Resveratrol promotes health and longevity; study shows it..

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Post by kenobewan » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:38 am

Life is so much sweeter looking after bacteria

We are going to have to wait awhile for science to clarify what makes food and drink healthy or harmful, fattening or slimming. Nutritionists – already warring over the roles played by proteins, fats and carbohydrates in causing illness – are now digesting more confusing research about diet and disease. A study at Israel’s Weizmann Institute found that calorie-free sweeteners, which millions use as a less-fattening substitute for sugar, may paradoxically trigger the development of glucose intolerance, leading to obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Sweetener manufacturers, which are recovering from unsubstantiated scare stories linking their products to cancer, were naturally keen to shoot down the new study, carried out with both mice and people; they said it ran contrary to the overwhelming body of scientific evidence. However, the work gains credibility from its publication in Nature, one of the world’s top peer-reviewed journals, and independent experts are taking it seriously while pointing out that more research will be required to confirm the conclusions.

Besides discovering the unintended consequences of replacing sugar with any of three commonly used artificial sweeteners (saccharin, sucralose and aspartame) the researchers explained the mechanism of the effect. It turns out that the sweeteners do not act directly on mammalian cells. Instead their impact is on the “microbiota”, the vast ecosystem of bacteria inside our gut, which scientists are only now beginning to probe properly.

Each of us hosts trillions of beneficial bugs – 10 times more than the number of our own human cells – which have a huge unseen and largely unfelt influence on our lives. Their existence is another big complication in the drive to keep healthy. It means that we have to look after not only ourselves but also many different species of microbes in our stomach and intestines.

Some members of this friendly assembly are especially vulnerable to artificial chemicals in our food and drink. Zero-calorie sweeteners, particularly saccharine, disturbed the bacterial balance, with adverse consequences for the consumer’s blood glucose levels – though the Israeli experiment suggested that some individuals and their microbes were affected much more than others.

Eventually, therefore, personalised testing may reveal who can and cannot safely consume artificial sweeteners and other food and drink additives. Until then, if you feel tempted by a Diet Coke or Pepsi Max, ask yourself whether your microbiota will enjoy the treat. Drink and food fads will come and go but it is hard to imagine this diet advice changing: if want to slim safely, drink unsweetened water, tea or coffee; eat a varied diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables; and exercise as much as you can. ... z3Dtyb5CgK

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Re: Resveratrol promotes health and longevity; study shows i

Post by kenobewan » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:32 am

Why I Hate Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I don't look forward to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That may seem like a strange statement coming from a woman whose own mother was diagnosed with the disease. Given my sex and age, I have a personal stake in seeing progress made.

I remember what it was like in the late 1960s, when women didn't feel comfortable using the word "breast" to talk about their illness. They had little voice in their diagnosis or treatment. Most, like my mom, were under anesthesia when their doctors made the choice to perform a disfiguring radical mastectomy.

Thanks to a few prominent outspoken women, like First Lady Betty Ford, this scenario began to change. These early pioneers worked to educate and empower women and lobbied for research funds and alternative treatments.

These first efforts to raise awareness were about honoring women's choices and providing them with accurate information to help them make decisions about their health. The loftier goal was to eradicate breast cancer, reduce incidence and save lives. But it feels like something's gone sideways since the pink ribbon message of awareness took over.

The best example of what turns me off about today's breast cancer awareness is the current sleazy UK breast awareness campaign found in The Sun. This daily has partnered with a non-profit to urge women to "check 'em" every Tuesday. How do they motivate at-risk readers? By using one of their young (barely 18) topless Page 3 models to teach us.

Here's what's wrong with this, and some other breast cancer awareness efforts:

1) Little connection to those at greatest risk. Page 3 models are barely out of their teens, an age when a diagnosis is fairly rare. Charitable campaigns often emphasize youthful, perky breasts in their ads, as well. While breast cancers in U.S. women under age 40 can be more aggressive, they still represent less than five percent of all cases. Those at highest risk are women age 50 or older.

The Sun's Page 3 is also directed at male audiences, yet there's no mention of male breast cancer. They aren't alone in choosing to ignore the risk of breast cancer in men.

2) Patronizing approaches not backed by science. The Sun's Check 'Em Tuesdays is offered as a gentle reminder to women that they should be aware of any changes to their breasts. Here in the United States, you might find middle school children wearing "I (heart) Boobies" bracelets for the same reason. Store shelves are lined in pink products to keep us all alert to anything out of the ordinary.

But is anyone unaware of breast cancer? I haven't found any studies showing that women are any more (or less) aware of their breasts than they were 40 years ago. My mom found her own lump and was well aware it could be cancer.

Some awareness campaigns promote routine monthly breast self exams (BSEs), even though there's no evidence they "save lives." Calls to action are part of many pink ribbon messages. It should come as no surprise that this could result in well-meaning charities giving out less than accurate medical advice.

