Health Intelligence Report 12 Dec 2007
20th Edition Compiled by Ralph Turchiano
Editors Top Five Picks:1. New test finds diisobutyl phthalate in some cardboard food packaging — recycling is the issue 2. Club drugs inflict damage similar to traumatic brain injury 3. Low-carb diet reduces inflammation and blood saturated fat in metabolic syndrome 4. Some common treatments for sinus infections may not be effective 5. Are humans evolving faster?
In this issue:
- Hospital superbugs now in nursing homes and the community
- How to get a man to enjoy a chick flick
- New test finds diisobutyl phthalate in some cardboard food packaging — recycling is the issue
- Natural ingredient preserves meat quality in pre-cooked supermarket offerings
- 2 out of 3 middle-class American families on shaky financial ground, according to new report
- Use it or lose it
- Exercise may play role in reducing inflammation in damaged skin tissue
- Club drugs inflict damage similar to traumatic brain injury
- Difficult Choice: Low-Calorie or Low Prices?
- Natural compound in broccoli could treat devastating genetic skin disorder
- Low-carb diet reduces inflammation and blood saturated fat in metabolic syndrome
- Purified bacterial extract sprayed into lungs ramps up innate immune system
- Honey a better option for childhood cough than OTCs
- Einstein researchers find that a commonly found contaminant may harm nursing infants
- Horphag’s Prelox provides over-the-counter solution
- Best treatment identified to reduce deadly Staph infections
- Complementary medicines training provides balance, not bias
- Some common treatments for sinus infections may not be effective
- Study finds fitness level, not body fat, may be stronger predictor of longevity for older adults
- K-State researchers findings on E. coli
- Patients wonder, ‘Could this be something serious?’
- Household chemical may affect breast development
- Herbal extract found to increase lifespan
- New Research: Study Shows Pycnogenol® Naturally Reduces Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
- Chemopreventative effects of a topically applied black raspberry gel on oral premalignant tumors. Abstract no. B35:
- Suppressive effects of a phytochemical cocktail on prostate cancer growth in vitro and in vivo. Abstract no. A104:
- Inhibition of urinary bladder carcinogenesis by broccoli sprouts. Abstract no. B149:
- Caffeine Cream Tones Thighs
- Are humans evolving faster?
- Scientists find how bacteria in cows milk may cause Crohn’s disease
- Chemicals used as fire retardants could be harmful, UC-Riverside researchers say
- Use of diabetes medication by older adults linked with increased risk of heart problems, death
Public release date: 27-Nov-2007
Hospital superbugs now in nursing homes and the community
Hospital superbugs that can break down antibiotics are so widespread throughout Europe that doctors increasingly have to use the few remaining drugs that they reserve for emergencies. Now these hospital superbug strains have spread to nursing homes and into the community in Ireland, raising fears of wider antibiotic resistance, scientists heard today (Wednesday 28 November 2007) at the Federation of Infection Societies Conference 2007 at the University of Cardiff, UK, which runs from 28-30 November 2007.
Doctors collected 732 samples from 22 Irish hospitals over the last ten years and found that 61% of them, 448 samples, tested positive for bacteria that can produce an enzyme that destroys a whole family of common antibiotics including penicillins and cephalosporins.
“The ability to make these enzymes – called extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) –spreads very easily between different types of bacteria”, says Dr Dearbhaile Morris from the National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland. “It lets them break down many different penicillins and cephalosporins. So the genetic ability to resist very important antibiotics often spreads with the ability to make ESBLs, and that means that doctors increasingly have to use antibiotics which in the past were held back for exceptional cases”.
“Our results showed that ESBL producing bacteria, especially of the type which caused the bladder infections in the UK outbreak, are now common in Ireland as well as in other countries in Europe. We also showed that they are not just found in hospitals but also in nursing homes and in the community”, says Dr Morris.
Although cystitis is not life threatening, it is the most common form of urinary tract infection, and the economic consequences of failing to treat an outbreak quickly and properly are considerable. The patients may get no benefit at all from treatment with common antibiotics, which means that they will feel sick for longer, miss more work or household duties, and will probably have to return to their doctor for more time consuming tests and different antibiotics, increasing the costs for the health care system. In severe infections patients may suffer serious complications if the first antibiotic given to them does not work
Public release date: 27-Nov-2007
How to get a man to enjoy a chick flick
Is there any way to get a man to savour a melodramatic, so-called ‘chick flick”’ It’s possible, if he knows up front that the story is pure fiction, according to U of A School of Business Associate Professor Jennifer Argo.
“We looked at fact and fiction stories and found that if people have high empathy – usually women – they will enjoy a story more if it’s based on fact,” she said. “Conversely, people who are low in empathy, typically males, when you tell them in advance that it’s fiction they’ll enjoy it more. We think it’s because it gives them an excuse to enjoy it. They let down their guards.”
Public release date: 28-Nov-2007
New test finds diisobutyl phthalate in some cardboard food packaging — recycling is the issue
A new test can identify take-away paper-based food containers (such as pizza boxes) that break phthalate safety rules. The phthalates (plasticisers) are present because the containers were made from pulp that contained at least some recycled paper and cardboard. In Italy, where the test was developed, this use of recycled paper and cardboard for food packaging breaks food safety rules.
Recycling paper and cardboard is a great goal, but it can have its problems. If the original paper is loaded with inks, adhesives and other substances, then these will be passed into the new recycled material. If that material is used to package food then the food could be exposed to the chemicals from recycling. One chemical of particular concern is diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP). This is commonly found in inks and other chemicals used in printing. It is potentially dangerous because it has a similar structure to androgenic hormones in the human body.
With take away pizzas, hot food is placed inside the cardboard box, and so there is a high chance that the food will be exposed to any volatile chemicals in the cardboard such as plasticisers as they will enter the headspace of the box. To avoid this contamination, the boxes should be made from unrecycled materials
Working at the University of Milan, Italy, a team of scientists has developed a test that looks specifically at DIBP. In a paper published in this week’s edition of Packaging Technology and Science, the researchers report the analysis of boxes purchased from 16 different take-away restaurants in northern Italy
They found that while some boxes exposed pizza to just over 7 micrograms of DIBP under test conditions, others gave exposure to over 40 micrograms and one to more than 70 micrograms of DIBP. This is a clear indication that the boxes had been manufactured using at least some recycled paper or cardboard.
