Steroids for Risk of Late Preterm Delivery Help Babies and Reduce Costs

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, MD, MScEllen Jacobson Levine and Eugene JacobsonProfessor of Women's Health in Obstetrics and GynecologyDirector, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship ProgramCo-Director, CUMC Preterm Birth Prevention Center Columbia University

Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, MD, MSc
Ellen Jacobson Levine and Eugene Jacobson
Professor of Women’s Health in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program
Co-Director, CUMC Preterm Birth Prevention Center
Columbia University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In 2016 our group published the findings of the Antenatal Late Preterm Steroids (ALPS) trial in the NEJM.  We found that administration of antenatal corticosteroids to women at high risk for delivery from 34-36 weeks decreased breathing problems in their neonates.  This treatment had been traditionally only given at less than 34 weeks.

The current paper is a cost analysis of that trial.  We found that the treatment was also cost effective.  From a cost perspective treatment was both low cost and highly effective (the options are low cost, low effect/low cost/high effect, high cost/low effect, high cost/high effect).  Continue reading

Fast Food Servings Have Gotten Bigger and Saltier

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Megan A McCrory, PhD, FTOSResearch Associate ProfessorDept of Health SciencesSargent College of Health and Rehabilitation SciencesBoston University 02215

Dr. McCrory

Megan A McCrory, PhD, FTOS
Research Associate Professor
Dept of Health Sciences
Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Boston University 02215

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in the US, along with documented increases in portion size in the food supply. Fast food is popular, making up about 11% of adult daily calorie intake in the US, and over 1/3 of U.S. adults eat at fast food establishments on any given day. We therefore sought to examine changes in portion size, calories, and selected nutrients in fast-food entree, side, and dessert menu items across the years 1986, 1991, and 2016.

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Supplements Did Not Prevent Depression in Study of Obese Adults

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Marjolein Visser PhDProfessor of Healthy AgingHead section Nutrition and HealthDepartment of Health Sciences, Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdam Public Health research institute

Dr. Visser

Prof. Marjolein Visser PhD
Professor of Healthy Aging
Head section Nutrition and Health
Department of Health Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam Public Health research institute

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: More than 40 million Europeans experience a major depressive disorder. One in ten men, and one in five women suffer from clinical depression at least once during their lifetime. Depression is one of the most prevalent and disabling disorders in the EU.

Given the increasing prevalence of depression, more people are actively searching for ways to decrease their risk through lifestyle modification, but are often overwhelmed by confusing and contradictory information.

The MooDFOOD prevention trial is the largest randomized clinical trial to study the effects of nutritional strategies on the prevention of major depressive disorder. Over 1000 overweight or obese participants identified as being at elevated risk for depression but who were not currently depressed, from four European countries -the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain, took part in the study. Participants were randomized to either take nutritional supplements containing folic acid, vitamin D, zinc, selenium or to a pill placebo, and half of participants also received a behavioral lifestyle intervention intended to change dietary behaviors and patterns.

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New York Trans Fat Policy Linked to Reduction of Fatty Acids in Adults by 50%

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sonia Y. Angell, MD MPHDivision of General MedicineDepartment of Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical CenterNew York, NY  

Dr. Angell

Sonia Y. Angell, MD MPH
Division of General Medicine
Department of Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
New York, NY  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Trans fatty acid in the diet increases the incidence of coronary heart disease in the population. In 2006, a policy restricting restaurant use of trans fat went into effect in NYC. This study measured the change in trans fatty acid serum concentration among a representative sample of the NYC population between 2004 and 2013-2014, and whether the change varied by frequency of restaurant food dining.

Overall, blood trans fatty acid serum concentration went down by 57%. Among people who dined out less than one time a week, it went down 51% and in those who dined out 4 or more times a week, it went down 61.6%.  In fact, in 2013-2014 there was no longer a significant increase in the serum trans fatty acid concentrations among those who ate restaurant foods frequently compared with those who ate out rarely.  Continue reading

Excessive Inorganic Phosphate Food Additives May Make Us More Sedentary

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D. Professor of Medicine Norman & Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis and Mineral Metabolism Research Director, Hypertension Section, Cardiology Division, UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX 75390-8586

Dr. Vongpatanasin

Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Norman & Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension
Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis and Mineral Metabolism Research
Director, Hypertension Section,
Cardiology Division,
UT Southwestern Medical Center 

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Increased sedentary activity is commonly seen in people who regularly consume fast food but previously studies have not identified potential mechanisms beyond increased obesity and lack of motivation. Our study seeks to determine if inorganic phosphate, a commonly used food additives that are present in up to 70% of foods in the American diet, maybe the culprit. These food additives (which may come in the form of monocalcium phosphate, phosphoric acid, or tetrasodium phosphate, etc. are used to make the food taste better and/or last longer. It is found mostly in prepackaged foods, cola drinks, and bakery items (cookies, cake, and bread). This is very different from organic phosphates that are found naturally in many healthful foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which are not not readily absorbed from the GI tract.

