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June 18, 2006, 6:10 PM CT

Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping Boosts Iron in Infants

Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping Boosts Iron in Infants
Just a two-minute delay in clamping a baby's umbilical cord can boost the child's iron reserves and prevent anemia for months, report nutritionists at the University of California, Davis.

Iron deficiency is a concern for both wealthy and poor nations. It is a problem especially in developing countries, where half of all children become anemic during their first year, putting them at risk of serious developmental problems that may not be reversible, even with iron therapys.

Results of the study, conducted by UC Davis nutrition professor Kathryn Dewey and nutrition graduate student Camila Chaparro at a large obstetrical hospital in Mexico City, will be published June 17 in the British medical journal The Lancet.

"By simply delaying cord clamping for this brief time, we can provide the infant with the extra blood, and the iron it contains, from the placenta," said Dewey, an expert in maternal and infant nutrition. "This is an efficient, low-cost way to intervene at birth without harm to the infant or the mother".

She noted that eventhough iron deficiency is a greater problem in developing countries, it is also a serious issue in industrialized nations like the United States, especially for low-income and minority families and in lower birth-weight infants or babies born to iron-deficient mothers.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


June 18, 2006, 6:06 PM CT

Vegetables May Reduce Hardening Of Arteries

Vegetables May Reduce Hardening Of Arteries
New research suggests one reason vegetables may be so good for us - a study in mice found that a mixture of five common vegetables reduced hardening of the arteries by 38 percent compared to animals eating a non-vegetable diet. Conducted by Wake Forest University School of Medicine, the research is published in the current issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

"While everyone knows that eating more vegetables is supposed to be good for you, no one had shown before that it can actually inhibit the development of atherosclerosis," said Michael Adams, D.V.M., lead researcher. "This suggests how a diet high in vegetables may help prevent heart attacks and strokes."

The study used specially bred mice that rapidly develop atherosclerosis, the formation on blood vessel walls of fatty plaques that eventually protrude into the vessel's opening and can reduce blood flow. The mice have elevated low-density lipoprotein ( LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, which is also a risk factor for atherosclerosis in humans.

Half of the mice in the study were fed a vegetable-free diet and half got 30 percent of their calories from a mixture of freeze-dried broccoli, green beans, corn, peas and carrots. These five vegetables are among the top-10 vegetables in the United States based on frequency of consumption.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


June 18, 2006, 6:00 PM CT

Is It Safe To Swim After Eating?

Is It Safe To Swim After Eating?
Is it necessary to avoid swimming for three hours after a meal? "It all depends on what you've eaten," says Marielle Ledoux, a professor in the Department of Nutrition at Universite de Montreal.

"If you've had a light meal with no alcohol, there's no point in waiting that long. But if you've eaten steak or poutine, you should really wait a few hours."

The reason is simple, as per Ledoux. "Foods that are rich in fat are harder to digest than carbohydrates. It takes more oxygen to metabolize them, so they aren't as good a source of energy for physical activity".

Ledoux is a sports medicine specialist with a rare combination of expertise in both nutrition and physical education. She notes that muscle cramping is not caused by swimming in particular, but by any physical exertion. "However, if you have cramps in the water, it can be a catastrophe".

Parents may keep their children out of the water after a meal because of a false belief that there's a link between digestion and fainting while swimming. Ledoux explains that the real cause of fainting in the water is the heart's reaction to the shock of the cold water on very hot skin. It is true that body temperature rises during digestion, increasing the risk of shock, but this can happen even several hours after eating. A lengthy sunbath can have the same result.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 18, 2006, 5:14 PM CT

Laberge Study Shows Benefits Of Exercise

Laberge Study Shows Benefits Of Exercise Suzanne Laberge
Secondary school students who are cramming for final exams this month can improve their concentration by adding physical activity to their schedule, as per a research studydone by a team under the direction of Suzanne Laberge, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Universite de Montreal.

