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Updated: 2 hours 58 min ago

For plastic surgeons: Learning 'danger zones' ensures better results

Sat, 04/29/2017 - 06:01

Washington D.C. [USA], April 29 : A team of researchers has suggested that plastic surgeons should pay particular attention to the six danger zones from the forehead to the chin - areas commonly addressed by facial filler injection - to enhance safety and effectiveness of treatment.

Dermal fillers have become a popular alternative to surgery for patients who want a younger facial appearance as the injection of soft tissue dermal fillers can reduce facial lines, wrinkles and restore a fuller, younger-looking facial appearance.

The study explained techniques to minimise risk and maximise safety when using dermal fillers in specific areas of the face.

"Given current trends, it becomes even more important that plastic surgeons, dermatologists, oculoplastic surgeons and facial plastic surgeons learn safe, predictable techniques to achieve optimal results with facial filler injections," said Rod J. Rohrich, MD from the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute in the US.

Stating that the practitioners should be able to recognise complications, Dr. Rohrich said, "They should pay particular attention to the six danger zones from the forehead to the chin, areas commonly addressed by facial filler injection."

Providing immediate results with a short recovery time, dermal filler injection has become the second-most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure.

When performed by a board certified or experienced practitioner then facial filler injection is a safe procedure.

Dr. Rohrich outlined his approach to specific principles for safe filler injection, including the use of hyaluronic acid fillers when possible.

The major advantage of these products is that their effects can be rapidly reversed by rescue injection with the enzyme hyaluronidase.

Other principles for safe filler injection include the use of continuous motion and gentle injection techniques.

He explains the steps to protect the underlying blood vessels, while discussing the filler products and injection techniques to achieving the best results in each area.

The study appeared in journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Sun exposure, excessive heat can damage hair

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 07:07

New Delhi [India], April 28 : The scorching sun, excessive perspiration, dust and dirt make our hair vulnerable in summers.

The heat of the sun, the UV radiation can damage the hair. It can also cause discoloration, which will be clearly evident in colored or bleached hair. The dry and hot winds take away all the moisture from our skin, scalp and hair and make them look lifeless and burnt.

Excessive sweating too does no good to the hair, making them a sticking point for all the dust and pollution that is in the air. Hence, we need to follow extra care to keep our hair clean, scalp infection free and protected during summers.

Here are some tips by Dr Sapna V Roshni, plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Cocoona Centre for Aesthetic Transformation, to prevent hair damage during summers:

- Wash them frequently: This might look like the most basic thing to do; yet many people do not understand its importance. The humidity, heat, dust and the resultant sweating means your hair and scalp is vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. It is recommended to use an ideal shampoo to wash or clean the hair as required. However, excessive use of shampoo can deplete moisture from your scalp; therefore pick a moisturizing shampoo that will keep your hair hydrated even as it cleanses it.

- Oil them: Oil your hair regularly with warm oil because frequent shampooing can deplete all moisture from your scalp. At the same time, do not be excessive in oil application as then the hair will need greater quantity of shampoo to wash it off, and this twin excess can be traumatic to the hair. Use oil in moderate quantity on every application.

- Cover from the Sun: Even a few minutes of direct exposure to the sun can cause damage to the hair. Much like the skin, the sun's harmful UV radiation are also dangerous to the hair. When you step out, wear a head gear - a hat or a scarf -- that covers your hair. Also, start using hair care products like conditioners with sunscreen; they will give your hair a protective covering.

- Limit Use of blow driers and hot irons: Blow drying throws a lot of heat on hair and it damages the hair follicles in the process. So keep the heat low and better apply a softening mousse on the hair. Blow drying can also cause the pores of the scalp to open up and this can lead dirt and pollution to enter, weakening the roots.

- Be Careful While Swimming: It might be relieving to send time in the pool, but the hair might not like it. Wear a shower cap or else apply conditioner on your hair before stepping into the pool to protect your hair against pool chemicals like chlorine. Immediately wash up after you step out.

- Check the Fizz: Get your hair trimmed as the summer season begins so that there are no split hair ends and damaged hair. This ensures the hair is healthier to begin with. Using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner is important to prevent extra dryness and the fizz that comes with it. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Affordable lab tests now at your doorstep

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 05:56

New Delhi [India], April 28 : Before going for any medical test, now compare the rates of different path-labs with just a click.

Thanks to KlinicApp!

KlinicApp, founded in Nov 2015, has become one of the fastest growing and trend setting e-diagnostic company, bringing affordable lab tests with standardized services at doorstep of patients.

It is solving the customers' problem of discovering pathological services through its in-company developed technology platform (App and website) and standardization of home services by well-trained phlebotomists from its certified lab network PAN India.

Operating as an online aggregator of organized and unorganized labs in India, it is the first company where patients/ consumers can compare blood test prices offered again through the tech platform.

The company's mission is to deliver on demand, high quality diagnostic/ pathology services at affordable pricing anytime anywhere in India.

KlinicApp technology platform, founded by Satkam Divya, has delivered services to more than 50,000 customers across 40 cities so far, conducting more than 1 mn blood tests, the annualized GBV (Gross Booking Value) is at INR 175 million. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Here's why milk is good for your child's growth

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 07:31

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 27 : A recent study suggests dairy proteins may be an even higher quality source of protein compared to vegetable-based protein sources than previously thought.

