Oral Probiotic Reduces Ear and Throat Infections in Children and Adults

probioticsItalian researchers have confirmed that a certain oral probiotic species significantly reduces ear infections, throat infections and tonsillitis among children and adults with recurring infections.

In the most recent study, published in March’s Journal of Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy from Continue reading

The Drink That Could Shield Against Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is sure making the health news rounds lately. What’s promising about this scary illness is how much we are able to help shield our minds from it. A brand new health breakthrough proposes that coffee could help older adults avoid dementia.

A new study Continue reading

Ideal Exercise Details Finally Revealed

 exercise

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans detail the types and amounts of physical activity needed for maintenance of good health. A new paper has broken them down into what we all need to know about exercise:

— Adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate- intensity exercise, 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, or a combination of both. For greater health benefits, increase levels to Continue reading

Brown Fat Measured by Thermal Imaging

Heat-seeking cameras could be used to measure people’s “good fat” and determine which foods they ought to be avoiding, scientists claim.

Brown fat is good for our bodies because it burns calories by producing large amounts of heat, which could help us avoid storing surplus energy as white fat around our waistlines. Continue reading

Cell Phones: 50 Percent Increase in Frontal and Temporal Lobe Tumors in Children

tcellsThe office of National Statistics in the United Kingdom discovered a 50 percent increase in frontal and temporal lobe tumors in children during the ten year span covering 1999 to 2009. Was this a result of cell phone radiation?

The Department of Health in the UK would appear to think so. Continue reading

Discharged ER Patients often Miss Instructions

People who are discharged from emergency departments are often unable to tell what symptoms should raise alarms and make them return to the hospital, a review suggests.

Dr. Stephen Porter, head of emergency medicine at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, led a review of more than 50 studies on the subject. The papers examined the content, delivery and comprehension of discharge instructions for both adults and children.

In the hectic and distracting environment of an emergency department, key instructions to patients can be lost. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

It’s important Continue reading

Why Obese Adults Should Eat Differently

The way one’s body looks isn’t the only issue at play for overweight adults. Far more important are the chronic diseases that overweight and obese people face. For that reason, an important piece of health news has identified the best way to eat: the disease-prevention diet filled with healing foods.

The study found that a diet rich in slowly digested carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes, and other high- fiber foods, significantly reduces inflammation associated with chronic disease. This is known as a “low-glycemic-load” diet, which does not cause blood glucose levels to spike. It also increases a hormone that helps regulate how you break down fat and sugar.

The controlled study involved 80 healthy adults, Continue reading

Babies Are Born With “Intuitive Physics” Knowledge, Says MU Researcher

Numerous infant studies indicate environmental knowledge is present soon after birth

While it may appear that infants are helpless creatures that only blink, eat, cry and sleep, one University of Missouri researcher says that studies indicate infant brains come equipped with knowledge of “intuitive physics.”

“In the MU Developmental Cognition Lab, we study infant knowledge of the world by measuring a child’s gaze when presented with different scenarios,” said Kristy vanMarle, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science.  Continue reading

Dreaming Takes the Sting Out of Painful Memories

UC Berkeley researchers have found that stress chemicals shut down and the brain processes emotional experiences during the REM dream phase of sleep

They say time heals all wounds, and new research from the University of California, Berkeley, indicates that time spent in dream sleep can help.

UC Berkeley researchers have found that during the dream phase of sleep, also known as REM sleep, our stress chemistry shuts down and the brain processes emotional experiences and takes the painful edge off difficult memories.

The findings offer a compelling explanation for why people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as war veterans, have a hard time recovering from painful experiences and suffer reoccurring nightmares.They also offer clues into why we dream.

“The dream stage of sleep, based on its unique neurochemical composition, provides us with a form of overnight therapy, Continue reading

The Truth about Bariatric Surgery You Must Know

With 31% of men and 33% of women being obese in the United States, the problem is an epidemic. Today, morbid obesity affects one in 50 adults. The most alarming trend may be the rising incidence of obesity among children.

While drugs and behavior therapy have had poor results, bariatric surgery for obese people can help sustain weight loss and treat related problems such as sleep apnea, asthma, diabetes, and clogged arteries. More than 140,000 bariatric surgeries are performed annually in the U.S. In the future, that number is set to rise three-fold.

