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Category Archives: Health

Enroll into the modern world by using the favorable flavor of smoking juice

Whatever the shop will be that can be either a big showroom or the smallest market but people will always look for the finest product. The quality of the product is the most important thing that people always look for the thing. Likewise, the electronic cigarettes are also the most advanced way of smoking tool that makes the people avoid all the disadvantages that are provided by using the tobacco smoking or traditional way of smoking. Normally, the smoking habit has killed many people with the most dangerous diseases. Thus, the new invention has made the people be more comfortable by introducing the electronic cigarettes and by eliminating the tobacco smoking. The electronic cigarette is inhaled with the help of the electronic juice that is present in the fluid form. These are available in different flavors in many shops that make the people get the product directly and easily as per their favorite flavor and taste. Search through the online site and know the available flavor of the e liquid that makes you choose the required flavor.

The healthiest way of smoking

The smoking juice is normally made by mixing with a certain mixture that are of different substances. These mixtures contain the vegetative glycerin, propylene glycerol, nicotine, and flavoring agent. There are many people feeling difficult to purchase the e liquid in the traditional market. To avoid these problems, the internet has solved these facilities by introducing these products in the online market. The liquid when heated it starts to boil and evaporates for the smoker to inhale like the traditional or the tobacco smoking.

The main and the only difference between the tobacco smoking and the electronic cigarettes are the no smoke and the elimination of the harmful tobacco. Moreover, this attracts many smokers by its different flavors of taste that are provided in the smoking fluid. Make use of the beneficial product in the online site and save your health from the dangerous diseases that surround you while inhaling the harmful tobacco cigarettes. This is the finest product and is available on the online site with different attractive flavors at an affordable price.

 

Medical Guideline Panels Have Conflicts

More than half of panel members who gather to write clinical practice guidelines on diabetes and high cholesterol have conflicts of interest, new research suggests.

“The concern is that compensation by industry on some of these panels can pose a potential risk of industry influence on the guideline recommendations,” said Dr. Jennifer Neuman, lead author of a paper published online Oct. 11 in the BMJ.

Clinical practice guidelines are meant to direct health care professionals on how to best care for patients.

In the United States and Canada, most organizations (including nonprofit and governmental bodies) have their own protocol for divulging conflicts of interest.

And recently, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published recommendations on how organizations should manage conflicts of interest when drawing up guidelines. Among other things, the institute advocated excluding individuals with financial ties to thedrug industry.

The authors of this paper looked at conflicts of interest, both reported and unreported, among members of 14 different guideline panels in the United States and Canada over the past decade. They focused on two categories only: high cholesterol and diabetes, which account for a lion’s share of drug expenditures.

Organizations included the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Five of the organizations did not require conflict-of-interest disclosures from panel members, the investigators found.

Among a total of 288 panel members, conflicts of interest were found among 52 percent, overall.

And 11 percent of those who claimed no conflicts actually did have conflicts, though, to be fair, Neuman said, most fell within the range of their particular organization’s cut-off point for declaration, albeit not within the cut-off established by these authors.

In addition, half of panel chairs had conflicts, the authors said.

On the other hand, only 16 percent of panel members from government-sponsored guidelines such as the USPSTF declared conflicts, versus 69 percent of non-governmental entities.

The authors noted that unless a particular journal publishing guidelines requires it, USPSTF divulges conflicts of interest only after a Freedom of Information Act request has been filed.

“The difference between the degree of conflict found on government and non-government panels was very surprising to us,” said Neuman, who is an instructor of preventive medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. “It is possible to convene guideline panels that do not have very much conflict.”

In a written comment, the American Heart Association stated that the association “has long had strict policies for preventing any undue influence of industry. In 2010, we refined our policies to require even more stringent management of relationships with industry, to align with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies. Thus, the conclusions drawn by the British Medical Journal article do not reflect the reality of the guidelines development process today, when, for example, all Chairs of our guideline writing groups are free of relationships with industry and we assure that more than 50 percent of each writing group are also free of such relationships. . . . The association believes that our policies control the potential for inappropriate bias to influence guidelines development.”

