Rice powder treats cholera effectively

Over years, cholera is being treated by oral rehydration that contains mixture of water with glucose and salts. Actually, glucose might increase the duration and toxicity of bacterial infection, a recent study suggests. 

Researchers found that substitution of rice powder, instead of glucose can dramatically reduce the bacterial toxicity by over 75%.

Like humans, cholera-causing bacteria consumes and thrives well by utilizing glucose and cause serious diarrhea or dysentery, said Dr. Melanie Blokesch, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

In laboratory conditions, cholera bacterium was grown in different culture-mediums such as potato, rice powder and different sugars. Bacteria thrived well in glucose and other sugars but not in starch medium of rice powder. The expression of toxicity-causing bacterial gene was found to be decreased in rice powder medium grown organisms.

The study is not against oral rehydration therapy, which is very effective. However, the regimen should be improved based on study findings, especially in outbreak reported geographical locations, the researchers noted.

The study was published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Cancer fighting pill from broccoli

A team of researchers have developed a cancer fighting pill from broccoli. The pill might reduce the risk of developing cancer, delay the progression or stop spreading of cancer to distant organs.                                                                       
Sulforaphane is a plant chemical that effectively fights cancer in humans. Sulforaphane is abundantly present in broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. Scientists have isolated sulforaphane to develop anti-cancer pill using commercial technologies.

Research studies have proved that sulforaphane possess anti-cancer and neuroprotective properties. However, the plant compound is highly unstable in nature. By using advanced industrial technologies such as sulforadex technology, the compound’s potential was stabilized and can be delivered as pills, said Dr. 
Stephen Franklin, Chief executive, Evgen pharmaceuticals.

Further studies are to be conducted in breast cancer patients, prostate cancer patients and brain hemorrhage patients.

Vitamin D deficiency leads to mental depression?

Vitamin D deficiency may also lead to seasonal mental depression or seasonal affective disorder in humans, a review study suggests. Apart from other causative factors, vitamin D influences the development of seasonal depression in humans.                                                                

Depending on the geographical location, seasonal affective disorder occurs during fall and continues through the winter seasons, every year.

The circulatory levels of vitamin D varies from one person to another depending skin color. Low circulatory levels of vitamin D were observed in dark-skinned patients who were also diagnosed with depressive disorders. Individuals with greater skin pigmentation may suffer vitamin D deficiency in addition with increased risk of developing depressive disorders. The study concluded that depressive disorder patients had low blood levels of vitamin D.

Adequate vitamin D levels are vital to maintain healthy bones and to prevent rickets in children and osteomalacia in children.

Decreased physical activity linked with poor academic performance in kids

Decreased physical activity during childhood is linked with poor academic performance in kids, a study published in Monographs suggests.                                                             

Now-a-days, schools are reducing physical activities due to growing emphasis on academics and student performance. Actually, decreased physical activity significantly affects the mental ability and academic performance in children.

When compared to inactive peers, physically active children outperform in academics and achievements. Larger brain volumes, specifically, hippocampus and basal ganglia was observed in physically active kids. These brain regions are associated with cognition, action, behavior, decision-making and memory. Increased concentration with enhanced attention was evident in physically active children than less active kids.

Physical activity could be a viable alternative intervention for children with autism spectrum and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders. Based on the findings of the present study, school administrators should consider and promote physical activity in the school setting to improve kids’ academic performance.

Beetroot juice treats high blood pressure

Due to presence of dietary nitrate, daily consumption of beetroot juice significantly reduced high blood pressure in hypertension patients, an early phase clinical trial suggested. The results were published in Hypertension.                                                             

The phase-II clinical trial included 64 high blood pressure patients who were given 250 mL of beetroot juice daily. The juice corresponds to 6.4 mmol of nitrate dosage, every date. The results were compared with nitrate-free (depleted) beetroot juice consumed patients.

Reduction in blood vessel stiffness (arteriosclerosis), systolic and diastolic blood pressure with improvements in vascular wall (blood vessel wall) functions was observed in beetroot juice consumed patients. However, no benefits were observed in nitrate-free beetroot juice consumed patients.

Beetroot juice is an affordable, adjunctive, non-expensive treatment for elevated blood pressure.
Consumption of inorganic nitrate from dietary sources could increase blood nitrite levels by a series of chemical reactions. Nitrite is a powerful blood vessel dilator in humans that alleviates blood vessel constriction and high blood pressure.

Take vitamin D supplements reduce lung disease flare-ups

Taking vitamin D supplements can reduce lung disease flare-ups in vitamin D deficient patients, according to a recent study published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine. Progressive flare-ups are not uncommon in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients that lead to hospitalization risk.                                                                
The present study investigated the beneficial role of vitamin D supplementation in reduction of severity and duration of COPD symptoms including cough, tightness of chest and shortness of breath.

The clinical trial included 240 COPD patients who were assigned to receive either vitamin D supplements or a placebo (dummy pill). Significant reduction in flare-ups was observed in vitamin D deficient patients than normal vitamin D level patients. The study concluded that vitamin D modestly reduced the severity and duration of flare-up in all patients who received vitamin D supplementation.

Vitamin D supplementation is a relatively inexpensive treatment to reduce the risk of flare-ups among vitamin D deficient individuals. COPD patients should test their blood vitamin D levels often and take supplementation, if they’re deficient, said Dr. Adrian Martineau, one of the study researchers.

Vegetable oils combat stomach ulcers and cancer?

Linolenic acid, a chemical present in vegetable oils can combat stomach ulcers and cancer by destroying the causative bacteria, a recent study suggests. The experimental study could lead to novel treatment for these diseases. The study results were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.                                                               

The aim of the study is to counter antibiotic resistance capability of the causative bacteria Helicobacter pylori. The team has developed a nanotherapeutic called LipoLLA that can withstand highly acidic environment of the stomach and kills the bacteria without causing antibiotic resistance, said Dr. Liangfang Zhang, Professor at the University of California.

LipoLLA contains linolenic acid, a chief component of vegetable oil. In experimental studies, LipoLLA was proved to be safe and effective than conventional antibiotics without chances of developing treatment resistance.