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Going 'gluten-free' may not be all that good for you

Sat, 03/11/2017 - 05:37

A word of advice for those who are on gluten free diet. Eating less of wheat, rye and barley may increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, gives bread and other baked goods elasticity during the baking process and a chewy texture in finished products.

The findings indicated that 20 percent of individuals consumed gluten and had 13 percent lower risk of developing Type-2 diabetes in comparison to those with the lowest daily gluten consumption.

The research would be presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions.

"We wanted to determine if gluten consumption will affect health in people with no apparent medical reasons to avoid gluten," said a researcher Geng Zong from Harvard University's t.h. chan school of public health in Boston, Massachusetts.

"Gluten-free foods often have less dietary fiber and other micronutrients, making them less nutritious and they also tend to cost more. People without Celiac disease may reconsider limiting their gluten intake for chronic disease prevention, especially for diabetes," Zong added.

The researchers estimated daily gluten intake for 199,794 participants in three long-term health studies -- the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), the Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS).

The average daily gluten intake in grams was 5.8 g/d for NHS, 6.8 g/d for NHSII, and 7.1 g/d for HPFS, and major dietary sources were pastas, cereals, pizza, muffins, pretzels and bread.

The researchers found that most of the participants had gluten intake below 12 grams/day and within this range, those who ate the most gluten had lower Type 2 diabetes risk during thirty years of follow-up.

The results suggested that over the course of the study, which included 4.24 million person-years of follow-up , 15,947 cases of Type 2 diabetes were confirmed. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Bullied children may suffer depression, diabetes in adulthood

Sat, 03/11/2017 - 05:05

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 11 : A study has revealed that children bullied during childhood are at the risk of developing depression, heart disease and diabetes in adulthood.

The study appeared in journal of Harvard Review of Psychiatry.

"Bullying, as a form of chronic social stress, may have significant health consequences if not addressed early," said Susannah J. Tye from Mayo Clinic.

"We encourage child health professionals to assess both the mental and physical health effects of bullying," Dr. Tye added.

Bullying has been linked to an increased risk of psychiatric disorders, although there are still questions about the direction of that association.

"Once dismissed as an innocuous experience of childhood, bullying is now recognised as having significant psychological effects, particularly with chronic exposure," explained the authors.

Any form of continued physical or mental stress can put a strain on the body, leading to increasing "wear and tear."

With increasing allostatic load, chronic stress can lead to changes in inflammatory, hormonal, and metabolic responses.

The study suggests that over time, these physiological alterations can contribute to the development of diseases--including depression, diabetes, and heart disease-- as well as progression of psychiatric disorders.

"When an individual is exposed to brief periods of stress, the body can often effectively cope with the challenge and recover back to baseline," Dr. Tye explained.

Early-life stress exposure can also affect the way in which these physiological systems respond to future stressors.

"Asking about bullying...represents a practical first step towards intervening to prevent traumatic exposure and reduce risk for further psychiatric and related morbidities," they noted. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Citric acid may not be as safe to vape as you think

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 08:54

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 10 : More than 7,000 different flavours of electronic cigarettes are available in the market, but not much is known about the safety of the e-liquids when they are inhaled.

According to the scientists at British American Tobacco, the use of citric acid in e-liquids needs to be investigated to further understand its potential to form potentially harmful anhydrides in the vapour.

Citric acid occurs naturally in the body, is "generally recognised as safe" in the USA and is used in pharmaceutical inhalation products. However, thermal degradation of citric acid can occur at the operating temperatures of some vaping devices. Starting at around 175-203 degree Celsius, citric acid can degrade to form citraconic anhydride and its isomer itaconic anhydride.

These anhydrides are respiratory sensitisers--chemicals that, on inhalation, can trigger an allergic reaction varying from hay fever symptoms to anaphylactic shock.

Scientists used gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry to analyse the vapour generated when an e-liquid containing citric acid is heated in a vaping device. The device used was a first-generation (cig-a-like) e-cigarette. The scientists were able to measure significant amounts of anhydrides in the vapour.