Dr. Sue Kirkman, senior vice president of medical affairs and community information at the American Diabetes Association, said that the association was “moving towards meeting the standards in the IOM report.” One of the changes it’s making is to try to weed out people with conflicts before appointing them to a panel. The current guidelines, though, she added, are in the best medical interest.

“In general, most people on guideline panels are interested in doing the right thing and promoting evidence-based data but it’s really important to follow . . . recommendations from the IOM towards increased transparency to prevent any potential biases from coming in,” Neuman said.

Health Hypnosis’s Benefits

Today is World Hypnotism Day, and according to the official website, its mission is to “remove the myths and misconceptions while promoting the truth and benefits of hypnotism to the people of the world.” There are certainly many of those misconceptions around, largely due to movies and TV shows that depict eyes following a swinging watch, or people called up on stage who get suckered into acting like clucking chickens or barking dogs. But proponents say it’s time to forget those old stereotypes — whether it’s called hypnosis, hypnotism, or hypnotherapy, this practice is actually an effective, drug-free way to promote behavioral change.

What is hypnosis, anyway? According to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, it is a tool that allows the mind to focus — similar to how a magnifying glass focuses and intensifies the sun’s rays. Unlike the popular myths, you’re not actually unconscious while in a hypnotic state, but fully awake and in a heightened state of concentration. There are several different ways that practitioners can help individuals who are under hypnosis: They may present ideas or suggestions, encourage patients to come up with mental images that illustrate positive change, or help them better understand their underlying motivations.

Need more convincing? Hypnosis is also recognized as a valid medical procedure by the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association. If you’re curious, here are just a few of the ways hypnosis can help your health:

Hypnosis for weight loss: Hypnosis can help people change their eating behaviors and drop the pounds. According to a Vanderbilt University review of the scientific literature, hypnosis works best for weight-loss when combined with a behavioral weight -management plan.

Hypnosis to quit smoking: At the 2011 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Jose Maldonado, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, reported that the success rate of hypnosis for smoking cessation may be as high as 64 percent.

Hypnosis for depression: Cognitive hypnotherapy, which combines hypnosis with cognitive-behavioral therapy, helps change unwanted patterns and behaviors by connecting with the subconscious mind. Experts say this treatment can help the “stuck” thought patterns that go along with depression, anxiety, OCD, and other mood disorders.

Hypnosis for pain management: Hypnosis has been used to treat both chronic types of pain (arthritis, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome) and pain resulting from serious injury. A study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnotism found that hypnosis using virtual reality software reduced the intensity of pain in hospitalized trauma patients more than standard treatment alone.

Low level vitamin D during remission contributes to relapse

Lower vitamin D levels have been associated with active disease in patients with UC, but it has been unknown whether they increase disease relapses. “Prior studies in patients with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis had linked low vitamin D levels to disease flare-ups,” said senior author Alan Moss, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Digestive Disease Center at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“However, it has been unclear if the flare-up was lowering vitamin D levels, or if low vitamin D levels were causing the flare-up. We thought that if we looked at vitamin D levels when the disease was inactive and then followed patients moving forward, the impact of baseline vitamin D levels on future events may be clearer.”

Moss and colleagues collected vitamin D serum levels through a physician-blinded prospective study of 70 patients with UC in clinical remission who were followed up after a surveillance colonoscopy at BIDMC. The study measured vitamin D levels in blood samples and levels of inflammation through blood tests and biopsies. The researchers then followed the patients for 12 months and compared the data from participating patients who remained well and the others who experienced relapses. The investigators found the mean baseline vitamin D level to be lower in patients who later relapsed than those who did not.

“Patients who had higher vitamin D levels when their disease was in remission were less likely to experience a relapse in the future,” said John Gubatan, MD, a physician at BIDMC and first author of the study. “This suggests that higher vitamin D levels may play some role in preventing the UC relapse.” The threshold level of blood vitamin D that was protective was greater than 35ng/ml, which is within the range recommended by the National Institutes of Health for a healthy individual.