Laberge had modest expectations when she embarked on her research. "The Comite de gestion de la taxe scolaire de l'île de Montreal wanted to know if exercise would boost academic results," she reports. "But since there are thousands of factors affecting success, most importantly socio-economic status, family life, age and life experience, we didn't believe that forty-five minutes of daily exercise would outweigh these overwhelming influences".

Laberge and Paula Bush, whose work on the project constituted her master's research, set up an eighteen-week program of activities, including aerobic dance, martial arts, weight training, team sports and Playstation, for volunteer Secondary Two students at ecole Saint-Germain in Saint-Laurent.

The study found a pronounced positive connection between involvement in the program and the students' ability to pay attention and concentrate. But closer analysis of the findings revealed that the difference was observable only in male students because, Laberge believes, growing teenaged boys need an outlet for their high levels of energy.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 18, 2006, 4:58 PM CT

What Is Standing In My Way?

What Is Standing In My Way?
Would you like to do more physical activity but do not know how to make it a part of your life? This booklet describes some common barriers to physical activity and ways to overcome them. After you read them, try writing down the top two or three barriers that you face. Then write down solutions that you think will work for you. You can make regular physical activity a part of your life!

Can you use any of these ideas to become more physically active?

Personal Barriers

Barrier: Between work, family, and other demands, I am too busy to exercise.

Solutions:

Make physical activity a priority

Carve out some time each week to be active and put it on your calendar. Try waking up a half-hour earlier to walk, scheduling lunchtime workouts, or taking an evening fitness class.

Build physical activity into your routine chores

Rake the yard, wash the car, or do energetic housework. That way you do what needs to get done and move around too.

Make family time physically active........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink


June 18, 2006, 4:54 PM CT

Physical Activity Key To Weight Control

Physical Activity Key To Weight Control
You know that physical activity is good for you. So what is stopping you from getting out there and getting at it? Maybe you think that working out is boring, joining a gym is costly, or doing one more thing during your busy day is impossible. Physical activity can be part of your daily life. This booklet can help you get moving by offering ideas to beat your roadblocks to getting active.

You may know that regular physical activity can help you control your weight. But do you know why? Physical activity burns calories. When you burn more calories than you eat each day, you will take off pounds. You can also avoid gaining weight by balancing the number of calories you burn with the number of calories you eat.

Regular physical activity may also help prevent or delay the onset of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and colon cancer. If you have one of these health problems, physical activity may improve your condition.* Regular physical activity may also increase your energy and boost your mood.

* If you are a man and over age 40 or a woman and over age 50, or have a chronic health problem, talk to your health care provider before starting a vigorous physical activity program. You do not need to talk to your provider before starting an activity like walking.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 18, 2006, 11:08 AM CT

New Drug Target In Tuberculosis

New Drug Target In Tuberculosis Ribbon representation of the structure of the M. tuberculosis protein LipB with bound lipid inhibitor.
Image: Qingjun Ma, EMBL Hamburg
Tuberculosis remains one of the deadliest threats to public health. Every year 2 million people die of the disease, which is caused by the microorganism Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Roughly one third of the world's population is infected and more and more bacterial strains have developed resistance to drugs. Scientists from the Hamburg Outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology (MPIIB) in Berlin have now obtained a structural image of a protein that the bacterium needs for survival in human cells. This image reveals features of the molecule that could be targeted by new antibiotic drugs. The results appear in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS online, 29 May 2006).

M. tuberculosis is dangerous because it hides and persists in the immune cells of our bodies. "It can only persist there because of the activity of key molecules," says Matthias Wilmanns, Head of EMBL Hamburg. "We are investigating the functions of tuberculosis proteins and determining their atomic structures, in hopes of finding weak points and new inhibitors".

