A new study by Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health has revealed that children who were exposed to air pollutants during their first two years of life are more likely to develop Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The study, which was presented in the American Association for Aerosol Research annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, has explained that the risk is related mainly to two pollutants: chromium, which is released by combustion processes and metal industries, and styrene, the product of poly styrene plastics and resins. What are your thoughts about air pollution? What should be done to prevent its negative effects, especially on children?
For more information, please visit Youth Health Magazine.
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The study that supports the use of green coffee bean extract for weight loss and was promoted in Dr. Oz’s Show as the “Magic weight loss cure”, has been retracted by its authors. They explained that the sponsors of the study, the green coffee bean extract manufacturer, could not assure the validity of the data. Moreover, the company, Applied Food Sciences Inc., has been charged by the Federal Trade Commission for using the results of the flawed study to make baseless claims. What are your thoughts about weight loss products and specifically green coffee bean extract? What other products are you uncomfortable recommending?
For more information, please visit Huffington Post.
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According to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, drinking sodas has been found to be linked to a fast aging process. By analyzing stored DNA from more than 5,300 healthy Americans in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from some 14 years ago, researchers have revealed that drinking a 20-ounce bubbly beverage every day is linked to 4.6 years of additional aging. Interestingly, these results are similar to those that are linked to smoking. However, the cause-effect relationship has not been established yet. The studies regarding to the danger of sodas are continuously growing, what are your thoughts about the best way to decrease their consumption?
For more information, please visit National Post.
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Recognizing that they are a part of the obesity problem in the United States, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Co, and Dr.Pepper Snapple Group have come to an agreement with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to pledge to cut calories consumed by beverages by 20% by the year 2025. Their plan is to create smaller portion sizes, as well as promote water and non-calorie options more effectively. Due to a cap on sugary drink portions now in effect in New York, a soda ban in schools, and a possible tax on these soft drinks in San Francisco in the near future, this may be their attempt to stay appealing to customers. Since the peak of soda sales in 1998, the amount of calories consumed by Americans from sugary drinks has decreased by 23 percent due to an increased concern with our health. As the general population has become more conscious of disease states such as diabetes, they have started to opt for healthier options, including water and beverages that do not contain aspartame. Still, experts agree that more needs to be done in order to decrease obesity rates.
How do you feel about more aggressive government-instituted restrictions on these products? How comfortable would you be with instituting potential penalties on these companies if they cannot fulfill their promise by 2025?
To read more, please visit WSJ.
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A 6 year research lead by Dr. David Llewellyn and his team at the University of Exeter Medical School, concluded that low levels of vitamin D in older people are linked to the risk of developing dementia. Vitamin D can be found in foods, such as oily fish, supplements, or exposure to sunlight, however elderly people have less efficient skin and must be supplement in other ways. The team found that in 1,169 subjects with sufficient levels of vitamin D, there is a 1 in 10 chance of developing dementia. In 70 subjects with deficiency, there was a 1 in 5 risk of getting dementia. They cannot say that low vitamin D causes dementia but it is worthwhile to continue studying the connection. What are your thoughts on the association of dementia risk with low vitamin D?
For additional information, please see BBC News.
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The Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Josephine Briggs, MD shares her thoughts on a recent publication in the journal Headache by Robert Cowan, MD. Both are trying to raise awareness of what patients visiting clinicians might be utilizing in terms of conventional and complementary approaches. There are more Evidence-Based resources available to conventional practitioners on CAM than ever before. What are your thoughts on Dr. Briggs commentary?
For additional information please see, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
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A new review published in the journal Hypertension evaluated results of multiple trials concluding that daily consumption of probiotics can reduced blood pressure levels by 2 to 3 mm Hg. Even though this is not a significant reduction, probiotics in general have multiple benefits. What are your favorite sources of probiotics?
For additional information, please see Reuters Health.
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In a recent national dietary survey published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers analyzed the diets of over 7,000 children and adolescents between 2 to 18 years old. Nutrient content of each food and supplement consumed in each child’s diet was calculated and compared to the Estimated Average Requirements (EAR). The results found that boys and girls between the ages 2 to 8 had the lowest levels of inadequate nutrient intake while girls between the ages 14 to 18 had the highest levels of inadequacy. Vitamin D, thiamin, and folate in fortified foods were the highest contributors of at least half of the nutrient intake. Other nutrients that contributed to at least 12 to 18 percent of the intake were vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, B-6, B-12, iron, and zinc. Calcium was among the lowest at 4.5 to 6.6 percent. Despite the increased nutrients in fortified foods, a significant percentage of children did not meet the EAR for their age and sex. What are your recommendations to your patients for maintaining a healthy diet?
For additional information, please click Reuters.
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A recent article published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization compared the number of fast food transactions in 25 high income countries with changes in the average body mass index of each country. Between 1999 to 2008, the average number of fast food transactions per capita increased from 26.61 to 32.76 and the average BMI increased from 25.8 to 26.4. In addition, researchers found a correlation between the country’s economic freedom and the number of fast food transactions. Countries that are more economically free have a greater increase in the average number of fast food transactions. Government regulation of fast food intake can potentially prevent the rise in obesity especially in developing countries. What are your thoughts about this article? How do you encourage your patients to limit food from fast food restaurants?
For additional information, please click BMJ.
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In a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that participants who consumed more added sugar in their diet were more likely to die of heart disease. Of the 31,000 U.S. adults surveyed between 1988 and 2010, an average of 15 to 17 percent of their daily calorie intake was from added sugars. This is greater than the recommended amount set by the American Heart Association of 100 calories of added sugars per day for women and 150 calories for men and the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 10 percent as the limit. The results showed that participants who consumed between 10 and 25 percent were at a 30 percent increase for cardiovascular disease death and those who consumed 25 percent or more were twice as likely. What tips do you have for patients to minimize added sugar intake?
For additional information, please click Reuters.
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