientists reported this week in the journal Neurology that the popular beverage boosts brain performance, though the mechanism is not entirely clear yet. 
This time researchers gave elderly study participants two cups of cocoa a day to see if the chocolate drink could help cognitive performance. Past studies have focused on the health benefits of dark chocolate. 
Harvard scientists also studied cocoa's benefit for the brain in 2008, finding the drink improved blood vessel health to the brain. In the Harvard study, there was an 8 percent increase in blood flow after one week of consuming the beverage. 

Another study, published by Dutch researchers in 2006, found chocolate in all forms, including cocoa, lowers blood pressure. The authors for the Dutch study concluded 2.11 grams of chocolate that was the average daily intake of theparticipants "clearly" …

Mom’s fat and sugar diet during pregnancy linked to offspring’s taste for drugs, alcohol

Eating a high sugar and fat diet during pregnancy was found in animal studies to raise the chances of drug and alcohol abuse for offspring. According to psychologists, obesity, drug and alcohol abuse could start in the womb as a result of diet during pregnancy.
The finding is one more addition to a string of research that shows lifelong health starts in the womb.
Nicole Avena, PhD, a research neuroscientist with the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute studied rats to reach the conclusion.
Dr. Avena explains most women of child-bearing age in the U.S. are already overweight. She suggests there may be a correlation between rates of obesity among women and the high number of youth who are also obese and abuse drugs and alcohol.
“The rise in prenatal and childhood obesity and the rise in number of youths abusing alcohol and drugs merits looking into all the possible roots of these growing problems,” Avena said in an APA press release.
The study
For the investigation, the rese…

How stress in the womb can lead to chronic disease

New research shows stress in the womb could lead to chronic disease that comes from disruption of gene expression.
The type of stress that comes from mother's inadequate diet, smoking or exposure to chemicals that disrupt hormones such as BPA are all suggested to lead to human disease based on a new study finding published in the August. 2013 issue of the FASEB journal. 
Researchers from Harvard explored epigenetic changes that can lead to cancer and other childhood diseases to find out what kind of stressors in the womb can harm health prior to birth. 
For their study Karin Michels, Sc.D., Ph.D and colleagues looked at patterns of genes that are needed for growth and development by analyzing cord blood of more than 100 infants.
They then looked at gene methylation – the process that turns our genes off. Methylated genes that protect us from disease are those that are turned off.
The results showed our genes can be disrupted in the uterus.
The researcher discovered a high level of di…