Bangladesh Telemedicine Firm Plans to Reach Out to South Asian Workers

A Bangladeshi telemedicine company is set to provide healthcare services for more than five million South Asian workers in the Middle East and Malaysia in a couple of months.

Telemedicine Reference Centre Ltd (TRCL) has already signed agreements with around 25 Gulf and Malaysian companies that recruit workers from South Asia.

Telemedicine is a rapidly developing application of clinical medicine where medical information is transferred through the phone or the internet.

TRCL will launch the mobile phone-based service, said Dr Sikder M Zakir, managing director of the company.

“Under the project, we will start providing medical call-centre services to two million Bangladeshi, 1.5 million Indian and two million Nepalese and Pakistani workers,” Zakir added.

Prime Bank and two investors from the US and India are funding the project, he said.

TRCL has also signed deals with seven mobile phone companies in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait.

The company is working to set up multilinguistic medical call centres in India, Pakistan and Nepal, from where dedicated physicians will provide healthcare advice to the expatriate workers.

All the workers under the 25 recruiting companies will be registered with TRCL to get the services free of cost. They will call a particular number and get advice in their own language.

The recruiting firms will pay the service charge to TRCL on behalf of the workers, which is no more than one US dollar a month for a person, Zakir said.

They will also be referred to hospitals if necessary.

Zakir said TRCL is now setting up branch offices in nine countries including Malaysia, UAE and Saudi Arabia to comply with those countries’ regulatory requirements.

“It’s a milestone for telemedicine service. The sector is getting institutional shape,” he added.

Established in 1999, TRCL is operating the first medical call centre or electronic referral centre manned by physicians for the largest cellphone operator in Bangladesh — Grameenphone. More than 10,000 people are using the service by dialling a hotline number (789) from their mobile phones every day.

Kuwait Government Approves New Alternative Medicine Hospital

KUWAIT- The Cabinet has approved the establishment of a new 300-bed capacity hospital for alternative medicine and rehabilitation at a total cost of KD 30 million, announced the

The new hospital will built on the site where the current alternative medicine hospital is situated. A state-of-the art, fully equipped hospital will replace the existing building. It will include a rehabilitation center for the disabled, senior citizens’ care centers among other facilities offered.

The hospital will also be connected to one of the most advanced international centers in the field of alternative medicine, said Al-Abdulhadi. It is expected to be ready within five years, reported Al-Qabas.

On a separate note, Al-Abdulhadi announced that the decision concerning the appointment of new directors for medical, technical divisions will be made soon, especially after the Ministry completes the process of electing the most qualified candidates for the posts in coordination with the regulations of the Civil Service Commission(CSC).

Meanwhile, Al-Abdulhadi addressed the issue of health insurance hospitals, stating that the project to establish these hospitals still await a decision made by the Cabinet before it is set up. These facilities are expected to provide citizens and residents with the best medical care services.

Most Medical Students Support Complementary Therapies

LOS ANGELES – A new survey shows more than 75 percent of medical students believe patients would benefit if physicians were knowledgeable about complementary medicine—practices such as massage therapy and chiropractic—as well as conventional medicine. Almost three-quarters of respondents also say our medical system should include complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

In the largest national survey of its kind, researchers from UCLA and UC San Diego measured medical students’ attitudes and beliefs about CAM.

Among the results:

* 77 percent of participants agreed to some extent that patients whose doctors know about complementary and alternative medicine in addition to conventional medicine, benefit more than those whose doctors are only familiar with Western medicine.

* 74 percent of participants agreed to some extent that a system of medicine that integrates therapies of conventional and complementary and alternative medicine would be more effective than either type of medicine provided independently.

* 84 percent of participants agreed to some extent that the field contains beliefs, ideas and therapies from which conventional medicine could benefit.

* 49 percent of participating medical students indicated that they have used complementary and alternative treatments; however, few would recommend or use these treatments in their practices until more scientific assessment has occurred

“Complementary and alternative medicine is receiving increased attention in light of the global health crisis and the significant role of traditional medicine in meeting public health needs in developing countries,” said study author Ryan Abbott, a researcher at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, in a press release. “Integrating CAM into mainstream health care is now a global phenomenon, with policy makers at the highest levels endorsing the importance of a historically marginalized form of health care.”

The findings were published recently in the online issue of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM).

