Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 01, 2014, 11:28:03 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
82687 Posts in 2251 Topics by 1062 Members
Latest Member: seawolfpack5
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities
| |-+  Science, Culture, & Humanities
| | |-+  Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc)
« previous next »
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 9 Print
Author Topic: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc)  (Read 99660 times)
Body-by-Guinness
Power User
***
Posts: 2789


« Reply #150 on: September 25, 2009, 04:44:22 PM »

Insulin boost restores muscle growth in elderly

GALVESTON, Texas — When most people think of insulin, they think of diabetes — a disease that arises when, for one reason or another, insulin can't do the critical job of helping the body process sugar. But the hormone has another, less well-known function. It's also necessary for muscle growth, increasing blood flow through muscle tissue, encouraging nutrients to disperse from blood vessels and itself serving as a biochemical signal to boost muscle protein synthesis and cell proliferation.

Recently, scientists have recognized that loss of responsiveness to insulin plays a major role in the loss of physical strength that occurs as people grow older. Now, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have demonstrated that by increasing insulin levels above the normal range in elderly test subjects, they can restore the impaired muscle-building process responsible for age-related physical weakness.

"Insulin is normally secreted during food intake," said Dr. Elena Volpi, senior author of a paper on the study published in the September issue of Diabetologia. "When you give insulin intravenously and increase the blood insulin levels to the same amount produced after a meal, you see that in young people it stimulates protein synthesis and muscle growth, while in older people it really doesn't. But when we gave seniors double the insulin they would normally produce after eating, their muscles were stimulated like those of young people."

Volpi and her co-authors — postdoctoral fellows Satoshi Fujita and Kyle Timmerman, graduate student Erin Glynn and Professor Blake B. Rasmussen — worked with 14 elderly volunteers to examine the response of thigh muscle to the two different blood insulin levels, established by infusion into the thigh's main artery. Blood samples taken from catheters inserted in the femoral artery and vein of each subject enabled the researchers to calculate blood flow and muscle protein synthesis, and muscle biopsies allowed them to measure levels of signaling molecules involved in muscle protein growth.

All the data pointed in the same direction, showing that a blood insulin level double that produced by a typical meal seems to turn back the clock on elderly thigh muscle.

"While we had called this 'insulin resistance' in the past, we didn't really have evidence that you can get an elderly person's muscle to grow if you give it a lot more insulin, which is what we needed to truly say this is insulin resistance," Volpi said. At the same time, she said, the phenomenon is also quite different from the insulin resistance seen in diabetes. "These were older subjects with perfect glucose tolerance," she said. "So what we have identified is a novel kind of insulin resistance that's not related to sugar control."

Instead, Volpi said, the UTMB researchers attribute this new kind of insulin resistance to age-related changes in the vascular system — in particular, changes in the endothelium, the single-cell-thick layer that lines blood vessels. The endothelium controls blood flow by increasing or decreasing the diameter of capillaries (the smallest blood vessels), and regulates the release of oxygen, nutrients, water and other blood-borne cargo through the capillary walls and into muscles and other body tissues. "Having a capillary dilation induced by insulin is important, because it exposes more muscle to the nutrients and hormones and everything flows better and gets stored away better," Volpi said. "But in even healthy older people, this dilation response doesn't work, because they have this endothelial dysfunction."

The UTMB researchers are now testing whether using drugs to dilate muscle blood vessels during insulin exposure can improve muscle growth in older people. "Preliminary data suggest that this treatment may be effective, but these data are not yet published," Volpi said. "On the other hand, in a paper we published two years ago in Diabetes, we showed that a single bout of aerobic exercise — a staple of diabetes treatment — may also improve muscle growth in response to insulin in older nondiabetic people."

###
Volpi's group is now conducting a larger, NIH-funded clinical trial to determine if aerobic exercise and nutritional supplementation for six months can also boost muscle size and function in sedentary but otherwise healthy seniors. UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging and Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center are recruiting seniors from the Galveston-Houston area for the study. For more information, call 800-298-7015.

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Public Affairs Office
301 University Boulevard, Suite 3.102
Galveston, Texas 77555-0144
www.utmb.edu

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-09/uotm-ibr092509.php
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #151 on: October 02, 2009, 10:09:51 AM »

Get the benefits of reduced caloric intake without having to decrease intake - to good to be true?

****The fountain of youth may exist after all, as a study showed that scientist...

‘The Future of Us’: Is Human Life Expectancy About to Increase Dramatically?

The fountain of youth may exist after all, as a study showed that scientists have discovered means to extend the lifespan of mice and primates.
The key to eternal -- or at least prolonged -- youth lies in genetic manipulation that mimics the health benefits of reducing calorie intake, suggesting that aging and age-related diseases can be treated.

Scientists from the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London (UCL) extended the lifespan of mice by up to a fifth and reduced the number of age-related diseases affecting the animals after they genetically manipulated them to block production of the S6 Kinase 1 (S6K1) protein.

Scientists have shown since the 1930s that reducing the calorie intake by 30 percent for rats, mice and -- in a more recent finding -- primates can extend their lifespan by 40 percent and have health benefits.

By blocking S6K1, which is involved in the body's response to changes in food intake, similar benefits were obtained without reducing food intake, according to the study published in the US journal Science.

The results corroborated those of other recent studies.

"Blocking the action of the S6K1 protein helps prevent a number of age-related conditions in female mice," explained UCL professor Dominic Withers, the study's lead author.

"The mice lived longer and were leaner, more active and generally healthier than the control group. We added 'life to their years' as well as 'years to their lives.'"

The genetically altered female mice lived 20 percent longer -- living a total of 950 days -- or over 160 days more than their normal counterparts.

At age 600 days, the equivalent of middle age in humans, the altered female mice were leaner, had stronger bones, were protected from type 2 diabetes, performed better at motor tasks and demonstrated better senses and cognition, according to the study.

Their T-cells, a key component of the immune system also seemed more "youthful," the researchers said, which points to a slowing of the declining immunity that usually accompanies aging.

Male mice showed little difference in lifespan although they also demonstrated some of the health benefits, including less resistance to insulin and healthier T-cells. Researchers said reasons for the differences between the two sexes were unclear.

"We are suddenly much closer to treatments for aging than we thought," said David Gems of UCL's Institute of Healthy Aging, one of the authors of the study, which was primarily funded by the Wellcome Trust.

"We have moved from initial findings in worm models to having 'druggable' targets in mice. The next logical step is to see if drugs like metformin can slow the aging process in humans."

Other studies have also found that blocking S6K1 were channeled through increased activity of a second molecule, AMPK, which regulates energy levels within cells.

AMPK, also known as a master "fuel gauge," is activated when cellular energy levels fall, as takes place when calorie intake is reduced.

Drugs, such as the widely-used metformin, that activate AMPK are already being used in human patients to treat type 2 diabetes.

Recent studies by Russian scientists suggested that metformin can extend mice's lifespan.

Another drug, rapamycin, was found to extend the lifespan of mice, according to a study published in the British journal Nature.

As rapamycin is already used in humans as an immunosuppresant -- to prevent a patient from rejecting an organ after transplant -- it could not be administered as an anti-ageing drug in its current form.

But rapamycin blocks S6K1 activity and could thus extend lifespan through its impact on S6K1.

Seizing on the potential, US firm Sirtris Pharmaceuticals uses resveratrol, a powerful anti-oxidant found in red wine, as well as other fruits than raisin.

Sirtris scientists -- including co-founder David Sinclair, also a researcher at Harvard Medical School -- have found that resveratrol activates the production of sirtuin proteins, which also unleash the same physiological effects as reducing calorie intake.

Sirtris has produced highly concentrated doses of resveratrol and is currently leading clinical trials with diabetes patients and others suffering from liver and colon cancer.

Copyright AFP 2008***
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #152 on: October 04, 2009, 10:18:00 AM »

Ever wonder just how much sugar is in the common food items you eat?
http://www.sugarstacks.com/
Logged
Body-by-Guinness
Power User
***
Posts: 2789


« Reply #153 on: November 11, 2009, 07:15:12 PM »

LONGEVITY TIED TO GENES THAT PRESERVE TIPS OF CHROMOSOMES

November 11, 2009 — (BRONX, NY) — A team led by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has found a clear link between living to 100 and inheriting a hyperactive version of an enzyme that rebuilds telomeres — the tip ends of chromosomes. The findings appear in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Yousin Suh, Ph.D.Telomeres play crucial roles in aging, cancer and other biological processes. Their importance was recognized last month, when three scientists were awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for determining the structure of telomeres and discovering how they protect chromosomes from degrading.

Telomeres are relatively short sections of specialized DNA that sit at the ends of all chromosomes. One of the Nobel Prize winners, Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., of the University of California at San Francisco, has compared telomeres to the plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces that prevent the laces from unraveling.

Each time a cell divides, its telomeres erode slightly and become progressively shorter with each cell division. Eventually, telomeres become so short that their host cells stop dividing and lapse into a condition called cell senescence. As a result, vital tissues and important organs begin to fail and the classical signs of aging ensue.

In investigating the role of telomeres in aging, the Einstein researchers studied Ashkenazi Jews because they are a homogeneous population that was already well studied genetically. Three groups were enrolled: 86 very old — but generally healthy — people (average age 97); 175 of their offspring; and 93 controls (offspring of parents who had lived a normal lifespan).
"Telomeres are one piece of the puzzle that accounts for why some people can live so long," says Gil Atzmon, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and of genetics at Einstein, Genetic Core Leader for The LonGenity Project at Einstein's Institute for Aging Research, and a lead author of the paper. "Our research was meant to answer two questions: Do people who live long lives tend to have long telomeres? And if so, could variations in their genes that code for telomerase account for their long telomeres?"

The answer to both questions was "yes."

"As we suspected, humans of exceptional longevity are better able to maintain the length of their telomeres," said Yousin Suh, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and of genetics at Einstein and senior author of the paper. "And we found that they owe their longevity, at least in part, to advantageous variants of genes involved in telomere maintenance."

More specifically, the researchers found that participants who have lived to a very old age have inherited mutant genes that make their telomerase-making system extra active and able to maintain telomere length more effectively. For the most part, these people were spared age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which cause most deaths among elderly people.

"Telomeres are one piece of the puzzle that accounts for why some people can live so long."

"Our findings suggest that telomere length and variants of telomerase genes combine to help people live very long lives, perhaps by protecting them from the diseases of old age," says Dr. Suh. "We're now trying to understand the mechanism by which these genetic variants of telomerase maintain telomere length in centenarians. Ultimately, it may be possible to develop drugs that mimic the telomerase that our centenarians have been blessed with."

The study, "Genetic Variation in Human Telomerase is Associated with Telomere Length in Ashkenazi Centenarians," appears in the November 9 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to Drs. Atzmon and Suh, the study's other Einstein researchers were co-lead author Miook Cho, M.S., Temuri Budagov, M.S., Micol Katz, M.D., Xiaoman Yang, M.D., Glenn Siegel, M.D., Aviv Bergman, Ph.D., Derek M. Huffman, Ph.D., Clyde B. Schechter, M.D., and Nir Barzilai, M.D.

http://www.einstein.yu.edu/home/news.asp?id=435
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #154 on: November 12, 2009, 11:25:42 AM »

Very interesting.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #155 on: November 13, 2009, 04:58:25 AM »

Phys Ed: The Best Exercises for Healthy Bones
By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

Digital Images/Getty Images
 Several weeks ago, The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that should give pause to anyone who plans to live a long and independent life. The study looked at the incidence of hip fractures among older Americans and the mortality rates associated with them. Although the number of hip fractures has declined in recent decades, the study found that the 12-month mortality rate associated with the injury still hovers at more than 20 percent, meaning that, in the year after fracturing a hip, about one in five people over age 65 will die.

Meanwhile, another group of articles, published this month as a special section of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, underscore why that statistic should be relevant even to active people who are years, or decades, away from eligibility for Medicare. The articles detailed a continuing controversy within the field of sports science about exactly how exercise works on bone and why sometimes, apparently, it doesn’t.

“There was a time, not so long ago,” when most researchers assumed “that any and all activity would be beneficial for bone health,” says Dr. Daniel W. Barry, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, at Denver, and a researcher who has studied the bones of the elderly and of athletes. Then came a raft of unexpected findings, some showing that competitive swimmers had lower-than-anticipated bone density, others that, as an earlier Phys Ed column pointed out, competitive cyclists sometimes had fragile bones and, finally, some studies suggesting, to the surprise of many researchers, that weight lifting did not necessarily strengthen bones much. In one representative study from a few years ago, researchers found no significant differences in the spine or neck-bone densities of young women who did resistance-style exercise training (not heavy weight lifting) and a similar group who did not.

