Monthly Archives: October, 2012

Although implicated in other disease states, trans fats are not associated with insulin resistance and diabetes

Consumption of trans fatty acids has been linked to increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. A number of government agencies put a ban on consumption of trans fatty acids after a recommendation from the American Heart Association. A recent meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled trials published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) evaluated the association between consumption of trans fats and its effects on blood glucose levels, diabetes, and insulin resistance.  Researchers concluded that increased trans fatty acid intake is not associated with changes in insulin sensitivity and glucose levels.  What dietary counseling do you provide to patients with insulin resistance or diabetes?

To find out more, please read the full article in the AJCN.

Using medications after a natural disaster

In light of yesterday’s storm it is important to re-evaluate our preparedness plan. The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA discusses the safe practices regarding medication use after natural disasters, since medication effectiveness may be compromised.  The FDA offers information on medications exposed to heat, temperature changes and unsafe water.  What important counseling points do you provide to you patients about medication safety before and after a natural disaster? Considering yesterday’s storm, have you had any inquiries from patients who are interested in learning how to substitute their medications with alternative products?

Please visit the FDA website for more information.

Expiration dates on beauty products

An article published in the New York Times discusses marking beauty products with expiration dates. Many manufacturers are starting to create products with multiple ingredients to simplify the consumer’s beauty regimen.  Not all ingredients coexist well with each other. Also, many natural cosmetic lines utilize fewer preservatives.  The article advises consumers to use applicators to decrease the amount of bacteria and to store products in cool places avoiding hot and humidenvironments. How often do you throw away your beauty products? How do you think this information will impact consumers the frequency of buying beauty?


For more information see New York Times.

Exercise is associated with reducing brain shrinkage in patients 70 years or older.

A longitudinal observational study published in the journal Neurology associated exercise in the late 70s with the reduction of brain shrinking. Researchers at Edinburgh University concluded that physical activity was associated with less atrophy and white matter lesion. These findings suggest that exercise may be neuro protective and lead to a decrease in cognitive decline. How much exercise do you recommend to your patients on a daily basis? How do you think this information will affect the elderly population at risk of dementia?

For more information see Neurology.

Pediatricians report on organic foods in children

A clinical report published in the journal Pediatrics discusses the health and environmental advantages and disadvantages of organic foods. Itdefines the term “organic”, reviews food-labeling standards and farming practices, discusses environmental implications of conventional vs. organic techniques.  The reportstates that eating organic fruits and vegetables do not provide additional nutrition in comparison with the conventionally grown foods, butcontain fewer pesticides related to a variety of illnesses. The report recommends that parents should aim to provide their families a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. What are your thoughtsand recommendations on organic/local/sustainably grown foods?

For more information see Pediatrics.

FDA investigates the safety of energy drinks

Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began investigating reports of five deaths that may be associated with “Monster” energy drinks. A 12 oz can of the energy drink contains 105 mg of caffeine, while a 12 oz can of Coca-Cola contains 35 mg. Monster Beverage Corporation is being sued by the family of a 14 year old Maryland girl, who died after drinking two cans of the energy drink in a 24 hour period.  How often do you consume energy drinks? What are some safer alternatives to energy drinks?

For more information, please read the article in NY Times.

Total and LDL cholesterol levels are higher after eating rye bread compared to wheat bread.

A randomized control trial, published in the Nutrition Journal, studied the effects of whole grain rye bread with refined wheat bread. The crossover design of the study implemented two 8 week intervention periods separated by an 8 week washout period during which the participants ate 20% of their daily energy intake as high fiber whole grain rye bread or refined white bread.  The study was done on thirty three post-menopausal women who had an elevated serum total cholesterol. The study results concluded that cholesterol levels were higher after rye bread intake rather than white bread. Whatare your thoughts about the findings? What type of bread products do you consume/recommend for healthierdiet?

For more information see Nutrition Journal.

Daily multivitamin associated with decreased risk of cancer in men

A recent randaomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial published in JAMA evaluated the effect of long-term daily multivitamin supplmentation and the risk of cancer in 14,641 older men.  During this 14-year study, researchers found that men who took a daily multivitamin had a small decrease in risk for cancer compared to those that had placebo.  Do you have any experience using or recommending food-based multivitamins?

For more information, please read the article in JAMA.

Drinking cranberry juice is not effective in prevention of urinary tract infections

A recent meta-analysis published in the Cochrane Library  evaluated whether drinking cranberry juice and taking other cranberry products are effective in the prevention of urinary tract infections in patients with recurrent UTIs.  The authors pooled data from 24 studies that involved a total of 4,473 subjects.  This systematic review concluded that evidence from these studies does not support the use of cranberry products for prevention of UTIs.  What do you generally recommend to patients for the prevention of urinary tract infection?

For more information, please read the article in the Cochrane Library.

Skipping breakfast primes brain to seek high fat, high calorie foods

A new study presented at the Neuroscience 2012 conference in New Orleans shows that skipping breakfast primes the brain to seek out food that are high in fat and high in calories.  Researchers found that when patients skipped breakfast, they ate a fifth more calories compared to when they had breakfast in the morning, showing an increased appeal to high calorie foods when fasting.  How do you educate patients to avoid skipping breakfast?

To find out more, please read the article in BBC.