Introducing – Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene is one of a group of natural chemicals known as carotenes or carotenoids. Carotenes are responsible for the orange color of many fruits and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.

Beta carotene is converted in the body to vitamin A. It is an antioxidant, like vitamins E and C.

Sources

Good sources of beta-carotene include dark green and orange-yellow vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, apricots, and green peppers.

Beta-carotene is not an essential nutrient, although vitamin A is.

Why Do People Use Beta-Carotene?

  • Prevention against cancer and heart disease
  • To slow the progression of cataracts
  • To prevent macular degeneration
  • To boost immunity
  • To protect the skin against sunburn
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Intermittent claudication

Safety

Beta carotene is relatively safe. There is some concern that high doses of beta-carotene can cause a slight increase in the risk of heart disease and cancer, especially in people who smoke cigarettes and who consume excessive alcohol.

Other side effects include diarrhea and a yellowish tinge to the skin, both of which subside then the intake of beta-carotene is lowered.

Introducing – Goji Berries

Introducing – Goji Berries

Other Names: Lycium barbarum, wolfberry, gou qi zi, Fructus lycii

Goji berries grow on an evergreen shrub found in temperate and subtropical regions in China, Mongolia and in the Himalayas in Tibet. They are in the nightshade (Solonaceae) family.

Goji berries are usually found dried. They are shriveled red berries that look like red raisins.

Why do people use goji berries?

Goji berries have been used for 6,000 years by herbalists in China, Tibet and India to:

    * protect the liver

    * help eyesight

    * improve sexual function and fertility

    * strengthen the legs

    * boost immune function

    * improve circulation

    * promote longevity

Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. One of zeaxanthin’s key roles is to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant. In fact, increased intake of foods containing zeathanthin may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 65.

In recent years, goji juice has become popular as a health beverage. Companies marketing goji juice often mention the unsupported claim that a man named Li Qing Yuen consumed goji berries daily and lived to be 252 years old. Marketers also list extensive health benefits of goji juice, even though there are few published clinical trials in humans.

What research has been done on goji berries?

Goji has only been tested on humans in two published studies. A Chinese study published in the Chinese Journal of Oncology in 1994 found that 79 people with cancer responded better to treatment when goji was added to their regimen.

There have been several test tube studies that show that goji berry contains antioxidants and that goji extracts may prevent the growth of cancer cells, reduce blood glucose, and lower cholesterol levels. However, that doesn’t necessary mean that goji will have the same benefits when taken as a juice or tea.

Although goji berries like the ones used in traditional Chinese medicine aren’t very expensive, goji juice is very pricey. Considering that a 32-ounce bottle of goji juice (about an 18-day supply) can run as high as $50 USD, the evidence isn’t compelling enough at this time to justify the cost of goji juice.

Also, we don’t know the side effects of regular goji consumption, or whether it will interfere with treatments or medications.

What do goji berries taste like?

Goji berries have a mild tangy taste that is slightly sweet and sour. They have a similar shape and chewy texture as raisins.

In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are eaten raw, brewed into a tea, added to Chinese soups, or made into liquid extracts.

Goji juice is also available, usually in 32-ounce bottles.

Goji berries have appeared in snack foods in North America. For example, the health food store Trader Joe’s sells a goji berry trail mix.

Possible drug interactions

Goji berries may interact with anticoagulant drugs (commonly called “blood-thinners”), such as warfarin (Coumadin®). There was one case report published in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy of a 61-year old woman who had an increased risk of bleeding, indicated by an elevated international normalized ratio (INR). She had been drinking 3-4 cups daily of goji berry tea. Her blood work returned to normal after discontinuing the goji berry tea.

Where to find goji berries

Whole goji berries are available at Chinese herbal shops.

Goji juice can be found in some health food stores, online stores, and through network marketers.

Managing Blood Sugar Emerges as a Top Concern

Managing Blood Sugar Emerges as a Top Concern

Consumers are very interested in foods that promote healthy blood glucose: 69 per cent of primary grocery shoppers are extremely or very interested in buying or using foods or drinks if they can help manage blood sugar. In addition, 43 per cent of primary grocery shoppers believe that “helps maintain healthy blood-sugar levels” is an extremely or very important claim on food labels, according to the 2009 HealthFocus Trend Report.

