Carb-Restricted Diet Might Be Effective in Treating Liver Fatty Disease

By jeremyc | February 21, 2018

Restricting the intake of carbs is considered essential for weight loss. That’s why reducing the intake of carb-rich foods, like potatoes and pasta, is highly recommended for people who want to shed extra pounds. New research shows restricting carbs might offer other important health benefits as well.

In this new study, the researchers noticed that when participants were put on carb restriction, their liver fat levels reduced. In addition, other markers linked with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (or NAFLD for short) also improved.

In NAFLD, a lot of fat accumulates in liver. However, this excess fat accumulation is not due to heavy drinking. It is a fairly common liver condition in the U.S., affecting nearly 30 to 40 percent of people over 18 years. Risk factors for this condition include, among others, diabetes type 2 and obesity. As a matter of fact, 30 to 90 percent of people who are obese have NAFLD.

Following a healthy diet is crucial to treatment of NAFLD. Usually, NAFLD patients are recommended to reduce their consumption of fats. According to this study, reducing the intake of carbs can also be used as a successful treatment strategy.

In this study, the researchers enrolled ten obese adults with NAFLD. All of them were asked to go on a carb-restricted isocaloric diet, which means they consumed the same amount of proteins, carbs, or fats every day.

While the results are encouraging, the researchers said that a diet restricted in carbs might not work for everybody with NAFLD, because one dieting approach mightn’t work for all.

Topics: liver disease | No Comments »

Even Low-Intensity Physical Activity Linked to Reduced Mortality Risk in Men

By jeremyc | February 20, 2018

New research states doing light exercise for even a short time helps lower mortality risk significantly in senior men.

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC for short) advises adults who are over 65 years to do moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for 150 minutes or more every week, and one bout of exercise should be at least 10 minutes long.

Examples of aerobic exercise are walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming, among others. All these exercises have a beneficial effect on the lungs and heart.

People who do moderate-intensity exercise on a regular basis are 20 to 30 percent less likely to die prematurely, compared to those who don’t. The benefits of regular exercise are even greater for elderly.

However, many people are unable to engage in moderate-intensity exercise. In this study, the researchers wanted to check if low-intensity exercise is also beneficial, or rather does it too decrease mortality risk. The researchers also wanted to check if sporadic bouts of physical activity are also linked with lower risk of premature death.

In this study, the researchers enrolled 1,181 senior men. The average of the group was 78 years and the follow-up period was 5 years.

The researchers found that even light exercise was linked to lower risk of premature death. To be specific, senior men who engaged in light exercise for 30 minutes every day had a 17 percent lower all-cause mortality risk. Light-intensity physical activities including gardening or walking the dog.

The researchers also found that you don’t have to exercise for at least 10 minutes to lower your all-cause mortality risk. Sporadic bouts of physical activity were found to be almost as effective as 10-minute workouts. Sporadic bouts were associated with 41 percent lower risk of mortality while 10-minute workouts with 42 percent less risk.

Topics: General Health News | No Comments »

Common Psoriasis Drug Might Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

By jeremyc | February 19, 2018

According to new research, a drug commonly prescribed for treating psoriasis, a chronic skin condition, might lower the risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event in future by lowering aortic inflammation.

An extremely common skin condition, Psoriasis is marked by appearance of reddish bumps on the elbows, knees, and scalp. They occur because of faster-than-normal multiplication of skin cells in psoriasis. It is estimated that over 100 million individuals suffer from this condition worldwide. Why psoriasis occurs is a mystery and at present there’s no cure for it.

The incidence rate of heart disease is greater than normal in psoriasis patients, more so in case of people with severe psoriasis.

Ustekinumab is a drug prescribed to treat psoriasis when the patient is unable to tolerate other treatments or when the condition fails to respond sufficiently to other medicines. An antibody, ustekinumab works by interfering with the inflammatory response of the body. FDA has approved it for treating Crohn’s disease.

In this study, the researchers wanted to check if this drug also alleviates aortic inflammation in atherosclerosis, which is similar to skin inflammation in psoriasis. To check this, the researchers enrolled 43 psoriasis patients. Out of these 22 were treated with ustekinumab, while the remaining formed the control group.

True to the expectations, more than 75 percent of people in the treated group recorded considerable improvement in their psoriasis.