Researchers readily admit that they don’t fully understand why some exercise is good for bones and some just isn’t. As the articles in this month’s Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise make clear, scientists actually seem to be becoming less certain about how exercise affects bone. Until fairly recently, many thought that the pounding or impact that you get from running, for instance, deformed the bone slightly. It bowed in response to the forces moving up the leg from the ground, stretching the various bone cells and forcing them to adapt, usually by adding cells, which made the bone denser. This, by the way, is how muscle adapts to exercise. But many scientists now think that that process doesn’t apply to bones. “If you stretch bone cells” in a Petri dish, says Alexander G. Robling, an assistant professor in the department of anatomy and cell biology at Indiana University School of Medicine and the author of an article in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, “you have to stretch them so far to get a response that the bone would break.”

So he and many other researchers now maintain that bone receives the message to strengthen itself in response to exercise by a different means. He says that during certain types of exercise, the bone bends, but this doesn’t stretch cells; it squeezes fluids from one part of the bone matrix to another. The extra fluid inspires the cells bathed with it to respond by adding denser bone.

Related
More Phys Ed columns
Faster, Higher, Stronger
Fitness and Nutrition News
.
Why should it matter what kind of message bones are receiving? Because, Professor Robling and others say, only certain types of exercise adequately bend bones and move the fluid to the necessary bone cells. An emerging scientific consensus seems to be, he says, that “large forces released in a relatively big burst” are probably crucial. The bone, he says, “needs a loud signal, coming fast.” For most of us, weight lifting isn’t explosive enough to stimulate such bone bending. Neither is swimming. Running can be, although for unknown reasons, it doesn’t seem to stimulate bone building in some people. Surprisingly, brisk walking has been found to be effective at increasing bone density in older women, Dr. Barry says. But it must be truly brisk. “The faster the pace,” he says — and presumably the greater the bending within the bones — the lower the risk that a person will fracture a bone.

There seems to be a plateau, however, that has also surprised and confounded some researchers. Too much endurance exercise, it appears, may reduce bone density. In one small study completed by Dr. Barry and his colleagues, competitive cyclists lost bone density over the course of a long training season. Dr. Barry says that it’s possible, but not yet proved, that exercise that is too prolonged or intense may lead to excessive calcium loss through sweat. The body’s endocrine system may interpret this loss of calcium as serious enough to warrant leaching the mineral from bone. Dr. Barry is in the middle of a long-term study to determine whether supplementing with calcium-fortified chews before and after exercise reduces the bone-thinning response in competitive cyclists. He expects results in a year or so.

In the meantime, the current state-of-the-science message about exercise and bone building may be that, silly as it sounds, the best exercise is to simply jump up and down, for as long as the downstairs neighbor will tolerate. “Jumping is great, if your bones are strong enough to begin with,” Dr. Barry says. “You probably don’t need to do a lot either.” (If you have any history of fractures or a family history of osteoporosis, check with a physician before jumping.) In studies in Japan, having mice jump up and land 40 times during a week increased their bone density significantly after 24 weeks, a gain they maintained by hopping up and down only about 20 or 30 times each week after that.

If hopping seems an undignified exercise regimen, bear in mind that it has one additional benefit: It tends to aid in balance, which may be as important as bone strength in keeping fractures at bay. Most of the time, Dr. Barry says, “fragile bones don’t matter, from a clinical standpoint, if you don’t fall down.”
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #156 on: November 20, 2009, 06:27:43 PM »

Phys Ed: The Best Exercises for Healthy Bones
By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS
Digital Images/Getty Images
Several weeks ago, The Journal of the American Medical Association published
a study that should give pause to anyone who plans to live a long and
independent life. The study looked at the incidence of hip fractures among
older Americans and the mortality rates associated with them. Although the
number of hip fractures has declined in recent decades, the study found that
the 12-month mortality rate associated with the injury still hovers at more
than 20 percent, meaning that, in the year after fracturing a hip, about one
in five people over age 65 will die.


Meanwhile, another group of articles, published this month as a special
section of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the journal of the
American College of Sports Medicine, underscore why that statistic should be
relevant even to active people who are years, or decades, away from
eligibility for Medicare. The articles detailed a continuing controversy
within the field of sports science about exactly how exercise works on bone
and why sometimes, apparently, it doesn't.

"There was a time, not so long ago," when most researchers assumed "that any
and all activity would be beneficial for bone health," says Dr. Daniel W.
Barry, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, at
Denver, and a researcher who has studied the bones of the elderly and of
athletes. Then came a raft of unexpected findings, some showing that
competitive swimmers had lower-than-anticipated bone density, others that,
as an earlier Phys Ed column pointed out, competitive cyclists sometimes had
fragile bones and, finally, some studies suggesting, to the surprise of many
researchers, that weight lifting did not necessarily strengthen bones much.
In one representative study from a few years ago, researchers found no
significant differences in the spine or neck-bone densities of young women
who did resistance-style exercise training (not heavy weight lifting) and a
similar group who did not.

Researchers readily admit that they don't fully understand why some exercise
is good for bones and some just isn't. As the articles in this month's
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise make clear, scientists actually seem
to be becoming less certain about how exercise affects bone. Until fairly
recently, many thought that the pounding or impact that you get from
running, for instance, deformed the bone slightly. It bowed in response to
the forces moving up the leg from the ground, stretching the various bone
cells and forcing them to adapt, usually by adding cells, which made the
bone denser. This, by the way, is how muscle adapts to exercise. But many
scientists now think that that process doesn't apply to bones. "If you
stretch bone cells" in a Petri dish, says Alexander G. Robling, an assistant
professor in the department of anatomy and cell biology at Indiana
University School of Medicine and the author of an article in Medicine &
Science in Sports & Exercise, "you have to stretch them so far to get a
response that the bone would break."

So he and many other researchers now maintain that bone receives the message
to strengthen itself in response to exercise by a different means. He says
that during certain types of exercise, the bone bends, but this doesn't
stretch cells; it squeezes fluids from one part of the bone matrix to
another. The extra fluid inspires the cells bathed with it to respond by
adding denser bone.

Related
  a.. More Phys Ed columns
  b.. Faster, Higher, Stronger
  c.. Fitness and Nutrition News

Why should it matter what kind of message bones are receiving? Because,
Professor Robling and others say, only certain types of exercise adequately
bend bones and move the fluid to the necessary bone cells. An emerging
scientific consensus seems to be, he says, that "large forces released in a
relatively big burst" are probably crucial. The bone, he says, "needs a loud
signal, coming fast." For most of us, weight lifting isn't explosive enough
to stimulate such bone bending. Neither is swimming. Running can be,
although for unknown reasons, it doesn't seem to stimulate bone building in
some people. Surprisingly, brisk walking has been found to be effective at
increasing bone density in older women, Dr. Barry says. But it must be truly
brisk. "The faster the pace," he says - and presumably the greater the
bending within the bones - the lower the risk that a person will fracture a
bone.

There seems to be a plateau, however, that has also surprised and confounded
some researchers. Too much endurance exercise, it appears, may reduce bone
density. In one small study completed by Dr. Barry and his colleagues,
competitive cyclists lost bone density over the course of a long training
season. Dr. Barry says that it's possible, but not yet proved, that exercise
that is too prolonged or intense may lead to excessive calcium loss through
sweat. The body's endocrine system may interpret this loss of calcium as
serious enough to warrant leaching the mineral from bone. Dr. Barry is in
the middle of a long-term study to determine whether supplementing with
calcium-fortified chews before and after exercise reduces the bone-thinning
response in competitive cyclists. He expects results in a year or so.

In the meantime, the current state-of-the-science message about exercise and
bone building may be that, silly as it sounds, the best exercise is to
simply jump up and down, for as long as the downstairs neighbor will
tolerate. "Jumping is great, if your bones are strong enough to begin with,"
Dr. Barry says. "You probably don't need to do a lot either." (If you have
any history of fractures or a family history of osteoporosis, check with a
physician before jumping.) In studies in Japan, having mice jump up and land
40 times during a week increased their bone density significantly after 24
weeks, a gain they maintained by hopping up and down only about 20 or 30
times each week after that.

If hopping seems an undignified exercise regimen, bear in mind that it has
one additional benefit: It tends to aid in balance, which may be as
important as bone strength in keeping fractures at bay. Most of the time,
Dr. Barry says, "fragile bones don't matter, from a clinical standpoint, if
you don't fall down."
Logged
Rarick
Guest
« Reply #157 on: November 21, 2009, 09:47:27 AM »

My Mom (60+) has been "working out" for years to maintain bone density, she is stornger than some men her age too.  No big weights either, just enough to feel a load and keep the reps under 15.  She has also been running an aqua aerobics class as well, just to get some of her older friends active again.  Many of them had balance problems- and a fear of falling- which the water resolved, being a good catcher/buffer.

Those that have been working out with er at the class have started "dry" workouts too.  They feel the way they went from little balance to easy balance and now are thinking of some strength as well. 

The research that it is not just resistence (weight) training that builds bones is not so much an issue, the issue is retaining bone strength.  I think that it is impact training that builds bone, the ability to take shock, isn't it.  Walking on concrete would work up to a point, then you have adapted and need to find another method.

Mom always says ACTIVITY is the key for having a fun old age, the dogs won't have THAT problem will they? afro
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #158 on: January 08, 2010, 10:15:44 AM »

Obesity-Causing Bacteria -- and the Cure


There’s little doubt that diet and lifestyle choices play a major role in the obesity epidemic in America. But investigators have recently uncovered another intriguing theory about the causes of obesity -- it turns out that obese people have different gut bacteria. Though this is not the sole factor, experts now are delving further to learn all they can about what role these tiny microbes play in this big threat to our health.

Obese People Host a Different Mix of Bacteria than Lean Individuals

The human body is host to trillions of microbes (bacteria), some that support our health and others that threaten it, notes Andrew Rubman, ND. There is lots of research underway on the connection between obesity and gut bacteria, but early findings already demonstrate that different people are host to different colonies of microorganisms in their guts and these variations affect weight as well as health. Some of the differences may be genetic, others are a result of our unique dietary environments. Several studies in particular highlight the connection...

At Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, scientists found that the intestinal tracts of obese and thin people have different ratios of two types of bacteria that normally predominate in the human gut -- Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Obese individuals had higher percentages of Firmicutes and lower percentages of Bacteroidetesbacteria, while the lean group had roughly the opposite balance. After the obese individuals lost weight by following a low-calorie diet for one year, the ratio of these two types of bacteria in the obese individuals became more like that of the lean group.

In another experiment, also at Washington University, scientists bred mice to be free of intestinal flora, then fed them gut bacteria taken from obese mice -- and they got fat. In contrast, flora-free mice given gut bacteria from skinny mice gained little weight. The researchers concluded that differences in gut flora may contribute to obesity.
The Ecology of the Gut

While there is more to learn about the influence of gut ecology on weight, keeping the bacteria of your digestive system in proper balance is essential to maintaining optimal health, says Dr. Rubman. He told me it is well-documented that problems in the large intestine -- the hub of the body’s immune system -- quickly lead to problems elsewhere in the body. Beneficial bacteria help your body break down food and absorb nutrients, so it makes sense that having more healthful bacteria helps digestion. Poor diet, emotional stress or physical disease, along with other factors, disturb the natural balance, allowing harmful bacteria to proliferate, so it is harder for good bacteria to protect the mucosal walls of the intestines. When these become more permeable, toxins leak out, challenging immunity and causing inflammation locally and elsewhere in the body.

Our bodies are programmed to protect us from negative external influences and challenges, so threats (such as inflammation) may lead to an increase in energy storage (i.e., calories) to meet the challenge. If this mistaken attempt at self-protection persists, the ecology of the gut adjusts to favor bacteria that are more proficient at extracting calories from food. Over time, these calorie-hungry microbes contribute to weight gain, making it even harder for overweight people to shed unwanted pounds -- an all-too-common complaint. So, the theory goes, people who are already overweight can eat the same meals as lean people, but they’ll absorb more calories. Harmful bacteria also slow the passage of food through the digestive tract, and the more time food spends in the body, the more calories you absorb from it.

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to encourage and restore a proper microbial balance in your gut.


One way to optimize your balance of intestinal bacteria is to follow a probiotic diet, which will rev up your metabolism and spur weight loss, according to Joseph Brasco, MD, a gastroenterologist in private practice in Huntsville, Alabama. Especially if you are doing everything right -- eating nutritiously, watching portion size and exercising regularly -- if you still cannot lose weight, the problem may be related to an imbalance of gut flora.

