Cancer patients’ grey hair unexpectedly darkens in drug study

Fourteen patients in the study found that their grey hair darkened after taking the new drugs. Photograph: Barry Diomede/Alamy

A group of cancer patients’ grey hair has unexpectedly darkened after they took new types of drugs, researchers have revealed.

Chemotherapy is known to make patients’ hair fall out, but the 14 people involved were all being treated with new immunotherapy drugs that work differently and have different side effects from chemotherapy. A Spanish study suggests those may include restoring hair pigment, at least in patients with lung cancer.

Noelia Rivera, a dermatologist at Autonomous University of Barcelona, said they thought it could be an isolated case when it happened with the first patient. But the research team found the same thing when they asked other patients for photographs of themselves from before treatment.

The 14 people were among 52 patients with lung cancer being followed to see whether they developed bad side effects from the drugs — Keytruda, Opdivo and Tecentriq.

While most patients did not have a hair colour change, the 14 cases suggest it is not an isolated finding. In 13 patients, hair turned darkish brown or black; in one patient, it turned black in patches.

The same drugs have been linked previously with hair losing colour in patients with another cancer, melanoma.

All but one of the 14 patients in the Spanish study responded better to treatment than other patients, suggesting that hair darkening might be an indication that the drugs are working, the researchers said.

Rivera said they were continuing with the study to search for an explanation.

“It’s a fascinating report – one of those things that comes out of the blue,” said June Robinson, a Northwestern University research professor in dermatology. Robinson is also editor of the medical journal JAMA Dermatology, which published the study online this month.

She said the results deserved a deeper look but cautioned that it was too soon to suggest that they might lead to new treatments for unwanted grey hair.

Rivera noted that the drugs used in the study had serious side effects that made them unsafe for healthy people. But if it is confirmed that they do change hair colour, a different drug could be developed to treat grey hair, she said.

The pharmaceutical industry has previously capitalised on unexpected drug side effects. Examples include the male pattern baldness drug Propecia, the eyelash growing drug Latisse, and Botox anti-wrinkle injections. Active ingredients in these drugs were initially approved to treat enlarged prostates, eye pressure problems, and eye muscle spasms.

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MINUTE OF EXERCISE A DAY COULD PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS, FINDS STUDY

woman-exercise-minute-bone-density.jpg

No more excuses

Many people think that getting fit means devoting your life to the gym and slogging it out for hours. And unsurprisingly, that can be pretty off-putting.

But increasingly we’re realising that short workouts can be much more effective than long ones, if you just know what to do.

It turns out that just a minute’s exercise a day can have a hugely beneficial impact on your health.

According to a study by the Universities of Exeter and Leicester, women who do 60-120 seconds of high-intensity weight-bearing exercise a day have four per cent better bone density than those who do less than a minute.

Women who exercise for over two minutes have even stronger bones, with density six per cent higher than those who do under a minute.

After the age of 30, people tend to lose more bone mass than they gain, and the higher your bone density, the lower your likelihood of developing osteoporosis.

You’re also less likely to have bone fractures in old age.

The study was conducted on over 2,500 female participants, and it’s women who are most at risk of osteoporosis, with bone density declining significantly after the menopause.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, a tenth of women aged 60 are affected by osteoporosis, and this rises to two-thirds of women aged 90.

What’s more, one in three women over the age of 50 and one in five men of the same age will suffer from osteoporotic fractures.

But further research needs to be done to work out how best one should undertake exercise in order to improve bone density the most.

“We don’t yet know whether it’s better to accumulate this small amount of exercise in bits throughout each day or all at once, and also whether a slightly longer bout of exercise on one or two days per week is just as good as one to two minutes a day,” said lead author Dr Victoria Stiles.

“But there’s a clear link between this kind of high-intensity, weight-bearing exercise and better bone health in women.”

To reach their conclusions, the researchers asked their participants to wear activity monitors for a week and then compared this data to measurements of their bone health.

The activity data was broken down into single seconds to understand how people move in their daily lives.

“We wanted to make every second count in our analysis, because short snippets of high-intensity activity are more beneficial to bone health than longer, continuous periods,” Stiles said.

“We were careful not to ignore short bursts of activity throughout the day.”

Many people, although not consciously exercising, engage in non-exercise activity thermogenesis – or NEAT – over the course of the day, and this can be enough to improve your health.

If you want to increase your bone health, start with simply trying to walk more, and from there you can incorporate short bouts of running too.

There are limitations to the study’s findings though.

“Because this is a cross-sectional study – which assesses data taken from a subset of the population at a particular point in time – we can’t be sure whether the high-intensity physical activity led to better bone health, or whether those with better bone health do more of this exercise,” Stiles clarified.

“However, it seems likely that just one to two minutes of running a day is good for bone health.”

