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Roundup: HealthNews RoundUp - 4th Week of December, 2019


Sweet Saccharin May Turn Cancer Sour



Pink artificial sweetener, once wrongfully accused of triggering bladder cancer, may ironically help create new cancer chemotherapy drugs.  Data just published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry shows that saccharin prevents cancer cells from surviving in tumors’ typical low oxygen conditions.


Saccharin blocks the activity of tumor-specific carbonic anhydrase 9 while leaving unaffected the carbonic anhydrases 1 and 2 used by normal cells.  The researchers developed compounds with similar chemical structures to saccharin and found that many could kill lung, prostate, and colon cancer cells grown in tissue culture.


These new findings should make you more comfortable using the pink sweetener.  As with most foods and additives, moderation is the by-word.


Silvia Bua, Carrie Lomelino, Akilah B. Murray, Sameh M. Osman, Zeid A. ALOthman, Murat Bozdag, Hatem A. Abdel-Aziz, Wagdy M. Eldehna, Robert McKenna, Alessio Nocentini, Claudiu T. Supuran. “A Sweet Combination”: Developing Saccharin and Acesulfame K Structures for Selectively Targeting the Tumor-Associated Carbonic Anhydrases IX and XII. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2019; DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b01669


#Saccharin #sweetnlow #cancer

Saccharin, sweetnlow, cancer



Animated Digital Books Boost Child Recall



Children reading digital books that provide animated feedback recall more of what they read.  Educational psychologists at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University studied ninety 3 to 5 year olds comparing their comprehension of material read from board books, static digital books and animated digital books.


When a book’s illustrations move in response to a child‘s vocal delight, that child enjoys enhanced memory of the story.  The researchers developed the animated books to model responses of enthusiastic parents guiding their children’s early reading experiences.


Ok parents!  Skip the expense and batteries by releasing your own inner child actor as you read with your kids.  Truly make the material come alive with animated faces and sounds.


Cassondra M. Eng, Anthony S. Tomasic, Erik D. Thiessen. Contingent responsivity in E-books modeled from quality adult-child interactions: Effects on children’s learning and attention.. Developmental Psychology, 2019; DOI: 10.1037/dev0000869


#Reading #digital book #animation #recall

Reading, digital book, animation, recall



Genetic Testing Can’t Predict Health



If you hope that a 23andMe test will predict health, don’t waste your money.  The largest meta-analysis of genetic testing, completed by the University of Alberta, shows that garden-variety mutations make only a 5 to 10% contribution to most disease.


These mutations, so called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs, have a negligible impact on cancer, diabetes, dementia, and most other illnesses.  They do significantly affect a few including inflammatory bowel disease and macular degeneration.


This information empowers you to prolong your life and improve its quality by what you eat and how your exercise your body and brain.  These factors, not genes in your 23 pairs of chromosomes, control 90% of your health.


Jonas Patron, Arnau Serra-Cayuela, Beomsoo Han, Carin Li, David Scott Wishart. Assessing the performance of genome-wide association studies for predicting disease risk. PLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (12): e0220215 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220215


#Genetics #23andMe #disease #celiacdisease

Genetics, 23andMe, disease, celiacdisease




Treat Anxiety And Live Longer



Psychological counseling, known as cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, neutralizes anxiety-induced cellula aging.  Neuropsychologists at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute studied 46 clinically anxious but untreated subjects measuring the psychologic effects and cellular improvement after talk therapy.


Those completing the CBT enjoyed a 46% reduction of anxiety symptoms.  Their protective oxidative enzymes increased, and the presence of these is associated with slower cellular aging.  Most interesting is the fact that the counseling was delivered online in virtual sessions.


If you suffer from anxiety disorders, do seek professional help.  You will feel happier and engage more effectively with family, friends and colleagues.  Your life will be better but also longer.


Kristoffer N. T. Månsson, Daniel Lindqvist, Liu L. Yang, Cecilia Svanborg, Josef Isung, Gustav Nilsonne, Lise Bergman-Nordgren, Samir El Alaoui, Erik Hedman-Lagerlöf, Martin Kraepelien, Jens Högström, Gerhard Andersson, Carl-Johan Boraxbekk, Håkan Fischer, Catharina Lavebratt, Owen M. Wolkowitz, Tomas Furmark. Improvement in indices of cellular protection after psychological treatment for social anxiety disorder. Translational Psychiatry, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41398-019-0668-2


#Anxiety #CBT #behavioraltherapy #longevity

Anxiety, CBT, behavioraltherapy, longevity



College Concussion Epidemic



There’s an epidemic of concussions among college students, and surprisingly most victims are not the football, rugby, and lacrosse players.   A new study from the University of Colorado at Boulder shows that the  $  highest concussion rates occur in non-athletes and in women.


