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October 27, 2015

This common food may trigger painful GOUT attacks!

Courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
GOUT is a type of arthritis, characterized by acute attacks of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint.  This condition is caused by an excess type of arthritis, gout is often characterized by acute attacks of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint.  The condition is caused by an excess of uric acid on the blood, leading to the formation of hard crystals in joints. Tanya Flynn, from the University of Otago (New Zealand), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 2150 New Zealand residents with clinically confirmed gout. Participants were surveyed for their food habits, with 71% reporting that they had one or more to gout food triggers. The researchers then analyzed data collected on 12,722 objects participating in the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) Study, Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), and Framingham Heart Study (FHS).  Data analysis revealed that tomato consumption linked to higher levels of uric acid in the blood.  Writing that:  “the positive association between tomato consumption and serum urate levels suggests that the self-reporting of tomatoes as a dietary trigger by people with gout has a biological basis,” the study authors submit that tomatoes may be the fourth most common gout trigger food, after seafood, alcohol, and red meat.
This finding is important because the list of foods gout provoking  attacks is very long and is very difficult to prioritize one food over another. The researchers were careful to explain that the findings do not suggest that tomatoes cause gout attacks, but rather food has the ability to alter uric acid levels which can contribute to them. Therefore, avoiding tomatoes, for a period of time but not necessarily long-term, may be able to help certain patients dodge gout flares.
The researchers were careful to explain that the findings do not suggest that tomatoes cause gout attacks, but rather food has the ability to alter uric acid levels which can contribute to them. Therefore, avoiding tomatoes, for a period of time but not necessarily long-term, may be able to help certain patients dodge gout flares. - See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/medical-news/tomato-consumption-contributes-to-gout-flares#sthash.4XKkmALa.dpuf
he researchers were careful to explain that the findings do not suggest that tomatoes cause gout attacks, but rather food has the ability to alter uric acid levels which can contribute to them. Therefore, avoiding tomatoes, for a period of time but not necessarily long-term, may be able to help certain patients dodge gout flares.
- See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/medical-news/tomato-consumption-contributes-to-gout-flares#sthash.4XKkmALa.dpuf
he researchers were careful to explain that the findings do not suggest that tomatoes cause gout attacks, but rather food has the ability to alter uric acid levels which can contribute to them. Therefore, avoiding tomatoes, for a period of time but not necessarily long-term, may be able to help certain patients dodge gout flares.
- See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/medical-news/tomato-consumption-contributes-to-gout-flares#sthash.4XKkmALa.dpuf
he researchers were careful to explain that the findings do not suggest that tomatoes cause gout attacks, but rather food has the ability to alter uric acid levels which can contribute to them. Therefore, avoiding tomatoes, for a period of time but not necessarily long-term, may be able to help certain patients dodge gout flares.
- See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/medical-news/tomato-consumption-contributes-to-gout-flares#sthash.4XKkmALa.dpuf
he researchers were careful to explain that the findings do not suggest that tomatoes cause gout attacks, but rather food has the ability to alter uric acid levels which can contribute to them. Therefore, avoiding tomatoes, for a period of time but not necessarily long-term, may be able to help certain patients dodge gout flares.
- See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/medical-news/tomato-consumption-contributes-to-gout-flares#sthash.4XKkmALa.dpuf

