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March 19, 2007, 5:12 AM CT

Americans still not eating enough fruits and vegetables

Americans still not eating enough fruits and vegetables
"Eat your vegetables" has been heard at the dinner tables of America for a long time. Has the message gotten through? Since 1990 the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommended consuming at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables daily. However, two studies reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine clearly show that Americans are not meeting the mark. This is a serious public health concern because consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables is linked to decreased risk of obesity and certain chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Scientists from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research in Baltimore analyzed NHANES data (National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys) to determine trends over time for fruit and vegetable consumption among American adults. The answers are not encouraging. Despite campaigns and slogans, Americans have not increased their consumption, with 28% and 32% meeting USDA guidelines for fruits and vegetables, respectively, and less than 11% meeting the current USDA guidelines for both fruits and vegetables.

The study included 14,997 adults (18 years) from 1988 to 1994 and 8,910 adults from 1999 to 2002 with complete demographic and dietary data. Approximately 62% did not consume any whole fruit servings and 25% of participants reported eating no daily vegetable servings. There was no improvement in Americans fruit consumption during this period and there was a small decrease in vegetable intake.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 19, 2007, 5:10 AM CT

Smart Therapies For Breast, Ovarian Cancer

Smart  Therapies For Breast, Ovarian Cancer
New non-toxic and targeted therapies for metastatic breast and ovary cancers may now be possible, thanks to a discovery by a team of scientists at the University of British Columbia.

In a collaboration between UBC stem cell and cancer scientists, it was observed that a protein called podocalyxin which the scientists had previously shown to be a predictor of metastatic breast cancer changes the shape and adhesive quality of tumour cells, affecting their ability to grow and metastasize. Metastatic cancer is invasive cancer that spreads from the original site to other sites in the body.

The discovery demonstrated that the protein not only predicted the spread of breast cancer cells, it likely helped to cause it. The findings were recently published online by the Public Library of Science.

"We believe weve found a new important culprit in metastatic breast cancer, which opens up an entirely new avenue of cancer research," says Calvin Roskelley, an associate professor of cellular and physiological science who specializes in breast cancer and is co-senior principal investigator. "The culprit is hiding in plain sight on the surface of tumour cells, so we are now developing "smart" molecules to block its function. The ultimate goal is to generate new targeted, non-toxic therapys very different from the standard slash and burn chemotherapy".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 15, 2007, 9:02 PM CT

Masculinity Can Aid Recovery from Serious Injuries

Masculinity Can Aid Recovery from Serious Injuries
For years, experts have said that the strong, silent male is not one to ask for help when he's hurt, and therefore at a disadvantage when it comes to getting better. But new research says this might not be completely accurate. This masculine identity often linked to men in the armed forces and other high-risk occupations may actually encourage and quicken a man's recovery from serious injuries, says a new exploratory study from the University of Missouri-Columbia. The study is the first to quantitatively confirm correlations between masculinity and men's recovery.

The study assessed men's conformity to masculine roles and included a longitudinal component in which their level of improvement in functioning was assessed. It observed that men with higher masculinity conformity levels were observed to display greater improvement from initial hospitalization to one year after leaving the hospital.

Though more studies are needed, Glenn Good, associate professor of educational, school and counseling psychology in MU College of Education, said the study provides some unexpected findings. Prior studies have generally observed that more traditional views of masculinity are barriers toward health and recovery, in that it encourages dangerous activities and discourages men from seeking help with their problems or accepting vulnerability.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 15, 2007, 8:56 PM CT

Cellular 'SOS' signal in response to UV skin damage

Cellular 'SOS' signal in response to UV skin damage
New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine has identified two proteins that may help protect against skin cancer.

