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Roundup: HealthNews RoundUp - 4th Week of January, 2020


Soybean Oil May Damage Your Brain



America’s favorite edible oil, known to drive obesity, fatty livers, and diabetes, now appears to negatively impact a key brain center.  Molecular biologists at UC-Riverside report their latest mouse model studies of soybean oil, frequently used to fry fast foods and nourish livestock.


The oil interferes with critical gene actions in the hypothalamus that control body temperature, body weight, and reproduction.  Soybean oil reduces production of oxytocin, the hormone involved in social interactions, reproduction, and parental-baby bonding.


Other soy products including soy sauce, soy milk, tofu, and edamame are not implicated.  Until we know more, don’t buy or use soybean oil and question the restaurants you frequent about which cooking oil they use.


Poonamjot Deol, Elena Kozlova, Matthew Valdez, Catherine Ho, Ei-Wen Yang, Holly Richardson, Gwendolyn Gonzalez, Edward Truong, Jack Reid, Joseph Valdez, Jonathan R Deans, Jose Martinez-Lomeli, Jane R Evans, Tao Jiang, Frances M Sladek, Margarita C Curras-Collazo. Dysregulation of Hypothalamic Gene Expression and the Oxytocinergic System by Soybean Oil Diets in Male Mice. Endocrinology, 2020; DOI: 10.1210/endocr/bqz044


#soybeanoil #hypothalamus #obesity #diabetes #fattyliver

Soybeanoil, hypothalamus, obesity, diabetes, fattyliver




Heartburn Drugs Can Dull Breast Cancer Survivors



Drugs in the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) family negatively impact the memory and thought processing of breast cancer survivors by a factor of 20 to nearly 30%.  This the conclusion of an Ohio State University behavioral medicine study of some 88 patients.


PPI users reported 20% more difficulties concentrating and 28% more impaired memory.  Users of these drugs including Prevacid, Nexium, and Prilosec, all available over-the-counter, complained about lower quality of life and day-to-day problem solving difficulties.


The FDA only approved PPIs for short-term use.  Breast cancer survivors and all of use should minimize their use.  Don’t forget the safe alternative: good old antacid Tums.


Annelise A. Madison, Alex Woody, Brittney Bailey, Maryam B. Lustberg, Bhuvaneswari Ramaswamy, Robert Wesolowski, Nicole Williams, Raquel Reinbolt, Jeffrey B. VanDeusen, Sagar Sardesai, William B. Malarkey, Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser. Cognitive problems of breast cancer survivors on proton pump inhibitors. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 2020; DOI: 10.1007/s11764-019-00815-4


#ppis #breastcancer #thinking #memory

ppis, breastcancer, thinking, memory



Mind Control Relaxes Men With Urinary Urges



Guys obsessed finding the next men’s room are helped by behavioral therapy as much as by drugs.  A multisite study, just published in JAMA Internal Medicine, studied  204 men with jittery bladders who literally hit the urinals 9 times a day or more


Those men completing mind control studies teaching them to suppress their urges to go, tone their pelvic muscles, and wait longer and longer before “opening their urinary faucets” improved their voiding pattern after only 6 weeks by almost 25% (24.7%).  Those on drugs alone only improved 13% while those on mind control and drugs did only 5% better than without the drugs.


Use your your money.


Burgio KL, Kraus SR, Johnson TM, et al. Effectiveness of Combined Behavioral and Drug Therapy for Overactive Bladder Symptoms in Men: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 13, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.6398


#urgency #frequency #mindcontrol

urgency, frequency, mindcontrol




Hookah Smoking Triggers Blood Clots



Tobacco smoke from a hookah apparatus causes blood to clot 11 times faster than normal.  A University of Texas-El Paso mouse study measured the effects on blood of hookah smoking that mimicked human exposures.


Fired by the usual charcoal, the hookah burned commercially-available, flavored tobacco the also included glycerin and molasses.   Platelet function was hyperactive and blood clotted in just 11 seconds in smoking mice versus 5 minutes which is typical for humans too.


