Showing posts from August, 2015


Firstborn women are more likely to be overweight/obese as adults than their second-born sisters,finds the largest study of its kind in women, and published online in theJournal of Epidemiology & Community Health. The findings back up similar research on the impact of male birth order, and prompt the researchers to ponder whether shrinking family size might not be contributing to the observed rise in adult body mass index (BMI) around the globe. The researchers wanted to find out if birth order affected adult women's height and weight as it appears to among adult men. They therefore drew on data from the Swedish Birth Register, which was started in 1973, and which contains information dating back to the first antenatal visit on virtually all (99%) births in Sweden. They focused on the time period 1991-2009 for women who were at least 18 years old at the time of their first pregnancy, and who had been born to a mother who was similarly at least 18 years old at the time. Twins were n…


Eating foods rich in amino acids could be as good for your heart as stopping smoking or getting more exercise -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) A new study published today reveals that people who eat high levels of certain amino acids found in meat and plant-based protein have lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness. And the magnitude of the association is similar to those previously reported for lifestyle risk factors including salt intake, physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking. Researchers investigated the effect of seven amino acids on cardiovascular health among almost 2,000 women with a healthy BMI. Data came from TwinsUK -- the biggest UK adult twin registry of 12,000 twins which is used to study the genetic and environmental causes of age related disease. They studied their diet and compared it to clinical measures of blood pressure and blood vessel thickness and stiffness. They found strong evidence that those who consumed the hi…


Dermatomyositis  is an uncommon inflammatory disease marked by muscle weakness and a distinctive skin rash. Dermatomyositis affects adults and children alike. In adults, dermatomyositis usually occurs from the late 40s to early 60s. In children, the disease most often appears between 5 and 15 years of age. Dermatomyositis affects more females than males.. Causes The exact cause of dermatomyositis is unknown, but the disease shares many characteristics with autoimmune disorders, in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body tissues. Small blood vessels in muscular tissue are particularly affected in dermatomyositis. Inflammatory cells surround the blood vessels and eventually lead to degeneration of muscle fibers. Symptoms The most common signs and symptoms of dermatomyositis include: ·Skin changes. A violet-colored or dusky red rash develops, most commonly on your face and eyelids and on areas around your nails, knuckles, elbows, knees, chest and back. The rash, which can be p…


Many foods promote skin health. Some are at their most beneficial when eaten raw: Kale and Spinach Kale and spinach help keep skin firm because they contain phytonutrients that provide extra protection from sun damage. Spinach is especially good because it's loaded with the nutrients beta-carotene and lutein, which have been shown to improve skin elasticity.
Walnuts and Pistachios PHOTO BY MITCH MANDEL Walnuts and pistachios are rich sources of vitamins B and E that help protect against cell damage. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and oxidation that age the skin prematurely, while vitamin B aids circulation to give skin a healthy, youthful glow. Berries and Citrus Berries are packed with age-defying antioxidants as well as fiber, a nutrient that helps eliminate toxins before they cause breakouts. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that also boosts collagen production for soft, supple skin.

ApplesPHOTO BY MITCH MANDEL Like citrus, app…


E-health is vital to winning the battle against heart disease, European cardiology leaders said today in a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) position paper published inEuropean Heart Journal. The novel paper outlines how the ESC will exploit e-health in education and research, while tackling issues of quality control and data security. By 2017 more than 3 billion people worldwide will own a smartphone and half will use health Apps.
"Information and communication technology (ICT) plays a central role in helping us make decisions in almost every aspect of life including what to buy and where to travel, and patients are often frustrated that healthcare does not keep pace," said lead author Professor Martin R. Cowie, professor of cardiology at Imperial College London and the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, UK.
He added: "ICT has the potential to personalise healthcare, help patients take more responsibility for their own health, and cut down on costly hospital stays. The…


A common diabetes drug Metformin can also help lower “bad” cholesterol that is known for promoting cardiovascular diseases by hardening the arteries, significant research has found. “The findings suggest that Metformin might indeed have an additional beneficial effect with regards to cardiovascular diseases among the diabetes patients”, said study first author Dr Tao Xu from Helmholtz Zentrum Minchen, the German research centre for environment health in Neuherberg. Along with the team from the German Diabetes Centre (DDZ) in Dusseldorf, Dr Tu and colleagues analysed more than 1,800 blood samples of participants. Using a comprehensive approach, the scientists investigated metabolic products (metabolites) as well as genetics of these participants. They found that the administration of Metformin in patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes led to a change in metabolite levels. According to the authors, this was associated with a significantly decreased level of LDL or “bad” cholesterol. The rese…


Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. Affecting more than 500 million people worldwide, obesity costs at least $200 billion each year in the United States alone, and contributes to potentially fatal disorders such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
But there may now be a new approach to prevent and even cure obesity, thanks to a study led by researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School and published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. By analyzing the cellular circuitry underlying the strongest genetic association with obesity, the researchers have unveiled a new pathway that controls human metabolism by prompting our adipocytes, or fat cells, to store fat or burn it away. "Obesity has traditionally been seen as the result of an imbalance between the amount of food we eat and how much we exercise, but this view ignores the contribution of genetics to each individual's metabolism," says senior author Mano…


Leaves of the European chestnut tree contain ingredients with the power to disarm dangerous staph bacteria without boosting its drug resistance, scientists have found PLOS ONE is publishing the study of a chestnut leaf extract, rich in ursene and oleanene derivatives, that blocks Staphlococcus aureus virulence and pathogenesis without detectable resistance. The use of chestnut leaves in traditional folk remedies inspired the research, led by Cassandra Quave, an ethnobotanist at Emory University. "We've identified a family of compounds from this plant that have an interesting medicinal mechanism," Quave says. "Rather than killing staph, this botanical extract works by taking away staph's weapons, essentially shutting off the ability of the bacteria to create toxins that cause tissue damage. In other words, it takes the teeth out of the bacteria's bite." The discovery holds potential for new ways to both treat and prevent infections of methicillin-resistant S…


A widely used class of industrial chemicals linked with cancer and interference with immune function--perfluorinated alkylate substances, or PFASs--appears to build up in infants by 20%-30% for each month they're breastfed, according to a new study co-authored by experts from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It is the first study to show the extent to which PFASs are transferred to babies through breast milk, and to quantify their levels over time.
"We knew that small amounts of PFAS can occur in breast milk, but our serial blood analyses now show a buildup in the infants, the longer they are breastfed," said Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard Chan School. The study appeared online August 20, 2015 in Environmental Science & Technology. Other study authors were from Danish universities and the Faroese Hospital System. PFASs are used to make products resistant to water, grease, and stains. They've been in use for more th…


You've heard that romance starts in the kitchen and not in the bedroom. Well, researchers at Drexel University finally have the science to support that saying -- but not the way you might think.
In a new study published online in the journal Appetite, researchers found that women's brains respond more to romantic cues on a full stomach than an empty one. The study explored brain circuitry in hungry versus satiated states among women who were past-dieters and those who had never dieted. The study's first author Alice Ely, PhD, completed the research while pursuing a doctoral degree at Drexel, and is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research, part of the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Michael R. Lowe, PhD, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University, was senior author. "We found that young women both with and without a history of dieting had greater brain activation in response to romantic pictur…


Chromosomes differentiate men from women. A woman's somatic cells have two X chromosomes, while a man's carry only one. If both X chromosomes and all of their genes were to be active in women, they would have twice as many copies of the proteins that they produce in men. This would consequently result in a disequilibrium that would disrupt the finely balanced biochemistry of the human body Nature ensures this does not happen: one of the X chromosomes is completely and permanently inactivated during a female's early development in the womb. The mechanism responsible for this inactivation is not yet fully understood. However, research into mice has shown that a ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecule called Xist plays a pivotal role in the process. Several hundred copies of this molecule attach themselves to one of the two X chromosomes. Scientists believe that these RNA molecules dock onto other molecules which then inactivate the chromosome. A team of researchers lead by Anton Wutz…


The brains of people with epilepsy appear to react to music differently from the brains of those who do not have the disorder, a finding that could lead to new therapies to prevent seizures, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association's 123rd Annual Convention We believe that music could potentially be used as an intervention to help people with epilepsy," said Christine Charyton, PhD, adjunct assistant professor and visiting assistant professor of neurology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who presented the research. Approximately 80 percent of epilepsy cases are what is known as temporal lobe epilepsy, in which the seizures appear to originate in the temporal lobe of the brain. Music is processed in the auditory cortex in this same region of the brain, which was why Charyton wanted to study the effect of music on the brains of people with epilepsy. Charyton and her colleagues compared the musical processing abilities of the brai…