रविवार, जून 30, 2013

Regular exercise may cut risk of liver cancer

R egular exercise may reduce the risk of developing liver cancer, according to a first-of-its-kind study in mice. The study carries hope for patients at risk from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), researchers said. HCC is a cancer originating in liver cells and accounts for approximately 5.4 per cent of all cancers worldwide, causing 695,000 deaths per year. It is the fifth most common cause of cancer in men and the eighth most common cause in women. In the study, researchers fed two groups of mice a control diet and a high fat diet and then divided them into separate exercise and sedentary groups. The exercise groups ran on a motorised treadmill for 60 minutes per day, five days a week. After 32 weeks of regular exercise, 71 per cent of mice on the controlled diet developed tumours larger than 10mm versus 100 per cent in the sedentary group. The mean number and volume of HCC tumours per liver was also reduced in the exercise group compared to the sedentary group. European Association for the Study of the Liver's Educational Councillor Professor Jean-Francois Dufour said the data showed the significant benefit of regular exercise on the development of HCC. Exercise decreased the level of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in mice receiving a high-fat diet. "We know that modern, unhealthy lifestyles predispose people to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which may lead to liver cancer; however it's been previously unknown whether regular exercise reduces the risk of developing HCC," he said. "This research is significant because it opens the door for further studies to prove that regular exercise can reduce the chance of people developing HCC," he added. "The results could eventually lead to some very tangible benefits for people staring down the barrel of liver cancer and I look forward to seeing human studies in this important area in the future. "The prognosis for liver cancer patients is often bleak as only a proportion of patients are suitable for potentially curative treatments so any kind of positive news in this arena is warmly welcomed," he said. The study was presented at the International Liver Congress 2013, the 48th annual meeting of EASL in Amsterdam.

मंगलवार, जून 25, 2013

Sugar overload can cause heart damage

Your sweet tooth may be damaging your heart! Eating too much sugar can set people down a pathway to heart failure, a new study has warned. A single small molecule, the glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate (G6P), causes stress to the heart that changes the muscle proteins and induces poor pump function leading to heart failure, according to the researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). G6P can accumulate from eating too much starch and/or sugar, researchers said. "Treatment is difficult. Physicians can give diuretics to control the fluid, and beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors to lower the stress on the heart and allow it to pump more economically," said Heinrich Taegtmeyer, principal investigator and professor of cardiology at the UTHealth Medical School. "But we still have these terrible statistics and no new treatment for the past 20 years," said Taegtmeyer. Taegtmeyer performed preclinical trials in animal s, as well as tests on tissue taken from patients at the Texas Heart Institute, who had a piece of the heart muscle removed in order to implant a left ventricle assist device. Both led to the discovery of the damage caused by G6P. "When the heart muscle is already stressed from high blood pressure or other diseases, and then takes in too much glucose, it adds insult to injury," Taegtmeyer said. Researchers said the study has opened doors to possible new treatments. Two drugs, rapamycin (an immunosuppressant) and metformin (a diabetes medication) disrupt signalling of G6P and improved cardiac power in small animal studies, they said. "These drugs have a potential for treatment and this has now cleared a path to future studies with patients," Taegtmeyer said. The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

