New Drugs for Gout and Ulcerative Colitis
New drugs for gout and ulcerative colitis, two diseases that plague millions of people worldwide have been found.
Identifying the Signs of Breast Cancer
The early stages of breast cancer may not have any symptoms. That is why you must learn how to identify the signs of breast cancer before it's too late!
Full Body Detox
Lose 10 - 50lbs in 3 week with detox!
Do I Have Healthy Prostate Gland?
Don't wait until it's too late! Make sure you have healthy prostate gland.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Cancer drug plus the Pill relieves endometriosis

A drug used to treat and prevent breast cancer, Arimidex, can significantly reduce the pain of endometriosis when taken daily along with an oral contraceptive, investigators in the U.S. report.

Endometriosis is an often-painful condition in which tissue that normally lines the uterus is found elsewhere in the abdomen. Current treatments for endometriosis are ineffective for many women or have dangerous side effects, Dr. Serdar E. Bulun, from Northwestern University in Chicago, and his associates note in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility.

Arimidex inhibits an enzyme, aromatase, involved in estrogen synthesis, and it was recently found that high levels of aromatase are expressed in endometrial tissue of women with endometriosis.

Read more: Cancer drug plus the Pill relieves endometriosis

How risky is red meat?

A large European study recently reported a strong link between eating high amounts of red meat and an increased risk of colorectal cancer. This finding supports and extends the results of several previous studies. However, for consumers who want to apply these findings to best protect their health, questions remain about specific food choices.

The study shows that after an average of almost five years, people who ate the most red meat and processed meat had a 35 percent greater risk of developing colorectal cancer than those who ate the least amounts.

The cancer risk actually rises with fairly small amounts of these foods. Eating more than about five-and-a-half ounces of red meat and processed meat per day put people in the most at-risk group. A smaller change in risk was even seen with 10 ounces per week. The meats responsible include beef, pork, lamb and veal, plus sausage, ham, bacon and cold cuts.

Read more: How risky is red meat?

Yoga may help keep weight off

The slow stretches and meditations of yoga don't burn calories like a run on the treadmill. But a new study suggests it might help people keep weight off in middle age.

Researchers found that overweight people in their 50s who regularly practiced yoga lost about five pounds over 10 years, while a group in the same age range gained about 13 1/2 pounds over the same period.

Middle-aged people of normal weight generally put on pounds over 10 years, but those who did yoga gained less weight than those who didn't practice yoga.

The link between yoga and weight loss has nothing to do with burning calories, said Alan Kristal, one of the researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who co-authored the study.

"Except for very strenuous yoga practices, you don't really burn enough energy to make any difference in terms of weight," said Kristal, who has practiced yoga for 10 years.

Instead, he thinks yoga helps keep people more in tune with their bodies and eating habits and aware of bad habits, such as eating because of stress, boredom or depression

Read more: Study: Yoga may help keep weight off

Sleep study probes snoring link

Researchers are investigating whether snoring during pregnancy can affect the baby's health.
Scientists say a lack of oxygen during sleep could restrict birth weight.

Sleep apnoea - where a person stops breathing for a short period during sleep - is a common condition among overweight men and pregnant women.

A £6,000 grant from Action Medical Research will allow scientists at City Hospital in Nottingham to study the link between apnoea and birth weight.

Read more: Sleep study probes snoring link

Blood 'cleaning' aids transplants

A new technique could allow transplant patients to receive organs from donors with a different blood group.

London's Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust carried out one of the first such transplants to use a the technique, which removes antibodies from blood.

The Guy's and St Thomas' team used a technique called antibody specific immunoabsorption.

It works in a similar way to the dialysis it is designed to help patients escape.

In Barbara's case, her blood group is O, and her partner Ian Long's blood group is A.

Her blood naturally carries antibodies to A-type blood.

In the weeks before the transplant Barbara was given medication to stop her body from producing the usual number of these antibodies.

She then had four sessions on the machine to filter out any antibodies which would cause her to reject the new kidney.

Her blood was fed through an immunoabsorption column, which contains a carbohydrate which absorbs anti-A or anti-B antibodies.

However, the column only removed the antibodies which would cause rejection and left other antibodies, which play important roles in fighting infections.

