Friday, April 27, 2012

Carbohydrate nutrition is associated with changes in the retinal vascular structure and branching pattern in children

Carbohydrate nutrition is associated with changes in the retinal vascular structure and branching pattern in children

Objectives: We aimed to assess the associations between intakes of high-GI and high–glycemic load (high-GL) diets, carbohydrate, and the main carbohydrate-containing food groups and retinal microvascular changes in preadolescents.

Design: Students aged 12 y (n = 2353) from a random cluster sample of 21 schools underwent detailed eye examinations. Retinal vessel caliber and fractal dimension were measured from digital retinal images. A validated semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire was administered.

Results: After multivariable adjustment, children who consumed soft drinks once or more per day had significantly narrower mean retinal arterioles (∼1.9 μm) than did those who never or rarely consumed soft drinks (P-trend = 0.03). When the highest to lowest tertiles of carbohydrate consumption were compared, girls had significantly narrower retinal arterioles (∼1.4 μm; P-trend = 0.03) and boys had wider venules (∼2.3 μm; P-trend = 0.02). In girls only, a higher-GI diet was associated with narrower retinal arterioles (0.98-μm narrowing of retinal arteriolar caliber per SD increase in GI, P = 0.01). Carbohydrate intake and a high-GL diet were associated with greater retinal fractal dimension in girls (highest compared with lowest tertiles: P-trend = 0.003 and 0.01, respectively).

Conclusions: Greater consumption of carbohydrates and soft drinks was associated with retinal arteriolar narrowing and venular widening. Because these microvascular signs have been shown to be markers of future cardiovascular disease risk, the presence of this risk factor in children could support the need for healthy dietary patterns that include lower consumption of high-GI foods and soft drinks.

The ketogenic diet as a treatment paradigm for diverse neurological disorders.

The ketogenic diet as a treatment parad - PubMed Mobile: The ketogenic diet as a treatment paradigm for diverse neurological disorders.

Stafstrom CE, et al. Show all
Journal

Front Pharmacol. 2012;3:59. Epub 2012 Apr 9.
Affiliation

Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI, USA.
Abstract

Dietary and metabolic therapies have been attempted in a wide variety of neurological diseases, including epilepsy, headache, neurotrauma, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, sleep disorders, brain cancer, autism, pain, and multiple sclerosis. The impetus for using various diets to treat - or at least ameliorate symptoms of - these disorders stems from both a lack of effectiveness of pharmacological therapies, and also the intrinsic appeal of implementing a more "natural" treatment. The enormous spectrum of pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the aforementioned diseases would suggest a degree of complexity that cannot be impacted universally by any single dietary treatment. Yet, it is conceivable that alterations in certain dietary constituents could affect the course and impact the outcome of these brain disorders. Further, it is possible that a final common neurometabolic pathway might be influenced by a variety of dietary interventions. The most notable example of a dietary treatment with proven efficacy against a neurological condition is the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (KD) used in patients with medically intractable epilepsy. While the mechanisms through which the KD works remain unclear, there is now compelling evidence that its efficacy is likely related to the normalization of aberrant energy metabolism. The concept that many neurological conditions are linked pathophysiologically to energy dysregulation could well provide a common research and experimental therapeutics platform, from which the course of several neurological diseases could be favorably influenced by dietary means. Here we provide an overview of studies using the KD in a wide panoply of neurologic disorders in which neuroprotection is an essential component.

Beneficial effects of UV radiation other than via vitamin D production

Beneficial effects of UV radiation other than via vitamin D production

This is an open access article.

Volume 4, Issue 2 April/May 2012
Keywords: heliotherapy, nitric oxide, photoprotection, phototherapy, tanning, ultraviolet radiation, vitamin D synthesis
Authors: Asta Juzeniene and Johan Moan

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Most of the positive effects of solar radiation are mediated via UV B (UVB) induced production of vitamin D in skin. However, several other pathways may exist for the action of UV (UV) radiation on humans as focused on in this review. One is induction of cosmetic tanning (immediate pigment darkening, persistent pigment darkening and delayed tanning). UVB-induced, delayed tanning (increases melanin in skin after several days), acts as a sunscreen. Several human skin diseases, like psoriasis, vitiligo, actopic dermatitis and localized scleroderma, can be treated with solar radiation (heliotherapy) or artificial UV radiation (phototherapy). UV exposure can suppress the clinical symptoms of multiple sclerosis independently of vitamin D synthesis. Furthermore, UV generates nitric oxide (NO), which may reduce blood pressure and generally improve cardiovascular health. UVA-induced NO may also have antimicrobial effects, and, furthermore, act as a neurotransmitter. Finally, UV exposure may improve mood through the release of endorphins.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Health Care Spending On Unnecessary Tests Discouraged By Major Medical Groups

Health Care Spending On Unnecessary Tests Discouraged By Major Medical Groups

Jeffrey Young

Health Care Spending On Unnecessary Tests Discouraged By Major Medical Groups

WASHINGTON -- With health care costs growing out of control, medical societies made up of family physicians, cardiologists and other specialists have a message for America's doctors: Don't be so quick to order expensive procedures like CT scans and X-rays. Unnecessary tests and treatments pad the nation's health care bill and expose patients to needless risks, the groups say.

On Wednesday, nine doctors' organizations -- including the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Cardiology -- along with business and consumer groups are launching an effort to reduce unnecessary medical tests and treatments, thereby saving costs and cutting back on patients' exposure to stressful and sometimes dangerous procedures.

The "Choosing Wisely" campaign is the latest push by groups representing American doctors to rein in wasteful spending that arises out of physicians' assessments of what constitutes best practices for patients. The nine doctors' groups emphasize that patients don't always need high-tech testing, at least not as a first resort.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Babies treated in the womb for obesity

Babies treated in the womb for obesity: Overweight mothers-to-be get diabetes pill to cut the risk of having a fat child

NHS trial has been started in attempt to halt obesity epidemic
If it is a success, treatment could be widespread in five years
But there is unease over problem that could be solved by exercise and diet

By Julie-anne Barnes and Fiona Macrae

Babies are being medicated in the womb in an attempt to prevent them from being born obese.

In a world first, dangerously overweight mothers-to-be in four British cities have started taking a diabetes drug during their pregnancy.

The doctors behind the controversial NHS trial say that obesity among pregnant women is reaching epidemic proportions and they need to act now to protect the health of tomorrow's children.
Overweight mothers-to-be are being allowed to take diabetes drugs to treat their unborn children in the womb to prevent them being born obese

Overweight mothers-to-be are being allowed to take diabetes drugs to treat their unborn children in the womb to prevent them being born obese

However, there is likely to be unease about resorting to medication in pregnancy for a problem that can be treated through changes in diet and exercise.

If the strategy is a success, the treatment could be in widespread use in as little as five years, with tens of thousands of overweight but otherwise healthy mothers-to-be drugged each year.

The Daily Mail recently revealed the rise of the 'sumo baby', with the number of newborns weighing more than 11lb soaring by 50 per cent over the last four years.

Kind of damages the "overweight is caused by lack of exercise" trope, eh?