In the Dallas Heart Study, a multiethnic population-based study, we found that serum phosphate is significantly associated with sedentary time and increased time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity which was measured by wrist actigraphy device. This is not explained by reduce cardiac function as ejection fraction remains normal at higher serum phosphate. Continue reading

Two or More Diet Drinks Per Day Linked to Greater Risk of Stroke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Ph.D., RD Associate Professor Division of Health Promotion & Nutrition Research Dept. of Epidemiology & Population Health Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, NY 10461

Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani

Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Ph.D., RD
Associate Professor
Division of Health Promotion & Nutrition Research
Dept. of Epidemiology & Population Health
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, NY 10461

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This is the largest study of the effects of artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) in older women from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study which started in 1993 and still continues to follow the women. A prior paper indicated excess risk of cardiovascular disease with high consumption of ASBs, but cardiovascular disease was a composite endpoint combining stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, revascularization and peripheral arterial disease.  Our study focusses on stroke by itself and with different subtypes of stroke. We define high consumption as two or more 12 fl oz. of diet drinks (diet soda or fruit drinks) per day and low consumption as no or less than one drink per week.

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Higher Protein, Lower Calorie Diet Can Improve Function and Weight Loss in Older Adults

Kristen M. Beavers Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Exercise Science Department of Biostatistical Sciences Wake Forest School of Medicine Winston-Salem, NC

Dr. Beavers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kristen M. Beavers PhD, MPH, RD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Exercise Science
Department of Biostatistical Sciences
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Winston-Salem, NC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Weight loss recommendation for older adults with obesity is controversial, in part because overall weight loss is accompanied by loss of muscle and bone, which may exacerbate age-related risk of disability and fracture. Identification of interventions that can preserve muscle and bone while promoting fat loss should maximize cardiometabolic benefit, while minimizing potential harm to the musculoskeletal system.

This randomized controlled trial was originally designed to test whether a higher protein, nutritionally complete meal plan could preserve lean mass and mobility in older adults undergoing a six month intentional weight loss program. Four publications have resulted from this study: * “Effect of an Energy-Restricted, Nutritionally Complete, Higher Protein Meal Plan on Body Composition and Mobility in Older Adults with Obesity,” Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, published online in advance of print June 21, 2018 * “Effect of a Hypocaloric, Nutritionally Complete, Higher-Protein Meal Plan on Bone Density and Quality in Older Adults With Obesity,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online in advance of print Jan. 9, 2019 * “Effect of Intentional Weight Loss on Mortality Biomarkers in Older Adults With Obesity,” Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, published online in advance of print Aug. 20, 2018 * “Effects of a Hypocaloric, Nutritionally Complete, Higher Protein Meal Plan on Regional Body Fat and Cardiometabolic Biomarkers in Older Adults with Obesity,” Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, published online in advance of print Feb. 11, 2019

Across the four publications, we found that:

* Participants lost about 18 pounds, most of it fat (87 percent), and preserved muscle mass. The control group lost about half a pound.

* Even when participants lost weight, they maintained bone mass. In fact, trabecular bone score, a measure of bone quality which predicts fracture risk, seemed to improve.

* Fat was lost in the stomach, hips, thighs and rear, which is important for preventing or controlling cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes and stroke.

* Participants’ score on the Healthy Aging Index, which measures biomarkers that predict mortality and longevity, improved by 0.75 points. Continue reading

Does Salt Help or Worsen Lightheadedness?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Division of General Medicine, Section for Research Boston, MA  02215

Dr. Juraschek

Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Division of General Medicine, Section for Research
Boston, MA  02215

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Lightheadedness with standing is an important risk factor for falls. Sodium is often considered a treatment for lightheadedness with standing.

