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Archive for June, 2015

Low Iron Levels in Blood Increases Risk Of Blood Clot, According To New Research

Nelson Pur Absorb Iron

What are Blood Clots?

Blood clots consist of blood cells and fibrin strands that form to stop the flow of blood after an injury. Blood clots are vital for wound healing.If blood was not able to clot, death would occur from excessive bleeding from a simple cut. Although blood clots are more common in adults, it is important to know that they can occur in children as well.

However, in certain conditions, the inappropriate formation of blood clots in vessels or organs of the body can occur, leading to a potentially extremely dangerous situation. When blood clots form within arteries and veins, they obstruct the flow of blood, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Blood clots formed after surgery or due to a traumatic injury may also be life-threatening.

There are several common areas where blood clots tend to form,
including:
Peripheral venous disorder:

problems with the veins can cause blood clots to form.

Thrombopheblitis:
an obstructing blood clot has formed, causing the surrounding vein to become inflamed.
Coronary thrombosis:
a blood clot in coronary arteries leading to a heart attack.
Deep vein thrombosis:
blood clot formed in a deeper vein.
Pulmonary embolism:
a blood clot in the lungs
Retinal vein occlusion:
blood clot in a vein of the eye
Perianal Hematoma:
a blood clot in the near or within the anus.
People with low levels of iron in the blood have a higher risk of dangerous blood clots, according to research recently published in the journal Thorax. A study of clotting risk factors in patients with an inherited blood vessel disease suggests that treating iron deficiency might be important for preventing potentially lethal blood clots.
Each year, one in every 1,000 people in the United Kingdom is affected by deep vein thrombosis, blood clots that form in the veins. These can cause pain and swelling, but can also be fatal if the clot is dislodged and travels into the blood vessels of the lungs. Although some risk factors for blood clots are recognized, such as major surgery, immobility and cancer, often there is no clear reason for the blood clot.
To properly examine new risk factors for blood clots, scientists at Imperial College London studied patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). HHT is an inherited disease of the blood vessels, the main symptoms of which are excessive bleeding from the nose and gut. Previous research by the same group had found that HHT patients have a higher risk of blood clots, but the reason was not clear.
“Most of our patients who had blood clots did not have any of the known risk factors ,” explained the researchers  from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London  “We thought that studying people with HHT might tell us something important about the wider population.”
The research team analysed blood from 609 patients reviewed at the HHT clinic at
Hammersmith Hospital from 1999 to 2011, to look for differences between the patients who had blood clots and those who did not. Many of the patients had low iron levels because of iron lost through bleeding.
The researchers found that low levels of iron in the blood were a strong risk factor for blood clots. Patients who took iron supplements did not have higher risk, suggesting that treatment for iron deficiency can prevent blood clots.”Our study shows that in people with HHT, low levels of iron in the blood is a potentially treatable risk factor for blood clots,” the researchers said.
“There are small studies in the general population which would support these findings, but more studies are needed to confirm this. If the finding does apply to the general population, it would have important implications in almost every area of medicine.”
Iron deficiency anemia is thought to affect at least 1 billion people worldwide. The association with blood clot risk might not have been found before because the iron levels demonstrating the link fluctuate during the day, and other markers of iron deficiency can be falsely high if other medical conditions are present.
The link between iron levels and blood clots appears to be dependent on factor VIII, a blood protein which promotes normal clotting. High levels of factor VIII in the blood are also a strong risk factor for blood clots, and low iron levels were strongly associated with higher levels of factor VIII. The gene encoding factor VIII has sites where iron-binding proteins can bind, making it plausible that iron levels could regulate the factor VIII gene, and that this might be the mechanism for the link.
The study was supported by the Imperial Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre, established with a grant from the National Institute of Health Research.
Story Source: Imperial College London.
Journal Reference:
“Low serum iron levels are associated with elevated plasma levels of coagulation factor VIII and pulmonary emboli/deep venous thromboses in replicate cohorts of patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia. Thorax” December 14, 2011
Imperial College London (2011, December 15). “Low iron levels in blood raises blood clot risk, new research suggests.”
This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

 

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Licorice Root Fights the Bacteria That Cause Tooth Decay and Gum Disease, New Study Finds

Licorice root

Scientists are reporting identification of two substances in licorice, used extensively in Chinese traditional medicine that kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. Identified as the leading causes of tooth loss in children and adults, tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented with proper care. In a study in ACS’ Journal of Natural Products,
the researches report that the licorice-derived substances could have a role in treating and preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

The dried root of the licorice plant is a common treatment in Chinese traditional medicine, especially as a way to enhance the activity of other herbal ingredients or as a flavoring.

