Dental Care Today: Tooth Decay Higher in Rural Alaska

2011-09-25 / Other / 2 Comments

Tooth Decay Higher in Rural Alaska

According to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services children in rural Alaska are 4.5 times more likely to have severe cavities compared to the national average.

Officials say the two leading factors associated with tooth decay in both kids baby and adult teeth are the lack of water fluoridation and drinking sugary drinks, like soda.

This finding is based on an investigation conducted in 2008 by the CDC and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on childhood dental health in rural Alaska.

The findings also found that children age’s 4 to 5 year olds on villages without fluoridation have a tooth decay rate 2.6 times higher than in villages with fluoridation.

Doctor Tom Hennessy of CDC recommends that villages with water systems set up for fluoridation to have it added to their water. For those villages without running water he says, parents can be sure their kids use toothpaste with fluoride or to have health care providers apply fluoride directly onto their teeth.

Improving dental care

The provincial government hopes to put the bite on dental decay.
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Beginning this fall, preschool children and schoolage children as well as preand post-natal moms in a number of health regions will have increased access to preventive dental care.

Initially, the program will be implemented in schools in those health regions with the greatest need. These include Athabasca, Keewatin Yatthe, Mamawetan Churchill River, Prince Albert/Parkland, Prairie North, Regina Qu’Appelle and Saskatoon Health Regions.

The program will expand to the province’s remaining health regions early in 2012.

“Oral disease is preventable, yet each year approximately 1,800 children under the age of five undergo dental surgery in hospital under general anaesthetic,” Health Minister Don McMorris noted in a news release. “We have committed funding of $1.4 million, through the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative, to improve children’s oral health and reduce the need for surgery by increasing access to dental care, prevention and education.”

The initiative will focus on disease prevention and health promotion and target early childhood tooth decay in at-risk populations. Services will include oral health assessments, referral and followup, fluoride varnish and dental sealants. Oral health assessments will be provided to all preschool children in the province.

Children from six months of age to five years, who are at risk of early childhood tooth decay, will be given two fluoride varnish applications a year. Dental sealants will be offered in a phased-in approach to students attending schools with populations at risk.

Dr. Moira McKinnon, the province’s chief medical health officer, said studies show good oral health can prevent chronic heart disease, diabetes and obesity and reduce infections that can cause severe illness or be life-threatening.

She said evidence shows that poor oral health results in a poor diet and is more conducive to chronic disease.

Cancers of various parts of the mouth, such as the tongue or lip, can also occur when teeth aren’t healthy.

“Healthy teeth are important for the overall health and well-being of an individual for their lifetime and it starts in childhood,” she said.

The enhanced services will include consultations with pre and post-natal mothers to promote good oral health and ensure a healthy pregnancy and healthy development of their baby’s teeth. “It ends up being a good social environment to discuss health issues, but also to create peer support,” McKinnon said.

Dental care should begin right from infancy

Whether you’re a parent, guardian or grandparent, having children means you stay busy and dental health can be easily overlooked due to daily chores. Caring for children’s oral hygiene from birth before the visible growth of teeth is vital.

“Start your child on the way to healthy oral regime even before the appearance of the first baby tooth”, says Dr Ashutosh Sharma BDS, MDS, Specialist Dentist (Paedodontist), Aster Medical Centre, Dubai.

According to Dr Sharma, dental care begins right from infancy, where parents should ensure that the baby’s gums are gently cleaned with soft wet cloth after every feed to prevent any possible bacterial infection. Once the child develops teeth, it is recommended that the teeth are cleaned with a soft toothbrush after every meal.

The oral cavity is a fertile ground for bacteria which thrives mostly on sugar. The bacterial interactions in the oral cavity also generate acidic components that could be harmful to the teeth. “In my practice, I have often seen good dental hygiene is neglected by parents as we often do not understand the damage the acidic formations can do to a child’s teeth. If a regular habit of brushing the teeth is not nurtured among kids, these acidic formations can create cavities across the dental rows which can lead to tooth decay and dental erosion, which would require treatment at a later stage,” the doctor says.

Children’s teeth have thinner enamel than adult teeth and are more susceptible to the bacteria that cause decay. Decay in a baby’s tooth is swift and destructive; it quickly penetrates the enamel, then the dentin, and then infects the nerve.

Dr Sharma says that eatables which contain a high content of sugar, like chocolates, play a large role in dental decay and cavities. “Chocolates will remain ever popular among kids. However, it is very important for the health of their teeth that kids are not given sweets in excess. While we do not believe in denying the child of their favourite treats, we always recommend parents to introduce their children to a balanced diet.” Dr Sharma says.

Feeding infants in bottles can also trigger dental problems, particularly if the kid is allowed to sleep with the feeding bottle in his mouth. Babies should also be discouraged from sucking their thumbs, which is a habit they often pick up in infancy, but must be cut out by the time the child turns one.

“Forming a good routine of brushing teeth twice daily and cleaning them after every meal, regular check-ups with the dentist and a good diet helps in good dental hygiene. With simple care from an early stage, parents can easily ensure a lifetime of happy teeth for their children,” the doctor says.

Metro Dentists Offer Free Dental Care to Those in Need

Foster said with the tough economy, more people are being forced to do without preventive dental care because they can’t afford it.

“¿There is a tremendous need in the community for dental service – people who are out of jobs, people who don’t have insurance,” said the dentist. “It’s just another way to help out and provide some care to people that desperately need it.”

That’s why, for the second year, the Blue Springs dentist is participating in Dentistry from the Heart. He, along with six other community dentists, a slew of dental hygienists and a handful of volunteers will offer free dental work to anyone who needs it during an all-day event Saturday.

“We had a lot of people last year who just wanted a front tooth fixed so they could feel good about applying for a job,” said Dr. Foster.

Over the last ten years, dentistry from the heart has provides $6 million in free dental services to more than 60,000 patients all over the country.

“We’re doing this because we want to help people out,” said the dentist. “We really enjoy being able to do this event to take a day out of our life every year give it away to other people.”

Last year his Blue Springs office spread healthy smiles to 100 people. This year he hopes to do that for at least 101.

Dr. Foster will offer free dental care this Sat., Sept. 24 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at his Blue Springs office at 2150 Northwest South Outer Road. Services are for adults only on a first come, first serve basis. Because the line get long early, his staff recommend that you line up before 8 a.m. For complete details, call: 816-463-9529.

In you can’t make it to Saturday’s event, there are other metro dentists who participate in the Dentistry from the Heart program. Just visit the ‘Events’ page of the site from a list of upcoming free dental days.

Additionally, some health departments and dental universities offer free or reduced cost dental care. Contact your local health department for more information.

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Acne Treatment News: Sanofi aims for acne vaccine in new pact

2011-09-23 / Skin Care / 0 Comments

Sanofi aims for acne vaccine in new pact

Lured by the $3 billion acne treatment market, Sanofi Pasteur has inked a collaboration deal with with the University of California, San Diego to develop an immunological approach to fighting the skin condition.