3) Ignores the biology of breast cancer and how it progresses. I, too, once believed that "early detection saves lives." Find it early enough and it's not a problem. But scientists now know that is not how cancer operates. Breast cancer isn't one disease, but many. It doesn't even progress the same way in all cases. A barely perceptible lump might be more fast growing and aggressive, and a larger mass less deadly. You can develop Metastatic Breast Cancer (when it spreads to other areas of the body) after an early stage diagnosis. It all depends on the biology of the tumor. But most awareness efforts continue to focus on early detection as if it is a cure.

4) Sexualizes and trivializes breast cancer. The Sun's crass breast cancer awareness campaign makes it obvious that a woman's worth is found in her youthful perky breasts. (Why else would they even publish a Page 3 girl?) Other Pinktober promotions encourage women to decorate bras, hang them across bridges or dress up their breasts. The awareness message turns into one about saving boobs, not lives.

This also obscures the reality of the disease. A breast cancer diagnosis can result in many losses, including hair, libido, fertility, limb function, career, savings, friends, and even family. For many women, new perky boobs (with little to no sensation once reconstructed) aren't a priority. Breast cancer is not about one body part.

Even when perky bared breasts aren't front and center, juvenile sexual language is used to grab attention. We are urged to "save the tatas," "save the boobies," "second base" and "cop-a-feel." It's all done to lighten things up. But many breast cancer patients are angered by and object to these sexist and degrading messages. Their concerns are dismissed or ignored. It's become acceptable to sexualize and objectify women's bodies and breasts, as long as its done in the name of awareness.

5) Awareness places burden of staying "cancer free" on the individual. If you're not checking your breasts all the time and, god forbid, you end up with one of the most deadly forms of cancer, you could be to blame. In a recent Avon/Pfizer survey, over 50 percent of respondents believed that those with advanced breast cancers "either did not take the right medicines or preventative measures." Cancer goes from being a fault in our genes to something we could have controlled.

6) Corporate self-interest and wasted resources. The Sun's full-page color photo of a topless woman reminding you to check your breasts may not be the best use of space in a major newspaper. But they're also trying to justify a section that is currently under attack. What about the time and energy to hold thousands of walks, runs, and charitable events, backed by corporations looking to promote themselves? What about resources used to color everything pink? The question consumers should ask is how their money is best used to support research and prevention-not just more awareness.

There has been progress over the past four decades; new therapies help extend lives and patients have way more options. But it's hard to link these advances to pink ribbons and awareness. Incidence of breast cancer is higher than when my mom was diagnosed; while rates of those dying haven't changed dramatically. All these awareness efforts haven't translated into greater understanding about risk or prevention, either. Women are more confused than ever.

But, no worries. Another month of pink is right around the corner. ... 57376.html

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Re: Resveratrol promotes health and longevity; study shows i

Post by kenobewan » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:24 am

Principal teaching parents in healthy eating … by confronting them when they put junk food in their lunchboxes

Parents are being disciplined by teachers for filling their children's lunchboxes with junk food in an attempt to increase students' learning ability.

If a staff member notices a pupil eating preservative-laden treats - the parent is pulled aside to discuss healthier alternative options for their child at a school in Sydney's lower north shore.

The friendly reminders have not ruffled any feathers among the parents and has resulted in children showing off their new healthier snacks in the school yard.

North Sydney Demonstration School principal Myra Wearne said the initiative was a way to ensure that students reach their learning potential.

'Our parents trust us to know that we want what is best for their children, and a high-sugar diet is anything but,' Mrs Wearne told Mosman Daily.

'If we see a student with a chocolate bar or a packet of chips in their lunchbox, we will have a personal conversation with the student's parents to remind them that these foods are not suitable and recommend healthy ­alternatives.'

Rebecca Nash has three children at the Waverton school and although she hasn't been pulled up on her children's lunchbox contents, she said she wouldn't be insulted if it did occur.

'They say it takes a community to raise a child, and I think that's very true,' Mrs Nash said.

'It starts in the home because that's where children first learn about making healthy choices but it is for teachers to extend on and reinforce.'

The NSW education department stipulates that all public school canteens in NSW must colour code their menus: red means 'occasionally', amber is 'select carefully' and green for 'fill the menu'.

But this policy does not include food that is brought from home.

Nutrition educator and mother-of-one Lynsey Bradley, who runs workshops to help parents with healthy lunchbox ideas, said educating parents about nutrition is essential for their kids' bodies and minds.

'The more emphasis a school puts on healthy eating the better,' Mrs Bradley said.

'Parents play a huge part in their child's wellbeing and I find a lot of the time they don't know what they are doing wrong.'

She emphasised that preservatives, added sugar and high salt levels and the 'energy spikes' created by such ingredients was the biggest issue.

'Obviously there is no problem with your child having a treat but I always encourage parents to try making their own,' she said.

'Homemade banana bread or blueberry muffins are perfect.' ... boxes.html

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Re: Resveratrol promotes health and longevity; study shows i

Post by kenobewan » Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:13 am

Engineers develop pulley system to improve hand function after nerve trauma

Engineers at Oregon State University have developed a simple pulley mechanism that may offer new options to people who have lost the use of their hands due to nerve trauma, according to a press release.