Read more: Blood 'cleaning' aids transplants

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Useful Links

BlogBiB - Blog Directory BlogTagstic - Blog Directory Blog Universe - Blog Directory Blogwise - blog directory FindingBlog - Blog Directory Directory of Health Blogs

The Colon Therapists Network: Colon Hydrotherapy, Colonic Irrigation and Ear Candling alternative health therapy information and reports!

Advanced Nutritional Supplements - Vitamins - Offers all-natural liquid vitamins and antioxidants and information on nutrition / health issues.

Medical & Health Information. Clear. Simple. Quick. Try us!

3ada - Health and Fitness
3ada - web-directory which provides relevant links, adds, goods and
products classified by region and topic.
Free Blog Directory - The website popularity index

Health Blog Top Sites

More blogs about health.
Technorati Blog Finder

The Blog Resource

Family - WorldVillage is the web's leading site for family-friendly internet since 1995

Monday, August 22, 2005

Stockings to give elderly a lift

Researchers have developed inflatable stockings to give relief to elderly people with mobility problems.

The device could be used as an alternative to physiotherapy to treat patients with artery diseases.

A team at Imperial College London in Hammersmith, west London, carried out trials on 34 people with a condition which affects blood flow to the legs.

The stockings are wrapped around the leg and inflated three times a minute, squeezing blood out of the veins.

Consultant vascular surgeon Dr George Geroulakos led the research which focused on patients with a condition called intermittent claudication.

Read more: Stockings to give elderly a lift

Crocodile blood antibiotics hope

Scientists are catching crocodiles and sampling their blood in the hope of finding powerful new drugs to fight human infections.

Australian Adam Britton and US expert Mark Merchant spent the last fortnight combing the Northern Territory for salt and freshwater crocs.

It has been known for some time that these animals heal serious injuries rapidly and almost without infection.

More recently, tests showed alligator blood has strong antibacterial powers.

Read more: Crocodile blood antibiotics hope

Thursday, August 18, 2005

80-year-olds fit for heart bypass

Doctors should not shy away from giving 80-year-olds heart bypass surgery, say experts.

It is a misconception that they are unlikely to survive for long enough for the surgery to be of benefit, doctors from the UK and Canada conclude.

The findings in Heart journal are based on 12,461 patients, 706 of whom were over 80 years of age at the time of surgery.

The octogenarians had half the risk of death of their younger peers.

This was despite the elderly patients being far more likely to undergo emergency surgery than younger patients.

Read more: 80-year-olds fit for heart bypass

An orange a day to fight arthritis?

A research by Dr. Alan J. Silman, from The University of Manchester in the UK, and colleagues shows that foods contain carotenoid compounds can reduce inflammation. Those compounds are carotenoids beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin. But two other carotenoid, lutein and lycopene, does not seem to protect against arthritis.
Drinking a glass of orange juice a day may help stave off arthritis, new research suggests. Certain carotenoids, compounds commonly found in some fruits and vegetables, appear to be responsible.

The findings from previous studies have suggested that dietary carotenoids, the chemicals responsible for the orange and yellow coloring of fruits and vegetables, can reduce inflammation through antioxidant effects.

Read more: Want to avoid arthritis? Crunch on carrots

Long working hours 'health risk'

Working long hours can greatly increase the risk of suffering injury or illness, a study says.

Workers who do overtime were 61% more likely to become hurt or ill, once factors such as age and gender were taken into account.

And working more than 12 hours a day raised the risk by more than a third, the University of Massachusetts found.

A 60-hour week carried a 23% greater risk, the study of US records from 110,236 employment periods found.

The study looked at data from 1987 to 2000. An employment period relates to the time a person spent at one firm. Counting this way meant some individuals might have been covered by the research more than once.

Report co-author Allard Dembe said risk was not necessarily associated with how hazardous the job was.

"The results of this study suggest that jobs with long working hours are not more risky merely because they are concentrated in inherently hazardous industries or occupations.

Read more: Long working hours 'health risk'

Friday, August 12, 2005

Diet Success with McDonald!