The results are presented at the annual conference of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco in Florence, Italy.

"Citric acid in an e-liquid may lead to significant amounts of citraconic and/or itaconic anhydride in vapour, depending on the device," said Dr Sandra Costigan, Principal Toxicologist Vaping Products.

"But we believe that flavourings can be used responsibly and we have already rejected the use of some flavouring in our products. Based on this case study using a first generation e-cigarette, we recommend that the potential for formation of citraconic and itaconic anhydrides should be investigated further before commercialisation of e-liquids containing citric acid," Costigan added. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Asthmatics less able to fight off flu

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 08:41

New Delhi [India], Mar. 10 : People with asthma are likely to have worse symptoms when they get the flu because they have weaker immune systems, a new research has shown.

The study, led by Dr Ben Nicholas from University of Southampton, assessed lung samples from asthmatics and healthy volunteers. The samples were exposed to influenza and their reactions were analysed.

This study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Dr Nicholas said, "We wanted to look into whether immune system differences explain why asthmatics are more likely to end up in hospital if they get flu than the general population. This is important, as flu can cause a person's asthma symptoms to get worse. The samples from healthy people showed a strong immune system-triggering reaction to the flu virus. But in lung samples from asthma patients, this reaction was much weaker."

"We hope these results help researchers better understand why asthmatics are more affected by influenza and help find new treatments for common lung infections, which often make asthma symptoms worse," he added.

The research method Dr Nicholas used is different other techniques, which separate and grow a single layer of cells in a dish.

Instead, Dr Nicholas kept the whole sample intact, which allowed him to study a pin-head sized piece of lung in the lab, as it would be found in the body.

The study was supported by, and conducted in collaboration with Synairgen, a University of Southampton spin-out company, and formed part of U-BIOPRED, a large-scale European project using information and samples from adults and children to learn more about different types of asthma.

More research is now needed to investigate whether the difference in immune responses is due to the asthma itself, or the daily medications used by participating asthmatics to control their condition. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Beware! Coloring your hair can up chances of breast cancer

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 08:20

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 10 : Women beware before dying your hair or using hormonal contraceptives, as they may increase your chances of breast cancer.

Researcher Sanna Heikkinen from the University of Helsinki in Finland and Finnish Cancer Registry evaluated the contribution of the use of hormonal contraceptives and hair dyes on breast cancer risk factors.

"The biggest risk factor in breast cancer is high age and known lifestyle-related risk factors include late age at first birth, small number of children, high alcohol consumption and sedentary lifestyle," said Heikkinen.

They analysed self-reported survey data from 8,000 breast cancer patients and 20,000 controls from Finland.

The results suggested that use of other hormonal contraceptives was, by contrast, associated with 32 percent higher breast cancer risk among younger women under 50 when compared to women who did not use hormonal contraceptives.

The team also investigated the amount of opportunistic mammography, which was found to be very common.

More than 60 percent of responders reported having had a mammography before the screening age of 50.

"Women should be more extensively informed of the harms of opportunistic mammography, such as accumulating radiation burden and the potential consequences of false positive or negative findings," Heikkinen noted. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Pram covers a must as babies more affected from air pollution

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 06:33

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 10 : Parents, use pram covers to protect your babies while accompanying older siblings on the school run, as young children are twice as likely to be exposed to harmful air pollution in the morning as in the afternoon, suggests a new study.

Researchers from the University of Surrey in London found the high levels exposure of babies in prams to fine and ultrafine particulate matter during the morning drop-in hours of school children compared with the afternoon drop-off hours as worst places for infants to be exposed was at bus stops and traffic lights when they are waiting to cross roads.

The new appeared in the journal Environmental Pollution.

"These findings provide an insight for families who walk to and from nursery/primary schools with young children. Essentially, children could be at risk of breathing in some nasty and harmful chemical species such as iron, aluminium and silica that form together the particles of various size ranges," said lead researcher Dr Prashant Kumar.

They carried out a series of experiments using high specification air monitoring equipment located inside a pram to gauge the kind of pollutants and toxic chemicals toddlers are exposed to when accompanying older siblings during the school drop off/pick up peak times.