The study, which appears in the advance online edition of the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, indicates that two proteins, named Timeless and Tipin, form a complex that regulates the rate at which DNA is replicated after exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Ultraviolet radiation in sunlight damages the DNA in skin cells. If left unrepaired by the cell, this damage can turn into mutations that lead to cancer. Before cells divide, they must replicate, or copy, their DNA to form new daughter cells. If damage in the DNA is discovered even after the cell has given a "go-ahead" to replicate its DNA, the Timeless/Tipin complex sends a signal throughout the nucleus of the cell to slow the rate of replication. This slowdown may give the cell additional time to repair its DNA and potentially save itself from becoming malignant or from dying in response to ultraviolet radiation.

"What we discovered here was that the cell can send out an additional SOS and slow DNA replication even after it has begun," said Dr. William Kaufmann, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


March 15, 2007, 6:34 PM CT

Residency match results for internal medicine

Residency match results for internal medicine
Results of the 2007 National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) show that the number of medical students choosing internal medicine residencies stayed about the same in comparison to 2006. The 2,680 American medical students entering categorical internal medicine training programs was similar to the 2,668 figure from last year. The American College of Physicians (ACP) says these numbers further underscore the need to redesign internal medicine training and fundamentally change the way that primary care is organized, delivered, financed and valued.

ACP has cautioned that unless there is an increase in the number of medical students choosing internal medicine careers, there will not be enough internists to care for an aging population, which will result in lower-quality care, diminished access to care, higher costs, and decreased patient satisfaction. ACP-proposed reforms call for a patient-centered health care system that builds upon the relationship between patients and their primary and principal care physicians. This model of health care delivery has been proven to result in better quality, more efficient use of resources, reduced utilization, and higher patient satisfaction. ACP also calls for a redesign of training in internal medicine to ensure that tomorrow's internists meet the challenges of both an expanding body of medical knowledge and a rapidly evolving system of health care delivery.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 15, 2007, 6:28 PM CT

Video Games Improve Vision

Video Games Improve Vision
As per a new study from the University of Rochester, playing action video games sharpens vision. In tests of visual acuity that assess the ability to see objects accurately in a cluttered space, game players scored higher than their non-playing peers.

"Action video game play changes the way our brains process visual information," says Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. "After just 30 hours of training, people who normally don't play video games showed a substantial increase in the spatial resolution of their vision, meaning they could see small, closely packed letters more clearly."

Most of the factors that affect a normal person's ability to read an eye-chart are optical (size of the eye, the shape/thickness of the cornea and lens) and video games will not change those factors. However, there are some types of visual deficits that aren't optical in nature but are instead neural. "It is our hope that video game training can help these people," says Bavelier.

Only certain games create this effect; first-person action games. Shooting games, such as Unreal Tournament, improved vision. More sedate games, such as the puzzle game Tetris, showed no effect. "When people play action games, they're changing the brain's pathway responsible for visual processing," says Bavelier. "These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it. That learning carries over into other activities and possibly everyday life".........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


March 15, 2007, 6:25 PM CT

Poliovirus To Destroy Neuroblastoma Tumors

Poliovirus To Destroy Neuroblastoma Tumors
The cause of one notorious childhood disease, poliovirus, could be used to treat the ongoing threat of another childhood disease, neuroblastoma. In the March 15 issue of Cancer Research, scientists from Stony Brook University report that an attenuated -- or non-virulent -- form of poliovirus is effective in obliterating neuroblastoma tumors in mice, even when the mice had been previously vaccinated against the virus.

By its nature, poliovirus destroys the cells it infects in an attempt to replicate copies of itself. When released from the cells it kills, the replicated particles then attack surrounding cells. The Stony Brook scientists took advantage of this viral property by injecting a stable, attenuated strain of poliovirus directly into neuroblastoma tumors transplanted into 12 mice engineered to contract polio. The virus was able to destroy tumors in all 12 mice; however tumors reoccurred in two mice by the end of the 180-day study period.