To tip the scales toward weight loss, Dr. Brasco recommends these simple strategies:

Consume more fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. What you don’t eat is just as important as what you do, Dr. Brasco emphasizes. Fresh produce encourages the production of friendly microbes. Fiber in fruits and vegetables (especially the skin) helps speed food through the digestive tract. This improves the health of the intestinal lining by nurturing the right bacteria. Toxins don’t linger as long, so they do less damage. In contrast, processed foods, such as breads, doughnuts and cookies, are loaded with starch and simple sugars -- exactly what harmful bacteria thrive upon.
Eat fermented foods every day. To restore proper gut balance, regularly eat yogurt with active cultures, chutneys, unpasteurized sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kefir and miso. Try a new type each day -- for example, snack on yogurt... add chutney to a dinner stew... slice some pickles into your salad. Beneficial organisms associated with fermentation colonize the gut and discourage the growth of harmful bacteria.
Take a daily probiotic supplement. When diet and exercise still fail to generate weight loss, Dr. Brasco has seen patients get good results with probiotics. His favorite brands: Garden of Life’s Primal Defense Ultra and Align (Procter & Gamble), both available at health-food stores and online, and HLC (Pharmax), available through your health care provider. If a probiotic supplement makes you gassy or bloated, try taking it on an empty stomach, suggests Dr. Brasco. Most doctors advise patients to take probiotics with food, but he says trying them away from meals sometimes helps this problem. Other solutions include taking a probiotic supplement every other day to start and working your way up to daily... or you could try a different product based on a different mix of bacteria, since there are a variety available. Ask your doctor for help in identifying the right mix for you.

Source(s):

Andrew Rubman, ND, director, Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicines, Southbury, Connecticut.

Joseph Brasco, MD, Center for Colon and Digestive Disease, Huntsville, Alabama. Dr. Brasco is coauthor of Restoring Your Digestive Health (Kensington Press) and the upcoming Probiotic Diet
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #159 on: January 08, 2010, 10:18:00 AM »

Probiotics: Your Secret Weapon for Better Health
Gary B. Huffnagle, PhD
University of Michigan Medical School

The small and large intestines (gut) do most of the work involved in digesting the 20 tons of food that the average person consumes in a lifetime. This process involves trillions of bacteria -- some of them harmful and others beneficial.
What you may not know: While the gut is most commonly associated with digestion, it's estimated that at least 60% of a person's immune system is located there. "Good" bacteria protect against the growth of harmful bacteria to help prevent infections, such as vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections.

Probiotic bacteria (a subset of good bacteria) also secrete substances that act on intestinal muscles and help regulate motility (the intestinal contractions that move food and waste through the intestine at the proper rate). Because these good bacteria play a key role in preventing infections as well as keeping the digestive system functioning properly, "probiotics" -- dietary supplements or foods that contain beneficial bacteria or yeasts similar to those found in the human gut -- have become increasingly popular, particularly among people who take antibiotics.

Reason: Antibiotics kill not only harmful microorganisms that cause disease, but also the body's beneficial bacteria, sometimes leading to gas, cramping and such conditions as diarrhea. People who take antibiotics regularly may have permanent reductions in probiotic organisms unless they replenish the body's natural supply. For most people, the occasional use of antibiotics -- such as a 10-day course -- is unlikely to cause lasting problems.

WHEN SUPPLEMENTS HELP

Probiotics are live microorganisms. Two of the most beneficial types of probiotics --Lactobacilli and Bifida organisms -- thrive in the naturally acidic environments of the stomach and small intestine.

Probiotics are often recommended for digestion (to help reduce such problems as gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea), but they appear to be equally important -- if not more so -- for the immune system.

Probiotics in the intestine stimulate production of white blood cells known as regulatory T cells, which help fight inflammation associated with such disorders as eczema, seasonal allergies and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a condition in which the bowel becomes inflamed, often resulting in abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Probiotics also help prevent and treat diarrhea related to Clostridium difficile infection.

There are many dozens of species of probiotic organisms. The most reliable probiotic formulations now available in the US are in capsule form. Most probiotic capsules should be refrigerated.

Two highly effective products are used primarily for digestive problems. Use the one that most closely matches your symptoms... *

Culturelle. Studies over the past 30 years have shown that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (the active organism in this product) reduces the severity and duration of traveler's diarrhea, as well as diarrhea associated with antibiotic therapy.

Typical dose: One to two daily supplements (each containing 30 billion organisms), taken at the onset of diarrhea. Continue for one week after symptoms stop. To prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea, take the supplements during antibiotic therapy and for at least one week afterward.

Important: To ensure optimal effectiveness of the antibiotic, do not take it at the same time of day you are taking the probiotic.

Align contains Bifidobacterium infantis 35624, an organism shown in studies to decrease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes diarrhea and/or constipation and other digestive problems.

Typical dose: One capsule (containing one billion live organisms) daily -- taken indefinitely if symptoms are ongoing. If the IBS is associated with stomach flu, take the probiotic supplement during symptoms and continue for one week after they subside.

IMMUNE-BOOSTING BENEFITS

To ensure that your immune system is working at its best, it's a good idea to take probiotic supplements and/or to eat foods containing probiotics daily even if you don't have a particular condition that you're trying to treat.

To boost immunity, look for probiotic supplements and foods that contain the bacterium Lactobacillus casei or several probiotic bacteria strains.

My favorite multistrain supplements are Jarro-Dophilus EPS and Theralac. Follow the dosage instructions on the label.

Helpful: Probiotics are stimulated by soluble dietary fiber, so they’re more likely to proliferate in the intestine when you also eat complex carbohydrates, such as legumes, vegetables and whole grains. These foods contain "prebiotics," which provide the nutrition that probiotics need to multiply.

PROBIOTIC FOODS

In the last few years, food manufacturers have begun to promote probiotic-enriched foods, such as the low-fat yogurt Activia and the probiotic dairy drink DanActive (both by Dannon). These products contain the well-researched probiotic bacteriaBifidobacterium animalis and L. casei, respectively.

When these foods are bought in a grocery store and analyzed in a laboratory, they consistently contain about the same number of active organisms as listed on the labels.

Other probiotic food products...

Yogurt. Best choices: Foods with the "live and active cultures" seal from the National Yogurt Association. These products must contain 100 million live bacteria per gram at the time of their manufacture.

Aged cheeses, such as cheddar or blue cheese, typically contain three billion to 10 billion organisms per serving. Generally, the longer a cheese is aged, the higher the probiotic load.

Kefir, a type of fermented milk, usually has at least three billion organisms per serving.

Caution: Aged cheeses and kefir should be avoided by people who have food sensitivities to milk products.

*If you have an immune deficiency, talk to your doctor before taking probiotics
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #160 on: January 08, 2010, 10:48:04 AM »

When listening to medical advise from PhDs be careful.

Sometimes what they see in the labe does not jive with reality.
They are not the ones treating people.

Case in point:

"""Typical dose: One to two daily supplements (each containing 30 billion organisms), taken at the onset of diarrhea. Continue for one week after symptoms stop. To prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea, take the supplements during antibiotic therapy and for at least one week afterward.

Important: To ensure optimal effectiveness of the antibiotic, do not take it at the same time of day you are taking the probiotic.""""

So which is it?

It is amazing how the legaleze experts spend their careers going after pharm companies for a one in a million rare drug reaction yet we have all these know it alls all over the airwaves hawking their "natural" products with complete freedom to make all kinds of medical claims for cures to cancer, Alzheimers, prostate health, colon health, heart health, brain health, weight loss, sex health, joint health.  Most of it pure nonsense quakery and fraud to make a buck.

Yet that is ok .  But let a FDA approved drug turn out to cause a rare reaction and the response to that is outrage.

To me this is amazing.  Yet not a peep.

Hey the media makes billions from the advertising from these quacks.  So what do they care?

I am off my soap box.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #161 on: January 15, 2010, 12:23:48 PM »

I don't know.  Is taking advantage of an endless stream of beautiful women offerring up everything to a healthy male an addiction, poor judgement or simply inability to say no to raging hormonal juices?

I guess if the psycho-babalists (who are happy to sell books, give therapy for this "ailment" in return for cash) can make a case that this behavior is some sort of disease for a healthy male to want to have sex with beautiful women than I guess it gives tiger an out too.

Frankly, if all men had this situation I think "sex addiction" would be as prevalent as obesity.

You know what a few have admitted about the fooling around that goes on in baseball.  Reports over the years have suggested very few baseball players don't have their girlfriends in the various cities.

http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2010/01/exclusive-tiger-woods-sex-rehab-mississippi
Logged
Body-by-Guinness
Power User
***
Posts: 2789


« Reply #162 on: February 16, 2010, 05:44:02 PM »

Scientists discover the secret of ageing
By Clive Cookson in London
Published: February 15 2010 23:00 | Last updated: February 15 2010 23:00
One of the biggest puzzles in biology – how and why living cells age – has been solved by an international team based at Newcastle University, in north-east England.

The answer is complex, and will not produce an elixir of eternal life in the foreseeable future.

But the scientists expect better drugs for age-related illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease, to emerge from their discovery of the biochemical pathway involved in ageing.

The Newcastle team, working with the University of Ulm in Germany, used a comprehensive “systems biology” approach, involving computer modelling and experiments with cell cultures and genetically modified mice, to investigate why cells become senescent. In this aged state, cells stop dividing and the tissues they make up show physical signs of deterioration, from wrinkling skin to a failing heart.

The research, published by the journal Molecular Systems Biology, shows that when an ageing cell detects serious damage to its DNA – caused by the wear and tear of life – it sends out specific internal signals.

These distress signals trigger the cell’s mitochondria, its tiny energy-producing power packs, to make oxidising “free radical” molecules, which in turn tell the cell either to destroy itself or to stop dividing. The aim is to avoid the damaged DNA that causes cancer.

The Newcastle discovery plays down the role of telomeres, the protective tips on the ends of human chromosomes, which gradually become shorter as we grow older.

“There has been a huge amount of speculation about how blocking telomere erosion might cure ageing and age-related diseases,” said Tom Kirkwood, director of Newcastle’s Institute of Ageing and Health. “The telomere story has over-promised and the biology is more complicated.”

He added: “Our breakthrough means that we stand a very much better chance of making a successful attack on age-related diseases while at the same time avoiding the risk of unwanted side-effects like cancer.”

His colleague Thomas von Zglinicki emphasised caution in the research’s next stage – to investigate ways to prevent cellular senescence.

“It is absolutely essential to tread carefully in trying to alter processes that cause cells to age, because the last thing we want is to help age-damaged cells from breaking out to become malignant,” said Mr von Zglinicki.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/436a39a0-1a6e-11df-a2e3-00144feab49a.html?nclick_check=1
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #163 on: February 22, 2010, 09:47:45 AM »

I know someone whose only son died choking on a hot dog.  This doesn't mean I am necessarily for more micromangement of our society:

"HealthDay Reporter by Amanda Gardner
healthday Reporter – 1 hr 39 mins ago
MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The leading group of pediatricians in the United States is pushing for a redesign of common foods such as hot dogs and candies, along with new warning labels placed on food packaging, to help curb sometimes fatal incidents of child choking.

"We know what shape, sizes and consistencies pose the greatest risk for choking in children and whenever possible food manufacturers should design foods to avoid those characteristics, or redesign existing foods when possible, to change those characteristics to reduce the choking risk," said Dr. Gary Smith, immediate-past chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention and lead author of the organization's new policy statement on preventing choking.
"Any food that has a cylindrical or round shape poses a risk," he pointed out. Smith said that hot dogs were high on the list of foods that could be redesigned -- perhaps the shape, although he said it would be up to the manufacturers to figure out the specifics.

Hard candies, on the other hand, could be designed so they're flat rather than round, said Smith, who is also director of the Center for Injury Research & Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The AAP policy statement appears in the March issue of Pediatrics and is the first such guidance on the subject from that group.

"There's a general recognition that more needed to be done to protect children from choking," according to Smith. "We have a number of laws and regulations that help prevent choking due to toys. There are no such similar regulations for food."

Health experts welcomed the suggestions.

"I think it's very reasonable to strengthen regulations to prevent choking injuries for children," said Dr. Lee Sanders, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "The most common cause of death for kids aged roughly 1 to 5 is choking but it's also one of the most common reasons for visits to the emergency room and, for kids who don't die of these injuries, sometimes there are long-lasting injuries or implications," Sanders said. "It's a significant public health issue."

"People should know that grapes are a choking hazard for a certain-age child, that hot dogs are of risk," added Dr. Mike Gittelman, associate professor of clinical pediatrics in the division of emergency medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it would "carefully review the analysis and recommendations."

"The FDA is concerned about the deaths and serious injuries caused by choking," said agency spokeswoman Rita Chappelle. "We will also continue to consult with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on assessing choking hazards associated with food and take action against food products that are 'unfit for food' on a case-by-case basis."

Hot dogs are a prime offender, accounting for 17 percent of food-related asphyxiations in children under the age of 10, according to one study.

"If you were to take the best engineers in the world and asked them to design a perfect plug for a child's airway, you couldn't do better than a hot dog," Smith said. "It's the right size, right shape. It's compressible so it wedges itself in. When they're in that tight [it's] almost impossible, even with the correct training and the correct equipment, to get out. When it's wedged in tightly, that child is going to die."

Other high-risk foods include hard candy, peanuts and nuts, even peanut butter.