October 23, 2015

Hit the sweet spot


500 mL of milk a day hits right balance for little kids


Can there be too much of a good thing when you are talking about little kids and cow's milk? A new study suggests there can.
By imagerymajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
           Can there be too much of a good thing when you are talking about little kids and cow’s milk? A new study suggests there can.
The work, by scientists in Toronto, says that children between the ages of two and five should be drinking half a litre (about  17oz)  or approximately two eight-ounce cups of milk a day.
Less than that and kids may not be getting enough vitamin D, the study suggests. But more than that, and the stores of iron in their blood — which are essential for a developing brain — may start to slip below acceptable levels.
The study was led by Dr. Jonathon Maguire, a pediatrician and researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. It is published in this week’s issue of the journal Pediatrics.
“Cow’s milk is a very important staple in our western diet for children. I don’t want to underestimate the importance of cow’s milk,” Maguire said in an interview about the study.
“Our question was really: Well, how much?”
It’s a query pediatricians face all the time, Maguire said. And they haven’t had a good answer to give because experts are divided on the issue.
Some organizations have argued that young children should consume a litre of milk a day to get the vitamin D they need to build strong bones and avoid rickets, a formerly common bone-softening condition. (Milk is fortified with vitamin D.)
But other groups have warned that children’s consumption of cow’s milk should be curtailed because some studies have shown that kids who drink a lot of milk can have low levels of iron in their blood.
Low iron can lead to anemia, where the body produces too few of the red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body.
“It looks like in children who have iron deficiency severe enough to cause them ... to have anemia, those children have difficulties with their cognitive development. Over time they’re not quite as bright as other children,” Maguire said.
Iron deficiency in young children isn’t uncommon in Canada. While it’s just a guesstimate — Maguire said recent studies haven’t been done — it is believed between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of young children in Canada may have low iron stores.
Given the confusing advice and the fact that milk consumption by preschoolers seems to involve a trade-off between vitamin D and iron, Maguire and some colleagues decided to try to find the sweet spot.
They enrolled 1,311 healthy Toronto children ages two to five in a study, evaluating samples of their blood for vitamin D and iron stores and gathering information from parents about the amount of milk the kids drank.
The researchers found that about 500 millilitres of milk a day for most children was the right amount to have adequate levels of vitamin D and iron.
There was an exception: during winter, children with dark skin didn’t hit the vitamin D target with 500 mL daily. The study suggests in winter children with dark skin may need a vitamin D supplement as well as the milk.
The researchers also saw this previously reported inverse relationship, where more milk consumed meant higher vitamin D levels but lower iron stores.
What’s behind the puzzling interplay? The director of the nutrition and metabolism research program at B.C. Children’s and Women’s Hospitals said little kids who drink a lot of milk often aren’t eating enough solid foods to get the needed amount of iron. (There is little iron in milk.)
Read the whole story here: www.thespec.com

October 13, 2015

Could a breast cancer drug wipe out MRSA in hospitals? Tamoxifen can help the body trap and kill bacteria

Tamoxifen
The breast cancer drug tamoxifen boosts the immune system, and was shown to be effective against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, in lab experiments, according to researchers at the University of California San Diego.
The study's senior author, Professor Victor Nizet, said: 'The threat of multidrug - resistant bacterial pathogens is growing, yet the pipeline of new antibiotics is drying up.
'We need to open the medicine cabinet and take a closer look at the potential infection-fighting properties of other drugs that we already know are safe for patients.

For patients with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer ( or ER+), tamoxifen blocks the receptors, helping make other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation more effective. Researchers focused, however, on the drug's 'off-target effect' on the production of a type fatty molecule called ceramide that enhances the ability of white blood cells called neutrophils to engulf and defeat bacteria.
In the lab, researchers found that neutrophils treated with tamoxifen produced three times more neutrophil extracellular traps, or NETs, a group of proteins, enzymes and peptides neutrophils use to kill bacteria.
The researchers treated mice with tamoxifen to test its ability to boost the immune system. After exposing the rodents to MRSA, another dosage of tamoxifen was given and the mice were monitored for five days. Although none of the control mice live more than a day, about 35 percent of the mice treated with tamoxifen survived for five days. Five times fewer MRSA were found in peritoneal fluid taken from the mice's abdomens.
However, the researchers said that while tamoxifen was effective against MRSA in this study, the outcome may vary with other bacteria.
Several bacterial species have evolved methods for evading NET capture, they said.
Second, in the absence of infection, too many NETs could be harmful.
Some studies have linked excessive NET production to inflammatory disease, such as vasculitis and bronchial asthma, they added.
But lets not forget about  some of Tamoxifen   rather nasty side-effects. Preventing  MRSA from spreading in hospitals in a first place is where the fight again it should be focused on. 

Please check out  another great  posting on this blog  about MRSA here : Measles and 6 Other Nasty Diseases You Should Worry About Catching While Traveling









October 08, 2015

Ever wonder how your mortgage payment is applied?




 Image courtesy of Savatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Ever wonder how your mortgage payment is applied? For each mortgage payment you make, the money is first used to pay the interest on your mortgage loan.
The remaining portion of your payment is then used to reduce the principal, which is the amount that you borrowed from the lender.
In the first years of the mortgage, most of the payment normally goes toward the interest costs. As the mortgage balance decreases over time, more of each payment goes towards paying off the principal.
To reduce your interest costs, some techniques are to increase your monthly payments, make lump sum payments, make accelerated payments (i.e. bi-weekly), or decrease your amortization period.


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