No disease is as closely linked to nutrition as diabetes. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the US and contributes to higher rates of morbidity — people with diabetes are at significantly higher risk for heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and other chronic conditions.

Prediabetes is usually intertwined with being overweight and, of course, increases the risk by about 80 times of a bona fide type 2 diabetes diagnosis (not to mention heart disease). Indeed, blood-sugar issues and being overweight are usually the start of a host of health conditions. An estimated 121 million American adults (out of 184 million) are overweight, with about 60 million being actually obese — 30 pounds over their ideal weight. If trends continue, an incredible 80 per cent of Americans are estimated to be overweight by 2030.

About one-third of diabetics take supplements. The top ingredients include fibre, B vitamins, magnesium and chromium, according to Nutrition Business Journal.

A recent Swedish study found that taking a whey supplement with meals can help stimulate insulin release in type 2 diabetics. When diabetic subjects took whey at the same time as a high glycaemic-index breakfast and lunch, they had lower blood-sugar response and a higher insulin response. The findings suggest whey can help diabetics improve their blood-sugar control.

In another nod to the broad efficacy of vitamin D, insufficient and deficient levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome by 52 per cent, according to a 2009 Anglo-Chinese study.

This study backs an earlier study that found women in the 84,000-strong Nurses’ Health Study who consumed a daily intake of greater than 800IU vitamin D and 1,200mg calcium had a 33 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those to took in less than 600mg calcium and 400IU vitamin D.

Cinnamon makes insulin work more efficiently, which gets excess sugar out of the blood and into cells, where it can be burned as fuel. Cinnamon works in two ways. First, it inhibits the enzymes that cause insulin resistance. And second, it increases sensitivity to insulin.

Preliminary results from a University of Surrey clinical study found that the consumption of Hi-maize brand resistant starch, from National Starch, significantly increased insulin sensitivity in individuals with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

“These improvements are actually bigger than you get with most blood glucose-lowering drugs,” says Denise Robertson, PhD, lecturer in nutritional physiology within the Postgraduate Medical School at the University of Surrey and the principal investigator of the study. “We are finding that subjects at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, such as those with metabolic syndrome, are more responsive to the insulin-sensitizing effects of resistant starch than people with normal blood-glucose levels.

WHO Maps World’s Deadliest Roads

WHO Maps World’s Deadliest Roads

GENEVA – The most dangerous place in the world to travel on roads is in the impoverished East African state of Eritrea, says the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its first report on global road safety.

To identify the most hazardous roads, WHO experts sifted through a mass of data which showed that around 1.3 million people are killed each year on the world’s highways. A further 20 to 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries.

The global record for road deaths per capita goes to the former Italian colony of Eritrea where figures showed an estimated 48 deaths per 100,000 people.

Road travel in the Cook islands in the South Pacific is nearly as dangerous too, with a statistical 45 deaths per 100,000. The archipelago north-east of New Zealand is home to just 13,325 citizens and five of them died in road accidents in 2007. Egypt (41.6) and Libya (40.5) also both had a poor road safety record.

Driving too fast, drinking and driving along with the failure to use seatbelts and talking on mobile phones while at the wheel were given in the report as key contributing factors to the high number of fatalities and accidents on roads around the world.

“These are stunning figures that need not, should not, be so high. Over 90 percent of these deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world’s registered vehicles. This is another statistic that tells us something is wrong,” WHO Director General Margaret Chan said in a statement.

Chan said the report’s findings would serve as a basis for discussion at the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, which is due to take place in Moscow in November 2009.

“This will be a milestone event in international road safety that will serve as a call to action to reduce the impact of road traffic crashes over the next decade,” said Chan.

The safest road conditions were found amid the islands and atolls which make up the Micronesian nation of the Marshall Islands. Here 59,000 residents have a mere 2,487 vehicles between them. Only one fatal road accident was recorded in 2007.

France and Germany suffered 7.5 and six fatalities per 100,000 respectively compared to Britain (5.4) and the US where more than 251 million vehicles are registered. The quota here was 13.9 fatalities per 100,000 people. A similar level could be found in Sri Lanka, Turkey and Azerbaijan.

How Salmonella can be Used To Kill Tumors

How Salmonella can be Used To Kill Tumors

BRAUNSCHWEIG –  German scientists have shown how the bacteria migrate into tumors. Sara Bartels and Siegfried Weiss, of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig, say that a messenger substance from the immune system makes blood vessels in the cancerous tissue permeable, and thereby enables the bacteria to conquer and destroy the tumour.