The policy statement called for the government to establish a "mandatory system . . . to label foods with appropriate warnings according to their choking risk, to conduct detailed surveillance and investigate food-related choking incidents, and to warn the public about emerging food-related choking hazards."

Manufacturers' responsibility would be to affix "choking hazard" labels to high-risk products and to consider shapes, sizes and textures when designing products.

"I think there should be a commitment from the entire industry to label not only hot dogs but all high-risk foods with some type of informational label that allows consumers to make informed decisions," Smith said, adding that he thought companies would figure out that "safety sells."

The AAP also called on parents, pediatricians and other health-care workers to pay more attention to the issue.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) responded, but put special emphasis on the role of parents, teachers and other child care providers in helping keep kids safe.

"Food safety and consumer confidence is the number-one priority of the food and beverage industry. We applaud the attention the American Academy of Pediatrics is bringing to the prevention of choking among children," the GMA said in a statement.

"We especially agree that the education of parents, teachers, child care workers, and other child caregivers encouraging them to supervise and create safer environments for children is paramount to the prevention of choking among children. We also strongly agree that pediatricians, doctors and other infant and toddler care professionals should intensify choking prevention counseling including providing parents and care givers guidance on developmentally appropriate food selection for their children. We take our working relationships with FDA and USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture] very seriously and look forward to continuing to work with the agencies to ensure that our products are as safe as possible," the GMA said."

Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #164 on: February 23, 2010, 08:34:57 AM »

Do CT Scans Cause Cancer?


The last several months have presented one worrisome story after another regarding the dangers of CT scans, including more than 200 patients receiving radiation overdoses while undergoing brain scans at a California hospital... unpredictable and widespread variation in radiation dosing for cardiac scans from one hospital to the next... and a new research report revealing that the cancer risk from radiation in a CT scan may be far higher than was thought. Two studies on this topic were published in the December 2009 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. One of the studies reports that just one scan can deliver enough radiation to cause cancer and predicts that 29,000 new cancers will develop that can be linked to CT scans received in just the year 2007. Making matters much worse is the fact that the use of CT scans in medicine has grown explosively -- more than tripling in the US since the 1990s, with more than 70 million given each year.

Where it was previously thought that only those who underwent numerous scans were in danger, the second of the published studies shows that having had even one can boost cancer risk notably -- for example, a heart scan at age 40 would later result in cancer in one in 270 women and one in 600 men. Abdominal and pelvic CT scans raise the risk for cancer more than brain scans, and the risk is far greater in younger patients, especially children.

The same researchers also noted huge variability in how much radiation patients get, with some patients getting 10 or more times as much radiation as others. There are a variety of reasons for this, including equipment settings that aren’t standardized and the radiologist’s decision about how much is necessary to capture a high-quality image of a particular part of the body. Also, methods for reducing radiation, such as adjusting for the size of the patient, are underutilized. Yet another danger -- when equipment is new and unfamiliar (as was the case with the California patients who received overdoses) and technicians aren’t properly trained, the patient may receive unintended excess radiation.

This is frightening stuff -- but let’s put it in context. E. Stephen Amis, Jr., MD, chair of radiology at both the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, gave his thoughts on the risk versus reward and what people should do to protect themselves from the risks of radiation exposure in imaging procedures. He said it is important to realize that in many cases CT scan technology is truly "lifesaving" and that, when used properly, the benefits obtained by getting the comprehensive information on what’s currently wrong outweigh the future risks presented by the radiation. For instance, if you have suspected acute appendicitis or head trauma as a result of a car accident, your doctor needs to know that -- fast. Dr. Amis also pointed out that no direct evidence shows particular cancers are related to CT scans -- rather the relationship is "inferred, based on increased cancers in survivors of the atomic bombing of Japan and in those exposed to the fallout from Chernobyl (among others)."

What you need to know

The radiology community is working to get these problems under control. Meanwhile, however, it is not safe for each of us as patients to pretend these problems don’t exist while the system sorts itself out -- at best, that will take years. It is important to take steps now to minimize your risk. Here is what you can do...

Keep notes on all the scans you’ve had that you can remember(ask family members if you are unsure), including the body area and type of scan (x-ray or CT). If you have a chronic condition, such as colitis or chronic lung disease, that necessitates multiple imaging procedures, ask your doctor about other imaging options that might be a good substitute for CT scans.
Carry records with you. Keep and update a wallet-sized card listing the imaging tests that you’ve had and where and when each was done.
If and when your doctor advises you to have a CT scan, ask lots of questions. This is particularly important for tests like cardiac CT scans that may not be strictly necessary, but that your doctor may order to gather more information about your overall health. Ask about the possibility of using alternative imaging methods, such as MRI or ultrasound, neither of which uses radiation. Dr. Amis suggests using language something like this: "I’ve seen a lot of articles lately about some of these tests increasing your radiation exposure. Please tell me what knowledge you hope to gain by having me go through this CT scan. Is this test really necessary?"
Be aware of dosages. Dr. Amis also advises asking about the radiation dosage required for the specific test your doctor has prescribed, noting that sites such as RadiologyInfo.org list typical doses, comparing exposures among various types of x-ray and CT examinations. "It never hurts for patients to look at such Web sites so that they are informed," he said, advising asking the technician about the dose to be sure it is in a reasonable range.
The bottom line? Know the risks and be careful. As Dr. Amis told me, "the point is to be aware, but not overly concerned."



Do (other) Medical Tests Give You Cancer?


MRI, CT, ultrasound; these and other imaging tests are now so commonplace that we tend to take their use for granted. And indeed, these sophisticated imaging technologies have advanced medicine in previously unimaginable ways by enabling doctors to look inside our bodies. But (isn’t there always a but?), it is important to be aware that everything has its price. Among the downsides to all this testing...

Cumulative exposure to radiation from imaging tests over your lifetime increases your risk for cancer.
Imaging equipment is expensive, and doctors and hospitals may need to recoup the investment as quickly as possible. Some experts believe that overuse has been a significant contributor to our exorbitant health-care costs.
The images are not as precise as we’d like to think... in fact, in many cases, they’re actually interpretations (based on calculations performed by computer software) and not pictures at all.
All this information adds up to many instances of "false positive" results, which in turn can lead to unnecessary anxiety and stress for patients and unnecessary (and often risky) medical procedures.
To Save Yourself from Unnecessary Tests

Once again, we need to advocate for ourselves. First and foremost, do not make the assumption that every imaging test suggested by your doctors is necessary and important. Knowing something about the risks and benefits of the different types will help you discuss intelligently with your doctor what’s right for you. Having this knowledge will also help you understand and keep track of your imaging-test history so that you don’t have radiation-based exams that are redundant or for problems that could be diagnosed with a different technique.




Ultrasound (also called sonography)

Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create real-time images of organs and blood as it flows through vessels. Commonly used to monitor fetal development, ultrasound can also be used to diagnose abdominal organ abnormalities, gallbladder or kidney stones or an aneurysm in the aorta.

Pros: Ultrasound requires no ionizing radiation and, Dr. Amis said, "presents no known dangers." The scans can be done quickly. Ultrasound is among the least expensive imaging procedures, and the machines it uses are small and portable.

Cons: Ultrasound scans show less detail than CT and MRI scans, and not all structures can be visualized with this technology.

Best used for: Ultrasound is best for evaluating abdominal and reproductive organs, the developing fetus, vascular structures (such as the abdominal aorta) and joints.




Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

This procedure uses a powerful magnet and radio frequency pulses to "view" most internal body structures. It utilizes a large scanner that transmits the data to a computer, providing a detailed interpretive image of the structures in the body. Sometimes a contrast dye is used to heighten image quality. MRI is especially useful in neurological, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and oncological imaging.

Pros: MRI uses no ionizing radiation and produces sharp, high-contrast images of different tissues, especially valuable in visualizing the brain and its blood vessels.

Cons: Some people find having an MRI scan quite uncomfortable (two common complaints -- obese people don’t fit easily into the machines, and being inside can create claustrophobic feelings, for which some people require mild sedation). Scans take a long time -- often 30 minutes to an hour -- and patients must remain perfectly still and may be required to hold their breath for short periods. A small percentage of people are allergic to the contrast dye, and it’s not known whether MRI is totally safe for pregnant women. A particularly dangerous problem is that the magnets exert powerful force on anything and everything metallic that is on or in the body, and as a result, MRI scanners have been known to cause pacemakers to malfunction.

Best used for: MRI is the best choice for soft tissue imaging, including to diagnose cardiovascular disease, as well as for oncological and musculoskeletal imaging.




X-ray

These are created by sending beams of radiation through the area of concern to capture an image on photographic film -- or these days, more typically on a digital image recording plate. To obtain real-time images of functioning organs or blood vessels, X-ray technology is sometimes combined with contrast dyes injected into the body (called fluoroscopy).

Pros: X-ray technology is relatively inexpensive, is easy to use and produces high-resolution images of bone with less radiation than CT scan.

Cons: The type of radiation used, called ionizing radiation, is carcinogenic, albeit weakly. The radiation accumulates over the course of a lifetime, and excessive doses are believed to increase risk for cancer.

Best used for: X-ray is typically the first choice for diagnosing or monitoring calcium-dense tissue (broken bones, dental cavities) and pneumonia and other chest diseases.




Computed Tomography (CT or CAT scan)

A CT scan is like an X-ray taken to the next level. The patient lies on a table that moves through a machine as numerous X-ray beams and electronic detectors rotate, following a spiral path, around the body. Computers use the resulting data to create two-dimensional cross-sectional views of parts of the body -- these can be further manipulated to create multidimensional views as well. CT scans are most widely used for diagnosing causes of abdominal pain, diseases of internal organs and injuries to the liver, spleen, etc.

Pros: Scans can be completed in a matter of seconds, making CT scans indispensable in emergencies. CT scans produce very detailed images of bone, soft tissue and blood vessels, and can be used in patients with pacemakers and other metallic implants.

Cons: CT scan delivers higher doses of ionizing radiation than X-ray... so with multiple scans, in particular, cancer risk is increased. X-rays, including CT scans, are not recommended for pregnant women -- in emergencies, however, they may be required.

Best used for: CT scan is the imaging test doctors use for diagnosing severe headache, chest pain, abdominal pain and trauma and generally in emergency-room settings. This technology is also often used for diagnostic "work-ups" for cancer, stroke and brain problems, among other illnesses and injuries.




Nuclear imaging

In nuclear imaging, patients are injected with (or, alternately, ingest or inhale) a minute amount of radioactive material. A scanner or camera is then used to gather images from specific organs in the body. The process is similar to an X-ray, but the radiation beams emanate from the inside out, which enables doctors to see clearly what’s deep inside the body. This technique is often used to diagnose or measure the progression of specific diseases, such as cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Pros: Nuclear images provide a view that no other technique can obtain.

Cons: It can take hours or days for the radioactive tracer to accumulate in the body and then additional hours to perform the imaging test. Image resolution may not be as clear as those taken with other forms of imaging. Though the radioactive contrast material is designed to exit the body via the urine or stool within a day or two, the radioactive waste then remains in leaching fields and septic systems and is unaffected by sewage treatment methods, so there are concerns about the cumulative environmental impact of this particular form of imaging. Also, it’s quite rare, but some patients have reactions to injected materials -- typically these are mild, though severe reactions have been reported.




Informed Decision Making

Patients aren’t the ones who should demand one type of imaging test over another -- even doctors, when they are patients, take counsel from their physicians. But, as a patient, you absolutely should feel comfortable questioning your doctors about the risks and benefits -- and necessity -- of any imaging study.

Important: Always bring up the scans you’ve had before -- the type, how many and what they were for -- so that your doctor can make an informed recommendation about what you need next. If you’re interested in learning more about imaging techniques, Dr. Amis recommends visiting RadiologyInfo.org, which is co-sponsored by the American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America.

Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #165 on: February 23, 2010, 08:38:42 AM »

Second post:

Is Your Shower Water Dangerous?


A recent study reported that in some communities people regularly shower with a dangerous microbe called Mycobacterium avium -- a cousin of the tuberculosis-causing bacteria and one that is quite infectious in its own right.

The University of Colorado-Boulder study is part of a larger research project focused on bacteria we’re exposed to in daily life. This particular study examined showerheads because they provide ideal conditions for the formation of slimy biofilms -- an assemblage of bacteria that attach themselves to a surface and excrete a protective mesh layer around themselves (dental plaque is an example), making them difficult to eradicate. Theorizing that the shower might be the point of entry for this infection, lead researcher Leah Feazel told me that researchers collected samples from the insides of 45 showerheads in nine US cities one, two or three times over two and one-half years. They found M. avium in both Denver and New York showerheads.

Confirming the finding, small amounts of M. avium were also detected in the water systems in both Denver and New York City. In those cities, the concentration of Mycobacteria (of which M. avium is one species) in some showerheads was more than 100 times that in the background water. Researchers theorize that this happened because the biofilms were able to establish colonies of such significant size that they could not be dislodged even by water regularly flowing through. Both municipalities treat their water systems with chlorine, ostensibly to eradicate such dangers, but M. avium are known to be resistant, so the bacteria that survive become even stronger. Since many species of Mycobacteria have been implicated in respiratory and other kinds of infections, this is a cause for concern.