None of the mice experienced any ill effects from the virus itself. As per the researchers, any viral particles that make it to the bloodstream would be destroyed by antibodies created through poliovirus vaccination. The scientists think that their findings, if developed to work in humans, could represent a safe, practical means of treating a deadly childhood cancer and possibly a number of other cancers in adults.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 15, 2007, 6:23 PM CT

Soy Protects Against Prostate Cancer

Soy Protects Against Prostate Cancer
The largest study examining the relationship between the traditional soy-rich Japanese diet and development of prostate cancer in Japanese men has come to a seemingly contradictory conclusion: intake of isoflavone chemicals, derived largely from soy foods, decreased the risk of localized prostate cancer but increased the risk of advanced prostate cancer.

The prospective study of 43,509 men, reported in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, suggests that the effects of isoflavones on prostate cancer development may differ as per disease stage, say scientists at the National Cancer Center in Japan.

One possible explanation is that isoflavones may delay the progression of latent prostate cancer only; once tumors lose estrogen-receptor beta expression and become aggressive, isoflavones may fail to protect against the development of advanced cancer, and might even increase the risk of progression, possibly by reducing serum testosterone, scientists say. It is also possible that advanced and localized prostate cancer may be different tumor subtypes, which may react differently to isoflavones.

"The present findings provide no clear understanding of when or how localized cancer will develop to aggressive cancer, and of the related effect of isoflavones," said the study's first author, Norie Kurahashi, M.D., of the Epidemiology and Prevention Division of the National Cancer Center.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


March 15, 2007, 6:21 PM CT

Why do you Bleed during endoscopy?

Why do you Bleed during endoscopy?
Does an aspirin-a-day increase the risk of bleeding during invasive diagnostic procedure? This is an important concern for a number of patients who take these and other antiplatelet agents in an effort to reduce heart attacks or strokes. Scientists at the MUHC have shown that antiplatelet drugs do not contribute to post-endoscopic bleeding. Their findings appear in this month's issue of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

"Clinical guidelines for use of antiplatelets during these procedures have been ambiguous," says Dr. Alan Barkun, MUHC Chief of Gastroenterology. "Some suggest withholding or stopping these medications ten days previous to the endoscopic procedure. Others will not perform the procedure if the patient was taking antiplatelet agents. In some cases this could have serious negative clinical implications. Our findings show that these precautionary measures are not necessary".

Barkun and colleagues, including Nadeem Hussain, a physician at the University of Western Ontario, compared the use of antiplatelets in patients who experienced bleeding with those who did not. Out of 126 endoscopy patients, they demonstrated that exposure to antiplatelets was not significantly linked to post procedure bleeding.

"Approximately 70 percent of individuals over the age of 65 are taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or aspirin regularly. Our findings show that withholding these is not necessary for patients undergoing therapeutic endoscopic procedures," adds Dr. Barkun, a professor of medicine at McGill University. "This will also help ease any potential worry patients coming in for their screening colonoscopy exams may have. It is indeed important that individuals at risk for developing colorectal cancer come in for their procedures."........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


March 14, 2007, 10:23 PM CT

Obesity high among Baltimore's homeless

Obesity high among Baltimore's homeless
A small but telling study from the Johns Hopkins Childrens Center reveals an ominous trend: more than expected, obesity shadows Baltimores homeless children and their caregivers, putting them at high risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions.

Not long ago, homeless people were undernourished. Our study shows the pendulum has swung the other way: Obesity might be the new form of malnutrition among the homeless, says lead author Kathleen Schwarz, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Childrens Center. More disturbing, it appears that being both poor and homeless may increase ones obesity risk.

The study, reported in the recent issue of the online journal Medscape General Medicine, looked at 60 children, ages 2 to 18, and 31 caregivers recruited from eight homeless shelters in Baltimore. Nearly half of the children (25 out of 60) were either overweight or at risk for becoming overweight. Children with weight in the 85th to 95th percentile for their age are considered at risk, while those with weight above the 95th percentile are classified as overweight. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control does not use the term obese for children. Compared with children nationally, Baltimores homeless poor had a higher percentage of at-risk or overweight children, pointing to homelessness as an added risk.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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