A protein called LipB is essential for the organism because it activates cellular machines that drive the bacterium's metabolism. Stefan Kaufmann's department at the MPIIB has specialized in the biology of M. tuberculosis infection and its ability to survive in immune cells. They discovered that LipB is highly active in acutely infected cells, especially in patients infected by multidrug-resistant forms of M. tuberculosis.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


June 18, 2006, 11:05 AM CT

Neuronal Inhibitions

Neuronal Inhibitions
A computer - or any digital system which processes and stores information - knows only two states: "on" and "off". While our brain may not be a computer, the signals of nerve cells can also represent "on" or "off" states, causing the receiving - "post-synaptic" - cells to either propagate the signal or to terminate signal transmission. The orchestrated interplay of stimulating and inhibitory signals is central to the development and functioning of the entire nervous system. If inhibitory neurons are prevented from carrying out their function, this causes major defects early in embryonal development - and these defects can even occur outside the nervous system. These are the results of a study recently published by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Gottingen (Neuron, May 18, 2006).

The most common inhibitory transmitters in the mammalian central nervous system are GABA and glycine. Nerve cells can release GABA or glycine where they contact other nerve cells at junctions called synapses. This typically prevents further signal transmission by the post-synaptic cell.

Most inhibitory nerve cells release either GABA or glycine. However, some inhibitory nerve cells appear to be "bilingual", releasing a mixture of GABA and glycine. These mixed-release cells are most common during nervous system development and seem to be crucial for normal spinal cord growth. For brain researchers, however, they have proven mysterious. Most nerve cells specialise in releasing only one type of neurotransmitter. They use transport proteins to pump the neurotransmitter into vesicles surrounded by a membrane and store it there until release is triggered.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


June 18, 2006, 0:14 AM CT

Coffee and Blood Pressure

Coffee and Blood Pressure
In a long-term study of more than 1,000 men, drinking a daily cup of regular coffee raised systolic pressure (the upper number) by 0.19 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) by 0.27 mmHg. Coffee drinkers also had a greater incidence of high blood pressure (28 percent) than their non-coffee drinking counterparts (19 percent) Ref 1.

There is some evidence from prior studies to suggest that caffeine consumption (present in coffee) increases cortisol stimulation. This may be the cause of increased blood pressure that was seen in coffee drinkers. Caffeine also increases adrenaline levels, which in turn may contribute to the development of high blood pressure Ref 2, 3.

Results of the study, reported in the March 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, also showed that those who drank five or more cups of coffee a day were up to 1.6 times more likely to develop high blood pressure than non-coffee drinkers, eventhough these associations were less significant after the scientists took into account alcohol intake, smoking and other characteristics associated with coffee drinking.

"Overall, coffee drinkers had higher blood pressures than people who did not drink coffee, but there was no set 'dose-response' relationship," says Michael J. Klag, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the study and director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Hopkins. Still, Klag says people who already have hypertension should reduce their coffee intake because other studies have clearly shown that avoiding caffeine-containing drinks can lower blood pressure.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink


June 16, 2006, 0:17 AM CT

Mold Spores Increase Risk For Multiple Allergies

Mold Spores Increase Risk For Multiple Allergies Image courtesy of healthyairusa.com
University of Cincinnati (UC) scientists say exposure to a certain group of fungal spores-abundant in the air that we breathe every day-can make young children more susceptible to developing multiple allergies during the later part of life.

The team found that infants who were exposed to basidiospores and other airborne fungal spores-specifically penicillium/aspergillus and alternaria-early in life were more likely to develop allergies to mold, pollen, dust mites, pet dander and certain foods as they grew older.

This is the first study to show a relationship between specific airborne fungal spores and an increased risk for multiple allergies in children, the UC team reports in an upcoming edition of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology and an early online edition June 14.

A fungus is a plantlike organism that grows by releasing tiny reproductive cells (spores) into the air. Mold is a type of fungus that can grow on any moist surface-including wood, drywall and cement.

Prior allergy studies focused on visible mold or total mold concentrations, not the identification of specific airborne fungal spores. The UC-led study showed that exposure to specific airborne fungal spores may increase allergic reactions and others could help reduce them.

These findings reinforce the idea that not all fungi are created equal, says Tiina Reponen, PhD, professor of environmental health at UC and corresponding author on the study.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         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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