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Sat, 10 Dec 2016
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Health & Wellness


Junk food 'as addictive as heroin and smoking'

Bingeing on junk food is as addictive as smoking or taking drugs and could cause compulsive eating and obesity, a study has found.

© Photo: PA
The study suggests for the first time that our brains may react in the same way to junk food as they do to drugs.
American researchers found burgers, chips and sausages programmed a human brain into craving even more sugar, salt and fat laden food.

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida found laboratory rats became addicted on a bad diet just like people who became dependent on cocaine and heroin.

While the findings cannot be directly transferred to human obesity, it found that overconsumption of high-calorie food triggered addiction-like responses in the brain.


US: Doctors cited in performing a c-section on false pregnancy

Two Fayetteville gynecologists were issued public letters of concern by the North Carolina Medical Board after a woman who was not pregnant was induced for labor and given a cesarean section.

Dr. Dorrette Grant and Dr. Gerianne Geszler received the letters in January regarding a patient suffering from pseudocyesis, a disorder in which a patient has a false pregnancy that can be caused by emotional factors, tumors or an endocrine disorder.

The incident happened at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in November 2008 when a woman exhibiting signs of pregnancy went to the hospital with her husband asking for a cesarean section, Geszler said Tuesday.

Geszler was the attending on-call supervisor at the time. A resident in her charge made the pregnancy diagnosis, Geszler said.

As a result, Grant attempted to perform a C-section on the patient after a failed attempt at inducing labor, the board letters said.

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Study: People would donate kidneys for payment

Paying people for living kidney donations would increase the supply of the organs and would not result in a disproportionate number of poor donors, a study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center concludes.

The study, published this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine, asked 342 participants whether they would donate a kidney with varying payments of $0, $10,000 and $100,000. The study called for a real-world test of a regulated payment system.

The possibility of payments nearly doubled the number of participants in the study who said they would donate a kidney to a stranger, but it did not influence those with lower income levels more than those with higher incomes, according to Scott Halpern, one of the study's authors and senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics.

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Nibble on chocolate for a healthy heart: new study

Another reason to indulge in the sweet delights of chocolate without being racked by guilt. New research shows that regular consumption of little chocolate not only reduces the odds of succumbing to cardiovascular disease and stroke, but has a significant effect on high blood pressure as well.

Dr Brian Buijsse, a nutritional epidemiologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition, Nuthetal, Germany, who led the research, stated, "The good news is that chocolate is not as bad as we used to think, and may even lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. The bad news, at least for some of us, is that the amounts that are needed to benefit from these effects appear to be quite low."

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Sexual objectification may hinder some women's cognitive ability: study

Guys, here's something to consider the next time you ogle an attractive woman: Your desirous gaze may be reducing her capacity to think.

That's the startling implication of a research paper titled "My Body or My Mind," recently published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. It suggests some women who are objectified by men internalize this perception and think of themselves as "a sexual object to be scrutinized." For reasons that are not entirely clear, this process appears to undermine their cognitive ability.


The Magic of Magnesium: A Mighty Mineral Essential to Health

Calcium has received an enormous amount of attention. It's likely that every woman reading this article has been told by her doctor to get enough calcium. If asked what role calcium plays in health, nearly every woman would answer that calcium is necessary for strong bones. But what about magnesium? Did you know that this mighty mineral may be even more essential for health?

Magnesium and calcium work together, but magnesium may actually play a more important role. It controls the entry of calcium into each and every cell--a physiological event that occurs every time a nerve cell fires! When it comes to building healthy bones, magnesium is as important as calcium and vitamin D are! Without adequate magnesium, too much calcium gets inside the cell. This causes cramping and constrictions in ways you might never consider.

Comment: For more information about magnesium, visit our forum discussion The Magnesium Miracle


Fried, Grilled and Pasteurized Foods Cause Degenerative Disease, Concludes New Study

Toxic chemicals produced when foods are cooked in certain ways encourage oxidation and inflammation in the body, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs), produced when food is fried, grilled, dried, smoked or pasteurized, have been linked to increased oxidation and inflammation in the body. These conditions are well-established risk factors for a number of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and other age-related health problems.

"Even though the AGEs pose a more immediate health threat to older adults, they are a similar danger for younger people, including pregnant women and children, and this needs to be addressed," researcher Helen Vlassara said. "AGEs are ubiquitous and addictive, since they provide flavor to foods. But they can be controlled through simple methods of cooking, such as keeping the heat down and the water content up in food and by avoiding pre-packaged and fast foods when possible. Doing so reduces AGE levels in the blood and helps the body restore its own defenses."


Metal hip Replacements in Pregnant Women Leach Chromium and Cobalt into Babies

Between 200,000 and 300,000 hip replacement operations are performed each year in the U.S., mostly in people over the age of 60. However, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), five to 10% of these procedures are in patients younger than 50 -- including women of childbearing age. Now comes a disturbing report that suggests women who have the metal-on-metal type of artificial hip joint and become pregnant could be putting their unborn babies at risk.

A study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center recently presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons held in New Orleans revealed that expectant mothers with metal-on-metal hip implants pass metal ions to their offspring during pregnancy. The ions, it turns out, result from wear and tear as well as from corrosion as the parts of the artificial joint, called prosthesis, rub against one another.

Dr. Joshua Jacobs, professor and chairman of orthopedic surgery at Rush University Medical Center, and his research team investigated three women who had metal-on-metal hip implants and gave birth two to six years after their surgeries. Blood samples from the mothers as well as umbilical cord blood samples were obtained at the time of delivery and tested for blood serum concentrations of titanium, nickel, cobalt and chromium. The researchers used inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, a highly sensitive technique that can detect even minute amounts of metals in biological samples.


MRSA Superbugs Actually Caused by Widespread Antibiotics Use in the 1960s

A recent study published in the journal Science has concluded that the emergence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, also known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), was caused by the widespread use of synthetic antibiotic drugs which began in the 1960s.

Scientists analyzed 63 samples of MRSA that originated from a bacterium lineage called ST239 that is responsible for a large percentage of MRSA outbreaks in hospitals all over the world. The samples, which researchers collected over a 20-year period between 1982 and 2003, mostly came from North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

The team identified a pattern of mutations throughout the course of the strain's evolution that illustrated its tendency to develop resistance to antibiotics. Utilizing a technique developed by scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire that traces bacterial genetic codes, scientists were able to pinpoint the origins of the strain back to 1960s Europe, a time when widespread antibiotic use was just beginning to take hold in mainstream medicine.


Wal-Mart to Label Products With Green Rating

© Getty Images
Retail giant Wal-Mart has announced plans for an ambitious "green rating" system, an easy to understand score giving consumers an idea of the ecological footprint of every product sold in Wal-Mart stores.

Wal-Mart said it will gather detailed information from all 100,000 of its suppliers about the environmental impact of their practices, including air pollution, carbon footprint, packaging and water use. Although the store will rely on producers for this information, the retailer made it clear that there will be no opt-outs allowed, and that it will look poorly on companies that refuse to participate.

The goal is to synthesize complex scientific data into the environmental equivalent of a nutrition label, revealing the social and ecological impact of each product at a glance. According to Wal-Mart, this system could then be adopted by other retailers.