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Posts tagged ‘medicine’

New Study Confirms Vitamin D Helps Protects Lung Function

20/2.2011 vitamin D

20/2.2011 vitamin D (Photo credit: julochka)

A new study reports…

Vitamin D May Protect Lung

Function in Smokers   An important new study at the Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital  confirms Vitamin D deficiency is associated with rapid decline in lung function over time in smokers;  The research suggests that the “sunshine” vitamin may also help protect against the effects of smoking on lung function.

The researchers examined the relationship between vitamin D deficiency, smoking, lung function, and the rate of lung function decline over a 20 year period in a cohort of 626 adult white men from the Normative Aging Study.

They found that sufficient Vitamin D (serum vitamin D levels of >20 ng/ml) had a protective effect on lung function and slowing the rate of lung function decline in smokers.

The findings were published online in the American Thoracic Society‘s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In the study, vitamin D levels were assessed at three different time points between 1984 and 2003, and lung function was assessed using specialized analytical equipment.

“Our results suggest that vitamin D might modify the damaging effects of smoking on lung function,” said the researchers, adding… “These effects might be due to vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.”

“If these results can be replicated in other studies, they could be of great public health importance,” they emphasized  “Future research should also examine whether vitamin D protects against lung damage from other sources, such as air pollution.”

“While these results are intriguing, the health hazards associated with smoking far outweigh any protective effect that vitamin D may have on lung function ,” said Alexander C. White MS, MD, chair of the American Thoracic Society’s Tobacco Action Committee.

“First and foremost, patients who smoke should be fully informed about the health consequences of smoking and in addition be given all possible assistance to help them quit smoking.”

 

Story Source: American Thoracic Society

Journal Reference:

American Thoracic Society (ATS) (2012, July 20). Vitamin D may protect lung function in smokers.

 

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.

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High Fat Diets Associated With Diminished Fertlity In Men

The Effects of a Paleolithic Omnivore Meat bas...

The Effects of a Paleolithic Omnivore Meat based Diet. (Photo credit: Paleo-Caveman-Omnivore-LowCarb-Meat-Diet-Info)

A man’s diets, specifically the amount and type of different fats they eat, are associated with their semen quality according to the results of a study in the journal Human Reproduction.

The study of 99 men in the USA found a key association between a high total fat intake and lower total sperm count and concentration. It also found that men who ate more omega-3 polyunsaturated fats (the healthy type of fats often found in fish and plant oils) produced better quality sperm than men who ate less.

However, the researchers explained that this is a small study, and its findings need to be replicated by further research in order to be sure about the role played by fats on men’s fertility.

It is suggested that men make changes to their diets to reduce the amount of saturated fat they eat and increase their omega-3 intake. This may not only improve their general health, but could improve their reproductive health too.

At a global level, adopting these lifestyle modifications may improve general health, as high saturated fat diets are known to be a risk factor for a range of cardiovascular diseases; but, in addition, our research suggests that it could be beneficial for reproductive health worldwide.”

A number of previous studies have investigated the link between body mass index (BMI) and semen quality, with mixed results. However, little is known about the potential role of dietary fats and semen quality, the researchers investigated
the relationship in men attending a fertility clinic.

Between December 2006 and August 2010 they questioned the men about their diet and analyzed samples of their semen; they also measured levels of fatty acids in sperm and seminal plasma in 23 of the 99 men participating.

The men were divided into three groups according to the amount of fats they consumed. Those in the third with the highest fat intake had a 43% lower total sperm count and 38% lower sperm concentration than men in the third with the
lowest fat intake. “Total sperm count” is defined as the total number of sperm in the ejaculate, while “sperm concentration” is defined as the concentration of sperm (number per unit volume).

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides a definition of “normal” total sperm count and concentration as follows: the total number of spermatozoa in the ejaculate should be at least 39 million; the concentration of spermatozoa
should be at least 15 million per ml.

The study found that the relationship between dietary fats and semen quality was affected by the consumption of saturated fats. Men consuming the most saturated fats had a 35% lower total sperm count than men eating the least, and a 38% lower sperm concentration.

“The magnitude of the association is quite dramatic and provides further support for the health efforts to limit consumption of saturated fat given their relation with other health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease,” said the researchers..

Men consuming the most omega-3 fats had slightly more sperm (1.9%) that were correctly formed than men in the third that had the lowest omega-3 intake.

It’s important to note… 71% of all the men in the study were overweight or obese, and the health effects of this could also affect semen quality. The researchers made allowances for this. “We were able to isolate the independent effects of fat intake from those of obesity using statistical models,” they explained. “Notably, the frequency of overweight and obesity among men in this study does not
differ much from that among men in the general population in the USA (74%).”

This is the largest study to date examining the influence of specific dietary fats on male fertility. The researchers concluded “Given the limitations of the current study, in particular the fact that it is a cross-sectional analysis and that it is the first report of a relation between dietary fat and semen quality, it is essential that these findings be reproduced in future work.”