Current treatments for acne use benzoyl peroxide and oral or topical antibiotics, which the company notes can disrupt the skin’s balance and lead to more resistant forms of the bacteria. The collaboration will attempt to develop a vaccine that will neutralize Propionibacterium acnes factors in inflammation. Financial details of the two-year agreement weren’t disclosed.

“This opportunity could provide an immunotherapeutic product with significant benefits and a novel mechanism of action to address an unmet medical need,” noted Dr. Elias Zerhouni, president of Global R&D, in a release. “This investigational vaccine and treatment may lead to a better solution for the many who suffer from this skin disease.”

Quick Homemade Acne Remedies

Acne is a common skin condition millions struggle with. In order to eliminate zits from our complexion, it is highly recommended to experiment with a few delicate still efficient cleansing techniques.

Using natural ingredients is one way of sparing our complexion from damages caused by chemicals. If you’re ready to make the first step towards a skin-friendly beauty regime, take a closer peek at the quick homemade acne remedies.


Heal your damaged complexion with the help of oatmeal. This natural ingredient has a fabulous cleansing power and can help you remove dirt and free radicals from the depth of skin layers. Apply cooked oatmeal on the affected spots or the whole face and leave the treatment on for 15 minutes. Finally rinse off your face with cold water to close the pores.

Apple Cider Vinegar

It can be a real disaster when a huge zit ruins your party look. In order to soothe the inflammation and reduce swelling use apple cider vinegar.

This natural ingredient has an anti-bacterial effect and can normalize the pH level of your skin. Use a cotton ball to rub a tiny amount of apple cider vinegar into your pimples. Leave the treatment on for 10-12 minutes and finally rinse it off with tepid water.

Cucumber Peel

Use cucumber peel to reduce the inflammation of your skin affected by acne. Rub the juicy peel into your pores and leave the treatment on overnight. In the morning rinse off the treatment with cold water. The dazzling result of your beauty session will be visible right away.

Cinnamon Powder and Lime Juice

Combine a few organic ingredients to prepare soothing facials. In a medium bowl mix cinnamon powder with a tiny amount of lime juice. After you’ve obtained the ideal texture, apply the paste on your zits. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes. Then you can wash the mixture off with tepid water. Citrus fruits and cinnamon have a fabulous anti-inflammatory effect.
Mint Juice and Papaya Juice

Get rid of pimples with the most efficient natural treatment. Mix in a medium bowl 3 tbs of mint juice and the same amount of papaya juice. Use a cotton ball to apply the lotion on your zits. Leave the facial on for 10-12 minutes. Give your pores time to absorb the healing potion. Finish up cleansing your complexion by rinsing off the treatment with warm water.

Lime Juice and Rose Water

Work with organic ingredients which have the power to penetrate into the deepest skin layers and heal your skin from various infections. In a bowl mix 2 tsp of rose water with 2 tsp of lime juice. Apply the lotion on your pimples and give 20 minutes for the facial to exercise its magical effect. When the time is up you can wash off the mixture with lukewarm water.

Introducing X Out(TM) – a New One-Step Anti-Hassle, Anti-Breakout Wash-In Treatment Designed Specifically for Teens

The makers of Proactiv®, America’s No. 1 acne system, announce the debut of X Out(TM), a Wash-In Treatment designed specifically for teens. The new, one-step X Out(TM) acne treatment, is a Wash-In delivery system, designed to wash powerful, acne fighting medicine into the pores and leave it behind to treat blemishes and help kill the bacteria that causes breakouts. X Out(TM) helps banish existing pimples while nourishing skin with a unique moisturizing complex that helps leave the skin feeling smooth and looking healthy. And because it’s tailored to today’s digital- savvy teens, X Out(TM) is the first acne brand with its own entertainment channel to help teens time the suggested two minute wash time. The X Out(TM) Wash-In Treatment is exclusively available at or by calling (800) 996-1971.

“Proactiv has been a leader in acne prevention and treatment for more than 15 years,” said Seth Radwell, Chief Marketing Officer of Guthy-Renker, LLC, the company that markets Proactiv®. “We recognized that we saw an unmet need in the skincare market – some teens need a simple, one-step solution that makes it easy for them to get proven acne treating medicine into their pores to fight acne. Proactiv® revolutionized how acne was treated with the introduction of the 3-step system, and, now with the introduction of X Out(TM) it brings the next big thing – an easy to use Wash-In treatment that addresses the needs of some teens’ who won’t or can’t use a multi-step system.”

No more hassle, no more drama – X Out(TM) incorporates a built-in compliance measure to help teens recognize the recommended two minute wash time for best results and to achieve clear skin. Each bottle of X Out(TM) Wash-In Treatment has a QR code that teens can scan with their Smartphones to be automatically directed to the X Out(TM) Daily Distraction (, where a new two-minute video will be available each day. Whether it’s a video full of fashion tips, sports tricks or straight-up comedy, X Out(TM) teens will be ahead of the class, with continuously updated video content selected just for them, exclusive access to the Daily Distraction and most importantly, blemish-free skin!

The X Out(TM) Wash-In Treatment contains the proven acne fighting power of benzoyl peroxide (8.5%) along with smooth beads to help exfoliate dead skin cells. X Out(TM) is dermatologist tested, non-comedogenic and is paraben and sulfate-free, so it’s suitable for all skin types. X Out(TM) can also be used as a spot treatment by dabbing a small amount on a pimple, or as a 10-minute treatment mask.

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Diabetes Mellitus News: Diabetes Mellitus Cases Hit 366 Million

2011-09-21 / Diabetes / 0 Comments

Diabetes Mellitus Cases Hit 366 Million

The number of people now living with diabetes mellitus has reached 36 million, healthcare experts said at a United Nations meeting Tuesday. According to Reuters, the disease kills one person every seven seconds and poses a “massive challenge” to global healthcare systems.

Of these millions of cases, most have diabetes Type 2—one that is linked to a poor diet, obesity and lack of exercise. The problem is spreading as more and more people worldwide begin to adopt Western lifestyles.

The disease, once contracted, causes diabetics to have inadequate blood sugar control, leading to heart disease and stroke, damage to the kidneys and nerves, and even blindness. According to Reuters, worldwide deaths from diabetes now number at about 4.6 million every year.

“The IDF’s latest Atlas data are proof indeed that diabetes is a massive challenge the world can no longer afford to ignore,” said IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya. “In 2011, one person is dying from diabetes every seven seconds.”

Mbanya recommended more research that would seek to find a way to strengthen global health systems in dealing with the disease. Older classes of diabetes drugs are becoming available, also helping diabetics worldwide manage their condition in a more cost-effective manner.

According to IMS Health, global sales of diabetes medication totaled $35 billion last year alone. By 2015, that number could be $48 billion.

Onglyza reduces blood sugar levels: study

Pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca have announced results from an investigational phase 3b clinical study of use of Onglyza (saxagliptin) in diabetic patients.