The researchers add that, simultaneously, blood streams from the vessels into the cancerous tissue, a so-called necrosis develops, and the tumor dies.

“This influx of blood was the starting point for our investigations. There is an immunological messenger present during bacterial elicited inflammation that causes this kind of reaction. We searched for it – and found it,” says Siegfried Weiss, Head of the Molecular Immunology group at the HZI.

The researchers have revealed that this messenger is named after its role in the immune system: tumor necrosis factor, TNF-alpha for short.

They say that immune cells produce TNF-alpha when recognizing salmonella, thus alarming other immune cells.

According to them, a small amount of TNF-alpha is subsequently enough to dissolve the walls of the blood vessels in the tumor and allow the blood to stream into the cancerous tissue.

They hope to be able to modify salmonella so that they can migrate specifically into tumors and cause them to die.

Since salmonella can live even in tissues that are badly supplied with blood, the researchers believe that they can be used in tumor therapy.

This is interesting because chemotherapeutics cannot be transported to an area where there is no blood flow, and even radiation therapy requires oxygen for its reactions in the tissue.

“We have obtained an important indication of how bacteria migrate into tumors. We can now try to manipulate these bacteria to use them in cancer therapy without causing deadly infections,” says Sara Bartels.

“We need to find the right amount of bacteria aggressiveness, allowing the tumor to be colonized and destroyed without harming the patient,” she adds.

If the scientists succeed in accomplishing this feat, they may be able to take the next step forward: using salmonella to release therapeutic substances within the tumor and thus participate in its destruction.

“Our experiments are currently limited to absolutely basic research and experiments with laboratory mice. It may take years before this method is usable for human patients,” says Siegfried Weiss

The study has been published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.

Imaging Techniques Can Identify Plaques Likely to Cause Heart Attacks

NEW YORK –  Imaging techniques can help identify the types of vulnerable plaque that are most likely to cause adverse cardiac events before they occur, say researchers.

This finding comes from a clinical trial called Providing Regional Observations to Study Predictors of Events in the Coronary Tree (PROSPECT), which is the first prospective natural history study of atherosclerosis using multi-modality imaging to characterize the coronary tree.

A presentation on the study was made at the 21st annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF).

“As a result of the PROSPECT trial, we are closer to being able to predict-and therefore prevent – sudden, unexpected adverse cardiac events,” said principal investigator Dr. Gregg W. Stone, immediate past chairman of CRF, professor of medicine at Columbia University Hospital and Director of Cardiovascular Research and Education at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

During the multi-centre trial, 700 patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) were studied using three-vessel multimodality intra-coronary imaging-angiography, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), and virtual histology.

The purpose was to quantify the clinical event rate due to atherosclerotic progression, and to identify those lesions that place patients at risk for unexpected adverse cardiovascular events-sudden death, cardiac arrest, heart attacks and unstable or progressive angina.

The study revealed that most untreated plaques that cause unexpected heart attacks are not mild lesions, as previously thought, but actually have a large plaque burden and a small lumen area. These are characteristics that were invisible to the coronary angiogram but easily identifiable by IVUS.

Only about half of new cardiac events due to non-culprit lesions exemplified the classic notion of vulnerable plaque (rapid lesion progression of non flow limiting lesions), while half were attributable to unrecognized and untreated severe disease with minimal change over time.

Perhaps most importantly, for the first time it was demonstrated that characterization of the underlying plaque composition (with virtual histology) was able to significantly improve the ability to predict future adverse events beyond other more standard imaging techniques.

“These results mean that using a combination of imaging modalities, including IVUS to identify lesions with a large plaque burden and/or small lumen area, and virtual histology to identify a large necrotic core without a visible cap (a thin cap fibroatheroma) identifies the lesions that are at especially high risk of causing future adverse cardiovascular events,” Dr. Stone said.

Brain-to-Brain Communication Developed

SOUTHAMPTON – Reading minds would soon be possible, thanks to British scientists who have developed a system that creates “brain to brain communication.”

The system, developed by a team at the University of Southampton, makes it possible to send messages formed by one person’s brain signals through an internet connection to another person’s brain many miles away.