We examined this in the setting of a monitored feeding study where adults ate each of 3 different sodium levels for 4 weeks at a time. Participants took 5 day breaks between sodium levels and ate the sodium levels in random order. We tested the hypothesis that lowering sodium would worsen how much lightheadedness the study participants reported.

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Free Food at Work Often Not of the Healthy Variety

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stephen Onufrak, PhD Epidemiologist, Obesity Prevention and Control Branch Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA

Dr. Stephen Onufrak

Stephen Onufrak, PhD
Epidemiologist, Obesity Prevention and Control Branch
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: With more than 150 million working adults in the United States, workplaces represent a far reaching setting for chronic disease prevention and health promotion. While research suggests that workplace wellness efforts can be effective at changing health behaviors, little is known about the foods that people acquire at work.

In this study, we used data from the US Department of Agriculture Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey (FoodAPS) to investigate workplace food acquisitions among employed adults during a 7 day study period. The foods we examined included those purchased in places like cafeterias and vending machines as well as those acquired for free at meetings, social events, common areas, or shared by coworkers. They did not include foods brought from home by someone to eat at work themselves or food acquired by the employee at offsite restaurants.  Continue reading

Antioxidants May Enhance Efficacy of Chemotherapy on Glioblastoma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Scott Litofsky, MD  Division of Neurological Surgery University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine Columbia, MO 65212 

Dr. Litofsky

Dr. Scott Litofsky, MD
Division of Neurological Surgery
University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine
Columbia, MO 65212 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Many patients take over-the-counter medications to held their cancers. Some of these remedies may be helpful; others are potentially harmful. Anti-oxidant medications are frequently selected by patients as they are inexpensive and available.

We were approached by a high school student, Macy Williams (one of the authors) to do some research in our laboratory when she won a research scholarship (the 2016 Emperor Science Award) from Stand Up to Cancer. She worked with us several times per week doing experiments during her senior year of high school. When she graduated, we continued the work that she started.

We studied effects of Vitamin D3, Melatonin, and alpha-Lipoic Acid on glioblastoma cells, a highly malignant brain tumor. We included experiments of these agents alone and in combination with Temozolomide, a chemotherapy agent used as standard of care in glioblastoma. The work was done in cultured cells, measuring growth and survival of cells. We used concentrations that could be achieved by oral intake of the drugs.

We found that antioxidant medications, particularly alpha Lipoic Acid, had synergistic effects with Temozolomide – that is Temozolomide impair glioblastoma cell growth and survival better when combined with an antioxidant. The mechanism of action may be through reactive oxygen species.  Continue reading

Low Sugar Diet Reduced Liver Fat and Inflammation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Miriam Vos, MD, MSPH Assistant professor of Pediatrics Emory University School of Medicine Physician on staff, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Dr. Vos

Miriam Vos, MD, MSPH
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director
Pediatric Fatty Liver Program
Emory and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Fatty liver disease has quickly become a common problem in children and adolescents, affecting an estimated 7 million children in the U.S.  This study resulted from our previous research demonstrating that fructose increases cardiometabolic risk factors in children with NAFLD in addition to other research that had demonstrated associations between NAFLD and sugar.    Continue reading

Men, the Microbiome, and Weight Loss

The obesity rate has climbed steadily for men in the United States, currently rolling in at nearly 38% and still rising. That’s far from good news, and it’s doing nothing to help with the growing cardiovascular and heart disease statistics. Fighting obesity can be incredibly difficult, especially with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles brought on by modern conveniences. With diets popping up every day, it can be hard to pick, but one diet has arisen with a focus on digestive and general body health rather than strict weight loss: fiber-high diets.

What is it?

Fiber-high diets are exactly what they sound like, in that they’re dietary plans based on consuming fiber heavy foods to help promote a healthy digestive system. Our gut is home to massive colonies of helpful bacteria that work to aid us in breaking down our food and keep our body healthy. Fiber-high diets focus on feeding these bacteria the best possible fuel to promote a healthy body system, commonly referred to as the microbiome.

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Periodic Low Calorie Days Can Extend Lifespan (at least in mice)

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Valter Longo, PhD Edna M. Jones Professor of Gerontology  Professor of Biological Sciences Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Director of the USC Longevity Institute USC

Dr. Longo

Valter Longo, PhD
Edna M. Jones Professor of Gerontology
Professor of Biological Sciences
Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Director of the USC Longevity Institute
USC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The use of a low calorie diet that mimics fasting for 4 days twice a month starting at middle age can extend lifespan and rejuvenate mice.