It’s not the first study to suggest you can drastically improve your health with just a minute’s exercise either: earlier this year, researchers from McMaster University found that 60 seconds of intense exercise broken up into 20 second blasts as part of a ten-minute workout can be as effective as a 45 minute endurance workout.

No more telling yourself you just don’t have the time to keep fit then.

[“Source-independent”]

New Study Shows This Common OTC Pain Reliever Has a Really Scary Side Effect

Ibuprofen, a common over-the-counter pain reliever, has a troubling side-effect that’s often overlooked, but new findings have proved it’s more important to know about this now than ever before. Recent evidence found that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, can increase your chances of having a heart attack in as little as one week of continuous use.

In a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, data from almost 450,000 people, 61,460 of whom had suffered a heart attack, was analyzed looking for the effect over time of taking three common anti-inflammatory painkillers: ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen. The data revealed that compared with people who didn’t take the painkillers, those who did ingest them had a 20 percent to 50 percent increased risk of having a heart attack.

Additionally, the risk was found to be higher for people who ingested 1,200 mg a day of ibuprofen (about six tablets of Advil) and 750 mg a day for naproxen (about three and a half Aleves), Yahoo! reports. The study reported that it only took a week for a higher risk of heart attack to set in on a person, with the highest risk occurring at about a month of usage. After a month, researchers found that the risk didn’t increase further but rather stayed the same.

Typically, NSAIDs are safe when used correctly for mild pain relief, however, many people have begun relying on NSAIDs for prolonged periods of time at a higher dosage to treat their pain, which is why the risk of heart attack associated with the use of NSAIDs has begun to rise.

While this study certainly revealed a scary truth about the drug, it’s important to note that taking an NSAID for minor pain relief at the lowest effective dose and a minimal length of time isn’t likely to cause aheart attack. It’s the usage level over a longer time period at higher dosage that can be dangerous, so it’s best to limit your use as much as possible to avoid any unwanted negative side effects.

 

 

 

[“source-newbeauty”]

Even modest changes to diet could reduce risk of death, study finds

Image result for Even modest changes to diet could reduce risk of death, study finds

With more than one-third of U.S. adults suffering from obesity, it’s no surprise that many Americans would benefit from healthier eating habits. Fad diets capitalize on our desire for quick results but usually fail in the long run.

Now new research adds to the evidence that a more moderate approach can make a lasting difference.

A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that improving the quality of diet over time, even with modest changes, may significantly reduce the risk of premature death.

Improvements to diet included consuming more whole grainsvegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish and eating less red and processed meats and sugary beverages.

“Overall, our findings underscore the benefits of healthy eating patterns including the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet. Our study indicates that even modest improvements in diet quality could meaningfully influence mortality risk and conversely, worsening diet quality may increase the risk,” lead author Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, who worked on the study while a postdoctoral fellow in the Harvard Chan School department of nutrition and who is currently an assistant professor of nutrition at Ohio University, said in a statement.

For the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Sotos-Prieto and her team analyzed data on nearly 74,000 adults over a 12-year period. The researchers assessed the participants’ diet using three different scoring methods: the 2010 Alternate Healthy Eating Index, the Alternate Mediterranean Diet score, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet score. Each model assigns scores to various types of food, with healthier foods receiving higher scores and less healthy foods receiving lower scores.

The results showed that better diet quality over a 12-year period was linked to a reduced risk of death in the subsequent 12 years, no matter which method of scoring was used. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish or n-3 fatty acids appeared to contribute most to an improvement in diet quality.

Specifically, the study showed that a 20-percentile increase in diet-quality scores was associated with an 8 to 17 percent reduction in the risk of death.

That can be achieved, for example, by swapping out just one serving of red or processed meat and replacing it with one daily serving of nuts or legumes.

In contrast, worsening diet quality was linked to a 6 to 12 percent increase in the risk of death.

Nancy Z. Farrell, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said the findings reinforce the work she does every day with her patients.

“Registered dietitian nutritionists practice evidence-based science every day in encouraging and educating the public on disease prevention and treatment, and we know that chronic disease increases the cost of health care and drives up insurance premiums,” she told CBS News.

Farrell says everyone can benefit from making smart diet swaps as often as possible.

“Have a ‘meatless Monday’ dinner where you incorporate beans or legumes, such as red beans and quinoa. Or have a veggie pizza night,” she suggests.

When it comes to snacking, avoid high-calorie junk foods like potato chips and opt for a handful of nuts, or make your own trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

And if you’re looking for a sweet treat, skip the ice cream and try freezing some fruit instead.

“Blueberries or blackberries offer a refreshing summer snack with a burst of coolness,” Farrell said.

Importantly, experts say it’s crucial to not only incorporate such changes into your diet, but to stick with them over time.