Inspired by the documentary “Super Size Me,” Merab Morgan decided to give a fast-food-only diet a try. The construction worker and mother of two ate only at McDonald’s for 90 days — and dropped 37 pounds in the process.

It was a vastly different outcome than what happened in the documentary to filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, who put on 30 pounds and saw his health deteriorate after 5,000 calories a day of nothing but McDonald’s food.

Morgan, from Raleigh, thought the documentary had unfairly targeted the world’s largest restaurant company, implying that the obese were victims of a careless corporate giant. People are responsible for what they eat, she said, not restaurants. The problem with a McDonald’s-only diet isn’t what’s on the menu, but the choices made from it, she said.

Read more: Woman says 'McDonald's diet' took off weight

Heart patient's last ride: 2,400 bike trip

A man who took up bicycling after bypass surgery gave him a second chance at life died of a heart attack the day after completing a 2,400-mile, cross-country trip.

Broc Bebout, a 57-year-old retired engineer, died Thursday on the van drive back to his home in Anderson, about 25 miles northeast of Indianapolis, one day after completing the bicycle ride from Carlsbad, Calif., to Brunswick, Ga.

His wife, Patricia Brinkman, said bicycling became Bebout’s ticket to nearly 20 years of good health after quadruple-bypass surgery at age 39. He also learned to eat right and take care of himself, she said.

Read more: Heart patient's last ride: 2,400 bike trip

Thursday, August 11, 2005

KFC, Pizza Hut restaurants going smoke-free

People digging into buckets of chicken or munching slices of pizza soon won’t be allowed to light up cigarettes at company-owned KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants.

Yum Brands Inc., the parent of both chains, on Thursday announced its decision to snuff out smoking at the KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants it owns nationwide.

Louisville-based Yum said “No Smoking” signs will go up beginning next week at the 1,200 KFC and 1,675 Pizza Hut restaurants across the country that are company-owned.

Franchise operators in the two chains will also be encouraged to join the initiative. Yum’s massive franchise network in the U.S. includes 4,200 KFC and 4,600 Pizza Hut restaurants.

Read more: KFC, Pizza Hut restaurants going smoke-free

Alcoholism may be in the genes, for flies

Fruit flies carry a gene - aptly named 'hangover' - that appears to help them become tolerant to alcohol. Tolerance is thought to promote dependence, so if a similar gene is found in humans, it might lead to drugs to treat or prevent alcoholism.

In the journal Nature, researchers report that only fruit flies that carry a functioning 'hangover' gene develop a tolerance for alcohol.

"If humans have a gene that has a function similar to that of 'hangover,' we could interfere with the function of such a gene," thereby preventing people from developing addiction to, alcohol, study author Dr. Ulrike Heberlein of the University of California at San Francisco told Reuters Health.

However, the researcher cautioned that this is still just speculation.

Read more: Alcoholism may be in the genes, for flies

Strict diet program may help prostate cancer

A strict vegetarian diet combined with relaxation therapy and exercise may be able to control slow-growing prostate cancer, researchers said on Thursday.

Diet guru Dr. Dean Ornish said his vegan diet program, which some studies have suggested can reverse heart disease, also seemed to halt the progression of prostate cancer.

Tests on middle-aged and elderly men who had opted to watch indolent prostate tumors rather than treat them suggested the program slowed the growth of their cancers, Ornish said.

"This is not the definitive study, but it certainly advances the field and it adds new information about how powerful these simple changes can be," Ornish said in a telephone interview.

Read more: Strict diet program may help prostate cancer-study

Hope for eliminating 'latent' HIV

Early research suggests a potential way to eradicate dormant HIV infection, scientists claim in the Lancet.

A University of North Carolina team has shown valproic acid - used to treat bipolar disorder - can prevent HIV persisting in this latent phase.

The findings may boost HIV treatment and be a step towards preventing HIV from being a chronic disease, they say.

But experts cautioned against premature optimism, and said much more research into the drug's effects was needed.

Read more: Hope for eliminating 'latent' HIV

Pregnant smokers failing to quit

Researchers found that most of women smokers fail to quit smoking during their pregnancy.
The Glasgow University team discovered that despite the harmful effects smoking can have on unborn babies, most mums-to-be struggle to quit.

