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April 5, 2006, 11:40 PM CT

Calorie Restriction Reduces Markers Of Aging

Calorie Restriction Reduces Markers Of Aging Research suggests that sticking to a low-calorie diet may help humans live longer.
Can eating a low-calorie yet nutritionally balanced diet extend human life as it does in rodents? Preliminary research suggests it might, so scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are launching a long-term study to find out.

More than a decade ago several researchers, including John O. Holloszy, M.D., professor of medicine at Washington University, demonstrated that stringent and consistent caloric restriction increased the maximum lifespan in mice and rats by about 30 percent and protected them against atherosclerosis and cancer.

Human study has been difficult because calorie restriction requires a very strict diet regimen, both to keep the total number of calories low and to insure that people consume the proper balance of nutrients. However, there is a group called the Calorie Restriction Society that is devoted to limiting caloric intake in hopes of improving health and extending lives. Society members, who call themselves CRONies (Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition), have developed ways to eat low calorie/high nutrition diets.

Luigi Fontana, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Washington University and an investigator at the Istituto Superiore di Sanita in Rome has done extensive research with CRONies, most recently reporting in the Jan. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that the hearts of people on calorie restriction appeared more elastic than those of age- and gender-matched control subjects. Their hearts were able to relax between beats in a way similar to the hearts of younger people.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 5, 2006, 11:36 PM CT

Cohabiting Is Bad For Women's Health

Cohabiting Is Bad For Women's Health
WOMEN eat more unhealthy foods and tend to put on weight when they move in with a male partner, as per a new report by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Conversely, a man's diet tends to become healthier when he starts cohabiting with a female partner - and her influence has a long-term positive impact.

The reason for the change in dietary habits, say experts, is that both partners try to please each other during the 'honeymoon period' at the start of a cohabiting relationship, by adjusting their routine to suit their partner and eating food that he or she likes.

However, women have the strongest long-term influence over the couple's diet and lifestyle, mainly because the majority of female partners still assume the traditional role of food shopper and cook.

The report, by Newcastle University's Human Nutrition Research Centre, is reported in the health professional title Complete Nutrition.

It reviews the findings of a variety of research projects from the UK, North America and Australia which looked at the eating and lifestyle habits of cohabiting heterosexual couples, including married couples.

The research shows that women are more likely to put on weight and increase their consumption of foods high in fat and sugar when they move in with their partner. Men, conversely, report a reduction in 'bad foods' when they begin to cohabit, reducing fat and sugar and increasing consumption of vegetables.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 5, 2006, 11:07 PM CT

New 'wrinkle' In Botox Treatment

New 'wrinkle' In Botox Treatment
There may soon be a better way to fight unsightly wrinkles. Researchers have discovered a novel way to increase the potency of botulinum neurotoxin treatments - commonly known as Botox - that they say could one day allow patients to receive the injections less frequently while maintaining or even enhancing its cosmetic benefits.

By allowing lower doses, the new approach could also make the treatment safer by reducing the risk of complications associated with immune system recognition that can sometimes occur with frequent injections, according to scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. Smaller, more potent doses may even lead to lower prices for the popular wrinkle-remover, the researchers say. Their study is published in the March 29 issue of the weekly Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Although popular for removing wrinkles, Botox is also used to treat a growing number of other conditions, including migraine headaches, lazy eyes and excessive sweating. It is developed from the botulinum neurotoxin, the most lethal poison known and a potential bioterrorist weapon. In a medical setting, small doses of a purified version of the toxin block the release of a chemical (acetylcholine) that signals muscle contraction, resulting in a localized, temporary paralysis that erases wrinkles and unwanted muscle spasms.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 5, 2006, 10:54 PM CT

Fish Oil May Protect Against Retinal Diseases

Fish Oil May Protect Against Retinal Diseases
A invited paper published in Trends in Neuroscience this week by Nicolas G. Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, reports on the role that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil play in protecting cells in the retina from degenerative diseases like retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of loss of vision in those older than 65. The paper is titled, Cell survival matters: docosahexaenoic acid signaling, neuroprotection and photoreceptors.