'Good' bacteria can battle 'bad' bacteria in eye infections

Scientists have found a novel way to attack the drug resistant bacteria that cause eye infections resulting in blindness. The study led by Daniel Kadouri, an assistant professor of oral biology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey had three major components. The first established that isolates of two antibiotic-resistant ocular pathogens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Serratia marcescens, were all susceptible to being attacked and killed by at least one of two other bacteria, Micavibrio aeruginosavorus and Bdellovibrio baceriovorus. The latter two bacteria act as predators against the pathogens but are believed to be "good," or non-infectious, bacteria when they exist within the human body, researchers said. In the second phase, human corneal-limbic epithelial cells that are native to the eye were exposed in vitro to M aeruginosavorus and B baceriovorus to test whether those "good" predator bacteria would cause either toxicity or inflammation in those cells, which they did not. In the third phase, the two "good" predator bacteria were injected into live worms from the species Galleria mellonella, which is well established as a suitable to test the toxicity of various microbes as well as a live organism's innate immunity to those microbes. here injection of the pathogenic bacterium aeruginosa as a positive control was one hundred per cent fatal to the worms, other worms injected with the two "good" predator bacteria had 11-day survival rates between 93.3 and 100 per cent, a strong sign that the "good" bacteria were not toxic to the worms. In addition a lack of change in larval pigmentation following injection suggested that the "good" bacteria also did not provoke an aggressive innate immune response in the worms. "Taken together, our findings leave us confident that, in isolation, pathogenic bacteria are susceptible to successful attack by predator bacteria, predator bacteria do not appear inherently harmful to ocula r cells when applied topically, and a live organism can tolerate the predator bacteria well," said Kadouri. "The time to test all three phenomena simultaneously in the eye tissue of a live organism may now be at hand," Kadouri said.

रविवार, जून 09, 2013

High heels may cause permanent injury

High heels may cause permanent injury, with most women suffering pain in just over an hour of wearing height-enhancing footwear, a new study has found. Wearing the ill-fitted shoes can cause long-term damage including arthritis, stress fractures, and trapped nerves, which may even require surgery or steroid injections, consultant podiatrist Mike O'Neill warned. Researchers at The College of Podiatry, UK, found that almost half of women have suffered foot problems after wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes, but 43 per cent will suffer in the name of fashion. One third of women also admitted that they had worn heels they knew did not fit, simply because they "looked nice" - and could not find a pair in their size, The Telegraph reported. On average, high heels start to hurt after 1 hour, 6 minutes and 48 seconds, but a fifth 20 per cent started to feel the pinch within just 10 minutes. As many as 28 per cent women said they have resorted to dancing bare foot in a nightclub or bar when they could not put up with the pain any longer. One third of them admitted to have been forced to remove their shoes and walk home barefoot because they could not bear the pain any longer. The study of 2,000 British adults also found that only 12 per cent of men have put up with stylish but uncomfortable shoes. Researchers said that could explain why women are likely to have more issues with their feet, and are twice as likely to suffer from corns, cracked heels and bunions. A staggering 90 per cent of women have experienced problems and 20 per cent admitted they are "embarrassed" by their feet while 12 per cent are so ashamed they cover them constantly. As many as 19 per cent of women have refused to seek help despite these problems, because they believed their foot complaint was unimportant. Researchers said it appears younger women are more likely to be doing themselves harm as the younger the woman, the higher their heels. 20 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 owned a pair of six inch heels.

शुक्रवार, जून 07, 2013

Cheese, dairy products may help prevent cavities

onsuming cheese and other dairy products may help protect teeth against cavities, a new study led by an Indian-origin researcher has claimed. onsuming dairy products is vital to maintaining good overall health, and it is especially important to bone health. However, there has been little research about how dairy products affect oral health in particular. The new study published in the General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), sampled 68 subjects ranging in age from 12 to 15, and the authors looked at the dental plaque pH in the subjects' mouths before and after they consumed cheese, milk, or sugar-free yogurt. A pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk for tooth erosion, which is a process that wears away the enamel (or protective outside layer) of teeth. "The higher the pH level is above 5.5, the lower the chance of developing cavities," said Vipul Yadav, lead author of the study. The subjects were assigned into groups randomly. Researchers instructed the first group to eat cheddar cheese, the second group to drink milk, and the third group to eat sugar-free yogurt. Each group consumed their product for three minutes and then swished with water. Researchers measured the pH level of each subject's mouth at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after consumption. The groups who consumed milk and sugar-free yogurt experienced no changes in the pH levels in their mouths. Subjects who ate cheese, however, showed a rapid increase in pH levels at each time interval, suggesting that cheese has anti-cavity properties. The study indicated that the rising pH levels from eating cheese may have occurred due to increased saliva production (the mouth's natural way to maintain a baseline acidity level), which could be caused by the action of chewing. Additionally, various compounds found in cheese may adhere to tooth enamel and help further protect teeth from acid.