The study was based on the addition of Onglyza (saxagliptin) 5mg to ongoing insulin therapy (with or without metformin) to maintain reductions in blood sugar levels (glycosylated hemoglobin levels, or HbA1c) in adult patients with type 2 diabetes compared to the addition of placebo (with or without metformin) from 24 to 52 weeks.
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These results, presented at the 47th European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, are from an extension of a 24-week trial, the results of which were presented at the 71st American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions in San Diego, CA in June 2011.

In the 52-week analysis, change from baseline in HbA1c in patients taking Onglyza 5 mg added to insulin was -0.75% compared to -0.38% for those taking placebo added to insulin, a statement from the company said.

There was also a greater increase from baseline mean daily insulin dose in patients who received placebo compared to patients who received Onglyza 5 mg.

It is unknown whether increased insulin doses by patients in the placebo group could have affected the magnitude of differences seen between the two treatment groups in the efficacy analyses, it said.

The proportion of patients in each treatment group who experienced at least one adverse event over the 52-week treatment period was similar. The most common events included hypoglycemia, urinary tract infection, nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, headache and bronchitis.

“Since many patients with type 2 diabetes will eventually require insulin, it is important to assess a compound’s ability to be used in combination with insulin to manage blood glucose control over the long term,” said Anthony Barnett, MD, University of Birmingham and Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and principal investigator of the study.

“This is the first longer-term study to report that Onglyza 5 mg, used with insulin, maintains improvement in glucose control over 24 to 52 weeks in adult patients with type 2 diabetes”, he said.

In Europe, Onglyza is indicated as a once-daily 5 mg oral tablet dose in adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve glycemic control – in combination with metformin.

When metformin alone, with diet and exercise, does not provide adequate glycemic control; in combination with a sulphonylurea, when sulphonylurea alone, with diet and exercise, does not provide adequate glycemic control in patients for whom use of metformin is considered inappropriate; or in combination with a thiazolidinedione, when the thiazolidinedione alone, with diet and exercise, does not provide adequate glycemic control in patients for whom use of a thiazolidinedione is considered appropriate.

Onglyza is currently not indicated in combination with insulin therapy, the statement said.

In the United States, Onglyza is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve blood sugar (glycemic) control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus in multiple clinical settings.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 Risk Reduced By Regular Exercise: Study

Diabetes mellitus type 2 may be largely preventable, after new research has shown that physical inactivity has a direct impact on a person’s ability to control their blood sugar levels.

University of Missouri researchers showed that after just three days of limiting their physical activity, participants had significantly impaired post-meal glucose control.

However, these changes were reversed after just moderate exercise, Medical Daily reports.

Lead author John Thyfault said, “A single bout of moderate exercise can improve the way the body maintains glucose homeostasis (blood glucose regulation) and reduce post-prandial glucose.”

But he warned that “becoming inactive for a short period of time quickly disrupts glucose homeostasis.”

“This study shows that physical activity directly impacts health issues that are preventable,” Thyfault said, reports Medical Daily.

“Even in the short term, reducing daily activity and ceasing regular exercise causes acute changes in the body associated with diabetes that can occur before weight gain and the development of obesity,” he said.

Due to escalating type 2 diabetes rates, he added that more needs to be done to prevent the condition.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 79 million people in the U.S. suffer from prediabetes.

The condition, which often develops into type 2 diabetes, is characterized by abnormal glucose levels.

The findings suggest that encouraging people to become more physically active may be a good starting point, Medical Daily reports.

“It is recommended that people take about 10,000 steps each day. Recent evidence shows that most Americans are only taking about half of that, or 5,000 steps a day,” Thyfault said.

“This chronic inactivity leads to impaired glucose control and increases the risk of developing diabetes,” he pointed out, Medical Daily reports.

The study, “Lowering Physical Activity Impairs Glycemic Control in Healthy Volunteers,” will be published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Arthritis Treatment News: Novartis’ childhood arthritis drug study achieves primary goal

2011-09-19 / Health News / 0 Comments

Novartis’ childhood arthritis drug study achieves primary goal

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) announced Friday its phase 3 trial for its ACZ885 drug for the treatment of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) has achieved its primary endpoint.

The phase 3, four-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study enrolled 84 children and young adults suffering from SJIA. Each patient was treated with either a single dose of ACZ885, or a placebo.

At the end of the four-week study, 83.7% of patients in the ACZ885 drug group experienced at least a 30% improvement in symptoms, versus 9.8% of patients in the placebo group. Meanwhile, 32.6% of patients in the drug group experienced 100% improvement in symptoms, versus none in the placebo group.

The primary endpoint was a 30% improvement in at least three of the following six variables, the company said: physician’s assessment of disease activity, parent/patient assessment of overall well-being, functional ability, number of joints with active arthritis, number of joints with limited range of motion, and a laboratory measure of the C-reactive protein, an inflammatory agent.

“These data suggest that ACZ885 could become an important treatment option for children living with SJIA, the most difficult-to-treat and severe form of juvenile arthritis, potentially transforming their lives,” said one of the study’s investigators, Professor Pierre Quartier.

“ACZ885 provided rapid and long-lasting symptom relief by targeting interleukin-1 beta, a key inflammatory mediator of the disease.”

Affecting one in every 100,000 children, SJIA is characterized by inflammation affecting the whole body, including most joints. Other symptoms include potentially life-long and recurrent arthritis flares, which can involve skin rash, daily spiking fevers, joint pain, and swelling.

The ACZ885 drug works by inhibiting IL-1 beta, the excessive production of which causes certain inflammatory diseases, like SJIA.

Novartis said its second phase 3 trial of ACZ885, which will determine if the drug can extend the time between arthritic flares and reduce or eliminate corticosteroid use, is ongoing, with results expected to be presented later this year.

Arthritis: What’s truth and what’s myth?

Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis — you probably know that’s an old wives’ tale. Though it could injure ligaments around the joints and lead to weaker grips, there’s no proof every pop puts you one step closer to arthritis — specifically osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) develops when the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in your joints breaks down. The bones then begin to rub against one another, causing pain. OA is the most common form of arthritis, but there’s no cure, so the more you know, the better. Here are three more misconceptions about OA:
Myth: Arthritis is a natural part of aging.
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Yes, it usually appears after age 45. And yes, the older you are, the more wear and tear you have. But not every older adult develops osteoarthritis. Obesity is also a major risk factor — more weight means more stress on lower body joints.
Myth: Meds should be your first line of treatment.

Reduce pain and improve joint function — that’s the goal of osteoarthritis treatment, and medications (from over-the-counter acetaminophen to prescription pain pills) certainly help. But according to the Arthritis Foundation, simply moving your body is the best medicine for OA, and it’s an effective first step. Gentle exercises, such as walking or swimming, help strengthen muscles and bones, increase flexibility and make joints more stable. That’ll also help you lose weight, which will further reduce joint strain.

Myth: Supplements cure joint pain.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two that are reputed to battle osteoarthritis, but an analysis of 10 studies showed these supplements don’t do much to relieve pain associated with knee and hip OA. Another supplement that probably doesn’t work: vitamin D. It has been suggested it can help treat knee OA, but it does not appear to lessen the symptoms or slow its progression.

