Fears Over Fatty Meat
Processed meat is bad for your health. So, hot dog or hamburger fans might be putting themselves at risk of deadly diseases such as pancreatic cancer. According to Swedish researchers who analysed health records of over 6,000 people, just 50g processed meat daily can raise cancer risks by around 20%. This equates to approximately one vienna sausage or meat burger, or a few slices of ham or salami. Red meat caries the same risk factors for pancreatic cancer, especially for men. Although further studies are needed to confirm these findings, consider fillings your plate with fruit and vegetables instead.
Doctors In Dire Straits
Too many doctors working for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK are suffering from stress and could be at risk of burnout, suggests a recent study. After assessing interpersonal skills questionnaires sent to over 500 GP’s, the team of researchers found high score for emotional exhaustion and low personal accomplishment. Surprisingly, meaning they felt negative, cynical and even callous towards their patients. This category comprised mostly men who’d been working for less than 20 years. The Gp’s working in large practices were also more likely to feel worse than those who worked in their own practices. Even though patients may not always detect feelings of stress, anxiety or depression in their GPs, the researchers believe that burnout, and all the factors associated with the condition, should be considered a health and safety issue for both patients and doctors. These findings should prompt swift action by the doctors themselves, their medical colleagues and healthcare organisation to bring the situation into balance.
Morning Light Is Best
Humans need the sun’s energy to shake off depression and to help our bodies produce vitamin D, which is essential to prevent a host of diseases. Now, scientists have discovered that a moderate dose of morning sunshine is less harmful than UV radiation later in the day. This is because XPA, a protein in humans that sixes damaged DNA, follows our natural circadian rhythms, and is at its highest level when we awake. “The differences in skin damage exposed to morning versus late afternoon sunlight are quite remarkable,” says Philip Hanawalt of Stanford University, a biologist who, in the 1960s, discovered DNA repair in which XPA plays a role. Even though the study involved mice, he believes the results are also applicable to humans. However, levels of UV radiation vary in different areas, for example, a beach with unhindered sunlight as opposed to your garden with many tress, so more studies are needed to determine how XPA responds to differing degrees of light.
Frequent Bone Scans Unnecessary
Older women don’t need a bone density scan as often as its been recommended. So say US researchers in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January 2012. Traditionally, government advisers and medical experts have propounded biannual osteoporosis screening for all women over the age of 65 as well as younger postmenopausal women who may be at a risk for fractures. But the new study has voiced concerns that it’s, in fact, dome too often, at least for some women. “It’s an expenditure of time, it’s exposure to radiation and it’s cost. And there’s no reason to expose yourself to any risks if there’s no reason to expose yourself to any risks if there’s going to be no benefit,” says Dr Virginia Moyer who heads the US Preventive Services Task Force. However, comments Dr Margaret Gourlay of the University of North Carolina and lead author of the study, this doesn’t mean that some women must wait longer between their tests. Osteoporosis becomes a greater risk as you age. If an initial bone scan shows no big problems, many can safety wait 15 years to have another one, the study suggests, while women with moderate osteopenia (a condition where bone mineral density is lower than normal) should have it done every five years, and annually for those with advanced osteopenia.
A Mother’s Touch
It’s not uncommon to find that children raised in families with a low socioeconomic status may develop chronic illnesses associated with metabolic syndrome (a cluster of risk factors that increase the risk for type II diabetes, coronary artery disease and stoke). According to Prof Margie Lachman of the University of British Columbia, ” The literature is very clear that people who are low in socioeconomic status have worse health than their same age counterparts.” However, she believes that a mother nurturing touch can offset the disadvantages of a poor upbringing. Prof Lachman’s study, published in Psychological Science, studied 1,200 middle-aged people to determine what effects maternal nurturing had on their health. Results confirmed that those who grew up in difficult financial circumstances were at a greater health disadvantage, yet, “Among those at risk for poor health, adults who had nurturing mothers in childhood fared better in physical health in midlife,” adds Lachman. These benefits could possibly be traced back to empathy and coping strategies which were taught from a young age. It seems a little tender loving care does go a long way.
Health Hazards Of Metal Hip Replacement
Before you undergo a hip replacement procedure, it’s important to weigh up your options regarding replacing the joint with prosthetic components. For example, although metal-on-metal implants are meant to offer increased mobility, concerns have been raised about their safety. According to the British Orthopaedic Association, these procedures are more likely to fail earlier than other implant types and can be more complicated if there’s soft tissue damage. Patients who’ve had large diameter metal hip replacements have also reported pain, and more worryingly, blood cobalt and chromium ions are often – although not always – elevated. The reason could be that friction between the metal ball and cup causes minuscule metal filings to break off, which can seep into the blood and cause inflammation, destroying muscle and bone. So, before going under the knife, discuss all the surgical options available to you with your medical practitioner.
Diet Soda And Strokes
It’s been confirmed: just one diet soda can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. The swarm of health hazards surrounding soft drinks isn’t new. In fact, Health Intelligence has previously reported on the connection between sugary drinks and heart disease, and other studies show that the excessive consumption of fizzy drinks can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a clinical condition that’s associated with metabolic syndrome. In addition, a recent study of over 2,000 people who regularly indulge in diet sodas showed that those who drank one every day were 43% more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those who drank none, even after allowing for pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. To quench your thirst, the National Health Service UK suggests opting for clean, filtered water, or mixing diluted fruit juice with sparkling water if you still want the fizz. Checks labels carefully and choose 100% pure organic fruit juice with no added sugar.
Starve Off Cancer
Apparently, cancerous tumors don’t like going on diet. They require insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) to grow, and when this isn’t produced by the body, cancer cells battle to wreak their usual havoc in the body. A new study conducted on mice showed that fasting for two days decreased their blood glucose levels by half. The study was done to assess the effects of fasting on cancerous tumours in conjunction with chemotherapy. Mice were fed only water (to prevent dehydration) for 48 hours before they were treated for cancer. Other mice were allowed free reign in what they ate before their treatment. Some of the results from lasting alone were shown to be as effective as chemotherapy, but the best results came from a combination of chemotherapy and fasting. According to Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences, “fasting apparently protects normal cells by reallocating energy toward maintenance pathways from reproduction and growth processes when nutrients are scare or absent. This switch to a protected mode only occurs in normal cells, not cancer cells, because oncogenes prevent the activation of stress resistance.” Prof Longo and his team are currently conducting humans trails on people undergoing chemotherapy to discover the effect of fasting on their prognosis. He does warn that people should not attempt fasting without medical assistance.