“Many people have lost the functional use of their hands due to nerve damage, sometimes from traumatic injury and at other times from stroke, paralysis and other disorders,” Ravi Balasubramanian, PhD, assistant professor in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, stated in a press release. “The impact can be devastating since grasping is a fundamental aspect of our daily life. The surgery we are focusing on, for instance, is commonly performed in the military on people who have been injured in combat.”

In the study, the researchers compared a suture-based procedure to their pulley-based procedure and found that the pulley-based procedure reduced the actuation force required to close all four fingers around an object by 45%. They also found, during the grasping process, the pulley-based procedure improved the fingers’ individual adaptation to the object’s shape and reduced slip by 52% after object contact.

“We will still need a few years to develop biocompatible materials, coatings to prevent fibrosis, make other needed advances and then test the systems in animals and humans. But working at first with hands – and then later with other damaged joints such as knees or ankle – we will help people recover the function they have lost due to illness or injury,” Balasubramanian stated. ... rnalsearch

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Re: Resveratrol promotes health and longevity; study shows i

Post by kenobewan » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:45 am

Care needed to help people die how they want: report

Doctors should be required to talk to elderly or very sick patients about their end-of-life care, with few Australians taking steps to ensure they do not get unwanted medical treatment when they are dying.

Ageing baby boomers will soon swell the numbers of people dying each year, according to a new report on death and dying from policy think tank the Grattan Institute.

The Dying Well report found death in Australia is highly institutionalised: about 70 per cent of people would like to die at home but close to 80 per cent die in hospitals or nursing homes.

We are living longer than ever before - most people now die between the ages of 75 and 95 - and the majority will die from chronic disease, the report says.

"We have a very institutional, impersonal and medicalised approach to dying," said lead author Professor Hal Swerissen.

This was because people were uncomfortable talking about death and did not discuss the care they wanted at the end of their lives or write advance care plans, he said.

An advance-care plan is a written statement that outlines a person's wishes for their health care at the end of their life.

It can include treatments they would not wish to have, for example cardiac resuscitation for those who are terminally ill, or intravenous feeding.

Research has found that not only do advance care plans improve the care given to people but their families are significantly less anxious and depressed after they die.

Doctors should be required to discuss end-of-life plans with patients at the 75-plus health check, which is a free check available to everyone, the report concludes.

Advance care plans should also be discussed when:

People with chronic disease develop a management plan with their doctor.
When a patient enters a residential care home (about 90 percent of people who go into residential care die there).
When a patient is discharged from hospital and there is a high probability they will die within the next year.

Given that the majority of people want to die at home, the authors suggest a national reform of palliative care services to cope with the increasing number of patients.

About 15 per cent of people die at home in Australia, compared with about 30 per cent in countries like France, Canada and New Zealand.

The report authors estimate it would cost about $240 million to boost the palliative care system across the country, which would fund about 39,000 more places for patients that wanted to die outside of hospitals.

This cost would be entirely offset by the decrease in patients using expensive hospital care, and offer a significant improvement in outcomes for patients who wanted to die at home, Professor Swerissen said.

The government should also fund a major awareness-raising campaign targeted at people who were nearing the end of their life, and their adult children, he said.

Costing about $10 million, the campaign would encourage these people to write advance care plans and decide who should have their medical power of attorney when they are no longer able to make decisions. ... 0n4c6.html

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Re: Resveratrol promotes health and longevity; study shows i

Post by kenobewan » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:43 am

The best and worst countries in the world to be old in

The future is grey. The world's population is ageing, and we aren't prepared for it.

That is the upshot of the Global AgeWatch Index, an assessment of quality of life for people of 60 and over, based on income security, health and living environment from the HelpAge International network.

Ageing is widely seen as a rich-world phenomenon, but it is a global issue. It is a concern because old people tend to have a worse quality of life in poor countries. The index predicts that as the poor world ages, millions face a bleak old age. Afghanistan is the worst place among those surveyed to be old, followed by Mozambique and the Palestinian territories. Norway is the most age-friendly, then Sweden and Switzerland.

Worldwide, life expectancy has doubled in the past half century to 66 years. A century ago, Britons could only expect to live to 47; now fewer than a dozen nations do worse than that. Costa Ricans, Taiwanese and Cubans can expect to live as long as Americans.

Cold Turkey

Some countries with increasing wealth ignore their older citizens. Being old in booming Turkey is as bad as it is in Cambodia. Whereas Mexico, a poorer nation than Turkey but with superior pension provision, is now a better place to be old than Italy or Portugal.

Much of the global longevity revolution is down to falling infant death rates. But the future lifespan of those who make it to 60 is also rising fast – in poor nations as much as rich ones. "On average a woman aged 60 today can expect to live until she is 82," says the report. Men can expect to reach 79 years.

China already has more old people than any other country, and will probably have 150 million people over 75 by mid-century.

Great resource

As the poor world ages, hundreds of millions face a bleak old age, and will be dependent on their children, says Asghar Zaidi of the Centre for Research on Ageing at the University of Southampton, UK, who compiled the index. In low- and middle-income countries, only one in four people over 65 receives a pension. And despite living longer, women are less likely to get a pension than men.

