Eat walnuts to live longer

                                                                     Want to live longer? 

Eat a handful of walnuts just thrice a week, a recent study published in the journal BMC Medicine suggested. 
Walnuts could cut the risk of cancer-related deaths by 40% and heart-related problems by 55%. 

The study was conducted by scientists at the Rovira I Virgili University, Spain. 

In the study, the researchers compared the benefits and the risk of death among nut eaters including walnuts. The study included about 7, 000 participants aged 55 to 90 years. The participants were divided into two groups. Half of the participants were asked to take walnuts, thrice weekly. The rest of the participants were assigned to take any other edible nuts, thrice weekly. 

The researchers assessed the death risk among the other edible nut eater and walnut eaters. About 45% reduced risk of death was observed in the walnut eaters. However, the same benefit was about 39% in other edible nut eaters. 

Globally, cancer and cardiovascular diseases are the leading killer diseases that claim millions of life disregard of race and financial position.

Eating oily fish could cut breast cancer risk

Eating oily fish could cut breast cancer risk including triple-negative breast cancer, said scientists from Fox Chase Center. Oily fishes including Sardines and Salmon contains abundant levels of Omega-3 fatty acids that can either stop or slow growth of breast cancer cells. However, Omega-3 fatty acids are least effective against luminal cancer cells.                                                                                                                                                  
Several published reports documented the beneficial effects of Omega-3 fatty acids against several cancers. However, the present study confirmed the efficacy of Omega-3 fatty acids present in oily fishes against triple-negative breast cancer cell lines. In-vitro studies confirmed nearly 90% killing of cancer cells by omega-3 fatty acids.
Vegetarian sources such as hemp and flax seeds are also the good source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Cancer cells are characterized by immortality and abnormal rapid proliferative nature. Cancer cells evade programmed cell death (Apoptosis) by tweaking or evading the self-suicidal mechanism of cell cycle process. Several molecular mechanisms of cancer cells are unknown. The cancer targeting nature of Omega-3 fatty acids adversely affect the abnormal proliferation and programmed cell death of the cell.
According to Dr. Thomas Pogash, Scientific Technician at Fox Chase Cancer Center Lab, the present study confirmed the importance of natural foods that keep dreadful diseases such as cancer at bay.
When compared Western diets with Mediterranean diets, oily fish dishes are of immense importance in the latter. The incidences of cancers are uncommon among Mediterranean dieters, said Thomas.
Cancer cells rapidly uptake Omega-3 fatty acids and digested into smaller biomolecules called active metabolites.

The research team tested the efficacy of large Omega-3 fatty acids and its metabolites on human cell lines including basal-type triple negative cancer cells and luminal cancer cells.

Parent Omega-3 fatty acid molecules and its metabolites effectively prevented cancer cell line proliferation in all cancers. However, dramatic effectiveness was observed in triple-negative cancer cell lines.

Metabolites significantly prevented the motility and proliferative of triple-negative basal cancer cell lines by 20-60%.

Unroasted coffee beans can control diabetes and body weight

Chlorogenic acids present in unroasted coffee bean can control diabetes and body weight, according to a report submitted by Dr. Joe Vinson at the American Chemical Society (ACS). Chlorogenic acids are being marketed widely as a nutritional supplement, and it is naturally present in plums, cherries, apples and dried plums.                                                                                        
Type-2 diabetes is a global public healthcare problem and treatments such as oral medications, insulin shots with dietary and lifestyle modifications are the available options for type-2 diabetics. However, problems like insulin resistance and obesity are the foremost problems of type-2 diabetes.

A naturally-occurring compound could help us to control the elevated blood sugar and accelerate weight loss that is helpful for the treatment of type-2 diabetes, Dr. Vinson said. Present and previously published studies confirmed the benefits of green coffee beans and existing epidemiological reports confirmed that coffee consumption can reduce type-2 diabetes risk.

Large population studies confirmed that risk of type-2 diabetes is lowered by 50% in participants who drank 7 cups of coffee, daily. However, no such benefits were observed in participants who drank just 2 cups of coffee. Chlorogenic acids present in coffee could cut the risk in normal, pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals, said Dr. Vinson.

Chlorogenic acids are present in green and unroasted coffee beans. However, the roasting process can degrade chlorogenic acids and only meager amounts are present in coffee prepared with roasted coffee beans.

A previous study conducted by Dr. Vinson reported that people who consumed green coffee lost about 10% of body mass in just 5 months. The benefits of commercial green coffee extract in reduction of blood glucose levels have been tested. Nearly 56 normal participants were asked to consume green coffee extract, and glucose tolerance test (GTT) was assessed. The participants received 100, 200, 300 or 400 mg of commercial green coffee extract. The GTT levels were significantly controlled by green coffee extracts.

