BPA and phthalates are chemicals in plastics and can have many deleterious health effects. BPA can cause hyperactivity and aggression in children and heart disease/diabetes in adults. Phthalates can reduce male fertility and increase asthma risk in children. A recent study published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology observed 10 families for five days. Half of these families received catered meals containing fresh, local ingredients not packaged or prepared in plastics and the other half received a handout explaining how to successfully avoid phthalates/BPA in their diet. Instead of seeing a reduction in levels of BPA and phthalates, everyone in the catered group (except for 1person) had an increase in phthalate/BPA levels. The group that received instructions continued to have steady levels of BPA/phthalates throughout the study. Surprised researchers believe that other sources of BPA and phthalates (dairy, spices, other) may be responsible for their findings in the first group. What steps do you take to avoid harmful phthalates and BPA?
For more information, please visit WebMD.
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A study performed at the Johns Hopkins Sinus Center in Maryland provides hope to those who suffer from hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), a disorder in which nose bleeds are plentiful. This new study included 20 patients who used sesame/rose geranium essential oil topically for a period of 18 months. At the end of the study, 75% of patients saw improvement, and average severity of nose bleed scores had decreased from 5 to 3.5. This treatment modality offers a less invasive approach to treatment of HTT. How often and in what situations do you recommend the use of essential oil/aromatherapy in your practice?
To read more, please visit The CAM Report.
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Many problems such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and altered brain function have already been linked to sleep deprivation. A University of Surrey researchers analyzed the blood of 26 people after they had 10 hours of sleep each night for a week versus less than 6 hours of sleep per night for another week. They saw that the activity of more than 700 genes were altered by the change of sleep producing negative effects on inflammation and immune system. How often do you discuss optimal sleep and sleep hygiene with your patients?
For more information, please visit the BBC website.
A recent study published in the journal Nature Genetics has shed light on trends in oral health over time as our diet has evolved to include more carbohydrates/sugars. Alan Cooper and his fellow researchers evaluated 34 prehistoric sets of teeth, concluding that teeth were much healthier when we were hunters, primarily eating meat, nuts and vegetables. As processed foods and sugars became introduced into our diet, the bacteria that lives in our mouths changed, allowing for more opportunistic infections, despite flossing and brushing. Have you ever considered the impact your diet has on your oral hygiene?
For more information, please visit NPR.
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Researchers report that from 2007 to 2010, 11 percent of adult total calories were obtained from fast food, compared to 13% from 2003 to 2006. Young black adults (aged 20-39) however consumed 21% of their calories from fast food compared to white and Hispanics in the same age group who consumed 15% from these foods. Although children are eating less overall calories compared to previous years, their intake of saturated fat is still high (11-12% between 2009-2010) while U.S. guidelines recommend less than 10% of total calories from saturated fat. What tips do you offer your patients to help them establish healthy eating habits?
For more information, please visit the Reuters website.
High glycemic index foods, such as sweets/simple carbohydrates, are now closely looked at by researchers as being a culprit in causing acne. Allison Aubrey from NPR reports that several studies looking at low-glycemic index diets produced promising results in reducing acne. Eating high-glycemic index foods can alter hormone levels, increasing oil production that leads to acne. Nutrition researchers need more studies to make a definitive statement, as some evidence points to dairy products as a possible cause of acne as well. What role do you think diet plays in acne exacerbations? What foods do you recommend to avoid in your patients’ with acne-prone skin?
For more information, please visit NPR.
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Drinking diet beverages containing artificial sweeteners have been accused of altering the hormonal balance within the body, causing people to eat more. A recent study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health evaluated over 300 overweight adults who consumed greater than 280 calories per day of drinks, comparing the weight loss of individuals randomized into three different groups. One group subsituted two non-diet drinks per day with water, another group substituted two non-diet drinks with diet drinks (i.e. diet Coke), while the last group continued consuming non-diet drinks. After six months, both the group consuming water and the group consuming diet-drinks exhibited weight loss. It is important to note that the subjects in this study were all trying to lose weight. When evaluating research do you usually consider other variables that may affect the study outcome and may be difficult to control? What are your thoughts about this study?
Please visit Reuters to read more on this study.
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Probiotics are mainly known to benefit the digestive tract, but may also have a potential new advantage- cholesterol lowering. A 9-week, randomized trial conducted at McGill University evaluated 127 patients with high cholesterol. Half of these patients received a probiotic supplement twice a day and the other half took a placebo. Total cholesterol levels of those who took the probiotic dropped by 9% and their LDL cholesterol levels by 12%. However, one must keep in mind that this study was financed by a company that produces probiotics. What conditions do you routinely take/recommend probiotics for?
For more information, go to the NY times.
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A trial currently underway in Birmingham, England, is exploring the use of sugar to heal wounds. BBC news reports that Nurse Moses Murandu, originally of Zimbabwe, is running this trial on the basis of a traditional family treatment for wounds and is excited about the results so far. There are only 35 patients in this randomized, controlled trial who have received this treatment measure, but the trial is still in process. This method of wound healing is believed to be achieved by the sugar’s ability to halt microbial growth by removing water from the site of the wound. What other natural substances have you used or would you recommend to your patients for wound healing?
To learn more about this article, please visit BBC.
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A recent survey conducted by sex and relationship researcher Kristen Mark and her colleagues revealed that 85% of 2000 men and women, ages 18-70, felt that sex plays a big role during Valentine’s Day. Half claimed that they would be upset if they did not have sex on this day, with two-thirds of the group surveyed being in long-term relationships. A little less than half claimed they would engage in sexual activity simply because it is Valentine’s Day. Does this holiday bring up more discussion from your patients on the topic of sexual health?
To see original article, please visit CNN.
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