Ongoing work by Gubatan and Moss is now examining the link between vitamin D and a protein called cathelicidin in the cells lining the colon. The link may have beneficial effects on microbial composition, an important component of a healthy colon. Building on this research, investigators are trying to unravel how vitamin D may protect cells in the colon and the microbial composition of the bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses that live on and inside the human body, Moss noted.

Second cause of hidden hearing

Now, less than six years since its initial description, scientists have made great strides in understanding what hidden hearing loss is and what causes it. In research published in Nature Communications, University of Michigan researchers report a new unexpected cause for this auditory neuropathy, a step toward the eventual work to identify treatments.

“If people can have hidden hearing loss for different reasons, having the ability to make the right diagnosis of the pathogenesis will be critical,” says author Gabriel Corfas, Ph.D., director of the Kresge Hearing Research Institute at Michigan Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery.

Corfas published the research with co-author Guoqiang Wan, now with Nanjing University in China. They discovered using mice that disruption in the Schwann cells that make myelin, which insulates the neuronal axons in the ear, leads to hidden hearing loss. This means hidden hearing loss could be behind auditory deficits seen in acute demyelinating disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can be caused by Zika virus.

Corfas and Wan used genetic tools to induce loss of myelin in the auditory nerve of mice, modeling Guillain-Barré. Although the myelin regenerated in a few weeks, the mice developed a permanent hidden hearing loss. Even after the myelin regenerated, damage to a nerve structure called the heminode remained.

Synapse loss versus myelin disruption

When the ear is exposed to loud noises over time, synapses connecting hair cells with the neurons in the inner ear are lost. This loss of synapses has previously been shown as a mechanism leading to hidden hearing loss.

In an audiologist’s quiet testing room, only a few synapses are needed to pick up sounds. But in a noisy environment, the ear must activate specific synapses. If they aren’t all there, it’s difficult for people to make sense of the noise or words around them. That is hidden hearing loss, Corfas says.

“Exposure to noise is increasing in our society, and children are exposing themselves to high levels of noise very early in life,” Corfas says. “It’s clear that being exposed to high levels of sound might contribute to increases in hidden hearing loss.”

The newly identified cause — deficiency in Schwann cells — could occur in individuals who have already had noise exposure-driven hidden hearing loss as well. “Both forms of hidden hearing loss, noise exposure and loss of myelin, can occur in the same individual for an additive effect,” Corfas says.

Previously, Corfas’ group succeeded in regenerating synapses in mice with hidden hearing loss, providing a path to explore for potential treatment.

While continuing this work, Corfas started to investigate other cells in the ear, which led to uncovering the new mechanism.

There are no current treatments for hidden hearing loss. But as understanding of the condition improves, the goal is for the research to lead to the development of drugs to treat it.

“Our findings should influence the way hidden hearing loss is diagnosed and drive the future of clinical trials searching for a treatment,” Corfas says. “The first step is to know whether a person’s hidden hearing loss is due to synapse loss or myelin/heminode damage.”

More Effective Treatment of Nerve Pain

The sharp pain shoots to the face or teeth and seriously torments patients. Known as trigeminal neuralgia, it is one of the worst chronic nerve pains. The bouts are triggered by touch, such as shaving, putting on make-up, showering, talking and tooth brushing, or even a gust of wind. The cause is usually an irritation of the trigeminal nerve, the cranial nerve responsible for the sensory innervation of the facial area, parts of the scalp, and the oral cavity.

However, there is now a glimmer of hope for patients: Thanks to a newly tested substance, the pain can be reduced to a tolerable level, as indicated by the promising results of an international phase II study involving the Center of Dental Medicine at the University of Zurich.