In humans a similar diet once a month causes improvements in cholesterol, blood pressure , inflammation, fasting glucose etc consistent with rejuvenation

Continue reading

Soda, Sugary Drinks Linked to Increased Risk of Kidney Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Casey M. Rebholz, PhD, MS, MNSP, MPH, FAHA Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Core Faculty, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research Baltimore, MD 21287

Dr. Rebholz

Casey M. Rebholz, PhD, MS, MNSP, MPH, FAHA
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Core Faculty, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research
Baltimore, MD 21287

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Individual beverages have been previously shown to influence risk of a wide range of cardiometabolic diseases. Less is known about beverage consumption and kidney disease risk.

In this study population, we found that one such beverage pattern consisted of soda, sugar-sweetened beverages, and water, and that higher adherence to the sugar-sweetened beverage pattern was associated with greater odds of developing incident kidney disease, even after accounting for demographic characteristics and established risk factors.  Continue reading

Paternal Grandfather’s Access to Food Predicts All-Cause and Cancer Mortality in Grandsons

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Denny Vågerö  PhD MSc CHESS, Centre for Health Equity Studies Department of Public Health Sciences Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Dr. Vågerö

Denny Vågerö  PhD MSc
CHESS, Centre for Health Equity Studies
Department of Public Health Sciences
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Transgenerational, epigenetic, response, has been shown in studies of animals and plants. Does it apply to humans?

Previous findings of associations between grandparents early nutrition and grandchildren’s mortality have been controversial.  Two reasons for this: evidence in human studies has been based on rather small numbers and potential mechanisms are not very well understood.

We have tested the hypothesis that there is “a male line transgenerational response” to nutritional events in pre-puberty in a study much larger than previous ones.

We find support for this hypothesis in that boys who enjoyed unusually good access to food during their “slow growth period” (aged 9-12 years) seem to transmit a mortality risk on their grandsons but not granddaughters, in particular for cancer.

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Mediterranean Diet Linked to Lower Long-Term Cardiovascular Events in Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Samia Mora, MD, MHS Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Director, Center for Lipid Metabolomics Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA

Dr. Mora

Samia Mora, MD, MHS
Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Director, Center for Lipid Metabolomics
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, MA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The Mediterranean diet is rich in plants (nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes) and olive oil, and includes moderate intake of fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs, and alcohol, and rare use of meats and sweets.The Mediterranean diet has been associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events but the precise mechanisms through which Mediterranean diet intake may reduce long-term risk of CVD are not well understood. We aimed to investigate the biological mechanisms that may mediate this cardiovascular benefit.

Using a prospective study of 25,994 initially healthy women enrolled in the Women’s Health Study who were followed up to 12-years, we evaluated potential mediating effects of a panel of biomarkers (in total 40 biomarkers) that represent different CVD pathways and clinical factors.

Higher baseline intake of a Mediterranean-type diet was associated with approximately one quarter lower risk of CVD events during the 12 year follow up. For the MED-CVD risk reduction, biomarkers of inflammation, glucose-metabolism/insulin-resistance, and adiposity contributed most to explaining the association, with additional contributions from pathways related to blood pressure, lipids – in particular HDL or triglyceride-rich lipoprotein metabolism, and to a lesser extent LDL cholesterol, branched chain amino acids, and small molecule metabolites.  Continue reading

Heart Attacks Spike During Holiday Season – How Can You Minimize Your Risk?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Lowell H. Steen, Jr., M.D. Interventional Cardiologist Loyola University Medical Center

Dr. Steen

Dr. Lowell H. Steen, Jr., M.D.
Interventional Cardiologist
Loyola University Medical Center

Dr. Steen discusses how holiday treats & stress can increase the risk of heart attack.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main factors that are linked to an increase in heart related adverse events during the Christmas holiday season? Who is most at risk? 

Response: The increase in holiday season heart-related hospitalizations and deaths are due to a variety of behaviors such as putting off seeking medical help until after the holidays, overeating rich foods, strenuous travel, excessive alcohol consumption and stressful family interactions. These factors can all trigger heart issues.