Surprisingly, aortic inflammation was found to be reduced by 12 percent in case of the treated compared. On the other hand, aortic inflammation increased by 6 percent in the participants who were not treated with it.


Topics: Cardiovascular | No Comments »

Latest Research Reveals Protein That Plays Crucial Role in Joint Heath

By jeremyc | February 18, 2018

A recent study throws light at a possibly new way to treat and prevent osteoarthritis, which affects millions of people in the world, if not more.

In the U.S. alone, osteoarthritis affects over 30 million people. In this condition, there’s a cartilage breakdown. Cartilage does the all important work of cushioning our joints. More often than not, osteoarthritis affects the joints of the knee, hand, and hip.

In an earlier study, this team of researchers had noticed that levels of FoXO proteins are lower in joint cartilage. In this new study, the team focused on learning how out joints are affected by these proteins.

The latest study was done on mice. Compared to the control group, mice with reduced FoXO levels in joint cartilage experienced joint degradation considerably early.

When researchers investigated further, they found that the levels of lubricin were lower in mice with reduced FoXO levels. Lubricin is a protein that offers protection to our joints against damage due to regular use. These mice also showed reduced autophagy, a natural process through which our cells flush out components that are no longer needed to maintain good cell health.

On further investigation, the study authors found that these proteins play a role in controlling the gene expression of certain genes which control autophagy and inflammation and other activities necessary for joint health.

In the final part of the study, the researchers increased FoXO levels, which in turn reduced inflammation, improved autophagy, and boosted lubricin production.


Topics: Arthritis | No Comments »

Existing Hypertension Drug Might Help Prevent Diabetes Type 1

By jeremyc | February 17, 2018

In a new research, the scientists have noticed that a frequently used blood pressure drug might help prevent and treat diabetes type 1.

Diabetes is of two types: type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, which accounts for nearly 5 percent of diabetes cases, there’s a shortage of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone which beta cells, present in the pancreas, produce. It is responsible for regulating levels of sugar in the blood. So shortage of insulin, leads to high levels of blood sugar.

Type 1 diabetes is considered to be an autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system mistakenly considers beta cells as threat and destroys them. What triggers this condition is not known, but research has shown that in nearly 60 percent of people at risk of type 1 diabetes have DQ8, which is a molecule that’s associated with development of this health condition.

Keeping this fact in mind, the researchers set out to find if inhibiting this particular molecule might help prevent diabetes type 1. Their recent study shows that a drug used for treating hypertension can do exactly that.

In this research, the study authors tested methyldopa, a commonly prescribed drug for high blood pressure, and found that it blocked DQ8 without interfering with immune functioning of cells.

Topics: Diabetes | No Comments »

Researchers Identifies Gene That Might Help Prevent Heart Disease

By jeremyc | February 16, 2018

In the U.S., more people die from heart disease than any other health condition. That’s why there’s need for better strategies to help prevent heart disease. Latest research hints that we might be now closer to addressing this need. In this research, the experts located a gene that helps clears extra cholesterol from our blood vessels.

The name of this gene is MeXis, previously thought of as useless because they don’t produce proteins. However, the latest research shows that this gene is anything but functionless. Instead of making proteins, MeXis produces molecules called IncRNAs, which regulates a specific protein which flushes out cholesterol from our arteries.

As you might know, high levels of cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of heart disease significantly.

It is estimated that heart disease accounts for no fewer than 610,000 deaths every year in the U.S. There are different forms of heart disease, the most common being coronary artery disease. It kills 370,000 people every year. Coronary artery disease occurs when plaque accumulates in arteries.

As time passes, buildup of plaque causes blockage in arteries, and this in turn causes blood flow to heart to reduce. This can cause angina (chest pain), irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and heart attack.

In this study done on mice, the researchers found when MeXis levels were increased in rodents, more cholesterol was flushed out of the blood vessels. This means MeXis has a potential to prevent and treat heart disease.

Of course, further studies are needed here, but researchers are excited about these findings, especially considering the fact how big heart disease problem is worldwide.

Topics: Heart | No Comments »

Running Might Safeguard Against Impact of Chronic Stress on Memory

By jeremyc | February 15, 2018

Stress has a negative effect on physical as well as mental health. This is something that research has proved many times. Chronic stress significantly affects memory, but a new study shows there’s a simple way to safeguard ourselves against this damage.

