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Health Bulletin


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  1. #401
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Drink watermelon juice to ease post-exercise muscle soreness

    A new study has found that watermelon juice can help post-exercise muscle soreness.

    Encarna Aguayo and colleagues cite past research on watermelon juice's antioxidant properties and its potential to increase muscle protein and enhance athletic performance.

    But scientists had yet to explore the effectiveness of watermelon juice drinks enriched in L-citrulline.

    They tested natural watermelon juice, watermelon juice enriched in L-citrulline and a control drink containing no L-citrulline on volunteers an hour before exercise.

    Both the natural juice and the enriched juice relieved muscle soreness in the volunteers. L-citrulline in the natural juice (unpasteurized), however, seemed to be more bioavailable - in a form the body could better use, the study found.

    The findings have been published in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.


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  2. #402
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Mouth bacteria may cause colorectal cancer

    Scientists have found that gut microbes found in the mouth stimulate bad immune responses and turn on cancer growth genes to generate colorectal tumours.

    Gut microbes have recently been linked to colorectal cancer, but it has not been clear whether and how they might cause tumours to form in the first place.

    Two studies published by Cell Press in the journal Cell Host & Microbe reveal how gut microbes in the mouth, known as fusobacteria, could cause colorectal cancer.

    The findings may lead to more effective strategies for the early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of colorectal cancer.

    "Fusobacteria may provide not only a new way to group or describe colon cancers but also, more importantly, a new perspective on how to target pathways to halt tumour growth and spread," said senior study author Wendy Garrett of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

    Recent studies have shown that fusobacteria from the mouth are also abundant in tissues from colorectal cancer patients. But until now, it was not known whether these microbes directly contribute to the formation of tumours.

    In one of the new studies, Garrett, Matthew Meyerson of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and their collaborators found that fusobacteria are prevalent in human adenomas - benign tumours that can become malignant over time - suggesting that these microbes contribute to early stages of tumour formation.

    In a mouse model of colorectal cancer, these bacteria accelerated the formation of tumours by attracting immune cells called myeloid cells, which invade tumours and stimulate inflammatory responses that can cause cancer.

    In the second study, Yiping Han of Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and her collaborators discovered that fusobacteria rely on a molecule called Fusobacterium adhesin A (FadA), which is found on the surface of these bacterial cells, to attach to and invade human colorectal cancer cells.

    FadA then turns on cancer growth genes and stimulates inflammatory responses in these cells and promotes tumour formation.

    Han and her team also found that FadA levels were much higher in tissues from patients with adenomas and colorectal cancer compared with healthy individuals. Moreover, they identified a compound that can prevent FadA's effects on cancer cells.

    "We showed that FadA is a marker that can be used for the early diagnosis of colorectal cancer and identified potential therapeutic targets to treat or prevent this common and debilitating disease," Han said.


  3. #403
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Heart's own stem cells could help treat cardiac failure

    Researchers have highlighted, for the first time, the natural regenerative capacity of a group of stem cells that reside in the heart.


    According to the new study these cells are responsible for repairing and regenerating muscle tissue damaged by a heart attack that leads to heart failure.

    The study shows that if the stem cells are eliminated, the heart is unable to repair after damage. If the cardiac stem cells are replaced the heart repairs itself, leading to complete cellular, anatomical and functional heart recovery, with the heart returning to normal and pumping at a regular rate.

    Also, if the cardiac stem cells are removed and re-injected, they naturally 'home' to and repair the damaged heart, a discovery that could lead to less-invasive treatments and even early prevention of heart failure in the future.

    The study had set out to establish the role of cardiac stem cells (eCSCs) by first removing the cells from the hearts of rodents with heart failure. This stopped regeneration and recovery of the heart, demonstrating the intrinsic regenerative capacity of these cells for repairing the heart in response to heart failure.

    Current treatments for heart failures are aimed at treating the underlying causes, such as coronary heart disease, heart attack and blood pressure through lifestyle changes, medicines and in severe cases, surgery.

