Rare mutation kills off gene responsible for diabetes: “A new study based on genetic testing of 150,000 people has found a rare mutation that protects even fat people from getting Type 2 diabetes. The effect is so pronounced – the mutation reduces risk by two-thirds – that it provides a promising new target for developing a drug to mimic the mutation’s effect. The mutation destroys a gene used by pancreas cells where insulin is made. Those with the mutation seem to make slightly more insulin and have slightly lower blood glucose levels for their entire lives. Already Pfizer, which helped finance the study, and Amgen, which owns a company whose data played a key role in the research, are starting programs aimed at developing drugs that act like the mutation, the companies said.” (The New York Times)
Women’s health harmed as medical studies miss gender differences: “Scientists continue to neglect gender in medical research, endangering women’s health by focusing on males in studies that shape the treatment of disease,” according to a new report. Animal and human studies tend to use male subjects and when female subjects are included, results are infrequently reported or analyzed by sex. “For example, more women than men die of cardiovascular disease, while only one-third of cardiovascular clinical trial subjects are female and less than one-third of clinical trials that include women report outcomes by sex, according to the report.” Researchers said this pattern is “putting women’s health at risk.” (Chicago Tribune)
Friends common source of abused prescription meds: “Most people who abuse addictive prescription painkillers get them for free from friends or relatives, while drug dealers are a relatively uncommon source for those at highest risk for deadly overdoses, a government study found.” The researchers, who analyzed four years of health surveys on nonmedical pain reliever use, found that “two-thirds of abusers said they used the drugs infrequently and well over half of these users said they got them free from friends or relatives.” Over one in four people who used the drugs daily got them using a prescription from their doctors, and only 15% of the most frequent abusers bought the drugs from dealers or strangers. On average, about one in 20 people over age 12 use prescription opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin for nonmedical purposes. (The Washington Post)
A new study suggests that the DASH diet, which was originally designed to lower blood pressure, may be more effective than the commonly prescribed low-oxalate diet for preventing the formation of kidney stones.
Low-oxalate diets have been recommended for kidney stone prevention because most kidney stones form when oxalate, an organic acid, binds to calcium during urine production in the kidneys. Because oxalate can be found in many nutritious foods, such as kale, almonds, beets and spinach, eliminating oxalate-rich foods can be difficult and restrictive. Moreover, according to the National Kidney Foundation, “eating and drinking calcium and oxalate-rich foods together during a meal may be a better approach than limiting oxalate entirely,” because if oxalate and calcium bind together in the digestive system, they are less likely to result in kidney stones.
According to the CDC, despite the start of some declining numbers the overall flu activity is still above baseline. And as a practicing physician I can attest to that!
But often during this time of the year it is hard to distinguish a common cold from the flu. There are some things that can tip you off. First, colds usually begin gradually with more mild symptoms like sore throats and are less likely to cause high fevers or severe headaches and muscle aches. The main symptoms of a cold tend to be sniffles; runny nose and a wet sounding junky productive cough often from postnasal drip. Flu on the other hand usually hits you suddenly like a freight train with a high fever usually greater than 101-102° F, a bad headache and muscle aches. If there is a cough, it is more likely to be a dry non-productive cough. Most people suspect they have the flu because it wipes you out!
Brazil rocked the nutrition world and made international headlines in recent weeks when it unveiled its new dietary guidelines.
The list earned high marks from nutrition experts for focusing on food – a valuable approach because while the science sets the foundation, at the end of the day people consume food(e.g. an apple) rather than individual nutrients (e.g. fiber or saturated fat). Read more »
Salmon and avocados contain Omega-3 fatty acids that help keep your heart healthy. Enjoy your dose of health in this dish that’s perfect for a refreshing lunch or light dinner. This simple recipe can be made a little more elegant with freshly poached salmon instead of the canned. But canned or fresh, salmon is delightful, refreshing and super healthy, especially in this salad! Get the recipe here.
Whether it makes your skin crawl or whether you’re a habitual knuckle-cracker, nearly everyone has felt (and heard) a joint pop. But could these odd sensations be a sign of a problem? Our viewer Rolando asked us about what causes noisy joints:
Next time you find yourself at a party or wandering the snack aisle at your local grocery store, skip the chips and dip and head for the nuts. A handful of nearly any variety – from walnuts to pistachios – can arm you against chronic disease and add years to your life. In fact, the cities where people eat the most nuts are some of the healthiest. Read on for five more reasons to go nuts for your health.
1. They can keep you slim. Despite being relatively high in calories, nuts can actually help you keep pounds off. In part, that’s because nuts are filled with healthy fats, plant-based protein and dietary fiber – all of which help keep you full and help you curb sugar cravings. Find out more reasons why eating healthy snacks like nuts can help you lose weight, from Sharecare expert Arthur Agatston, MD.
Watching the Winter Olympic games at Sochi, perhaps for some of us, might have been inspiration to get out on the slopes this cold winter season. However, not all of us are trained to know the hazards associated with our favorite winter sports, especially as it relates to our feet and ankles. Here are some ways to protect yourself from injury while enjoying your favorite winter activity:
Ankle sprains/Tendonitis: Skiing, snowboarding, and skating may lead to increased risk for ankle injury. Tendons, ligaments and nerve fibers may all be damaged, which can result in swelling and bruising. Close-fitting ski and skate boots with correctly adjusted bindings (skiing) are helpful in preventing ankle injury. Also, poorly placed blades or blades that are too sharp (especially for beginner skaters) may result in further injury. Read more »
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a major overhaul for nutrition labels that appear on food packaging, highlighting calorie counts and changing serving sizes to more closely match what Americans actually consume.