Factors such as age, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking all increase heart risk. Additionally, those with high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, are exceptionally at risk and should celebrate the hectic holiday season with caution.  Continue reading

Cardiology Articles Pertaining to Lifestyle and Nutrition Receive Most Media Attention

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ravi B. Patel, MD Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Patel

Ravi B. Patel, MD
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, Illinois

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The digital attention of scientific articles can be readily quantified using the Altmetric score. The Altmetric score is a weighted measure, incorporating a variety of media platforms.

We aimed to characterize the Top 10% of articles by Altmetric score among 4 major cardiovascular journals (Circulation, European Heart Journal, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and JAMA Cardiology) in 2017.

Our primary findings were:

1) nearly half of the most disseminated articles were not original research investigations,

2) the most common article topic was nutrition/lifestyle, and

3) there was a weak but significant correlation between Altmetric scores and citation number.  Continue reading

Probiotics Found Unhelpful in Kids With Outpatient Diarrhea

Stephen Freedman MDCM, MSc Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation Professor in Child Health and Wellness Sections of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Gastroenterology Alberta Children's Hospital & Research Institute University of Calgary Calgary, AB

Dr. Freedman

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Stephen Freedman MDCM, MSc
Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Professor in Child Health and Wellness
Sections of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Gastroenterology
Alberta Children’s Hospital & Research Institute
University of Calgary
Calgary, AB

 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Vomiting and diarrhea remain extremely common diseases in children and are the most common reason children are brought for emergency department care in North America.  While we have options to reduce vomiting there historically has been little physicians can offer to reduce the severity of the diarrhea.

Probiotics have recently emerged as an option with some early evidence of benefit in clinical trials but the studies performed to date have been small and few little research has been conducted in North America in outpatient or emergency department children.

The one study to date that was performed in a US emergency department did not find probiotic use to be beneficial.  Given the increasing importance of clarifying this issue we undertook this study.

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Cochrane Reviews Fish Oil Supplements To Reduce Premature Births

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“omega 3” by Khaldaa Photographer is licensed under CC BY 2.0Philippa Middelton MPH

Associate Professor
Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children
South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
Adelaide, Australia 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: For several decades, it has been known that fish or fish oils can lengthen gestation.
In our Cochrane review of 70 studies and nearly 20,000 women we show that fish oil (mainly as omega-3 fatty acid supplements), prevents premature birth, specifically

  • An 11% reduction in premature birth < 37 weeks gestation;
  • And a 42% reduction in premature birth < 34 weeks gestation.

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Can a Low-Gluten Diet Improve Your Health (even if you don’t have celiac disease)?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Oluf Pedersen Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research University of Copenhagen

Dr. Pedersen

Professor Oluf Pedersen
Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research
University of Copenhagen

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We focused our study on healthy people due to the world-wide bottom-up movement among healthy adults to live gluten-free or on a low-gluten diet.

Therefore, we undertook a randomised, controlled, cross-over trial involving 60 middle-aged healthy Danish adults with two eight week interventions comparing a low-gluten diet (2 g gluten per day) and a high-gluten diet (18 g gluten per day), separated by a washout period of at least six weeks with habitual diet (12 g gluten per day).

The two diets were balanced in number of calories and nutrients including the same total amount of dietary fibres. However, the composition of fibres differed markedly between the two diets.

When the low-gluten trend started years back the trend was without any scientific evidence for health benefits. Now we bring pieces of evidence that a low-gluten diet in healthy people may be related to improved intestinal wellbeing due to changes in the intestinal microbiota which to our surprise is NOT induced by gluten itself but by the concomitant change in the type of dietary fibres linked to a low-gluten intake.

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Soy Formula Feeding in Infancy Linked with Menstrual Pain in Adulthood

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

"Baby Bottle" by brokinhrt2 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kristen Upson, PhD, MPH and
Donna D. Baird, PhD
Epidemiology Branch
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Menstrual pain is the most common menstrual complaint and can substantially affect the quality of women’s lives. A prior study in young adults who participated in feeding studies as infants reported an increased risk of greater menstrual pain severity in adulthood with soy formula feeding. Since that study, evidence from laboratory animal studies support the disruptive effects of a phytoestrogen present in soy formula, genistein, on reproductive system development, including aspects involved in menstrual pain. The laboratory animal studies also demonstrate that the developmental changes with genistein can persist into adulthood. Given these results, we were interested in further evaluating the association between infant soy formula feeding and menstrual pain in a cohort of young women.

