March 18, 2014

Health Roundup: Autism and pollution, hospital infections, shadow diseases, saturated fat, food sensors, controversial medical questions

Growing evidence that autism is linked to pollution with babies 283% more likely to suffer from the condition compared to other birth defects

Exposure to traffic fumes, industrial air pollution and other environmental toxins can dramatically increase a mother's chances of having a child with autism. Researchers studied insurance claims from around 100 million people in the U.S., and used congenital malformations in boys as an indicator for parental exposure to environmental toxins.
Several studies have already shown a link between air pollution and autism, but this latest study published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology is one of the largest to put the two together.
The report looked at birth defects associated with parental exposure to pollution and found a 1% increase in the defects corresponded to a 283% increase in autism.
Essentially what happens is during pregnancy there are certain sensitive periods where the fetus is very vulnerable to a range of small molecules – from things like plasticizers, prescription drugs, environmental pesticides and other things,’ said study author Andrey Rzhetsky.
‘Some of these small molecules essentially alter normal development,’ the University of Chicago professor of genetic medicine and human genetics continued. ‘It’s not really well known why, but it’s an experimental observation.’ The defects were especially noticeable in boys’ reproductive systems, Rzhetsky noted.

One of the worst places to be sick is in a hospital because about 5% of patients acquire an infection such as  MRSA, C. difficile and E. coli which is why this is such good news.  Canadian invention to clean hospital rooms may save 10,000 lives a year.  It's a machine called AsepticSure  that mists a a hospital room and everything in it with a vapor solution of ozone and low dose peroxide.  With a 100 per cent kill rate in tests. 

We don't know why but there are shadow diseases that seem to strike together

1. Migraine.  Its shadow: Stroke or heart attack
2. Endometriosis. Its shadow: melanoma
3. High blood pressure. Its shadow: diabetes
4. Psoriasis. Its shadow: heart attack
5. Metabolic syndrome. Its shadow: kidney stones
6. Asthma.  Its shadow: depression and anxiety disorders

Another major study shows Saturated fat 'ISN'T bad for your heart'    Lead researcher Dr Rajiv Chowdhury, from Cambridge University and his team conducted a ‘meta-analysis’ of data from 72 studies involving 600,000 participants in 18 countries, the results of which are published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. 

Guidelines urging people to avoid fat to stave off heart disease 'are wrong'. There is no evidence of a link between saturated fat and heart disease. Healthy polyunsaturated fats also do not reduce heart disease risk. A dairy fat 'significantly reduces' heart disease risk

Coming soon to your grocery store, Tiny patch that sticks to food packaging will give you a warning when products are about to go off.  Inventor, Chao Zhang of Peking University in Beijing unveiled the sensors at the conference of the American Chemical Society.

Use-by dates are replaced using gold patches that change color. Sensors in the patches detect changes in temperature, for example. Patches are smaller than a fingernail and cost a fraction of a penny.  Inventor said the tags can be customized for different perishable products

10 Controversial Medical Questions Answered by Dr. Dalrymple

1. Is obesity a disease or a moral failing?
2. Should an alcoholic be allowed a second liver transplant?
3. Are psychiatric disorders the same as physical diseases?
4. Do doctors turn their patients into drug addicts?
5. As life expectancy increases will the elderly become too much of a burden on society?
6. Is marijuana a medicine?
7. Is nutrition really that important for good health?
8. Is drug addiction really just like any other illness?
9. Are obese children victims of child abuse?
10. Should you vaccinate your kids?
Posted by Jill Fallon at March 18, 2014 2:03 PM | Permalink