Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vitamin D And Calcium May Not Prevent Bone Fractures

Vitamin D And Calcium May Not Prevent Bone Fractures

Vitamin D and Calcium may not help prevent bone fractures in older people, a new study suggests. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force reports that there is not enough current evidence to make an accurate assessment on whether the Vitamin D and Calcium combination actually does anything to prevent bone fractures.

The USPSTF is now advising against daily supplements over 400 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium for preventing fractures in postmenopausal women.
The panel also warned that the supplements could cause further complications, such as the risk of kidney stones. That said, both vitamin D and calcium are critical to bone health, even if they don't lead to less fractures.

The recommendations are published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition and the Natural Products Association have said the new recommendations by the USPSTF are questionable at best due to the limited amount of literature on calcium and vitamin D and consumers should hold off on forgoing their supplements. "These recommendations fail to recognize the well-established role of calcium and vitamin D in maintaining bone health," said Taylor Wallace, Ph.D., senior director, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN, according to Natural Products Insider.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Who Has the Guts for Gluten?

WE know that the proteins called gluten, found in wheat and other grains, provoke celiac disease. And we know how to treat the illness: a gluten-free diet. But the rapidly increasing prevalence of celiac disease, which has quadrupled in the United States in just 50 years, is still mystifying.
Photo Illustration by Ji Lee; Baby Photograph by Evan Kafka/Getty Images


Celeste Byers

Scientists are pursuing some intriguing possibilities. One is thatbreast-feeding may protect against the disease. Another is that we have neglected the teeming ecosystem of microbes in the gut — bacteria that may determine whether the immune system treats gluten as food or as a deadly invader.
Celiac disease is generally considered an autoimmune disorder. The name celiac derives from the Greek word for “hollow,” as in bowels. Gluten proteins in wheat, barley and rye prompt the body to turn on itself and attack the small intestine. Complications range from diarrhea andanemia to osteoporosis and, in extreme cases, lymphoma. Some important exceptions notwithstanding, the prevalence of celiac disease is estimated to range between 0.6 and 1 percent of the world’s population.
Nearly everyone with celiac disease has one of two versions of a cellular receptor called the human leukocyte antigen, or H.L.A. These receptors, the thinking goes, naturally increase carriers’ immune response to gluten.
This detailed understanding makes celiac disease unique among autoimmune disorders. Two factors — one a protein, another genetic — are clearly defined; and in most cases, eliminating gluten from the patient’s diet turns off the disease.
Yet the more scientists study celiac disease, the more some crucial component appears in need of identification. Roughly 30 percent of people with European ancestry carry predisposing genes, for example. Yet more than 95 percent of the carriers tolerate gluten just fine. So while these genes (plus gluten) are necessary to produce the disease, they’re evidently insufficient to cause it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Scientists Create New Ear Using 3D Printing And Living Cell Injections

Printing out body parts? Cornell University researchers showed it's possible by creating a replacement ear using a 3-D printer and injections of living cells. The work reported Wednesday is a first step toward one day growing customized new ears for children born with malformed ones, or people who lose one to accident or disease.
It's part of the hot field of tissue regeneration, trying to regrow all kinds of body parts. Scientists hope using 3-D printing technology might offer a speedier method with more lifelike results. If it pans out, "this enables us to rapidly customize implants for whoever needs them," said Cornell biomedical engineer Lawrence Bonassar, who co-authored the research published online in the journal PLoS One.
This first-step work crafted a human-shaped ear that grew with cartilage from a cow, easier to obtain than human cartilage, especially the uniquely flexible kind that makes up ears. Study co-author Dr. Jason Spector of Weill Cornell Medical Center is working on the next step – how to cultivate enough of a child's remaining ear cartilage in the lab to grow an entirely new ear that could be implanted in the right spot.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Worst Foods For Your Heart

You know about the foods that can help protect you from heart problems. They lower cholesterol and blood pressure, fight plaque build up and reduce inflammation.

But more than 2,150 Americans die from heart disease every day, making it the leading cause of death for both women and men, according to the American Heart Association. So even if your daily diet contains some heart-healthy fare like salmon and oatmeal, your heart could still be at risk.

 In honor of American Heart Month, we've rounded up some of the worst foods for your heart. Click through the slideshow of cardiovascular no-nos below to find out how to make them healthier parts of your daily diet.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Mineral Oil for Constipation

Mineral oil for constipation is the best approach to treat this condition, as mineral oil when taken orally can evacuate hard stools without causing any discomfort to the patient. 