In these blinding eye diseases, photoreceptor cells (rods and cones) degenerate and die. Eventhough this process can be triggered by a number of different things, one of the most significant protective factors may be the close association of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and the amount of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in them. The main role of RPE cells is photoreceptor maintenance-they conduct the daily shedding, internalization, and degradation of the tips of the photoreceptor outer segments. It now appears that RPE cells are also key to the survival of photoreceptor cells.

Both photoreceptor and RPE cell types are normally exposed to potentially damaging factors such as sunlight and high oxygen tension.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source

April 5, 2006, 10:09 PM CT

Low Self-esteem At Age 11 Predicts Drug Dependency At 20

Low Self-esteem At Age 11 Predicts Drug Dependency At 20
Every parent worries that his or her child may turn to drugs, or worse, become dependent on them, and a new Florida State University study indicates that parents of boys who have very low self-esteem and have friends who approve of drug and alcohol use may have good cause to worry.

FSU sociology professors John Taylor and Donald Lloyd, along with University of Miami professor emeritus George Warheit, found that low self-esteem and peer approval of drug use at age 11 predicted drug dependency at age 20. The scientists came to that conclusion after analyzing data from a multiethnic sample of 872 boys collected over a period of nine years. The study was reported in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse.

"Low self-esteem is kind of the spark plug for self-destructive behaviors, and drug use is one of these," Taylor said. "It's a fundamental need to have a good sense of self. Without it, people may become pathologically unhappy with themselves, and that can lead to some very serious problems."

Children with very low self-esteem, or what the scientists called self-derogation, were 1.6 times more likely to meet the criteria for drug dependence nine years later than other children. The scientists also found that early drug use is an important risk factor in drug dependence. The odds of drug dependence among early drug users were 17.6 times greater than among those who had not tried drugs by age 13. Put another way, 37 percent of those who reported using drugs at age 13 later met criteria for drug dependence compared to only 3 percent of those who had not tried drugs by 13.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 5, 2006, 9:55 PM CT

Is Cancerm An Inflammatory Disease?

Is Cancerm An Inflammatory Disease?
The biological processes underlying diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer are fundamentally linked, and should be linked in how they are treated with drugs, a series of MIT studies indicates.

Key to the work: The scientists applied an engineering approach to cell biology, using mathematical and numerical tools normally associated with the former discipline.

In a series of three papers, the latest of which appeared in the March 24 issue of Cell, Professors Douglas A. Lauffenburger, Peter K. Sorger and Michael B. Yaffe, all members of MIT's Center for Cancer Research, led a team of researchers and engineers in looking at how cells make life-or-death decisions. Understanding what tips a cell toward survival or death is key to treating diseases and fighting cancer through radiation, drug treatment and chemotherapy.

The scientists looked at tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a substance produced by the immune system that promotes cell death, and two prosurvival hormones, epidermal growth factor (EGF) and insulin. TNF and EGF induce conflicting prosurvival and prodeath signals, and the "crosstalk" between these signals is not well understood. The MIT studies provide the first big picture of how these two key factors interact in time and space.

The studies uncovered a surprising link between inflammatory diseases and cancer that may change how these diseases are treated in the future.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 4, 2006, 10:55 PM CT

US Tuberculosis Cases At An All-time Low

US Tuberculosis Cases At An All-time Low
The latest national surveillance data show that tuberculosis (TB) rates reached an all-time low in the United States in 2005, but progress to eliminate TB is slowing.1 Furthermore, the increasing occurrence of drug-resistant TB, including extensively drug-resistant cases, presents significant challenges to therapy and control of the disease both in the United States and abroad.

TB Rate Declines Nationwide

A total of 14,093 TB cases were published in the United States in 2005, down from 14,516 cases in 2004. The 2005 national TB case rate - 4.8 cases per 100,000 persons - was the lowest since reporting began in 1953. However, the decline of 3.8 percent in the national TB case rate from 2004 to 2005 was one of the smallest declines in more than a decade.

Increase in Multi-Drug Resistant TB Presents Serious Challenges

At the same time, persons with multi-drug-resistant (MDR) TB - TB that is resistant to at least two first-line therapies (isoniazid and rifampin) -- increased 13.3 percent in the United States from 2003 to 2004, the most recent years for which those data are available. This was the largest single-year increase in MDR TB since 1993.