Ralph’s Note- If you value testosterone, or fertility, stay away from this stuff.
Public release date: 28-Nov-2007
Natural ingredient preserves meat quality in pre-cooked supermarket offerings
Grape-seed extract is a viable natural alternative to synthetic ingredients that preserve meat quality in pre-cooked, frozen and refrigerated ready-to-eat meals, such as individual diet entrees or family-sized trays of frozen lasagna, according to a new University of Illinois study published in the Journal of Food Science.
“In the last five years, the section of the supermarket that contains fully cooked, ready-to-eat products has grown tremendously as consumer demand for convenience foods has increased. I’d estimate that 10 percent of all meals served at home feature these foods,” said Susan Brewer, a U of I professor of food science.
For years, the food industry has been using synthetic ingredients–BHA, BHT, and TBHQ–to preserve the quality of meats in precooked foods by slowing the oxidation of fats. But Brewer’s study shows that a natural product may be an even more effective antioxidant.
That product, grape-seed extract, is a byproduct of fermentation, and its efficacy is due mainly to its phenolic compounds, she said.
“We’ve known for years that certain natural compounds, including some herbs and spices, have powerful antioxidant activity. Food scientists have been trying to isolate the flavoring parts of these spices from the components that have the functional effects we’re looking for,” she said.
Brewer was frankly skeptical when a study to determine the effectiveness of grape-seed extract in preserving the quality of pre-cooked meats was suggested to her.
“But we’ve done three studies in a row now, and I’m a believer,” she said.
Brewer and her graduate student Martha Rojas compared the natural antioxidants oregano, rosemary, and grape-seed extract in a study that evaluated their effectiveness in cooked, reheated beef and pork at different concentrations, for different lengths of time, and at different temperatures.
The meat was then evaluated for oxidative markers and sensory attributes by a 10-member panel. “The higher concentration of grape-seed extract yielded better results than we see with synthetics, which is certainly not what you’d expect. Synthetics, after all, have been engineered to maximize effectiveness, but sometimes Mother Nature comes up with a better product.”
Another plus was that the sensory panel couldn’t detect grape-seed extract in the products it tested, whereas foods containing oregano and rosemary retained an herbal odor. “They must be carrying some of the volatile aroma compounds at low levels,” the researcher said.
Studies are ongoing in Brewer’s lab, this time comparing the efficacy and sensory qualities of natural versus synthetic antioxidants.
“I really think grape-seed extract is a viable, natural way to preserve meat quality in the precooked entrees that are so popular now,” she said. “And, when companies can use the word natural on a label, it’s attractive to consumers. It takes some of the guilt out of using a convenience food.”
Public release date: 28-Nov-2007
2 out of 3 middle-class American families on shaky financial ground, according to new report
Waltham, MA—Fewer than one in three middle-class families in America is financially secure, and the remaining majority are either borderline or at high risk of falling out of the middle class altogether, according to a new study published this week by Demos and the Institute for Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University
The Middle Class Security Index shows worrying trends:
Only 31 percent of families who would be considered middle-class by income are financially secure.
One in four middle-class families match the profile for being at high risk of slipping out of the middle class altogether.
More than half of middle-class families have no net financial assets whatsoever.
Middle-class families have median debt of $3,500 and at least half of them have no assets.
Only 13 percent of middle-class families are secure in their asset levels—meaning that they have enough to cover most of their living expenses for nine months should their regular income cease; 79 percent are “at risk” in this category, meaning they could not cover the majority of their expenses for even three months. Another 9 percent are “borderline.”
Twenty-one percent of middle-class families have less than $100 per week ($5,000 per year) remaining after meeting essential living expenses. These families are living from paycheck to paycheck with very little margin of security
Public release date: 28-Nov-2007
Use it or lose it
Research proves that maintaining physical activity in middle age leads to better basic physical abilities as we age, and that weight is not a deciding factor
Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, UK, have concluded a study that proves a direct link between levels of physical activity in middle age and physical ability later in life – regardless of body weight.
Dr. Iain Lang headed the research team from the Epidemiology and Public Health Group at the Peninsula Medical School. The team found that middle-aged people who maintained a reasonable level of physical activity were less likely to become unable to walk distances, climb stairs, maintain their sense of balance, stand from a seated position with their arms folded, or sustain their hand grip as they get older.
Research showed that, among men and women aged 50 to 69 years and across all weight ranges, the rate of decreased physical ability later in life was twice as high among those who were less physically active.
The research team studied 8,702 participants in the US Health and Retirement Study and 1,507 people taking part in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Each subject was followed for up to six years.
Findings showed that being overweight or obese was associated with an overall increased risk of physical impairment but that, regardless of weight, people who engaged in heavy housework or gardening, who played sport or who had a physically active job, were more likely to remain mobile later in life.
Physical activity of about 30 minutes three or more times a week resulted in fewer than 13 per cent of people developing some sort of physical disability, while this rate increased to 24 per cent where subjects were less active.
Dr. Lang commented: “There are three truly interesting results from this research. The first is that our findings were similar from the US and the UK, which suggests that they are universal. The second is that exercise in middle age does not just benefit people in terms of weight loss – it also helps them to remain physically healthy and active later in life. The third is that, in terms of results from activity, weight does not seem to be an issue.”
Public release date: 28-Nov-2007
Exercise may play role in reducing inflammation in damaged skin tissue
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. —In recent years, researchers at the University of Illinois have uncovered a host of reasons for people to remain physically active as they age, ranging from better brain function to improved immune responses.
Now a new U. of I. study points to yet another benefit: a link between moderate exercise and decreased inflammation of damaged skin tissue.
“The key point of the study is that moderate exercise sped up how fast wounds heal in old mice,” said researcher K. Todd Keylock, who noted that the improved healing response “may be the result of an exercise-induced anti-inflammatory response in the wound.”
While previous research conducted at Ohio State University demonstrated a correlation between wound healing response time and moderate exercise, that research did not reveal a physiological cause for the reaction.
“That’s the key part that our study adds – that the acceleration and healing were associated with decreased levels of inflammation,” Keylock said
“One of the proposed mechanisms whereby aging adds to delayed healing is that the aged have hyper-inflammatory response to wounding,” Woods said. “The thought is that the exaggerated inflammatory response slows the healing process. So, in essence, what happened here is that the exercise reduced the exaggerated inflammatory response.”