Why Showers Are Especially Risky

M. avium is common in soil and water, but it’s especially dangerous in showerheads because it is dispersed in aerosol form, which is inhaled and can travel deep into the lungs. Like its relative, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M. aviumprimarily causes lung disease, but it has also been known to cause digestive and lymphatic system infections. According to Feazel, M. avium infections are rare in people with healthy immune systems and "fairly rare" among the immune-compromised -- but they’re on the rise here in the US as well as in the rest of the developed world. The infections caused by M. avium can lead to especially severe illness for people with compromised immune systems, often requiring antibiotic treatment that may be only marginally effective.

How to Be Sure You’re Safe

Since M. avium is so difficult to kill, individuals known to be immune deficient -- including pregnant women... people with asthma or bronchitis... those who’ve had an organ transplant... and those with cancer or other chronic disease -- should ask their doctors whether they should bathe instead of showering. Alternatively, Feazel suggests that people with compromised immune systems would do well to change their showerheads every six months (researchers found no M. avium in showerheads less than six months old) and to choose metal ones, which are less hospitable to biofilms than plastic.


Source(s):
Leah M. Feazel was the lead researcher on the showerhead study. She was head technician at the Pace Laboratory, University of Colorado-Boulder, and is currently a graduate student in Environmental Science and Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #166 on: February 23, 2010, 09:26:30 AM »

I think the radiation exposure to CT scans can very well be significant and over time (possibly decades) dangerous.

There is no question in my mind that CT scans are overused and used by many without the slightet regard to the radiation debit.

Doses are cummulative over time.

Many physicians seem to use CT scans like we used to order plain xrays.  The difference is that CT scans give a radiation does roughly 100 or more times that of a simple Xray.

I've seen some pts. getting 10, 15, 20, or more CT scans over a few years.

I don't know what some doctors are thinking. 

20 CT scans would be like getting 2000 Xrays.

You can't tell me that kind of radiation dose doesn't at least in a few patients cause cancer.
 
I would seriously recommend telling pts. to ask their doctor if there is an alternative when getting a CT scan or if it is really necessary before being told to get it.

Not that they aren't often needed, or that they don't offer many life saving pieces of information.

Just that they are definitely overused and I think the long term risks are only now just getting the attention they deserve.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #167 on: March 04, 2010, 02:53:07 PM »

This is what I am talking about.  Quacks making a buck suckering people into buying natural substances with false claims.
These substances alone or in combination are supposed to suppress appetite?  Or cause weight loss by some other magic?
FYI, caffeine is actually considered an appetite stimulant:

"citrus aurantium, the pills contain guarana and coffee bean extract".

I am glad she is being sued.  I am saddened to see her say something like I standby my products etc.

What is the logic to make pharmaceutical companies spend a billion dollars to show a drug works and go after them for millions when a rare problem shows up but otherwise ok for quacks to sell snake oil by making up nonsense claims of efficacy just because it is "natural"?   Wasn't a cereal maker just slapped by the FDA for making some sort of heart claims on one of it's products?

 'Biggest Loser' trainer Jillian Michaels hit with third lawsuit over weight loss supplement pills
BY Rosemary Black
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, February 18th 2010, 2:25 PM
 
Haaseth/NBC/© NBC Universal, Inc.Jillian Michaels, who whips contestants into shape on NBC's 'The Biggest Loser,' is facing a series of lawsuits over her brand of weight loss supplements. Related NewsArticles'Biggest Loser' trainer Jillian Michaels sued over weight loss supplement pillsJillian Michaels weight loss pills won't help shed long term pounds: experts“Biggest Loser” celeb trainer Jillian Michaels isn’t winning any support from dieters frustrated with her weight-loss supplements.

A third lawsuit against the Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Calorie Control pills was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Court, according to Us Weekly.

Kathy Hensley charges that the supplements are made with a “potentially lethal” ingredient, citrus aurantium, which can in rare cases cause heart problems and high blood pressure, according to Us Weekly. Hensley, who’s suing for less than $5,000, also names the supplements’ maker Thin Care, Basic Research and Walgreens.

Michaels, 36, who calls herself “America’s Toughest Trainer,” told Us Weekly in a statement after the first lawsuit was filed that the claims against her supplements are “entirely without merit.” Besides citrus aurantium, the pills contain guarana and coffee bean extract.

“I stand behind all my products,” Michaels’ statement said.

ThinCare also responded to Us Weekly: “We are confident we will prevail.”
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #168 on: April 18, 2010, 02:05:38 PM »

Cows on Drugs

By DONALD KENNEDY
Published: April 17, 2010
NYT
Stanford, Calif.

NOW that Congress has pushed through its complicated legislation to reform the health insurance system, it could take one more simple step to protect the health of all Americans. This one wouldn’t raise any taxes or make any further changes to our health insurance system, so it could be quickly passed by Congress with an outpouring of bipartisan support. Or could it?

More than 30 years ago, when I was commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration, we proposed eliminating the use of penicillin and two other antibiotics to promote growth in animals raised for food. When agribusiness interests persuaded Congress not to approve that regulation, we saw firsthand how strong politics can trump wise policy and good science.

Even back then, this nontherapeutic use of antibiotics was being linked to the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria that infect humans. To the leading microbiologists on the F.D.A.’s advisory committee, it was clearly a very bad idea to fatten animals with the same antibiotics used to treat people. But the American Meat Institute and its lobbyists in Washington blocked the F.D.A. proposal.

In 2005, one class of antibiotics, fluoroquinolones, was banned in the production of poultry in the United States. But the total number of antibiotics used in agriculture is continuing to grow. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, 70 percent of this use is in animals that are healthy but are vulnerable to transmissible diseases because they live in crowded and unsanitary conditions.

In testimony to Congress last summer, Joshua Sharfstein, the principal deputy commissioner of the F.D.A., estimated that 90,000 Americans die each year from bacterial infections they acquire in hospitals. About 70 percent of those infections are caused by bacteria that are resistant to at least one powerful antibiotic.

That’s why the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Pharmacists Association, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of County and City Health Officials are urging Congress to phase out the nontherapeutic use in livestock of antibiotics that are important to humans.

Antibiotic resistance is an expensive problem. A person who cannot be treated with ordinary antibiotics is at risk of having a large number of bacterial infections, and of needing to be treated in the hospital for weeks or even months. The extra costs to the American health care system are as much as $26 billion a year, according to estimates by Cook County Hospital in Chicago and the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, a health policy advocacy group.

Agribusiness argues — as it has for 30 years — that livestock need to be given antibiotics to help them grow properly and keep them free of disease. But consider what has happened in Denmark since the late 1990s, when that country banned the use of antibiotics in farm animals except for therapeutic purposes. The reservoir of resistant bacteria in Danish livestock shrank considerably, a World Health Organization report found. And although some animals lost weight, and some developed infections that needed to be treated with antimicrobial drugs, the benefits of the rule exceeded those costs.

It’s 30 years late, but Congress should now pass the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which would ban industrial farms from using seven classes of antibiotics that are important to human health unless animals or herds are ill, or pharmaceutical companies can prove the drugs’ use in livestock does not harm human health.

The pharmaceutical industry and agribusiness face the difficult challenge of developing antimicrobials that work specifically against animal infections without undermining the fight against bacteria that cause disease in humans. But we don’t have the luxury of waiting any longer to protect those at risk of increasing antibiotic resistance.

Donald Kennedy, a former commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration, is a professor emeritus of environmental science at Stanford.
Logged
Body-by-Guinness
Power User
***
Posts: 2789


« Reply #169 on: April 29, 2010, 06:44:56 PM »

Attention Whole Foods Shoppers
Stop obsessing about arugula. Your "sustainable" mantra -- organic, local, and slow -- is no recipe for saving the world's hungry millions.  
BY ROBERT PAARLBERG | MAY/JUNE 2010

From Whole Foods recyclable cloth bags to Michelle Obama's organic White House garden, modern eco-foodies are full of good intentions. We want to save the planet. Help local farmers. Fight climate change -- and childhood obesity, too. But though it's certainly a good thing to be thinking about global welfare while chopping our certified organic onions, the hope that we can help others by changing our shopping and eating habits is being wildly oversold to Western consumers. Food has become an elite preoccupation in the West, ironically, just as the most effective ways to address hunger in poor countries have fallen out of fashion.

 
Helping the world's poor feed themselves is no longer the rallying cry it once was. Food may be today's cause célèbre, but in the pampered West, that means trendy causes like making food "sustainable" -- in other words, organic, local, and slow. Appealing as that might sound, it is the wrong recipe for helping those who need it the most. Even our understanding of the global food problem is wrong these days, driven too much by the single issue of international prices. In April 2008, when the cost of rice for export had tripled in just six months and wheat reached its highest price in 28 years, a New York Times editorial branded this a "World Food Crisis." World Bank President Robert Zoellick warned that high food prices would be particularly damaging in poor countries, where "there is no margin for survival." Now that international rice prices are down 40 percent from their peak and wheat prices have fallen by more than half, we too quickly conclude that the crisis is over. Yet 850 million people in poor countries were chronically undernourished before the 2008 price spike, and the number is even larger now, thanks in part to last year's global recession. This is the real food crisis we face.

It turns out that food prices on the world market tell us very little about global hunger. International markets for food, like most other international markets, are used most heavily by the well-to-do, who are far from hungry. The majority of truly undernourished people -- 62 percent, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization -- live in either Africa or South Asia, and most are small farmers or rural landless laborers living in the countryside of Africa and South Asia. They are significantly shielded from global price fluctuations both by the trade policies of their own governments and by poor roads and infrastructure. In Africa, more than 70 percent of rural households are cut off from the closest urban markets because, for instance, they live more than a 30-minute walk from the nearest all-weather road.

Poverty -- caused by the low income productivity of farmers' labor -- is the primary source of hunger in Africa, and the problem is only getting worse. The number of "food insecure" people in Africa (those consuming less than 2,100 calories a day) will increase 30 percent over the next decade without significant reforms, to 645 million, the U.S. Agriculture Department projects.

What's so tragic about this is that we know from experience how to fix the problem. Wherever the rural poor have gained access to improved roads, modern seeds, less expensive fertilizer, electrical power, and better schools and clinics, their productivity and their income have increased. But recent efforts to deliver such essentials have been undercut by deeply misguided (if sometimes well-meaning) advocacy against agricultural modernization and foreign aid.

 
In Europe and the United States, a new line of thinking has emerged in elite circles that opposes bringing improved seeds and fertilizers to traditional farmers and opposes linking those farmers more closely to international markets. Influential food writers, advocates, and celebrity restaurant owners are repeating the mantra that "sustainable food" in the future must be organic, local, and slow. But guess what: Rural Africa already has such a system, and it doesn't work. Few smallholder farmers in Africa use any synthetic chemicals, so their food is de facto organic. High transportation costs force them to purchase and sell almost all of their food locally. And food preparation is painfully slow. The result is nothing to celebrate: average income levels of only $1 a day and a one-in-three chance of being malnourished.

If we are going to get serious about solving global hunger, we need to de-romanticize our view of preindustrial food and farming. And that means learning to appreciate the modern, science-intensive, and highly capitalized agricultural system we've developed in the West. Without it, our food would be more expensive and less safe. In other words, a lot like the hunger-plagued rest of the world.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images



Original Sins

Thirty years ago, had someone asserted in a prominent journal or newspaper that the Green Revolution was a failure, he or she would have been quickly dismissed. Today the charge is surprisingly common. Celebrity author and eco-activist Vandana Shiva claims the Green Revolution has brought nothing to India except "indebted and discontented farmers." A 2002 meeting in Rome of 500 prominent international NGOs, including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, even blamed the Green Revolution for the rise in world hunger. Let's set the record straight.

The development and introduction of high-yielding wheat and rice seeds into poor countries, led by American scientist Norman Borlaug and others in the 1960s and 70s, paid huge dividends. In Asia these new seeds lifted tens of millions of small farmers out of desperate poverty and finally ended the threat of periodic famine. India, for instance, doubled its wheat production between 1964 and 1970 and was able to terminate all dependence on international food aid by 1975. As for indebted and discontented farmers, India's rural poverty rate fell from 60 percent to just 27 percent today. Dismissing these great achievements as a "myth" (the official view of Food First, a California-based organization that campaigns globally against agricultural modernization) is just silly.

It's true that the story of the Green Revolution is not everywhere a happy one. When powerful new farming technologies are introduced into deeply unjust rural social systems, the poor tend to lose out. In Latin America, where access to good agricultural land and credit has been narrowly controlled by traditional elites, the improved seeds made available by the Green Revolution increased income gaps. Absentee landlords in Central America, who previously allowed peasants to plant subsistence crops on underutilized land, pushed them off to sell or rent the land to commercial growers who could turn a profit using the new seeds. Many of the displaced rural poor became slum dwellers. Yet even in Latin America, the prevalence of hunger declined more than 50 percent between 1980 and 2005.