Primarily, the work of the research group identified that traffic intersections and bus stops emerged as pollution hotspots, with high levels of both coarse (PM2.5-10) and fine (PM2.5) particles.

The researchers also found that small-sized particles, including ultrafine particles, were higher on an average by about 47 percent (PM1), 31 percent (PM2.5) and 31 percent (PNC) during the morning than afternoon hours, reflecting the influence of traffic emissions during the morning peak hours.

The above findings clearly suggest much higher concentrations of fine and ultrafine particles during the morning peak hours, especially at the traffic intersections and bus stops, substantiating their past research findings.

"One of the simplest ways to combat this is to use a barrier between the in-pram children and the exhaust emissions, especially at pollution hotspots such as traffic intersections, so parents could use pram covers if at all possible," Kumar suggested. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Beat the heat and protect your skin!

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 04:29

New Delhi [India], Mar. 10 : Summer is knocking the door! Before it arrives, let's bring on the stock for our beauty routine to welcome the the long days and even longer evenings.

Dr Alia Rizvi, dermatologist at Me Clinic, New Delhi, brings some tips to protect your skin from tanning.

- Protect your lips: More than winters, our lips dry out very often during the summer. So it is the time when you are going to need SPF enhanced Lip Balm regularly to keep your lips moisturized.

- Wide-brim hat for traveling time: If you are travelling or exploring, then a wide-brim hat is a must for you. This is stylish and effective way to keep the sun rays off from your face and head.

- Wear SPF moisturizer throughout the day time: Apply SPF enhanced moisturizer from face to toe.

- Use compact powder that contains SPF: Keep SPF contained compact in your bag as it is the best way to keep you away from the hassle that mostly get at the time of reapplying SPF moisturizer on your make up.

- Drink lots of water: Body sweats more during these days. To keep up our body hydrated, one needs to drink as much liquid as possible. It's always awesome to keep juice, fresh lime water or water bottle in your bag while you are out.

- Protect your beautiful hands: In summers, our hands get tanned easily without even our awareness. It's good to use hand cream which comprises of SPF and should be reapplied as needed.

- Wear sunglasses when your go outdoors: This is the time of the year when your eyes strive for glares, goggles, shades, reflectors, and aviators. So keep them always with you.

So let's enjoy summers instead of cribbing about the tan! (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Watch out! Obesity linked with chronic kidney disease

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 09:51

New Delhi [India], Mar. 9 : Exercise regularly, eat healthy and keep your weight under control to keep a check on obesity, which is the majorly responsible for kidney disease, says a health expect, while spreading awareness on World Kidney day.

In the last decade, kidney diseases and obesity have become a major health concern with rapid increase in cases along with cancer and cardiac diseases.

According to clinicians, combination of obesity and chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a lethal condition.

"Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a dangerous condition that can lead to kidney failure and the only treatment option is dialysis or kidney transplant. And it will be interesting to know that obesity is the leading cause of FSGS," said Dr Sanjeev Gulati director of Nephrology at Fortis FLt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital in New Delhi.

A growing body of evidence indicates that obesity is also a potent risk factor for the development of CKD and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and overweight or obese people have two to seven more chances of developing ESRD.

Suggestion certain ways to keep the both at bay includes - Exercising regularly, managing blood sugar levels, keeping blood pressure at optimum levels, eating healthy and keeping weight under control, maintaining a healthy fluid intake, drinking enough water, avoiding smoking, avoiding self-medication and over-the-counter pills and annual check-ups necessary for those above 40.

Obesity may lead to CKD both indirectly by increasing Type-2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

"Obesity is the leading cause of CKD directly and indirectly. It is a 50-50 situation. In one condition, obesity directly results in CKD and in the other obesity first increases the metabolic syndrome which results in CKD and in either case we have to treat both of them simultaneously because together they are taking a toll on individuals with dual speed," Dr Gulati explained.