Less burdening side effects

Pain signals reach the brain via the activation of sodium channels located in the membranes of nerve cells. The sodium channel “1.7” is frequently expressed on pain-conducting nerves and higher pain intensity is linked to higher channel activity. Blocking this sodium channel — e.g. by a local anesthetic — inhibits the pain. In trigeminal neuralgia, the nerve damage is presumed to be at the base of the skull. However, this region is hard to reach by local injections and therefore requires drug treatment.

The novel substance BIIB074 which was tested in this phase II study inhibits the sodium channel 1.7 state-dependent, meaning: The more active this sodium channel gets, the stronger it is blocked by BIIB074. By contrast, currently available medications block the sodium channel 1.7 irrespective of the nerve activity, which commonly results in burdening side effects. “Unlike conventional drugs, which often cause tiredness and concentration problems, BIIB074 was not only effective; but also very well tolerated,” explains Dominik Ettlin, a dental specialist from UZH. “We will now test the new substance in a lot more subjects during the next study phase, which will reveal whether the new hope for more effective pain relief is justified,” he concludes.

Trigeminal neuralgia

Around 13 people in every 100,000 are diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia every year — that’s around 1,100 throughout Switzerland. Trigeminal neuralgia affects more women than men, the majority of whom are pensioners. Around one percent of all multiple sclerosis patients develop trigeminal neuralgia.

Only one-third of parents think they are doing a good job

Nearly all parents agree with the importance of healthy diets during childhood, according to a new national poll. But when it comes to their own homes, only a third of parents of children ages 4-18 are confident they are doing a good job shaping their child’s eating habits.

While a little more than half of parents polled believe their children eat mostly healthy, only one in six rate their children’s diets as very nutritious, according to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health. Meanwhile, about a fourth of parents say their child’s eating is somewhat or not healthy at all.

Common challenges get in the way: Price, picky eaters and convenience.

“Most parents understand that they should provide healthy food for their children, but the reality of work schedules, children’s activities and different food preferences can make meal preparation a hectic and frustrating experience,” says poll co-director Sarah Clark.

“The tension between buying foods children like, and buying foods that are healthy, can be an ongoing struggle. Many of us know the feeling of spending time and money on a healthy meal only to have our children grimace at the sight of it and not take a single bite.”

Most parents polled agree it’s important to promote a healthy diet for their children. Still, one in five don’t think it’s important to limit fast food and junk food in their child’s diet. Another 16 percent believe it is somewhat or not important to limit sugary drinks.

In general, parents of teens were less worried about unhealthy eating habits compared to parents of younger children.

“It can be easy to slip into more convenient habits that seem less stressful and less expensive. But if occasional fast food or junk food becomes the norm, it will be even more difficult to promote healthy habits for kids as they grow up,” Clark says.

“Many convenience foods are high in sugar, fat and calories and overconsumption of fast food can cause childhood obesity and other health problems.”

Another hurdle: The often overwhelming quest to shop healthy. Nearly half of parents polled admit that it is difficult to tell which foods are actually good for them. Phrases such as all-natural, low-fat, organic, and sugar-free are used inconsistently on food labels and packaging and can be confusing for shoppers.

Additionally, about one in four parents say healthy foods are not available where they shop, a challenge which is more prominent among parents with lower education and income levels.

“Most parents want their children to eat as healthy as possible but may need help making that happen,” Clark says. “Some parents need help with shopping, meal preparation, or other household chores so that mealtimes are not so hectic. Others would benefit from easy-to-understand information on how to identify packaged foods that are healthy, ideas on how to make kid-friendly recipes a little healthier, and practical suggestions on convincing picky eaters to try a more balanced diet.”

Food additive found in candy, gum could alter digestive

Researchers exposed a small intestinal cell culture model to the physiological equivalent of a meal’s worth of titanium oxide nanoparticles — 30 nanometers across — over four hours (acute exposure), or three meal’s worth over five days (chronic exposure).

