Saturday, September 21, 2013

Vitamin B may reduce risk of stroke






Posted by Neill Abayon

Researchers have uncovered evidence that suggests vitamin B supplements could help to reduce the risk of stroke, according to a study published in the journal Neurology.

 Vitamin B supplements are said to be beneficial for many health issues, including stress, anxiety, depression, dementia, Alzheimer's disease and heart disease.

However, according to Xu Yuming of Zhengzhou University in Zhengzhou, China, previous studies have conflicting findings regarding the use of vitamin B supplements and stroke or heart attack.

"Some studies have even suggested that the supplements may increase the risk of these events," he adds.

In order to determine the role of vitamin B supplements in the risk of stroke, Prof. Yuming and colleagues analyzed 14 randomized clinical trials involving a total of 54,913 participants.

All studies compared use of vitamin B supplements with a placebo, or a very low dosage of the vitamin. All participants were then followed for a period of 6 months.

During this time, there were 2,471 reported strokes over all of the studies.

More here. 



How body temperature is affected by thyroid hormone

Posted by Neill Abayon

Researchers say they have discovered how thyroid hormone affects blood vessels to determine body temperature, potentially explaining why people who have disorders of the thyroid gland have higher sensitivity to environmental temperature.

 An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can cause a person to feel too hot, while an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause a person to feel too cold.

The researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden said that previous studies have attributed this to how thyroid hormone affects the metabolism within cells.

The thyroid produces hormones that are able to influence how much the blood vessels dilate. In turn, this affects how much heat can escape the body.

For the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers studied mice with a mutated thyroid hormone receptor (receptor-mediated hypothyroidism). This particular mutation only affects one type of hormone receptor called TRalpha 1. 

More here.



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Suicide rates increased with global economic crisis






Posted by Neill Abayon

Researchers have said that the 2008 global economic crisis may be to blame for a rise in suicide rates across the Americas and Europe, particularly in males, according to a study published in the BMJ.


The data comes from the World Health Organization (WHO) mortality database, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook database.
Researchers from the Universities of Hong Kong, Oxford and Bristol assessed the changes in suicide rates of 54 countries since the 2008 economic crisis.

In 2008, the International Labour Organization - an agency of the United Nations - estimated that by 2009, the number of unemployed people worldwide would reach around 212 million as a result of the crisis. This is an increase of 34 million, compared with 2007.

The WHO raised concerns about how this would impact global health, calling for action to monitor and protect health, particularly in the poor and vulnerable.

Therefore, unemployment rates were used as the main economic indicator in the study to determine whether there was a significant link to suicide rates.

More here

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Planned home births carry significant risks, study shows

Posted by Neill Abayon

The number of babies born at home has grown in the US during the past 10 years. But a new study shows that those babies are more likely to be stillborn and have a higher risk for seizures or neurological problems.

The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, comes from researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center, who analyzed data on more than 13 million US births.

It is the largest study of its kind, and the results were confirmed by examining birth files from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 2007 to 2010 to analyze deliveries by physicians and midwives, both in and out of the hospital.

The researchers looked at Apgar scores of 0, neonatal seizures and neurological dysfunctions. The Apgar test is a screening assessment that quickly studies the health of a baby 1 minute and 5 minutes after being born.

If a baby has a 5-minute Apgar score of 0, it is considered stillborn, but the researchers say that 10% of these babies survive.

More here



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Monday, September 16, 2013

Diabetes drug enters clinical trial for Alzheimer's treatment

 Posted by Neill Abayon

A drug commonly used for treating diabetes may reverse symptoms of late-stage Alzheimer's disease and is now in the process of entering a major clinical trial.

Researchers from Lancaster University in the UK conducted a study revealing that the drug, liraglutide, may reverse memory loss in the late stages of Alzheimer's, as well as prevent the build-up of toxic plaques on the brain that contribute to symptoms of the disorder.

Liraglutide is from a class of drugs known as GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1) analogue. The drug is prescribed to those suffering from diabetes and is used to stimulate insulin production.

But the study, published in the journal Neuropharmacology, shows that the drug can also pass through the blood-brain barrier and protect brain cells.

The researchers tested the drug on the brains of 14 month-old mice who were suffering from late stage Alzheimer's disease. Liraglutide was injected into the mice over a 2-month period.

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Study reveals how schizophrenia affects the brain

 Posted by Neill Abayon

Scientists have discovered how schizophrenia and the use of anti-psychotic drugs can impact brain tissue by reviewing progressive data from brain scans, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
 
 Researchers from the University of Iowa, led by psychiatry professor Nancy Andreasen, analyzed 202 MRI scans of patients who suffer from the mental disorder.

All patients had their scans reviewed from their first schizophrenic episode and at regular 6-month intervals up to a period of 15 years.

The researchers say that as clinical follow-up data was obtained every 6 months, they were able to compute measures of relapse number and duration, and relate these to structural MRI measures.

They note that as higher treatment intensity has previously been linked to smaller brain tissue volumes, this countereffect was measured in terms of dose-years.

