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November 30, 2018

Flu shot may be good for your heart

Rolling Pebbles : Flu shot may be good for your heart
Curtesy of Ambro/
Update :
It's not clear how flu shots might protect the heart. One leading theory is that flu inflections launch an inflammatory response throughout the body.
That inflammation may dislodge plaque that has built up in the walls of arteries as a normal function of aging - plaque deposits that have otherwise been stable for decades but that suddenly burst, squeezing off blood supply to the heart.
Recent studies have shown that people have a higher risk of heart attack, congestive heart failure or stroke in the first days or week after coming down with flu.

As always each story has two sides. Pro and anti vaccination. Soon we will publish an article outlining the other point of view. Meanwhile feel free to tell us your comments on the flu shots 

This time of year, people are rolling up their sleeves to get flu shots and avoid seasonal sniffles. And new research suggests the flu vaccine may also help prevent strokes and heart attacks.
The research was presented  at the 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Toronto.
Dr. Jacob Udell, a cardiologist at Women’s College Hospital, and the researchers pored over published clinical trials on the flu dating back to the 1960s. But only four studies, done between 1994 and 2008, met their scientific criteria.
Those four studies included 3,227 participants, half of whom suffered from heart disease. Half of all the participants received a flu shot and the remainder were given a placebo vaccine.
A year later, the group who had received the vaccine experienced 50% fewer major cardiac events — heart attack, stroke or cardiac death — compared with those who’d received a placebo. There was also a 40 per cent reduction in death from any cause among those who had received the flu vaccine.
The statistics are “pretty profound,” said Udell, also a scientist at the University of Toronto.

Unlocking the Mysteries of Hair Growth

Have you ever wondered why hair grows on some parts of your body, but not others?
New research offers a possible explanation. Scientists found that hairless skin secretes a protein that blocks a signaling pathway (WNT) that controls hair growth.
Called Dickkopf 2 (DKK2), the protein is found in specific embryonic and adult tissues and has a variety of functions, the University of Pennsylvania researchers explained.
They found that plantar skin from mice — similar to the underside of the human wrist — had high levels of DKK2. When they genetically removed DKK2 from the mice, hair began to grow in this normally hairless skin region.
“This is significant because it tells us WNT is still present in hairless regions, it’s just being blocked,” said study co-senior author Sarah Millar, director of the Penn Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-Based Center.
“We know that WNT signaling is critical for the development of hair follicles; blocking it causes hairless skin, and switching it on causes formation of more hair,” Millar said in a Penn news release.
“In this study, we’ve shown the skin in hairless regions naturally produces an inhibitor that stops WNT from doing its job,” she added.
Hair follicles develop before birth. This means that hair follicles don’t regrow after severe burns or deep wounds. The researchers are currently investigating whether secreted WNT inhibitors suppress hair follicle development in such cases.
More than 80 million people in the United States have male- or female-pattern baldness, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Previous research suggests that DKK2 may be associated with this condition, meaning it could be a potential target for treatment.
“We hope that these lines of investigation will reveal new ways to improve wound healing and hair growth, and we plan to continue to pursue these goals moving forward,” Millar said.
The study was published Nov. 28 in the journal Cell Reports.

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