Acute exposures did not have much effect, but chronic exposure diminished the absorptive projections on the surface of intestinal cells called microvilli. With fewer microvilli, the intestinal barrier was weakened, metabolism slowed and some nutrients — iron, zinc, and fatty acids, specifically — were more difficult to absorb. Enzyme functions were negatively affected, while inflammation signals increased.

“Titanium oxide is a common food additive and people have been eating a lot of it for a long time — don’t worry, it won’t kill you! — but we were interested in some of the subtle effects, and we think people should know about them,” said Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Gretchen Mahler, one of the authors of the paper.

“There has been previous work on how titanium oxide nanoparticles affects microvilli, but we are looking at much lower concentrations,” Mahler said. “We also extended previous work to show that these nanoparticles alter intestinal function.”

Titanium dioxide is generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and ingestion is nearly unavoidable. The compound is an inert and insoluble material that is commonly used for white pigmentation in paints, paper and plastics. It is also an active ingredient in mineral-based sunscreens for pigmentation to block ultraviolet light.

However, it can enter the digestive system through toothpastes, as titanium dioxide is used to create abrasion needed for cleaning. The oxide is also used in some chocolate to give it a smooth texture; in donuts to provide color; and in skimmed milks for a brighter, more opaque appearance which makes the milk more palatable.

A 2012 Arizona State University study tested 89 common food products including gum, Twinkies, and mayonnaise and found that they all contained titanium dioxide. About five percent of products in that study contained titanium dioxide as nanoparticles. Dunkin Donuts stopped using powdered sugar with titanium dioxide nanoparticles in 2015 in response to pressure from the advocacy group As You Sow.

“To avoid foods rich in titanium oxide nanoparticles you should avoid processed foods, and especially candy. That is where you see a lot of nanoparticles,” Mahler said.

You can Save Your Live and Dollars with Motorcycle Helmet

More lives are saved in states with universal helmet laws for motorcyclists and their passengers than in states with partial laws, a new U.S. report confirms.

Universal helmet laws also saved states millions of dollars, the report said.

More than 14,000 deaths of motorcyclists occurred between 2008 and 2010 in the United States, and of these, more than 6,000 involved people who weren’t wearing helmets, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Universal helmet laws result in increased helmet use and cost savings,” said lead researcher Rebecca Naumann, a CDC epidemiologist.

In all, 19 states have universal helmet laws, 28 have partial laws and three have no helmet laws, she noted.

“In states with universal helmet laws, use approaches 100 percent,” Naumann said.

Some people believe that helmets themselves cause injuries and restrict vision and hearing, Naumann noted. However, all studies have shown that that is not the case.

“They make riding safer by protecting the head. Head injuries are the leading cause of death among motorcyclists,” she explained.

The report appears in the June 15 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In addition to saving lives, universal helmet laws save money.

Yearly cost savings in states with universal motorcycle helmet laws were almost four times greater compared to states without these laws, the researchers found.

Medical, productivity and other cost savings ranged from a high of $394 million in California, which has a universal helmet law, to a low of $2.6 million in New Mexico, which has a partial law, according to the report.

Universal helmet laws mandate that motorcycle riders and passengers wear a helmet every time they ride.

Partial helmet laws require certain riders, such as those under age 21, to wear a helmet.

The data show that in the 19 states with universal helmet laws, 12 percent of those who died in a motorcycle crash weren’t wearing a helmet.

In comparison, 64 percent of those who died in crashes in states with partial helmet laws weren’t wearing one; nor were 79 percent of those who died in the three states with no helmet laws (Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire).

Helmets prevent 37 percent of motorcycle crash deaths among riders and 41 percent among passengers, the researchers said. In addition, helmets prevent 13 percent of serious injuries and 8 percent of minor injuries to riders and passengers.

There has been a trend in recent years for states to back off universal helmet laws. In April, Michigan repealed its universal law in favor of a partial law, while requiring motorcyclists to carry extra injury insurance.

Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, said that “these findings reinforce what we know about the efficacy of helmet laws.”

Yet states are under pressure to repeal these laws.