According to Dr. Vinson, a significant dose-response effect has been observed in the study, and gastrointestinal side effects such as duodenal ulcers have been reported. All the tested doses of green coffee extract demonstrated a significant reduction in blood glucose levels and the GTT challenge have been reverted to normal with, normal peak, values, he said.

Maximum blood glucose levels were observed at 30 minutes. However, the range in participants who consumed 400 mg green coffee extract was 24% lower than the original. The blood sugar levels at 120 minutes were 31% lower than the control group, he added. 

Frequent Sauna Visits Can Lower Sperm Counts

An Italian study warned that frequent Sauna visits can lower sperm counts in men. However, the effect is reported to be temporary. The study researchers believe high temperature in Sauna could affect the sperm production that results in decreased sperm counts. The study results have been published in the journal Human Reproduction.
A team of scientists from University of Padova, Italy, assessed ten Finnish men with normal sperm counts. All the participants aged between 30 to 40 years. The participants were asked to visit Sauna for at least 15 minutes, twice weekly, over three months. After the study period, they were asked to stop visiting the Sauna.
When compared to initial sperm counts, decreased levels of sperm counts were found during Sauna visits. The decreased sperm counts remained over months after the participants stopped Sauna sessions. However, the counts become normalized after six months.
It is now proved that exposure of scrotal areas to high temperatures can affect sperm production, according to Dr. Andrew Kramer, Urologist, University of Maryland Medical Center. The anatomical, hanging position of testicles is to escape from the body weight, he added.
Genetic disorders with undescended testicles lead to impaired sperm production and sterility in men, Dr. Kramer said.

However, the sperm count is not always corresponds to men’s fertility. The present study did not assess the participants’ fertility. It is not possible to say whether Sauna affects the men’s fertility, he added.

The researchers assessed the DNA damage and impaired mitochondrial functions in sperms of Sauna visitors. These findings shed some light about the possible mechanisms of impaired sperm production.

Dr. Kramer said additional studies involving a large number of participants are needed to ascertain such results. Further studies are to be conducted on effects of Sauna visits on impaired fertility men and boys who did not attain puberty.

Eat Lunch after 3 PM to Lose Weight!

Weight-loss is not so painful. Just eating lunch after 3 pm can help us to lose up to 25% weight, a Spanish study reported. Apart from what-to-eat, when-to-eat also matters for people who are in weight-loss diets.
Modern lifestyle and food habits break the body clock and timely food intake. This alters the metabolic process and increases body fat cycle with food cravings.
Moderate calorie intake with adequate time intervals can be helpful to resist sugary treats and soothe hunger pangs. Healthy, fibre-rich fruits and vegetables can increase satiety and reduce hunger.
The present study conducted by Salk Institute researchers followed 420 people who were in a weight-active program. Around half of the participants ate food in 8 hours gap, a day, thrice a day. All the participants took lunch after 3 PM. The Spanish people are well-known for a late lunch, after 3 PM.
When compared to frequent eaters, participants who ate in 8 hours gap with lunch after 3 PM lost their flab by 25% after the study period. However, late lunch was not useful among frequent eaters.
According to scientists, the fat cycle has been interrupted in late lunch eaters that can burn the stored fat, naturally. However, they warned against skipping breakfast or lunch and even grand slam lunch.
The study results have been published in the International Journal of Obesity.

Energy drinks could cause irregular heartbeats

A recent research study warned the energy-drinkers about the potential risks of energy drinks. The study warns that the energy drinks could cause irregular heart beat and increases blood pressure.
The effect of seven popular energy drinks on heart health has been studied by Prof. Sachin Shah from University of the Pacific, California, USA.

Upon analyzing the ECG studies of the participants, a segment of heart rhythm, Q-T prolongation was observed by 10 milliseconds in participants who drank one to three cans of energy drinks.

QT prolongation is considered as an irregular heart beat often linked with fatal heart disorders.

With QT prolongation, an elevated systolic blood pressure of about 3.5 mmHg has been observed in the participants who consumed one to three cans of energy drink, each day.

The researchers warned against consumption of energy drink by elderly people and heart patients.

The study results were presented at American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention conference and not yet published in medical journals.

