September 2, 2014

Health Roundup: New drugs, less sugar, more fruit, exercise and coffee

New drug: Heart failure. The WSJ on the yet unnamed drug, Novartis Study Shows New Heart Drug Cuts Cardiovascular Deaths
Treatment Also Reduces Risk of Hospitalization for Patients With Chronic Heart Failure

New heart failure drug shows big promise

Doctors say the Novartis drug - which doesn’t have a name yet - seems like one of those rare, breakthrough therapies that could quickly change care for more than half of the 6 million Americans and 24 million people worldwide with heart failure.

“This is a new day” for patients, said Dr. Clyde Yancy, cardiology chief at Northwestern University in Chicago and a former American Heart Association president.  “It’s been at least a decade since we’ve had a breakthrough of this magnitude,” said Yancy, who had no role in the study.

New drug:  Crohn's disease  Drug hope for Crohn's patients: New treatment is first to work in the gut to target symptoms on the disease

Vedolizumab is the first to work directly in the gut lining, targeting the inflammation that causes chronic symptoms such as diarrhoea, bleeding and fatigue.  In trials, 40 per cent of patients were free of symptoms for at least a year – with healing of the gut lining in some cases.

Two pieces of fruit a day.  An apple and a half a day could reduce your chance of suffering a heart attack by 40%

New study finds the more fruit you eat, the lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Eating the equivalent of an apple and half a banana everyday slashes risk by up to 40%.  The findings comes from a huge study of half a million Chinese whose heart health was tracked for seven years by Oxford University researchers.

It is thought that eating fruit and vegetables and fruit helps the heart through their antioxidant effects, combating harmful naturally occurring chemicals in the body.

Reduce the sugar you eat. Sugar substance 'kills' good cholesterol raising the risk of heart disease

A substance derived from sugar has been found to 'kill' good cholesterol, turning it 'bad', scientists have discovered.
Researchers from the University of Warwick found methylglyoxal (MG), which is formed from glucose in the body, damages 'good' High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which removes excess levels of 'bad' cholesterol from the body.
LDL cholesterol is considered the ‘bad’ cholesterol because it contributes to plaque: a thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries.
If an artery is narrowed by plaque and a clot forms, it can become blocked and the person can suffer a heart attack or stroke.

Another reason to drink coffee.Drinking coffee can help you keep your teeth: Researchers say a cup of Joe can ward off gum disease

Coffee could not only perk you up in the morning but could also help protect you from gum disease, researchers have found.
They found that those who drank coffee were protected against gum disease.
They believe the antioxidants could play a role - but admit they are not quite sure what is happening.

Exercise is a wonder drug. Walking a mile each day 'cuts cancer death risk by half': Physical activity described as 'wonder drug' for breast and prostate patients

Cancer patients can cut their risk of dying by up to half – simply by walking just one mile a day, according to experts.
A study revealed physical activity as a ‘wonder drug’, with those diagnosed with breast and prostate cancers able to cut their risk of death by up to 40 per cent.  And for bowel cancer patients, doubling the walking distance was found to halve the risk of dying.
The calculations are based on walking one mile at a moderate pace of 3mph, which would take just 20 minutes a day.

Too many connections. Scientists discover people with autism have too many brain 'connections'

Scientists say they have discovered the reason why some people suffer from autism.  Those with the condition have too many synapses in their brains - places where where neurons connect and communicate, a new study has found.
Scientists at Columbia University in New York believe that the surplus synapses are created because of a lack of ‘pruning’ that normally occurs early in life.  The discovery is a huge leap in understanding of the complex condition and creates hope of a possible treatment, researchers said.
Posted by Jill Fallon at September 2, 2014 2:09 PM | Permalink