TNF Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis Boosts Skin Cancer Risk

Treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors appears to increase their risk of developing skin cancer, a new review of prior research indicates.

However, TNF inhibitors, which include infliximab (Remicade), adalimunab (Humira), and etanercept (Enbrel), do not appear to boost the risk for developing other forms of cancer, the researchers added.

The findings stem from an analysis of 21 previous studies conducted between 1998 and 2010, as well as eight study summaries that had been presented at research conferences during the same timeframe. All the studies had focused on the potential for cancer risk in association with the use of standard TNF inhibitors.

“This systematic review and meta analysis provides reassurance to physicians and patients that the treatment of [rheumatoid arthritis] with TNF inhibitors does not increase the risk of malignancy, particularly lymphoma,” the French study team said in a news release from Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, which published the report in its current online issue.

“However, it does appear to increase the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma,” added the French team, led by Prof. Xavier Mariette from Paris-Sud University’s rheumatology service in Ile de France.

The authors noted that RA has previously been shown to increase the risk for developing certain types of cancer, including both lung cancer and lymphoma, while decreasing the risk for other cancers, including bowel and breast.

However, the question of TNF inhibitor treatments as a cancer risk has remained a subject of debate.

All told, the current review looked at a collection of studies involving more than 40,000 patients who had been exposed to nearly 150,000 years of TNF inhibitor drugs.

Seven of the studies indicated no notable risk increase for any type of cancer associated with the use of TNF meds. Another two long-term studies similarly suggested that while RA patients who had previously had cancer faced a higher likelihood for a second bout, TNF treatments alone posed no additional cancer risk.

But four other studies collectively demonstrated that TNF inhibitors boosted the risk for non-melanoma skin cancer by 45 percent. And another two studies suggested that the RA treatment raised the specific risk for developing melanoma by nearly 80 percent.

Dr. W. Hayes Wilson, chief of rheumatology at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, said the findings should help guide physicians on potential RA treatment complications.

“I don’t think this is particularly surprising, given that there’s long been a concern about cancer risk in the back of our minds,” he noted. “And, in fac,t this is somewhat reassuring on the front of solid cancers that there’s nothing to be alarmed about.”

“But while we can perhaps now put aside our worries about other types of cancers, this does give us some indication that we need to be vigilant when it comes to skin cancer,” Wilson added. “And we certainly need to have a high index of suspicion if a patient has a skin abnormality, and make certain that they see their dermatologist.”

Dr. Gott: Ancient treatment uses bees to control pain

Dear Dr. Gott: Do you have any information on “bee sting therapy” for the chronic pain of fibromyalgia?

Dear Reader: This therapy dates back more than 3,000 years in China and involves placing live bees on strategic pressure points of a patient’s body. It is similar to the needles used in acupuncture, but in this instance, the therapy uses stingers to control the pain of diseases such as rheumatism, arthritis, shingles, lupus, herniated discs, MS, diabetes and fibromyalgia. The treatment relies mainly on the poison of the bees, which can help blood circulation, ease pain and reduce inflammation.

Following a sting, adrenal glands produce cortisol, a natural hormone with anti-inflammatory properties. Supposedly the therapy jump-starts the immune system to trigger the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller. Some specialists think a characteristic of the venom is the presence of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, which help heal conditions involving nerve disorders.

Most research and studies have been directed toward managing multiple sclerosis, but that field is expanding to include arthritis and numerous arthritis-related disorders. Of importance is that up to 5 percent of our population is allergic to bees; therefore, patients seeking to use this therapy must always be tested first.

One downside is that some patients simply can’t endure the injections because of the pain involved.

This therapy that has been around for more than 3,000 years is still in its infancy in the United States, and because insufficient research has been documented, the jury is out on whether it is the answer to a more pain-free existence for fibromyalgia and arthritis sufferers.

Dear Dr. Gott: Ever since I was young, I’ve drunk more than others. I’m now in my mid-40s, and it’s not uncommon for me to drink more than a gallon of liquids a day. Almost all of it is water.

There are times now before I go to bed when my mouth gets dry, and I’m thirsty. I know some of my meds cause dry mouth. I have been tested for diabetes because doctors want to rule it out as soon as they hear how much I drink. My blood work is always good, and I wonder if my dry mouth is anything to be concerned about.

Dear Reader: The urge to drink excessive fluids has many potential possibilities other than the diabetes. Heart, liver or kidney failure, specific drugs such as diuretics and anticholinergics, psychogenic polydipsia (excessive thirst), diabetes insipidus (a condition in which the kidneys are unable to conserve water) are a few possibilities. You should eliminate salt from your diet and avoid foods high in sodium.

I recommend you make an appointment with your physician and request additional lab testing to possibly include a CBC with differential, serum calcium level and perhaps more based on your medical history.

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Pain Management News: New treatment offers relief without medicine

2011-09-15 / Other / 0 Comments

New LUMEDX Chest Pain Management Solution Bridges Cardiology and Emergency Medicine

LUMEDX Corporation, a leading provider of fully integrated, cloud-powered cardiovascular imaging and information systems (CVIS), announced the release of the HealthView Chest Pain Management solution. HealthView Chest Pain Management makes pre-hospital electrocardiographs (ECGs/EKGs) instantaneously available to cardiologists for interpretation–and simultaneous comparison with prior ECGs, laboratory information and other patient data. By integrating current and historical information into a single view, the HealthView Chest Pain Management system bridges cardiac and emergency medicine, and transforms emergency cardiac care.

“Chest pain is the cause of about 12 million ED visits a year in the United States,” said LUMEDX Vice President of Strategic Products Praveen Lobo. “The stakes in chest pain management are very high–high for the hospital and high for the patient. For example, it’s very costly to activate a cath lab when a patient presenting symptoms does not, in fact, need a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Resources are wasted. And of course it’s far more costly–and dangerous–to discharge a patient who needs a PCI. So getting the ECG and other clinical information in front of a cardiologist as soon as possible is crucial for successful outcomes and a successful hospital.”

Designed using American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association acute coronary syndrome (ACS) management guidelines, HealthView Chest Pain enables systematic, organized clinical pathways for STEMI, NSTEMI and low-risk chest pain patients. The institution of systematic clinical pathways resolves key problems in the coordination and delivery of care in this high-risk area of medicine.

The HealthView Chest Pain Management solution:

– Integrates pre-hospital ECGs, lab results and other clinical information into a single dashboard view–accessible anytime, anywhere via Web PC, Mac or iPhone.

– Seamlessly connects the ED with the cardiovascular service line for improved patient care.

– Facilitates timely and fully informed decision-making; helps reduce door-to-balloon times and length of stay.

– Enables systematic, best-practice clinical pathways for STEMI, NSTEMI and low-risk chest pain patients.

– Supports registry participation and QI efforts; allows easy monitoring of AMI Core Measures.

– Minimizes malpractice, RAC audit and other risks; maximizes revenue opportunity.