“Increasing blood flow during the time of exercise is one (possibility),” he said. “We’ve shown in the past that has an effect on how certain immune cells – such as macrophages, function. “And if exercise can help decrease the amount of inflammatory cytokines put out by macrophages, maybe that would help decrease the inflammation, and therefore, speed healing.”
Public release date: 29-Nov-2007
Club drugs inflict damage similar to traumatic brain injury
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — What do suffering a traumatic brain injury and using club drugs have in common”
University of Florida researchers say both may trigger a similar chemical chain reaction in the brain, leading to cell death, memory loss and potentially irreversible brain damage.
A series of studies at UF over the past five years has shown using the popular club drug Ecstasy, also called MDMA, and other forms of methamphetamine lead to the same type of brain changes, cell loss and protein fluctuations in the brain that occur after a person endures a sharp blow to the head, according to findings a UF researcher presented at a Society for Neuroscience conference held in San Diego this month.
“Using methamphetamine is like inflicting a traumatic brain injury on yourself,” said Firas Kobeissy, a postdoctoral associate in the College of Medicine department of psychiatry. “We found that a lot of brain cells are being injured by these drugs. That’s alarming to society now. People don’t seem to take club drugs as seriously as drugs such as heroin or cocaine.”
About 1.3 million people over the age of 12 reported using methamphetamine in the previous month, according to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In 2004, more than 12 million Americans reported having tried the drug, the survey’s findings show.
People often think the effects of drugs of abuse wear off in the body the same way common medications do, but that may not be the case, Gold said
“These data and the previous four years of data suggest some drugs, especially methamphetamine, cause changes that are not readily reversible,” Gold said. “Future research is necessary for us to determine when or if methamphetamine-related brain changes reverse themselves.”
“I think saying the results of methamphetamine abuse are comparable to the results of a traumatic brain injury is a new idea,” Cadet said. “I agree with (the findings). Our own work shows that methamphetamine is pretty toxic to the brains of animals. In humans, imaging studies of patients who use methamphetamine chronically show abnormalities in the brain.
Public release date: 1-Dec-2007
Difficult Choice: Low-Calorie or Low Prices?
High-calorie foods tend to cost less than lower-calorie items and are less likely to increase in price due to inflation – a possible explanation for why the highest rates of obesity are seen among people in lower-income groups, according to researchers at the University of Washington.
High-calorie foods provide the most calories at the least cost, the researchers found in a survey of more than 370 food items at three Seattle-area supermarket chains. The lowest calorie-dense foods include fresh fruit and vegetables, while foods highest in calories include candy, pastries and other baked goods and snacks. The survey found low-calorie foods increased in price by 19.5 percent over a two-year period, while high-calorie items dropped in price by 1.8 percent.
“The findings that energy-dense foods are not only the least expensive but also most resistant to inflation may help explain why the highest rates of obesity continue to be observed among groups of limited economic means,” according to the researchers.
The researchers conclude: “The sharp price increase observed for vegetables and fruit relative to fats and sweets suggest that the ability to adopt more-healthful diets may be limited by economic constraints.”
Ralph’s Note- Go to a movie theater and you will often see a small bottle of water is more than a large cup of soda. This example is everywhere in every day life.
Public release date: 2-Dec-2007
Natural compound in broccoli could treat devastating genetic skin disorder
Washington, D.C. — The compound sulforaphane whose natural precursors are found at high levels in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables has been hailed for its chemopreventive powers against cancer. Now sulforaphane has demonstrated new skills in treating a genetic skin blistering disorder called epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), Pierre Coulombe and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore report at the American Society for Cell Biology 47th Annual Meeting.
EBS is a rare but devastating inherited condition in which fluid-filled lesions called bullae appear at sites of frictional trauma to the skin. Unfortunately, treatment options for EBS are limited and palliative in nature. Much work remains to be done before sulforaphane can be tested clinically with EBS patients, but Coulombe notes that extracts from broccoli sprouts rich in sulforaphane have already been shown to be safe for use in human skin.
In EBS patients, the bottom layer of the epidermis, which is made of cells called keratinocytes, is unusually fragile and ruptures readily. Molecularly, most cases of EBS result from mutations in genes that produce the proteins keratin 5 (K5) and keratin 14 (K14). These proteins co-polymerize to form the intermediate filament cytoskeleton in basal keratinocytes. Since the discovery in 1991 that EBS is a keratin-based disease, more than 40 additional disorders affecting a broad range of tissues have been traced to defects in genes that encode intermediate filament proteins
Public release date: 2-Dec-2007
Low-carb diet reduces inflammation and blood saturated fat in metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a condition afflicting one quarter to one third of adult men and women and is an established pre-cursor to diabetes, coronary heart disease, and other serious illnesses. Patients have long been advised to eat a low-fat diet even though carbohydrate restriction has been found to be more effective at reducing specific markers, such as high triglycerides, characteristic of the syndrome. Now, a new study indicates that a diet low in carbohydrates is also more effective than a diet low in fat in reducing saturated fatty acids in the blood and reducing markers of inflammation.
While there have been contradictory and confusing messages directed at health conscious consumers about dietary recommendations, most researchers agree on the need to limit inflammatory agents. In a report published in the on-line version of the journal Lipids, researchers at the University of Connecticut with co-authors from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, the University of Minnesota, and the University of California show much greater improvement in inflammatory markers in patients with metabolic syndrome on a very low carbohydrate approach compared to a low fat diet.
Lead researcher Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut, describes the study as “adding to the evolving picture of improvement in general health beyond simple weight loss in keeping blood glucose and insulin under control.” The work is part of a larger study (currently under review) showing numerous improvements in blood lipids. The current work concludes that “lowering total and saturated fat only had a small effect on circulating inflammatory markers whereas reducing carbohydrate led to considerably greater reductions in a number of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and adhesion molecules. These data implicate dietary carbohydrate rather than fat as a more significant nutritional factor contributing to inflammatory processes.”
Richard Feinman, PhD, professor of biochemistry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, adds, “The real importance of diets that lower carbohydrate content is that they are grounded in mechanism – carbohydrates stimulate insulin secretion which biases fat metabolism towards storage rather than oxidation. The inflammation results open a new aspect of the problem. From a practical standpoint, continued demonstrations that carbohydrate restriction is more beneficial than low fat could be good news to those wishing to forestall or manage the diseases associated with metabolic syndrome.”
