Monthly Archives: January, 2014

Antioxidants including vitamin E can promote lung cancer: study

ID-100162283Vitamin E and beta carotene consumption have been associated to the progression of premature lung tumors in high-risk patients. A study published Science Translational Medicine may uncover some of the mystery. Researchers found that mice with early lung cancer given vitamin E and N-acetylcysteine had a 2.8 times increase in lung tumors compared to mice with early lung cancer not given antioxidants. The mice supplemented with antioxidants also experienced more invasive and aggressive tumors, and expired twice as rapidly. What investigators found is that although antioxidants decrease DNA damage, the damage becomes so trivial that the cell doesn’t deploy its cancer-defense system, based on the p53 protein. Normally, when the p53 system identifies significant DNA damage, it kills the cell before it can become malignant. Antioxidants allow cancer cells to remain undetected, preventing their destruction. The scientists stressed that the results only apply to supplements, not antioxidant-rich foods.

How often do you encourage your patients to increase consumption of antioxidant rich foods? What are your thoughts on supplementation with food-based antioxidant products?

For more information visit Reuters

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Multiple sclerosis ‘linked to food bug’

ID-10015738A research team from Weill Cornell Medical College linked a toxin made by a rare species of Clostridium perfringens to MS-like damage in the brain of mice. This same team discovered the toxin-generating strain of C. perfringens in a young woman with MS. C. perfringens is anaerobic, spore-forming bacteria found in soil, the intestinal tract of humans and animals and contaminated meat. The Weill researchers isolated epsilon, a toxin produced by Type B of C. perfringens, with the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and kill myelin-producing cells. Myelin is a substance that surrounds and protects nerve fibers, and is damaged in individuals with MS.

What types of questions do patients ask about food borne illnesses?

For more information visit BBC

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Music Therapy May Help Teens With Cancer Cope

ID-100131039Investigators from Indiana University observed that adolescents and young adults who participated in music therapy were more able to cope with their cancer treatment than those who did not participate. Music therapy included writing song lyrics, producing sound recordings, assembling video images and completing an interactive multimedia story. The patient population tested had to undergo stem-cell transplantation, and 100 days after the procedure the music group continued to report significantly better social integration.

What natural coping strategies do you recommend to patients?

For more information visit WebMD
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Antibiotic use in animals linked to bacterial resistance in humans

cow-milking-facility-100193460In an analysis conducted by the Food and Drug Administration on the use of antibiotics in animal feed, scientists found that 18 out of 30 of them may increase the risk of human exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. There was insufficient information for the scientists to review the other 12 antibiotics. Even though the FDA has made efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals, it is still broadly used. What are your thoughts about this article? What are your recommendations to minimize human exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

For additional information, please click NYT.

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Good cholesterol may clog arteries

cholesterol-meter-10069234In a recent study published in Nature Medicine, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol can become dysfunctional and lose its protective properties. When HDL becomes abnormal, it may enter the bloodstream and clog the arteries. Of the 627 patients in the study, researchers found that those who had higher blood levels of abnormal HDL were at greater risk of heart disease. What are your thoughts about this study?

For additional information, please click BCC.

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Soda coloring may be dangerous to your health

colas-100172977Consumer Reports, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the state of California announce that a chemical known as 4-methylimidazole or 4-Mel found in many soft drinks and foods may be carcinogenic. 4-Mel is labeled simply as “caramel coloring” on U.S. product labels and it gives foods its golden-brown color. The state of California has placed a limit on 4-Mel containing products to 29 micrograms. However, Consumer Reports has found that many products still exceeded the permitted limit and the same products outside of California contained amounts even greater. What is the best way to educate about dangers of consuming foods containing caramel coloring?

For additional information, please click CNN.

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Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce brain aging

human-brain-100214120The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study recently published looked at the association between omega-3 fatty acids and brain aging in 1,111 postmenopausal women who were on average 70 years old. The researchers measured the amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the women’s red blood cells at the beginning of the study and followed them for eight years. It turned out that women with the highest levels of EPA and DHA had a greater brain volume and hippocampus compared to women who had the lowest fatty acid levels. This suggests that EPA and DHA may protect the brain from shrinkage with age. What are your thoughts about this study? How often do patients ask you about using omega-3 fatty acids for treatment or prevention of cognitive disorders?

For additional information, please click Reuters.

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Mediterranean diet may reduce Peripheral Artery Disease

oil-and-olive-10025527A recent randomized trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association examined the association between Mediterranean diet and the incidence of symptomatic peripheral artery disease (PAD). Patients were randomly selected to participate in one of the following groups: a Mediterranean diet high in extra-virgin olive oil; a Mediterranean diet high in nuts; or a low-fat diet. The results of the study found that both Mediterranean diet groups had a significantly lower occurrence of PAD compared to the low-fat diet group and no significant difference was found between the two intervention groups. How often do you recommend Mediterranean diet to your patients?

For additional information, please click JAMA.

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Warning about thyroid supplements

bottle-of-pills-10014449In a recent report published in a scientific journal called Thyroid, researchers found that 9 out of 10 popular thyroid supplements sold online contained prescription medications known as thyroxine (T4) and/or triiodothyronine (T3). Some products contained amounts well over the normal starting dose of these medications. How often do you recommend alternatives to thyroid supplements?

For additional information, please click NYT.

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List of Smoking-Related Illnesses Grows Significantly in U.S. Report

ID-10075526Dr. Boris D. Lushniak, the current surgeon general and leading spokesperson on issues of public health, is releasing a report today declaring that cigarette smoking causes diabetes, colorectal and liver cancers, erectile dysfunction, ectopic pregnancy, vision loss, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, weakened immune function and cleft palates in offspring of women who smoke. Smoking has been recognized to be connected with these diseases and illnesses in the past, but the report is the first time the federal government established that smoking causes them.

Other than nicotine replacement therapy, what are your recommendations to patients to aid in smoking cessation?

For more information visit NY Times

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