Two Iron Compounds Might Lead To Cancer

By jeremyc | April 17, 2018

In a recent study, the researchers have found that 2 iron compounds, both of which are frequently used in food additives and supplements, increase the levels of a biomarker of cancer. This happens even when we consume them in small amounts.

The names of these 2 iron compounds are ferric EDTA and ferric citrate. The present team of researchers decided to investigate the effect of these iron compounds on cancer risk because several older studies have shown these compounds to facilitate the growth of tumors in mice.

In this study, the scientists tested 2 iron compounds on human colorectal cancerous cells. In addition to these two, they also tested ferrous sulphate, which is a common iron compound.

The researchers noted that while ferric EDTA and ferric citrate increased the levels of a cancer biomarker, ferrous sulphate didn’t have any such effect. Based on these findings, the researchers stated that they have no hesitation in concluding that these two iron compounds may be carcinogenic.

With that said, the scientists also added that this study was not done on humans (such a study in their opinion would be gravely unethical) but on human cancerous cells in laboratory settings. Nevertheless, these findings, the researchers strongly believe, still hold water and recommend use of caution while using iron supplements. They also believe that this link should be investigated further.

Topics: Cancer | No Comments »

Too Much Sitting Is Not Good For Brain Health

By jeremyc | April 16, 2018

According to a new study, sitting for too many hours every day can be harmful to the brain among middle-aged and older adults.

In this study, the researchers enrolled 35 adults. The participants were within the age group of 45 – 75 years and none had dementia. The researchers noted that adults who sat for more number of hours showed more thinning of medial temporal lobe, a part of the brain which plays a crucial role in making fresh memories.

Surprisingly, this harmful effect of prolonged sitting didn’t reduce when participants did lots of exercise. However, researchers believe additional research should be done to check if reducing the amount of time spent in sitting lowers the risk or not.

Several studies in the recent past have noted that prolonged sitting is linked to an increased risk of a number of diseases like diabetes and heart disease, even in those people who exercise regularly. This study adds one more disease to the list.

Interestingly while several studies have pointed out the benefits of regular exercise in regards to dementia, there are only a few studies that probe the association between sedentary lifestyle and risk of developing dementia.

According to the researchers who completed this study, more research must be done to investigate this association.

Topics: Dementia | No Comments »

A Vaccine Might Be Able to Treat Peanut Allergies In Near Future

By jeremyc | April 15, 2018

Can a vaccine stop the allergic reaction to peanuts? According to new research, the answer might be yes. Latest research shows that a vaccine was able to stop the allergic reaction to peanuts in mice. Scientists are hopeful that they would be soon able to translate these findings in humans.

Food allergies are pretty common—and at times can be fatal. It is estimated that 4 to 6 percent of American children have food allergies. The most common food allergy is peanut allergy.

However, as of now, we don’t have any cure for food allergies. There’s only one way to keep them at bay—by avoiding the allergen. And once the allergic reaction has began, the current treatment focuses on suppressing it.

However, a new study gives hope to all those who have peanut allergies. The researchers successfully tested a vaccine that stopped peanut allergy in mice. The scientists have been working at this vaccine for last 20 years.

At this point in time, the researchers don’t know how long the protection offered by the vaccine will last. However, they are quite optimistic that these benefits will not fade away quickly.

The immediate next step is to test this vaccine in humans. If the human clinical trials are successful, this will be a huge breakthrough.

Topics: Allergies | No Comments »

Could NSAIDs Reduce Risk of Early Metastatic Relapse Post Surgery

By jeremyc | April 14, 2018

Following cancer surgery, there’s a strong chance of experiencing recurrence of tumor early. This is particularly true in case of breast cancer. Why this is so is something that’s still shrouded in mystery. However, there’s some encouraging news. In a new study, the researchers noticed that common NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) might reduce the risk of early recurrence of tumor post surgery.

In a number of cancer types, this includes breast cancer, doctors prefer to go for surgery to remove primary tumors.  With that said, it is common for cancer to recur following surgery.

Some patients who have undergone surgery for removal of primary tumors have an increased risk of early recurrence of tumor after surgery.

