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Apples said to improve circulatory health Apples said to improve circulatory health
Date: 2012-10-02 22:49:08

More research showing the health benefits of antioxidant-rich foods indicates that high results from cholesterol tests can be decreased by regularly eating apples. According to these findings found in the Journal of Functional Foods, the adage about daily apple consumption lowering the frequency of encounters with doctors is grounded in truth.

The researchers examined a group of subjects between 40 and 60 years old whose diets did not routinely include apples. Cholesterol tests for a subset that ate an apple every day for four weeks indicated an average of 40 percent reduction of their low-density lipoprotein, a.k.a. "bad" cholesterol, levels. Another group who did the same with capsules containing the antioxidant found in apples did not demonstrate as much lowered cholesterol.

"When [bad cholesterol] becomes oxidized, it takes on a form that begins atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries," said lead researcher Robert DiSilvestro, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University. "We got a tremendous effect against [bad cholesterol] being oxidized with just one apple a day for four weeks."

Last year, The Huffington Post published a list of other health benefits that studies show could result from regularly munching on apples, including weight loss, improved endurance and a reduced chance of developing metabolic syndrome.

... Full Story

Drug company investigated for unreported side effects Drug company investigated for unreported side effects
Date: 2012-10-25 16:46:04

Medical News Today (MNT), reported that pharmaceutical company Roche Registration is under investigation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) because it failed to report 80,000 cases of potential side effects associated with 19 of its drugs. The company faces nearly $685 million in fines.

According to the news source, Roche claimed that the reports of side effects did not come from clinical trials, but from programs in the U.S. in which patients who could not afford the medications were issued the drugs, and that is why they weren't in the Roche database and the European Union authorities weren't notified. Although, MNT notes, the pharmaceutical company should have notified the health authorities of the side effects rather than relying on them looking at their database.

Two of the drugs that may have unreported side effects include Herceptin, a cancer medication, and Tamiflu, which is used to treat influenza, which can be detected with a lab test.

The investigations started earlier this year when the organization Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) reported that the pharmaceutical company had not been vigilant in assessing the thousands of reported cases of potential risk factors.

According to Reuters, Roche is the largest producer of cancer medications and it also manufactures drugs to combat viral infections, central nervous system disorders and inflammatory diseases.

... Full Story

Stressed parents may be linked to childhood obesity Stressed parents may be linked to childhood obesity
Date: 2012-10-23 21:33:08

According to recent research, the stress parents experience may have a direct correlation to the obesity of their children, WebMD reported. A study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, looked 2,119 parents and other caregivers who had children between 3 and 17 years old. The study authors asked the subjects questions about themselves, their kids and the stressors in their lives.

Eleanor Mackey, Ph.D., a child psychologist at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., told WebMD that the connection between obesity in children and the stress of the parents can be attributed to parents who are busy or distracted having difficulty finding healthy foods for their children, and many times they will opt for fast food instead.

Some of the most at-risk groups for childhood obesity due to stressed parents include black and hispanic children, children from single parent households and kids from poverty-stricken families.

"You have a hard day at work, and trying to get a nutritious meal on the table can be overwhelming and expensive," Mackey told the news source. "It can be difficult to raise healthy kids without adequate resources."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 17 percent of kids and teenagers, which amounts to 12.5 million individuals are obese. Since 1980, the rates of childhood obesity have almost tripled.

Mackey also noted that its important to teach parents healthy ways to deal with stress and provide them with the knowledge of how to plan and prepare healthy meals for their children.

Health risks of childhood obesity... Full Story

Feces may help cure bacterial infection Feces may help cure bacterial infection
Date: 2012-10-23 14:49:06

According to MyHealthNewsDaily, a new treatment in which feces is mixed with warm water and put into a patient's colon using a tube was effective in treating an infection known as Clostridium difficile bacteria (C. diff) in a study conducted at Henry Ford Hospital.

During research, the treatment was tested on 49 people, and 46 of the patients made a recovery within a week.

"C. diff is a serious infection — people die from this. With this treatment, the cure rate is close to 100 percent," research author Dr. Mayur Ramesh told the news source.

The fecal transplant proved to be more effective than the antibiotics etronidazole or vancomycin, which are usually used to treat the infection. In some cases, when patients don't respond to antibiotics and the C. diff infection becomes severe, part of the intestine needs to be surgically removed. Also, according to Ramesh, 25 to 30 percent of people who receive antibiotics experience a recurrence of infection, but only four of the 46 people who had the fecal transplant had signs of an infection during their follow-up period.

While other research has shown the transplants' effectiveness in treating C. diff, this study differed because nearly one-third of the patients had severe infections. Ramesh told MyHealthNewsDaily that some of the participants would have died or had to have their colon removed were it not for the treatment.

Four patients in the study died, but according to the news source, it was due to cancer they had before the study started, not the C. diff.

About C. diff

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), C. diff, which can be detected with a lab test, has a fatality rate of nearly 14,000 Americans a year. Some of the symptoms include watery bowel movements that occur at least three times a day, fever, loss of appetite and nausea.

... Full Story

New epilepsy drug approved New epilepsy drug approved
Date: 2012-10-24 15:00:37

RTT News reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the antiepileptic drug Fycompa on Oct. 22. The drug targets receptors in the body that are responsible for producing epileptic seizures.... Full Story

Feedback can encourage healthcare workers to wash their hands Feedback can encourage healthcare workers to wash their hands
Date: 2012-10-25 16:52:49

A recent study published in PLoS One, shows that a three-year trial known as the Feedback Intervention Trial (FIT), which was conducted by researchers by the University College London (UCL) and the Health Protection Agency (HPA), showed that providing feedback to healthcare workers makes them more likely to wash their hands.

FIT was conducted in 60 different wards in 16 hospitals throughout the world. The data, which will be presented at a national hand hygiene summit on Oct. 24, revealed that when there was an intervention during which personalized feedback was used in conjunction with a personalized action plan, subjects in intensive care units washed their hands when they were supposed to 18 percent more, while subjects in acute care units practiced proper hand hygiene 13 percent more.

"This is a landmark trial, as until now there has been no randomized controlled trial evidence showing which interventions improve hand hygiene compliance in modern hospitals," said research author Sheldon Stone M.D. "It is also the first trial to use behavioral sciences to change healthcare workers hand hygiene behavior."

During the intervention, healthcare workers were observed for 20 minutes during a four-week cycle. After observation, the subjects were given feedback so they could formulate an action plan to improve their hygiene practices. The results showed that the more frequently the interventions were conducted, the more handwashing practices improved

Handwashing facts... Full Story

Exercise may not be the cause of sudden cardiac death in young people Exercise may not be the cause of sudden cardiac death in young people
Date: 2012-10-29 16:09:35
New research conducted by Andrew Krahn, M.D., of the University of British Columbia and presented at 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Ontario, reveals that sports may not be the culprit when someone dies of cardiac arrest.... Full Story

Chinese bean may help reduce the risk of sepsis Chinese bean may help reduce the risk of sepsis
Date: 2012-10-29 11:55:45
Recent studies published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM), has discovered that mung beans may help combat sepsis, a condition in which the body has an adverse reaction to bacteria and releases harmful chemicals, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).... Full Story

New compounds may slow Parkinson's development New compounds may slow Parkinson's development
Date: 2012-10-25 12:02:06
Northwestern University (NU) scientists have developed a compound that may help reduce the progression of Parkinson's disease. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the condition occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine - a neurotransmitter that helps control muscle movement, among other things - are destroyed.... Full Story

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