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Health Bulletin


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  1. #1781
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    How breakfasts and dinners can help control diabetes

    A new study has claimed that a high energy breakfast combined with a low energy dinner helps control blood sugar better than in type 2 diabetics, than a low energy breakfast and a high energy dinner.

    The small study included 18 individuals (8 men, 10 women), with type 2 diabetes of less than 10 years duration, an age range 30-70 years, body mass index (BMI) 22-35 kg/m2, and treated with metformin and/or dietary advice (eight patients with diet alone and 10 with diet and metformin).

    The results showed that post-meal glucose levels were 20 percent lower and levels of insulin, C-peptide and GLP-1 were 20 percent higher in participants on the B diet compared with the D diet. Despite the diets containing the same total energy and same calories during lunch, lunch in the B diet resulted in lower blood glucose (by 21-25 percent) and higher insulin (by 23 percent) compared with the lunch in the D diet.

    Prof. Oren Froy, one of the authors of the study from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that the observations suggest that a change in meal timing influences the overall daily rhythm of post-meal insulin and incretin and results in a substantial reduction in the daily post-meal glucose levels. It may be a crucial factor in the improvement of glucose balance and prevention of complications in type 2 diabetes and lend further support to the role of the circadian system in metabolic regulation.

    Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz Jakubowicz concluded that high energy intake at breakfast is associated with significant reduction in overall post-meal glucose levels in diabetic patients over the entire day. The dietary adjustment may have a therapeutic advantage for the achievement of optimal metabolic control and may have the potential for being preventive for cardiovascular and other complications of type 2 diabetes.


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  2. #1782
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Now, a skin test to detect Alzheimer's

    A simple skin test can now help detect Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

    Scientists have confirmed that skin biopsies can be used to detect elevated levels of abnormal proteins found in the two diseases.

    "Until now pathological confirmation was not possible without a brain biopsy so these diseases often go unrecognized until after the disease has progressed," said study author Ildefonso RodriguezLeyva from the University of San Luis Potosi in Mexico.

    "We hypothesized that since skin has the same origin as brain tissue while in the embryo they might also show the same abnormal proteins.This new test offers a potential biomarker that may allow doctors to identify and diagnose these diseases earlier on," Rodriguez-Leyva added.


  3. #1783
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Blood test can predict whether young kids will be future diabetics

    Washington: A new study has found that by measuring the presence of autoantibodies in the blood of young children could detect the development of type 1 diabetes.

    The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study conducted by Lund University explained that with the early detection it would be possible to predict whether the immune system in children has begun to break down the body's own insulin cells or not.

    The team of researchers mentioned that if the autoantibody that was discovered first attacks the insulin (IAA) than it could be taken as a indication of development of type 1 diabetes, or if the first autoantibody targets GAD65 (GADA), a protein inside the insulin-producing cells or if both autoantibodies are found together initially.

    Ake Lernmark, lead researcher said that they have realized that autoantibodies often appear during the first few years of life and the presence of antibodies in the blood was a sign that the immune system has reacted to an intruder such as a virus or a bacteria.

    The research showed that 6.5 percent of children had their first autoantibody before the age of 6, as 44 percent of young kids had an autoantibody against insulin (IAA) by the age of 1-2, 38 percent of kids were detected with GAD65 autoantibodies until the age of two and then remained constant, and almost 14 percent of little kids had both auto antibodies at the age of 2-3.

    The study is published in the journal Diabetologia.


  4. #1784
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Asian herb may protect against Ebola

    A molecule derived from an Asian herb may protect against Ebola by switching off channels which the virus uses to enter and infect cells, a study suggests.

    Researchers said the molecule called Tetrandrine has shown to be potent in inhibiting infection of human white blood cells in vitro or petri dish experiments and prevented Ebola in mice. Scientists at Texas Biomedical Research Institute have been working on stopping the virus before it has a chance to enter or interact with cellular factors.

    The Ebola virus begins its entry into a cell by first binding to several types of cell surface proteins. Then the virus is taken into the cell and follows an endosomal route, or membrane-bound route that transports it to various cell compartments.

    "With this research, we discovered that two pore channels (TPCs) are the key calcium sensor involved in Ebola virus infection. These TPCs needed to be turned on in order for the virus to function properly," said Robert Davey, from the Department of Immunology and Virology.

    The team found Tetrandrine protected mice from disease without obvious side effects and was the best candidate for further animal testing, as it was the most potent compound tested and gave little proof of cytotoxicity.


  5. #1785
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Chronic fatigue is a biological illness, not psychological

    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has now been confirmed to be a biological illness. These immune signatures represent the first robust physical evidence that CFS is not a psychological disorder and the first proof that it has distinct stages.

