Archive for April, 2012

Vitamin D May Affect Lung Transplant Success

Researchers from Loyola University Health System in Chicago found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase in lung transplant rejection and infections.

HealthDay News


Study: Diabetes, obesity raise breast cancer risk after menopause

Overweight postmenopausal women who had a history of diabetes and high cholesterol faced more than nine times the risk of developing breast cancer as those without the conditions, according to a study in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. Researchers also found overweight women with diabetes and a high ratio of fat to muscle were nearly eight times as likely to develop breast cancer.


High glucose, insulin levels cause fatty deposits in heart

Significantly high blood glucose and insulin levels may be the cause of fatty deposits in the hearts of patients with diabetes, a study in Diabetes indicates. Austrian researchers used MRI and spectroscopy on 18 healthy patients and found that an injection of grape sugar, combined with the resulting release of insulin, overexerted the heart's metabolism and led to visible fatty deposits in the heart within six hours.


Vitamin D supplements could benefit patients with hypertension

A Danish study involving 112 patients with hypertension found that vitamin D supplements could be as effective as drugs in reducing blood pressure. Taking vitamin D supplements daily for 20 weeks significantly reduced patients' central systolic blood pressure and lowered their systolic pressure by 6.8 mmHg and diastolic pressure by 1.7 mmHg. The study was presented at the conference of the European Society of Hypertension.

The Telegraph


Analysis: Food industry’s lobbying drives U.S. nutrition policy

The food industry spends more on lobbying than nutrition advocates do, and it has dominated policymaking in recent years, according to a Reuters analysis of lobbying efforts. Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest said industry push-back led to foot-dragging by the government on tougher food standards.



Changing gut bacteria may help address obesity

French researchers found that mice that received gut bacteria from obesity-prone rats consumed more food, put on more weight and were more obese compared with their counterparts that got the bacteria from obesity-resistant rats. The results, presented at an American Society for Nutrition meeting, suggest altering intestinal bacteria may help reduce the risk of obesity.



Bill seeking stronger FDA oversight of medical devices advances

A Senate panel on Wednesday cleared a bill that would allow the FDA to evaluate the safety of approved medical devices and give conditional approvals dependent on further studies. The measure also would tighten the agency's 510(k) process that permits firms to prove the similarity of their devices to products already approved without needing extensive trials.

Reporter’s Note: Not sure right now if this would help or hinder our efforts. The “conditional approvals” part would likely help; the “tighten the agency's 510(k) process” part might not.

Misery index

Low social status is bad for your health. Biologists are starting to understand why.

The Economist


Drug company attacks European regulatory agencies for rejecting new lupus treatment

Britain's largest drug company has launched a forthright attack on the NHS's drug rationing body, accusing it of blocking innovation after it failed to approve the first new medicine in a decade to treat the disabling condition lupus.

GlaxoSmithKline was unusually critical of the decision by Nice, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, and also the Scottish Medicines Consortium, to reject its drug belimumab (brand name Benlysta) in final draft guidance. The UK's appraisal system, said GSK, was "a fundamental problem.”

LOL — the “fundamental problem” is Benlysta, which according to its own clinical trials doesn’t work well at all & sometimes kills people.

Allergies may actually protect against natural toxins

Allergy season came early this year. Unprecedented warmth this winter caused plants to begin blooming earlier than normal, flooding the air with pollen and triggering fits of sneezing, runny noses, itches and rashes. Scientists have struggled for decades to understand why humans suffer such nasty allergic reactions and why the incidence of allergies — such as to peanuts — seems to be increasing almost exponentially. There still is no good answer, but Yale researchers suggested Wednesday that allergies may be an outgrowth of the way our body protects us from noxious substances in the environment.

LA Times


A Quixotic Quest to Mine Asteroids

A new company backed by two Google billionaires Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, film director James Cameron and other space exploration proponents is aiming high in the hunt for natural resources–with mining asteroids the possible target



Low Brain Activity Seen in Chronic Fatigue

Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome had significantly less activation of the basal ganglia in response to a known stimulus compared with a control group, investigators reported.

MedPage Today

April 2012
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