"Like adults, children can also be prone and affected by CKD and as clinicians we see a steady rise in such cases. Over the years I have treated families carrying genes that cause both obesity and CKD and it is scary to know that these can be passed on to the younger generation," Dr Gulati stated. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

'Short' men bald prematurely: Study

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 08:37

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 9 : In first of its kind, a study reveals that men with short height and light skin colour can face increased risk of becoming bald prematurely.

During a study, the University of Bonn researchers investigated the genetic material of more than 20,000 men and the data revealed that premature hair loss is linked to a range of various physical characteristics and illnesses.

The study, appeared in journal Nature Communications, stated that immune and fat cells in the scalp are obviously also involved in hair loss along with the cells of the hair follicle.

"We were thus able to identify 63 alterations in the human genome that increase the risk of premature hair loss," said lead study author Dr. Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach.

"Some of these alterations were also found in connection with other characteristics and illnesses, such as reduced body size, earlier occurrence of puberty and various cancers," Heimbach added.

It has already long been known that men with premature hair loss suffer from heart diseases and prostate cancer somewhat more often.

The new genetic data now confirm suspicions that there are further connections to other characteristics and illnesses.

They analysed genetic data from around 11,000 men with premature baldness and around 12,000 men with no hair loss served as a control from seven different countries.

The genetic findings thus also confirm the link between hair loss and an increased risk of prostate cancer. The link with heart disease is much more complicated.

Genes that reduce the risk were found along with genes that increase the risk.

"We have also found links to light skin color and increased bone density," said Prof. Markus Nothen.

"These could indicate that men with hair loss are better able to use sunlight to synthesize vitamin D. They could also explain why white men in particular lose their hair prematurely," Nothen explained. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

This drug may stimulate immune system to fight blood cancer: Study

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 08:19

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 9 : A team of US researchers have found an experimental drug that may stimulate the immune system - leading to tumor shrinkage - in patients affected by blood cancer.

The research appeared in journal Nature Medicine.

Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that affects plasma cells - white blood cells that normally produce antibodies to fight infection.

Of the study of 25 Multiple Myeloma patients, the research highlights the importance of studying the effects of drug - LCL161 - not only on the tumor cells in a culture plate, but also on the interaction of the tumor cells with their own microenvironment.

"The drug, LCL161, was initially developed to promote tumor death," said lead study author Marta Chesi from Mayo Clinic in the US.

"However, we found that the drug does not kill tumor cells directly. Rather, it makes them more visible to the immune system that recognises them as foreigner invaders and eliminates them," Chesi added.

The finding suggest that LCL161 is active against multiple myeloma suggests that similar drugs may have broader clinical activity than previously thought.

As the cancer cells grow, they secrete large amounts of a single antibody that accumulate in the body, causing kidney problems and infections.

"The model for preclinical studies to predict with great accuracy which drugs would work in the clinic was developed a decade ago," says Dr. Chesi. "And it has been instrumental in the prioritisation of which experimental therapeutics should be tested in patients with multiple myeloma."

The researchers will conduct a follow-up clinical trial of LCL161 in combination with an inhibitor of immune checkpoints that has been widely used in many cancer treatments. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Can e-cigarettes lead to cancer?

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 05:34

Washington D.C. {USA], Mar. 9 : Beware before you rejoice in smoking e-cigarettes, as a study has found significant level of cancer-causing benzene in e-cigarette vapors, when the devices are operated at high power.

Benzene, a component of gasoline, has been linked to a number of diseases, including leukemia and bone marrow failure.

It is found in urban air because of industrial emissions and unburned gasoline in exhaust and fuel tank leakages.

Researchers from Portland State University in the US revealed that with one device operated at high power and when the e-cigarette fluid additive chemicals benzoic acid or benzaldehyde were present, benzene levels were thousands of times higher than in ambient air.

The levels, nevertheless, were still 50 to 100 times lower than in smoke from conventional cigarettes, which deliver considerable benzene.

The finding appeared in the online journal PLOS ONE.

It has been named the largest single cancer-risk ambient air toxin in the United States.

The amount of benzene the PSU scientists measured from e-cigarettes depended greatly on the device. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health


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