Newark Chiropractic Center Announces Acupuncture Treatment for Pain Management

Newark Pain and Rehab Center has announced that the chiropractor offers acupuncture for pain management. Acupuncture is a non-invasive, natural treatment used to relieve chronic pain following sports injuries, auto injuries and work injuries. Based on an ancient Chinese healing art, acupuncture uses thin needles to stimulate the nerves, muscles and connective tissues in the body. Scientific studies suggest that this stimulation increase blood flow and prompts the body to release natural painkillers, which may relieve arm pain, neck pain and back pain. Newark Pain and Rehab Center serves the Newark, East Orange, Ironbound and Irvington communities.

Dr. Vincent Saraceno, a chiropractor in Newark, has announced that his practice, Newark Pain and Rehab Center, offers acupuncture as a treatment for arm pain, back pain and other chronic pain conditions.

Medical acupuncture for pain management is based on the traditional Chinese healing art of using thin needles to stimulate pressure points in the body. Western science has adapted this treatment for pain relief and now uses therapy to naturally manage pain, boost immune function and improve wellness.

“Acupuncture is an important complement to chiropractic treatments,” said Dr. Saraceno. “I frequently recommend this care to patients who are struggling with back pain and arm pain following an accident. By targeting pressure points on the body, this treatment naturally relieves pain while promoting internal healing.”

Scientific research suggests that the act of inserting a thin needle into a pressure point stimulates nerves, muscles and connective tissue. This stimulation may increase blood flow and prompt your body to release natural painkillers, including neurotransmitters and hormones. These chemicals are known to dull pain, boost the immune system and regulate the body’s functions.

Dr. Saraceno typically combines treatments with other non-invasive techniques, including adjustment and spinal decompression. This combination of care is part of his ‘whole body’ approach to wellness and the natural management of pain.

“Traditional medical treatments rely on prescription painkillers to cover up pain. While medication can temporarily relieve back pain and arm pain, it cannot correct the underlying problem,” said Dr. Saraceno. “Non-invasive treatments like spinal decompression and physical therapy, in conjunction with acupuncture, can restore alignment to the musculoskeletal system and even prevent future occurrences of sciatica in patients without relying on painkillers or invasive surgery.”

Dr. Saraceno and the Newark Pain and Rehab Center provides care for the Newark, East Orange, Ironbound and Irvington communities. In addition to acupuncture, services include chiropractic adjustment, spinal decompression, physical therapy and safe manipulation under anesthesia. Dr. Saraceno also provides general wellness counseling and lifestyle advice to his patients.

“My goal is to help every patient live a full, active and healthy life,” said Dr. Saraceno. “I strive to help every patient find meaningful pain relief through natural wellness treatments.”

New treatment offers relief without medicine

The latest in pain management doesn’t come in a pill. And while it uses a needle, that needle is not full of medicine.

Dry needling is a new procedure offered at Redmond Regional Medical Center’s Rehab Center.

Michael Shin, a doctor of physical therapy, first learned of dry needling while he was a student at North Georgia College & State University. In the past two months, he has seen about 100 patients who look to the procedure for pain relief.

Earlier this year, the Georgia Legislature approved the use of dry needling as part of the Georgia Physical Therapy Practice Act under House Bill 145.

Even though it may seem similar to Chinese acupuncture, Shin is quick to point out that it is not related in any way.

“Dry needling is an integrative therapeutic modality for soft tissue dysfunction,” Shin said.

“This treatment technique is used to address painful conditions that are related to small contractures in muscles, called trigger points. Dry needling is a minimally invasive procedure in which a monofilament needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a trigger point,” Shin said.

The procedure works because inserting a needle into a trigger point can cause favorable biomechanical, neurological and mechanical changes.

“These changes help to eliminate the trigger point and any associated pain by decreasing inflammation and modulating response of sensory nerve fibers to pain,” Shin said.

A variety of conditions can be treated with dry needling, Shin said, including lower back and neck pain, shoulder and arm pain (tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and impingement), hip and leg pain (sciatica, muscle strain and calf tightness/spasm), foot (ankle sprain, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fascitis), headache and jaw pain.

Some of the patients referred to him “have chronic pain, and they have tried everything,” Shin said.

After the treatments, most patients feel soreness that can last from a few hours to a few days, and as with all treatments involving a needle, there is a risk for infection.

Shin uses a single-packed disposable and sterile needle during treatment to prevent infection.

DJO Global Launches the Empi Active Knee System to Manage Knee Pain

DJO Global, Inc., (“DJO” or the “Company”) a leading provider of medical device solutions for musculoskeletal health, vascular health and pain management, today announced the launch of the Empi Active(TM) Knee TENS System to treat knee pain, a condition which may affect more than 19 million Americans. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) uses comfortable electrical stimulation to inhibit pain signals from reaching the brain thus effectively blocking the pain sensation.

The Empi Active Knee, with predetermined electrode placement built into a specialized wrap, delivers a proprietary TENS waveform to the knee to manage acute, chronic and arthritic pain while minimizing interruption of daily activities. The technology delivers a similar physiologic response as pain medication, but without the possible negative side effects from chronic use of medication. Approximately 250 million drug prescriptions for pain medications are written every year in the U.S.

Dr. Melisa Estes, a physiatrist and board certified pain medicine physician, reported, “I find that the Empi Active device can be helpful in decreasing the amount of pain medications that a patient may take. I also find it very useful for patients who have difficulty tolerating usual medications such as muscle relaxants or non steroidal anti-inflammatories.”

“Chronic knee pain from osteoarthritis, tendonitis and other conditions is an obstacle to maintaining healthy and active lifestyles and often leads to prolonged inactivity that can create other, more serious health consequences,” said Mike Mogul, president and chief executive officer of DJO Global. “With our broad portfolio of orthopedic preventative and rehabilitative products, DJO is uniquely positioned to help these patients.”

The Empi Active Knee System follows DJO Global’s success with its 2010 release of Empi Active Back, which uses the same proprietary TENS waveform technology to target back pain. Back pain affects approximately 65 million Americans and is the second most common reason people visit a doctor. Similar to the Empi Active Back, primary care physicians, orthopedic surgeons, pain specialists, rheumatologists and physical therapists can better manage their patients’ knee pain without disrupting their daily activities.

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Bad Breath Treatment Today: Can supplements cause body odors?

2011-09-14 / Health News / 1 Comments

Can supplements cause body odors?

Certain supplements can affect the way your body smells and give off a distinct, unpleasant odor. Sometimes taking a normal dose of a particular supplement can cause you to have body odor, but other times body odor only occurs if you’ve taken too much of a particular supplement. If you notice that your supplement is causing you to smell bad, talk to your doctor about discontinuing that particular supplement.

Fresh garlic can cause body odor and bad breath, and the same is true for garlic supplements. These supplements often are made with fresh or dried garlic powder, which causes the supplements to have a similar effect to the real deal. Garlic supplements are sometimes used to help treat high blood pressure, prevent atherosclerosis and to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, such as rectal, colon and stomach cancers. Garlic supplements, however, should not be substituted or used in place of traditional medications. Talk to your doctor before you begin taking any supplements to treat medical conditions.

Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are sometimes used to help prevent the spread of solid tumors and to inhibit the growth of certain cancers, such as colon, pancreatic and prostate cancers. Omega-3 fatty acids also are used to help ward off cardiovascular disease and prevent fatal heart attacks. These supplements contain anti-inflammatory properties, making them useful in the treatment of inflammation associated with arthritis, eczema and other health conditions. They’re often made from fish oils and oils extracted from beans, such as navy beans, soybeans and great northern beans. These supplements can cause your breath and body to have a fishy smell, even when taken at the correct dosage.

Your body produces carnitine on its own, via the liver and kidneys, and it is stored in the brain, heart, skeletal muscles and sperm. Typically, your body can make all the carnitine it needs, but certain medical conditions can inhibit the production and storage of carnitine. Certain medications also cause this to happen, which might make it necessary to take a carnitine supplement. A rare side effect of taking carnitine supplements is body odor; other rare side effects include increased appetite and body rash. Do not take these supplements without your doctor’s approval, because they can interfere with some medical conditions.

Your body can manufacture choline on its own, notes the Linus Pauling Institute, but certain conditions and medications can make it difficult for your body to produce this nutrient. Choline is required for the body to remain healthy. Consuming high doses of this supplement, typically 10 to 16 grams a day, can cause a fishy body odor and increased sweating. Adults only require 3.5 grams of choline per day.

Alternatively Speaking: Self-awareness brings confidence

Alternative medicine enthusiast Natalie Marx answers your questions: Are there any natural remedies for toothache? How can I deal with bad breath?
Talkbacks (2)

I have witnessed many wonderful recoveries through the usage of natural medicine. These include some of the most intense and complex combinations of problems that people face — depression, anxiety, insomnia, OCD, every kind chronic pain and addiction, chronic fatigue, eating disorders, and the list goes on.

Each person who was healed embarked on a journey of self discovery learning new ideas and healthy practices. Ultimately, each of us is responsible for our own health. We create it or destroy it, both through our own actions and our actions as a society. While we cannot control everything that could make us ill, we can control enough to make a difference. Often a huge difference. Natural therapy aims to heal the whole person, not just to relieve an annoying symptom. New knowledge and self-awareness brings with it confidence and personal insight. In the end, your own self-care practice not only consolidates the healing, but also results in a life full of harmony.

Q. Dear Natalie, my youngest daughter is ten years old and has been suffering from terrible tooth ache. Do you have any natural remedies since she is terrified of visiting the dentist!

A. Toothache can be one of the most unbearable conditions experienced by a person. There can be throbbing, consistent pain that can be very hard to deal with on a day to day basis. The best solution is of course to visit a dentist and get a professional opinion. However, in cases where this might not be immediately possible, or in the case with your daughter’s fear, it may be necessary to try a few herbal remedies for temporary relief.

Clove oil is a well known and favored home treatment for tooth ache. Dab a small amount of clove oil on a cotton swab and hold the oil directly to the painful tooth or gum area until the oil has had time to absorb into the affected area. Clove oil has an unpleasant flavor, so it’s probably wise to keep the oil from touching your daughters tongue.

You can alternatively try dipping a cotton swab in vanilla essence and press it against the affected tooth. Do make sure you target the correct tooth, referral pain can sometimes make identification difficult. Try a little Turmeric powder mixed with mustard oil onto a cotton bud and press into the affected tooth. This can also provide relief without any ill effects.

A calendula based toothpaste such as Weleda brand is very preventive in nature. Calendula has a long history of being used for the gums and teeth.

Another easy to use remedy is to peel a clove of garlic and press it against the tooth for relief. The juice of the garlic is an effective natural anesthetic and will provide immediate relief. Make sure your daughter is getting a good amount of vitamin C and calcium in her diet as they help maintain strong teeth.

Alcohol can lead to bad breath, or worse

SUMMARY: There are plenty of health issues associated with excessive alcohol consumption, and while halitosis is not the worst of them, it can signal the presence of major dental problems. So say Japanese researchers from the Fukuoka Dental College’s Department of General Dentistry.

There are plenty of health issues associated with excessive alcohol consumption, and while halitosis is not the worst of them, it can signal the presence of major dental problems. So say Japanese researchers from the Fukuoka Dental College’s Department of General Dentistry.

In a study published in the International Dental Journal, the team associated heavy daily drinking with powerful bad breath and an increased risk of periodontal disease.

The group began by recruiting 235 adults, all of whom complained of chronic oral odor. Scientists then used a halimeter to measure each volunteer’s level of halitosis, confirming the presence of an odor by using an organoleptic (or nose-based) test.

Researchers then interviewed participants to determine how often they consumed alcohol.

Among those who drank daily, many were found to have severe halitosis. These subjects also tended to have deep pockets of infection under their gumlines, indicating the presence of periodontitis, a serious infection of the gums and dental roots that can lead to tooth loss.

Specialty breath fresheners can reduce the smell of bad breath caused by alcohol-related tooth decay. Incidentally, such products are often alcohol-free, which may be a boon for individuals who are seeking treatment for chronic drinking.

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Obesity Treatment News: Fighting childhood obesity starts with education

2011-09-08 / Weight Loss & Obesity / 1 Comments

Fighting childhood obesity starts with education

CORPUS CHRISTI — Does severe child obesity constitute a form of child abuse or neglect?

I’m not referring to being mildly overweight, but to severe, physically debilitating obesity in a preteen child, such as a 10-year-old weighing 400 pounds, or a 150 pound 6-year-old. Severe child obesity increases the risk for early-onset Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and sleep disturbances. Collectively, severe obesity and its consequences jeopardize the health, longevity and quality of life of any affected child.

Children removed from the home because of their weight often generate sensational news stories. But with more than two million American children severely obese and growing, is there a role for the state in dealing with this problem more aggressively?

Obesity results when too many calories are consumed than are needed for normal growth or daily metabolism. Average kids consume about 100 calories each day more than they need, but the severely obese child often consumes 1000 more calories daily than what they need.

But few parents really know how many calories to feed a growing child. Fewer than one in 10 adults even try to count calories in their own food. Therefore, it may be left up to the child to know when enough is enough. Parents then behave as overseers of sorts, making sure things don’t get too far out of control. With so many severely obese kids now in the world, is this just the a new form of deadbeat parenting?

If the physical or emotional well-being of a child is at stake, it is in the child’s best interest for the state to place the child in a different environment, especially after attempts to remedy the problem in the home have failed. It’s a completely accepted legal practice to remove an undernourished child from a dangerous or non-nurturing home. By removing the child, two goals are sought. The first is to make changes in the child’s eating and activity habits.The second is to attempt to educate the family in healthier living and parenting skills.