This neglect leaves ageing populations vulnerable, dependent and far less able to contribute to society than they might otherwise be. A recent German study found that, properly looked after, the old could be a boon to societies – a source of wisdom and experience in the workplace, and even reduce carbon emissions.

Zaidi agrees. "Societies have been slow to embrace the positive aspects of longevity, to see older people as a resource," he says, adding that people will have extended working careers as well as more self-reliant, healthy and independent living. ... CsxAkq4xpA

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Post by kenobewan » Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:04 am

Antibiotics In Infancy May Be Linked To Childhood Obesity (STUDY)

(Reuters Health) - Kids who receive several rounds of antibiotics before age two may be at an increased risk of being overweight by age five, suggests a new study.

The research shows a link between antibiotics and obesity, but it can’t say whether the antibiotics are "at fault," said Dr. L. Charles Bailey, the study’s lead author from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“That said, we’re certainly interested in the possibility that antibiotics are actually contributing to the risk of obesity,” Bailey told Reuters Health by email.

“One of the more interesting hypotheses is that your body’s management of its weight involves interacting with the bacteria that live in your intestines, and affect the way you digest food,” he added.

Antibiotics kill some of the bacteria in the stomach and could leave the body in a state where it is more likely to become obese, Bailey said. The drugs could also change which foods taste good or change your activity pattern due to other side effects.

For the new study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, Bailey and his coauthors used data from health records collected between 2001 and 2013 from 64,580 children. They had data on doctor visits during the children's first five years of life.

Almost 70 percent of the kids were exposed to antibiotics before age two with an average of about two prescriptions per child.

By age two, 23 percent of the kids were overweight or obese for their age, which rose to 30 percent at age three and 33 percent at age four.

The more times the children had been exposed to antibiotics at a younger age, the more likely they were to be obese later on. Obesity was specifically linked to broad-spectrum antibiotics, like amoxicillin or tetracycline, not narrow-spectrum antibiotics like azithromycin. (Broad-spectrum means the antibiotic acts against a broad range of disease-causing bacteria.)

Kids who had been exposed to antibiotics at least four times before age two were 11 percent more likely to be obese later than kids who had not been exposed to any antibiotics.

That’s a small change in risk for individual kids, but since obesity is so common and has so many causes it is important to track down as many of these causes as possible, Bailey said.

Other than the antibiotics, the cause of the increased risk of obesity may also be the disease that the child got the medication to treat, Bailey noted.

Additionally, he said that having other family members who are obese, whether or not an infant is breastfed, and an infant's diet and activity are also connected to later obesity risk.

“Infancy is a vulnerable period for many things,” said Dr. Stephen Cook, an associate professor of pediatrics and community health at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“This is a recent cohort, it’s large and worth noticing,” he told Reuters Health by phone. He added that it’s nearly impossible to directly test this theory with human children, but studies in animals have found that antibiotic use leads to weight gain.

Cook, who is also a member of the executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Section on Obesity, was not part of the new study.

Pediatricians are focused now on making sure they only prescribe antibiotics when the child really needs them, and on picking the right drug with the least effect on other bacteria in the body, he said.

Children get more fevers and similar illnesses as infants and toddlers, Bailey said, and it’s the most common age for ear infections, which have traditionally been a reason to use antibiotics.

But recent evidence indicates that antibiotics may not offer much benefit for ear infections among children (see Reuters story of November 17, 2010 here:

Doctors are more likely to give very young infants antibiotics because they may get serious infections right after birth, before their immune systems have a chance to adapt to the world around them, Bailey said.

“We’d like to see the use of antibiotics go down significantly, but we also recognize that there are not just medical but also social and economic factors that are part of decisions about antibiotic use,” he said.

Still, he said, these results offer another reason for parents not to insist on antibiotics for their sick child if the doctor advises against them.

“There may be other reasons that are bigger considerations for most parents, such as reducing the chance that their child will acquire antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” Bailey said. “But possibly avoiding a risk factor for obesity is another reason to use antibiotics, like most medicines, when you really need them, but to avoid them when you don’t.” ... 15730.html

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Post by kenobewan » Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:25 pm

Bob Such, South Australian MP and scholar, dies from brain tumour

He was aged 70.

Dr Such has been the sitting member for the SA seat of Fisher since 1989. He was first a member of the Liberal Party, until 2000 and then as an independent.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has issued a statement saying he is deeply saddened by the news.

“Bob was a kind and thoughtful man who dedicated his life to public service,” he said.

"I spoke to Lyn and offered my sincere condolences to her and her family and passed on the South Australian community's gratitude for Bob's extraordinary contribution to public life."

The family of Bob Such asked Premier Weatherill to release the following statement:

"It is with great sadness that the family of the Honourable Doctor Bob Such wish to inform the South Australian community that their beloved father and husband passed away at the Daw Park repatriation hospital earlier today.

Mr Such's wife Lyn, said she and some of Bob's family were with him at the time.

She said the family was devastated at their loss.