Soybean proteins can beat cancers

A neutraceutical study conducted by University of Arkansas reported that soybean proteins can beat cancers including lung, liver and colon cancers.             
The study has been published in Food Research International.
Depends on the variety, the nutritional components of the soybean increase up to 40% and soybean meal is rich in oleic acid and monosaturated omega-9 fatty acids.
The researchers studied the effects of a variety of soybeans that are rich in oleic acid on various human cancer cell lines. The nutritional components of soybeans, particularly the proteins inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells by 73%. The proteins also killed the liver cancer and lung cancer cells by 70% and 68%, respectively.
The soybean with highest levels of oleic acid is proved to be effective against three types of common, dreadful cancers.
Human cancer cell lines are cultured in laboratory conditions, and the cells mimic the nature of human cells. The cultured cell lines are useful for drug testing as the drug’s activity on the cultured cells and human system are alike.

Mediterranean diet may be better but not the best

Mediterranean diet is being the hot topic in nutrition that attracts media attention in the recent years. We’re often confused about the diet that should be followed for a healthy life. Mediterranean diet may be better but not the best, says researchers and nutrition experts. They said all diets need extensive research studies, and recent research study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2013) on Mediterranean diets was seriously flawed.
For a good study design, to assess the health benefits of Mediterranean diet, it should be compared with a proven, low-fat diet with heart-protective foods, rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

In a recently published study, Mediterranean diet was compared with ‘low-fat’ diet. However, in real, it was not a ‘low-fat’ diet. The trial participants who consumed so-called ‘low-fat’ diet were on 39% fat diet, prior to the study, and they reduced to just 37% while participating the study.  

Several nutritionists questioned the study-design of the research. Actually, it was not a real low-fat diet but very high-fat food, the experts concerned. Some of the so-called ‘low-fat’ foods used to compare with Mediterranean diets were sugary sodas, red meat, baked foods with refined flour and fats with low-fat cheeses.

The study particularly excluded the foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as Pacific cods.

In essence, the study didn’t compare Mediterranean diet with really nutritious low-fat diets. In fact, the study compared Mediterranean diet with a typical American diet but not a real ‘low-fat’ diet.

So, based on the study results, Mediterranean diet can be better than American diet in terms of health and heart benefits.

New weight-loss diet plan draws criticism

A recent, smash hit weight-loss diet plan outlined by UK-based physician recommends women who opt for weight loss to consume just 500 calories of diet, a day for two days, a week. However, the plan allows women to eat anything they want on the rest of the days. 
Dr. Michael Mosley, a UK-based doctor authored the new diet plan in The Fast Diet. 

Unlike the ordinary diet plan, it’s nothing related to fasting but a break-up in the routine food intake, said Dr. Dr. Michael. So, no need to think about the diet all the time. With the minor change in diet plan, you can lead normal, routine day-to-day life, he said.

He followed the plan and lost nearly 20 lbs in just three months.  

The plan attracts several criticisms from diet experts and nutritionists, all over the world. They argued that consuming one-fourth of recommended daily allowance calories could result in serious nutritional deficiencies

According to Dr. David Katz, Director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University, intake of just 500 calories a day is seriously dangerous that can impair the metabolic rate. It can cause severe hypoglycemia with symptoms of distraction, restlessness and headache, he said. 

Such plans could be useless, and potentially hazardous due to nutritional deficiencies with an increase in food cravings, said Dr. Karen Ansel, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Skimmed milk consumption linked with obesity in toddlers

In toddlers, drinking semi-skimmed or skimmed milk was not found to be helpful against excess weight gain, according to a study published in Archives of Diseases in Childhood by Dr. Mark DeBoer and his team from University of Virginia.
The team conducted a sum-up study of 10, 700 newborn’s data. The children were born in 2001, and a long term health study was conducted on those children.

The toddlers’ caregivers or parents were inquired about the child’s milk consumption when the children were two years old. The weight of the infants was recorded. After two years, the follow-up study asked the same details. The weight details of the toddlers’ were recorded.

In the first two years data, 30.1% of the children were obese that increased to 32.2% by the age of four. All the obese children were on skimmed or semi-skimmed milk.

Around 14% and 16% of the obese children (2 and 4 year old, respectively) consumed either fat-free or low-fat milk.  However, in normal weight, 9 and 13% of children (2 and 4 year old, respectively) consumed either fat-free or low-fat milk. The children who drank full-fat or reduced-fat milk weighed less than children who drank semi or skimmed milk. 

According to researchers, high milk fat can increase the sense of fullness or satiety and reduce craving for or intake of calorie-rich foods.

Prolonged stress leads to Alzheimer’s disease

Prolonged stress could impair the brain normal activity that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease, according to Swedish scientists.
In a pre-clinical study, a team of scientists led by Dr. Sara Bengtsson from Umea University, Sweden observed that prolonged stress affects the brain steroid levels. Elevated levels of steroids (allopregnanolone) increase the deposition of beta amyloid plaques in the brain and progressively devastate brain function.

In the study, increased levels of brain steroids impair learning and memory processes with progressive deposition of toxic amyloid plaques and causes Alzheimer’s disease.