One of the remarkable effects in the data presented that may have contributed to the results is that despite the three-fold greater saturated fat in the diet for the low carb group, saturated fat in the blood turned out to be higher in the low fat group due to the process known as carbohydrate-induced lipogenesis. Dr. Volek points out that “this clearly shows the limitations of the idea that ‘you are what you eat.’ Metabolism plays a big role. You are what your body does with what you eat.”
Ralph’s Note – This after the fact of poorly educated dieticians crucified the low carb diet earlier. Despite one shred of observational data to support their claims. This is where poor public policy does cost the lives of people.
Public release date: 3-Dec-2007
Purified bacterial extract sprayed into lungs ramps up innate immune system
Washington, D.C. — A purified extract prepared from a common microbe and delivered to the lungs of laboratory mice in a spray set off a healthy immune response and provided powerful protection against all four major classes of pathogens including those responsible for anthrax and bubonic plague, according to a presentation at the American Society for Cell Biology’s 47th Annual Meeting.
In addition, when the researchers exposed another group of mice to an aerosol of live Streptococcus pneumoniae, the only animals that survived were the ones that had been pre-treated with the spray. A total of 83 percent of these mice survived. None of the untreated animals lived.
The researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston developed the spray from a purified extract of the common coccobacillus named Haemophilus influenzae, the cause of ear and sinus infections in human children.
Their “aerosolized lung innate immune stimulant,” as the scientists have named the spray treatment, could benefit immune-compromised patients with cancer, HIV or other diseases as well as emergency workers and the general public facing uncommon threats like an aerosolized bioterror attack or a spreading respiratory epidemic.
According to Brenton Scott who with his postdoctoral advisor, Burton Dickey, developed the spray, the treatment works best if administered four to 24 hours before exposure. Nearly all mice survived when treated before exposure to lethal doses of anthrax, influenza, and the dangerous mold, Aspergillus. But, the treatment also has some benefit when given after exposure. Effectiveness declines over time but seems to last up to five days after a single dose.
The researchers report that protection by stimulant is associated with rapid pathogen killing in the airways, does not depend on recruitment of other immune defense cells such as neutrophils, and correlates with increased levels of antimicrobial polypeptides in the lung lining fluid. The host response is localized to the airways, and safety studies indicate that the treatment causes minimal side effects, even with repeated doses.
Preclinical testing is being completed, and clinical trials are being designed.
Ralph’s Note – I wonder if it would still work if you have been vaccinated against Haemophilus influenzae, woops.
Public release date: 3-Dec-2007
Honey a better option for childhood cough than OTCs
A single dose of buckwheat honey before bedtime provided the greatest relief from cough and sleep difficulty compared with no treatment and an over-the-counter cough medicine in children with upper respiratory tract infections, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Ian M. Paul, M.D., M.Sc., and colleagues at Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, conducted a study involving 105 children age 2 to 18 with upper respiratory tract infections who were sick for seven days or less and experienced symptoms during the night. Thirty-five children were randomly assigned to receive an age-appropriate dose of honey, 33 to receive dextromethorphan and 37 to receive no treatment for one night within 30 minutes of bedtime. The children’s parents were asked to complete a survey assessing their child’s cough and sleep difficulty the night before their assigned treatment and then again the night after treatment.
Honey was found to yield the greatest improvement followed by dextromethorphan, while no treatment showed the least improvement in cough frequency, cough severity, cough bothersome to child, child’s sleep and parent’s sleep. “In paired comparisons, honey was significantly superior to no treatment for cough frequency and the combined score, but dextromethorphan was not better than no treatment for any outcome,” the authors write. “Comparison of honey with dextromethorphan revealed no significant differences.”
“While our findings and the absence of contemporary studies supporting the use of dextromethorphan continue to question its effectiveness for the treatment of cough associated with upper respiratory tract infections, we have now provided evidence supporting honey, which is generally regarded as safe for children older than 1 year, as an alternative,” the authors conclude. “While additional studies to confirm our findings should be encouraged, each clinician should consider the findings for honey, the absence of such published findings for dextromethorphan and the potential for adverse effects and cumulative costs associated with the use of dextromethorphan when recommending treatments for families.”
Public release date: 3-Dec-2007
Einstein researchers find that a commonly found contaminant may harm nursing infants
(BRONX, NY) — Scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have shown that perchlorate—an industrial pollutant linked to thyroid ailments—is actively concentrated in breast milk. Their findings suggest that perchlorate contamination of drinking water may pose a greater health risk than previously realized. The study appears in the December 3-7 advance online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For decades, millions of Americans have been exposed to perchlorate through contamination of their local water supplies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has so far identified 75 perchlorate releases in 22 states, primarily California and states in the Southwest. Perchlorate is known to interfere with the ability of the thyroid, mammary glands and certain other tissues to absorb iodide from the bloodstream
“Our study suggests that high levels of perchlorate may pose a particular risk to infants,” says Dr. Nancy Carrasco, senior author of the study and professor of molecular pharmacology at Einstein. “Nursing mothers exposed to high levels of perchlorate in drinking water may not only provide less iodide to their babies, but their milk may actually pass on perchlorate, which could further deprive the infants’ thyroid glands of iodide. The thyroid requires iodide to synthesize the hormones T3 and T4 that are essential for normal development of the central nervous system. Babies who don’t make enough of these thyroid hormones may become mentally impaired.”
Iodide is relatively scarce in the diet, and tissues that need to accumulate it—the breast and thyroid in particular—are equipped with a cell-surface protein called NIS (sodium/iodide symporter) that actively pulls iodide from the bloodstream and into the cells. NIS was first identified and cloned by Dr. Carrasco’s team in 1996. In the current study, Dr. Carrasco and her colleagues injected female rats with perchlorate and then extracted the animals’ breast milk and tested it on cells that express NIS. The milk inhibited iodide transport in NIS-expressing cells, indicating that perchlorate had become concentrated in the milk
“We found that the same protein—NIS—that actively recruits iodide into cells does the same thing for perchlorate,” says Dr. Carrasco. “In fact, NIS has a higher affinity for perchlorate than it does for iodide, which certainly heightens the risk posed by this contaminant.”
Ralph’s Note- This may be a factor in everything from A.D.D. to Down’s Syndrome.