There are three common procedures. To understand the nutritional complications involved, it’s important to know how your gastrointestinal tract is altered by the surgeries. Continue reading

How to Cut Your Diabetes Risk by 80%

According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults have diabetes in the U.S. alone. Why the epidemic? It has a lot to do with lifestyle choices. In fact, a recent study has found that living a healthy lifestyle could cut your risk of diabetes by as much as 80%.

Researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health have of course known for some time that diet, exercise, smoking and drinking have an impact on whether someone is likely to develop type 2 diabetes. What they didn’t know was how each individual factor affects the risk.

So they devised a clinical trial that looked at physical activity, healthy diet, body weight, Continue reading

New Findings on Therapeutic Hypothermia Following Cardiac Arrest in Children

Intravenous delivery of cold fluids to reduce body temperature quickly after a heart attack and improve neurologic outcomes may not be as effective in children as it is in adults, according to a study reported in Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The article is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/ther

In adults, therapeutic hypothermia to minimize neurological complications caused by cardiac arrest can be achieved by rapidly infusing cold (4oC) intravenous fluid. However, this might not be the optimal approach in children. Alexis Topjian, Michael Hamid, Larissa Hutchins, and Vinay Nadkarni, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, studied the effect of the infusion rate on the temperature of the cold IV fluid in three simulated pediatric patients of different weights. They describe the study design and their results in the article entitled, “Can a Cold (4oC) IV Fluid Bolus to Induce Therapeutic Hypothermia Really Deliver 4oC to Children?”

“This is an important and timely contribution because it reinforces the point that children are not just small people Continue reading

Less Age-Related Vision Loss Linked to Omega-3s

Women who get lots of omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease affecting millions of older adults in the U.S.

That’s the conclusion of a new study, which jibes with earlier research linking fish consumption to slower progression of AMD. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA include salmon, trout, sardines, herring and tuna.

AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessel growth behind the retina or breakdown of light-sensitive cells within the retina itself, both of which can cause serious vision impairment. Some 1.7 million Americans have severe vision loss due to the disease, making it the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Continue reading

Anxiety Can Be Controlled by Flashes of Light to Brain

Stimulating certain parts of the brain with pulses of light could prevent feelings of anxiety, US researchers claimed.

Scientists from Stanford University pinpointed the neural circuit that controls anxious behavior in mice and were able to manipulate it using light, according to research published Wednesday.

During tests, the amygdala region of the mice’s brains was exposed to specially-structured fiber-optic cables, and depending on which cells were exposed to the light, the mice became less fearful of their surroundings or more inhibited.

Rodents usually try to avoid wide-open spaces that could expose them to predators, but during simulations, the mice were much more willing to explore open areas when light was pulsed into the brain circuit.

The scientists were also able to make the mice more anxious by deactivating the cells with a different light frequency.

The human brain is structured in a similar way to those Continue reading

Why Babies Digest Milk More Effectively than Adults

WASHINGTON – A new study has pointed out that infants are more efficient at digesting milk than adults due to a difference in the strains of bacteria that dominate their digestive tracts.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and Utah State University have identified the genes that are most likely responsible for this difference.

“Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are the third-largest solid component of milk. Their structural complexity renders them non-digestible to the host,” said the researchers.

“Bifidobacterium longum strains often predominate the colonic microbiota of exlusively breast-fed infants. Among the three recognized subspecies, B. longum subsp. infantis achieves high levels of cell growth on HMOs and is associated with early colonization of the infant gut,” they added.

The researchers used whole-genome microarray comparisons to associate genotypic biomarkers among 15 B. longum strains exhibiting various HMO utilization patterns.

They identified 5 distinct gene clusters on B. longum that were conserved (showed little or no variation) across all strains capable of growth on HMOs and have also diverged in strains incapable of growing on HMOs.

The results suggested that B. longum has at least 2 distinct subspecies: B. longum subsp. infantis, adapted to ultilize milk carbon and found primarily in the digestive tract of children, and B. longum subsp. longum, specialized for plant-derived carbon metabolism and associated with the adult digestive tract.

“Although early gut colonization is likely dependent on a multitude of dietary and non-dietary factors, the delivery of complex oligosaccharides through milk creates an ideal and unique nutrient niche for the establishment of, and colonization by, B. longum subsp. infantis strains,” said the researchers.

“During weaning, a gradual transitioning from milk-based to plant-based diets generates a shift in carbon availability in the gastrintestinal tract favorable for the expansion and formtion of an adult-like gastointestinal tract microbiota,” they added.

The results are published in the current issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.B