Brain functions and transmissions with other nerve cells are greatly affected by amyloid deposition. This results in abnormal mood swings, memory and cognitive loss with communication problems.

In the study, when compared to animals without stress, symptoms of confusion and memory loss were observed in animals kept under prolonged stress.

According to recent reports, process of plaque deposition starts at least ten years before the onset of clinical symptoms.

In the study, similar results were seen in experimental animals. Prevention of plaque deposition is the key preventive step against Alzheimer’s disease.

Few studies reported an underlying link between declining cognition and chronic stress. However, the studies suggested further studies to confirm prolonged stress as a possible risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

Olive oil can control overeating

The heart-health benefits of olive oil are well-known. An Austrian research study reported that natural fats in olive oil regulate the sensation of “full” after eating. So, olive oil can prevent overeating and restrict daily calorie intake.
A collaborative study led by Prof. Veronika Somoza and Prof. Peter Schieberle from University of Vienna and Technische Universitat Munchen studied the effects of four different edible oils, olive oil, butterfat, lard and rape seed on control of overeating.

The investigators asked the study participants to take 500g of low-fat yogurt with any one of the four edible oils, along with normal daily diet, over a period of three months.

After three months, no increase in body weight or body fat percentile was observed in the olive oil received group. When compared to other groups, the participants in olive oil group reported greater level of satiety.

Higher levels of blood serotoninlevels were found in the olive oil treated group, said Prof. Peter. Serotonin is responsible for satiety control, and higher levels of satiety were observed in olive oil received participants. All participants reported satiety after consumption of olive oil-enriched yogurt, he said.

What surprised the researchers is the fatty acids present in rapeseed oil and olive oil are the same.

The team believed the aromatic compounds of olive oil could be the satiety inducer. The team conducted another study with olive oil aroma extracts. One group of participants received yogurt with olive oil aroma extracts while the control group received yogurt without additives.

The calorie intake in the olive oil group was same as like the previous study. Increased daily intake of about 176 kilocalories was observed in the control group.

The aromatic factors could be satiety inducer in olive oil received group, said one of the researchers. However, several factors including blood sugar levels influence the maintenance of satiety, he added.

Other studies reported Hexanol and E2-Hexanol present in olive oil can reduce the liver absorption of glucose from the blood. Absorption of blood glucose into the liver results in hunger. So, olive oil can be good regulator of satiety and hunger.

Till date, no medicines are effective in maintenance of satiety.

Breast cancer deaths linked with daily intake of high fat dairy products

The risk of death in breast cancer survivors are increased by daily consumption of high fat dairy products, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
However, no clinically significant risk is associated with intake of low fat milk products.

A clinical trial involving 1893 breast cancer survivors were surveyed, and their routine food habits and diets were questioned. The questionnaire asked the information about intake of high and low milk products. The participants were followed-up over twelve years.

At the end of the study, the researchers found 49% increased risk of breast cancer related deaths in patients who consumed one or more servings of whole milk, ice creams and butter or cheese products. In the same population, intake of high fat milk products increase death by 64% due to other complications including heart diseases. However, no such risks were observed in low fat milk products consumers.

According to researchers, the elevated levels of estrogen in high fat dairy products trigger the spread of breast cancer cells that worsens the disease. Alternatively, the breast cancer survivors can take low fat milk products to avoid dietary estrogen exposure.

Transgenic goat milk treats diarrhoea in children

A research study published in PLOS One reported that milk obtained from transgenic (genetically-modified) goat can treat diarrhea in children.
Globally, diarrhea is one of the leading killer diseases among children that claim lives of about 1.8 million children.

With the advancements in genetic engineering and biotechnology, researchers modified a goat’s gene to secrete lysozyme-rich milk. Lysozyme is an anti-bacterial biochemical that is present in human’s secretions including tears, saliva, sweat and breast milk. Lysozyme plays a vital role in neutralization of bacterial infections in the stomach and prevents diarrheal diseases.

The novel research has been conducted by Dr. James Murray and his associates from the University of California. The team modified a goat’s gene by insertion of lysozyme-secreting gene with the milk-secreting gene. Then the milk was fed to pigs in which diarrhoeal diseases were experimentally induced.

To check the efficacy, the results were compared with the pigs fed with normal goat’s milk.

When compared to normal milk fed animals, transgenic milk fed animals recovered rapidly from diarrhoeal diseases.

The team suggested for further research in the core area to exploit other potential benefits in livestock and to prevent other infectious diseases all over the world.