Hookah smoking is on the rise due to a false perception that it is safer than cigarettes or vaping.   Hookah smoke is very toxic containing not only concentrated tobacco fumes but also organic charcoal carcinogens.


Ahmed B. Alarabi, Zubair A. Karim, Jean E. Montes Ramirez, Keziah R. Hernandez, Patricia A. Lozano, José O. Rivera, Fatima Z. Alshbool, Fadi T. Khasawneh. Short-Term Exposure to Waterpipe/Hookah Smoke Triggers a Hyperactive Platelet Activation State and Increases the Risk of Thrombogenesis. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 2020; DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.313435


#hookah #platelets #bloodclotting

hookah, platelets, bloodclotting



Risks of Body Decorations



Body art is becoming increasingly popular and acceptable.  Even doctors and nurses, once forbidden by hospitals to have exposed tattoos or piercings, are decorating.  Younger patients seem to love it.


The dark sides to tattooing, body piecing, skin implants, earlobe stretching, scarification, and tongue splitting are infections, scarring, and allergies.  


Local infection from contaminated instruments or materials are readily treatable, but it can cause scars and require removal of the implanted materials.  More deadly, the infection can spread to your heart valves and to your brain.  


Decorations can trigger excessive scarring or keloids particularly common in people of color.  Certain jewelry, usually cheaper, silver-plated nickel, can induce a nasty skin allergies.  Beware! 


#piercings #tattoos #implants #bodydecoration

piercings, tattoos, implants, bodydecoration



Morning Blue Light Helps Mild TBIs



A half hour of bright blue light every morning can help recovery from a mild traumatic brain injury.  A University of Arizona study of 32 victims who suffered head injuries was just published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease.


Just 6 weeks of 30 minute morning blue light sessions normalized flawed sleep patterns that occur after brain injury, and, in turn, improved the participants thought processing.  Amber light had no such positive effects.  Blue light suppresses melatonin triggering greater mental energy during the day and more restful sleep at night.  Both improve recovery following mild TBIs.


If you have had a head injury or have sleep problems, you should try morning blue light. 


William D.S. Killgore, John R. Vanuk, Bradley R. Shane, Mareen Weber, Sahil Bajaj. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of blue wavelength light exposure on sleep and recovery of brain structure, function, and cognition following mild traumatic brain injury. Neurobiology of Disease, 2020; 134: 104679 DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2019.104679


#tbi #bluelight #sleep #melatonin

tbi, bluelight, sleep, melatonin




Walnuts Enhance Your GI Bacteria



Wolfing down 2-3 ounces of walnuts a day is an excellent way to improve your gut microbiome and keep your heart healthy.  This from nutrition researchers at Penn State.


They studied 42 overweight or obese middle aged subjects and replaced the saturated fats in their diets with either vegetable oils or good ol’ walnuts.  When their fecal samples were analyzed, the walnut eaters enjoyed a significant increase in good gastrointestinal bacteria including eubacterium eligens and lachnospiraceae.  The Eu bug normalizes blood pressure while the lach bug drops your blood pressure and cholesterol.


Walnuts won’t neutralize a pile of burgers and donuts.  They do make a heart healthy snacks so crack a can.


Alyssa M Tindall, Christopher J McLimans, Kristina S Petersen, Penny M Kris-Etherton, Regina Lamendella. Walnuts and Vegetable Oils Containing Oleic Acid Differentially Affect the Gut Microbiota and Associations with Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Follow-up of a Randomized, Controlled, Feeding Trial in Adults at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease. The Journal of Nutrition, 2019; DOI: 10.1093/jn/nxz289


#walnuts #microbiome #hypertension #cholesterol

walnuts, microbiome, hypertension, cholesterol



Radiation Tops Surgery For Localized Prostate Cancer



Keeping the surgeon’s knife away from your prostate in favor or using radiotherapy improves your sexual function by up to 15 % and your urine control by up to 23%.  These stats come from multi-site study of nearly 2000 men was just published in JAMA.