Although the reasons behind this are largely unknown, latest research has come up with encouraging findings. In this study, the researchers noted that when mice that had undergone surgery for removal of tumors were given NSAID to reduce pain and inflammation, they had lower risk of early relapse post-operation.

Medical professionals have long been grappling with the question that does surgery for removal of primary tumors trigger metastases. As of now a clear casual link between the two has not been established. However, studies done on this subject show that the risk of early relapses is highest between 12-18 months following surgery.

What’s more, an analysis done in 2010, involving more than 300 women, all of whom had undergone mastectomy, revealed that the incidences of early relapse were fewer among women who were given NSAIDs for managing post-surgical pain, compared to those where weren’t given NSAIDs.

Topics: Cancer | No Comments »

Late Menopause Might Augur Well for Cognitive Performance

By jeremyc | April 13, 2018

Late menopause might have a protective effect on memory, according to a new study. The researchers noted that women who experience menopause late show better cognitive performance in their older years.

This study was done by researchers from the UK. They became interested between the possible correlation between late menopause and better memory performance in later years after they learnt about existing studies which suggest that late menopause might influence memory performance in women.

With that said, there are some limitations with the current study, the most notable being its sample size. This was on a large-scale study, as the researchers only looked at data of about 1,300 women. Nevertheless, this is a start and the findings of this study warrant further research.

All the women in this study were asked to take verbal memory tests at different ages. The participants were given a list of 15 items and were asked recall them. The test was repeated 3 times at one time. For each word that was correctly recalled, the participants got one point. So the maximum points that could be scored were 45.

The researchers noted that women who experienced menopause late naturally were able to remember, on average, an extra 0.09 word a year. Hormonal therapy, didn’t affect this correlation.

While the benefit is not astounding, the researchers believe it could mean a lower risk of developing dementia later in life.


Topics: Women's Health | No Comments »

Very High or Low Levels of HDL Linked to Increased Risk of Infectious Diseases

By jeremyc | April 12, 2018

According to a new study, both high and low levels of good cholesterol might be bad for our health. These findings question the conventional belief that more of good cholesterol is better for us.

In this study, the researchers noted that when HDL cholesterol (commonly known as good cholesterol) is present in high or low amounts, the risk of developing an infectious disease is greater. Even more worrying is the finding that both high and low HDL cholesterol levels are linked to increased risk of death from infectious diseases.

HDL cholesterol is referred as the good cholesterol, because when it is present in high levels, it helps the body to get rid of excess cholesterol. Because of this reason, previous reports had suggested that high HDL levels are linked to reduced heart disease risk.

However, in the past few years, more than a few questions have been raised about the goodness of this good cholesterol. One study even noticed a link between high HDL levels and greater mortality risk.

In this study, the researchers noticed that people with extremely low HDL levels were 75 percent more likely to contact an infectious disease. They also noticed that individuals with extremely high HDL levels were 43 percent more likely to develop infectious disease. Further, both these groups were found to be more likely to die from infectious disease, compared to those with normal HDL levels.


Topics: Cholesterol | No Comments »

Epilepsy Linked With Greater Risk of Death from Unnatural Causes

By jeremyc | April 11, 2018

According to a new study done by UK researchers, people with epilepsy might be more likely to die from unnatural causes, like suicide, unintentional medication poisoning, accidents, drug overdose, etc., than people who don’t have this condition.

A neurological condition, epilepsy is marked by spontaneous seizures which recur from time to time. The frequency of seizures and their duration differ from one patient to another. For a person to be diagnosed with this neurological condition, he or she must have experienced two seizures at the minimum.

Some time back, a study had reported that the risk of premature death is greater among people who have epilepsy compared to those who don’t. However, hardly any study has investigated how epilepsy affects the risk of death from causes that are unnatural.

For this study, the researchers analyzed data of more than 900,000 individuals living in England. More than 44,000 people in this studied group had epilepsy. The UK researchers also looked at the data of nearly 14,000 people who lived in Wales and who had epilepsy. In addition, the researchers also considered data of more than 279,000 individuals living in Wales who didn’t have this neurological disorder.

The researchers checked how epilepsy affects the risk of unnatural death, as well as the risk of death from intentional and unintentional medication poisoning.