“Our results highlight the long-term health benefits of improving diet quality with an emphasis on overall dietary patterns rather than on individual foods or nutrients,” said Frank Hu, professor and chair of the Harvard Chan School department of nutrition and senior author of the study. “A healthy eating pattern can be adopted according to individuals’ food and cultural preferences and health conditions. There is no one-size-fits-all diet.”

[“Source-cbsnews”]

A few minutes of light exercise, rather than a sweaty gym workout, is all that is needed to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, study suggests

Even small amounts of physical activity can offer health benefits that protect against diabetesEven small amounts of physical activity can offer health benefits that protect against diabetes, new research suggests.

A new study found that even a little exercise wards off insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes which can result from a high-fat diet.

Insulin resistance occurs when the cells of the body stop responding to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in the body.

Exercise can prevent insulin resistance by prompting the body to remove damaged cells and enhancing the quality of mitochondria, the cell’s energy powerhouses.

Type 2 diabetes affects 4.5 million people living in the UK and 29 million people in the US.

Even small amounts of physical activity can offer health benefits that protect against diabetes

The study also casts doubt on the previously held view that increasing the quantity of mitochondria could help fix some consequences of a high fat diet, including insulin resistance.

The researchers found that the benefits from physical activity were not affected by the quantity of mitochondria.

Lead researcher Megan Rosa-Caldwell, a doctoral student at the University of Arkansas, found that mice genetically engineered to have higher quantity of mitochondria were not more protected against high-fat diet induced insulin resistance.

How was the research conducted?

The researchers fed all the mice in the study a Western diet high in fat.

The genetically engineered and control mice were further divided into a group that was allowed to exercise, and a sedentary group.

Their results showed that physical activity, regardless of the amount of mitochondria, offered similar health benefits against insulin resistance.

Even a little exercise wards off insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes which can result from a high-fat diet

Study found even a little exercise wards off insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes

The researchers said that it appears that exercise’s ability to help remove damaged cells and enhance the quality of the mitochondria may be more effective for preventing insulin resistance.

But they said these aspects need to be further tested.

Exercise offers ‘the greatest protection’

Ms Rosa-Caldwell said that with rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes continuing to increase, understanding the cellular processes that help or hurt insulin resistance can help doctors better tailor effective preventative measures such as exercise.

She added: ‘For now, physical activity is the greatest protection, but further research may enable us to prevent and treat insulin resistance, and subsequent diabetes, more effectively.’

The research was published in the journal Experimental Physiology.

[“Source-ndtv”]

 

Protein can cut progression of both inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer: Study

Protein can cut progression of both inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Protein can cut progression of both inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
A new study finds that altering the shape of a protein can significantly reduce the progression of inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.

According to researchers, modifying the shape of IRAK-M, a protein that controls inflammation, can significantly reduce the clinical progression of both diseases in pre-clinical animal models.

The findings appeared in the eBioMedicine journal.

“When we tested mice with the altered IRAK-M protein, they had less inflammation overall and remarkably less cancer,” said Coy Allen from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

The next step, he said, will be to evaluate these findings in human patients through ongoing collaborations with Carilion Clinic and Duke University.

The altered protein causes the immune system to become supercharged, clearing out the bacteria before they can do any damage.

There is an intimate link between uncontrolled inflammation in the gut associated with inflammatory bowel disease and the eventual development of colon cancer.

“From a scientist’s perspective, that’s what it’s all about, and hopefully our findings provide a good avenue for development of future therapeutics to treat maladies such as inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer,” the authors concluded.

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Sleep deprivation leads to weakened immunity: Study

IANS | Jan 28, 2017, 04.25 PM IST

Sleep deprivation leads to weakened immunity: Study (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)Sleep deprivation leads to weakened immunity: Study (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)
People who are deprived of sleep regularly are likely to have a weak immune system, a study has found.

The findings showed that chronic short sleep shuts down programmes involved in immune response of circulating white blood cells.

Seven or more hours of sleep is recommended for optimal health, thus the immune system functions best when it gets enough sleep, the researchers said.

“The results are consistent with studies that show when sleep deprived people are given a vaccine, there is a lower antibody response and if you expose sleep deprived people to a rhinovirus they are more likely to get the virus,” said lead author Nathaniel Watson, University of Washington in Seattle.

For the study, published in the journal Sleep, the team took blood samples from 11 pairs of identical twins with different sleep patterns and discovered that the twin with shorter sleep duration had a depressed immune system, compared with his or her sibling.

They used identical twins because genetics account for 31 to 55 per cent of sleep duration and behaviour and environment accounts for the remainder.