    Doctors have for long known the symptoms of CFS - constant exhaustion, mental fogginess, sleep disorders, muscle/joint pain, impaired memory, inability to concentrate and depression. Lack of physical determinants has caused the debilitating illness to go undiagnosed in most patients across the world.

    Scientists say that they have discovered distinct immune changes in patients diagnosed with CFS, known medically as myalgic ence8phalomyelitis, in which symptoms range from extreme fatigue and difficulty concentrating to headaches and muscle pain.Researchers at the Centre for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health used immunoassay testing methods to determine the levels of 51 immune biomarkers in blood plasma samples collected through two multicenter studies that represented a total of 298 CFS patients and 348 healthy controls.They found specific patterns in patients who had the disease three years or less that were not present in controls or in patients who had the disease for more than three years. Short duration patients had increased amounts of many different types of immune molecules called cytokines. The association was unusually strong with a cytokine called interferon gamma that has been linked to the fatigue that follows many viral infections. Cytokine levels were not explained by symptom severity.

    "We now have evidence confirming what millions of people with this disease already know that CFS isn't psychological," states lead author Mady Hornig, director of translational research at the Centre.

    "Our results should accelerate the process of establishing the diagnosis after individuals first fall ill as well as discovery of new treatment strategies focusing on these early blood markers".

    There are already human monoclonal antibodies on the market that can dampen levels of a cytokine called interleukin-17A that is among those the study shows were elevated in early-stage patients.Before any drugs can be tested in a clinical trial, Dr Hornig and colleagues hope to replicate the current study that follows patients for a year to see how cytokine levels, including interleukin-17A, differ within individual patients over time, depending on how long they have had the disease.


  6. #1786
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Human head transplant in two years?

    The world's first human head transplant could take place within the next two years, according to an Italian surgeon who claims to have developed a technique for the radical surgery.

    Sergio Canavero, from the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy, who first proposed the idea in 2013, has published a summary of the technique he believes will allow doctors to transplant a head onto a new body.

    The technique, published in the journal Surgical Neurology International, involves cooling the recipient's head and the donor body to extend the time their cells can survive without oxygen.

    The tissue around the neck is dissected and the major blood vessels are linked using tiny tubes, before the spinal cords of each person are cut. Cleanly severing the cords is key, said Canavero.

    The recipient's head is then moved onto the donor body and the two ends of the spinal cord - which resemble two densely packed bundles of spaghetti - are fused together.

    To achieve this, Canavero intends to flush the area with a chemical called polyethylene glycol, and follow up with several hours of injections of the same stuff.

    Just like hot water makes dry spaghetti stick together, polyethylene glycol encourages the fat in cell membranes to mesh, 'New Scientist' reported.

    Next, the muscles and blood supply would be sutured and the recipient kept in a coma for three or four weeks to prevent movement.

    Implanted electrodes would provide regular electrical stimulation to the spinal cord, because research suggests this can strengthen new nerve connections.

    When the recipient wakes up, Canavero said they would be able to move and feel their face and would speak with the same voice.

    He said that physiotherapy would enable the person to walk within a year. Several people have already volunteered to get a new body, he said.

    The trickiest part will be getting the spinal cords to fuse. Polyethylene glycol has been shown to prompt the growth of spinal cord nerves in animals, and Canavero intends to use brain-dead organ donors to test the technique.

    Canavero aims to use the surgery to extend the lives of people whose muscles and nerves have degenerated or whose organs are riddled with cancer.

    Canavero plans to announce the project at the annual conference of the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons (AANOS) in Annapolis, Maryland, in June.


  7. #1787
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Coffee cuts heart attack risk

    People who drink between three and five cups of coffee a day could be reducing their risk of a heart attack, as they are less likely to develop clogged arteries, according to a new study.

    Though there has been much debate around effects of excessive coffee drinking on cardiovascular health, the study found that coffee consumption could be "inversely associated" with cardiovascular diseases. Researchers led by the Kangbuck Samsung Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, focused on the association between coffee and coronary artery calcium (CAC), which is an early indicator of the potentially serious condition coronary atherosclerosis.

    The condition can cause a heart attack or a stroke when the arteries become hardened or narrowed, leading to blood clots, which can then trigger the potentially deadly attacks.

    "Further research is warranted to confirm our finding and establish the biological basis of coffee's potential preventative effects on coronary artery disease."


  8. #1788
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Common antidepressant can also reverse heart failure

    A new research has revealed that a commonly prescribed antidepressant could also help in restoring heart failure.