Using pigs as models, researchers at the University of Illinois studied the best way of evaluating protein quality in foods eaten by children.

For this, they used the method that was proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 2011.

"Plant proteins are the primary sources of amino acids in many parts of the world, whereas animal proteins are the primary sources in other parts of the world. However, the composition and digestibility of these types of proteins differ," says Dr. Hans H. Stein, professor of animal sciences at U of I and principal investigator of this research.

Researchers in Stein's lab conducted a study to calculate protein scores for eight sources of protein, derived from both plants and animals.

Protein scores compare the amount of digestible amino acids in a food with a "reference protein," a theoretical protein which contains fully digestible amino acids in the proportions required for human nutrition at a particular stage of life.

The score which has been used for more than 20 years is the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score, or PDCAAS. PDCAAS is calculated using the total tract digestibility of crude protein. However, this method has certain shortcomings.

"The total tract digestibility fails to take into account nitrogen excretion in the hindgut," Stein says. "The PDCAAS also assumes that all amino acids in a foodstuff have the same digestibility as crude protein, but in reality, amino acid digestibilities differ."

These flaws led to the development of a new measure, called the digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS). The DIAAS is calculated using ileal digestibility values, because all absorption of amino acids takes place in the small intestine. It also uses values calculated individually for each amino acid.

Stein and his team determined standardized ileal digestibility of crude protein and amino acids in eight sources of animal and plant protein: whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, skimmed milk powder, pea protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, soy flour, and whole-grain wheat. They derived DIAAS scores from those ileal digestibility values. They also calculated PDCAAS-like scores by applying the total tract digestibility of crude protein in the ingredients to all amino acids.

All dairy proteins tested in the study met Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) standards as "excellent/high"-quality sources of protein for people six months of age or older, with DIAAS values of 100 or greater. Soy protein isolate and soy flour qualified as "good" sources of protein, with a score between 75 and 100. With scores below 75, pea protein concentrate and wheat did not qualify to make recommendations regarding protein quality.

"Compared with DIAAS, PDCAAS calculations tended to underestimate the protein value of high quality protein sources, and overestimate the value of lower quality sources," says Stein. "Thus, to better meet protein requirements of humans, especially for people consuming diets that are low or marginal in digestible amino acids, DIAAS values should be used to estimate protein quality of foods."

Stein acknowledged certain limitations in the study. "The protein sources used in this experiment were fed raw, and foods processed as they typically are for human consumption might well have different protein values." However, he says, it represents a step forward in determining protein quality.

Funding for the research was provided by National Dairy Council, the non-profit organization founded by America's dairy farmers and funded by the national dairy checkoff program. The organization had no input into the experimental design or analysis.

"The results of this pilot study indicate that dairy proteins may be an even higher quality source of protein compared to vegetable-based protein sources than previously thought," said Dr. Greg Miller, chief science officer at NDC. "While using DIAAS is a newer concept and more research will be needed, one thing rings true -- milk proteins are high quality and milk as a beverage has protein plus eight other essential nutrients, which is especially important when it comes to kids, because they need quality nutrition to help support their growth and development."

The paper, "Values for digestible indispensable amino acid scores (DIAAS) for some dairy and plant proteins may better describe protein quality than values calculated using the concept for protein digestibility-corrected amino acid scores (PDCAAS)" was published in the February 2017 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition. The co-authors were John Mathai and Yanhong Liu of the University of Illinois. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Mothers drinking colas increase risk of obesity in kids

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 07:04

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 27 : Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers should avoid taking diet high in fructose-containing sugars as it increases the risk of their kids being obese or diabetic.

This is according to a new rat study published in The Journal of Physiology.

Many cereals, sugary soft drinks and other processed foods have fructose-containing sugars, including sucrose and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Excess consumption of these sugars is as a major contributor to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Few studies have shown the impact of a diet high in fructose-containing sugars on offspring during and after pregnancy.

This research shows that a maternal diet high in fructose-containing sugars during and after pregnancy can cause a fatty liver in offspring. This can negatively impact the metabolic health of the offspring, contributing to the development of obesity or type 2 diabetes in the future.

The researchers gave female rats water supplemented with fructose-containing sugars (sucrose or HFCS) at an amount equivalent to those in standard soft drinks, before, during and after pregnancy. After birth, offspring were weaned by a mother who had access to the same fructose-containing beverage, or by one who had access to water only.

Body weight, fat mass and glucose control in the offspring were measured and tissues were analysed to see the amount and type of fat in their livers. Offspring from mothers who had a diet high in fructose-containing sugars had a detrimental fat content and composition in their livers.

This was especially true for offspring who were weaned by mothers who drank the fructose-containing beverage. This shows that the timing of exposure to fructose sugars is important, highlighting implications for breastfeeding mothers.

Dr Sheridan Gentili, Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences at the University of South Australia and lead investigator of the study says, 'This study highlights the importance of maternal nutrition during the lactation period. Guidelines for consuming added sugars or sugar-sweetened beverages during pregnancy should consider this.'