Bitter gourd juice kills pancreatic cancer

Maybe bitter gourd juice is bitter but not this news! Researchers say bitter gourd juice kills pancreatic cancer cells. Bitter gourd is being used in Indian and Chinese –folk medicine to treat type-2 diabetes. But, the pancreatic cancer killing property of bitter gourd is new to everyone.
A team of scientists reported that bitter gourd juice controlled the utilization of glucose by pancreatic cancer cells. The uncontrolled and over-utilization of glucose by cancer cells help them to thrive without death. Such metabolic controlling property of bitter gourd kills the pancreatic cancer cells. However, the beneficial effect was confirmed in a small number of participants.  

Pre-clinical studies confirmed the cancer-killing property of bitter gourd extract against breast cancer cells, said Dr. Rajesh Agarwal, Professor, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Head of Cancer Prevention Control, CU Cancer Center. The extract interrupts the glucose uptake of cells and thereby kill pancreatic cancer cells, he said.

The glucose uptake inhibiting property of bitter gourd extract has been exploited to kill pancreatic cancer cells. The decreased activity of cancer cells have been confirmed by enzyme assays which are encouraging, he added.

The bitter gourd juice regulates the insulin secretion by pancreas, and pre-treated experimental animals were less likely to develop diabetes by 60%.

The research can help scientists to unearth a new therapeutic target to destroy cancer cells in a very natural way, of course, without side effects.

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Tree tea oil does not cause antibiotic resistance: Study

Contradicting the results of previous research studies, a recent study reported that low concentration of tree tea oil does not cause antibiotic resistance. The study results have been published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.
Antibiotic resistance is a major public healthcare problem that causes as a result of inappropriate, low doses or indiscriminate use of antibiotics. Antibiotics prescribed by physicians should be taken in proper doses and duration to avoid antibiotic resistance. Some bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus develop a special protein (gene) against antibiotics, escape from treatment drugs, and infect the body. Antibiotic resistance leads to poor or almost no response to antibiotic therapy.

The so-called “superbug” or Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the common example of antibiotic resistance that kills more than half million, global population every year. Nearly, 2 million people in the world carry some form of MRSA and continue to infect others.

Tree tea oil is well known for antiseptic properties. The commonly used cosmetics and personal care products contain low levels (2%) of tea tree oil. As we know, exposure of bacteria to low doses of anti-bacterial products can cause antibiotic resistance. However, low concentration of tea tree oil does not cause such resistance.

A team of scientists from University of Western Australia tested the efficacy of tea tree oil in 30 different strains of skin infection causing Staphylococcus.

The team tested the efficacy of tea tree in two different concentrations 0.25% and 0.0075% against the bacteria. The former concentration killed the bacterial colony without antibiotic resistance. Tree tea oil in 0.0075% concentration did not kill the organisms. However, no antibiotic resistance were found in such organisms, and susceptibility to other antibiotics remains unchanged.

The study results are encouraging, and low concentration of tea tree oil in personal care and cosmetic products do not cause risk of antibiotic resistance, the authors wrote in the publication.

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Broccoli Consumption Reduce Premenstrual Tension

A published study in the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that broccoli consumption reduce premenstrual tension (PMT). The presence of abundant levels of non-heme iron in broccoli prevents the incidence of premenstrual syndrome. 
Several research studies found an association between incidence of premenstrual syndrome and lower blood levels of iron. Scientists believe that non-heme iron consumption increases the biosynthesis of serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates the mood in humans.
A long-term clinical study with 3, 000 nurses as study participants have been conducted, and the participants were monitored over a period of ten years. In the initial stages of the study, all the participants complained symptoms of premenstrual tension, and they were given 20mg of non-heme iron by consumption of broccoli.
According to researchers, broccoli contains 1mg of non-iron heme per 100g and 6.3mg of non-iron heme per 100g in dried apricots while roasted sesame seeds contain 14.8mg of non-heme iron per 100g.
At the end of the study period, around two-third of the participants was free from symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. However, one-third of them were diagnosed with the persistence of the symptoms.   
The scientists said that the participants who consumed non-iron heme more than 20mg per day were less likely to suffer by 30-40%. However, an increased incidence of premenstrual tension is associated with low intake of non-iron heme.
The study results were confirmed by the studies conducted by Harvard medical school and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The studies found concrete evidence between decreased symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and high consumption of non-iron heme.

Papaya can beat heart diseases and diabetes

The natural health benefits of papaya can beat heart diseases and diabetes, scientists say.
Apart from these benefits, several other health promoting effects of papaya were discovered by two Pakistani scientists, Mariam Naseem and Muhammed Kamran, graduate students, Department of Agriculture and Agribusiness.

Papaya seeds contain high levels of flavonoids and phenolics that can protect kidney failure and infectious kidney diseases, one of the researchers said. Not only kidney infections, papaya seeds can prevent infections all over the body including intestinal parasites.