The area of the brain that’s responsible for learning and memory is the hippocampus. Formation of new synapses and their gradual strengthening over time leads to formation of memories. The name of this process is long-term potentiation (or LTP for short).

Research shows when we are under chronic stress, these synapses become weak. In other terms, there’s a negative impact on our memory.

In this research, the experts studied how exercise affected memory when mice were put under stress. In their study, the researchers found that certain exercises, particularly running, helps protect memory under stressful conditions.

Running, as well as some other exercises, has been proven to help prevent or manage depression, maintain brain health, improve gut microbiota. Now, this new research adds another benefit to the list.

In this research, the experts found that mice that ran regularly reported much better long-term potentiation under stressful conditions compared to sedentary mice.

Topics: General Health News | No Comments »

Ultra-processed Foods Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

By jeremyc | February 14, 2018

According to a new study, eating ultra-processed foods, like soda drinks, sugary drinks, packaged snacks, instant noodles, and certain reconstituted meals, might increase the risk of developing cancer.

Before we look into this report further, it is important to point out that this was a purely observational study. Additionally, further research is required to confirm the finding. Observational studies do not look into cause and effect; instead they offer valuable insight into association between different variables like disease and diet.

For this study, the researchers checked the data of 105,000 individuals. The researchers noted that the risk of cancer increased by 12 percent for every 10 percent increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods. Further investigation showed that breast cancer risk increased by 11 percent; however no significant increase was found in case colorectal or prostate cancer.

Millions of people in the world are diagnosed with cancer every year and it is among the top few causes of death worldwide. Recent research shows that in many countries the intake of ultra-processed foods is on the rise, and the researchers expressed concern over this trend, especially in light of the findings of this study.

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Are You More Likely To Lose Weight If You Eat Slowly

By jeremyc | February 13, 2018

In a new study, the researchers found eating slowly was linked to lower obesity risk. This was a purely observational study, so it didn’t go into the cause and effect.

Nevertheless, this finding could be of help to overweight or obese people trying or planning to lose weight, considering how big a public health concern obesity is and how hard it is to get rid of extra pounds.

Losing weight is excruciatingly difficult. According to a survey, only in every 6 overweight or obese persons over 18 years in the U.S. is able to lose weight and keep it off in the long-run. Probably because losing weight is so tough, the percentage of obese or overweight adults in the U.S. who are trying to lose weigh today is less than that of previous years.

In this study, the researchers set out to find if there’s any link between the time gap between dinner and sleep, having snacks after dinner, not having breakfast, and eating food slowly and weight gain.

The researchers analyzed data of approximately 60,000 people and came up with these findings.

Having your food at normal speed is linked to 29 percent lower risk of obesity. Eating at a slower speed, on the other hand, is linked to 42 percent lower risk of obesity.

Having snacks after dinner and eating dinner within a couple of hours before sleep are linked to higher BMI. Not having breakfast, however, was not found to affect BMI.

Topics: Weight Loss | No Comments »

Embracing Vegan Diet Helps Keep Type 2 Diabetes Away

By jeremyc | February 12, 2018

Type 2 diabetes is a major public health concern. It is estimated that 30 million Americans have this condition. Nearly 90 percent of all diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes significantly. As a matter of fact, nearly 80 percent of type 2 diabetes patients are obese or overweight.

Recent research shows that people who are overweight or obese can lower their risk of developing diabetes by following a simple strategy. It involves abstaining from dairy and meat products.

In their research, the experts noticed that when overweight individuals adopted a vegan diet for a period of 16 weeks, they recorded better insulin sensitivity. Additionally, beta cells in case of these people started functioning better. Beta cells, which are present in the pancreas, do the all important job of producing insulin, the hormone which regulates the levels of sugar in the blood.

Compared to the control group, the group that followed the vegan diet also recorded improved sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when our fails to properly utilize insulin or when beta cells in the pancreas fail to produce insulin in required amounts. In both cases, the levels of sugar in the blood becomes too much, which can cause serious problems, like kidney disease, heart disease, nerve damage, and diabetic eye disease.

Topics: Diabetes | No Comments »

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