She added, 'As there are differences in physiology between humans and rodents, we need to be careful when translating this research directly to humans.' (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

'Diet' products can make you fat

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 05:28

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 26 : Dieting and still can't shed those extra kilos? Turns out, some of the so-called diet products are just junk food in disguise.

High-fat foods are often the primary target when fighting obesity, but sugar-laden "diet" foods could be contributing to unwanted weight gain as well, according to a new study from the University of Georgia.

Researchers found that rats fed a diet high in sugar but low in fat, meant to imitate many popular diet foods, increased body fat mass when compared to rats fed a balanced rodent diet. The high-sugar diet induced a host of other problems, including liver damage and brain inflammation.

"Most so-called diet products containing low or no fat have an increased amount of sugar and are camouflaged under fancy names, giving the impression that they are healthy, but the reality is that those foods may damage the liver and lead to obesity as well," said principal investigator Krzysztof Czaja.

"What's really troubling in our findings is that the rats consuming high-sugar, low-fat diets didn't consume significantly more calories than the rats fed a balanced diet," Czaja noted. "Our research shows that in rats fed a low-fat, high-sugar diet, the efficiency of generating body fat is more than twice as high--in other words, rats consuming low-fat high-sugar diets need less than half the number of calories to generate the same amount of body fat."

Over a four-week period, researchers monitored body weight, caloric intake, body composition and faecal samples in three groups of rats. One group of test subjects consumed a diet high in fat and sugar, another group was fed a low-fat, high-sugar diet and a third group was given a balanced or "normal" diet.

Both the low-fat, high-sugar and high-fat, high-sugar groups displayed an increase in liver fat and significant increases in body weight and body fat when compared to the balanced diet group. Liver fat accumulation was significant in the high-sugar, low-fat group, which Czaja said "is a very dangerous situation, because the liver accumulating more fat mimics the effect of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease."

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is caused by fat build-up in the liver, and serious forms of the disease can result in liver damage comparable to that caused by heavy alcohol use.

The unbalanced diets also induced chronic inflammation in the intestinal tract and brain. Former studies in rats conducted by Czaja have shown that brain inflammation alters gut-brain communication by damaging the vagus nerve, which controls sensory signals, including the brain's ability to determine when one is full.

"The brain changes resulting from these unbalanced diets seem to be long term, and it is still not known if they are reversible by balanced diets," Czaja said.

This study expands upon the researchers' previous work that determined high-fat diets alter the gut microbiome, the collection of bacteria, viruses and other microbes that live in the digestive tract. The recent study found that the unbalanced diets decreased the microbiome's bacterial diversity, and the low-fat, high-sugar diet increased gut bacteria that are associated with liver damage.

The study appeared in the journal Physiology & Behavior. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Emotional eater? Your parents are to be blamed

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 08:38

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 25 : Are you an emotional eater? Do you tend to eat when you feel sad or upset? If yes, your parents are responsible.

Emotional eating - eating when you feel sad or upset or in response to another negative mood - is not uncommon in children and adolescents, but why youth eat emotionally has been unclear.

Now a new longitudinal study from Norway has found that school-age children whose parents fed them more to soothe their negative feelings were more likely to eat emotionally later on.

They findings appear in the journal Child Development.

The reverse was also found to be the case, with parents of children who were more easily soothed by food being more likely to feed them for emotional reasons.

The findings come from researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, King's College London, University College London, and the University of Leeds.

"Understanding where emotional eating comes from is important because such behavior can increase the risk for being overweight and developing eating disorders," according to the study's lead author, Silje Steinsbekk, associate professor of psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

"If we can find out what influences the development of emotional eating in young children, parents can be given helpful advice about how to prevent it."

When children eat to soothe their negative feelings, their food tends to be high in calories (e.g., sweets) so they consume more calories. If they emotionally overeat often, they are also more likely to be overweight. Emotional eating is also tied to the development of later eating disorders (e.g., bulimia and binge eating).

This study sought to determine why children eat emotionally and is the first research to consider the issue in school-age children.

Researchers examined emotional feeding and eating in a representative group of 801 Norwegian four-year-olds, looking at these issues again at ages six, eight, and 10.

They sought to determine whether parents involved in the study (mostly mothers) shaped their children's later behavior by offering food to make them feel better when they were upset (emotional feeding), and whether parents whose children were easily soothed by food (those who calmed when given food) were more likely to offer them more food for comfort at a subsequent time.

Parents were asked to complete questionnaires describing their children's emotional eating and temperament (how easily they became upset, how well they could control their emotions), as well as their own emotional feeding. Approximately 65% of the children displayed some emotional eating.

The study found that young children whose parents offered them food for comfort at ages four and six had more emotional eating at ages 8 and 10. But the reverse was also true: Parents whose children were more easily comforted with food were more likely to offer them food to soothe them (i.e., to engage in emotional feeding).

Thus, emotional feeding increased emotional eating, and emotional eating increased emotional feeding. The findings held even after accounting for children's body-mass index and initial levels of feeding and eating.

Moreover, higher levels of negative affectivity (i.e., becoming angry or upset more easily) at age four increased children's risk for emotional eating and feeding at age six.