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Americans 'healthier and living longer'

Posted by Neill Abayon

Americans are living longer and leading healthier lives compared to 20 years ago, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) analyzed data from multiple government-sponsored health surveys that had been conducted over the last 21 years.

The researchers say that for the first time, they were able to measure how the quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE) of all Americans had changed over time.

"QALE tells us more than how long a person can expect to live. It tells us what the relative quality of those added years are in terms of physical, emotional and mental well-being," says Dr. Allison Rosen, associate professor of Quantitive Health Sciences at UMMS.

More here.

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Child cataract blood test developed

The small grey congenital cataract has been present since birth
 By James Gallagher

A blood test that may improve treatment for children born with congenital cataracts has been developed by researchers in Manchester. 

It analyses every known mutation in the DNA which can cause the condition.

The team, which is presenting the test at the British Society for Genetic Medicine, hope it will spread up diagnosis and help decide the best treatment.

The charity RNIB described the test as a "welcome step forward".

About 200 children are born with cataracts in the UK each year.

"Diagnosing a congenital cataract is very easy at birth, but diagnosing the cause takes considerably longer," Prof Graeme Black, from the University of Manchester, said.

The problem is there are more than 100 different mutations in a child's DNA which have been linked to congenital cataracts.

"If you have a child with no family history then finding the cause can take months or years," he told the BBC.

More here.

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Top 20 Frankenfoods to Avoid






Michelle Schoffro Cook


Genetically-modified (GM) foods and food ingredients have infiltrated our food supply, tainting what was once healthy. While agri-businesses continue to claim they are safe, increasing amounts of research demonstrate that GM foods are harmful to human health, damage ecosystems, cause financial calamity for many farmers, and release trans genes that could randomly transfer to other life forms in the environment with the potential for disastrous consequences. A growing body of research links genetically-modified food consumption with sterility, allergies, infant mortality, organ defects, childhood illnesses, and cancer.

Avoid these top 20 foods and food ingredients to make your body GM-free*:

Alfalfa
—Not in the habit of eating alfalfa?  You could be unknowingly eating this food in your beef and dairy products. Used by dairy and beef farmers as feed for cows, genetically-modified alfalfa is common in both beef and milk products.

Aspartame—Not only is aspartame a well-established neurotoxin (brain and nervous system toxin), this laboratory-derived ingredient is made from aspartate, phenylalanine, and menthol, all of which are commonly sourced from genetically-modified ingredients.

Beef—Not only does most beef contain genetically-modified alfalfa, it also contains GM corn and soy, which becomes part of the meat.  If you’re eating beef, choose only organic beef that is grass-fed.

Canola Oil—Ninety percent of canola is genetically-modified to withstand the herbicide glyphosate (Round-Up).

Corn and Corn Starch—Almost all corn is genetically-modified, making this once healthy food a suspected cause of organ damage.  Like corn, the starch extract of this GM-food is found in almost all processed and packaged foods.  If you like battered and deep-fried foods of almost any kind, you’re getting lots of this ingredient and lots of genetically-modified corn. Corn starch is commonly-used to make deep-fried foods crispy.

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Womb cancer link to diet, exercise and possibly coffee

Coffee contains antioxidants which may boost health





Posted by Neill Abayon

The risk of womb cancer can be reduced by exercise, diet and possibly drinking coffee, research suggests.


Almost half of cases of womb cancer in the UK - about 3,700 a year - could be prevented through keeping slim and active, a review of data shows.

Researchers at Imperial College, London, say women can reduce their risk with at least 30 minutes of daily exercise and keeping a healthy weight.

The World Cancer Research Fund report also found that coffee may reduce risk.

But experts say there is not yet enough evidence to recommend drinking coffee to protect against the disease.

Endometrial cancer - cancer of the womb lining - is the fourth most common of all cancers in women in the UK.
In the first global analysis since 2007, Imperial College London researchers collated and reviewed scientific research on endometrial cancer, and links with diet, physical activity and body weight.

The study found evidence that about 3,700 cases could be prevented every year if women were active for 38 minutes a day and maintained a healthy body weight.




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MedicareBob Confirms His Medicare Shield Endorsement

 Emailed to me by Rebecca Appleton

The president of Senior Healthcare Direct publicly endorses the Medicare Shield program
Robert Bache, the president of Senior Healthcare Direct, has announced his endorsement for Medicare Shield, a free service that helps Americans to protect their Medicare number from fraudulent claims.
With millions falling victim to the growing problem of Medicare fraud – thought to be one of the fastest growing frauds in the USA – Medicare Shield makes it easy to protect Medicare Claim Numbers against fraud, waste and abuse. 

Bache, known as MedicareBob has publicly backed the Medicare Shield service. He has given his seal of approval to the scheme, which gives Medicare beneficiaries the ability to easily monitor all of the claims that are filed using their social security number or Medicare Claim Number. If a fraudulent claim appears, Medicare Shield makes it easy to report it. 

Explaining his endorsement of the Medicare Shield program, Mr. Bache said, “Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse is a real problem for our Government, tax payers and Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare fraud may not feel real until it effects you, but what people need to understand is the Medicare Fraud actually affects every single tax payer! Billions of tax payer dollars every year are lost due to Medicare Fraud. In addition to the lost money, the emotional heartache that a senior experiences when they fall victim may have a bigger impact.” 

