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.

Topics: Cancer | No Comments »

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 »

Low Levels of Sodium in Blood Might Increase Risk of Cognitive Decline

By jeremyc | February 11, 2018

Low levels of sodium in blood are associated with cognitive impairment in older men who are otherwise healthy, according to a new study.

Based on this finding, the researchers suggest dealing with low levels of sodium might help halt cognitive decline related to aging. When the levels of sodium in the blood are less than 135 millimoles per liter, the condition is medically known as hyponatremia.

Low levels of sodium or hyponatremia might be linked to greater risk of several heart problems, fractures and falls, attention deficits and even early death.

In a previous study, the researchers had warned about dangers associated with excess fluid intake while exercising. Doing so can trigger a condition known as exercise associated hyponatremia (or EAH for short).

EAH can cause mild symptoms like nausea, puffiness, and dizziness. If it is severe, it can even lead to death. Reports show that as many as 14 athletes have perished from EAH.

Previous research has also linked severe hyponatremia with cognitive and neurological problems. However, cognition in elderly is affected by different blood sodium levels is something that hasn’t been studied before. In this study the researchers decided to check this.

For their research, the experts perused data of over 5,000 healthy men who were 65 years old or over.

The researchers noted chances of experiencing cognitive impairment symptoms over time increased by 37percent when levels of sodium in the blood were 126-140 millimoles per liter, in comparison to men in whom levels of sodium were 141-142 millimoles per liter.

Topics: General Health News | No Comments »

Vitamin B-3 Might Help Treat Alzheimer Disease

By jeremyc | February 10, 2018

In a new study done on mice, the researchers have found a substance which was able to prevent brain damage.  The name of this compound is nicotinamide riboside (or NR for short). It is a type of B3 Vitamin. This finding might pave the way for the development of a new treatment for Alzheimer’s in humans.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. It accounts for nearly 90-95 percent of all dementia cases. Protein buildup in the brain, which occurs several years before physical symptoms manifest, is the highlight of this neurodegenerative condition. At present, there’s no cure for it and current treatments focus on improving symptoms.

Many experts in recent years have proposed Vitamin B3 as an alternative treatment for it. In one study, when mice were fed Vitamin B3 in large doses, memory loss related to Alzheimer’s was found to be reversed.

In this study, the researchers tested the effect of nicotinamide riboside on brain damage caused by Alzheimer’s in mice.

According to scientists, when the brain is unable to properly repair its DNA, neuron production gets hampered and neuronal dysfunction occurs. NR is important for this process repairing DNA and that’s why the scientists decided to check out its effect on mice genetically engineered to have chief characteristics of Alzheimer’s.

The researchers found that NR supplementation in mice lead to reduced DNA damage and less buildup of protein tau.

 

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia | No Comments »

Latest Research Might Pave Way for Newer, Better MS Treatment

By jeremyc | February 9, 2018

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a serious autoimmune disorder. Its chief characteristics are vision problems, muscle weakness, physical numbness and impaired coordination. At present, there’s no cure for it. Current treatments focus on alleviating its symptoms. However, latest research shows that we might be closer to addressing the main cause of multiple sclerosis.

What causes MS is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that demyelination is responsible for many of its symptoms.

Myelin is a protective covering around axons, which in turn does the all-important job of connecting nerve cells in ours spinal cord and brain. In demyelination, immune system mistakenly attacks this protective sheath, causing disruption in signals which nerve cells transmit to each other. This leads to problems with muscle control, vision, or coordination.

Remyelination, that is creating new protective layer of myelin, can help stop MS from progressing and even stopping it. However, MS specialists have long struggled to find an effective way to trigger remyelination.

In previous research, scientists were able to identify a protein known as activin-A which is crucial for myelin repair. However, they were unable to find how it enhances myelin repair.

In the latest research, experts have been able to discover this process. At the heart of myelin repair is an activin-A receptor. The name of this receptor is activin receptor 2a. Myelin repair occurs when activin combines with this receptor.

According to the researchers, these findings are very exciting. Thanks to them, we can focus on creating drugs which target activin A-receptor to encourage myelin repair after it has been damaged in multiple sclerosis.

Topics: Multiple Sclerosis | No Comments »

Researchers Find an Amino Acid Helps Breast Cancer Metastasize

By jeremyc | February 8, 2018

In a new study, the researchers have found that asparagines help triple-negative breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body. The researchers also noted that reducing asparagines content reduces the capacity of tumors cells to metastasize.

Asparagine is an amino acid, but unlike some other amino acids, it is not essential for us. Our body synthesizes this amino acid from different foods, such as asparagus, potatoes and fish. Triple-negative breast cancer is a very aggressive type of breast cancer. It spreads quickly and usually exhibits resistance to traditional cancer treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

In this study, the researchers focused on understanding the link between metastasis of breast cancer and asparagine. The study was done on mice with triple-negative breast cancer.

The researchers administered L-asparaginase to mice. This drug works by blocking asparagine production in our body. At present, this drug is used for treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia. At the same time, the researchers also restricted the content of asparagine-rich foods in the diet fed to these mice. This in turn ensured that mice had reduced levels of asparagine.

This two-sided approach led to reduced capacity of tumor cells for metastases. According to the researchers, this finding improves our understanding about how cancer can be stopped from spreading. Their next focus is to perform a clinical trial to better understand how the levels of asparagine are affected by diet.

Topics: Cancer | No Comments »

Hot Tea Intake Linked With Increased Esophageal Cancer in Some People

By jeremyc | February 7, 2018

Tea is tasty and healthy, besides being reinvigorating. No wonder so many just can’t do without it, especially early in the morning and after lunch when energy levels tend to dip. But a new study suggests consuming hot tea might cause serious consequences for certain people.

Popularity of hot tea can be easily gauged from the fact that no fewer than 2.9 million tons of it was consumed worldwide in the year 2016. With that said, a new study done by Chinese researchers states drinking hot tea can be extremely bad for people who habitually drink and smoke.

Esophageal cancer is ranked as 8th most common cancer in the world. Every year thousands of people are diagnosed with this cancer in the U.S. The Chinese researchers have found that people who regularly drink and smoke and, top of it, drink hot tea have a significantly higher risk of developing esophageal cancer.

Chinese people drink more tea than the citizens of any other country. Additionally, incidence rates of esophageal cancer in China are also among the highest in the world. Researchers state that Chinese men especially are more likely to consume hot tea, as well as alcohol and cigarettes.

In this research, they found 5 times greater risk of esophageal cancer in people who drink hot tea and regularly consume alcohol and smoke compared to those who didn’t consume hot tea, alcohol, or cigarettes.

Interestingly, people who only drink hot tea and didn’t smoke or consume alcohol were not found to be at greater risk of developing esophageal cancer. This suggests that it is the combination of these three that’s most dangerous, from the point of view of developing esophageal cancer.

Researchers suggest that people should carefully pick their habits and at the very least abstain from hot tea if they are finding it difficult to quit smoking or drinking.

 

Topics: Cancer | No Comments »

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