Is removal of the severely obese child too drastic? Death by starvation is more imminent and demands more immediate action compared to death by obesity. Should parents of severely obese children be held accountable for the weight of their child? Most will say it’s an adults right to do and eat whatever they want so long as they don’t cause harm to someone else. But if a child is so heavy that their current and future health is in serious jeopardy, when is it society’s role to step in?

Many parents underestimate the degree of their child’s obesity. In a recent study of American parents of obese children, up to 43 percent thought the weight of their obviously obese child was “about right.”

But it’s more than just parenting. A recent study in the United Kingdom described a newly discovered gene deletion in five of 300 severely obese children that causes rapid and excessive weight gain. Interestingly, four of these children already had been under the observation of child protective services. There are undoubtedly more genetic reasons for severe child obesity yet to be discovered.

So, removing a severely obese child and placing them into a controlled environment is not necessarily a condemnation of the parents. If you consider obesity more like a disease, then it makes sense to provide the best possible treatment for a seriously affected child, even if it could not be provided in the home. No one questions admitting a child to a hospital or long term facility to treat a severe illness or addiction.

There is little chance of the state removing overweight or just plain obese kids from their homes. But the severely obese child is arguably at special risk. The degree of obesity in this group might represent an example of medical or genetic forms of obesity that are not simply a collective failure of willpower on the part of the child and family. Still, even the severely obese child can be placed in an environment that can reduce weight. It’s been proven many times.

Is there a greater role for protective services in the fight against severe child obesity? It’s an emotionally charged question. I don’t have the answer.

Effectiveness of slimming clubs tested

“Weight-loss courses such as Weight Watchers should be used by the NHS as a weapon to tackle the obesity crisis,” according to the Daily Express. The story is based on research that found that overweight and obese adults referred to Weight Watchers lost twice as much weight over a year as those who received standard advice on losing weight at their local GP surgery. Participants on the Weight Watchers programme also had greater reductions in waist size and body fat, which are both changes associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

This was a well-conducted study. Although it had some limitations, the overall results should be reliable. It should be noted that in the trial, which was sponsored by Weight Watchers, participants received free access to the programme, which may mean that their behaviour was not typical of people having to pay for the course themselves. Another limitation in the study is that it only lasted 12 months, and therefore does not address the common difficulty of maintaining weight loss in the long-term.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from the Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Research Laboratory, Cambridge; the University of Munich, Germany; and the University of Sydney, Australia. It was funded by a grant from Weight Watchers International to the UK Medical Research Council. The researchers say that the sponsor had no role in the study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation or writing of the report. The study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, The Lancet.

In general, the media reported the study fairly. In its story the Daily Express mentioned another commercial organisation, Slimming World, which could be misleading since this programme was not assessed by the trial. The Daily Mail included comments from an independent expert and mentioned the source of funding – a pertinent point which many other newspapers left out.

What kind of research was this?

This was a randomised controlled trial (RCT), involving 772 overweight and obese adults. They were assigned to receive either 12 months of standard care for weight loss (as defined by national guidelines) or 12 months of free membership to the Weight Watchers commercial weight loss programme. The researchers aimed to assess weight change in both groups over a 12-month period.

One thing to note is that the trial was not blinded – the participants knew which group they were in, as did some of the researchers. Given the nature of the interventions being investigated, the lack of blinding was unavoidable, but it means that knowing which treatment group they were in could have unconsciously influenced participants’ motivation and therefore the amount of weight they lost. The randomisation procedure (how the participants were randomly allocated to each group) was concealed from the researchers by use of an online database.

The researchers say that there is an urgent need for interventions to deal with the global health problem of obesity, as excess weight accounts for 44% of the global burden of diabetes, 23% of heart disease and 7%-41% of some cancers. They also highlight that for overweight individuals a weight loss of 5%-10% is associated with significant health benefits. They suggest that partnerships between primary care and commercial organisations could be used to deliver weight-management programmes on a large scale, but say that prior to their study there had been few RCTs of commercial weight-loss programmes and that their effectiveness has not yet been compared with standard care.

What did the research involve?

Between September 2007 and November 2008, researchers recruited 772 overweight and obese adults from primary care practices in Australia, Germany and the UK. Participants were 18 or over, with a BMI of 27kg-35 kg/m2. They had at least one additional risk factor for obesity-related disease, including “central adiposity” (a waist circumference of more than 88cm in women and more than 102cm in men), type 2 diabetes or mild to moderate high cholesterol (dyslipidaemia). They had initially recruited 1,010 potential participants but excluded 238 on the grounds of recent weight loss of 5kg or more and various health and medical disorders.

Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 12 months of free membership to Weight Watchers, or standard care, as defined in national treatment guidelines for obesity. The Weight Watchers system places emphasis on a balanced diet based on healthy eating principles, increased physical activity and group support. In this research participants received 12 months of free access to weekly community-based Weight Watcher meetings, which involve weigh-ins, group discussion, behavioural counselling and motivation. Participants are also able to access internet-based systems to monitor food intake, physical activity and weight change, to join community discussion boards and to access recipes and meal ideas.

Participants in the standard care group received weight loss advice from a health professional at their local GP surgery, based on national treatment guidelines. It is not clear how often people in this group met with health professionals or how much support they received.

Researchers followed the two groups for a period of 12 months. They measured body weight, fat mass, waist circumference and blood pressure at at the start of the study and at 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months. Blood samples were also taken to measure blood sugar, insulin and lipid levels at 6 and 12 months.

As well as recording weight change, the researchers also looked at changes in fat mass, waist circumference, blood pressure and markers of cardiovascular risk. They analysed their data using validated statistical methods.

What were the basic results?
Of the 377 participants assigned to the commercial programme, 230 (61%) completed the 12-month study. Of the 395 assigned to standard care, 214 (54%) completed the study.
Participants on the Weight Watchers programme lost twice as much weight on average than those in the standard care group.
The average amount of weight lost at 12 months was 5•06 kg for those in the commercial programme, compared to 2•25 kg for those receiving standard care. This equated to a difference of 2•77 kg [95% CI −3•50 to −2•03].
Over the 12 months of the study the Weight Watchers participants were three times more likely to lose at least 5% of their initial body weight than those assigned to standard care (OR 3.0, 95% CI 2.0-4.4). They were also three times more likely to lose 10% or more (3.2, CI 2.3-5.4) of their initial weight.
Participants in the commercial programme also had larger reductions in waist circumference and fat mass, greater improvements in insulin levels and improved cholesterol ratios.
Small reductions in blood pressure were recorded in both groups at 12 months.
Participants reported no adverse events related to participating in the trial.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The authors say that referring selected patients to commercial weight loss programmes providing group support and dietary advice can present a “clinically useful intervention” for managing the weight of overweight and obese people. They also say that these programmes can be delivered on a large scale.


