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December 16, 2008, 8:27 PM CT

New study 'pardons' the misunderstood egg

New study 'pardons' the misunderstood egg
A study recently published online in the journal Risk Analysis(1) estimates that eating one egg per day is responsible for less than 1 percent of the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in healthy adults. Alternatively, lifestyle factors including poor diet, smoking, obesity and physical inactivity contribute 30 to 40 percent of heart disease risk, depending on gender. This study adds to more than thirty years of research showing that healthy adults can eat eggs without significantly affecting their risk of heart disease.



Study Background


The study reviewed the risk of heart disease linked to egg consumption in comparison to modifiable lifestyle risk factors (smoking, poor diet, being overweight or obese, physical inactivity). The study authors used data from the 1999-2000 and 2001-2001 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) to categorize the U.S. adult population into various groups based on modifiable lifestyle risks. These populations account for 85 percent of all U.S. males ages 25 and older and 86 percent of U.S. females ages 25 and older.



Study Findings


The study observed that the consumption of one egg per day contributes less than 1 percent of heart disease risk. Modifiable lifestyle risk factors smoking, poor diet, being overweight or obese and physical inactivity accounted for 30 to 40 percent of heart disease risk, while unavoidable risk factors, such as genetics, and potentially treatable risk factors, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, accounted for 60 to 70 percent.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 8:22 PM CT

GPs 'could do more' to help obese avoid surgery

GPs 'could do more' to help obese avoid surgery
Surgery to treat obesity could be avoided if GPs and healthcare trusts put more time and money into early stage weight management programmes, a senior clinical researcher will say today (Wednesday, 17 December, 2008).

And he will say that patients suffering from obesity face a "post code lottery" when seeking access to specialist care.

Speaking at the British Pharmacological Society's Winter Meeting in Brighton today, Dr Nick Finer, Clinical Director, Wellcome Clinical Research Facility at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, will call for anti-obesity drugs to be more widely used.

Dr Finer will say that these drugs are cost-effective interventions and do work if correctly used.

But he will add that in some patients early potential for drug therapy to prevent the later need for surgery is being missed - due to the reluctance of primary care doctors to treat obesity.

In his presentation, entitled 'Clinical challenges: can current drugs compete with surgery?', Dr Finer will be discussing the place of drug therapy in the management of obesity.

Dr Finer said: "About one third of people taking the two drugs currently licensed for obesity management, in conjunction with a diet and lifestyle programme, will achieve a 10 per cent weight loss and around half a five per cent loss. Weight loss is well maintained if drug therapy is continued.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 8:17 PM CT

Girls have superior sense of taste to boys

Girls have superior sense of taste to boys
How many taste buds have you got? As part of the large-scale experiment, pupils from all over Denmark had to colour their tongue bright blue with fruit dye and count the number of taste buds in a certain section of the tongue. Pupils from Amager Fælled School in Copenhagen. Photo: Peter Willersted
Girls have a better sense of taste than boys. Every third child of school age prefers soft drinks which are not sweet. Children and young people love fish and do not think of themselves as being fussy eaters. Boys have a sweeter tooth than girls. Teenagers taste differently. And finally, schoolchildren in northern Denmark have the best taste buds.

The findings of the world's largest study so far on the ability of children and young people to taste and what they like have now been published. The study was conducted jointly by Danish Science Communication, food researchers from The Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) at University of Copenhagen and 8,900 Danish schoolchildren.

In September, 8,900 schoolchildren from all over Denmark took part in a large-scale experiment conducted by Danish Science Communication and The Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) at University of Copenhagen. It is the first time that such a large-scale study has been done on the sense of taste of children and young people and what they like to eat.

Danish schoolchildren help scientists

One of the reasons why it was possible to include so a number of children and young people in the study was that the experiment itself was conducted in quite an unorthodox way: It was planned as a 'mass experiment' in conjunction with this year' s natural science festival at Danish primary and secondary schools.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 8:11 PM CT

Abused Women Seek More Infant Health Care

Abused Women Seek More Infant Health Care
Pregnant women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) before, during or after pregnancy often suffer adverse health effects, including depression, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and chronic mental illness. Now, University of Missouri scientists have observed that women who experience intimate partner violence are more likely to seek health care for their infants than non-abused women. Awareness of mothers with frequent infant health concerns can help health care providers identify and provide aid to women in abusive relationships.