It is estimated that a third of pregnant women smoke.

Researchers looked at the impact one-to-one counselling by midwives had on pregnant smokers.

A total of 762 pregnant women who were regular smokers when they became pregnant took part in the study.

Read more: Pregnant smokers failing to quit

Monday, August 08, 2005

Lung Cancer Is the No. 1 Cancer Killer

According to American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the worst killer in America than other kinds of cancer.

Peter Jennings died Sunday after a brief battle with lung cancer. He was 67.

ABC News anchors said they hope if anything positive can be taken from Jennings' death, it is a greater awareness of the dangers of smoking.

"I want to give a message," Barbara Walters said. "If you have kids who are smoking, for heaven's sake, tell them that we lost Peter."

Lung cancer is the worst cancer killer in America, taking more lives each year than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society.

An estimated 160,440 Americans die each year from lung cancer, accounting for 28 percent of all cancer deaths. Over 173,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year, accounting for 13 percent of new cancer cases, according to the ACS.

More than 87 percent of lung cancers are smoking related, according to the Lung Cancer Organization.

Read more: Lung Cancer Is the No. 1 Cancer Killer

Dental Plaque Linked to Pneumonia

Better oral hygiene, including good regular toothbrushing, may lessen nursing home residents' chances of developing pneumonia, according to a study which traced germs from dental plaque to the lungs of patients with the potentially fatal illness.

Dr. Ali El-Solh, lead author of the study published in the November issue of the journal Chest, said the findings "indicate that dental plaque is a reservoir of respiratory pathogens" that can be inhaled into the lungs and lead to pneumonia.

The University at Buffalo researcher stopped short of saying that brushing or rinsing patients' teeth or dentures is enough to destroy the germs and prevent pneumonia, citing the need for more research. But the study makes a strong case for improving dental care for nursing home residents, he and others said.

Institutionalized and critically ill elderly people, who are often frail with weakened immune systems, are particularly susceptible to pneumonia, and poor dental hygiene has been suspect for several years.

Read more: Dental Plaque Linked to Pneumonia

Treatment Forms Promote Better Care for Stroke Patients

Care for stroke patients appears to improve significantly in hospitals where standardized treatment forms are completed by attending physicians and nurses, a new study suggests.

Creating a template to help caregivers outline, reference and track the use of optimal care for stroke patients greatly increases the use of lifesaving treatments, according to researchers with the California Acute Stroke Pilot Registry.

"I think this kind of thing has worked in other disease areas, so it's not too surprising that it seems to work for stroke treatment," said study author Dr. S. Claiborne Johnston, director of the University of California, San Francisco Stroke Service. "We were surprised, though, at how much of an improvement we could see vs. how little effort was involved."

Read more: Treatment Forms Promote Better Care for Stroke Patients

'Dying in sleep' linked to apnea, experts say

People who die in their sleep may stop breathing because they have lost too many brain cells, U.S. researchers reported Monday.

Sleep apnea — a condition in which people stop breathing for long stretches of time in their sleep — may sometimes be caused by the destruction of cells in the brain stem, where autonomic functions such as breathing are controlled, they said.

Tests on rats showed that the loss of key brain stem cells that die off with age caused such disrupted sleep that the animals eventually stopped breathing completely.

Read more: 'Dying in sleep' linked to apnea, experts say

Pilots at higher risk of cataracts

Recent study shows that airline pilots and astronauts are at higher risk of cataracts.

Airline pilots are at higher risk of developing cataracts because of exposure to cosmic rays while aloft, researchers said Monday.

Researchers at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik studied 445 men aged 50 or older of whom 79 were pilots and 71 had cataracts, concluding the pilots had triple the risk of developing cataracts.

Cataracts, which can be removed surgically, cloud the eye’s lens and cause blindness. The type of cataracts studied were the most common, called nuclear cataracts, where the clouding begins in the center of the lens and spreads.

Read more: Pilots at higher risk of cataracts, study finds

Friday, August 05, 2005

New Zealand: Breastfeeding legislation considered

The government has stopped short of picking up a select committee's recommendation to give greater legal protection to breastfeeding mothers.

The Health Committee recommended the government explore the legislative options for protecting breastfeeding in public places, for example by amending the Human Rights Act.