Non-athletes were 57% more likely than athletes to sustain concussions and women were 11% more likely than men.  The college student concussion rate was more than 2.2 times higher than  that of the general population.  Most non-sports injuries were due to falls, fights, and car accidents. August was the most dangerous month.


Be careful out there students and protect your brains.  Otherwise, you’re throwing away your tuition.


John Breck, Adam Bohr, Sourav Poddar, Matthew B. McQueen, Tracy Casault. Characteristics and Incidence of Concussion Among a US Collegiate Undergraduate Population. JAMA Network Open, 2019; 2 (12): e1917626 DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.17626


#Concussion #college #coeds

Concussion, college, coeds



A Beer Belly Is Bad For Your Thinking



Accumulations of belly fat and love handles are associated with a reduction in our problem-solving powers.  This from an Iowa State University study of more than 4400 middle-aged men and women.


The researchers measured both belly and waist fat as well as lean muscle mass.  Participants with belly fat accumulations were the worst problem solvers followed by those with love handles.  Those with more lean muscle mass scored the highest.


To avoid a pear-shaped body and add lean body mass, exercise with resistance training and aerobics.  Then, eating right cutting out those saturated fatty doughnuts and carb-loaded beers.


Brandon S. Klinedinst, Colleen Pappas, Scott Le, Shan Yu, Qian Wang, Li Wang, Karin Allenspach-Jorn, Jonathan P. Mochel, Auriel A. Willette. Aging-related changes in fluid intelligence, muscle and adipose mass, and sex-specific immunologic mediation: A longitudinal UK Biobank study. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2019; 82: 396 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.09.008


#Beerbelly #bellyfat #lovehandles #pearshape #creativity #intelligence

Beerbelly, bellyfat, lovehandles, pearshape, creativity, intelligence



Jedi Dieting Mind Trick



Stepping on your bathroom scale daily is the Jedi mind trick that painlessly stops weight gain over the holidays and these inactive winter months.  This battle plan comes from nutritionists at The University of Georgia.


Their study began before Thanksgiving and ended mid-January.  It involved 111 adults half of whom weighed themselves on a WiFi-enabled scale that graphically displayed their weights over time.  The others just ate without any numeric feedback.  


The scale watchers gained no weight, and, if overweight, actually lost weight.  The controls gained up to 7 pounds on average.


If you want to look good in your swim suit come June, begin a daily weigh-in and chart it.


Sepideh Kaviani, Michelle vanDellen, Jamie A. Cooper. Daily Self‐Weighing to Prevent Holiday‐Associated Weight Gain in Adults. Obesity, 2019; 27 (6): 908 DOI: 10.1002/oby.22454


#Dieting #scale #winter #holidays #Mindtricks

Dieting, scale, winter, holidays, Mindtricks



Coffee Makes Donuts Healthier



Caffeine in any beverage can neutralize the effects of a diet too rich in fat and carbs.  Food scientists at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign now report this finding.


Rats on a 40% fat, 45% carb, and 15% protein diet for a month gained 16% fewer pounds and 22% less body fat if they drank the equivalent of 4 cups of coffee a day.  Cultured fat cells exposed to caffeine had up to 40% less lipid accumulation.


Even without regularly downing fried fish, chips, and donuts, all of us eat to many fats and sweets.  To maintain balance, enjoy coffee, tea, and sometimes cola every chance you get.


Fatima J. Zapata, Miguel Rebollo-Hernanz, Jan E. Novakofski, Manabu T. Nakamura, Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia. Caffeine, but not other phytochemicals, in mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hilaire) attenuates high-fat-high-sucrose-diet-driven lipogenesis and body fat accumulation. Journal of Functional Foods, 2019; 103646 DOI: 10.1016/j.jff.2019.103646


#Caffeine #fat #carbs #coffee #tea

Caffeine, fats, carbs, coffee, tea



Health Clubs Breed Cancer



American health clubs may be contributing to a skin cancer epidemic among the Gen Ys and Zs.  The University of Connecticut now documents the availability of indoor tanning beds at 3 major health chains.