    These treatments are sometimes successful in preventing or delaying heart failure. However, once heart failure develops the only curative treatment is heart transplantation.

    By revealing this robust homing mechanism, which causes cardiac stem cells to home to and repair the heart's damaged muscle, the findings could lead to less invasive treatments or even preventative measures aimed at maintaining or increasing the activity of the heart's own cardiac stem cells.

    Dr Georgina Ellison, the first author of the paper and Professor Bernardo Nadal-Ginard, the study's corresponding author, both from the Centre of Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences and the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at King's, said that in a healthy heart the quantity of cardiac stem cells is sufficient to repair muscle tissue in the heart.

    They said that however, in damaged hearts many of these cells cannot multiply or produce new muscle tissue. In these cases it could be possible to replace the damaged cardiac stem cells or add new ones by growing them in the laboratory and administering them intravenously.

    Ellison said that understanding the role and potential of cardiac stems cells could pave the way for a variety of new ways to prevent and treat heart failure.

    She said that these new approaches involve maintaining or increasing the activity of cardiac stem cells so that muscle tissue in the heart can be renewed with new heart cells, replacing old cells or those damaged by wear and tear.

    Ellison asserted that the cardiac stem cells naturally home to the heart because the heart is their home - they know to go there.

    She explained that current practices involve major operations such as injection through the heart's muscle wall (intramyocardial) or coronary vessels (intracoronary).

    She added that the homing mechanism shown by our research could lead to a less invasive treatment whereby cardiac stem cells are injected through a vein in the skin (intravenously).

    The study has been published in the journal Cell.


  4. #404
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Tears pick up tell-tale signs of other diseases

    At first look, the one-room lab on the bustling West of Chord Road looks like any other diagnostic laboratory. But the equipments has not only corrected the vision of thousands of weary-eyed Bangaloreans, specially professionals who spend long hours on the computer, but also studies tears to get a glimpse into other underlying diseases in the body.

    The Tear Science Lab measures the quality of the tear film lipids essential to maintain the stability of the tear. What prompted Dr Rohit Shetty, the brain behind this lab at Narayana Nethralaya, was the increasing number of people with dry eyes in the city. "I began to see a lot of patients complaining of blurred vision, itchiness and dry eye due to continuous strain on the eye. And the majority of cases were work-related. It's crucial to study the tear glands'' he told TOI.

    The Centre for Occupational Dry Eye (CODE) provides customized treatment. The definition of dry eye is very vague, says Dr Shetty, adding that an abnormal tear lipid layer is responsible for a majority of evaporative dry eye symptoms. "The evaluation of these glands is done by infrared meibography which shows the morphological changes. The lipiview ocular surface interferometer measures the quality of the tear film lipids essential to maintain the stability of the tear film covering the surface of the eye,'' he said.

    What is dry eye?

    * A chronic problem which can severely affect a patient's quality of life

    * Can be either due to decreased tear production (aqueous deficiency) or increased evaporation of tears (evaporative dry eye)

    * Each condition needs special evaluation and targeted treatment

    * Can occur in patients of all ages

    * Aggravated by long hours of computer usage, air-conditioned environments and pollution.

    Online test

    Login to the hospital website () and check if you have dry eyes by answering a two-minute questionnaire. The score indicates if you need medical intervention.

    Detect other diseases

    Dr Shetty, in collaboration with doctors in Singapore, is doing research where tears detect underlying diseases. "Tears are representative not only of the condition of the lacrimal gland or ocular surface, but also be suggestive of disease in other parts of the body. By analyzing levels of deregulated proteins in tears, we can determine the pathways affected. These data, when correlated tightly with disease stages, can be used for disease prediction. Such information will also tell us about underlying molecular pathways affected by the disease," he said

    As proof of concept, researchers evaluated tears from patients and performed LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy) on them. "When we compared the detected protein profile of the patients with normal, healthy people, we obtained a fingerprint of the disease. The tear science lab will help us perform biomarker discovery and validation. This will give physicians a new set of tools to diagnose and manage disease,'' he said.


