Trial published by the Journal of Microbiology Ecology released information that may hint that management of gut microbiota may be the secret to managing weight. Shanghai researchers looked into gut microbiota and its connection to weight. Ninety three obese patients were placed on a dietary regime with whole grains, traditional Chinese medicinal foods, and prebiotics for 9 weeks. Patients were evaluated at the end of 9 weeks and then 14 weeks later demonstrating an average weight loss of 5kg. Researchers claim diet management improved insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, and blood pressure. In addition to weight loss, what health benefits can potentially be gained from managing our natural flora?
For the article visit BBC
For the study visit the Journal of Microbiology Ecology
Can a higher education do more than get you a better salary? Results of a new study published in Neurology suggests that a higher education may help provide some cognitive protection from traumatic brain injury. The study found people with a college education were four times more likely to recover and return to work or school with no disability compared to those who did not finish high school. Although the exact mechanism is unknown, a few theories suggest that the brain can develop better coping strategies when knowledge expands with higher education. What are some of your favorite strategies in exercising your brain?
For additional information, please visit NBC
FDA has released a warning about an herbal supplement by the name of S.W.A.G. or “sex with a grudge” because it has traces of generic Viagra. This product can be purchased online and advertised to “increase blood flow” and improve sexual health, unbeknownst to buyers however, this product can potentially be fatal. The manufacturer claims that there are no interactions seen similarly in medications such as Cialis, Viagra or Levitra but the FDA warns consumers that it may have severe interactions with nitrates. The FDA advises those using this product to immediately dispose of it and side effects such as dizziness, fainting, or heart attack/stroke may occur. How familiar are you with the mechanisms of reporting adverse effects and interactions related to herbal supplements?
For additional information visit Cleveland.com
A recent six week trial published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal evaluated over 1,000 patients and shown that just one serving of legumes (peas, beans, chickpeas, and lentils) can decrease one’s total LDL by 5 percent. A decrease by 5 percent leads to a 5-6 percent reduction in heart attack and other major cardiovascular events. What are your favorite recipes that incorporate legumes?
For additional information visit NYT
For the study visit CMAJ
As a growing number of states legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, the negative effects are beginning to surface in research. A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience scanned the brains of forty young adults from Boston University who smoked marijuana. Results of the brain scans revealed that among those who smoked more, a portion of their brain was structurally altered; the part that is involved with decision making, motivation, and emotional behavior. It is important that results of this small study cannot be generalized, however, it serves as a foundation for further research on marijuana smoking and potentially permanent cognitive abnormalities. How will the findings of this study influence the acceptance of recreational versus medical marijuana? What recommendations would you give to your patient seeking marijuana?
For additional information, please visit The Boston Globe
A new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension suggests that consuming watermelon may help lower blood pressure and have positive impact on other vascular parameters. This cross-over study evaluated the effects of watermelon extracts in 13 middle-aged obese patients suffering from high blood pressure. What other foods do you recommend your patients who are trying to decrease their blood pressure?
For additional information, please visit Science Daily
A new study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology is making researchers look at the placebo effect again. The participants were observed during their sleep to determine if they got above- or below-average sleep. When participants were told they got above-average sleep, they performed better even if they did not sleep well. Taking advantage of this placebo effect, there are three simple methods to improve your day: be more productive, get fitter, and feel happier. How? Focusing on a how much sleep you did get rather than dwell on the fact that the last hour of sleep was spent tossing and turning, knowing how much exercise you achieve during your daily activities, and practicing optimism by having something positive to look forward to throughout the day. How have you experimented with placebo effect in your life or in your practice?
For additional information please visit CNN
With the rising trend towards a greener and more natural lifestyle, the latest issue of the British Medical Journal is making its reader aware of the continuing debate related to alternative approaches to health and well-being. Some say that including complementary alternative medicine (CAM) in the medical school curriculum is necessary in order for a medical professional to provide a wide range of options for patients while others caution the idea of teaching students to recommend treatments without evidence of efficacy or safety. Those in favor argue that lifestyle choices such as performing yoga and meditation has been shown to improve overall health while those against it portray CAM as “seductive yet utterly devoid of scientific merit”. Based on your personal knowledge and experience, should medical students be taught complementary alternative medicine? Why or why not?
For the article, visit BMJ
Was your first impression of someone ever influenced by their odor? Pheromones, a biological factor, play an important role in our sense of attraction. With that in mind, a bar in east London has brought a new scent to the growing dating market where people sniff t-shirts of others in order to determine if they are date-worthy. How do you feel about using science when it comes to the dating world?
For the article visit BBC