This was a well-conducted study and its findings are likely to be reliable. Some points are worth noting:
There were high drop-out rates in both groups (40 to 50%), which may have affected the study’s results. Although the researchers say that they anticipated this possibility when calculating the sample sizes needed to obtain meaningful results, the difference in drop-out rates between groups could have affected the reliability of the results.
The lack of blinding was unavoidable given the nature of the two interventions being tested. It is possible that participants knowing which treatment they were assigned could have had an influence on results. However, the objective measurement of weight makes this less important as it does quantify the effect of these interventions.
The researchers ensured that the allocation of participants at randomisation was concealed. This means that allocation could not be influenced by the researcher or the participants, and this is an important feature of this well-designed trial.

One aspect not addressed by this report is the cost-effectiveness of the different approaches. Although the more intensive support organised by Weight Watchers (including weekly weigh-ins and group support) resulted in more weight loss than standard guideline advice from a GP practice, more research will be needed to assess the financial costs to achieve this extra benefit. Also, as participants were given free access to the Weight Watchers programme, it is unclear from this study how having to pay to attend might affect the amount of weight lost or the chances of dropping out.

Finally, the study does not address a well-established problem with weight loss: the difficulty of keeping the weight off in the long term. Future studies could look at this too, particularly in people who discontinue the programme once they have achieved their target weight.

How socializing and pals help in turning bad fat into good

Yearning to be slim without hitting the gym? Then have an active social life, says a new study.

Scientists from Ohio State University found that socializing and meeting with friends aid weight loss by converting energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat.

Lead researcher Dr. Matthew J. During and colleagues used mice to study the effects a socially and physically engaging environment has on weight loss and obesity.

They found that mice in an ‘enriched’ environment with friends and stress expend more energy and lose weight even as they eat more.

They said that the animals’ abdominal fat decreased by 50 percent after four weeks in the enriched environment.

Scientists believe the same process probably occurs in humans.

“I’m still amazed at the degree of fat loss that occurs. The amount that comes off is far more than you would get with a treadmill,” said During.

Co-author Lei Cao said that the new result might offer insight into studies showing a link between loneliness and ill health.

The findings appear in the September Cell Metabolism.

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Cancer Prevention News: MRIGlobal wins $28M contract to support cancer research

2011-09-07 / Cancer News / 1 Comments

MRIGlobal wins $28M contract to support cancer research

The Kansas City-based nonprofit research organization, formerly known as Midwest Research Institute, said Tuesday that the contract from the National Institutes of Health Division of Cancer Prevention calls for it to run the Centralized Chemopreventive Agent Repository and Drug Chemistry Support program.

Early this year, MRIGlobal bought a 90,000-square-foot facility in North Kansas City to gain an edge in the competition for the contract.

“This new repository complements MRIGlobal’s well-established programs within the National Cancer Institute (NCI),” the organization said in a release. “As the prime contractor, MRIGlobal will maintain a centralized source of chemopreventive agents for NCI’s Division of Cancer Prevention to support research to reduce and prevent cancer.”

MRIGlobal will acquire, track and distribute a range of agents that can be used to produce drugs for human clinical trials. These agents include investigational agents, drugs, drug products and pharmaceutical ingredients.

This Breast Cancer Prevention Plan Is Nuts

There’s nothing more empowering than knowing that just making little changes in our lives can forever alter its course. Nothing scarier either. Especially when scientists are talking about the little things we can do to help prevent something as serious as breast cancer. That’s the kind of news I want to jump all over … but the latest bit out of the research team at Marshall University in Western Virginia sounds kind of, well, nuts, to say the least.

So what do researchers claim will help some women cut their risk of breast cancer entirely, and probably make smaller tumors in the women who do develop the disease?

Eat walnuts!

Gotcha, didn’t I? It’s nutty in a good way.

Based on work with mice, the study that shows up in the latest edition of the medical journal Nutrition and Cancer claims that as little as 2 ounces of the seeds can benefit humans in a big way. But it’s only walnuts. Loading up on your favorite peanut butter or pistachio won’t do. That’s because walnuts contain nearly twice as many antioxidant polyphenols as their other nut cousins. And in case you’re wondering why the heck they’re feeding mice walnuts to prevent breast cancer, it’s those polyphenols that make it worth it. They’ve already been found to prevent degenerative diseases, specifically cardiovascular diseases and cancers, and there’s evidence it can prevent osteoporosis and diabetes.

Think it’s too nutty to eat walnuts just for the breast cancer prevention? This might make it worth it: walnuts have been found to help with weight management, cognitive and motor function, and bone health. That’s in addition to diabetes and heart disease.

Do you eat walnuts? Do you think it’s worth adding them to your daily diet to prevent breast cancer?

Medicated Patch Shows Promise in Oral Cancer Prevention

Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a medicated oral patch that allows a chemoprevention drug to release directly into precancerous lesions in the mouth over an extended time.

The study evaluated the drug fenretinide, a synthetic derivative of vitamin A that has highly promising anti-cancer properties. Until now, scientists have failed to achieve a therapeutic, systemic dose of fenretinide because of drug toxicity and rapid release from the body. By using a new mucoadhesive patch invented by a team from Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) and the University of Michigan, the researchers developed a delivery system that can provide continuous drug therapy to saliva-coated oral tissue.

“The challenge with oral gels or rinses is the medication can dissolve in saliva before it penetrates into the tissue. This patch allows us to target and control drug delivery and tissue exposure,” says Dr. Susan Mallery, an oral pathologist at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The patch consists of three layers: a disk saturated with fenretinide and polymers to make the drug more soluble in saliva, an adhesive ring to hold the disk in place, and a backing layer to ensure the medication stays within the patch.

In their study recently published online by the journal Pharmaceutical Research, Mallery and co-investigator, Dr. Peter Larsen of Ohio State, tested the fenretinide patch using simulated saliva as well as lab animals. In both situations, therapeutic doses comparable to levels needed in humans were achieved without detection of the drug elsewhere in the system or surrounding healthy tissue.

“These results are very encouraging. Fenretinide is a drug that scientists have studied as a cancer preventing compound for decades, and with this mucoadhesive patch, we finally developed a way to harness its potential,” says Mallery.

It is estimated that more than 300,000 people develop precancerous lesions in the mouth every year. Nearly 36,000 people will develop oral cancer. Currently, there is no way to determine which of the precancerous lesions will turn into cancer. While dentists can opt to wait and observe the lesions, they often will surgically remove them for biopsies to determine the course of treatment.

“For people with several or recurring lesions, repeated biopsies can become painful and affect their speech, ability to eat and quality of life,” says Larsen, who is chair of the division of oral and maxillofacial surgery and pathology at the Ohio State University College of Dentistry. “Ideally, we would like to have a way to slow down or even reverse the progression of these precancerous lesions without surgery. This medicated patch could be a solution.”

Next, Mallery and her team of investigators will see if these lab results translate to humans, as they begin treating patients in their dental clinic with the fenretinide patch within about 16 months.

This research is supported by the Ohio State Center for Clinical and Translational Science, a collaboration of scientists and clinicians from seven OSU Health Science Colleges, OSU Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute ( strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only seven centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State’s cancer program as “exceptional,” the highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program’s 210-bed adult patient-care component, The James is a “Top Hospital” as named by the Leapfrog Group and one of the top 20 cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

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