And this contributed to the bidirectional relation between emotional feeding and emotional eating.

"We know that children who are more easily upset and have more difficulty controlling their emotions are more likely to eat emotionally than calmer children, perhaps because they experience more negative emotions and eating helps them calm down," notes Lars Wichstrøm, professor of psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, who coauthored the study.

"Our research adds to this knowledge by showing that children who are more easily upset are at highest risk for becoming emotional eaters."

The authors suggest that instead of offering children food to soothe them when they are sad or upset, parents and other caregivers try to calm youngsters by talking, offering a hug, or soothing in ways that don't involve food.

"Food may work to calm a child, but the downside is teaching children to rely on food to deal with negative emotions, which can have negative consequences in the long run," adds Steinsbekk.

The authors caution that because the study was conducted in Norway, which has a relatively homogenous and well-educated population, the findings should not be generalized to more diverse populations or to cultures with other feeding and eating practices without further study. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

#WorldMalariaDay: Effective steps to prevent Malaria

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 07:30

New Delhi [India], Apr 25 : The theme for World Malaria Day this year is "End Malaria for Good".

Malaria is caused due to the Plasmodium parasites which are carried by the Female - Anopheles mosquito. Out of five, two species of the parasite, P. falciparum and P. vivax, pose the greatest threat to human beings. Once the mosquito bites the person, the parasite enters the liver infecting the red blood cells.

These begin to grow and reproduce in red blood cells until they swell and burst, releasing new parasites that infect more red blood cells. Once the parasites have infected the blood, the symptoms of malaria begin to appear.

According to World Health Organization in 2015, malaria prevailed in 91 countries. There were 212 million cases recorded and 429000 deaths. The statistics reveal that one child dies of malaria every two minutes. Between 2010 and 2015, the incidence of malaria fell by 21 percent globally; malaria mortality rates fell by 29% and by 35% among children under the age of 5. In 2015, there were 212 million new cases of malaria and 429,000 deaths.

Dr RVS Bhalla, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Escorts Hospital Faridabad and Dr Ajay Aggarwal, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Noida share some essential steps to recognize the early symptoms and ways to tackle malaria:

Early Symptoms:

• High fever (up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit) with shaking chills

• Profuse sweating when the fever suddenly drops

• Fatigue

• Headache

• Muscle aches

• Abdominal discomfort

• Nausea, vomiting

• Feeling faint while standing or sitting up quickly

• Confusion, drowsiness, seizure, coma

• Low blood sugar

• Jaundice

• Decreased urine or Coca Cola coloured urine

Diagnosis:

Blood tests can be conducted to affirm:

• Levels of red blood cells

• Platelets

• Ability of your blood to clot

• Blood chemistry

• Liver function

• Kidney function

People at a higher risk of contracting Malaria:

• Infants (children under 5 years of age)

• Pregnant women

• Patients with HIV/AIDS

• Non-immune migrants

• Mobile populations

• Populations who reside in tropical humid environments

• People who reside in unhygienic conditions i.e. near stale dirty water bodies

Prevention:

• Use of mosquito coils

• Mosquito repellents sprayed on skin

• Screening windows and doors

• Mosquito proof bed nets

• Closed windows during late evenings and early mornings

• Wearing protective clothing, such as long sleeve shirts

• Avoiding dark coloured clothes

• Using Insecticide-treated mosquito nets

• Indoor residual spraying

• Removal of all sources of stagnant water

Malaria is a public health problem in several parts of the country. About 95% population in the country resides in malaria endemic areas and 80% of malaria reported in the country is confined to tribal, hilly, difficult and inaccessible areas.

Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) under the Ministry of Health has framed technical guidelines/ policies and provides most of the resources for the programme.

Indicators have been developed at national level for monitoring of the programme so that there is uniformity in collection, compilation and onward submissions of data which would be helpful in combating malaria at a larger level. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Frozen fruits, vegetables help achieve your nutrition goals

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 04:44

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 25 : According to a recent study, people who consume frozen fruits and vegetable have significantly higher intakes of key nutrients, such as potassium, fiber and calcium.

The study was presented at 2017 Experimental Biology meeting.

The research analysed the data of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2011-2014.

When consumers of frozen fruits and vegetables were compared to non-consumers of frozen fruits and vegetables, the results of the studies were:

- Frozen fruit and vegetable consumers eat more total fruits and vegetables than non-consumers.

- Consumers of frozen fruits and vegetables have significantly higher intakes of nutrients of concern - potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D

- Adult consumers of frozen fruits and vegetables have significantly lower BMI than non-consumers.

Dr. Maureen Storey, Ph.D said, "At a time when Americans are only eating half of the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, our research shows that eating frozen fruits and vegetables can help fill the gap in fruit and vegetable consumption."

"In addition to increased consumption of nutrients of concern, frozen fruit and vegetable consumers also had a higher intake of vitamins A and C," she added.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) define calcium, potassium, dietary fiber and vitamin D as nutrients of public health concern because low intakes are associated with health concerns.

Specifically, the guidelines attribute low intake of fiber and potassium to decreased fruit and vegetable consumption.

