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Health Bulletin


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  1. #1031
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Toothbrush contains over 10 million bacteria

    It might seem unlikely but your old toothbrush is a huge bacteria magnet, a new study has revealed.

    A toothbrush can contain over 10 million bacteria including E. coli and Staph, according to the University of Manchester study.

    Prosthodontist Dr Ann Wei told Grandparents.com that in an unbrushed mouth, there can be as many germs as a dirty bathroom floor.

    Your toothbrush can be contaminated by the water splashed when we wash our hands, or worse, by bacteria from an open-flushed toilet.

    Nasties that fall from toilet spray remain airborne long enough to settle on surfaces throughout the bathroom.

    And if you drop your toothbrush on the floor, the five second rule does not apply.

    It picks up airborne bacteria that has settled on the floor and everything else that people traipse through via their feet.


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  2. #1032
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Y chromosome appeared in mammals 180m years ago

    Scientists have found that the first sex determining genes appeared in mammals some 180 million years ago. In humans and other mammals, the difference between sexes depends on one single element of the genome: the Y chromosome. It is present only in males where the two sexual chromosomes are X and Y whereas women have two X chromosomes.

    A team from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics found that a very long time ago X and Y were identical until the Y started to differentiate from the X in males. It then progressively shrank to such an extent that now it only contains about 20 genes (the X carries more than one thousand genes).

    They have now established that the first sex genes appeared concomitantly in mammals around 180 million years ago. The study required more than 29,500 computing hours and involved working with samples from 15 different mammals representing these three lineages as well as the chicken which they included for comparison.

    By studying samples from several male tissues — in particular testicles — from different species, the researchers recovered the Y chromosome genes from the three major mammalian lineages: placentals (which include humans), marsupials and monotremes.

    Instead of sequencing all Y chromosomes, the scientists opted for a shortcut. By comparing genetic sequences from male and female tissues they eliminated all sequences common to both sexes in order to keep only those sequences corresponding to the Y chromosome. By doing so they established the largest gene atlas of this male chromosome to date. The study shows that the same sex-determining gene named SRY in placentals and marsupials had formed in the common ancestor of both lineages around 180 million years ago.



  3. #1033
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    very useful info. thanks a lot


  4. #1034
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Hi Ravisudha,
    good afternoon,

    most welcome

    wish you a wonderful week end !!


  5. #1035
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Drinkers beware: Too much alcohol makes you overeat

    British researchers have pinpointed the 'tipping point' at which a drinker's resolve goes out the window, leading to binge eating that can add thousands of calories to their diet. A report by Slimming World by YouGov says that drinking three large glasses of wine can push people over a tipping point making them consume about 6,300 extra calories in the following 24 hours. The study says it leads to gaining 900 grams of body weight a week.

    About half of the 2,042 people surveyed said crossing the threshold had made them binge on chips, pizza and kebabs. The report also revealed that drinking beyond a personal 'tipping point' leads many of us to consume 6,300 extra calories in food and alcohol over the next two days. It says that the average tipping point occurs at just 9.3 units of alcohol — equivalent to 3.7 pints of beer or 3.1 large glasses of wine, which is easy to exceed.

    Around half of drinkers say that passing their tipping point causes them to make unhealthy choices with food. As well as the additional 6,300 calories , half also cancel physical activity in favour of watching TV, staying in bed or spending time on social media.

    Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World's head of nutrition and research, says, "There is currently not enough guidance for the public on how drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol can impact on weight. Alcohol stimulates appetite, makes us want to eat unhealthy food and lowers our inhibitions. These can lead to us making wrong choices — without realizing how many extra calories we're consuming .

    The government has stated its commitment to tackling both obesity and binge drinking but we believe more needs to be done to increase people's awareness of the link between the two."


  6. #1036
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Stressed? Bring home a horse

    Preventing stress could become a bit easier as researcher have now found that working with a horse can significantly reduce stress hormones in youth.

    The study gives more scientific credit to the claims of therapeutic horsemanship professionals, parents and children who have reported a positive impact from these types of programmes.

    For the study, the researcher designed and implemented an after-school program serving 130 typically developing children over a two-year period that bused students from school to the barn for 12 weeks.

    "We found that children who had participated in the 12-week program had significantly lower stress hormone levels throughout the day and in the afternoon, compared to children in the waitlisted group," said Patricia Pendry, a developmental psychologist at Washington State University.

    Participants provided six samples of saliva over a two-day period both before and after the 12-week program.

    Pendry compared the levels and patterns of stress hormone functioning by measuring cortisol.

    "We get excited about that because we know that higher base levels of cortisol - particularly in the afternoon - are considered a potential risk factor for the development of psychopathology," Pendry concluded.

    Human-animal interaction programs with horses, dogs, cats and other companion animals have been credited with improving social competence, self-esteem and behaviour in children.

    The study appeared in the journal Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin.


  7. #1037
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Not fit? Blame it on genes

    In what could cheer the couch potatoes a bit, researchers have now found that genetic cells in our bodies keep changing and they could influence our health in numerous ways.

    Genomes are changing, not just from generation to generation, but even and in fact within our individual cells.

    The researchers found an association between the level of modification of RNA and our basal metabolic rate - the rate at which we are able to convert food into energy to power our bodies.

    If DNA is the printing press that determines the functions of a living organism, RNA is the print that it leaves behind.

    Modifications to the RNA of the mitochondria might be influencing your fitness, discovered the researchers.

    "Mitochondria are the power stations of our cells, and the more power a cell needs, such as a muscle cell, the more mitochondria it has," said Alan Hodgkinson from the University of Montreal, Canada.

