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April 20, 2009, 5:25 AM CT

Benefits of fish oil

Benefits of fish oil
Dr. Nicolas Bazan, Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence, Boyd Professor, and Ernest C. and Yvette C. Villere Chair of Retinal Degenerative Diseases Research at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, will present new research findings showing that an omega three fatty acid in the diet protects brain cells by preventing the misfolding of a protein resulting from a gene mutation in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Huntington's. He will present these findings for the first time on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Nouvelle C Room, at the American Society for Nutrition, Experimental Biology 2009 Annual Meeting.

With funding from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bazan and colleagues developed a cell model with a mutation of the Ataxin-1 gene. The defective Ataxin-1 gene induces the misfolding of the protein produced by the gene. These misshapened proteins cannot be properly processed by the cell machinery, resulting in tangled clumps of toxic protein that eventually kill the cell. Spinocerebellar Ataxia, a disabling disorder that affects speech, eye movement, and hand coordination at early ages of life, is one disorder resulting from the Ataxin-1 misfolding defect. The research team led by Dr. Bazan observed that the omega three fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), protects cells from this defect.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 31, 2009, 4:01 PM CT

How effective are those warning labels?

How effective are those warning labels?
Michigan State University researcher Laura Bix
Medicine packages barrage consumers with information, some mandatory to be "prominent" and "conspicuous." But marketing claims and brand names still overshadow critical fine print on nonprescription medications, Michigan State University scientists found.

In a study to be reported in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, MSU scientists examined the effectiveness of two mandatory warnings on over-the-counter medications, specifically their relative prominence and conspicuousness.

"We wanted to quantify how well warning statements in over-the-counter drug packaging were working to convey information to consumers," explained Laura Bix, an assistant professor in the MSU School of Packaging. "To be effective, warnings about the lack of a child resistant feature, or those that alert consumers to potential tampering of the product, need to be read and comprehended at the time of purchase."

Medicine labels carry brand identification and descriptions of contents; quantity; price; ingredients; dosage; directions; barcodes; and warning statements. Federal regulations require packages that do not have a child resistant feature, for example, to conspicuously state that the product is not intended for homes with small children. Such packages are blamed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for many child poisonings every year.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 31, 2009, 3:29 PM CT

You would eat healthier if restaurants provide nutritional data

You would eat healthier if restaurants provide nutritional data
As more and more Americans eat meals outside the home, the country also faces an epidemic of obesity. An association between eating out and weight-related diseases has led to demands for nutritional labeling of restaurant foods. A newly released study in the Journal of Consumer Research examines the potential benefits of such labeling.

"Using only the sense of taste, smell, and sight to accurately estimate the levels of calories, saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium found in a typical restaurant food serving is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for most consumers," write authors Elizabeth Howlett (University of Arkansas), Scot Burton (Sam M. Walton College of Business), Kenneth Bates (University of San Diego), and Kyle Huggins (James Madison University).

The authors set out to examine how providing calorie and nutrient information on restaurant menus and menu boards influences consumers' food-related assessments and choices. They looked at how participants' previous expectations came into play and whether providing calorie and nutrient information after the consumptive experience changed their subsequent food choices.

The scientists observed that providing nutritional information can influence subsequent food consumption, particularly when consumers' expectations are not fulfilled when they examine the information. "When a 'great taste' claim was used to describe a restaurant menu item, the provision of calorie information did not affect consumers' perceptions, presumably because foods that claim great taste are typically expected to be relatively high in calories," the authors explain. "Conversely, when a 'low calorie' claim was presented but the menu item was higher in calories than expected, the provision of nutritional information increased the perceived likelihood of 1) gaining weight and 2) developing heart disease."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 31, 2009, 3:25 PM CT

Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets

Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets
Here's another reason why dieters should avoid all-you-can-eat buffets: When faced with a large variety of items, consumers tend to underestimate how much of each item is present, as per a newly released study in the Journal of Consumer Research

Authors Joseph P. Redden (University of Minnesota) and Stephen J. Hoch (University of Pennsylvania) investigated consumers' perceptions of quantity in a set of experiments that may help us understand how quantity perceptions influence portion sizes.

"Does a bowl with both red and blue candies seem to have more or less than a bowl with only one color candy?" the scientists asked. "Contrary to popular belief, the presence of variety actually makes it seem like there are fewer items".

To investigate the question, the scientists first exposed participants to images of colored dots and geometric shapes. "When items differ, people tend to focus on one type or the other, and find it difficult to merge the multiple types into a whole," the authors write. "However, a set composed of only identical items makes it easy for people to perceive the items as a single, unified whole."

The authors observed that focusing on the larger whole makes a set appear to occupy more space. "Since people rely on spatial area as a cue for quantity, a set appears to have more items when they are all identical." After demonstrating this perceptual effect in two studies with geometric shapes, the scientists moved on to food.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 31, 2009, 5:24 AM CT

How to retain more nurses?

How to retain more nurses?
A new research study, reported in the March/recent issue of the journal Nursing Economics, has determined what factors can help keep new nurses from leaving their jobs and in doing so save health systems money. When nurses leave for another position or retire early, it dramatically affects a hospital's bottom line as much as 5 percent of a hospital's budget may go to paying for nursing turnover costs.

The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, reports on 1,933 newly licensed registered nurses working in hospitals in 34 states and Washington, DC. The scientists observed that nurses' intent to stay is influenced by their perceptions of their working conditions, specific workplace attributes, as well as their personal characteristics and available job opportunities.