Taking mineral oil is the most inexpensive way to get rid of painful bowel movement. Although there are a variety of laxatives available in the market, many people prefer to use mineral oil to relieve constipation. This is because most pharmaceutical laxatives are quite expensive. Mineral oil is not only cheap but also an effective remedy for constipation. Difficulty in bowel movement commonly associated with constipation can be overcome using mineral oil. Mineral oil is non-toxic and very safe for use. It provides a natural way to ease the discomfort.

Mineral oil is a natural lubricant. According to the NDDIC, mineral oil is the most commonly used lubricant laxative for constipation relief. Mineral oil forms a slick coating around the stool, helping it to slide through the digestive system. Mineral oil can relieve constipation symptoms in less than eight hours, according to the NDDIC.

While it can be taken orally, FamilyDoctor.org cautions against using mineral oil frequently as it can lead to vitamin deficiencies and interfere with the absorption of your regular medications. Always talk to your doctor before using any type of laxative, including mineral oil.

Although there are no side effects to using olive oil, it does have a distinctive flavor, which can be off-putting if taken by itself. Mineral oil can interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins and is best not taken for a long period of time -- more than one week. Also, women who are pregnant should not use mineral oil as it can lead to bleeding in newborns, and prolonged use of mineral oil can lead to nausea and diarrhea.

Generally, it is recommended that children under the age of 6 and the elderly do not use oil- based laxatives, as a form of pneumonia can develop if they inhale oil into the lungs.

While both oils are effective, olive oil may be safer to use. It does not prevent vitamin absorption or lead to diarrhea and is safe for pregnant women to use. Also, olive oil is more multi-purposeful than mineral oil, as it can be used in cooking and other applications. Mixing olive oil with other foods may be best to help lessen its strong flavor. Always check with your doctor before using either as a therapy for constipation.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

VA, DoD pull back on electronic health records

The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments are abandoning ambitious plans to create a single shared electronic health records system in favor of a less expensive one built on existing technology, DoD and VA announced Feb. 5.

Since 2008, when Congress ordered the departments to create a seamless system of lifetime health records that would follow troops from recruitment to grave, the DoD/VA Interagency Program Office has worked to develop and deploy an integrated electronic health record system by 2017 at an estimated cost of $4 billion.  But the massive endeavor has met technology challenges and delays. To trim costs and speed up portions of the initiative, the agencies have decided to build a system based on existing programs.

The Defense Department currently uses the DoD Composite Health Care System for its electronic records, while VA uses the Veterans Health Information System and Technology Architecture, or VISTA. The new effort will allow physicians at seven VA polytrauma facilities and two DoD facilities — Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and San Antonio Military Medical Center — to view clinical information across a common interface by July.

It also will allow VA and DoD to exchange real-time data by the end of the year and permit all patients to download their medical records from any computer by May, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said.  “Rather than building a single integrated system from scratch, we will focus our immediate efforts on integrating VA and DoD health data as quickly as possible. This approach is affordable, it’s achievable,” Panetta said.

Stem Cells Promising for Type 1 Diabetes

More than half of the newly diagnosed patients with type 1 diabetes who got an experimental treatment for the disease did not need insulin injections for at least a year. Patients also showed improvements in the functioning of the insulin-producing cells that are attacked and destroyed in patients with type 1 diabetes. Four of the 23 patients who took part in the study remained insulin free for at least three years and one patient went without insulin injections for more than four years.

The patients were the first to receive the novel stem cell transplant therapy to treat their type 1 diabetes. After receiving transplants of their own blood stem cells, about half of the patients in the study became insulin free for an average of two and a half years. But the treatment, which included the use of highly toxic immune-system suppressing drugs, was not without troubling side effects.
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The Health Benefits of Losing Weight

Losing weight can improve your health in many ways. Just losing 10% of your current weight can make a difference in the way you feel on a daily basis. Here are some other ways losing weight will benefit your health: Increased energy level Lower your cholesterol levels Reduce your blood pressure Reduced aches and pains Improved mobility Improve your breathing Help you sleep better and wake more rested Prevention of angina, chest pain caused by decreased oxygen to the heart Decreases your risk of sudden death from heart disease or stroke Prevention of Type 2 diabetes Improved blood sugar levels.

Weight Loss and Diet Plans

Research shows the following health benefits for weight loss:


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Chicken Nuggets: Is That How They're Made? A GOOD Fact Check