  5. #405
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    4 cups of coffee a day can shorten lifespan

    Drinking four cups of coffee a day may endanger health in under-55s, a large study on over 40,000 individuals has claimed.

    Scientists have found a greater than 50% increased mortality risk in both men and women younger than 55 years of age who drank more than 28 cups of coffee a week. The study of more than 40,000 individuals suggests that younger people in particular may need to avoid heavy coffee consumption.

    A multicentre research team investigated the effect of coffee consumption on death from all causes and deaths from cardiovascular disease in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS) cohort, with an average follow-up period of 16 years and a relatively large sample size of over 40,000 men and women.

    Between 1979 and 1998, nearly 45,000 individuals aged between 20 and 87 years old participated and returned a medical history questionnaire assessing lifestyle habits (including coffee consumption) and personal and family medical history. The investigators examined a total of 43,727 participants (33,900 men and 9,827 women) in their final analysis. During the 17-year median follow-up period there were 2,512 deaths (men: 87.5%; women: 12.5%), 32% of these caused by cardiovascular disease.


  6. #406
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Zap wonder nerve to get rid of headaches

    A pilot study of a new technique to get rid of headache has been completed.

    In the new method, a handheld device, called ElectroCore, applies a bolt of electricity to the neck to stimulate the vagus nerve - the nerve connecting the brain to many of the body's organs, which includes the heart.

    21 volunteers took part in the trial and 18 people said that there was a reduction in their headache's severity and frequency; they said that the problem was 50 percent less painful after using the device daily and whenever they felt the problem was emerging, New scientist reported.

    The new study suggested that it's possible to stimulate the nerve only through the skin, rather than looking towards surgery.

    Cluster headaches are believed to be started by the overactivation of brain cells involved in pain processing. One of the prime suspects is neurotransmitter glutamate, which excites brain cells.


  7. #407
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Therapy to treat liver cancer successfully performed

    A new therapy for inoperable liver cancers was today successfully performed on a 48-year- old male patient at the super-speciality Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital here.

    Development of 'Rhenium 188 Lipiodol' therapy has been a big step forward in meeting the demands for making available at a low cost and effective radio-conjugate for therapy of inoperable liver cancers, KMCH Chairman Nalla G Palanisamy told reporters here.

    The new therapeutic radiopharmaceutical has been developed and tested in several centres around the world, including India, and for the first time in the country it was performed at KMCH, during a three-day seminar 'South Indian Society for Nuclear Medicine', by indigenous generator system, he said.

    After three days of observation, the patient would be sent back home and would be called after three months for monitoring, he said.

    The new therapy has an excellent safety record, is well tolerated, avoids long hospitalisation and is much cheaper as it is produced by a hospital based generator system, which can be effectively used for six months and more, said Prof A K Padhy, a former member of International Atomic Energy Agency.

    This therapy would be a boon to the patients in India, which as of now was said to be five to six incidents out of one lakh persons. The cost would be around one-tenth of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12 lakh, being charged by the imported generator from Australia, Padhy said.

    Selective delivery of radiation through the vessel supplying the tumour and targeting only the tumour tissue can give very good palliative results in quite a few of these patients, Dr Ajit Shinto, Head of Department of Nuclear Medicine, KMCH, said.

    The generator system has life span of six months and it can treat nearly 180 patients, if three patients were treated per day, Prof J M Jeong of Seoul National University, who developed the ready-to use-kits for the therapy, said.

    This system is a new ray of hope to the numerous liver cancer patients, who have been counting their days, as their survival or death can be extended for another four to five years and lifestyle changed, Padhy said.


  8. #408
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    1 in 5 women don't believe their breast cancer risk

    Breast cancer is the leading cause for cancer-related deaths in India as well as the West. One reason could be failure of women to believe they are at risk for breast cancer, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment.