In Asia, the Green Revolution seeds performed just as well on small nonmechanized farms as on larger farms. Wherever small farmers had sufficient access to credit, they took up the new technology just as quickly as big farmers, which led to dramatic income gains and no increase in inequality or social friction. Even poor landless laborers gained, because more abundant crops meant more work at harvest time, increasing rural wages. In Asia, the Green Revolution was good for both agriculture and social justice.

And Africa? Africa has a relatively equitable and secure distribution of land, making it more like Asia than Latin America and increasing the chances that improvements in farm technology will help the poor. If Africa were to put greater resources into farm technology, irrigation, and rural roads, small farmers would benefit.

ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images



Organic Myths

There are other common objections to doing what is necessary to solve the real hunger crisis. Most revolve around caveats that purist critics raise regarding food systems in the United States and Western Europe. Yet such concerns, though well-intentioned, are often misinformed and counterproductive -- especially when applied to the developing world.

Take industrial food systems, the current bugaboo of American food writers. Yes, they have many unappealing aspects, but without them food would be not only less abundant but also less safe. Traditional food systems lacking in reliable refrigeration and sanitary packaging are dangerous vectors for diseases. Surveys over the past several decades by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that the U.S. food supply became steadily safer over time, thanks in part to the introduction of industrial-scale technical improvements. Since 2000, the incidence of E. coli contamination in beef has fallen 45 percent. Today in the United States, most hospitalizations and fatalities from unsafe food come not from sales of contaminated products at supermarkets, but from the mishandling or improper preparation of food inside the home. Illness outbreaks from contaminated foods sold in stores still occur, but the fatalities are typically quite limited. A nationwide scare over unsafe spinach in 2006 triggered the virtual suspension of all fresh and bagged spinach sales, but only three known deaths were recorded. Incidents such as these command attention in part because they are now so rare. Food Inc. should be criticized for filling our plates with too many foods that are unhealthy, but not foods that are unsafe.

Where industrial-scale food technologies have not yet reached into the developing world, contaminated food remains a major risk. In Africa, where many foods are still purchased in open-air markets (often uninspected, unpackaged, unlabeled, unrefrigerated, unpasteurized, and unwashed), an estimated 700,000 people die every year from food- and water-borne diseases, compared with an estimated 5,000 in the United States.

Food grown organically -- that is, without any synthetic nitrogen fertilizers or pesticides -- is not an answer to the health and safety issues. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last year published a study of 162 scientific papers from the past 50 years on the health benefits of organically grown foods and found no nutritional advantage over conventionally grown foods. According to the Mayo Clinic, "No conclusive evidence shows that organic food is more nutritious than is conventionally grown food."

Health professionals also reject the claim that organic food is safer to eat due to lower pesticide residues. Food and Drug Administration surveys have revealed that the highest dietary exposures to pesticide residues on foods in the United States are so trivial (less than one one-thousandth of a level that would cause toxicity) that the safety gains from buying organic are insignificant. Pesticide exposures remain a serious problem in the developing world, where farm chemical use is not as well regulated, yet even there they are more an occupational risk for unprotected farmworkers than a residue risk for food consumers.

Logged
Body-by-Guinness
Power User
***
Posts: 2789


« Reply #170 on: April 29, 2010, 06:45:23 PM »

When it comes to protecting the environment, assessments of organic farming become more complex. Excess nitrogen fertilizer use on conventional farms in the United States has polluted rivers and created a "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, but halting synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use entirely (as farmers must do in the United States to get organic certification from the Agriculture Department) would cause environmental problems far worse.

Here's why: Less than 1 percent of American cropland is under certified organic production. If the other 99 percent were to switch to organic and had to fertilize crops without any synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, that would require a lot more composted animal manure. To supply enough organic fertilizer, the U.S. cattle population would have to increase roughly fivefold. And because those animals would have to be raised organically on forage crops, much of the land in the lower 48 states would need to be converted to pasture. Organic field crops also have lower yields per hectare. If Europe tried to feed itself organically, it would need an additional 28 million hectares of cropland, equal to all of the remaining forest cover in France, Germany, Britain, and Denmark combined.

Mass deforestation probably isn't what organic advocates intend. The smart way to protect against nitrogen runoff is to reduce synthetic fertilizer applications with taxes, regulations, and cuts in farm subsidies, but not try to go all the way to zero as required by the official organic standard. Scaling up registered organic farming would be on balance harmful, not helpful, to the natural environment.

WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images



Not only is organic farming less friendly to the environment than assumed, but modern conventional farming is becoming significantly more sustainable. High-tech farming in rich countries today is far safer for the environment, per bushel of production, than it was in the 1960s, when Rachel Carson criticized the indiscriminate farm use of DDT in her environmental classic, Silent Spring. Thanks in part to Carson's devastating critique, that era's most damaging insecticides were banned and replaced by chemicals that could be applied in lower volume and were less persistent in the environment. Chemical use in American agriculture peaked soon thereafter, in 1973. This was a major victory for environmental advocacy.

And it was just the beginning of what has continued as a significant greening of modern farming in the United States. Soil erosion on farms dropped sharply in the 1970s with the introduction of "no-till" seed planting, an innovation that also reduced dependence on diesel fuel because fields no longer had to be plowed every spring. Farmers then began conserving water by moving to drip irrigation and by leveling their fields with lasers to minimize wasteful runoff. In the 1990s, GPS equipment was added to tractors, autosteering the machines in straighter paths and telling farmers exactly where they were in the field to within one square meter, allowing precise adjustments in chemical use. Infrared sensors were brought in to detect the greenness of the crop, telling a farmer exactly how much more (or less) nitrogen might be needed as the growing season went forward. To reduce wasteful nitrogen use, equipment was developed that can insert fertilizers into the ground at exactly the depth needed and in perfect rows, only where it will be taken up by the plant roots.

These "precision farming" techniques have significantly reduced the environmental footprint of modern agriculture relative to the quantity of food being produced. In 2008, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development published a review of the "environmental performance of agriculture" in the world's 30 most advanced industrial countries -- those with the most highly capitalized and science-intensive farming systems. The results showed that between 1990 and 2004, food production in these countries continued to increase (by 5 percent in volume), yet adverse environmental impacts were reduced in every category. The land area taken up by farming declined 4 percent, soil erosion from both wind and water fell, gross greenhouse gas emissions from farming declined 3 percent, and excessive nitrogen fertilizer use fell 17 percent. Biodiversity also improved, as increased numbers of crop varieties and livestock breeds came into use.

Seeding the Future

Africa faces a food crisis, but it's not because the continent's population is growing faster than its potential to produce food, as vintage Malthusians such as environmental advocate Lester Brown and advocacy organizations such as Population Action International would have it. Food production in Africa is vastly less than the region's known potential, and that is why so many millions are going hungry there. African farmers still use almost no fertilizer; only 4 percent of cropland has been improved with irrigation; and most of the continent's cropped area is not planted with seeds improved through scientific plant breeding, so cereal yields are only a fraction of what they could be. Africa is failing to keep up with population growth not because it has exhausted its potential, but instead because too little has been invested in reaching that potential.

One reason for this failure has been sharply diminished assistance from international donors. When agricultural modernization went out of fashion among elites in the developed world beginning in the 1980s, development assistance to farming in poor countries collapsed. Per capita food production in Africa was declining during the 1980s and 1990s and the number of hungry people on the continent was doubling, but the U.S. response was to withdraw development assistance and simply ship more food aid to Africa. Food aid doesn't help farmers become more productive -- and it can create long-term dependency. But in recent years, the dollar value of U.S. food aid to Africa has reached 20 times the dollar value of agricultural development assistance.

The alternative is right in front of us. Foreign assistance to support agricultural improvements has a strong record of success, when undertaken with purpose. In the 1960s, international assistance from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and donor governments led by the United States made Asia's original Green Revolution possible. U.S. assistance to India provided critical help in improving agricultural education, launching a successful agricultural extension service, and funding advanced degrees for Indian agricultural specialists at universities in the United States. The U.S. Agency for International Development, with the World Bank, helped finance fertilizer plants and infrastructure projects, including rural roads and irrigation. India could not have done this on its own -- the country was on the brink of famine at the time and dangerously dependent on food aid. But instead of suffering a famine in 1975, as some naysayers had predicted, India that year celebrated a final and permanent end to its need for food aid.

Foreign assistance to farming has been a high-payoff investment everywhere, including Africa. The World Bank has documented average rates of return on investments in agricultural research in Africa of 35 percent a year, accompanied by significant reductions in poverty. Some research investments in African agriculture have brought rates of return estimated at 68 percent. Blind to these realities, the United States cut its assistance to agricultural research in Africa 77 percent between 1980 and 2006.

When it comes to Africa's growing hunger, governments in rich countries face a stark choice: They can decide to support a steady new infusion of financial and technical assistance to help local governments and farmers become more productive, or they can take a "worry later" approach and be forced to address hunger problems with increasingly expensive shipments of food aid. Development skeptics and farm modernization critics keep pushing us toward this unappealing second path. It's time for leaders with vision and political courage to push back.

GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images


Save big when you subscribe to FP.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

 
Robert Paarlberg is B.F. Johnson professor of political science at Wellesley College, an associate at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and author of Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/04/26/attention_whole_foods_shoppers?page=full
Logged
Body-by-Guinness
Power User
***
Posts: 2789


« Reply #171 on: June 17, 2010, 09:45:51 AM »

Why do certain diseases go into remission during pregnancy?

University of Michigan and NIH scientists find a biological mechanism to explain the phenomenon


ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- During pregnancy, many women experience remission of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and uveitis. Now, scientists have described a biological mechanism responsible for changes in the immune system that helps to explain the remission.

The expression of an enzyme known as pyruvate kinase is reduced in immune cells in pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women, according to Howard R. Petty, Ph.D., biophysicist at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center and Roberto Romero, M.D., of the National Institutes for Health.

The study, which appears online ahead of print in the August issue of the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, also reports that expression of the enzyme is lower in pregnant women compared to those with pre-eclampsia, a condition with inflammatory components.

The study is significant because the newly discovered mechanism points to a pathway that could be targeted for treatment. “It may be possible to design drugs that mildly suppress pyruvate kinase activity as a means of replicating the immune status of normal pregnancy,” says Petty.

In addition to pre-eclampsia, he believes that rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and uveitis may eventually yield to similarly designed drugs.

In his search to explain the phenomenon, Petty knew to look for a metabolic pathway or mechanism with two characteristics. It had to “dial down” the intensity of the normal immune response, an action needed so that a pregnant woman does not reject the fetus, which has proteins from the father that are “foreign” to the mother. At the same time, such a mechanism must support cell growth needed by the developing fetus.

The activity of the enzyme pyruvate kinase—and and its product, pyruvate—fills both roles:  promoting cell growth while modifying the immune response. Because pyruvate kinase activity is depressed during pregnancy, cell metabolism supports an increased production of lipids, carbohydrates, amino acids, and other substances that support cell growth.

Petty explains that our normal robust immune response depends upon pyruvate to promote calcium signaling, which, in turn, stimulates the production of messenger molecules called cytokines.  When pyruvate is decreased during pregnancy, calcium signaling is also reduced, and the immune response is different than that in non-pregnant individuals.  Says Petty, “Modification of signaling along this pathway allows the pregnant woman to maintain an immune response, but at a level that will not harm the fetus.”

The study included 21 women in their third trimester of a normal pregnancy, 25 women with pre-eclampsia, and a control group of non-pregnant women.  Petty and colleagues used a variety of methods to confirm their findings, including fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry, which are used to study cell signaling.

The higher levels of the enzyme seen in women with pre-eclampsia bolster the study’s findings, says Petty.  “Pre-eclampsia has features of inflammatory disease. If you don’t reduce these pyruvate levels, you heighten inflammatory disease,” he adds.  Petty wonders whether one day enzyme levels could be tested early in pregnancy to predict the likelihood of developing pre-eclampsia or other complications.

It is possible, says Petty, that the general mechanisms described in the current study may apply to more than one complication of pregnancy.  This possibility—and that of designing drugs to suppress pyruvate kinase activity—is the focus of future research.  “I have a long list of things I’d like to see developed for the clinic in the next five years,” adds Petty.

Romero is chief of the Perinatology Research Branch (PRB) of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Institutes of Health (NICHD/NIH)

# # #

Reference: Leukocyte Pyruvate Kinase Expression Is Reduced in Normal Human Pregnancy but Not in Pre-eclampsia. Amer J Reprod Immunol, online 6.15.10 at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/123525215/HTMLSTART

http://www2.med.umich.edu/prmc/media/newsroom/details.cfm?ID=1632
Logged
5RingsFitness
Frequent Poster
**
Posts: 54


« Reply #172 on: June 18, 2010, 07:00:49 AM »

My Mom (60+) has been "working out" for years to maintain bone density, she is stornger than some men her age too.  No big weights either, just enough to feel a load and keep the reps under 15.  She has also been running an aqua aerobics class as well, just to get some of her older friends active again.  Many of them had balance problems- and a fear of falling- which the water resolved, being a good catcher/buffer.