Medicare fraud occurs when Medicare is billed for services or supplies the card holder never received. According to Medicare Shield, CMS approximated that in fiscal year 2010, Socialized medicine and government and state Medicaid agency programs made in excess of $65 billion in “poor federal payments,” specified as payments that need to not have actually been made or were made in an inaccurate quantity. Adding in poor payments made by state Medicaid programs adds another $10 billion yearly.

Medicare Shield and MedicareBob believe it is essential to reduce Medicare fraud in order to cut the cost for families, businesses, and the federal government. A reduction in fraudulent payments will also contribute to an increase in the quality of services offered to those who need care. 

There are currently five key programs in place to cut down on Medicare fraud. Medicare Shield is one of these essential measures, helping Medicare beneficiaries to quickly review claims made against their account on a monthly basis, making it much more likely to that fraud, abuse and waste is quickly detected and promptly nipped in the bud. The service provides an online app for iPhone and iPad owners, which gives instant access to all Medicare claim information. 

The other four measures in place include the Affordable Care Act, also known as the health care reform law, which has so far recovered $10 billion over the last three years. The Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) is a joint effort between the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice. Illustrating just how important these programs are, the Administration has also made funding available for Senior Medicare Patrols, which help to fight Medicare Fraud through the use of senior citizen volunteers. Finally the Public-Private Partnership to Prevent Health Care Fraud employs resources and expertise from federal government, state officials, several leading private health insurance organizations and other anti-fraud groups.
To find out more visit http://medicareshield.com
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5 Reasons to Eat More Celery








By Dr. Michael Murray

As far back as the 9th century B.C.E., celery leaves were used for medicinal properties. The use of celery as a food, however, took root in Europe in the 1700s.

Celery is one of those vegetables we tend to keep in the bottom of our vegetable drawer and only think about when it’s time to make soup, as it’s a basic ingredient for most soup broths. It’s a humble and often overlooked vegetable. However, there are good reasons to find ways to eat more of it. Here are 5 of them.

1. It’s high in nutrients and fiber, low in calories. Let me dispel a myth. Celery is not a net-zero-calorie food. Some people believe that the body burns more calories eating celery than the vegetable itself contains. Not true. However, one celery rib only contains 20 calories, and because it’s such an excellent source of fiber, it will make you feel full and cost few calories. For people who have the need to crunch and chew, but are trying to cut down on caloric foods, celery can’t be beat. Celery is also high in vitamin C, and contains potassium, folic acid, vitamins B6, B2, B1 and calcium as well.

2. It has phytochemicals that are protective against cancer. Celery contains phytochemical compounds called coumarins, which have been shown to help prevent cancer by enhancing the activity of white blood cells. Coumarin compounds in celery also aid the vascular system, and help ease migraines.

3. It can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Celery contains 3-n-butylphthaline (3nb), a compound that has been found to lower blood pressure. In an animal study conducted at the National University of Singapore, a small amount of this compound lowered blood pressure by 12-14 percent and cholesterol by 7 percent. Humans can get the equivalent dose of this marvelous compound by eating just 4-6 ribs of celery.

More here.


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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Childhood obesity linked to high blood pressure in adulthood






Posted by Neill Abayon

Children who are obese or overweight are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure in adulthood, compared with children of a healthy weight, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions 2013.

Researchers analyzed the blood pressure and growth of 1,117 healthy adolescents over a 27-year period from 1986.

Of the participants, 68% were at a normal weight, 16% were overweight and 16% were obese.

At adulthood, 119 of the participants were diagnosed with high blood pressure. Of these, 6% were normal weight as children, 14% were overweight, while 26% were obese as children.

These results show that obesity during childhood may increase the risk of high blood pressure four-fold in adulthood, and children who are overweight may double their risk of high blood pressure as adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.

Furthermore, in a CDC population-based sample of 5 to 17-year-olds, 70% of youths who were obese had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

However, a recent report from Medical News Today highlighted some positive statistics from the CDC, which showed that childhood obesity rates in the US decreased in 19 of 43 states and territories studied between 2008 and 2011. 

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Alcohol neither causes nor prevents depression






Posted by Neill Abayon

A new study does not support the belief that alcohol consumption causes depression - nor that it prevents it. This was the conclusion of clinical neuroscientists from the University of Western Australia (UWA).

They write about their findings in a paper published online recently in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

In their paper, the authors describe how research has linked alcohol use, particularly alcohol abuse and dependence, to raised risk for depression.

They also note that current practice for diagnosing depression implies the link is causal.

However, they say the evidence has come only from studies that are not designed to determine cause and where unexplored factors can interfere with the results, as Professor Osvaldo Almeida, lead author from UWA's School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, explains:

"Even one of the diagnoses we have for depressive disorders - Substance Induced Mood Disorder - is a diagnosis where alcohol plays a role. However, because of the observational nature of the association between alcohol and depression, and the risk of confounding and bias that comes with observational studies, it is difficult to be entirely certain that the relationship is causal." 


 More here

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