The government is to consider whether legislation is the most appropriate avenue, but says there may be non-legislative options which could achieve the outcome.

The Labour MP who chairs the health select committee Steve Chadwick says the response is a little disappointing. She says the Human Rights Act could be amended so the Human Rights Commission could consider complaints from women who feel they have been discriminated against.

Read more: Breastfeeding legislation considered

'Prehypertension' triples heart attack risk

People whose blood pressure is slightly elevated — a condition called prehypertension — have triple the risk of a heart attack compared to those with healthy blood pressure, researchers said Thursday.

The finding, published in the journal Stroke, supports a move by federal and academic heart experts last year that defines prehypertension as blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89. High blood pressure starts at 140/90.

“There is a gray zone, where you are not hypertensive but your blood pressure is not normal either,” said Dr. Adnan Qureshi of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, who led the study.

Read more: 'Prehypertension' triples heart attack risk

Some cold remedies unproven

Standing inside a downtown Chicago drugstore, shopper Beth McClanahan considered the product Zicam.

"I wouldn't have known it was homeopathic," she said looking at the bright orange label. "The name Zicam sounds very scientific."

Stuffy noses and sore throats are driving many cold sufferers to herbal and homeopathic remedies.

But like McClanahan, consumers may not realize they're buying alternative medicines when they choose wildly popular products such as Airborne and Zicam -- next to traditional medicines in the cold and flu aisles.

The makers of both medicines have paid for their own clinical studies to test their products. But Airborne and Zicam have not been reviewed for safety and effectiveness by the Food and Drug Administration, unlike prescription and new over-the-counter drugs. The law allows their sale unless the FDA proves them harmful.

Read more: Some cold remedies unproven

Quit smoking with a pill

Researchers are racing to develop a potentially lucrative drug that would make smoking as treatable as erectile dysfunction, high cholesterol and acid reflux disease.

Major pharmaceutical companies and small startups see the potential for billions of dollars in sales for a vaccine or a nicotine-free pill that could end addiction at the chemical level for America's 50 million smokers.

"It's the biggest addiction market there is," said Dr. Herbert D. Kleber, a psychiatry professor and addiction researcher at Columbia University. "Is it realistic to be able to help addicts stop smoking and remain off with a pill? I think the answer is yes and we're working on a number of them."

While nicotine patches, gums, lozenges and sprays help wean smokers off cigarettes by slowly reducing their dependence on nicotine, researchers are tailoring drugs to mimic or block nicotine's chemical reactions with the body.

In Connecticut, researchers at Pfizer Inc. identified a brain receptor that nicotine binds to and designed a drug, varenicline, that latches to the same site. Varenicline is in Phase III testing, normally the last step before a company applies for approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Researchers hope that the drug will attach to nicotine receptors in the brain, preventing overpowering cravings from setting in when someone stops smoking.

Read more: Quit smoking with a pill? Researchers say new drugs show promise

Aspirin helps prevent strokes in women

In a stunning example of gender differences in medicine, a major new study found that aspirin helps healthy women avoid strokes but makes no difference in their risk of heart attacks unless they're 65 or older -- the polar opposite of how the drug affects men.

Aspirin is recommended now for both men and women at high risk of heart disease. Many doctors have assumed it also prevented heart problems in healthy women because of research showing it helped healthy men.

The new study "raises issues about the dangers of generalization," said Dr. Paul Ridker of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, one of the researchers. "This is an issue we thought we already had an answer to."

The Women's Health Study was the first rigorous test of aspirin and vitamin E in women. It found that taking vitamin E did no good, adding to a large body of evidence that such supplements don't help and might even be harmful.

"Bottom line: There wasn't a benefit but there wasn't harm" from vitamin E in the new study, said Harvard epidemiologist Julie Buring. "The better thing to do is to have a heart-healthy diet."