Those that have been working out with er at the class have started "dry" workouts too.  They feel the way they went from little balance to easy balance and now are thinking of some strength as well. 

The research that it is not just resistence (weight) training that builds bones is not so much an issue, the issue is retaining bone strength.  I think that it is impact training that builds bone, the ability to take shock, isn't it.  Walking on concrete would work up to a point, then you have adapted and need to find another method.

Mom always says ACTIVITY is the key for having a fun old age, the dogs won't have THAT problem will they? afro



scrolling through the old stuff here

wolfs law
davis' law

one states that bones re-enforce themselves along the lines of stress
one states that muscles re-enforce themselves along the lines of stress

the only thing that doesn't move was either never alive or is about to go the way of reasoned debate on television
Logged

"Nations have passed away and left no traces, And history gives the naked cause of it - One single simple reason in all cases; They fell because their peoples were not fit."-Rudyard Kipling
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #173 on: June 18, 2010, 03:40:17 PM »

""Nations have passed away and left no traces, And history gives the naked cause of it - One single simple reason in all cases; They fell because their peoples were not fit."-Rudyard Kipling"

2/3 of us in the US are overweight or obese.

We are fat on our own success.

The end for us too??
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 5970


« Reply #174 on: June 18, 2010, 04:00:40 PM »

"2/3 of us in the US are overweight or obese. We are fat on our own success."

I think the same studies will bear out that those we call poor are among the most overweight as a group.  In the business of 'welfare rights', they are also victims of their own success - success at achieving inactivity, with bountiful food and third party pay.

Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #175 on: June 25, 2010, 12:15:18 PM »

I wonder if the fact that many insurers as well as Medicare do not pay providers for treating people who are overweight has anyhting to do with this.

That said it would make no difference anyway. Clinics would not do any better then the thousands of commercial plans around, such as weight watchers, nutrisystem, and the rest.


***US. Report Finds Too Few Clinics Target Diabetes, Obesity
Email Print Share
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) — Too few local health clinics in the United States offer diabetes screening or obesity prevention programs, according to a nationwide study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The clinics, which tend to serve poor clients, need to be “armed and equipped” to respond to the increasing threat of obesity and diabetes in the nation, study co-author Ann Albright said in a Center for the Advancement of Health news release.


She and her colleagues analyzed data from a 2005 survey of 2,300 health clinics and found that about 56 percent of them offered obesity prevention programs, 51 percent offered diabetes screening, and only one third offered both.

The findings were of particular concern since the percentage of obese American adults has doubled from 1980 to 2004, and the percentage of Americans diagnosed with diabetes may have doubled as well, according to researchers. People with diabetes and lower incomes run a higher risk of dying of the disease, research has shown.

Albright directs the Division of Diabetes Translation, which translates diabetes research into daily practice, at the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

One expert questioned the value of obesity and diabetes screening programs alone. Such programs “are not a big part of the solution. After all, they are designed to find the trouble, not necessarily fix it,” Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, said in the news release.

“We should define what contributions health departments can, and should, be making to global efforts at obesity and diabetes prevention and control, and then distribute resources to make sure they can all make these contributions. Otherwise, some will be doing far less than is needed, and some will be doing more than what is truly useful,” Katz said.

The CDC findings appear online and in the August print issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about overweight and obesity.

— Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Center for the Advancement of Health, June 22, 2010, news release.

Last Updated: June 25, 2010

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.***
Logged
Rarick
Guest
« Reply #176 on: June 26, 2010, 04:03:22 AM »

"2/3 of us in the US are overweight or obese. We are fat on our own success."

I think the same studies will bear out that those we call poor are among the most overweight as a group.  In the business of 'welfare rights', they are also victims of their own success - success at achieving inactivity, with bountiful food and third party pay.


That is a concept I have formed from personal observation, I see a lot of welfare types that are massively overweight (I hear them talking about their food stamps or some other new program to get on so this is not an uninformed conclusion).  If they are poor, they should be more on the skinny side, you would think......... 

Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #177 on: June 30, 2010, 07:12:34 PM »

Yes one would think so.  It does seem turned upside down when one thinks of it.  In what other country are poor people FAT?
I suppose that is one of the knocks against inexpensive fast food, the types we see rapant in poor neighborhoods - that it is very high in calories.
No one goes to these places to eat salad and yogurt.
Some of the cheapest foods are fattening.  Like pasta, cakes, rice.
I think that has something to do with it as well as cultural, social etc.

It beats burning the calories like the illegals who after some years here will look more like us I guess.

Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 5970


« Reply #178 on: July 01, 2010, 04:12:43 PM »

The poor (in America) are not poor in terms of food dollars.  Food is free and plentiful if you are poor.

CCP: "Some of the cheapest foods are fattening.  Like pasta, cakes, rice."

I would clarify that these food eaten to excess are fattening, like the bloated stomach you might see on photos from an impoverished country.  I honestly don't believe you will see a difference other than cultural in the diet or at least the availability of all the right food choices.  Food stamps aka SNAP works for virtually anything you can buy in a grocery store, steak salad fruits vegetables whole grains, and for the other items like candy or cigarettes they can trade food debit dollars away for cash at fifty cents on the dollar on the street and on the sidewalk in front of the store. 

The problem I was trying to point out is that our 'poor' are not poor, they just face a twisted set of life incentives: they are paid to stay inactive and have virtually unlimited time and money for eating.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #179 on: July 06, 2010, 04:14:29 PM »

"The problem I was trying to point out is that our 'poor' are not poor, they just face a twisted set of life incentives: they are paid to stay inactive and have virtually unlimited time and money for eating."

I agree and would add...

And strip club and casino hopping.  CNN reports welfare payments are used for these as well.  I don't know why anyone would be surprised though.

Sometimes I still get astonished at how little many people know about what they eat and the number of calories in their foods.

I guess that is not surprising either when we hear often how little many of the kids today know.  For example they wouldn't know who George Washington was.  Ot they don't know we were originally a Bristish colony and so forth.



Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #180 on: July 12, 2010, 10:14:05 AM »

OMG, I actually agree with a POTH editorial shocked

The life of animals raised in confinement on industrial farms is slowly improving, thanks to pressure from consumers, animal rights advocates, farmers and legislators. In late June, a compromise was reached in Ohio that will gradually put an end to the tiny pens used for raising veal calves and holding pregnant sows, spaces so small the animals can barely move.

In California last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law requiring that all whole eggs sold in the state conform to the provisions of Proposition 2, the humane farming law that was embraced by state voters in a landslide in 2008. By 2015, every whole egg sold in the state must come from a hen that is able to stretch her wings, standing or lying, without touching another bird or the edges of her cage. This requirement would at least relieve the worst of the production horrors that are common in the industry now.

Since California does not produce all the eggs it eats, this new law will have a wider effect on the industry; every producer who hopes to sell eggs in the state must meet its regulations.

Heartening as these developments are, there is also strong resistance from the food industry and from fake consumer-advocacy groups that are shilling for it.

In fact, there is no justification, economic or otherwise, for the abusive practice of confining animals in spaces barely larger than the volume of their bodies. Animals with more space are healthier, and they are no less productive.

Industrial confinement is cruel and senseless and will turn out to be, we hope, a relatively short-lived anomaly in modern farming.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #181 on: July 27, 2010, 09:30:27 AM »

 Gel that can help decayed teeth grow back could end fillings
By Pat Hagan

Open wide: Thanks to a new gel, soon this won't hurt
A gel that can help decayed teeth grow back in just weeks may mean an end to fillings.

The gel, which is being developed by scientists in France, works by prompting cells in teeth to start multiplying. They then form healthy new tooth tissue that gradually replaces what has been lost to decay.

Researchers say in lab studies it took just four weeks to restore teeth back to their original healthy state. The gel contains melanocyte-stimulating hormone, or MSH.

We produce this in the pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland just behind the bridge of the nose.

MSH is already known to play an important part in determining skin colour - the more you have, the darker your flesh tone.

But recent studies suggest MSH may also play a crucial role in stimulating bone regeneration.

As bone and teeth are very similar in their structure, a team of scientists at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research in Paris tested if the hormone could stimulate tooth growth.

Their findings, published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano, could signal hurtnot just an end to fillings, but the dreaded dentist drill as well. Tooth decay is a major public health problem in Britain. Around £45m a year is spent treating decayed teeth and by the age of 15, teenagers have had an average of 2.5 teeth filled or removed.

Decay is caused by bacteria, called streptococcus mutans, that live in the mouth and feed on sugar in the diet. Once the bacteria stick to the enamel, they trigger a process called demineralisation - they turn sugar in the diet into a harmful acid that starts to create holes in the teeth.

For decades, the main treatment for cavities has been to 'drill and fill'. However, an estimated one in five Britons suffers from dental phobia, a fear of dentists which means some would rather endure pain and suffering than face the prospect of having their teeth drilled.

The new treatment is painless. And although fillings halt decay, they can come loose and sometimes need refilling.

Experts believe new tooth cells would be stronger and a permanent solution.

The French team mixed MSH with a chemical called poly-L-glutamic acid. This is a substance often used to transport drugs inside the body because it can survive the harsh environments, such as the stomach, that might destroy medicines before they get a chance to work.

The mixture was then turned into a gel and rubbed on to cells, called dental pulp fibroblasts, taken from extracted human teeth. These cells are the kind that help new tooth tissue to grow.

But until now there has been no way of 'switching' them back on once they have been destroyed by dental decay. The researchers found the gel triggered the growth of new cells and also helped with adhesion - the process by which new dental cells 'lock' together.

This is important because it produces strong tooth pulp and enamel which could make the decayed tooth as good as new.

In a separate experiment, the French scientists applied the gel to the teeth of mice with dental cavities. In just one month, the cavities had disappeared. The gel is still undergoing testing but could be available for use within three to five years.

Professor Damien Walmsley, the British Dental Association's scientific adviser, said the gel could be an interesting new development, but stressed it is unlikely to be able to repair teeth that have been extensively damaged by decay.

'There are a lot of exciting developments in this field, of which this is one,' he said. 'It looks promising, but we will have to wait for the results to come back from clinical trials and its use will be restricted to treating small areas of dental decay.'

Scientists have developed a 'tongue' gel as part of a new approach to tackling bad breath and preventing tooth decay.

Halitosis is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth. The latest treatment, developed by Meridol, takes a mechanical and chemical approach. It consists of a tongue scraper, gel and mouth wash.

The extra-flat tongue cleaner is used to scrape bacteria off the tongue. The tongue gel and mouthwash are anti-bacterial and contain chemicals that attach themselves to odour-producing compounds, which are then flushed out with the mouthwash. Both gel and mouthwash contain fluoride.

Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #182 on: July 28, 2010, 08:23:10 PM »

I'm going to live a very long time.
==================

http://www.themedguru.com/20091206/newsfeature/stare-boobs-longer-life-study-86131320.html

====================

Frankfurt, Germany, December 6 -- A rather bizarre study carried out by German researchers suggests that staring at women's breasts is good for men's health and increases their life expectancy.


 According to Dr. Karen Weatherby, a gerontologist and author of the study, gawking at women’s breasts is a healthy practice, almost at par with an intense exercise regime, that prolongs the lifespan of a man by five years.

She added, "Just 10 minutes of staring at the charms of a well-endowed female, is roughly equivalent to a 30-minute aerobics work-out."

A five-year research on 500 men
Researchers at three hospitals in Frankfurt, Germany did an in-depth analysis of 200 healthy males over a period of five years. Half the volunteers were instructed to ogle at the breasts of women daily, while the rest were told to refrain from doing so.

At the close of the study, the researchers noted that the men who stared at the breasts of females on a regular basis exhibited lower blood pressure, slower resting pulse rates and lesser episodes of coronary artery disease.

Sexual desire linked to better blood circulation
The researchers declared that sexual desire gives rise to better blood circulation that signifies an overall improved health.

Weatherby explained the concept stating, "Sexual excitement gets the heart pumping and improves blood circulation. There's no question: Gazing at breasts makes men healthy.

"Our study indicates that engaging in this activity a few minutes daily cuts the risk of stroke and heart attack in half. We believe that by doing so consistently, the average man can extend his life four to five years."

In addition, she also recommended that men over 40 should gaze at larger breasts daily for 10 minutes.

The German research is believed to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #183 on: July 29, 2010, 01:49:51 PM »

I dunno....

Should I start recommending this to my male patients?

Should I rec. to my female pts they start staring at mens private parts ten minutes a day?