“Modern society, with its control of light, omnipresent technology and countless competing interests for time, along with the zeitgeist de-emphasising sleep’s importance, has resulted in the widespread deprioritisation of sleep,” the researchers noted.

source”cnbc”

Healthy food may benefit people with HIV, diabetes: Study

ANI | Jan 26, 2017, 02.26 PM IST

Healthy food may benefit people with HIV, diabetes: Study (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Healthy food may benefit people with HIV, diabetes: Study (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Mediterranean diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats for six months may benefit people with HIV and Type 2 diabetes.

According to researchers, through healthy food and snacks HIV-positive people were more likely to adhere to their medication regimens, and people with type 2 diabetes, were less depressed and less likely to make trade-offs between food and healthcare.

The study, which appeared online in the Journal of Urban Health, was designed to evaluate whether helping people get medically appropriate, comprehensive nutrition would improve their health.

“We saw significant improvements in food security and in outcomes related to all three mechanisms through which we posited food insecurity may affect HIV and diabetes health–nutritional, mental health, and behavioral,” said Kartika Palar from University Of California – San Francisco.

“We saw dramatic improvements in depression, the distress of having diabetes, diabetes self-management, trading-off between food and healthcare and HIV medication adherence,” Palar added.

They included 52 participants in the study.

They found number of people with diabetes who achieved optimal blood sugar control increased, and decreases in hospitalizations or emergency department visits, but these changes did not reach statistical significance. Participants with diabetes also consumed less sugar and lost weight.

The researchers followed the participants for six months and found they consumed fewer fats, while increasing their consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Overall, those in the study had fewer symptoms of depression and were less likely to binge drink. For those with HIV, adherence to antiretroviral therapy increased from 47 to 70 percent.

The meals and snacks, which participants picked up twice a week, were based on the Mediterranean diet and featured fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats like olive oil, and whole grains.

“This study highlights the vital role that community-based food support organisations can play in supporting health and well-being of chronically ill populations who struggle to afford basic needs,” said senior study author Sheri Weiser.

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60% women unaware about age to begin heart screenings: Study

IANS | Jan 23, 2017, 05.41 PM IST

60% women unaware about age to begin heart screenings: Study (Image Courtesy: Thinkstock)60% women unaware about age to begin heart screenings: Study (Image Courtesy: Thinkstock)
Sixty per cent of women in US think of heart screenings as necessary only after age 40, whereas health experts recommend that screenings should begin in the 20s, a study has found.

According to the American Heart Associationrecommendations, screenings should start at 20, as the age may cause the onset of various heart-related disease.

“Women cannot wait until they’re 40 to start paying attention to their risk factors. They can begin developing atherosclerosis, plaque in their arteries, in their teenage and early twenties,” Carolina Demori, cardiologist at the Orlando Health Heart Institute in Florida, US, said in a statement.

“Therefore, it is vital to understand risk factors and make appropriate life changes as early as possible,” Demori added.

Screenings beginning at age 20 should include weight and body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol levels, glucose levels and waist circumference, all of which are directly associated with heart health and can be controlled to minimise risks.

For the study, the team conducted a survey, in which more than a thousand women participated.

The results showed that the average age women thought they should begin getting heart screenings was 41.

Only 8 per cent of women were aware that screenings should begin at some point in their 20s, though few knew it was at age 20.

In addition to heart screenings, doctors suggests that women should eat a healthy diet and implement an exercise routine.

“The study is a wake-up call that there needs to be more education on heart health and more aggressive screenings to prevent a small issue from developing into life-threatening conditions,” Demori said.

source”cnbc”

Menopausal hormone therapy can improve bone health: Study

Menopausal hormone therapy can improve bone health: Study (Getty Images)Menopausal hormone therapy can improve bone health: Study (Getty Images)
Women who undergo hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes can not only increase bone mass, but also can improve bone structure, according to a new study.

According to previous studies, menopausal hormone therapycan have positive impact on bone mineral density.

The new study showed that menopausal hormone therapy also can improve bone mass and structure and that the bone health benefits persist for at least two years after women stop treatment.

“When used specifically, in postmenopausal women younger than 60-years-old for whom the benefits outweigh risks, menopausal hormonal therapy is effective for both the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis,” said lead author Georgios Papadakis from the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland.

Osteoporosis is a progressive condition in which bones become structurally weak and are more likely to fracture or break. Menopause, which usually occurs when a woman is in her 40s or 50s, significantly speeds bone loss.

For the study, the team conducted a cross-sectional analysis on 1,279 women aged 50 to 80.

The researchers found higher trabecular bone scores — used to predict fracture risk in post-menopausal women — in those who used the therapy, compared to women who had never used it.

Past users of the therapy exhibited higher bone mass density and a trend for higher bone microarchitecture values compared to women who had never used menopausal hormone therapy.

The findings can help optimise the use of menopausal hormone treatment in menopausal women at risk of osteoporosis, the researchers noted.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

source”cnbc”