Mariam cited a published Nigerian study that reported about 76% of children who consumed papaya seed extract were free from intestinal parasites within seven days of papaya seed extract treatment.

Several Japanese people believe one teaspoon of papaya seeds can prevent liver diseases and disorders, she said. Traditionally, papaya seeds are consumed used with cow’s milk to treat hemorrhoids and typhoid fevers.

An anti-cancer compound called Lycopene present in papaya seeds can prevent the formation and spread of several types of cancers. One can prevent the incidence of cancer by taking papaya fruit, daily, she added.

Papaya contains abundant levels of potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, thiamine and papain – an enzyme that promotes relief from indigestion and stomach disorders including constipation and nausea. Papaya can control blood glucose levels and hence useful for diabetic people, Kamran said.

The high fiber content of papaya can reduce obesity, heart attack and hypertension. Papaya is good blood purifier if taken in the normal amount. Presence of Vitamin-A improves eyesight and fertility in both sexes, he added.

Deep vein thrombosis is a major problem in individuals with a sedentary lifestyle and papaya can bust the blood clots and prevents such problem. Magnesium in papaya helps wound healing and prevent face acne.

The antioxidants present in papaya prevent the incidence of emphysema in heavy smokers, he concluded.

Genetic code puzzle of Alzheimer’s disease identified

A genetic risk factor that contributes to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease has been discovered by researchers from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The team screened the patient’s DNA (genetic materials) for the presence of abnormal genes. Then the patient’s brain neural networks were scanned by using an advanced scan technology to detect brain impairment.   

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the debilitating psychiatric problems in elderly people. Gradual erosion of brain’s neural network results in impaired thinking, emotions and memory loss – the cardinal symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. As of now, there is no therapeutic cure for Alzheimer’s disease that left 20 million patients, worldwide.
Every person in the world is prone to risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and two-fold risk in elderly people over 65 years old.
Changes in the genetic code that leads to Alzheimer’s disease have been identified, said Dr. Paul Thomas, Professor of Neurology, UCLA. Presence of such genetic codes can predispose the disease and gets worsen upon aging-related problems such as dementia, he added.  
According to the scientists, a common, genetic abnormality leads to Alzheimer’s disease and around nine culprit genes were identified, so far. An easy to prevent the onset of the disease is switching off the causative genes by advanced biotechnological methods such as gene silencing and gene knock-off.

Such techniques are being used in biotechnology and basic medical sciences. So it is not difficult to implement the technology in fend-off the elderly disease.

Weight loss can prevent and treat symptoms of osteoarthritis

According to an article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (JAAOS), weight loss can prevent and treat symptoms of osteoarthritis, a painful, progressive and debilitating bone and joint disease. 
Obesity is the causative factor that set off several inflammatory and biomechanical changes. The disease causing mechanisms lead to pain, restricted, or loss of mobility and osteoarthritis, the authors wrote in the publication. 

A clear association between osteoarthritis and obesity has been unearthed, and links are based on systemic and biomechanical factors, said Dr. Ryan Koonce, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Skagit Regional Clinics, Mt. Vermon, USA. Of the two factors, systemic factor was found to be significant. 

The researchers tabled some of the key research findings:  

·        Obesity and progressive increase in body weight directly affects the knee joints due to wear and tears. 

·       Obesity is an independent risk factor for pain in soft tissues such as tendons that bears the whole body weight.

·     Obesity is a key risk factor for metabolic syndromes, inflammatory diseases, hypertension and insulin-resistance induced diabetes mellitus. 

·    White Adipose Tissue (WAT) is a powerful triggering factor of inflammatory reaction in the body. In obese individuals, the amount of WAT is very high than the thin-built individuals.

·     Planned weight loss can prevent and treat pain in osteoarthritis patients and thereby improve mobility and quality of life.

The healthcare providers should be aware of the different causes and treatment procedures of obesity-induced osteoarthritis, said Dr. Jonathan Bravman, Assistant Professor of Orthopedics, University of Colorado. The option of weight loss is being underutilized as a key treatment option for osteoarthritis and joint pain, he added.

In United States, nearly 50% of osteoarthritis cases could be prevented if obesity is treated by weight loss programmes, the authors concluded.

Vaginal Petroleum Jelly Increases The Risk Of Bacterial Vaginosis

Use of over-the-counter vaginal petroleum jelly increases the risk of bacterial vaginosis in women, a small study reported. Bacterial infections of the vagina are common in women, and several causes including douching are reported. However, few studies have reported the links of vaginal products and bacterial vaginosis. 
Imbalance between the levels of good (normal microflora) and bad bacteria (pathogen) present in vaginal results, in bacterial vaginosis. The infection can be characterized by burning or itching sensation with vaginal charge. However, most women do not experience such symptoms and remain asymptomatic and disease-free. 