Public release date: 3-Dec-2007
Horphag’s Prelox provides over-the-counter solution
Research shows men experienced almost 100% increase of overall satisfaction
For couples worldwide, erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the leading contributors to a man’s inability to perform. As millions of men in America each year look for a solution, many seek alternative treatments to prescription medications and surgery that may have dangerous side effects. A new published study reveals that Prelox, a patented and proprietary blend of Pycnogenol, (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, combined with L-Arginine aspartate, an amino acid, is the natural answer to enhancing erectile quality.
The study, to be published in an upcoming edition of the International Journal of Impotence Research, shows improvement in men with ED after just one day. The study investigated the mechanism involved in relaxation of arteries as it is required for improved blood flow in erectile function. Prelox was found to cause a markedly increased nitric oxide production, the key mediator involved in expanding arteries for elevated blood flow during erections. By the end of the study, all men taking Prelox experienced almost a 100 percent increase of orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction and overall satisfaction.
Prelox is a patented unique blend of two circulation-enhancing ingredients including Pycnogenol, which contains powerful bioflavonoids that originate from plants and help keep blood vessels dilated for optimal blood flow. L-Arginine, an amino acid found in many foods, is the other ingredient coupled with Pycnogenol that ultimately promotes blood flow.
Pycnogenol and L-Arginine work together to enhance nitric oxide, a crucial chemical for sexual arousal, said Steven Lamm MD, from New York University School of Medicine Prelox is the perfect solution for men who want the same outcome as other prescription nitric oxide enhancers, but with a natural approach.
The randomized placebo-controlled study was conducted at the Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. Fifty patients with moderate erectile problems were asked to take two Prelox or placebo tablets in the morning and evening. The erectile quality of men was monitored using the same methodology as applied in clinical trial with pharmaceutical drugs – in a diary consisting of a questionnaire. In addition, semen, spermatozoa and blood samples were collected to measure nitric oxide and testosterone. The study consisted of a four-week period, followed by a wash-out period, another four-week period, and a final washout.
At the end of the treatment period, patients treated with Prelox achieved high questionnaire scores, whereas the placebo group had no significant effects. The erectile function score of men (mean age 37 years) at trial start was in average 14 out of a maximum 30. After one month on Prelox, the erectile function score increased to 27, which resembles almost completely healthy values such as those found in twenty year old men. Parallel to the increase of erectile function, the mean number of intercourse more than doubled during treatment for those who took Prelox. Treatment with Prelox produced a steep increase of nitric oxide activity in most patients and no changes were indicated for the placebo group.
This European study confirms my experience in a clinical trial with Prelox I carried out two years ago said Lamm. “This is the third clinical study showing that men can achieve greater erectile quality with Prelox, move past their performance anxiety and get more satisfaction from their sex lives.”
Blood analysis revealed an increased testosterone level during supplementation with Prelox. This is not a direct result of the supplement but is typical for men with increased sexual activity. The men in this trial reported a dramatic increased frequency of morning erections. Moreover, their partners noted a higher interest for sex as well as better performance.
Past research on Prelox scientifically demonstrated its effectiveness in increasing and enhancing sexual performance in three clinical studies in the United States and Europe. In these studies, almost 85 percent of Prelox users said it improved erectile function and more than 70 percent of Prelox users said it was easier to initiate and sustain an erection. In a study at the New York University School of Medicine, more than 80 percent of male subjects rated Prelox as effective in improving their ability to engage in sexual activity.
Furthering evidence of its effectiveness, Prelox has been awarded a U.S. patent (U.S. 6,565,851 B2) for the relief of the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. NHS and Horphag Research have granted exclusive product licenses to several companies world-wide. Horphag Research just announced a new partnership with Xion Corporation. Xion will launch Prelox to practitioners in North America.
Public release date: 3-Dec-2007
Best treatment identified to reduce deadly Staph infections
LAS VEGAS – One type of over-the-counter product for topical wound care is more effective than others in killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, or MRSA, which is potentially deadly and in recent years has moved from its historic hospital setting to a much broader public concern.
A new laboratory study indicates that many antibacterial products have some value, but a product made with benzethonium chloride kills common types of non-hospital – or “community associated” – MRSA bacteria better than other compounds. Clinical studies to confirm the results are needed, experts say
The findings were presented today at a meeting of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, by David Bearden, a clinical associate professor in the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University.
Public release date: 3-Dec-2007
Complementary medicines training provides balance, not bias
Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) training for students in the health professions improves their ability to provide balanced, evidence-based advice to patients.
Dr Evelin Tiralongo, a lecturer in Griffith University’s School of Pharmacy, has found CAM education integrated into the pharmacy curriculum rationalised rather than marginalised students’ attitudes.
“A survey and interviews of more than 100 pharmacy students in second, third and fourth years at Griffith found that students with a more positive attitude to CAM at the start of their degree changed to a more careful assessment of CAM therapy, whereas students with a more negative attitude at first, realised that some CAM therapies are based on significant evidence,” she said.
“We found that CAM education encouraged students to look for evidence of effectiveness, evaluate that evidence, and then make informed decisions in the best interests of their patients,” she said.
Overall 96 per cent of pharmacy students believed they need to be equipped to advise patients about CAM and 90 percent said it should therefore be a core part of their education.
Dr Tiralongo said CAM education should be integrated into the core teaching curricula for pharmacy, nursing and medical students around the country.
“Health professionals have a responsibility to understand CAM, given that more than half of the population already use herbal medicines, vitamins and minerals, and therapies such as acupuncture. “
“Our National Medicines Policy for example covers prescription and non-prescription medicines as well as complementary medicines.”
“Given pharmacists’ ethical and legal responsibility to counsel patients on medicines they supply, we need to ensure graduates have a reasonable knowledge of CAM and the ability to finding the best options for patient care.”
Dr Tiralongo’s research interests include the clinical efficacy of CAM and the pharmacological potential of medicinal plants and macrofungi.
Ralph’s Note – Due to CAM therapies being on the defensive for so many years. Students are often surprised by the high quality of research that is involved in CAM clinicals. Mainly because CAM researchers know right off, that their research will be highly scrutinized.