"This research adds substantiation to the growing body of evidence that supports the important role frozen fruits and vegetables can play to help Americans meet daily intake recommendations set by the DGAs. While this research focused on fruits and vegetables, frozen foods and beverages also provide consumers with nutritious and convenient meals options while minimizing food waste," said Frozen Food Foundation President and CEO Alison Bodor. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Higher prostate cancer risks suggest new approach to screening

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 08:07

Washington D.C. [USA], April 24 : Due to increasing deaths because of prostate cancer among men, US researchers have suggested a special screening more frequently and at an early age to avoid the development of preclinical prostate cancer - that is not symptomatic - to advanced stages.

The findings indicated that among black men, the incidence of prostate cancer is 60 percent higher than that of white men, and their mortality rate from prostate cancer is more than twice as high.

"We found that the interval from getting preclinical cancer to being diagnosed is long - 10 years or more on average - and is similar in black and white men. But during that interval, cancers in black men tend to progress faster," said a senior author on the study Dr. Ruth Etzioni.

"What this means is that in developing screening policies for black men, it will be important to consider beginning screening them at an earlier age and potentially screening them more frequently than would be recommended by general population guidelines," Etzioni added.

She stressed that an additional research is needed to determine the best policies for prostate cancer screening in black men.

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Michigan, and Erasmus University in the Netherlands used three models of prostate cancer incidence and prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening to estimate disease onset and progression.

The investigators estimated that 30 to 43 percent of black men develop preclinical prostate cancer by age 85, a risk that is 28 to 56 percent higher than that among men of any race.

Among men with preclinical disease, black men have a similar risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer (35 to 49 percent) compared with the general population (32 to 44 percent) in the absence of screening.

Their risk of progression to advanced disease, by the time they are diagnosed, is 44 to 75 percent higher than in the general population.

The research, published online in journal of CANCER. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Cannot cut burgers, pizzas from diet? Blame your genes

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 05:43

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 24 : After knowing that burger and pizzas are unhealthy, why are we incapable from cutting them from our diets? Relax and blame gene variants as a study finds that they affect the way our brain works and influence our food preferences.

The new research could lead to new strategies to empower people to enjoy and stick to their optimal diets.

They found that the genes they studied did play a significant role in a person's food choices and dietary habits. For example, higher chocolate intake and a larger waist size was associated with certain forms of the oxytocin receptor gene and an obesity-associated gene played a role in vegetable and fiber intake.

"Most people have a hard time modifying their dietary habits, even if they know it is in their best interest," said a researcher Silvia Berciano from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain.

"This is because our food preferences and ability to work toward goals or follow plans affect what we eat and our ability to stick with diet changes. Ours is the first study describing how brain genes affect food intake and dietary preferences in a group of healthy people," Berciano added.

Gene variation is a result of subtle DNA differences among individuals that make each person unique.

The team analyzed the genetics of 818 men and women of European ancestry and gathered information about their diet using a questionnaire.

They also observed that certain genes were involved in salt and fat intake.

The new findings could be used to inform precision-medicine approaches that help minimise a person's risk for common diseases - such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer - by tailoring diet-based prevention and therapy to the specific needs of an individual.

"The knowledge gained through our study will pave the way to better understanding of eating behaviour and facilitate the design of personalised dietary advice that will be more amenable to the individual, resulting in better compliance and more successful outcomes," Berciano explained.

The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions and annual meeting during the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting, to be held April 22-26 in Chicago. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Skinny women are more likely to be depressed!

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 05:42

London [UK], April 22 : Skinny jeans or small sized clothes may fit the thin women well, but when it comes to mental health, things may not be the same for them.

A study reveals, skinny women are more likely be depressed, linking to low moods.

Researchers from Seoul National University of Medicine in South Korea conducted the study and revealed that both men and women are affected by negative thoughts about being too thin, unlike depression among obese people, which predominantly affects women.

The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, pointed out that depressed people may be more likely to lose weight, or it could be that being thin makes people depressed.

"It seems that the current ideal of thinness affects women more than their male counterparts and causes more psychological distress in women, which can, in turn, lead to depression," the authors stated.

The team analysed data from 183 different studies.

They found that obesity increased the risk for depression in both underweight and obese people.

The results showed that the opposite is true and malnutrition has a detrimental effect on people's mood as maintaining a healthy weight is essential for good mental health.

In clinical practice, medical care providers should pay attention to the mental health of people who are underweight, the authors further explained.

"This large study confirms that optimal nutrition is fundamentally important for physical and mental health. Both being underweight and obese is associated with an increased risk of depression," said Dr Agnes Ayton, vice-chairman of the eating disorders faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

"It is an important finding, as people with eating disorders often assume that losing weight will improve their happiness," Ayton added. (ANI)

Region: LondonGeneral: Health

Racial discrimination putting kids at asthma risk

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 09:20

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 21 : Discrimination is contributing to paediatric asthma rates among African American and Latino youths, according to a recent study.

The investigators found that African American children who reported experiencing discrimination had almost twice the probability of having asthma than their peers who did not experience/report discrimination.

