Today’s Headlines: Arthritis, Jet Lag and Wording Diagnoses

Broccoli’s benefits in preventing arthritis: Eat your broccoli! A new study shows that veggies loaded with a certain sulfur-based compound such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower may help prevent osteoarthritis, a painful joint disease that affects an estimated 12.4 million Americans. The researchers found that the compound decreased damage to mouse, cow and human cartilage. “The sulfur-based compound, they say, may be blocking enzymes that contribute to inflammation in cartilage.” The researchers are currently “starting a trial to see if broccoli can protect a small group of arthritis patients getting knee replacement surgery.” (TIME)

Mouse body clock study offers clues to possible jet lag cure: Good news for travelers – “jet lag may become a thing of the past.” Scientists have discovered a genetic mechanism in mice that “hampers their body clock’s ability to adjust to changes in patterns of light and dark.” When scientists blocked the activity of a certain molecule, called SIK1, “mice recovered faster from disturbances in their daily light and dark cycle that had been designed to induce a form of mouse jet lag.” If scientists can prove that a similar process occurs in humans, it may open the door to new jet lag treatments. (Reuters)

Women told they have breast ‘cancer’ more likely to want surgery: A new study shows that the words doctors use when delivering a diagnosis can dramatically impact treatment. The study’s subjects were women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ, which “can be an early form of breast cancer.” However, “in many cases, the tumor never grows beyond the milk duct where it was found,” and immediate surgery may not be necessary. The women were significantly more likely to choose surgery as a treatment option “when they were told they had a type of breast cancer than when the diagnosis was a breast lesion or a group of abnormal cells — even though all three scenarios described the same disease.” (Los Angeles Times)