Public release date: 4-Dec-2007
Some common treatments for sinus infections may not be effective
A comparison of common treatments for acute sinusitis that included an antibiotic and a topical steroid found neither more effective than placebo, according to a study in the December 5 issue of JAMA
Acute sinusitis (sinus infection) is a common clinical problem with symptoms similar to other illnesses, and is often diagnosed and treated without clinical confirmation. Despite the clinical uncertainty as to a bacterial cause, antibiotic prescribing rates remain as high as 92 percent in the United Kingdom and 85 percent to 98 percent in the United States, according to background information in the article. “Because there are no satisfactory studies of microbiological etiology from typical primary care patient practices, wide-scale overtreatment is likely occurring,” the authors write. Concerns about wide-spread antibacterial use include increasing antibiotic resistance in the community. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as topical steroids are also used as a treatment and may be beneficial, but there has been limited research
“Our main conclusions are that among patients with the typical features of acute bacterial sinusitis, neither an antibiotic nor a topical steroid alone or in combination are effective in altering the symptom severity, the duration, or the natural history of the condition. Topical steroids are likely to be effective in those with such features but who have less severe symptoms at presentation to the physician,” the authors write
Public release date: 4-Dec-2007
Study finds fitness level, not body fat, may be stronger predictor of longevity for older adults
Adults over age 60 who had higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness lived longer than unfit adults, independent of their levels of body fat, according to a study in the December 5 issue of JAMA.
The researchers found that those who died were older, had lower fitness levels, and had more cardiovascular risk factors than survivors. However, there were no significant differences in adiposity measures. Participants in the higher fitness groups were for the most part less likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels. Fit participants had lower death rates than unfit participants within each stratum of adiposity, except for two of the obesity groups. In most instances, death rates for those with higher fitness were less than half of rates for those who were unfit.
Higher levels of fitness were inversely related to all-cause death in both normal-weight and overweight BMI subgroups, in those with a normal waist circumference and in those with abdominal obesity, and in those who have normal percent body fat and those who have excessive percent body fat.
“… we observed that fit individuals who were obese (such as those with BMI of 30.0-34.9, abdominal obesity, or excessive percent body fat) had a lower risk of all-cause mortality than did unfit, normal-weight, or lean individuals. Our data therefore suggest that fitness levels in older individuals influence the association of obesity to mortality,” the authors write.
Public release date: 4-Dec-2007
K-State researchers findings on E. coli
Feeding cattle byproduct of ethanol production causes E. coli 0157 to spike
MANHATTAN, KAN. — Ethanol plants and livestock producers have created a symbiotic relationship. Cattle producers feed their livestock distiller’s grains, a byproduct of the ethanol distilling process, giving ethanol producers have an added source of income.
But recent research at Kansas State University has found that cattle fed distiller’s grain have an increased prevalence of E. coli 0157 in their hindgut. This particular type of E. coli is present in healthy cattle but poses a health risk to humans, who can acquire it through undercooked meat, raw dairy products and produce contaminated with cattle manure.
“Distiller’s grain is a good animal feed. That’s why ethanol plants are often built next to feedlots,” said T.G. Nagaraja, a professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Through three rounds of testing, Nagaraja said the prevalence of 0157 was about twice as high in cattle fed distiller’s grain compared with those cattle that were on a diet lacking the ethanol byproduct.
“Feeding cattle distiller’s grain is a big economic advantage for ethanol plants,” Nagaraja said. “We realize we can’t tell cattle producers, ‘Don’t feed distiller’s grain.’ What we want to do is not only understand the reasons why 0157 increases, but also find a way to prevent that from happening.”
Ralph’s Note – Does that mean we now have drunk cattle?
Public release date: 4-Dec-2007
Patients wonder, ‘Could this be something serious?’
Nearly 4,800 patient surveys and 100 covertly recorded visits by actors posing as patients revealed that empathy is lacking in many exam rooms around the Rochester, N.Y., area – however, doctors who do convey empathy are viewed as more trustworthy.
The study, led by Ronald Epstein, M.D., professor of Family Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, is published in the December Journal of General Internal Medicine
Epstein and colleagues observed how doctors responded when patients asked loaded questions indicating worry about symptoms involving chest pain. The study builds on previous work by Epstein’s group, in which they have described how good communication between doctors and patients, and a willingness to explore concerns, results in improved health care and lower costs
An analysis of the doctor-patient interactions showed that doctors voiced empathy in only 15 percent of the office visits, even after repeated prompting by the patients
Ralph’s Note- Keep in mind it was a good Doctor who pioneered the study.
Public release date: 5-Dec-2007
Household chemical may affect breast development
A chemical found in household fittings has been found to affect the development of the mammary gland in rats and further studies will be required to determine if the presence of this chemical could lead to breast cancer. New research published in the online open access journal BMC Genomics is the first to show that this chemical can affect the breasts’ genomic profile.
Jose Russo and coworkers from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, along with colleagues from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, US, fed lactating rats with butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), which their offspring then absorbed via breast milk. The offspring ingested levels of chemical estimated to be nearly equivalent to the Environmental Protection Agency’s safe dose limit of BBP for humans.
The researchers found that BBP had a transitory effect on certain characteristics of the female offspring of the rats, such as the ratio of uterine weight to body weight and the genetic profile of the mammary gland. Dr Russo stated: “We are the first to report that neonatal/prepubertal exposure to BBP induced modifications in the gene expression of the mammary tissue.”
Although these effects wore off once exposure to BBP was removed, the subtle changes in the mammary gland may have an effect later in life
BBP is widely used as a plasticizer, an additive used to soften polymers, and is found in household fittings such as pipes, vinyl floor tiles and carpet backing. This type of chemical is known to be an endocrine disruptor, which mimics the effect of hormones. Endocrine disruptors are known to damage wildlife and they have also been implicated in reduced sperm counts and neurological problems in humans.
Ralph’s Note – Were talking about setting up children for cancer early on in life. In my opinion endocrine disruptors are a threat far greater immediate threat to humanity than that of global warming.
Public Release: 5-Dec-2007
Herbal extract found to increase lifespan Fruit flies on Rhodiola diet live 10 percent longer, UCI study finds
The herbal extract of a yellow-flowered mountain plant indigenous to the Arctic regions of Europe and Asia increased the lifespan of fruit fly populations, according to a University of California, Irvine study
Flies that ate a diet rich with Rhodiola rosea, an herbal supplement long used for its purported stress-relief effects, lived on an average of 10 percent longer than fly groups that didn’t eat the herb. Study results appear in the online version of Rejuvenation Research.