In our study of women ages 23-35 years old, we observed that soy formula feeding during infancy was associated with several indicators of severe menstrual pain in reproductive-age women. This included a 40% increased risk of ever using hormonal contraception for menstrual pain and 50% increased risk of moderate/severe menstrual discomfort with most periods during early adulthood.  Continue reading

Can Coffee Protect Against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Donald Weaver, PhD, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS
Senior Scientist and Director, Research Institute
Krembil Research Institute
University Health Network
Toronto, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: First, we are seeking novel molecules that might have usefulness in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Since Mother Nature is a superb chemist, natural products are an ideal place to start looking for possible therapeutics. There is a long history (penicillin, digitalis …) of drugs identified from natural product sources. Moreover, in earlier work by us, we have shown that other natural products extracted from maple syrup have possible therapeutic efficacy against AD.

Therefore, it was logical for us to look at extracts of coffee. We see similarities between maple syrup and coffee. In both of these natural products, the plant derived material (i.e. the coffee bean, or sap from maple syrup) is initially boiled or roasted prior to its use; thus, it is not a direct simple plant product, but one that has been heated (boiled or roasted). We suspect that the heating process “does more chemistry” enabling the generation of new molecules from the plant derived materials. In our study we show that a class of compounds (phenylindanes) from roasted coffee has the ability to inhibit the misfolding of two proteins (beta-amyloid, tau) whose misfolding and aggregation (“clumping”) is implicated in the disease process of AD.

Second, as described below, there is already epidemiological evidence that coffee consumption may offer some protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (PD), so by looking at the constituents of coffee for chemicals that might block the clumping of beta-amyloid and/or tau, was an attempt to seek a molecular link explaining the epidemiology. Continue reading

Lower SNAP Participation by Immigrant Mothers With Young Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Allison Bovell-Ammon, M.Div. Deputy Director of Policy Strategy Children's HealthWatchAllison Bovell-Ammon, M.Div.
Deputy Director of Policy Strategy
Children’s HealthWatch

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Children’s HealthWatch was founded in 1998 by pediatric providers treating children with failure to thrive in six US cities across the country. They began their research on the health impacts of economic hardships like food insecurity in response to the 1996 welfare reform legislation after witnessing deteriorating health among young children in their clinics as a result of welfare sanctions on families.

Over the years, the scope of the research has expanded to include research on food insecurity, housing instability, energy insecurity, health care hardships, and child care constraints. Through our current network of pediatricians and public health researchers in five US cities (Boston, Baltimore, Little Rock, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia), we seek to improve the health and well-being of children under age 4 and their families by informing policies that address and alleviate economic hardships. Our ongoing data collection in emergency departments and primary care clinics enables us to rapidly respond to emerging public health issues as policies and economic conditions change. While we have produced other papers and analyses specifically addressing health and economic disparities relevant to immigrant families, we were specifically interested in exploring this topic because the clinicians in our group as well as national media began anecdotally reporting that immigrants were forgoing accessing critical public health programs like SNAP out of fear.

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More Protein in Diet Linked to Slower Disability Decline in Oldest Old

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
""Trash Fish" Sustanable Seafood Dinner" by Edsel Little is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0Nuno Mendonça RD, PhD

Campus for Ageing and Vitality
Newcastle‐upon –Tyne
United Kingdom 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Very old adults, those aged 85 and older, are the fastest growing age group in most western societies and are more likely to develop disability. Dietary protein is a sensible candidate because it may slow decreases in muscle mass and functional decline with aging. Although we know that protein intake is, on average, lower in older adults (a mean of 66 grams per day) compared to younger adults (a mean of 91 grams per day), research exploring protein intake and disability progression in very old adults is limited. We found that our participants from North-East England had four different disability trajectories between the ages of 85 and 90: a) a constant very low disability trajectory (difficulty with none or 1 activity of daily living (ADL))  over the 5 years; b) a low disability trajectory (difficulty with 2 ADLs) that steadily progressed to mild disability (5 ADLs); c) a mild disability score (4 ADLs) at 85 that increased to moderate disability (10 ADLs) by age 90; and d) a moderate disability score (9 ADLs) at baseline that progressed to severe disability (14 ADLs) after 5 years. We found that those with higher protein intake, especially those at or above 1 g per kg of body weight per day (70g of protein per day for a 70 kg person), were less likely to belong to a worse disability trajectory.

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