While self-standing indoor tanning salons that breed the deadly skin cancer melanoma are closing, this unhealthiest of practices is ironically springing up in health clubs.  Every Planet Fitness has tanning, 65% of Anytime Fitness center have it, and 41% of Gold’s Gyms can cook your skin. 


Melanoma is the second most common cancer for those 15-29 years of age and the leading cause of cancer death in young women.  Don’t indoor tan and use sunscreen outdoors.


Sherry L. Pagoto, David E. Conroy, Kelsey Arroyo, Jared Goetz, Ashley B. West, Samantha Mulcahy, Molly E. Waring. Assessment of Tanning Beds in 3 Popular Gym Chains. JAMA Network Open, 2019; 2 (12): e1918058 DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.18058


#Tanning #healthclub #melanoma #cancer #geny #genz

Tanning, healthclub, melanoma, cancer, geny, genz




Food Supplements Weaken Cancer Therapy



Common over-the-counter vitamins, iron, and other food supplements prevent cancer chemotherapy from saving womens’ lives.  A multi-center study just published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reviewed 1134 women receiving cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and paclitaxel for their advanced breast cancers.


The antioxidants Vitamins A, C, E, carotenoids, and coenzymeQ increased the recurrence risk by 41% and the death risk by 40%.  The non-antioxidant Vitamin B12 bumped recurrence by 83% and doubled the death risk.  Iron increased the recurrence risk by 79%.


Human biochemistry is complicated and adding powerful anti-cancer drugs to the mix makes it more so.  Adding other chemicals into the mix is risky and may be fatal.


Christine B. Ambrosone, PhD1; Gary R. Zirpoli, PhD2; Alan D. Hutson, PhD1; William E. McCann1; Susan E. McCann, PhD, RD1; William E. Barlow, PhD3.  Dietary Supplement Use During Chemotherapy and Survival Outcomes of Patients With Breast Cancer Enrolled in a Cooperative Group Clinical Trial (SWOG S0221).  J. Clin. Oncology. 


#Breastcancer #vitamins #foodsupplements #antioxidants #chemotherapy

Breastcancer, vitamins, foodsupplements, antioxidants, chemotherapy



E-cigarettes Safer than Cigarettes But……



E-cigarettes create less lung and genetic damage than conventional cigarettes.  This according to an Ohio State study comparing 15 vapers with 16 cigarette smokers and 42 never smokers.


Participants’ lungs were evaluated by testing bronchial washings for inflammatory cells and chemical mediators as well as altered DNA.  The e-cig users showed evidence of general lung damage intermediate between cigarette smokers and never smokers. Their genetic changes were negligible and similar to never-smokers.


This data is reassuring for e-cig users but but fails to justify vaping.  High e-cigarette temperatures produce toxic chemicals and severe, sometimes fatal lung disease.  Best to quit nicotine use with gum or patches.


Min-Ae Song, Jo L. Freudenheim, Theodore M. Brasky, Ewy A. Mathé, Joseph P McElroy, Quentin A Nickerson, Sarah A. Reisinger, Dominic J. Smiraglia, Daniel Y Weng, Kevin L Ying, Mark D. Wewers and Peter G. Shields.  Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in the Lungs of Smokers, Non-Smokers and Electronic Cigarette Users.  DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1245


#Vaping #ecigarettes #pneumonitis #nicotine #quitsmoking

Vaping, ecigarettes, pneumonitis, nicotine, quitsmoking



The Truth About Liars



The scoop on lies comes to us from a British study published earlier this month.  Investigators surveyed 194 men and women, average age 39, about the lies they tell and hear.


The results:

  • Men consider themselves good liars twice as often as women.

  • Liars lie face-to-face followed by texts, phone calls, email, and social media.

  • A few liars are responsible for most lies.

  • Liars are articulate and weave stories that deviate only slightly from the truth.

  • Most lies are told to family and friends; the least to employers and authorities.

  • We only have a 50:50 chance of detecting a lie.


With that, look out for a barrage of lies in 2020.


Brianna L. Verigin, Ewout H. Meijer, Glynis Bogaard, Aldert Vrij. Lie prevalence, lie characteristics and strategies of self-reported good liars. PLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (12): e0225566 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225566


#Lies #liars #politicians #Republicans

Lies, liars, politicians, republicans

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