Rhodiola rosea, also known as the golden root, grows in cold climates at high altitudes and has been used by Scandinavians and Russians for centuries for its anti-stress qualities. The herb is thought to have anti-oxidative properties and has been widely studied.
Soviet researchers have been studying Rhodiola since the 1940s on athletes and cosmonauts, finding that the herb boosts the body’s response to stress. And earlier this year, a Nordic Journal of Psychiatry study on people with mild-to-moderate depression showed that patients taking a Rhodiola extract called SHR-5 reported fewer symptoms of depression than did those who took a placebo.
Public Release: 5-Dec-2007
New Research: Study Shows Pycnogenol® Naturally Reduces Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
Pycnogenol® improved physical function by 52 percent
GENEVA, Switzerland – Affecting more than 10 million Americans, Osteoarthritis of the knee (OA) is one of the five leading causes of disability among the elderly. While OA mainly affects most people over 45, it can occur at any age. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the journal Nutrition Research reveals Pycnogenol®, (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, improved physical function by 52 percent in patients suffering from OA.
After two months of supplementation, physical function and pain scores improved in the Pycnogenol® group. After three months in the Pycnogenol® group, there was a reduction of 43 percent in pain, 35 percent in stiffness, 52 percent in physical function subscales and 49 percent composite WOMAC. The placebo group showed no significant scores throughout the entire study. Additionally, further reduction in the number of NSAIDS and COX-2 inhibitor pills and number of days taking medication was noted in the Pycnogenol® group
Public release date: 6-Dec-2007
Chemopreventative effects of a topically applied black raspberry gel on oral premalignant tumors. Abstract no. B35:
Oral squamous cell carcinoma is a deadly cancer that, even when treated successfully, often leaves patients permanently disfigured. Other than radical surgery, there are few known treatments. Researchers at Ohio State University, however, report a Phase I/II trial demonstrating that a gel made from black raspberries shows promise in preventing or slowing the malignant transformation of precancerous oral lesions.
“Black raspberries are full of anthocyanins, potent antioxidants that give the berries their rich, dark color, and our findings show these compounds have a role in silencing cancerous cells,” said Susan Mallery, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery and Pathology at Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry. “This gel appears to be a valid means of delivering anthocyanins and other cancer-preventing compounds directly to precancerous cells, since it slowed or reduced lesion progression in about two-thirds of study participants.”
After six weeks, about 35 percent of the trial participants’ lesions showed an improvement in their microscopic diagnosis, while another 45 percent showed that their lesions had stabilized. About 20 percent showed an increase in their lesional microscopic diagnoses. Importantly, none of the participants experienced any side effects from the gel.
Public release date: 6-Dec-2007
Suppressive effects of a phytochemical cocktail on prostate cancer growth in vitro and in vivo. Abstract no. A104:
A commercially available nutrition drink reduces the growth of tumors in a mouse model of human prostate cancer by 25 percent in two weeks, according to researchers from the University of Sydney. The drink, Blueberry Punch, is a mixture of plant-based chemicals – phytochemicals – known to have anti-cancer properties.
“While individual phytochemicals are successful in killing cancer cells, we reasoned that synergistic or additive effects are likely to be achieved when they are combined.”
Singh and her colleagues studied the effect of the beverage on both cancer cell cultures and in mouse models that mimic human prostate cancer. After 72 hours of exposure to increasing concentrations of Blueberry Punch, prostate cancer cells showed a dose-dependent reduction in size and viability when compared with untreated cells, Singh says. After feeding mice a 10 percent solution of the punch for two weeks, the tumors in the test mice were 25 percent smaller than those found in mice that drank only tap water.
Based on these results, the researchers believe Blueberry Punch is now ready for human prostate cancer trials. Because Blueberry Punch is a food product rather than a drug, it is unlikely to have adverse reactions or side effects assuming that the individual is tolerant to all ingredients, Singh says. “The evidence we have provided suggests that this product could be therapeutic, although it requires clinical validation,” Singh said
Public release date: 6-Dec-2007
Inhibition of urinary bladder carcinogenesis by broccoli sprouts. Abstract no. B149:
Your mom was right when she told you to eat your broccoli, or at least your broccoli sprouts. Researchers have found that this rich source of isothiocyanates (ITCs) – a well-known class of cancer prevention agents — could play a direct role in preventing bladder cancer.
“The bladder is like a storage bag, and cancers in the bladder occurs almost entirely along the inner surface, the epithelium, that faces the urine, presumably because this tissue is assaulted all the time by noxious materials in the urine,” said senior author Yuesheng Zhang, M.D., Ph.D, professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “The ITCs in broccoli sprout extracts after oral ingestion are selectively delivered to the bladder epithelium through urine excretion.”
Using a rat model of bladder cancer, Zhang and his colleagues found that freeze-dried aqueous extract of broccoli sprouts significantly, and dose-dependently, inhibited bladder cancer development. The incidence, multiplicity, size and progression of bladder cancer were all inhibited by the extract, while the extract itself caused no observable changes in the bladder. This protective effect of the extracts was associated with a significant increase in the bladder of several enzymes that are known to protect against oxidants and carcinogens, Zhang says.
Public release date: 6-Dec-2007
Caffeine Cream Tones Thighs
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – — A new study recently published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology reports on the discovery of caffeine’s novel benefit in slenderizing thighs.
The Brazilian researchers studied 99 women treated with a cream consisting mostly of a 7 percent caffeine solution. The women used the cream twice daily for 30 days.
When the researchers took their subjects’ measurements at the end of the study, the slimming effect was clear. More than 80 percent of the women had a reduction in the circumference of their upper and lower thighs. Nearly 68 percent also reduced their hip measurements.
Whether caffeine banishes cellulite is less clear. The researchers assessed cellulite changes with a handheld imaging instrument that reveals microcirculation in fat tissue. Imaging showed little change in cellulite even in the hips and thighs that slimmed down. The researchers speculate that the 30-day trial might not have been long enough for the cream to act on cellulite.
Public release date: 7-Dec-2007
Antibacterial chemical disrupts hormone activities
A new UC Davis study shows that a common antibacterial chemical added to bath soaps can alter hormonal activity in rats and in human cells in the laboratory—and does so by a previously unreported mechanism.
The findings come as an increasing number of studies – of both lab animals and humans – are revealing that some synthetic chemicals in household products can cause health problems by interfering with normal hormone action.