Christopher James said the experiments were “the first baby steps” towards technologies that would allow people instantly to send thoughts, words, and images directly into the minds of others, reports The Times.

“This could be useful for those people who are locked into their bodies, who can’t speak, can’t even blink,” James said.

In their study, researchers used “brain-computer interfacing”, a technique that allows computers to analyze brain signals, that enabled them to send messages through an internet connection.

According to James, during transmission two people were connected to electrodes that measure activity in specific parts of the brain.

The first person generated a series of zeros and ones, where they imagined moving their left arm for zero and right arm for one.

After the first person’s computer recognizes the binary thoughts, it sends them to the internet and then to the other person’s PC.

A lamp is then flashed at two different frequencies for one and zero.

“It’s not telepathy,” James said.

He added: “There’s no conscious thought forming in one person’s head and another conscious thought appearing in another person’s mind.

“The next experiments are to get that second person to be aware of the information that is being sent to them. For that, I need to get my thinking cap on, so to speak.”

Juggle Your Way To a Sharper Brain


OXFORD – Learning to juggle helps one develop a sharper and better coordinated brain, say a new study.

“We tend to think of the brain as being static, or even beginning to degenerate, once we reach adulthood,” says Heidi Johansen-Berg clinical neurologist, University of Oxford, who led the study.

“In fact we find the structure of the brain is ripe for change. We’ve shown that it is possible for the brain to condition its own wiring system to operate more efficiently,” adds Johansen-Berg.

Researchers at the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) set out to see if changes in brain’s white matter could be seen in healthy adults on learning a new task or skill.

“We have demonstrated that there are changes in the white matter of the brain – the bundles of nerve fibres that connect different parts of the brain – as a result of learning an entirely new skill,” explains Johansen-Berg.

A group of young healthy adults, none of whom could juggle, was divided into two groups each of 24 people. One of the groups was given weekly training sessions in juggling for six weeks and asked to practice 30 minutes every day. Both groups were scanned using diffusion MRI before and after the six-week period.

“We challenged half of the volunteers to learn to do something entirely new. After six weeks of juggling training, we saw changes in the white matter of this group compared to the others who had received no training,” said study co-author Jan Scholz of FMRIB.

After the training, there was a great variation in the ability of the volunteers to juggle. All could juggle three balls for at least two cascades, but some could juggle five balls and perform other tricks, says an Oxford university release.

All showed changes in white matter, however, suggesting this was down to the time spent training and practicing rather than the level of skill attained.

These findings were published in Nature Neuroscience.

Migraine Sufferers More Vulnerable to Hangover

JEFFERSON – Migraine sufferers may be more vulnerable to an alcohol-induced headache after a night of drinking, according to researchers.

Until now, studying the mechanism behind migraine and other forms of recurrent headaches has not been possible in an animal model, says Michael Oshinsky, assistant Neurology professor at Jefferson Medical College (JMC).

Oshinsky developed a rat model in which headaches are induced by repeatedly stimulating, over weeks to months, the brain’s dura mater with an inflammatory mixture. Dura mater is the outermost, toughest, and most fibrous of the three membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

Oshinsky and Christina Maxwell, doctoral student in the neuroscience programme, used their model to study the effects of alcohol on rats who suffer recurrent migraines, compared to rats free of headaches.

Such headaches are associated with hypersensitivity to light, sound and touch on the head and face. Researchers, using four groups of rats, measured their sensitivity to touch around the eye. They monitored the change in pain threshold of the face resulting from the repeated dural stimulation.

“Our results suggest that dehydration or impurities in alcohol are not responsible for hangover headache,” Oshinsky said.

“Since these rats were sufficiently hydrated and the alcohol they received contained no impurities, the alcohol itself or a metabolite must be causing the hangover-like headache. These data confirm the clinical observation that people with migraine are more susceptible to alcohol-induced headaches.”

Oshinsky and his lab are now also studying the mechanism for the induction of headache, and also the metabolites of alcohol that cause hangover, said a JMC release.

The study was presented at Neuroscience 2009, the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, in Chicago.

Scientists Watch Evolution Unfold In a Bottle

DETROIT  – Scientists now have physical proof of how species evolve and the fittest survive, after a 21-year study in which they documented the evolution of single-celled E. coli bacteria over 40,000 generations.

