April 9, 2014

Health Roundup: Ibuprofen, junk food, good food, exercise, Viagra and Glucosamine to extend life

Ibuprofen. Painkillers linked to higher risk of stroke: Alert over prescription medicines used by millions

Painkillers may raise risk of irregular heartbeat that could trigger stroke.  The extra chance of developing atrial fibrilliation as high as 84%, says Dutch researchers  The condition – a leading cause of first-time strokes – means the upper chambers of the heart are out of rhythm and beat much faster than normal, which allows blood to pool and clot.

Ibuprofen belongs to a class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which work by blocking the COX-2 enzyme which reduces pain and inflammation, but is also important in regulating heart function.

Ibuprofen Can Triple Stroke Risk; Painkillers Can Double Heart Attack Chances

The medical scientists performed an analysis of all randomized controlled trials comparing any NSAID with other NSAIDs or placebo. Thirty one trials were completed in 116,429 patients.

Junk Food:  Junk food is so bad for asthmatics it can make inhalers 'useless', doctors warn

Dr Samantha Walker, Deputy Chief Executive of Asthma UK, says: 'Asthma is a very complex condition which is why continued research is so crucial.
'These studies provide the first evidence that ‘bad’ saturated fats, such as those found in butter, can adversely affect the way in which the active ingredients in salbutamol inhalers work. Interestingly this study has also demonstrated that ‘good’ fats, such as those found in oily fish, may enable salbutamol to work more effectively.

Junk food MAKES you lazy and sedentary

‘Overweight people often get stigmatized as lazy and lacking discipline,’ says Blaisdell, a professor of psychology at UCLA and author of the research which will be published in the journal Physiology and Behavior.
‘We interpret our results as suggesting that the idea commonly portrayed in the media that people become fat because they are lazy is wrong. Our data suggest that diet-induced obesity is a cause, rather than an effect, of laziness. Either the highly processed diet causes fatigue or the diet causes obesity, which causes fatigue.’

Good FoodGreen tea improves memory and could help treat dementia   Green tea extract increases the brain's effective connectivity, study says

Beans can significantly reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart diseases, according to a study by Canadian researchers.  A daily portion of pulses which include most varieties of beans as well as peas, lentils and chickpeas,
can reduce LDL by 5 percent.

A glass of milk a day 'keeps arthritis at bay' - but only if you are a woman  A glass of milk a day could help stop women's knees from creaking, claim US researchers who found that women who frequently drink fat-free or low-fat milk have less osteoarthritis in the knee, but eating cheese increased the problem.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and swelling of joints in the hand, hips, or knee.  Lead author Dr Bing Lu, from Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, said 'Milk consumption plays an important role in bone health. Drinking milk made little difference in men, and eating yogurt did not affect progression in men or women.

Drinking 2 cups of coffee a day may cut risk of colon cancer.   After examining coffee consumption among 8500 Israelis, researchers found the odds of having colorectal cancer were about 30 percent lower for coffee drinkers…

Other studies have linked coffee consumption with a lower risk of certain types of skin and breast cancers, as well as a lower risk of prostate cancer.

Exercise. A brisk walk boosts a woman's brain: Aerobic exercise can increase size of area involved in learning and memory
Brisk walking for two hours a week may help boost brainpower in women at risk of dementia. After a  six-month study in women aged 70-80 with early memory problems, researchers found aerobic activity increased the size of the hippocampus - an area of the brain involved in learning and memory.  The Canadian researchers claim it's never too late to undertake regular physical activity based on increasing evidence that it promotes brain health.

Viagra. Viagra increases the risk of skin cancer: Men who used the drug were 84% more likely to get melanoma, study claims  It is thought the impotence drug may affect the same genetic mechanism that enables skin cancer to become more invasive….However the researchers add that because the study is preliminary, it is too early to advise men to stop taking the little blue pill if prescribed for erectile dysfunction.

Glucosamine. The popular arthritis supplement Glucosamine could extend life 'by 8 years

A popular food supplement made from crab shells may hold the key to long life.Researchers are recommending that people start taking glucosamine, after tests on aging mice showed it to extend lifespan by almost ten per cent, the equivalent to an extra eight years in human terms.  It is thought that the sugar-like supplement, which is has long been used to keep the joints healthy and ease the pain of arthritis, extends life by altering metabolism.

Dr Michael Ristow, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, said, ‘There is no definite proof of the effectiveness of glucosamine in humans.  But the chances are good and since unlike most other potentially lifespan-extending drugs there are no known relevant side-effects of glucosamine supplementation, I would tend to recommend this supplement.’
Posted by Jill Fallon at April 9, 2014 1:07 PM | Permalink