Among African American children with asthma, discrimination was also associated with a greater probability of having poorly controlled asthma. For Mexican American children, discrimination and socioeconomic status (SES) act together with discrimination having an effect on asthma only among low-SES children.

While the relationship between discrimination and physical health in adults is well understood, less is known about the role it plays in children. This study is the first to show an association between discrimination and asthma diagnosis in African American and in Latino children, contributing to existing evidence implicating racial/ethnic discrimination as a predictor of negative health outcomes in children. For asthma specifically, the findings are consistent with results correlating discriminatory experience and subsequent asthma diagnosis in African American adult women.

"Discrimination is a common and everyday experience for minority populations in America. People can be exposed to it at the individual and society levels. This constant stress gets embodied into our biology or DNA to change our bodies' responses to diseases and medical treatments. Our findings support this biological embodiment for asthma and its control among African American children and among low-SES Mexican American children," explained lead investigator Luisa N. Borrell.

Using data from the Genes-Environment and Admixture in Latino Americans study (GALA II) and the Study of African Americans, Asthma, Genes, and Environments (SAGE II), researchers found that African American children who reported discrimination had 78 percent greater odds of having asthma than participants who did not report discrimination. In addition, reported discrimination was a good predictor of a child's asthma being poorly controlled.

SES and discrimination are complex issues, with many different aspects to consider. The results of this study suggest that they work together to influence asthma rates for Latino youth, but that for African American youth, discrimination works independently of SES; however, the authors note that many unmeasured factors surrounding both discrimination and SES may help explain the association with asthma.

"With overt events of discrimination, whether towards one's race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and/or sexual orientation increasing, this study is now more relevant than ever," concluded first author Neeta Thakur. "Discrimination is a real and everyday experience for many Americans, especially for those from minority communities. In this study, we demonstrate how this seemingly unrelated stressor is directly related to asthma and its associated outcomes in African Americans. This is significant as asthma is an incredibly common and costly disease of childhood and is on the rise in African American communities."

"Given the current political climate, our findings are very significant, especially for minority children," stated Borrell. "Children are being exposed directly or indirectly to different sources of psychosocial stress -- discrimination, bullying, and fear, while our focus was asthma, this stress may play a role in other diseases, behaviours, and learning opportunities."

The study is published in CHEST. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Beware! Consuming diet soda daily ups three times risk of dementia, stroke

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 04:45

Washington D.C. [USA], April 21 : Watch it before you gulp that fizzy drink or sugary beverage as a study reveals that people who drink diet soda daily are three times more likely to develop stroke and dementia.

The findings, appeared in the journal of Alzheimer's & Dementia, indicated that people who frequently consume sugary beverages such as sodas and fruit juices are more likely to have poorer memory, smaller overall brain volumes and smaller hippocampal volumes - an area of the brain important for memory.

According to researchers, both sugar and artificially-sweetened beverage consumption has been linked to cardio-metabolic risk factors, which increases the risk of cerebrovascular disease and dementia.

"Our findings indicate an association between higher sugary beverage intake and brain atrophy, including lower brain volume and poorer memory," said corresponding author Matthew Pase from Boston University's school of medicine in the US.

"We also found that people drinking diet soda daily were almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia. This included a higher risk of ischemic stroke - where blood vessels in the brain become obstructed and Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia," he added.

The team analysed approximately 4,000 participants over the age of 30 and examined them using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and cognitive testing to measure the relationship between beverage intake and brain volumes as well as thinking and memory.

They then monitored 2,888 participants age 45 and over for the development of a stroke and 1,484 participants age 60 and older for dementia for 10 years.

The results suggested that people, who more frequently consumed diet soda, were also more likely to be diabetic which is thought to increase the risk of dementia.

However, even after excluding diabetics from the study, diet soda consumption was still associated with the risk of dementia.

The researchers further suggested that people should be cautious about regularly consuming either diet sodas or sugary beverages. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Moderate-severe hot flashes in menopausal women ups risk of depression

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 08:05

Washington D.C. [USA], April 20 : Menopausal or pre- menopausal women, aged 40-65, who experience hot flashes or excessive sweating during sleep, are at increased risk of moderate and severe depression.

The results demonstrate that among a group of women ages 40-65, those with moderate-severe hot flashes were significantly more likely to have moderate-severe depression than women with no or mild vasomotor symptoms.

Roisin Worsley, Robin Bell, Pragya Gartoulla, Penelope Robinson and Susan Davis, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia examined hot flashes, depressive symptoms and use of antidepressant medication to be common in the age range of women

The findings, published in journal of Women's Health, indicated that more than 2,000 pre-menopausal and menopausal women showed moderate-severe vasomotor symptoms - hot flashes or night sweats -an independent and significant risk factor for moderate and severe depression.

The researchers explored the controversial link between hot flashes and depressive symptoms by focusing on more severe forms of both conditions and concluding that there is likely a common underlying cause.

They also examined whether or not moderate-severe depression was associated with a greater likelihood of psychotropic medication use, smoking, or binge drinking at least once a week.

"The results of this study shed further light on therapeutic findings, with both anti-depressant medication and estrogen therapy having the potential to improve hot flashes and mood," said Susan G. Kornstein from Virginia Commonwealth University's institute for women's health in Richmond, US. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

This Summer, say no to body odour

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 07:07

New Delhi [India], Apr 19 : Summer is here and with this is sweat and rashes. Sweat leads to odour, which most of the time, is depressing and literally nightmarish!