Despite the popularity of licorice candy in the U.S., licorice root has been replaced in domestic candy with anise oil, which has a similar flavor. Traditional medical practitioners use dried licorice root to treat various ailments, such as respiratory and digestive problems, but few modern scientific studies address whether licorice really works.

Consumers should check with their health care provider before taking licorice root because it can have undesirable effects and interactions with prescription drugs.To test whether the sweet root could combat the bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities, the researchers took a closer look at the various substances in licorice.

They found that two of the licorice compounds,licoricidin and licorisoflavan A,  were the most effective antibacterial substances. These substances killed two of the major bacteria responsible for dental cavities and two of the bacteria that promote gum disease. One of the compounds licoricidin also killed a third gum disease bacterium. The researchers say that these substances could treat or even prevent oral infections.

Story Source: American Chemical Society

Journal Reference:
Isoflavonoids and Coumarins fromGlycyrrhiza uralensis: Antibacterial Activity against Oral Pathogens and Conversion of Isoflavans into Isoflavan-Quinones during Purification.
Journal of Natural Products, 2011;

American Chemical Society (2012, January 4). Dried licorice root fights the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease, study finds.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;
It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Alzheimer’s: Dietary Patterns May Keep Brain from Shrinking

omega 3 fish oil
People with diets high in several vitamins or in omega 3 fatty acids are less likely to have the brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s disease than people whose diets are not high in those nutrients, according to a new study published in the December 28, 2011, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Those with diets high in omega 3 fatty acids and in vitamins C, D, E and the B complex vitamins also had higher scores on mental thinking tests than people with diets low in those nutrients. The omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D are primarily found in fish. The B vitamins and antioxidants C and E are primarily found in fruits and vegetables.
In another finding, the study showed that people with diets high in trans fats were more likely to have brain shrinkage and lower scores on the thinking and memory tests than people with diets low in trans fats. Trans fats are primarily found in packaged, fast, fried and frozen food, baked goods and margarine spreads.

The study involved 104 people with an average age of 87 and very few risk factors for memory and thinking problems. Blood tests were used to determine the levels of various nutrients present in the blood of each participant. All of the participants also took tests of their memory and thinking skills. A total of 42 of the participants had MRI scans to measure their brain volume.

Overall, the participants had good nutritional status, but seven percent were deficient in vitamin B12 and 25 percent were deficient in vitamin D.
Study author Gene Bowman, ND, MPH, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, said that the nutrient biomarkers in the blood accounted for a significant amount of the variation in both brain volume and thinking and memory scores. For the thinking and memory scores, the nutrient biomarkers accounted for 17 percent of the variation in the scores. Other factors such as age, number of years of education and high blood pressure accounted for 46 percent of the variation. For brain volume, the nutrient biomarkers accounted for 37 percent of the variation.
“These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet,” Bowman said.
The study was the first to use nutrient bio-markers in the blood to analyze the effect of diet on memory and thinking skills and brain volume. Previous studies have looked at only one or a few nutrients at a time or have used questionnaires to assess people’s diet. But questionnaires rely on people’s memory of their diet, and they also do not account for how much of the nutrients are absorbed by the body, which can be an issue in the elderly.
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Portland VA Medical Center.
Story Source:
American Academy of Neurology (2011, December 29). Alzheimer’s: Diet patterns may keep brain from shrinking.
This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice,diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Could Prevent and Treat Nerve Damage, According To New Research

omega 3 fish oil

Research from Queen Mary, University of London suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, have the potential to protect nerves from injury and help them to regenerate. When nerves are damaged because of an accident or injury, patients experience pain, weakness and muscle paralysis which can leave them disabled; Typically, recovery rates are poor.

The new study, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that omega-3 fatty acids could play a significant role in speeding recovery from nerve injury.

The study focused on peripheral nerve cells. Peripheral nerves are the nerves which transmit signals between the brain and spinal cord, and the rest of the body.