"Bob was such a lovely man and I will miss him dearly," she said. ... ain-tumour

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Post by kenobewan » Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:25 pm

How Family Dynamics at the Dinner Table Affect Kids’ Weight

It's not just what kids eat, but who they eat with that matters when it comes to their weight

“Eat together” is a mantra that doctors and nutritionists use regularly when they talk with families about eating healthy and maintaining normal weight. Children who eat regular family meals tend to have lower rates of obesity and eat more nutritiously. A new study published Monday morning in the journal Pediatrics takes a novel look at why.

A team led by Jerica Berge, in the department of family medicine and community health at University of Minnesota, asked the families of 120 children aged 6 to 12 to record eight days of meals. The families didn’t have to eat every meal together, and didn’t even have to eat dinner together every one of those nights, but did have to share at least three meals during that time. Half of the children were overweight or obese, and half were normal weight.

To tease out what features of the family meal might be influence weight, Berge’s team laboriously coded the interactions occurring at the table into two broad groups — those relating to the emotional atmosphere at the meal, such as how much the family members seemed to be enjoying the time together, how much hostility the diners showed one another, and how many uncomfortable silences or awkward pauses occurred — and those involving food specifically, including how much hostility emerged from discussions about food, including weight issues, and how much the parents controlled or limited what and how much children ate.

Children who were overweight or obese had family meals that included more negative emotional interactions — hostility, poor quality interactions, little communication and more controlling behavior from their parents — compared to children who weren’t obese. Their meals tended to have a warmer, more communicative atmosphere. For example, these children were given positive reinforcements to eat, and were encouraged to eat foods to get stronger or run faster, while heavier children experienced more negative pressures including threats and made to feel guilty about those in the world who can’t afford to eat three meals a day. If parents or caregivers talked constantly throughout the meal about food, and lectured about homework or attempted to control what the children ate, the youngsters were also more likely to be heavy.

“I was surprised by how consistent the patterns were,” says Berge. “Almost every single one of the emotional factors we coded were in the right direction, and there were really clear patterns in how much positive or negative interactions were associated with overweight and non overweight.”

The analysis also revealed other things that distinguished the family meals of overweight children and normal weight youngsters. Heavier children tended to have shorter meals — spending 13.5 minutes on average eating with their family compared to 18.2 minutes for non obese kids. Children who weren’t obese were also more likely to have a father or step-father at the table. The reason, says Berge, may be practical. “It might be a matter of having one more person at the table for crowd control, another person to help make the meal and be a model for children to emulate,” she says.

The team only coded the types of interactions between the family members during the meal, and did not include an in-depth look at what the families were eating. But that’s the focus of their next study.

In the meantime, the current data suggests that simply sitting down at the same table at the same time isn’t enough to influence obesity. And it’s up to pediatricians and family doctors to help families understand how to take full advantage of breaking bread together. “There is clear evidence that family meals are important in protecting kids against overweight,” says Berge, “so it’s important to start the conversation with families. It’s important to focus on making the meal environment more positive.” And, as her study showed, it doesn’t take lengthy repasts either — just 20 minutes as many times a week as possible.

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Post by kenobewan » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:16 am

Put down those energy drinks, they're a public health threat: WHO

Energy drinks are the threat to public health, especially to young people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Energy drinks usually contain caffeine and vitamins, along with guarana, ginseng, taurine and other ingredients meant to supply energy and feelings of well-being. They do not contain alcohol, although many users mix them into cocktails.

The European Food Safety Authority states that 18 percent of children, along with 68 percent of adolescents and three out of ten adults consume energy drinks.

"As energy drink sales are rarely regulated by age, unlike alcohol and tobacco, and there is a proven potential negative effect on children, there is the potential for a significant public health problem in the future," World Health Organization managers state in the report.

João Breda, a researcher of noncommunicable diseases at WHO Europe, led the meta-study warning of potential dangers posed by energy drinks.

The study suggests several changes which could reduce the intake of potentially harmful ingredients by children. These include regulating the maximum amount of caffeine allowed in each serving of the drinks, along with age restrictions and changes to labeling.

Caffeine intoxication can result when quantities of the stimulant are consumed quickly. Heath problems caused by excessive intake of the drug can include high blood pressure, heart palpitations and nausea.

The WHO report also calls for additional training of health care personnel, centered on the symptoms and risks of excessive intake of energy drinks. Mixture of energy drinks with alcohol can pose dangers, especially to those with previous substance abuse problems, the study reveals.

Sweden limits sales of energy drinks to pharmacies, and children are prohibited from buying or possessing the drinks. In 2012, the government of Hungary passed a health tax which includes the high-energy beverages.

"A review of the literature was conducted to identify published articles that examined the health risks, consequences, and policies related to energy drink consumption. The health risks associated with energy drink consumption are primarily related to their caffeine content, but more research is needed that evaluates the long-term effects of consuming common energy drink ingredients," researchers wrote in an article detailing their meta-study.

Researchers conclude that the health effects of energy drinks, particularly on young people, have been largely ignored. They also believe that the drinks could pose a serious health problem worldwide as adolescents grow into full adulthood.