So if you are also struggling with the issue of body odour, here are some expert tips that might help you keep it at bay.

- Shower twice a day: Taking bath twice a day, is a perfect solution for those who are likely to have excessive sweat. It not only cools you during the summer months but perfectly targets your body odor.

- Let your body dry before dressing: Dr Rohit Batra, Dermatologist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Dermaworld Skin and Hair Clinic New Delhi suggests that it is better to let your body dry before putting on clothes. Wipe your body comprehensively with the towel to dry your body properly as wetness attracts sweat easily.

- Get rid of the unwanted hairs: Whether you wear full sleeved clothes or sleeveless tops and tees, you should get rid of the unwanted hair that may start giving foul smell due to sweating. The warm atmosphere is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and hence, makes sure that you maintain proper hygiene.

- Use Antibacterial Soap: Dr Vivek Mehta, Dermatologist, Pulastya's Cadle Skin Laser Clinic says, "Antibacterial soap helps to counter the bacteria of the body, which further helps to lessen the foul smell. Take advice from your dermatologist to select the soap as per your body type. Let them know in advance if you have any skin allergy or infection."

- Essential Oils: Using essential oils like lavender, peppermint and pine are also the best to reduce the body odour. These oils not only give you a nice fragrance but lasts longer.

- Using Lemon: Rubbing lemon on the parts that stink a lot can help you reduce the smell. You can also squeeze a lemon into the bucket and take bath with that water. It is a perfect solution to reduce smell from the feet.

- Eat right food: "Oily/fried food, spicy food can also be a major reason behind extreme sweating which turns into bad body odor after a short while," says Dr Batra

- Wear Right Shoes and Clothes: Don't wear clothes made up of nylon or synthetic stuff as it retains sweat. Wear loose, comfortable cotton clothes that help evaporate sweat. Change your feet regularly and frequently especially in summers, this will give a fresh feel to the feet. Also wear, cotton socks while wearing shoes.

- Antiperspirant with deodorant: A deodorant covers the strong smell of sweating but one also needs an antiperspirant to control the extreme sweat during the day. Dr. Vivek Mehta says that a combination of antiperspirant and deodorant will keep your body odor far away.

- Dose of Vinegar: As vinegar helps in balancing the pH level of the skin creating an antibacterial environment, it is one of the best methods to stop body odor. Since bacteria doesn't survive in the acidic atmosphere, you can splash some vinegar in the areas where sweating is maximum. This idea is really helpful in controlling the foul smell. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Active or passive smoking leads to cancer in 'voice box'

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 05:58

New Delhi [India], Apr 19 : Tobacco is considered to be one of the most important avoidable lifestyle related cause of cancer in the world.

It causes variety of cancers- of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas and stomach.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) tobacco use nearly kills six million people worldwide each year. It is also estimated that there were 100 million premature deaths due to tobacco in the 20th century, globally. If the trends in tobacco consumption continue, the number is expected to rise to one billion in the 21st century.

Head and neck cancers are the most common one in developing countries, especially in Southeast Asia and the use of tobacco is one of the biggest risk factors for head and neck cancer.

According to Dr Vikram Kekatpure, senior consultant - Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, the risk of various cancers of the head and neck is often higher in tobacco smokers and chewers than in no tobacco users. Majority of individuals with these cancers have a history tobacco use. Various form of smokeless tobacco like Gutka, khaini, and smoking cigarettes, pipes, and cigars along with passive smoking all increase the chance of getting these cancers.

Laryngeal Cancer is the cancer, arising in the larynx, or the "voice box", the area of the throat which includes the vocal cords. It is a type of head and neck cancer and is frequently diagnosed in smokers.

Dr Kekatpure further said, besides smoking, chronic voice abuse is a risk factor. This cancer is also considered to be one of the 10 leading causes of cancer in Indian men. Laryngeal cancer in India contributes to approximately three to six percent of all cancers in men. Laryngeal Cancer is also considered to be one of the easier cancers to detect as symptoms develop early with hoarseness of voice and then advances to breathing problems in later stages. If the hoarseness of voice persists for more than 3 weeks it is advisable to get a laryngoscopy.

Some other symptoms associated with Laryngeal Cancer include lump in throat sensation, difficulty in swallowing, weight loss, chronic cough, neck swelling and shortness of breath. The treatment of Laryngeal cancer is according to the stage of disease, he added.

Voice is a critical necessity for human connection and social outlook. If laryngeal cancer is detected in an early stage, the vocal cord and therefore voice function can be preserved. In initial stages the treatment is organ preservation with radiation therapy.

However, in advance stages, the surgery to remove voice box is required. Even after removal of the voice box, rehabilitation with artificial voice is possible.

Smoking during and after treatment of Laryngeal cancer has an adverse prognosis. Smoking not only increases the risk of cancer relapse -but also increases the risk of getting another type of cancer, said Dr Kekatpure.