People with epilepsy were two times more likely to die from suicide and three times more likely to die from an accident than people without this condition.

The risk of death because of unintentional medication poisoning was 5 times greater in epilepsy patients while the risk of death from intentional medication poisoning was 3.5 times greater among this group.


Topics: Epilepsy | No Comments »

Coffee Might Make Alzheimer Symptoms More Severe

By jeremyc | April 10, 2018

Over the years, various studies have shown coffee to confer many health benefits. However, a new study suggests coffee may not be such a healthy drink for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In this research, the experts found coffee to aggravate Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Millions of people live with it worldwide. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that about 5.7 million people have Alzheimer’s disease. Every 65 sec one additional person develops Alzheimer’s.

Memory loss is the most common symptom of this progressive neurodegenerative disorder. However, other symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, irritability, delusions, and hallucinations, may also be present.

Previous research had hinted at coffee having a protective effect as far as dementia and Alzheimer’s are concerned. However, it seems that people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s would do better to stay away from it.

This study was done on mice. The researchers gave 1.5 mg of caffeine daily to mice. This equals to 5 cups of coffee daily in humans.

The researchers noticed that mice that were given caffeine showed greater anxiety as well as neophobia, which is defined as extreme fear of anything unfamiliar or new.


Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia | No Comments »

Tai Chi Could Help Treat COPD Patients

By jeremyc | April 9, 2018

In a new study, the researchers checked how effective tai chi, ancient Chinese martial art, is in treating COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The researchers noted that it treats COPD just as effectively as pulmonary rehabilitation.

COPD is used for referring a number of respiratory illnesses like chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and certain forms of asthma. It is estimated that about 251 million people in the world are living with COPD. It accounts for 3.17 million deaths worldwide.

At present, COPD is incurable. The current treatment focuses on alleviating the disease symptoms, as well as on reducing the risk of death from it. Most COPD patients are prescribed a treatment program called pulmonary rehabilitation. This treatment program comprises of various interventions like nutritional advice, exercise training, and breathing techniques.

But the problem with pulmonary rehabilitation is that it requires special facilities and trained professionals. Because of these two reasons, it is quite expensive and often out of reach of many patients.

Tai chi has been linked to several health benefits. In addition to improving flexibility and balance in elderly, tai chi also helps reduce blood pressure and promote better heart health.

In the light of these benefits of tai chi, which have been proven by scientific studies, the present set of researchers hypothesized that it might also be beneficial for people with respiratory health conditions, like COPD.

To test this, the researchers enrolled 120 COPD patients, none of whom had ever used bronchodilators. Soon after the participants were prescribed indacaterol, which is used to treat respiratory conditions like COPD, the researchers divided them into two groups: one was given pulmonary rehabilitation while the other received tai chi training.

The researchers found that tai chi was just as good as pulmonary rehabilitation in treating COPD. If anything, it might give more long-term benefit.


Topics: COPD | No Comments »

Research Develop Blood Test That Identifies Alzheimer Disease Early

By jeremyc | April 8, 2018

In near future it might be possible to detect Alzheimer’s disease early with a blood test. The initial research done with this test has been encouraging. Scientists believe it will help understand the disease much better and improve treatment.

The problem Scientists focusing on Alzheimer’s face is that this disease is diagnosed years after changes have been made in the brain. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s develop gradually over a number of years. It is estimated that Alzheimer’s symptoms become obvious 15-20 years after the development of amyloid plaques in the brain.

Formation of amyloid plaque is the chief characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid-beta protein is there in the brains of healthy people, too, but in case of Alzheimer’s patients, amyloid-beta clumps together and forms plaque.

In this research, the scientists wanted to focus on amyloid plaque buildup, because it occurs many years before the symptoms start showing. Specifically speaking, scientists wanted to check if measuring the ration between healthy amyloid protein and unhealthy protein amyloid protein could help identify Alzheimer’s while it is still in its nascent stage.

In this test, the researchers used immuno-infrared sensor technology because the unhealthy amyloid protein absorbs infrared light at a different frequency than the healthy amyloid. So this way the ratio between the two can be easily found out.

The researchers noted that on average this test detected Alzheimer’s disease 8 years before the appearance of clinical symptoms.


Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia | No Comments »

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