    A survey conducted by University of Michigan at Ann Arbor showed that one in five women interviewed didn't believe their risk for breast cancer.

    The university survey asked women questions about their family and personal history. Its author Angela Fagerlin said in a university press release, "Women who believe their risk is not high might skip chemoprevention strategies that could significantly reduce their risk. And women who think their risk should be higher could potentially undergo treatments that might not be medically appropriate, which can have long-term ramifications.''

    The study, which has been published in Patient Education and Counseling, interviewed 690 women who were at above-average risk of developing breast cancer. They were asked to complete a web-based questionnaire that included questions about age, ethnicity, personal history of breast cancer, and number of first-degree relatives who had had breast cancer. The women were then told their five-year risk of developing breast cancer. The women were then asked to recall their risk of breast cancer within the next five years. If they answered incorrectly, they were asked why they forgot.

    The researchers found that 22% of women who misreported their risk said they disagreed with the numbers. Many believed that only first-degree female relatives -- mother, sister, daughter - impacted a person's breast cancer risk. One-third of the women cited a gut instinct that their risk numbers just seemed too high or too low.


  9. #409
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Left or right brained? Study says there’s no such thing

    There is no evidence within brain imaging that indicates some people are right-brained or leftbrained , a new study claims.

    For years, the terms leftbrained and right-brained have come to refer to personality types, with an assumption that some people use the right side of their brain more, while some use the left side more.

    Following a two-year study, University of Utah researchers have debunked that myth through identifying specific networks in the left and right brain that process lateralized functions.

    Lateralization of brain function means that there are certain mental processes that are mainly specialized to one of the brain's hemispheres, researchers said. In the study, they analysed resting brain scans of 1,011 people between the ages of 7 and 29.

    In each person, they studied functional lateralization of the brain measured for brain regions — finding no relationship that individuals preferentially use their leftbrain network or right-brain network more often.

    "It's absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain. Language tends to be on the left, attention more on the right. But people don't tend to have a stronger left or right-sided brain network. It seems to be determined more connection by connection," said Jeff Anderson, lead author of the study.

    The participants' scans were taken during a functional connectivity MRI analysis, meaning a participant lay in a scanner for 5 to 10 minutes while their resting brain activity was analysed.

    By viewing brain activity, scientists can correlate brain activity in one region of the brain compared to another. In the study, researchers broke up the brain into 7,000 regions and examined which regions of the brain were more lateralized.

    They looked for connections and added up the number of connections for each brain region that was left-lateralized or right-lateralized .


  10. #410
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Relationships cause weight gain: Research

    Being in love is the most wonderful thing that can happen to someone, but a new survey says that being in a relationship is the main cause for weight gain.

    The survey reveals that a relationship superseded the more traditional reasons for putting on weight such as comfort eating, indulging during holidays or lack of exercise, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

    The majority of people polled, admitted to gaining up to one stone since being in a relationship, and just under three quarters of those surveyed, believe that their partner has put on up to one stone as well, leading researchers to suggest that the 'Passion Pounds' are sadly not just a myth, with two thirds of the couples surveyed stating that they have put on weight together.

    Izzy Cameron, nutrition and weight management specialist at Diet Chef, who commissioned the research, said: The survey has revealed some very interesting results, and it's surprising to see how complacent people can be when they are in a relationship!

    "It's widely known that people tend to put on a little bit of weight once they have found love, but what we didn't expect to find was that the weight gain is on average a stone, if not more," added Cameron.

    When questioned about the portion size, over half of the women admitted to regularly matching what their male partner eats.

    For the majority of these women, this often results in much larger portions than what they would normally eat, especially when compared to eating on their own, indicating that when eating as a couple there is no understanding of the correct size portions for men and women .

    With the majority of couples questioned living together, those surveyed have found that their main activities undertaken as a couple, consist of 'staying in and watching TV','eating in together' and 'eating out together', revealing that food forms an important part of most modern day relationships.


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