MDR TB, which is difficult and costly to treat, and can be fatal, now accounts for 1.2 percent of all TB cases for which drug-susceptibility data are available. Closely following MDR TB trends in the coming years will be critical in determining whether the 2005 increase represents a nationwide trend, and in understanding the implications of resistance for TB therapy and control.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source

April 4, 2006, 10:45 PM CT

Benefits And Harms Of Cesarean Deliveries

Benefits And Harms Of Cesarean Deliveries
Soon-to-be mothers and their clinicians need to thoughtfully consider the positive and negative outcomes, for both mothers and babies, of cesarean delivery on maternal request, as per a new report by scientists at the RTI International-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (RTI-UNC) Evidence-based Practice Center. Cesarean delivery on maternal request is a procedure done when no factors, for either the mother or the infant, make it medically necessary, and the number of such procedures, like cesarean deliveries generally, appears to be increasing.

The report finds no major differences in results between a first-time cesarean delivery at the mother's request and a planned vaginal delivery. The authors caution, however, that the evidence is too weak to warrant a firm conclusion that absolutely no differences exist between the cesarean and the vaginal options. For example, available data often does not distinguish between cesarean deliveries done at the request of the mother and other planned cesareans performed for factors such as breech presentation.

The report, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), provides for the first time a comprehensive framework through which health-care professionals and their patients can better understand the tradeoffs in potential benefits and risks between planned cesarean delivery and planned vaginal delivery. Key maternal outcomes studied include bleeding, infection, surgical complications, urinary incontinence and length of hospital stay. Important neonatal outcomes include breathing problems and birth trauma.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source

April 4, 2006, 10:41 PM CT

Americans Engage In Unhealthy Behaviors To Manage Stress

Americans Engage In Unhealthy Behaviors To Manage Stress
Americans engage in unhealthy behaviors such as comfort eating, poor diet choices, smoking and inactivity to help deal with stress, as per a new national survey released recently. People experiencing stress are more likely to report hypertension, anxiety or depression and obesity. In particular, women report feeling the effects of stress on their physical health more than men. The survey results seem to tie in with what research shows, that 43 percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. Given the potential health complications correlation to stress, it is fair to say stress certainly is a health problem in America.

The survey, conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) in partnership with the National Women's Health Resource Center and, looked at how people deal with stress and its effect on mind/body health among women and men.

Comfort Eating and Poor Diet Choices.

As per the survey findings, one in four Americans turns to food to help alleviate stress or deal with problems. Comfort eaters report higher levels of stress than average and exhibit higher levels of all the most common symptoms of stress, including fatigue, lack of energy, nervousness, irritability, and trouble sleeping. Comfort eaters are also more likely than the average American to experience health problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In addition, 65 percent of comfort eaters characterize themselves as somewhat or extremely overweight and are twice as likely as the average American to be diagnosed with obesity.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 4, 2006, 10:34 PM CT

Peer Exclusion Among Children Results In Reduced Classroom Participation

Peer Exclusion Among Children Results In Reduced Classroom Participation
Children who are excluded from activities by their peers are more likely to withdraw from classroom activities and suffer academically, as per a recent study in the Journal of Educational Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

A longitudinal study, conducted over a five-year period following 380 students from age 5-years old to 11-years old, found that children who are rejected by their peers have more trouble engaging in school activities than children who are not rejected by their peers. This kind of rejection can increase the likelihood that children are victimized or excluded by peers and impair a child's ability to interact with other children, participate in classroom activities and participate in the social context of the classroom. It can result in long-term maladjustment that may endure throughout a child's school years.

Despite the recent emphasis that has been placed on bullying and victimization in school children," exclusion, eventhough not as visible as verbal or physical forms of abuse, may be especially detrimental to children's participation in a number of school activities," said lead author Eric Buhs, Ph.D., of the University of Nebraska. Relative to other types of peer relationships, peer group rejection appeared to be one of the strongest predictors of a child's likely or unlikely success in academics. Those children who suffered rejection were more likely to avoid school and were less engaged in the classroom setting." Once children experience this kind of maltreatment or rejection from their peers, they avoid most classroom peer activities," added Dr. Buhs.........

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. Archives of health news blog

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