Read more: Aspirin helps prevent strokes but not heart problems in women, study find

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Fatty foods may curb 'stop eating' hormone

Research has revealed a potentially insidious side of chips, dips, fries, pies, cakes and shakes.
Those fatty, forbidden foods we love may suppress our "stop eating" hormone, creating a dietary double whammy. The more we gobble, the more we can't stop gobbling.
That is the idea, anyway, behind a study released yesterday by the Neuroscience Institute at Pennsylvania State University involving a bunch of fat-snacking rats who just did not know when to say when -- and their more moderate counterparts.
Over 20 luxurious days, one group of the rats in question received a high-calorie, high-fat "rat chow" snack that the rodents found particularly delectable, the study noted. The other group led a more spartan existence, dining upon low-fat rat cuisine.
"When we gave the rats doses of 'stop eating' hormone, the rats on the low-fat diet significantly suppressed their intake of the snack, but not the rats on the high-fat diet," said nutritional scientist Mihai Covasa, who led the study. "These results suggests that a long-term, high-fat diet may actually promote short-term overconsumption of highly palatable foods, high in dietary fat."

Read more: Fatty foods may curb 'stop eating' hormone

Vitamin 'cuts smoke harm to baby'

High doses of the vitamin protected against nicotine-associated damage in monkeys, the Oregon Health & Science University team found.

Expert advice is still to quit smoking during, and ideally before, pregnancy.

This is just the 'last resort' for smoking women who are pregnant. And vitamin C can not counteract any other negative impacts of smoking during pregrancy, such as decreased body weight and abnormal brain development.

Read more: Vitamins 'cuts smoke harm to baby'

Fears over food and drink habits

Nowadays, people are drinking more alcohol and cosuming less fruit and vegetables. People prefer fast food or instant or ready-meals which has led to obesity.
The findings come from a government study into consumption trends in 2003 to 2004.

Alcohol consumption increased by 9% from the previous year, the survey of 17,000 people showed.

It also showed a 1.6% fall in fruit and vegetable sales, meaning people ate 3.7 portions a day on average - well short of the "five-a-day" target.

Nutritionists said the trends were "worrying" with obesity on the rise.

In the UK, adult obesity rates have almost quadrupled in the last 25 years with nearly one in four adults classed as obese or overweight.

Read more: Fears over food and drink habits

11 years old girl has diabetes

Philippa from Lincolnshire, 11 years of age, found that she is having Type 1 diabetes.
"I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just a few weeks ago.

First signs

It all started to show when I kept getting ill and feeling tired or moody.

It was actually my friend's mum who said I should go to the doctors because I didn't look very well.

Testing for diabetes

The doctor said it was just a phase I was going through but he gave me a blood test anyway.

He was then shocked to find my blood sugar higher than usual.

Confused and worried

He wrote a letter to the hospital saying I might have diabetes. I went to the hospital confused and worried.

I was admitted to hospital with Type 1 diabetes and it dawned on me that this illness was for life and will never go away.

Read more: I found out I have diabetes

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Vitamin D and calcium may not stop bone fractures

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland found that giving vitamin D and calcium supplement to patients suffer from osteoporosis does not prevent them from breaking bones.
“Our trial indicates that routine supplementation with calcium and vitamin D3, either alone or in combination, is not effective in the prevention of further fractures in people who had a recent low-trauma fracture,” said Professor Adrian Grant, who headed the research team.

In research published online by The Lancet medical journal, Grant and his team studied 5,300 elderly people who had fractured a bone during the previous 10 years.

They were randomly divided into four groups which were given supplements of vitamin D, calcium, both, or a placebo. After following up the patients for up to 62 months, nearly 700 patients had broken a bone but there was no difference in the number of fractures in the different groups.

Read more: Supplements may not stop bone fractures

How much exercise is enough for women?

Portion of fitness needed by females is different from males.
For the first time, researchers have established how much exercise women should be able to do for their age and found that their capacity is slightly lower than men’s.

It also declines a bit faster than men’s as they grow older.

Women whose exercise capacity was less than 85 percent of what it should be were twice as likely to die within eight years, the researchers found.

Until now, the only guidelines available were based on men and it wasn’t certain whether they applied to women as well. But as more women are being included in medical research, gender differences in some diseases and other health issues are emerging.

The researchers found that to be true for fitness levels. They used the results of 5,721 exercise stress tests on women over 35 to figure out what should be considered normal for them compared to the established fitness levels for men.