Study of the health effects of energy drinks was profiled in the open-access journal Frontiers in Public Health. ... at-who.htm

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Post by kenobewan » Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:44 am

Don't go to Ebola areas, Queensland Chief Health Officer warns

Queensland's top doctor is urging people not to travel to Ebola zones in Africa unless it's to do essential humanitarian work.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has outlined Queensland's plans to prepare for any cases of the virus in the state.

She's urging people to avoid visiting Ebola-affected areas unless it's essential humanitarian work.

"There are some people going there for fantastic humanitarian reasons and we support them," Dr Young told reporters.

"But anyone who can delay their travel really shouldn't be travelling."

Dr Young said it was important people going contact Queensland Health beforehand so they understood the risks and what would happen when they returned.

She said as a general rule health workers would be asked to voluntarily quarantine themselves in their homes for 21 days.

Government-owned housing in Brisbane was also available for them to do so.

The state's top medical experts and four key Ebola treatment hospitals were also on standby.

An isolation pod ordered from Western Australia has arrived in the state and another three, worth $70,000, were expected to arrive within the next three weeks.

A 24-hour hotline has been set up for anyone believing they could have Ebola symptoms and any members of the public with questions about Ebola can also call the 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84) hotline.

But Dr Young said there was still no therapeutic treatment or cure available for Ebola patients, only supportive medical care.

"We know from the advice of the World Health Organisation that good supportive care do go a long way to assisting people to combat the disease," she added.

"Just making sure that all the very basic things are maintained." ... 17x7l.html

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Post by kenobewan » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:50 am

Amelia Hill reveals what life is like being allergic to the 21st century

CAN you be allergic to the 21st century? This is Amelia Hill’s reality — and she has to take some pretty drastic action to survive.

For almost five years, I’ve lived in one single room, stripped of all possessions — apart from a fold-out bed that doesn’t even have a mattress.

Yes, you read that right: one room for five years!

My family and friends can only speak to me through a glass wall; I eat the same six foods on rotation; and can wear just one outfit.

I’m not in prison and this isn’t some kind of Big Brother social experiment. I have a condition called multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), as well as electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).

This means I’m intolerant to an endless list of everyday items, including fragrances, fabrics, plastics, cleaning products, computers and wi-fi technology.

Minimal exposure can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction — my airway swells, I can’t breathe and feel like I’ve overdosed on sedatives.

You could say that I’m allergic to the 21st century.

The only way for me to survive and have any quality of life is to seal myself off from my friends, family and the outside world.

I am now 38, but my symptoms began when I was 15, though they became more severe as I got older.

At school I was always exhausted and short of breath, but every blood test came back negative and the doctor said I was either a hypochondriac or suffering from a form of glandular fever and should get better over time.

‘I’ve lived in one room for five years’

For a while I did seem to improve, or I just became better at hiding my symptoms.

After high school I began a career as a fashion stylist and, throughout my twenties, to the outside world I was living the dream, working for magazines and running my own fashion label.

But I was plagued by tiredness, nausea, breathlessness and unexplained pain.

I hid my symptoms from everyone but my mother, as I didn’t want my friends to pity me.

I was totally in denial, but as the years passed I had a strange sensation that I was sliding down a dark tunnel, trying to grab at slippery walls.

Then, shortly after my 33rd birthday, my body literally gave up overnight. I remember the day before; I’d been running around the city picking up clothes and furniture for a photo shoot. When I woke up the next morning, I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, couldn’t breathe.

At the time I was living alone in a flat in Adelaide and somehow managed to call my mother, whispering down the phone that I needed help.

I was admitted to hospital, where, for the next few weeks, every blood test and X-ray once again came back negative and I seemed to get worse by the day.

I don’t blame the doctors for not diagnosing me. There is very little education about MCS in the medical profession, despite the fact it’s more common than you’d imagine.

Unbeknown to anyone, being in hospital was actually making me sicker because I was surrounded by technology and chemicals.

My sense of smell skyrocketed, my airway burned and my weight plummeted.

My doctors talked about nursing homes, but instead I discharged myself and moved back into my old apartment, determined that it wasn’t the end.

My mum and step-dad, who lived 10 minutes away, barely left my side — and for that I’m forever grateful, as I was unable to wash or feed myself.

Over the next 18 months, we sought help from over a hundred medical specialists and alternative healers, putting my broken body through blood tests, spinal taps, yoga poses and juice fasts, with no improvement.

Then one night, a year and a half after I was first admitted to hospital, I was alone in my apartment and turned on the television, as I was desperate for distraction.

The reality show The Bachelorette was on and one of the contestants was talking about his struggle with multiple chemical sensitivity.

It was the first time I’d heard anyone else list my symptoms.

Within a fortnight I had tracked down the contestant’s sister online and booked a Skype consultation with his American-based doctor, who diagnosed me after one conversation.

I finally had a name for my condition, but it brought mixed feelings, as I also discovered that MCS has few avenues of treatment and even fewer stories of recovery.