Research scientists are continuing to investigate how dietary and lifestyle factors influence fertility in men and women as well as the treatment outcomes of couples undergoing fertility treatment.

Story Source: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE),

Journal Reference: Human Reproduction, 2012;

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) (2012, March 12).

 

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.

 

Recent Study Reports: Grape Seed Extract Kills Cancer Cells

A Recent Study Reports Grape Seed Extract Kills Head and Neck Cancer Cells, Leaving The Healthy Cells Unharmed  

Nearly 12,000 people will die of head and neck cancer in the United States this year and worldwide cases will be over 500,000.

A study published in the medical journal Carcinogenesis shows that in both cell lines and laboratory mouse models, grape seed extract (GSE) kills head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

“It’s a rather dramatic effect,” report a team researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Essentially, the outcome depends on a healthy cell’s ability to wait out damage.

Cancer cells are fast-growing cells,” they explain. “Not only that, but they are necessarily fast growing. When conditions exist in which they can’t grow, they die.”

Grape Seed extract creates conditions that are unfavorable to growth. Specifically, the report shows that grape seed extract both damages cancer cells’ DNA (via increased reactive oxygen species) and stops the pathways that allow repair.

“Yet we saw absolutely no toxicity to the mice, themselves,” Again, the grape seed extract killed the cancer cells but not the healthy cells.

“I think the whole point is that cancer cells have a lot of defective pathways and they are very vulnerable if you target those pathways. The same is not true of healthy cells,” the researchers clarify.

This research was supported by grants from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and from the National Cancer Institute,

Story Source: University of Colorado Denver (2012, January 27). “Grape seed extract kills head and neck cancer cells, leaves healthy cells unharmed”

Journal Reference: Generation of reactive oxygen species by grape seed extract causes irreparable DNA damage leading to G2/M arrest and apoptosis selectively in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells. Carcinogenesis, 2012;

 

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.

Brown Fat Burns Calories In Adults

Study Examines How Brown Fat Burns Calories in Adults  

 

Tecido adiposo multilocular brown adipose tissue

Tecido adiposo multilocular brown adipose tissue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brown adipose tissue (often known as brown fat) is a specialized tissue that burns calories to generate body heat in newborn humans.

Recently, adult humans have also been found to possess brown fat. This fact is of great interest to researchers seeking to combat the obesity epidemic. Their objective is to  develop ways to increase the amount of brown fat a person has that person will become slimmer.

 

One concern is it has never actually been shown definitively that brown fat in adult humans can burn energy. Now however, a team of researchers at the Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec; and Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec has provided this evidence, showing that when healthy adult men are exposed to cold their brown fat burns energy to generate body heat. Interestingly, it did not burn energy at warm temperatures.

 

The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Researchers from Stockholm University in Sweden believe the data have significant implications for the current human obesity epidemic.

 

Most important, is finding a way to make sure that the brown fat is active and burns calories.

 

Story Source:

Journal of Clinical Investigation.

 

Journal References:

“Brown adipose tissue oxidative metabolism contributes to energy expenditure during acute cold exposure in humans.”

Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2012;

 

“Yes, even human brown fat is on fire!”

Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2012;

 

Journal of Clinical Investigation (2012, January)

“Brown fat burns calories in adult humans”   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.

 

Magnesium Lowers Blood Pressure, New Study Reports

 

BLOOD PRESSURE CHECK

BLOOD PRESSURE CHECK (Photo credit: Morning Calm News)

Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire have found that magnesium supplements may provide clinically significant reductions in blood pressure.

In a report published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers also discovered that the measure of the effect increased in proportion with increased dosage.

Cardiovascular diseases cause almost 50% of deaths in Europe and contribute heavily to escalating healthcare costs. Elevated blood pressure or hypertension is a major risk factor for mortality from cardiovascular and renal disease.

Causes of hypertension include smoking, an inactive, sedentary lifestyle, a diet high in sodium and an inadequate intake of specific nutrients, especially minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.

 

“Until now, there’s been inconclusive evidence regarding the effect of magnesium supplements on blood pressure,” explained the researchers from the University of Hertfordshire. “So we conducted a meta-analysis by analysing data from twenty-two trials involving 1,173 people to assess the effect of magnesium on blood pressure.”

 

In the trials, the magnesium supplementation doses ranged from 120 to 973 mg with between 3 to 24 weeks of follow-up.  Although not all individual trials showed significance in blood pressure reduction, by combining the trials, the overall data indicated that daily magnesium supplementation reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The best results were observed at the higher dosages.

 

“The clinical significance in the reductions found from this meta-analysis may be important in helping to prevent hypertension and associated risks around cardiovascular disease,”the researchers reported … “And is worthy of future trials using solid methodology.”

 

Story Source: University of Hertfordshire

Journal Reference: “Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012;

 

 

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

 

 

 

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