No matter, it is symptomatic or asymptomatic. Bacterial vaginosis is a significant risk factor of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and HPV. Bacterial vaginosis is the chief causative of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) that leads to infertility among women. 

A study led by Dr. Joelle Brown and her team from University of California studied around 141 women who were used vaginal, OTC petroleum jelly products including baby oil, lubricants and gel-based contraceptives. Among them, nearly half of the participants reported douching. The participants were allowed to use vaginal petroleum jelly over a period of one month. 

The study found a two-fold risk of bacterial vaginosis in vaginal petroleum jelly users. However, statistically insignificant levels of risk were observed in the non-users. The study proved that the vaginal product directly increased risk of such infection in women. 

The alkaline properties of petroleum jelly can make the bad bacteria thrive well, said Dr. Sten Vermund who directs Institute for Global Health, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Tennessee and an independent reviewer of the study. Acidic vaginal environment can keep these infections at bay, he said. 

Apart from petroleum jelly, douching is reported to be a disruptor of natural vaginal environment. The good bacteria present naturally in vagina produces many chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and protects from infection. In normal conditions, there is no need for any special chemicals or intra-vaginal medicinal products to prevent such infections. Unfortunately, several women are using douches regularly which may irritate the vaginal environment. 

The present study diagnosed about one-fourth of the participants were HIV positive. About 21% of participants were diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis without co-infections, and 6% of participants had a yeast infection. Several contributing factors such as douching, sexual practice, race and age were also considered. 

The researcher reported that no study participants used petroleum jelly products for treatment of symptoms. Contrary to the previous research findings, douching was not associated with incidence and/or risk of bacterial vaginosis, the researchers said.

Dr. Brown said there was no link between risk of bacterial vaginosis and use of sexual lubricants. The present finding validated the results of similar, previous studies.

The researcher stressed for further studies involving a large number of participants and various intra-vaginal products with different chemicals and concentrations. 

Before using such products, you should consult the healthcare providers about the safety of such products before using, said Dr. Brown.

The study results have been published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Red wine pill can combat dreadful disease

Red wine can be helpful against cancer and other killer diseases. Nothing latest?! From glasses to pills, the scientists developed a wonder pill with health promoting powers of red wine. The red wine pill can combat dreadful diseases such as cancer and increase longevity.
This could be the latest news for us.

The health effects of red wine pills were reported by scientists in Science, an esteemed academic journal.

According to scientists, resveratrol present in red wine directly promotes health and increase longevity in the study. The observation was validated by phases of clinical trials, and the underlying molecular mechanisms were uncovered. The study results were compared with other potent drugs that are against aging and aging-related diseases.

Sirutin (SIRT1), a group of genes are associated with anti-aging and against diseases of aging. SIRT1 is present in mitochondria, a powerhouse of the cell. Mitochondrial damage as a result of aging and environmental factors leads to many degenerative disorders and dreadful diseases such as cancer and heart diseases.

Several research findings pointed that resveratrol present in red wine, grapefruits, berries and peanuts increase the activity of SIRT1 and prevent mitochondrial damage as well as from aging and aging-related disease.

The study results found concrete evidences of anti-aging and anti-obese effects of resveratrol in experimental animals treated with red wine pills. When compared with animals treated with other drugs, enhanced life span was observed in resveratrol pill treated animals.

As of now, no pharmaceutical medicines are available that activates SIRT1, said Dr. David Sinclair, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School. Resveratrol works in a novel way and acts faster on SIRT1 than anything else, he said.

Almost all the available medicines either block or reduce SIRT1 activity, he added.

Too much processed meat can cause cancer and premature heart diseases

A research study published in the journal BMC Medicine reported the strong association between consumption of processed meat and incidences of premature deaths. According to the study, consumption of too much of processed meat can cause cancer and premature heart diseases.
Several documented studies linked incidences of type-2 diabetes, heart diseases with consumption of bacon, sausages, hot dogs and deli-meats.

Nearly half million people from ten European countries were involved to analyze the risks of processed meat and white meat including cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes, pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer. Other causatives such as familial inheritance and lifestyle choice were also considered as study variables.

In the present study, researchers found an association between less consumption of fruits and increased smoking habits in males. In the same population, men who consumed more meat were more likely to consume alcohol.

The risks of premature death were increased in the study participants by such factors even after correcting several confounding research variables. A statistically significant rate of premature death incidences were observed in the group who were on high diet of processed meat.