The best chance I had seemed to be limiting my exposure to any product or chemical my body was sensitive to.

It wouldn’t be a cure, but would hopefully allow my health to plateau rather than nosedive.

In online forums where other MCS sufferers shared their stories, many talked about the concept of a ‘safe room’.

It was my mother who suggested we strip their living room and basically seal me in.

I was heartbroken the day I had to leave my apartment and put all of my things into storage, including my clothes, my photographs and every trinket that reminded me of happier times.

I’ll never forget my mum’s living-room door closing behind me as my world suddenly shrank to a 2m square.

For the first 18 months in my safe room, I was so sick that I didn’t even have the energy to be bored. But it must have been terrible for my mother, who was the only person allowed to cross my boundary, to wash me using a basin of faltered water and empty the bucket that served as my toilet.

The living room has a sliding glass door that connects it to the dining room, so friends stand on the other side, chatting as if I was in a fishbowl.

I was grateful for these visits and they tried to lift my spirits, even throwing me a birthday party on the other side of the glass, but I was still plagued by depression and anxiety.

Who could blame me?

At that point, my sensitivity to electricity meant that I couldn’t speak on the phone, have a television near me or use the internet.

I spent most evenings in the dark because switching on the light worsened my condition. I also couldn’t tolerate a mattress or a blanket, even if they were made of natural fibres, so I slept on a pile of cotton sheets with two stainless-steel water bottles filled with hot water to keep me warm.

My entire wardrobe consisted of an old pink jumper and one pair of thermal leggings, which I knew I didn’t react badly to.

My old life as a stylist seemed like a distant memory, when I would spend my days surrounded by beauty, colour and fabulousness.

There were days when giving up seemed like an option. But in 2011, three years after entering the safe room, I decided I had to find a way to stay positive and count my blessings.

It may not appear that way, but I have a lot to be thankful for, because my solitary confinement does appear to be working.

A few years ago I couldn’t lift my head from the pillow, but now I’m walking, chatting and my appetite has returned.

I’ve learnt to embrace small milestones, which are actually major achievements. I am now sometimes able to walk from my safe room to the bathroom down the hallway, which has been stripped of all products, perfumes and chemicals.

In August, for the first time in five years, I was able to warm up my own lunch on a portable hotplate.

To control my symptoms I follow a rotation diet, which means I eat only six core foods that I know don’t harm me.

For breakfast I have mashed banana, for lunch pureed pumpkin and then a choice of lentils, tuna, carrot or chickpeas.

It’s a pretty bleak diet for a foodie like me, but it’s better than my throat closing over.

The biggest breakthrough came when I actually stepped outside!

OK, it was in my parents’ driveway and only for two minutes, but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as Mum took photographs to commemorate the moment.

We are currently in the process of building a safe pod in my mum’s back garden. It’s a glorified shed made from iron and other materials that don’t affect me, but will have a living room, bedroom and a basic kitchen so I’ll be independent.

An important part of my coping mechanism is meditation and positive visualisation. I can now use a computer for short periods of time and on Facebook I’ve started the hashtag #futureselffridays, where I post imaginary status updates of where I’d like to be: “In New York, going to walk my favourite stretch of Central Park, drinking in the soft dappled light and the breeze.”

I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, so my future self also has a hot husband! The hardest part of surviving like this is the lack of human contact, and I can’t imagine living without it forever. While I’m a realist and know a cure may never be found, I also haven’t given up on my fairytale ending.

I hope my story inspires people to seize the day and realise how resilient they can be. I may be confined to four stark walls, but I’ll never stop thinking outside the box. ... 7095281149

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Re: Resveratrol promotes health and longevity; study shows i

Post by kenobewan » Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:00 am

Study finds skipping breakfast helps reduce weight

It might be regarded as the most important meal of the day, but skipping breakfast is the best way to tackle Australia's epidemic of obesity and fatty liver disease, new research suggests.

The study, conducted by Monash University, concluded that watching the clock rather than counting kilojoules was key to weight loss.

Thirty-two patients who suffered from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which affects more than 5.5 million Australians, fasted and took in no kilojoules between 8pm and noon the following day.

All patients lost weight over the initial 12-week period, while patients who fasted also reduced their waist circumference, which, according to experts, is one of the ways to measure a decrease in liver damage.

The study also found there was no difference in kilojoule intake, activity levels, hunger levels or quality of life experienced between the two groups.

Melbourne gastroenterologist Alex Hodge, who worked on the study, said similar research had been done on animals before, but these new results indicated there was hope to tackle Australia's obesity problem.

"Experimental studies have shown that restricting access to food, without calorie restriction, prevented animals developing conditions such as fatty liver disease," Dr Hodge said.

"Despite the small numbers of participants in this novel study, there was a significant health benefit from intermittent fasting. When the standard care group was changed to intermittent fasting for an additional 12 weeks, they continued to show improvements."

Those who fasted also recorded improvements in visceral fat, insulin resistance, blood pressure and other measures of liver damage.

Meanwhile, senior nutritionist at Nutrition Australia Aloysa Hourigan said weight loss was only one component of health and certain nutrients might be neglected during long periods of fasting.