"If nurses stay in their jobs, hospitals and the health care system will realize significant savings on costs linked to replacing nursing staff," said Christine Kovner, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor at New York University's College of Nursing and main author of the study. "More importantly, patient outcomes are at stake because when the nursing staff is destabilized by frequent resignations and high turnover, the disruption and inconsistency of service can have a negative impact on patient care and safety."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 31, 2009, 5:12 AM CT

A cup of coffee before your morning workout

A cup of coffee before your morning workout
Stopping to smell the coffee and enjoy a cup of it before your morning workout might do more than just get your juices flowing. It might keep you going for reasons you haven't even considered.

As a former competitive cyclist, University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Robert Motl routinely met his teammates at a coffee shop to fuel up on caffeine previous to hitting the pavement on long-distance training rides.

"The notion was that caffeine was helping us train harder to push ourselves a little harder," he said.

The cyclists didn't know why it helped, they just knew it was effective.

"I think intuitively a lot of people are taking caffeine before a workout and they don't realize the actual benefit they're experiencing. That is, they're experiencing less pain during the workout," Motl said.

He said it's becoming increasingly common for athletes before competing to consume a variety of substances that include caffeine, motivated by "the notion that it will help you metabolize fat more readily".

"That research isn't actually very compelling," Motl said. "What's going on in my mind is people are doing it for that reason, but they actually take that substance that has caffeine and they can push themselves harder. It doesn't hurt as much".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 31, 2009, 5:08 AM CT

Too many CT scan could be harmful

Too many CT scan could be harmful
Patients who undergo numerous Computerized axial tomography scans over their lifetime appears to be at increased risk for cancer, as per a research studyreported in the recent issue of Radiology

"We observed that while most patients accrue small cumulative cancer risks, 7 percent of the patients in our study had enough recurrent CT imaging to raise their estimated cancer risk by 1 percent or more above baseline levels," said Aaron Sodickson, M.D., Ph.D., assistant director of Emergency Radiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and researcher at the Center for Evidence-Based Imaging in Boston. "The techniques implemented in our study can be used to identify higher risk patients who might benefit from enhanced radiation protection efforts".

CT has proven to be a valuable clinical tool, and its use has grown rapidly. As per a 2008 IMV Medical Information Division report, approximately 68.7 million CT exams were performed in the U.S. in 2007, up from 62 million in 2006. CT provides detailed images of internal organs and is a common technique used to make medical diagnoses and help guide medical therapy decisions. However, CT uses a higher radiation dose than most other imaging exams.

For the study, the scientists developed new methodology to estimate cumulative CT radiation doses and associated radiation-induced cancer risks at the level of the individual patient, by extracting each patient's CT history from the electronic medical record and applying standard risk-estimation models that incorporate patient gender and age at exposure.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 31, 2009, 5:02 AM CT

How much that muscle mass can increase?

How much that muscle mass can increase?
Octogenarian women were unable to increase muscle mass after a 3-month weight lifting program targeted at strengthening the thigh muscle, as per a newly released study from the Journal of Applied Physiology. The results are surprising because prior studies have observed resistance training capable of increasing muscle mass, even for people who are into their 70s. An increase in muscle size translates to an increase in strength.

Still, the Ball State University study contained some good news: The octogenarians were able to lift more weight after the training program, likely because the nervous system became more efficient at activating and synchronizing muscles.

The American Physiological Society published the study, "Improvements in whole muscle and myocellular function are limited with high-intensity resistance training in octogenarian women." The scientists are Ulrika Raue, Dustin Slivka, Kiril Minchev and Scott Trappe.

Aim: Strengthen Octogenarian Thigh Muscle.



The experiment involved six women, all in their 80s, all of whom lived independently and came to the laboratory three times a week for three months. The women exercised on a machine designed to strengthen the thigh (quadriceps) muscle. They did three sets of 10 lifts, with a 2-minute rest period between sets.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 25, 2009, 9:58 PM CT

Mixed messages from TV shows

Mixed messages from TV shows
EPA is releasing a new approach to advance the science upon which the agency bases its regulatory decisions and policies, resulting in better protection for human health and the environment. Today, EPA released the "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Strategic Plan for Evaluating the Toxicity of Chemicals."

This strategic plan outlines a new scientific approach that will allow EPA to assess risks from many chemicals and mixtures by adopting new toxicity testing methods that use recent advances in molecular biology, genomics, and computational sciences.

When fully implemented, EPA will be able to screen thousands of environmental chemicals quickly for potentially harmful effects. The strategic plan will also allow EPA scientists to look at how children may react differently to the same chemicals as adults, thus providing better health protection for children. ........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 25, 2009, 9:35 PM CT

What influeces floral purchase

What influeces floral purchase
Scientific studies of "consumption value" explore the reasons consumers choose particular products and provide marketers with ways to analyze consumer behavior and influence purchasing. Studying the value of consumption is believed to have diagnostic value in the analysis of consumer choice behavior and, therefore, is helpful in improving the efficiency of the market. To enhance efficiency and promotion, it is essential for marketers to know the consumption value that buyers place on products.

Tzu-Fang Yeh and Li-Chun Huang from Da-Yeh University in Changhua, Taiwan, and National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, recently published a research report in the American Society of Horticultural Science journal HortTechnology The study's objective was to identify the consumption value that consumers seek from floral products, while clarifying the context of these values.

Men and women from three main cities in Taiwan were sampled to represent a population living an urban lifestyle. To compare differences in the consumption values, both genders of consumers from rural areas also participated in the survey. From a consumer survey of 33 questions, 644 valid questionnaires were analyzed.

The scientists discovered that "the statistical results of the analysis revealed that sensory hedonics, emotion conditioning, curiosity fulfillment, monetary worth, and showing care to others were the main types of the consumption values correlation to floral products".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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