Monthly Archives: August, 2013

Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies.

43__fruit_in_crate_with_loose_apples_rtgA recent study published in the British Medical Journal looked at  the diets of more than 187,000 people in the US. People eating three servings of fruit per week, particularly blueberries, apples and grapes had a reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes. The researchers believe this is because fruits contain high levels of anthocyanins, which have been shown to enhance glucose uptake in mice. However, when researchers looked at the effects of fruit juice consumption, they found a slightly increased risk of type-2 diabetes. The study recommended that replacing weekly fruit juice consumption with whole fruits could bring health benefit. What are your thoughts on this study? What do you recommend as part of a balanced and healthy diet?

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Broccoli slows arthritis, researchers think.

fdp-140The University of East Anglia team has started human trials on the use of broccoli to prevent or treat osteoarthritis after conducting successful lab studies on mice and cells. A broccoli compound, Glucoraphanin, has been linked to blocking an enzyme that damages cartilage. Twenty patients will eat a daily dose of 100g broccoli for two weeks before going undergoing surgery for knees repairs.  Researchers will examine the tissues removed to see if broccoli had any impact, then they will compare the data to another 20 knee replacement patients who have not been on the diet. What are your thoughts about this on-going research? What diet do you recommend for arthritis patients?

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New Clinical Report on Medications and Breast-Feeding.

motherThe FDA has teamed up with the American Academy of Pediatrics to revise lactation information on drug labels. The “Nursing Mothers” section on drug labels will be replaced with a “Lactation” section which will include detailed information about the drug’s transfer to breast milk and its potential to harm to an infant. This will inform breast-feeding moms when they can safely take medications. Also, this would do-away with the blanket legal statement that cautions against taking nearly any medication while pregnant when in fact only a small proportion of medications are contraindicated. What are your current recommendations to women who breastfeed while on drug therapy? Are you excited about this new clinical report?

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Increasing the “Smoking Age”: The Right Thing to Do.

kk0060New York City has proposed to increase the legal age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.  Statistics show that that 90 % of adults who smokes on a daily basis had their first cigarette by 18. Currently, 4 states and 2 counties have a tobacco age of sale of 19 and in 2005, Needham, Massachusetts, raised the tobacco age of sale to 21 years. New York City officials estimate this change will result in a 55% reduction of tobacco use among persons aged 18 to 20 years and a 67% reduction among those aged 14 to 17 years. Is increasing the age for tobacco sale the right thing to do? Have you engaged in educational in-services or counseling to prevent school-aged children and adolescents from trying their first cigarette?

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Calcium and vitamin D fail to relieve joint pain in study.

bone_kneeAlthough some studies suggest that low levels of vitamin D are associated with joint pain and swelling,a post-hoc analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative clinical trial suggest that vitamin D-3 (400IU) and calciumcarbonate (1000mg elemental calcium) are no better than placebo for relieving joint problems. After two years, 74.6% of the supplement group still had joint pain, compared to 75.1% of the placebo group.  What has vitamin D and calcium been most effective for in your patients?

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Jack Rabbit Dietary Supplement: Recall – Undeclared Drug Ingredients.

1502_1Jack Rabbit Inc. recalled lot number 2510 from their dietary supplement, Jack Rabbit, which was marketed as a 100% natural dietary supplement for sexual enhancement. The product was found to contain active ingredients,Sildenafil and Tadalafil which are prescription medications for erectile dysfunction. Although no illnesses have been reported, consumers should stop using the product and contact their physician if they are experiencing any headaches or flushing. The active ingredients may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs. How often do you discuss sexual dysfunction with your patients?  What protocols do you recommend?

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A lifetime of too much copper in our diets may be contributing to Alzheimer’s disease

plumaWith previous studies suggesting that copper may protect the brain, controversy has occurred with a recently published study.  This study found that copper can actually cause the accumulation of toxic proteins, amyloid beta, which forms the plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The animal study discovered that it was harder for the brain to get rid of the protein with increased ingestion of copper metal via tap water. Researches have suggested that people treat these results with caution and to not cut copper out of their diet. Copper can be found in tap water, red meat, shellfish as well as fruit and vegetables, which are all still very vital for a healthy body. What are your thoughts about these findings?

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Plastics chemicals may boost kids’ risk for obesity and diabetes.

plastic_plate1Previous studies have linked phthalates (chemicals used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastics) to insulin resistance in animals and human adults, but two recently published studies link plastics’ chemicals to childhood obesity and diabetes. One study of 766 children aged 12 to 19 discovered an increase in insulin resistance in children exposed to high levels of phthalate called DEHP.  The second study of 3,300 children aged 6 to 18 associated BPA (chemicals used to make polycarbonate and epoxy) with a high BMI.  Researchers recommend not microwaving plastics especially containers with the recycling numbers 3, 6 or 7, hand washing containers and discarding damaged plastic containers. How often do you discuss environmental hazards with your patients?  Have parents approached with concerns?

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Soft drinks consumption is associated with behavior problems in 5-year-olds.

149275_of404-mSoft drink consumption has been in the news a number of times during this summer.  Here is another prospective birth cohort study that was recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics.  Researchers followed 3,000 5-year-old children and their mothers from 20 large U.S. cities. Every two months, each mother had to report their child’s soft drink consumption then complete a checklist to assess their child’s behavior. Scientists discovered that children who consumed soft drinks had increased aggression, attention problems and withdrawal behavior as opposed to those who did not. Furthermore, children who drank 4 or more soft drinks per day were more than twice as likely to destroy things belonging to others, get into fights, and physically attack people. Does your library of evidence related to soft drink consumption help you to persuade your patients and their parents to eliminate them from the diet? What practical tips do you offer in substituting soft drinks for something more healthful?

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Facebook use predicts a decline in young adults’ subjective well-being and life satisfaction

Sazvezdje_SocNet_0006The journal PLOS ONE just published a new study evaluating effects of Facebook in 82 young adults over a period of 14 days. Each participant received five text messages a day with a questionnaire that measured behavior and the psychological experience of these Facebook users. The researchers discovered that an increase Facebook use over time correlated with a decline in subjective well being and life satisfaction. What are some positive and negative experience that you have had with Facebook? Are you surprised by the results of this study?

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