Despite these negatives, researchers said consumption of less amount of red meat can be beneficial to health due to the presence of micronutrients and vitamins in significant levels.

According to the study guide, Dr. Sabine Rohrmann, University of Zurich, a direct and strong correlation between increased consumption of processed meat consumption and premature deaths due to heart diseases and cancer. If people reduce the intake of processed meat to under 20 gm/day, incidences of nearly 3% of premature deaths can be prevented, Dr. Sabine added.
Instead of taking processed meat as a main piece of a meal, you can take it as a small side dish with plenty of green vegetables as salads.

The study authors said the implications of the study are moderate with a positive correlation between the causative factor and the diseases.

The study implications were validated by a previous research study conducted experts from National Cancer Institute, Maryland. When compared to non-meat eaters, red and processed meat consumers are more prone to premature deaths by cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to the study published in Archives of Internal Medicines, March 2009. However, no or reduced risks were found in non-meat eaters and white meat eaters.

Walking can effectively treat lower back pain

No need to treat lower back pain with pain medications and physiotherapy techniques. Just walk to keep lower back pain at bay. An Israeli research study reported walking can effectively treat lower back pain.
The study results have been published in Clinical Rehabilitation, a physiotherapy journal.

A collaborative study conducted by Dr. Michal Katz-Leurer, Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University with Ilana Shnayderman, a physiotherapist and graduate student at Department of Physical Therapy, Tel Aviv University. The researchers said walking for at least 20 to 40 minutes a week can be easy for anyone, and it can treat the lower back pain.

Previous research studies showed that active walking can help the abdominal and back muscles to work concomitantly. The results are equal to workouts specific for the abdomen and back muscles. When compared to gym workouts, walking is pretty simple and no need to specific gym instruments and supervision.

The study included 52 participants with lower back pain and the participants were assessed by informed questionnaire. They were assessed for walking and muscle stamina, pain levels, psychological consequences of lower back pain such as feeling as disability, avoiding day-to-day activities due to pain etc.

The participants were randomly selected, and they underwent either muscle strengthening program or aerobic walking. The walking group completed six week program with 2 - 3 times walking, every week, for 20 minutes, which was gradually, increased to 40 minutes. Rest of the participants were asked to complete a clinic-based muscle strengthening program with 2 – 3 sessions, every week, for 6 weeks.

The walking and muscle endurance was significantly improved in both groups and the effect of walking was similar to treatment received in clinic-based setup, said the Dr. Michal.

The walking program improved the quality of life and helped them to lead healthier lifestyle. When compared to initial stages, the participants of the walking group were able to walk more than 0.05 miles further within six minutes, Dr. Michal added.

Moderately active people are less likely to suffer with lower back pain. Walking can reduce mental stress and blood pressure and augment the immune system and brain functioning, the researcher wrote in the publication.  

Sleeplessness increase risk of heart failure

A recent Norwegian study reported that sleeplessness increase risk of heart failure. However, the study does not found any causative links of sleeplessness with heart failure but just increasing the risk of incidence. Insomnia aka sleeplessness is a major health problem that can be caused by a variety of physical and mental problems.
The research results have been published in the European Heart Journal.

Insomnia is mainly diagnosed with three main symptoms. If a person experience: Trouble falling asleep, unable to stay asleep and waking up in the morning without feeling refreshed.

A sleep study was conducted by a team of researchers including Dr. Lars Laugsand, Researcher, Department of Public Health, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. According to Dr. Lars, the team found a concrete evidence and association between three major symptoms of insomnia and incidences of heart failure. The symptoms increase the risk of heart failure but do not cause heart failure, the researcher said.

Around 54, 279 people, aged between 20 – 18 years who were suffered from symptoms of insomnia, and were monitored over a period of eleven years. All the participants were free from heart disease at the time of enrollment. The participants need to answer a questionnaire, and they need to answer about the difficulty in falling, staying asleep, and how they woke up in the morning.

Other factors including nature of work, work shifts, blood pressure, sex, marital status, physical activity, food, anxiety, depression, alcohol and smoking habits were also considered.

At the end of the study, the researchers found more than three-fold (353%) increase in risk of heart failure in patients with all three symptoms. Around 1412 cases were diagnosed with heart failure and were suffered from all three symptoms of insomnia. However, no such risks were associated in patients with one or two symptoms of insomnia.

The risk of heart failure is more in patients who experience difficulties in falling asleep or staying asleep daily. The other factor that increases the risk is at least once a week incidence of morning wake ups without refreshment.

Upon considering other risk factors such as anxiety and depression, the risk of heart failure was found to be four folds (425%) in patients with all three symptoms of insomnia.

So, stay cool, sleep well. If not, consult your healthcare provider right away.