These nerves have the ability to regenerate but, despite advances in surgical techniques, patients usually only have good recovery when their injury is minor.

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for the body’s normal growth and development and have been widely researched for their health benefits. Because the body cannot manufacture omega-3 fatty acids, they have to be consumed in foods such as oily fish or as dietary supplements.

In this new study, researchers first examined isolated lab subjects’ nerve cells. They simulated the type of damage caused by accident or injury, by either stretching the cells or starving them of oxygen. Both types of damage killed a significant number of nerve cells but enrichment with omega-3 fatty acids in cells gave them significant protection and decreased cell death.

The researchers then studied the sciatic nerves. They found that a high level of omega-3 fatty acids helped the subjects to recover from sciatic nerve injury more quickly and more fully, and that their muscles were less likely to waste following nerve damage.

The research was carried out by a group led by Adina Michael-Titus, Professor of Neuroscience at Barts and The London Medical School and lead of the Neurotrauma and Neurodegeneration group in the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma, Queen Mary, University of London.

She explained: “Our previous research has shown that these fatty acids could have beneficial effects in a number of neurological conditions. This new study suggests that they could also have a role in treating peripheral nerve injuries.

“More work is needed but our research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids can protect damaged nerve cells, which is a critical first step in a successful neurological recovery.”

Story Source:
Queen Mary, University of London.

Queen Mary, University of London (2012, January 11).
Omega-3 fatty acids could prevent and treat nerve damage, research suggests.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;
It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Vitamin Therapy Can Reduce Stroke, Researchers Report In AMA Journal

J C Herbal ProductsA commentary by University of Western Ontario’s David Spence and Harvard School of Public Health’s Dr. Meir Stampfer in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association argues vitamin therapy has an important role to play in reducing stroke.

Vitamin B therapy is widely used to lower homocysteine levels and too much of this amino acid in the bloodstream was linked to increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Intake of B vitamins results in a protective cardiovascular benefit.

A study by Spence, a scientist with the Robarts Research Institute at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, found Vitamin B therapy actually increased cardiovascular risk in patients with diabetic nephropathy.

He says this commentary provides insights that overturn the widespread belief that homocysteine is dead. He says two key issues have been overlooked in the interpretation of several clinical trials: the key role of vitamin B12, and the newly recognized role of renal failure.

“It is now clear that the large trials showing no benefit of vitamin therapy obscured the benefit of vitamin therapy because they lumped together patients with renal failure and those with good renal function, says Spence, the author of How to Prevent Your Stroke.

“The vitamins are harmful in renal failure, and beneficial in patients with good renal function, and they cancel each other out.”

The commentary also contends most of the trials did not use a high enough dose of vitamin B12.

Story Source:
University of Western Ontario.

Journal Reference:
Understanding the Complexity of Homocysteine Lowering
With Vitamins: The Potential

Role of Subgroup Analyses. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011;

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;
It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Cholesterol-Lowering Statin Drugs May Reduce Mortality for Influenza Patients

Cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as Statins may also have the ability to reduce mortality among patients hospitalized with influenza, according to a new study released online by The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

 

It is the first published observational study to evaluate the relationship between statin use and mortality in hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infection, according to Vanderbilt research scientists from the department of Preventive Medicine.

 

“We may be able to combine statins with antiviral drugs to provide better treatment for patients seriously ill with influenza,” said the researchers from the Oregon Public Health Division.

 

Researchers studied adults who were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza from 2007-2008 to evaluate the association between patients who were prescribed statins and influenza-related deaths.

 

Among 3,043 hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza, 33 percent were given statin medications prior to or during hospitalization. After adjusting for various factors, researchers found that patients not receiving statins were almost twice as likely to die from influenza as those who received the medication.

 

The researchers stressed that receiving the influenza vaccine each year is still the best defense against influenza. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 5 percent and 20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu each year, and more than 20,000 persons are hospitalized for flu-related complications.

 

 

Story Source: Vanderbilt University Medical Center

“Among Patients Hospitalized With Laboratory-Confirmed Influenza Virus Infections: A Multistate Study. Journal of Infectious Diseases,” 2011;

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2011, December 16). “Cholesterol-lowering drugs may reduce mortality for influenza patients”

 

This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

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