Richard Lenski, Hannah professor of microbial ecology at Michigan State University (MSU), said: “It’s extra nice now to be able to show precisely how selection has changed the genomes of these bacteria, step by step over tens of thousands of generations.”

 

Lenski’s team periodically froze bacteria for later study, and technology has since developed to allow complete genetic sequencing. By the 20,000-generation midpoint, researchers discovered 45 mutations among surviving cells in the bottled bacteria.

Those mutations, according to Darwin’s theory, should have conferred some advantage, and that’s exactly what the researchers found.

The results “beautifully emphasise the succession of mutational events that allowed these organisms to climb toward higher and higher efficiency in their environment”, noted Dominique Schneider, molecular geneticist at the Universit Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France.

Lenski’s long-running experiment itself is uniquely suited to answer some critical questions — such as whether rates of change in a bacteria’s genome move in tandem with its fitness to survive.

A mutation involved in DNA metabolism arose around generation 26,000, causing the mutation rate everywhere else in the genome to increase dramatically.

The number of mutations jumped to 653 by generation 40,000, but researchers surmise that most of the late-evolving mutations were not helpful to the bacteria, said an MSU release.

Gene mutations involved in human DNA replication are involved in some cancers. Many of the patterns observed in the experiment also occur in certain microbial infections, “and cancer progression is a fundamentally similar evolutionary process”, observed collaborator Jeffrey Barrick.

“So what we learn here can help us better understand the course of these diseases.”

The paper involved collaboration with scientists from South Korea as well as France and MSU.

The findings were published in Nature.

Implants Don’t Increase Women’s Breast Cancer Risk

AUSTIN – Getting breast implants does not increase a woman’s breast cancer risk or interfere in detection procedure, say researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Centre

“The question of how implants affect breast cancer risk and screening tests, like the mammogram, is a question that many women ask,” said Dr Therese Bevers, medical director of the Cancer Prevention Centre at M. D. Anderson.

“The good news is that implants do not increase breast cancer risks. But, they also don’t decrease them because women with implants still have their natural breast tissue,” Bevers added.

The researchers advise to pay special attention to breasts and promptly reporting any changes to the doctor.

“The person most likely to find a lump in the breast is the woman herself,” said Bevers.

“With implants, becoming familiar with your breasts is more difficult at first because the breast will have a different texture. It also will have new folds or dimples.

“But after a woman knows her new breasts, having implants should not get in the way of her noticing a change that might be cancer,” she added.

During a mammogram, images are collected by flattening the breast between two mammogram plates. Implants can get in the way of this flattening, which makes it difficult to see the breast as clearly.

However, according to the researchers, this doesn’t mean that women with implants can’t be screened for breast cancer. It just means that women with implants need additional pictures taken during the mammogram.

However, women also should be aware that the size of their implants can affect breast cancer testing.

“Very large implants can be more difficult to image with mammography,” said Dr Elisabeth Beahm, F.A.C.S., a professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at M. D. Anderson.

“So we suggest that women concerned about breast cancer not get extremely large implants. Stick with implants that fit your body type,” she added.

Dairy Foods Help Fight The Flab

SYDNEY – Higher intake of dairy products while on a reduced calorie diet can help help fight obesity, say researchers.

During the study, lead researcher Wendy Chan She Ping Delfos, from Curtin University of Technology, compared three serves of dairy food such as yoghurt, cheese and low fat milk, with five serves within a lower calorie diet prescribed to overweight participants over 12-weeks.

It showed that greater weight loss and reduced risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.

Consumed five serves of dairy per day resulted in more loss of weight and abdominal fat, and people also had lower blood pressure.

“Many people commonly believe that when trying to lose weight dairy products are key foods that they have to cut out of their diet, as they are high in fat,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Dr Chan She Ping Delfos as saying.

“This study has shown that when trying to lose weight people can actually benefit by increasing the amount of dairy they consume beyond the normally-recommended three daily serves, as long as during the weight loss period total energy intake is less than their requirements.

“Increasing dairy intake to five serves per day as part of a reduced calorie diet has never been studied before, and such diets containing high levels of protein, calcium and vitamin D, among other bioactive nutrients, can be an important part of a prudent weight loss or weight maintenance diet,” the expert added.

She also found that combining resistance exercise could have long-term benefits.

“Participants who had five serves of dairy and engaged in resistance exercise had similar health benefits to participants consuming five serves of dairy only,” she added.