    The study led by Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM) explained that the heart failure restoration effect of antidepressant paroxetine was not because of its antidepressant properties, instead because of the inhibition of a specific enzyme that was a side-effect of the drug.

    Walter J. Koch, lead researcher said that their findings showed that physicians could prescribe this antidepressant to their patients who suffer from clinical depression, so that it also improves their heart function.

    The team of researchers mentioned that when the heart muscle was damaged by a heart attack, the body attempts to compensate for its lost pumping power by increasing adrenaline levels to boost heart rate, and leads to a series of maladaptive adjustments, and the heart grows larger and less efficient as its contractile force weakens.

    The study showed that during a heart attack, portions of the heart muscle deprived of oxygen by the blockage to cardiac circulation die, and GRK2 (G protein-coupled Receptor Kinase-2) actually induces even more cells to die, leading to patches of scar tissue that are unable to contract, to the weakening and thinning of the heart tissue and dilation of the heart.

    Koch concluded that their research has validated that GRK2 was a viable therapeutic target for heart failure and paroxetine was the starting point for a novel small molecule.

    The research is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.


  9. #1789
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    This retina protein may help beat blindness

    Scientists have identified a retina protein that plays a crucial role for vision.

    Researchers Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of the LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence, found for the first time, the key molecular mechanisms leading to visual degeneration and blindness. The research reveals events that may be harnessed for prevention, as well as to slow down progression of retinal degenerative diseases.

    The research team found that the protein receptor for adiponectin, a hormone that promotes insulin sensitivity and is involved in the metabolic syndrome, has a heretofore unrecognized function. The receptor also regulates DHA retention and conservation in cells in the eye and is necessary for photoreceptor cell function.

    Dr. Bazan, the paper's corresponding author, said that this was the first time that such an integral membrane protein has been localized in the photoreceptor cells and shown to have the capacity to support sight.

    Dr. Bazan and his colleagues previously discovered neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1), one such molecule made from DHA when cell survival is compromised. Loss of, or diminished, retinal DHA leads to visual impairment and may play an important role in the development of blindness from retinitis pigmentosa and other retinal degenerative diseases, as well as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the foremost cause of blindness in people older than 50 years.

    Dr. Bazan added that their model and newly discovered molecular mechanism allow therapies to be tested more rapidly. They feel an urgency to address blindness and cognition impairments of dementias because of their heavy burden on patients, families, care givers and the health care system.

    DHA, found in fish oil, is an essential omega-3 fatty acid and is vital for proper brain function. It is also necessary for the development of the nervous system, including vision.

    The paper is published in Nature Communications.


  10. #1790
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    How much sleep do I need? --study

    o now we know how much sleep we need. The National Sleep Foundation in the US has had 18 experts sifting through 320 research articles to deliver an updated version of its “sleep time duration recommendations”. The articles were whittled down from an original 2,412 on the basis of the strength of the studies.

    In making their recommendations, the experts took into account the health benefits, but also the risks, associated with sleep. Too little sleep over several nights leaves you tired, unable to concentrate, depressed, anxious and, eventually, if it continues, at an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Too much sleep is associated with much the same problems.

    The solution
    So how much is the right amount of sleep? The new guidelines not only give recommended amounts, but also state what might be appropriate for different ages. Children aged six to nine need nine to 11 hours a night, but may get by on seven to eight. Teenagers need eight to 10 hours. Seven hours may be OK for some, but sleeping more than 11 hours a day may be detrimental to their health, although some may need that much during puberty.

    Dr Lydia DonCarlos from Loyola University, Chicago, one of the experts on the study, says that the circadian rhythm of teenagers naturally shifts to make them feel sleepy later at night and to wake up later. This is a normal phenomenon and nothing to do with being addicted to social media. She warns that teenagers should still try to get enough sleep on a daily basis, rather than building up a sleep debt to pay off at weekends. “You can never quite make it up,” she says.

    Adults aged 18 to 64 need to sleep for seven to nine hours a night, but some cope on six. For people over the age of 65, the recommended amount is between seven and eight hours, although some survive on five hours sleep (often waking up earlier and napping during the day).

    These recommendations are based on a thorough analysis of the studies. The methodologies do vary – some are based on how much sleep people reported they had had (which tends to include time spent in bed) and others are based on research carried out in laboratory conditions.
    The experts did not look at quality of sleep (for example, whether people woke up in the night and couldn’t get back to sleep) or its architecture (how much was rapid-eye movement and how much was slow-wave sleep). Some people may survive on less than recommended amounts because they get higher-quality sleep.

    DonCarlos says that more research into sleep is needed. “We spend one third of our life asleep, but we know so little about it.” At least knowing how much to aim for is a good start.


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