Read more: How much exercise is enough for women?

Atkins Nutritionals heads into bankruptcy as low-carb trend fades

For a few, brief moments in early 2004, eating bunless hamburgers and bottomless plates of sausage, bacon and eggs were part of the hottest weight-loss craze on the planet.

Yet few people yesterday were surprised to hear that Atkins Nutritionals Inc., founded by the late Dr. Robert C. Atkins to promote the benefits of this high-protein, low-carb eating plan and sell products had filed for bankruptcy court protection.

They just wondered why it took so long. And everyone had a theory on what went wrong.

Read more: Atkins Nutritionals heads into bankruptcy as low-carb trend fades

Brain-Dead Woman Gave Birth to Her Child

A Virginia woman, Susan Torres, 26 years of age, was brain-dead when giving birth to a daughter.
"This is obviously a bittersweet time for our family," Justin Torres, the woman's brother-in-law, said in a statement.

Susan Torres, a cancer-stricken, 26-year-old researcher at the National Institutes of Health, suffered a stroke in May after the melanoma spread to her brain.

Her family decided to keep her alive to give her fetus a chance. It became a race between the fetus' development and the cancer that was ravaging the woman's body.

Doctors said that Torres' health was deteriorating and that the risk of harm to the fetus finally outweighed the benefits of extending the pregnancy.

Torres gave birth to a daughter, Susan Anne Catherine Torres, by Caesarean section on Tuesday at Virginia Hospital Center. The baby was about two months premature and weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces. She was in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Read more: Brain-dead woman dies after childbirth

Airborne Pollutants Increase Risk of Fatal Coronary Heart Disease in Women

Women who live in areas with greater air pollution have a higher susceptibility of developing and dying from coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a multi-decade study accepted today for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP). When ozone combines with particulate matter (PM), women's risk of fatal CHD can increase up to twofold. According to the authors, this is the first study to return gender-specific results on this topic.

Researchers found statistically significant increases in the relative risk of fatal CHD in females as pollution levels increased when they analyzed PM levels alone. The risk estimates were strengthened when the study also considered ozone, and strengthened further when only postmenopausal females were included.

Read more: Airborne Pollutants Increase Risk of Fatal Coronary Heart Disease in Women

Salt Fluoridation Key in Reducing Dental Caries

Table salt fluoridation can reduce the prevalence of dental caries up to 84 percent, according to a new book published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), "Promoting Oral Health: The Use of Salt Fluoridation to Prevent Dental Caries".

Salt fluoridation programs over the last decade have placed the countries of the Americas at the leading edge in reducing dental caries, and these programs are now being replicated in other regions, the book notes. Fluoridation benefits also translate into savings in dental treatments of up to $250 per person for every $1 spent on fluoridation initiatives.

"Dental caries is the most common childhood disease and can be avoided thanks to salt fluoridation," said PAHO's Dr. Saskia Estupiñan-Day, regional advisor on oral health and author of the publication. "We are the world leaders on salt fluoridation programs. The Latin American and Caribbean experience is being replicated worldwide. Many countries are seeking our assistance and technical cooperation to implement this greatly beneficial and cost-effective public health strategy."

Read more: Salt Fluoridation Key in Reducing Dental Caries

Dark Chocolate Benefits Your Health

Good news for all of us! Flavonoids in dark chocolate can lower blood pressure. Quoted from CNN:
The study, published by the American Heart Association, joins a growing body of research that show compounds found in chocolate called flavonoids can help the blood vessels work more smoothly, perhaps reducing the risk of heart disease.

"Previous studies suggest flavonoid-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, tea, red wine and chocolate, might offer cardiovascular benefits, but this is one of the first clinical trials to look specifically at dark chocolate's effect on lowering blood pressure among people with hypertension," said Jeffrey Blumberg of Tufts University in Boston, who led the study.

"This study is not about eating more chocolate," Blumberg added. "It suggests that cocoa flavonoids appear to have benefits on vascular function and glucose sensitivity."

Scientists are far from being able to make specific recommendations for patients based on their research on chocolate, and nutritionists have urged people to be cautious because chocolate is high in fat, sugar and calories.

Read more: Sweet! Study says dark chocolate has benefits