It is good to be alert regarding various symptoms for Laryngeal Cancer. If there is persistent hoarseness of voice for more than 3 weeks it is advisable to get examined voice box examined (laryngoscopy) by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.

Right now, it is well-accepted that chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make. Hence it is advisable to stop smoking to decrease the chances of laryngeal cancer. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Retina cells may help in treating jet lag

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 08:15

Washington D.C. [USA], April 18 : Briton researchers have found a new group of cells in retina of eyes that can directly affect the biological clock of the people who experience jet lag.

According to researchers, a new group of cells in the retina that directly affect the biological clock by sending signals to a region of the brain which regulates our daily (circadian) rhythms, thereby opening a new therapeutic possibilities to manipulate the retina's signals and alter the body's responses to light changes.

The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is a region of the brain, which co-ordinates the circadian rhythm using many different signalling molecules, including the neurohormone vasopressin.

This research shows that the retina has its own population of vasopressin-expressing cells which communicate directly to the SCN and are involved with regulating the circadian rhythm.

This gives an insight into how the biological clock is regulated by light and could open up new therapeutic opportunities to help restore altered circadian rhythms through the eye.

"Our exciting results show a potentially new pharmacological route to manipulate our internal biological clocks," said study's lead investigator Mike Ludwig from the University of Edinburgh in England.

"Studies in the future which alter vasopressin signalling through the eye could lead to developing eye drops to get rid of jet lag, but we are still a long way off from this," Ludwig added.

Biological clocks are synchronised to light-dark changes and are important to regulate patterns of body temperature, brain activity, hormone production and other physiological processes.

Disruption of this can lead to health problems such as gastrointestinal and cardiovascular disorders, depression and an increased risk of cancer.

The researchers interfered with the signalling of light information sent to the SCN in rats.

Using a series of physiological tests, they showed that vasopressin-expressing cells in the retina are directly involved in regulating circadian rhythms.

The study appeared in the Journal of Physiology. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Cleaning houses may be bad for your kids' health

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 05:05

Washington D.C. [USA], April 18 : Dear parents, beware! Providing ultra-clean environment to your kids may be bad as a study reveals that no early exposure to dirt and germs increases the instances of eczema, asthma, hay fever and childhood diabetes.

According to research, exposure to germs and microorganisms in early childhood is actually good for children because it helps to develop the immune system.

Without early exposure to dirt and germs, the immune system does not learn how to control foreign agents, thus increasing their instances of eczema, asthma, hay fever and childhood diabetes.

In fact, today's children are too clean for their own good, argue researchers John Gilbert and Rob Knight.

Dr Gilbert explained that once humans understood that microbes causes disease, there has been an attempt to rid our bodies from any type of fungi, virus or bacterium.

However, the increase in hygiene practices - boiling water and pasteurising milk - has helped ward off a number of diseases and deaths, negative consequences are suffered by children who grow up in too clean of a home.

"We've deliberately separated ourselves for reasons of comfort and reasons of fear of disease," said Dr Gilbert to The New York Times.

A 2016 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine compared the immune systems of children, who grew up on small single-family farms to those who were similar genetically, but grew up on large, industrialised farms.

The results revealed that single-family farm kids, were living in environments described as 'rich in microbes,' or full of barnyard dust, had very low rates of asthma.

Dr Gilbert pointed out the fact that not only does early life exposure to microbes shape the immune system, but also the endocrine system, and even the child's neurodevelopment.

"It's best to educate parents about the types of natural exposure that would be most helpful in immune system development given the specifics of their children and their communities," Dr Gilbert suggested. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

A combination therapy can now treat brain cancer

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 07:02

Washington D.C. [USA], April 17 : A team of researchers has discovered a vaccine, combined with high-dose chemotherapy, for treating the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

According to researchers, vaccine targeting cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigen pp65, combined with high-dose chemotherapy (temozolomide), improved both progression-free survival and overall survival of glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), patients.

The findings, appeared in journal of Clinical Cancer Research, indicated that 11 patients, who received this combination therapy, demonstrated a median progression-free survival of 25.3 months and a median overall survival of 41.1 months.

However, three patients remain progression-free more than seven years after diagnosis.

"The clinical outcomes in GBM patients who received this combination were very striking," said lead study author Kristen Batich from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

The typical median survival for GBM patients is less than 15 months and to overcome these poor numbers, the researchers took advantage of CMV's affinity for GBM, with the viral proteins being expressed in roughly 90 percent of these tumors.

Previous work had shown that TMZ generates profound lymphopenia or the loss of immune cells, which offers a unique opportunity to retrain the immune system.

The team administered dose-intensified temozolomide (TMZ) - an oral chemotherapy drug - as a strategy to further enhance the immune response.

"The dose-intensified temozolomide induces a strong state of lymphopenia," Batich noted.

"With that comes an opportune moment to introduce an antigen-specific vaccine, which redirects the immune system to put all hands on deck and fight that target," he explained.

The results indicated that the excellent response rate despite the high proportion of regulatory T cells, which dampen the immune response and rebounded sharply following TMZ administration.

The researchers further wants to better understand the mechanisms that underlie the strong response rate and refine this combination therapy to produce even better results.

"We want to understand why some patients do better than others," Batich concluded. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

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