Called endocrine disruptors, or endocrine disrupting substances (EDS), such chemicals have been linked in animal studies to a variety of problems, including cancer, reproductive failure and developmental anomalies
This is the first endocrine study to investigate the hormone effects of the antibacterial compound triclocarban (also known as TCC or 3,4,4′-trichlorocarbanilide), which is widely used in household and personal care products including bar soaps, body washes, cleansing lotions, wipes and detergents. Triclocarban-containing products have been marketed broadly in the United States and Europe for more than 45 years; an estimated 1 million pounds of triclocarban are imported annually for the U.S. market.
The researchers found two key effects: In human cells in the laboratory, triclocarban increased gene expression that is normally regulated by testosterone. And when male rats were fed triclocarban, testosterone-dependent organs such as the prostate gland grew abnormally large.
Also, the authors said their discovery that triclocarban increased hormone effects was new. All previous studies of endocrine disruptors had found that they generally act by blocking or decreasing hormone effects.
“This finding may eventually lead to an explanation for some rises in some previously described reproductive problems that have been difficult to understand,” said one author, Bill Lasley, a UC Davis expert on reproductive toxicology and professor emeritus of veterinary medicine. More analyses of antibacterials and endocrine effects are planned, he said.
Public release date: 10-Dec-2007
Are humans evolving faster?
Findings suggest we are becoming more different, not alike
Researchers discovered genetic evidence that human evolution is speeding up – and has not halted or proceeded at a constant rate, as had been thought – indicating that humans on different continents are becoming increasingly different.
“We used a new genomic technology to show that humans are evolving rapidly, and that the pace of change has accelerated a lot in the last 40,000 years, especially since the end of the Ice Age roughly 10,000 years ago,” says research team leader Henry Harpending, a distinguished professor of anthropology at the University of Utah.
Harpending says there are provocative implications from the study, published online Monday, Dec. 10 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:
— “We aren’t the same as people even 1,000 or 2,000 years ago,” he says, which may explain, for example, part of the difference between Viking invaders and their peaceful Swedish descendants. “The dogma has been these are cultural fluctuations, but almost any temperament trait you look at is under strong genetic influence.”
— “Human races are evolving away from each other,” Harpending says. “Genes are evolving fast in Europe, Asia and Africa, but almost all of these are unique to their continent of origin. We are getting less alike, not merging into a single, mixed humanity.” He says that is happening because humans dispersed from Africa to other regions 40,000 years ago, “and there has not been much flow of genes between the regions since then.”
“Our study denies the widely held assumption or belief that modern humans [those who widely adopted advanced tools and art] appeared 40,000 years ago, have not changed since and that we are all pretty much the same. We show that humans are changing relatively rapidly on a scale of centuries to millennia, and that these changes are different in different continental groups.”
Study co-author Gregory M. Cochran says: “History looks more and more like a science fiction novel in which mutants repeatedly arose and displaced normal humans – sometimes quietly, by surviving starvation and disease better, sometimes as a conquering horde. And we are those mutants.”
A key finding: 7 percent of human genes are undergoing rapid, recent evolution.
Public release date: 10-Dec-2007
Scientists find how bacteria in cows milk may cause Crohn’s disease
Liverpool, UK – : Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found how a bacterium, known to cause illness in cattle, may cause Crohn’s disease in humans.
The team found that a bacterium called Mycobacterium paratuberculosis releases a molecule that prevents a type of white blood cell from killing E.coli bacteria found in the body. E.coli is known to be present within Crohn’s disease tissue in increased numbers.
Professor Jon Rhodes, from the University’s School of Clinical Sciences, explains: “Mycobacterium paratuberculosis has been found within Crohn’s disease tissue but there has been much controversy concerning its role in the disease. We have now shown that these Mycobacteria release a complex molecule containing a sugar, called mannose. This molecule prevents a type of white blood cells, called macrophages, from killing internalised E.Coli.”
Public release date: 10-Dec-2007
Chemicals used as fire retardants could be harmful, UC-Riverside researchers say
More funding for research to investigate effects of polybrominated diphenyl ethers is urged
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), chemicals used as fire retardants, can be found in numerous items in the home, such as the television, computer, toaster and the sofa. Now, as reported in a KNBC story on Nov. 28, they are being found in alarming concentrations, in human blood and breast milk – a potentially major concern for human health.
In addition, these industrial chemicals have been associated with cases of feline hyperthyroidism, a potentially fatal condition in cats.
UC Riverside scientists interviewed for the KNBC story have done research using rat tissue that shows that PBDEs disrupt mechanisms that are responsible for releasing hormones in the body. Moreover, their work has shown that like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), whose manufacture in the U.S. was discontinued in 1977, PBDEs alter calcium signaling in the brain – a critical mechanism for transmitting information between and within brain cells, for learning and memory, and for regulating the release of hormones in the body
“Long-term exposures to PBDEs may pose a human health risk, especially to infants and toddlers who are more likely to ingest household dust or acquire these chemicals through mother’s milk,” said Margarita Curras-Collazo, an associate professor of cell biology and neuroscience and one of the scientists interviewed for the KNBC story. “How much PBDE in the body is considered safe is yet to be determined and will require further federal and state research funding.”
In the United States, 80-90 percent of industrial chemicals destined for use in commercial products are sold without any legally required premarket testing.
Public release date: 11-Dec-2007
Use of diabetes medication by older adults linked with increased risk of heart problems, death
Older patients treated with the diabetes medications known as thiazolidinediones (which include rosiglitazone) had a significantly increased risk of heart attack, congestive heart failure and death, compared with the use of other hypoglycemic drugs, according to a study in the December 12 issue of JAMA. The authors suggest that these results provide further evidence that this class of medication may cause more harm than good
The thiazolidinediones (TZDs) rosiglitazone and pioglitazone are oral hypoglycemic agents used to treat type 2 diabetes and have been shown to improve glycemic control. “While improved glycemic control has been linked to better clinical outcomes in diabetes and TZDs have been suggested as having potential cardiovascular benefits, recent concerns have arisen regarding adverse cardiac effects of these drugs,” the authors write.
Compared to oral hypoglycemic agent combination therapy users, current users of TZD monotherapy had a 60 percent increased risk of congestive heart failure; had a 40 percent increased risk of heart attack; and had a 29 percent increased risk of death. These increased risks associated with TZD use appeared limited to rosiglitazone.
To all the Medical Researchers
That make Pamphlets like this