"Health care providers should view frequent calls or visits for common infant health concerns as red flags," said Linda Bullock, professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing. "Eventhough it can be difficult for providers to see beyond immediate concerns, the findings suggest that considering only voiced concerns may represent lost opportunities to intervene on more critical health matters that impact mothers and children. Providers have a chance to help mothers who may not voice concerns about intimate partner violence".

In the study, more than 60 percent of women who experienced intimate partner violence sought health consultations for their infants. Abused women were more likely to seek infant care, reported more stress, were more depressed, and had less support than non-abused women. Less than 54 percent of non-abused women sought infant health consultations. Bullock said significant maternal stress may be a contributing factor to increased infant care. Additionally, women may use their children's health care problems as a way to seek help for themselves.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 9:26 PM CT

Breast cancer genome shows evolution

Breast cancer genome shows evolution
A newly published genome sequence of a breast cancer cell line reveals a heavily rearranged genetic blueprint involving breaks and fusions of genes and a broken DNA repair machinery, said scientists at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears online in the journal Genome Research

"It's like a computer program that has become buggy and transcends into something dangerous," said Dr. Aleksandar Milosavljevic, associate professor in the BCM Human Genome Sequencing Center. "It makes the cell escape normal controls on cell proliferation. Experimentally, some of the rearrangements in the genome that we found produce fusion genes that confer uncontrolled cell growth and prevent tumor cells from dying, allowing them to grow outside their normal tissue environment. These are all essential attributes of cancer".

"From our standpoint, we are pretty convinced that these genomic translocations may turn out to be prognostic markers and also potential therapeutic targets," said Dr. Adrian Lee, associate professor in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at BCM and a collaborator on the project. Both scientists are researchers in the National Cancer Institute-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at BCM.

"This is the first study to comprehensively map these genomic translocations to base pair resolution," Lee said. "I think it's pretty clear that the technology Milosavljevic is working with is probably going to change our understanding of breast cancer especially the genetics of breast cancer".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 9:15 PM CT

Inflamed gums and heart disease

Inflamed gums and heart disease
The next person who reminds you to floss might be your heart specialist instead of your dentist. Researchers have known for some time that a protein linked to inflammation (called CRP) is elevated in people at risk for heart disease. But where's the inflammation coming from? A new research study by Italian and U.K. researchers published online in The FASEB Journal shows that infected gums may be one place. Indeed, proper dental hygiene should reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke and heart disease independently of other measures, such as managing cholesterol.

"It has been long suspected that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory process, and that periodontal disease plays a role in atherosclerosis," said Mario Clerici, M.D., a senior researcher on the study. "Our study suggests that this is the case, and indicates that something as simple as taking good care of your teeth and gums can greatly reduce your risk of developing serious diseases".

To reach this conclusion, the researchers examined the carotid arteries of 35 otherwise healthy people (median age 46) with mild to moderate periodontal disease before and after having their periodontal disease treated. One year after therapy, the researchers observed a reduction in oral bacteria, immune inflammation and the thickening of the blood vessels linked to atherosclerosis.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 9:12 PM CT

Esophagus Stem Cells Grow Into Transplantable Tissue

Esophagus Stem Cells Grow Into Transplantable Tissue
Mouse esophagus stem cells have the capacity to contribute to the repair of esophageal epithelium after induction of injury.

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered stem cells in the esophagus of mice that were able to grow into tissue-like structures and when placed into immune-deficient mice were able to form parts of an esophagus lining. The researchers report their findings online this month in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

"The immediate implication is that we'll have a better understanding of the role of these stem cells in normal biology, as well as in regenerative and cancer biology," says senior author Anil K. Rustgi, MD, the T. Grier Miller Professor of Medicine and Genetics and Chief of Gastroenterology. "Down the road, we will develop a panel of markers that will define these stem cells and use them in replacement treatment for diseases like gastroesophogeal reflux disease [GERD] and also to understand Barrett's esophagus, a precursor to esophageal adenocarcinoma and how to reverse that before it becomes cancer".