"If you're eating less in total, you might be also be getting less nutrients," Hourigan said. "You might lose weight, but that's not the only important thing to health.

"Something breakfast contributes is milk, so you're more likely to get dairy out of it, so you would wonder when people aren't having breakfast, does their dairy intake go down?

"There's some evidence around that actually eating breakfast improves work and learning performance. While the study might be looking at weight, we mustn't forget all the cognitive things that might be affected as well." ... 19g40.html

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Re: Resveratrol promotes health and longevity; study shows i

Post by kenobewan » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:20 am

An Outpatient Drug Error Occurs Every 8 Minutes in Kids

Medication errors occurred in 696,937 nonhospitalized children 6 years of age and younger between 2002 and 2012, and more than a quarter of the episodes were documented in children younger than 1 year, according to a study published online October 20 in Pediatrics.

The number of incidents translates into a medication error occurring in children every 8 minutes, report Maxwell D. Smith, from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues.

Nearly 82% of the medication errors identified in the analysis of data from the National Poison Database System involved liquid formulations, whereas 14.9% involved tablets, capsules, and caplets, the authors note.

The most common medication errors involved analgesics, accounting for 25.2% of the episodes, followed by cough and cold medications in 24.6% of the cases, they write. However, they note that the number and rate of errors involving cough and cold medications decreased significantly from 2005 through 2012.

The most common explanation for medication errors was medication being inadvertently given twice (27.0%), followed by incorrect dosing (17.8%), confused units of measure (8.2%), and wrong medication (7.8%).

Most of the exposures were managed on-site at a nonhealthcare facility and did not result in serious medical outcomes, the authors report. Serious medical outcomes resulting from the medication errors occurred in 0.7% of the cases, including 25 deaths over the course of the study period. "The number of exposures with moderate or major medical outcomes or death decreased by 19.5% during the study period, from 497 cases in 2002 to 400 cases in 2012," the authors write.

The medication errors follow a seasonal pattern, peaking during the winter months, the authors observe. "This is most likely attributable to the increased use of cough and cold preparations, analgesics, and other medications to treat viral illnesses among young children during that time of year."

The reason for the significant increase in the rate of non–cough and cold medication errors during the study period could not be determined from the study data; "however, it may be associated with increasing use of analgesics and antihistamines among young children," the authors hypothesize.

The increase in number and rate of medication errors with decreasing age "is of concern because the proportions of children who died or who were admitted to the [intensive care unit] were >2 times higher among children <1 year of age compared with older children," the authors report. The reason for this pattern cannot be determined from the study data, "but it is likely multifactorial," they write. "Older children are able to communicate better with caregivers, indicating whether they have already taken medication, and thereby avoiding taking medication twice."

A larger proportion of medication errors associated with liquid formulations among children younger than 2 years of age was also observed. "These liquid medications may lead to medication errors not experienced with other formulations, such as confusing units of measure or an incorrect amount dispensed," the authors suggest, adding that it is also possible parents may be more likely to call a primary care provider for medication errors involving a younger child than an older one.

On the basis of their findings, the authors call for increased efforts and the implementation of proven strategies to prevent medication errors among young children. "Priorities addressing medication errors include an educational campaign and the refining of dosing measures and instructions on medication packaging and labeling to reduce errors made by parents and child caregivers."

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Re: Resveratrol promotes health and longevity; study shows i

Post by kenobewan » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:43 am

5 most incredible discoveries of the week

A dinosaur with "horrible" hands and an ancient Ukrainian temple make the list:

1. Docs Transplant 'Dead Hearts' Into 3 Patients: An Australian heart transplant unit has been toiling for 20 years to transplant a "dead heart" (one that's not still beating in a brain-dead donor) into a live patient, and they've finally done it not once, but three times. The process behind how it's done is fascinating.

2. Skip Coffee Before a Big Meeting, Introverts: That java jolt might not boost your performance and may actually have the opposite effect for inward-facing individuals. While a new book says that extroverts may indeed benefit from a cup or two of joe before congregating in the conference room, "introverts perform less well." It all goes back to fundamental differences between the extrovert and introvert brain.

3. Mountain Camp Proves Ice Age Humans Were Tough: Archaeologists who found ancient settlements 3 miles above sea level in the Peruvian Andes were surprised to learn humans lived there between 12,000 and 13,000 years ago. But it wasn't the view that lured them.

4. Meet the Humpbacked Dinosaur With 'Horrible' Hands: A half-century ago, researchers found two arms in the Mongolian desert that clearly belonged to a big dinosaur—they were 8 feet long and ended in nasty claws. Now, scientists have pieced together the rest of Deinocheirus mirificus (which roughly translates into "unusual horrible hand"), and it's not pretty.

5. Ancient Temple Found Filled With Animal Bones: A stunning find in Ukraine: a temple that's said to be older than the invention of writing. The wood-and-clay structure contains lots of animal bones—perhaps the remains of animals sacrificed on the building's eight platforms made of clay. Also inside: Hair accessories? ... /17897511/

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