Groups with potentially operable prostate cancer received either watchful waiting, nerve-sparing prostate removal, or external beam radiation. After 5 years, those with better behaved tumors had better urinary, sexual, and bowel function after radiotherapy than surgery.  Even those with more aggressive tumors enjoyed better urinary and sexual performance after radiation than surgery.


Proton beams seem even better than conventional radiation.  Avoid surgery if possible.


Hoffman KE, Penson DF, Zhao Z, et al. Patient-Reported Outcomes Through 5 Years for Active Surveillance, Surgery, Brachytherapy, or External Beam Radiation With or Without Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer. JAMA. 2020;323(2):149–163. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.20675


#prostatecancer  #radiation #surgery #incontinence #ed

prostatecancer, radiation, surgery, incontinence, ed



Should Docs And Nurses Have Tattoos



In a 2015 Harris poll, over 71% of parents thought tats were ok for pediatricians, 51% of millennials approved for any doctor, but only 35% of all adults felt comfortable with tattoos.  


In a Hawaiian study the same year, more than half of the respondents expressed less confidence in doctors with tats or piercings. 


 A 2018 study of more than 900 emergency room patients suggested that patient confidence was unaffected by tattoos.  


A November 2019 Medscape poll of doc, nurses, and pharmacists showed a 60% approval of tats.


What do you think?  To respond, comment on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TicToc, Facebook, or LinkedIn.  I’ll tabulate the results and let you know.


Harris poll:

Hawaiian study:

Emergency Room study:



#tattoos #piercings #doctors #nurses

tattoos, piercings, doctors, nurses



Exercise Enhances Memory Like Caffeine



Moderate intensity aerobic exercise improves your working memory in a manner similar to caffeine.   Exercise physiologists from Canada’s Western University and the University of British Columbia tested 59 participants half of whom never drank caffeine and half of whom drank it regularly


A 20 minute session of moderate aerobic exercise on a treadmill conferred a statistically similar working memory benefit as a cup of regular coffee for non-drinkers. For regular coffee drinkers, adding exercise triggered even greater accuracy improvements. 


Exercise also curtailed caffeine withdrawal symptoms in those regular consumers who were deprived of their java.


 Aerobic exertion improves brain function by boosting blood flow to these vital tissues.  Do it often!


Morava, A., Fagan, M.J. & Prapavessis, H. Effects of Caffeine and Acute Aerobic Exercise on Working Memory and Caffeine Withdrawal. Sci Rep 9, 19644 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56251-y


#exercise #caffeine #memory #cognition

exercise, caffeine, memory, cognition



IVF Clinics Use Misleading Advertising



Almost 90 percent of in-vitro fertilization clinics fail to report complete outcome information as they are required to do by the Society For Assisted Reproductive Technology.  This according to a unpublished Brown University study presented to the IVF scientific meetings last October.


The researchers reviewed 361 IVF clinic websites looking for advertising policy adherence. One-third of the sites violated the rule prohibiting success rate reporting and half fail to publish up-to-date data.  Only 46% linked to the Society’s comprehensive database as they are required to do.


It’s apparent that better society monitoring is needed to protect unsuspecting infertile couples desperate for a child.  Meanwhile, buyer beware!


#ivf #infertility #falseadvertising

ivf, infertility, falseadvertising



Executive Health Screening Programs Are Test Mills



Not one of the 12 tests routinely ordered by big ticket executive screening programs at top US cardiology programs are recommended for generally healthy individuals by specialty societies or the US Preventive Services Task Force.  A review of such programs by cardiologists at Washington University and St. Louis Schools of Medicine.


These programs are cash cows for the hospitals.  They charge from about $1,000 to 25 times that amount, and most insurance plans won't cover a penny.  The unnecessary testing including extensive lipid panels, cardiac stress tests, and heart CT scans that keep hospital facilities full and profitable.


Even if you can afford it, don’t be a sucker.


Ge A, Brown DL. Assessment of Cardiovascular Diagnostic Tests and Procedures Offered in Executive Screening Programs at Top-Ranked Cardiology Hospitals. JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 13, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.6607


#executivehealth #cardiacscreening

executivehealth, cardiacscreening




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