Maybe we should change the magazine selection in the waiting room.  I mean it is all in the name of improving health.
My practice might even take off.....
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 5970


« Reply #184 on: July 29, 2010, 02:29:46 PM »

CCP,  The female equivalent might be shopping, not gazing at men.  I think the brains are wired differently.  Who thinks up these studies anyway, charts the minutes that they stare, proves they lived longer and then bills back the government for research?  Pretty good work if you can arrange it.
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 5970


« Reply #185 on: July 29, 2010, 03:14:13 PM »

Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #186 on: August 01, 2010, 02:28:01 PM »

"CCP,  The female equivalent might be shopping, not gazing at men."

Yes you are right!  I could have a shelf titled "men's health" with playboy and penthouse mags and a "women's health" shelf loaded with retail catalogues.

Patients may not mind waiting for their doctor too!   grin

Hugh Hefner will pick up on this and promote his mag and website claiming them for health benefits.  Hey look at the master breast connoiseur himself - what is he 90 and still going?
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #187 on: September 01, 2010, 07:04:37 PM »

I don't know the details.  Persistant hoarseness in an older person especially one who smokes is always a red flag.  OTOH is not unusaul for someone to smoke for 50 years knowing full well of the risks and then when they do come down with something turn around a blame the doctors because they didn't catch it fast enough or something else doesn't turn out perfect. 

Irregardless, Michael Douglas, and his father are two of my favorite actors so I am saddned to hear this.  I wish them well.

***Catherine Zeta-Jones furious Douglas' cancer went undetected
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones admits having a hard time watching husband Michael Douglas battle throat cancer and has told People magazine she is furious with doctors for not detecting his disease sooner.

Douglas, the Oscar winner of "Wall Street" and a veteran of Hollywood movies and television, told the celebrity magazine that he spent months seeking attention for persistent throat and ear pain only to be told nothing was wrong until August.

The son of actor Kirk Douglas announced on August 16 that doctors had found a tumor in his throat and that he would undergo radiation and chemotherapy, which he has now started.

"It makes me furious they didn't detect it earlier," Zeta-Jones told People. "He sought every option and nothing was found."

The actress, herself an Oscar winner for "Chicago," has been married to Douglas for 10 years and the couple have two children together, Dylan, 10, and Carys, 7.

Douglas, 65, is now undergoing radiation and chemotherapy five days-a-week every three weeks to rid himself of a walnut-sized tumor at the base of his tongue.

Zeta-Jones said she can't stand the thought of watching her husband undergoing chemotherapy and radiation and loosing his strength as he battles the disease.

"I know maybe I should be stronger, but emotionally I just don't want to see that," she said, later adding, "the hardest part is seeing his fatigue, because Michael is never tired."

Douglas made his first post-announcement TV appearance on Tuesday on "The Late Show with David Letterman," and told the talk show audience that although his cancer was late "stage four," doctors say he has an 80 percent chance of recovery.

He told People magazine that he was optimistic about his odds. "I'm treating this as a curable disease," he said. "It's a fight. I'll beat this."

But he admitted that he was uncertain about the future, and noted that "you just never think it's going to be you."

Still, after months of feeling the pain creep up on him, of having a dry throat and hoarse voice, the news of his cancer came as little surprise to both Hollywood stars.

"It wasn't a huge shock. I knew something was up. He knew something was up," said Zeta-Jones.

And while she is furious about the lack of an early diagnosis, Douglas seems more understanding. "Without having to blame anybody ... these things sometimes just don't show up," he said.***

Logged
Rarick
Guest
« Reply #188 on: September 04, 2010, 07:33:56 AM »

Typical Liberal think- why didn't SOMEBODY ELSE take responsibility for me/ mine?  Sorry to hear about the cancer tho' he was a good actor.  "Was" is used because he is definately a medical retiree now, not because I am already burying him.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #189 on: September 05, 2010, 07:28:36 AM »

"he spent months seeking attention for persistent throat and ear pain only to be told nothing was wrong until August."

I can understand CZJ's emotions.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #190 on: October 08, 2010, 02:30:27 PM »

"Three months after the last taped visit, patients whose doctors communicated in an empathic way lost an average of 3.8 pounds -- a substantial achievement"

Some "achievement".  When you are talking an epidemic of people being 40 to hundreds of pounds overweight this is a drop in the bucket.

That is why I say real weight loss gains will only come from the pharmaceutical industry not government.  And not endless Nanny programs on CNN - the Cable Nanny Network with topics like bullying, healthy eating, minority in America and on and on.   Or, we all go for bariatric surgery.


***WEDNESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- American doctors spend a lot of time discussing diet and weight with their patients, but it has little effect unless doctors have the right communication style, a new study finds.

Patients were much more likely to lose weight if their doctor talked about diet and weight loss in a motivational way, rather than in a judgmental or confrontational manner, researchers found.

In taped conversations between 40 primary care physicians and 461 of their patients over 18 months, doctors discussed weight in 69 percent of those visits, said the Duke University Medical Center researchers.

"We found that on average, physicians spent about three and a half minutes talking about diet and weight loss. That may not sound like much, but it amounts to about 15 percent of the time of the average office visit, which ran about 20 minutes. So the good news is, physicians realize how important the issue is, and they are making a point to talk about it," lead author Kathryn Pollak, of the Cancer Prevention Program at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a Duke news release.

There was little difference in weight loss between patients who did and didn't receive weight counseling, but researchers found that communication style did have an impact.

Three months after the last taped visit, patients whose doctors communicated in an empathic way lost an average of 3.8 pounds -- a substantial achievement given that most overweight or obese patients tend to gain weight over time, the researchers noted.

"Patients don't like to be told what to do [although] they are generally not going to question or talk back to their doctor. But what happens when doctors used reflective statements or a more motivational or empathic approach? It changes the relationship; the patient becomes more of an equal, more of a partner in care," Pollak explained.

"So, for example, instead of asking a question like 'So, you can't fit exercise into your day?' a physician might say something like 'It sounds like you're finding it hard to find time to exercise.' That kind of reflection seems to help patients open up more and give more meaningful information to doctors."

The study appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.***
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #191 on: October 08, 2010, 05:33:10 PM »

Eating less calories and more real food is always an option too  cheesy
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #192 on: October 09, 2010, 10:41:50 AM »

"Eating less calories and more real food is always an option too"

Crafty,

I am afraid it isn't that simple.  Most people are not as disciplined as you or professional athletes who burn tons of calories each day.

Almost everyone knows to eat less, and better foods, and to exercise.

Yet 2 out of three are overweight or obese.

It isn't  simply an "option".  I wish it was.

If it was we wouldn't have thousands of weight loss diets, plans, programs, pills, hoaxes, quacks, regimens, biggest losers and the rest. 
And a failure rate for maintenance of over 95%!

I don't have the time at the moment but it is not just "will power" unfortunately.  It is a result evolution that due to mankinds' achievments has run amuck.




 
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #193 on: October 11, 2010, 04:53:09 PM »



I travel a fair amount and notice that the US is a seriously fatter country than anyway else I go.   Switzerland has lots of red meat, cheese, carbs, and sweet in its diet but hardly ever will you see someone there of the gargantuan proportions see so often in the US, let alone the epidemic % of obese people we have here.  The Swiss have plenty of money too, so its not a question of we eat too much if we have enough money to do so.

In short, sorry, but I'm not buying your line of thought.  smiley

Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #194 on: October 11, 2010, 05:15:14 PM »

Obesity is a disease.  No doubt the US is either the leader or up there in obesity rates.

It is hugely complex.

It is the evidence.  The facts.

It is not simply a choice.  If it was no one would choose to be obese and few would be.

There are cultural, environmental, psychiatric, learned, genetic, metabolic and other issues involved.

The multiple chemical pathways and the interactions "cross talk" between them is incredibly mind baffling.

I've read some of the scientific articles describing them and it is so complex one could easily spend a lifetime trying to understand them.  And if that isn't enough we are only beginning to unlock the secrets of energy homeostasis.

Some of the articles are written by people who are incredibly brilliant (far more than the ONE  wink).

Thank God there are people smart enough who try and figure these things out.

Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #195 on: October 11, 2010, 05:29:57 PM »

I don't mean to question the chosen ONE  smiley but I too think with
rare medical exceptions that it is choice.

I choose to eat healthy. I choose to exercise. But I also choose (bad habits) to drink and smoke cigars.

I watch people gorge themselves. Their choice; if they are happy well again it's their choice, but again, if they are
unhappy it's their choice to either intake fewer calories or burn more calories. It's a simple mathematical
equation. Variation comes from personal choice.

I too travel a lot. People seem to watch consciously or unconsciously what they eat.  Most are not obese.

Americans are obese because they choose to be obese.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #196 on: October 11, 2010, 05:45:52 PM »

JDN and Crafty,

Your opinions are respected.

My only comment is I wasn't referring to myself as the ONE.  I was referring to THE "Chosen One". smiley
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31322


« Reply #197 on: October 11, 2010, 07:05:21 PM »

CCP:

I submit the proposition that your analysis is disproven by the countries/places where people have esentiallly all they want to eat and most are of proportionate, suitable weight.
Logged
5RingsFitness
Frequent Poster
**
Posts: 54


« Reply #198 on: October 12, 2010, 06:27:16 AM »

a side point

food is a drug when it is manufactured rather than grown

opioid response from fat/sweet/salt
the chemists working for major food producers are tasked with utilizing that response

stress causes a decrease is lipolysis and cellular protein uptake, and an increase in the amount of glucose and fat that us in the blood stream

the idea that it is a choice is silly frankly

no one chooses to place themselves in a socially and physically detrimental state
no one chooses to be in a position of ridicule and in which they will be held in contempt by their fellow man
we are social and highly emotional creatures that require interaction with other creates of our kind to survive in a healthy manner
there may be some rare exceptions
those folks will likely tell you " it took a while to get used to, but I became my own company"

if I take food, synthesize it, remove all of the nutrients and replace the "food with chemical substances that mimic the food in the body, then price those substances lower than food, am I a drug pusher or a captain of industry

being a person that helps people lose, manage, and overcome the obstacles to their physique issues, I deal with folks that come in all shapes and sizes

I de-stress their bodies and minds with movement, educated them about nutrition and how food works in the chemical processes of our bodies, show them exercises theycan use to make it easy
and they get better

no one consciously chooses worse
that is bs

not so humble opinion there
it's fact

everyone wants better
some people don't have access to better, physically, mentally, emotionally or through some other limiting factor
but they would not turn better away if they could get
better
Logged

"Nations have passed away and left no traces, And history gives the naked cause of it - One single simple reason in all cases; They fell because their peoples were not fit."-Rudyard Kipling
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #199 on: October 12, 2010, 10:19:16 AM »

Good points.

I have done bariatric medicine.  And I can tell you that getting overweight people to lose 10 or 15% of there overall weight and maintaining that loss is a MAJOR achievement.  I recall listening to a lecture from one physician who specializes in weight loss medicine.  And he said if I have had 2 or 3 people go from BMI of 45 to 25 in twenty five years that is "a lot".

I advise my patients to target 10 and hopefully 15% weight loss even if they are still obese.  Because I know any more is unrealistic and almost impossible.

To be able to lose more is without a doubt, as another weight loss psychiatrist pointed out, "a full time job".

Crafty and JDN with all due respect you don't understand.

That is why progressives want to legislate a cap and trade on whatever they want to label as "fattening".  To be able to control what people are unable to do for themselves.

They did studies on prisoners I think in the 70's.  They underfed them 100 calories a day.  As they lost more and more weight there thoughts started to turn towards getting more food.  This was true even if they were overweight to start with.  The theory is that something goes wrong or haywire.  The brain sets a point to maintain weight a a certain level even if it is more than needed for survival or healthy weight.  As they lose more and more weight the thoughts of obtaining food becomes overwhelming.  The brain senses they are starving even if they aren't.  Every single waking thought, their dreams their cravings, their desires, theri focus is turned toward obtaining food.  It becomes truly overwhelming.  To the point that the person cannot think of anything else.  To the point where they cannot perform any other function except dream of food.  It is a result of evolution.  We evovled with multiple chemical, hormonal, neurologic, intestinal pathways that work in sync to keep us motiveated to obtain food.  If we didn't have these overlapping pathways that drive us to obtain food we would have perished on the grasslands from lack of will to chase mammoths, or gather nuts berries etc.  We can block one of these pathways and hence the person will lose around 6 % of weight before other pathways start to compensate and then kick in and thus overwhelm our brain with drive to start seeking food again.

THAT is why it is so hard for Americans to lose weight.  There are already at least (the last I read) over 100 genes associated with obesity.  One size does not fit all.

Saying a person lacks the will to lose 10 or 15% of their weight is reasonable.  I tell people that with any motivation and discipline they should be able to do that, otherwise they are just lazy, don't get it, don't care etc.  But more than that is nearly IMPOSSIBLE.

I could try to find scientific artilce and post when I have more time.

Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 9 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!