“The motorcycle lobby is a very influential lobby,” Harsha said. “When a state repeals a law there is pressure on neighboring states to do that.”

The main argument for repeal is personal freedom, Harsha noted. “They want to be able to ride with or without their helmets. They don’t want government telling them what to do,” she said.

There will be more repeal attempts, but the CDC research will help counter these repeal attempts, Harsha said.

“Wearing your motorcycle helmet is the most effective thing you can do to help to protect you in the event of a crash,” she stressed.

Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, added that “it makes little sense that states are repealing or weakening motorcycle helmet laws.”

In the 1970s, nearly all states mandated helmets for all motorcyclists, but now only 19 states have such laws, he pointed out.

“Helmets significantly reduce the risk of serious injury or death in motorcycle crashes. Yet, many states are turning back the clock on highway safety by repealing all-rider helmet laws,” Rader said.

Germs Abound on Office Phones, Chairs, Desks

You may want to clear out your workspace and break out the disinfecting wipes: Your area is teeming with bacteria, most of which is human in origin, according to a new study.

More than 500 bacterial genera were identified based on an analysis of viable heterotropic bacteria cultivated off office space surfaces in three cities. There were highly significant differences in bacterial abundance among surfaces, genders, and cities, reported Scott Kelley, PhD, from San Diego State University, and colleagues inPLoS One.

Chairs and phones were the most contaminated surfaces while spaces inhabited by men were more germ-ridden compared with areas where women worked, they noted. Also, offices in San Francisco tended to be less contaminated than offices in New York and in Tucson, Ariz.

However, they pointed out that most of the human-associated bacteria were “commensals,” which indicates a symbiotic relationship between two organisms, where one organism benefits but the other is neutral.

“Humans are spending an increasing amount of time indoors, yet we know little about the diversity of bacteria and viruses where we live, work and play,” Kelley said in a statement. “This study provides detailed baseline information about the rich bacterial communities in typical office settings and insight into the sources of these organisms.”

Previous studies of office buildings have reported 106 bacteria per cubic meter in an ever-changing microbial environment. In 2008, Finnish researchers discovered hundreds of unique microbial lineages (OTUs) at just two different office buildings (BMC Microbiol online, April 8, 2008).

For the current study, the authors combined culture-based cell counting and multiplexed pyrosequencing of environmental ribosomal RNA gene sequences. This “deep-sequencing approach” allowed for broader sampling and more detailed sequencing. They chose offices in the three cities because they offered diverse climate regimes.

They swabbed about 13 cm2 of the same surfaces in every building: chairs, phones, computer mice, computer keyboards, and desktops.

They found that human oral and nasal cavities as well as skin were the primary sources of office bacterial contamination. Proteobacteria (Salmonella, Helicobacter) was the most common, followed by Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Together, these groups made up nearly 90 percent of the sequences, the authors said.

Bacteroidetes is associated with the human digestive tract and the genera does include pathogens, but the sequence information that the authors collected could not distinguish bacterial strains or species.

As for the differences in contamination levels based on gender, Kelley’s group offered two possible explanations: Men are perceived as being less hygienic than women (washing their hands less frequently) and they also may shed more bacteria into the environment simply because they are generally larger than women.

Other bacterial genera noted in the study were associated with soils and with some environmental sources such as microbacteriaceae.

Finally, the samples from Tucson were quite different than those from New York and San Francisco, probably because of the desert soils. For instance, bacteroidetes and Cyanobacteria were essentially absent in the Tucson samples but were seen in samples in the other cities.

The 549 bacterial genera found in this study was much higher than the 283 unique OTUs discovered in the Finnish study, the authors said, most likely because of broader sampling and deeper sequencing. But the results were in line with studies onairplane bacterial contamination (ISME Journal online, February 7, 2008).

While the bacteria levels reported in the current study would probably only pose a problem for people who have severely compromised immune systems, these findings in “nominally ‘healthy’ buildings”could be useful for identifying sick building syndrome, the authors said.