A 6 year research lead by Dr. David Llewellyn and his team at the University of Exeter Medical School, concluded that low levels of vitamin D in older people are linked to the risk of developing dementia. Vitamin D can be found in foods, such as oily fish, supplements, or exposure to sunlight, however elderly people have less efficient skin and must be supplement in other ways. The team found that in 1,169 subjects with sufficient levels of vitamin D, there is a 1 in 10 chance of developing dementia. In 70 subjects with deficiency, there was a 1 in 5 risk of getting dementia. They cannot say that low vitamin D causes dementia but it is worthwhile to continue studying the connection. What are your thoughts on the association of dementia risk with low vitamin D?
For additional information, please see BBC News.
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The Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Josephine Briggs, MD shares her thoughts on a recent publication in the journal Headache by Robert Cowan, MD. Both are trying to raise awareness of what patients visiting clinicians might be utilizing in terms of conventional and complementary approaches. There are more Evidence-Based resources available to conventional practitioners on CAM than ever before. What are your thoughts on Dr. Briggs commentary?
For additional information please see, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
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The Food and Drug Administration just released Nutrition Basics reminder to help parents look at nutrition facts labels (ingredients, percent daily value, nutrients, and serving size) before buying food for their children. The main goal of this program is to fight childhood obesity with better food choices. How often do you discuss food labeling with your patients?
For additional information, please see the FDA Consumer Update .
Some states such as California, Oregon and Vermont have the highest rates of breastfeeding, but some southern states are still lagging behind. It is possible that the attitude toward breastfeeding and support is different based on the region of the country. Breastfeeding can help to fight against infections, diabetes, and leukemia in babies and is also be beneficial to mothers. How often do you educate pregnant patients and new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding?
For additional information, please see the Washington Post.
While hand shakes are the traditional professional greeting, a recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control says that it is also a great way to transfer bacteria. The researchers dipped latex gloves in Escherichia Coli, and then either shook hands, gave high-fives, or fist bumped. According to the results, a fist bump transferred the least amount of bacteria between gloves, and the hand shake transferred the most. Firmer handshakes, longer fist bumps and high-fives were also determined to be better ways of transferring bacteria. This could mean a change in the way health care professionals greet each other, especially in hospitals where bacterial resistance has become a problem. What measures do you take to reduce bacteria transmission?
Find out more from The New York Times
A new review published in the journal Hypertension evaluated results of multiple trials concluding that daily consumption of probiotics can reduced blood pressure levels by 2 to 3 mm Hg. Even though this is not a significant reduction, probiotics in general have multiple benefits. What are your favorite sources of probiotics?
For additional information, please see Reuters Health.
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A single injection of the natural hormone, kisspeptin might replace the need for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone in in-vitro fertilization. Ten of 53 women in a recent study gave birth, with 2 women giving birth to twins. The hCG triggers egg maturation but can overstimulate the ovaries, but kisspeptin is broken down more quickly resulting in less overstimulation. Five adverse effects reported were 2 ectopic pregnancy, 2 miscarriages, and 1 heterotopic pregnancy. How do you feel about the use of kisspeptin as an alternative to hCG therapy?
For additional information, please see Journal of Clinical Investigation.
A recently concluded study published in the British Journal of Medicine compiled and evaluated 343 peer-reviewed studies that focus on the nutrient differences between organic and non-organic foods. The evaluation concluded that the organic food had a higher concentration of antioxidants, and lower levels of cadmium and pesticide residues. Antioxidants are known to play a part in reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, and cadmium, in high levels, is a potential neurotoxin. What this translates to for consumers is a possible protective health benefit. How familiar are your patients with Environmental Working Group Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen? How often do you discuss organic vs non-organic foods with them?
Find out more from Environmental Working Group
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Newly available to stream online in your home from Vimeo is Numen: the animating force in all things living. This documentary discusses several topics relating to the use of herbal medicine in the pursuit of healthy living. With beautiful cinematography and a provocative storyline, this film is guaranteed to make you think about the current model of healthcare. What are some of your favorite documentaries that look at health and well-being?
Find out more from Vimeo
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In 2012, Achilles International, a non-profit organization that provides physical development opportunities for people with disabilities, had developed a training program for children with autism. The program involved helping the children train for a mainstream five mile race, and it has produced some anecdotal evidence that points to a link between running and the symptoms of autism. Achilles found that children with autism who run exhibit a decrease in descriptiveness and aggression, while exhibiting an improvement with social interactions. They say that running gives these children a way to refocus and to decrease stress. A grant provided by the Cigna Foundation will allow Achilles to research this link further. Achilles hopes to find how running effects the symptoms of autism in order to improve the quality of life for these children. How do you keep yourself focused and stress-free?
Find more information at The Washington Post
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