    "The many mitochondria in the same cell can have different genetic mutations. Our research helps us to understand how variable mitochondrial RNA processing can be and what the possible consequences of that might be on health," Hodgkinson said.

    The findings add extra layers of complexity to our understanding of how genetics influence our health.

    "We have determined that our genome's ability to modify itself is partly hard-wired," said Philip Awadalla, director of the Canada-based CARTaGENE initiative, one of the world's most comprehensive banks of genetic information.

    The study involved data of 1,000 participants from Canada, making this the largest RNA sequencing in the world to date.

    The study appeared in the journal Science.


  8. #1038
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Japanese women live longer than anyone else — and now their big secret has been revealed

    Forget fad diets and Hollywood celebrity endorsements: Japanese women could hold the dietary key to a long and healthy life.

    A new study has indicated the benefits of a diet rich in raw fish, vegetables and green tea, with Japanese females having the highest life expectancy of women in selected countries, living for an average of 86.4 years.

    The data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that Japanese women outstrip their English counterparts, who can expect to live to 82.8 years. Women in Northern Ireland and Wales have a life expectancy of 82.1 years, while in Scotland the same figure is 80.7 years.

    But the ONS said there is nothing stopping British women achieving a similar longevity if they adopt a Japanese lifestyle, with the figures indicating the "potential for further increases" in life expectancy for women in the UK, The Times reported.

    The traditional Japanese diet incorporates lower-calorie foods served in controlled portions. According to Naomi Moriyama, co-author of Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat: Secrets of My Mother's Tokyo Kitchen, the average Japanese person eats around 25 per cent fewer calories than the average western person.

    Crag Wilcox, a leading gerontologist, told The Times that the Japanese diet is full of disease-fighting foods.

    He said: "They eat threes servings of fish a week, on average. Plenty of whole grains, vegetables and soy products too, more tofu and more konbu seaweed than anyone else in the world, as well as squid and octopus, which are rich in taurine - that could lower cholesterol and blood pressure."


  9. #1039
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    'Bionic eye' helps man with degenerative eye disease see again

    A man who lost his vision to a degenerative eye disease has regained some of his sight with the help of a high-tech "bionic eye," in a procedure that experts have called a "game-changer."

    55-year-old Roger Pontz was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, and has been completely blind for years.

    Since doctors operated on Mr Pontz and implanted an artificial retina into his left eye, he has regained enough of his eyesight to see his friends and family for the first time - including his wife.

    The former competitive weightlifter and factory worker is one of four people in the US to receive the treatment at a facility in Ann Arbor, since the Food and Drug Administration rubber-stamped its use last year.

    Dr Thiran Jayasundera, one of two physicians who performed the 4.5-hour surgery on Mr Pontz, has called the surgery a "game-changer."

    "It's awesome. It's exciting — seeing something new every day," Mr Pontz told reporters at a recent appointment at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center.

    "I can walk through the house with ease. If that's all I get out of this, it'd be great," he added.

    Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited disease that causes slow but progressive vision loss due to a gradual loss of the light-sensitive retinal cells called rods and cones. Patients experience loss of side vision and night vision, then central vision, which can result in near blindness.

    While Mr Pontz's treatment was successful, not all of the 100,000 people in the US who suffer from the disease can be helped by an artificial retina.

    Candidates must be 25 or older with end-stage retinitis pigmentosa that has progressed to the point of having "bare light" or no light perception in both eyes.

    An estimated 10,000 have vision low enough, said Dr Brian Mech, an executive with Second Sight Medical Products Inc., the Sylmar, California-based company that makes the device. Of those, about 7,500 are eligible for the surgery.

    The artificial retina procedure has been performed several-dozen times over the past few years in Europe, and the expectation is that it will find similar success in the US, where the University of Michigan is one of 12 centres accepting consultations for patients.

    The implant uses a small video camera and transmitter housed in a pair of glasses which captures images.

    These are converted into a series of electrical pulses that are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes on the surface of the retina. The pulses stimulate the retina's remaining healthy cells, causing them to relay the signal to the optic nerve.

    The visual information then moves to the brain, where it is translated into patterns of light that can be recognized and interpreted, allowing the patient to regain some visual function.


  10. #1040
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    More coffee may cut diabetes risk

    Scientists have found that people who increased the amount of coffee they drank each day by more than one cup over a four-year period had an 11% lower chance for developing type 2 diabetes.

    Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) analysed data on caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and caffeinated tea consumption from 48,464 women in the Brigham and Women's Hospital-based Nurses' Health Study (1986-2006 ), 47,510 women in Nurses' Health Study II (1991-2007 ), and 27,759 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2006 ). Participants' diets were evaluated every four years with a questionnaire, and those who self-reported type 2 diabetes filled out additional questionnaires . A total of 7,269 cases of type 2 diabetes were documented.

    The study then found that those who decreased their coffee consumption by more than a cup per day increased their type 2 diabetes risk by 17%. "Our findings confirm those of previous studies that showed that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk," said Shilpa Bhupathiraju, lead author. "Most importantly, they provide new evidence that changes in coffee consumption habit can affect type 2 diabetes risk in a relatively short period of time."

    Results showed that participants who increased their coffee consumption by more than one cup per day over a four-year period had a 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent four years compared to those who made no changes in consumption. (A cup of coffee was defined as eight ounces, black, or with a small amount of milk and/or sugar .) Those who lowered their daily coffee consumption by more than one cup had a 17% higher risk for diabetes.

    Changes in decaffeinated coffee consumption and caffeinated tea consumption were not associated with changes in risk for type 2 diabetes.

    "These findings further demonstrate that, for most people, coffee may have health benefits," said Frank Hu, senior author. "But coffee is only one of many factors that influence diabetes risk. More importantly, individuals should watch their weight and be physically active."


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