Diseases of the esophagus are very common in the United States and worldwide. "Non-cancerous forms include GERD and millions are affected," notes Rustgi.

GERD can sometimes lead to inflammation of the esophagus, called esophagitis. "In some of these cases esophagitis can lead to a swapping of the normal lining of the esophagus with a lining that looks more like the intestinal lining and that's called Barrett's esophagus," explains Rustgi. "This can lead to cancer of the esophagus, which is the fastest rising cancer in the US, increasing by 7 to 8 percent a year."........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 5:28 AM CT

Obesity is in your head, not your gut

Obesity is in your head, not your gut
New research suggests that genes that predispose people to obesity act in the brain and that perhaps some people are simply hardwired to overeat.

An international research team co-led by the University of Michigan found six new genes that help explain body mass index and obesity, and all but one of the genes are tied to the brain rather than to metabolic functions, such as fat storage and sugar metabolism.

In addition to the six new genes, the study also confirmed the role of two other genes previously linked to obesity, said co-principal investigator Goncalo Abecasis, an associate professor at the U-M School of Public Health. The study will appear online Dec. 14 in advance of print publication in the journal Nature Genetics

It's significant that five of the six new genes also impact brain function, because the findings suggest people could simply be programmed to overeat, said U-M postdoctoral researcher Cristen Willer, first author on the study. The brain, she said, has two main functions correlation to weight: appetite control and the regulation of one's total energy balance (whether you burn more calories or conserve more energy).

"This research tells you a little about what kinds of drugs you want to develop and where you want them to act," Abecasis said.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 5:26 AM CT

Preventing a broken heart

Preventing a broken heart
A heart damaged by heart attack is commonly broken, at least partially, for good. The injury causes excessive scar tissue to form, and this plays a role in permanently keeping heart muscle from working at full capacity.

Now scientists have identified a key molecule involved in controlling excessive scar tissue formation in mice following a heart attack. When they stopped the scarring from occurring, the researchers observed that the animals' heart function greatly improved following the injury.

The study, by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cornell University, appears in Nature Cell Biology online Dec. 14, 2008.

The findings offer heartening news for the millions who have heart attacks each year and suffer from the resulting poor heart function. The study raises the hope that the outlook for people with this major disability might be markedly improved.

The researchers studied a protein, sFRP2, which they unexpectedly found to be involved in the formation of collagen, the main component of scar tissue.

"With a number of injuries and diseases, large amounts of collagen are formed and deposited in tissues, leading to scarring and a condition called fibrosis," explains co-author Daniel S. Greenspan, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. "Fibrosis can seriously affect the functioning of heart, lung, liver and other tissues".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 5:21 AM CT

Exciting discovery could 'stop cancer from killing people'

Exciting discovery could 'stop cancer from killing people'
Metastasis is the ability of cancer cells to spread from a primary site, to form tumours at distant sites. It is a complex process in which cell motility and invasion play a fundamental role. Essential to our understanding of how metastasis develops is identification of the molecules, and characterisation of the mechanisms that regulate cell motility. Hitherto, these mechanisms have been poorly understood. Now, a team of scientists lead by Professor Marco Falasca at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry has shown not only that the enzyme phospholipase Cγ1 (PLCγ1) plays a crucial role in metastasis formation, but that down regulation of PLCγ1 expression is able to revert metastasis progression.

The team investigated the role of PLCγ1 in cell invasion and metastasis using different approaches to modulate its expression in highly invasive cancer cell lines. Their results showed that PLCγ1 is mandatory for breast cancer cell invasion and activation of the protein Rac1. They revealed a functional link between PLCγ1 and Rac1 that provides insight into processes regulating cell invasion.

Professor Falasca explained: "Consistent with these data we detected an increase in PLC1 expression in metastases in comparison to primary tumours in patients with breast cancer. Therefore PLCγ1 is critical for metastasis formation, and development and inhibition of this enzyme has a therapeutic potential in the therapy of metastasis dissemination".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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