A Mediterranean diet in pregnancy is associated with lower risk of accelerated growth

Image result for A Mediterranean diet in pregnancy is associated with lower risk of accelerated growthThe Mediterranean diet is characterised by a high content of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes and nuts. This healthy diet pattern has been associated with lower obesity and cardiometabolic risk in adults, but few studies have focused on children.

This study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, aimed at evaluating the association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy and growth patterns and cardiometabolic risk in early infancy.

The study was performed with data of over 2,700 pregnant women from Asturias, Guipúzcoa, Sabadell and Valencia, who are part of the INMA-Childhood and Environment cohort. The women filled in a questionnaire on dietary intake in the first and third trimester of pregnancy. In addition, the diet, weight and height of their offspring were followed-up from birth to age 4 years. Other tests such as blood analysis and blood pressure were also performed at age 4.

The results show that pregnant women with higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet had a 32% lower risk of having children with an accelerated growth pattern, as compared to offspring of women that did not follow such diet.

Sílvia Fernández, ISGlobal researcher and first author of the study, underlines that “mothers with lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet were younger, consumed more calories, and had higher probability of smoking and a lower education and social level,” as compared to those women who did follow the diet.”

“These results support the hypothesis that a healthy diet during pregnancy can have a beneficial effect for child development,” concludes the study coordinator Dora Romaguera, researcher at ISGlobal and CIBEROBN. Regarding the mechanisms that underlie this association, the researcher mentions “possible epigenetic modifications that regulate fetal caridiometabolism, or shared eating patterns between mothers and children, although this deserves further investigation.”

The study did not find a correlation between Mediterranean diet in pregnancy and a reduction in cardiometabolic risk (blood pressure or cholesterol) in early infancy. “The effects on cardiometabolic risk could appear later in childhood,” explains Fernández.


Here’s what we know today about the dangers of vaping

Here's what we know today about the dangers of vaping

Florida International University psychologists Elisa Trucco and Matthew Sutherland are in a race to find answers about the impact of e-cigarettes on the adolescent brain. Calls to the FIU Center for Children and Families have been increasing as concerned parents are trying to understand the effects of e-cigarettes. Trucco and Sutherland are leading one of the first studies to examine decision-making as it relates to vaping devices.

E-cigarette use, or vaping, among teens has skyrocketed in recent years. According to the surgeon general, vaping among high school students increased by 900 percent from 2011 to 2015. The nation is now scrambling to find effective ways to discourage vaping and educate misinformed teens and their parents on the dangers of e-cigarette use in what the FDA is calling an epidemic.

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of nicotine because their brains are still rapidly developing, according to Trucco and Sutherland. Research is critical to help clinicians improve prevention programming and assist policymakers in deciding how to continue regulating these products, they said. Their current project—Antecedents and Consequences of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ACE)—is funded by the National Institutes of Health as part of a collaborative research study between the FIU Center for Children and Families and the Research Center in Minority Institutions. They are studying what influences an adolescent’s decision to use or not use e-cigarettes, vaping devices or other electronic nicotine delivery systems and how that decision may affect other risky behaviors and the developing brain.

While Trucco and Sutherland are currently recruiting participants for the study, there are some facts they want parents to know.

Most e-cigarettes contain the highly addictive drug nicotine

Most types of e-cigarettes, including the most popular brand Juul, contain nicotine, the addictive drug found in traditional tobacco cigarettes. One Juul pod contains roughly the same amount of nicotine found in 20 cigarettes (or one pack). Nicotine is highly addictive and can cause brain changes leading to compulsive use of e-cigarettes.

Long-term effects of vaping are unknown

Although e-cigarettes were developed in part to help adult smokers cut their tobacco-use and to provide a “healthier” alternative, no study has yet been conducted that can provide information on the long-term effects of e-cigarette use. Due to the recent dramatic increase in e-cigarette use, preliminary findings are now showing that there is a negative effect on heart and lung function associated with e-cigarette use. However, there is still no definitive answer on whether these risks outweigh the benefits of switching from traditional tobacco cigarettes.

Vaping leads to higher risk of cigarette smoking in teens

Teenage e-cigarette users are actually at a higher risk of smoking tobacco cigarettes compared to non-users. More than 30 percent of adolescent e-cigarette users start smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes within six months.

Vaping can produce second-hand effects

Although e-cigarettes do not produce smoke, breathing in the second-hand vapor is not harmless. The aerosol from e-cigarettes contains many potentially harmful chemicals, including lead and other heavy metals. It also has flavorings including diacetyl, which has been linked to lung disease. The second-hand vapor can also contain nicotine, which when inhaled by non-users can increase their risk of becoming nicotine dependent. There is also the danger of third-hand exposure, which occurs when residual nicotine from the second-hand vapor remains on surfaces and is absorbed through unintentional ingestion or through the skin via contact.


Winter Health Tips: Benefits And Easy Ways Of Staying Hydrated During Winters

Winter Health Tips: Benefits And Easy Ways Of Staying Hydrated During Winters

Winters are here and while we’re all looking forward to the feasting and snuggling, it is important to take care of health as well. Like any other season, winter also demands special dietary and lifestyle adjustments to prepare the body for the cold weather. Staying hydrated may not look like an important thing to do during winters, as we don’t lose a lot of sweat during cold weather. But as in summers, drinking enough water and retaining it in the body is important during winters as well. Staying hydrated may seem like an easy enough thing to do during winters, but it may not be so for a number of reasons. For one, dehydration is much less noticeable during winters, than it is during summers as you don’t notice how much sweat you’ve lost under all those layers of clothing.

For another, the dryness in the air may dehydrate our bodies quicker than we can imagine and most often we don’t even feel thirsty, so our need for adequate water may remain unmet. The effects of dehydration may be subtle and hence, less noticeable during winters, but it’s important to work pre-emptively to replenish the fluid reserves of the body, in order to avoid any physical discomfort in the future.

Also Read: The Winter Diet: 4 Winter-Friendly Flours You Must Try This Season

Here are some health benefits of drinking adequate water during winters:

1. Temperature Regulation: Water helps regulate the body temperature, during both summers and winters. Staying hydrated may be a sure shot way to stay warm internally and prevent conditions like hypothermia.

2. Boosting Immunity: The cold and dry air may sap your body of energy, making you feel sluggish and even making you more susceptible to cold and flu. Stay hydrated to boost immunity and protect your body from illnesses.

Also Read: 10 Best Indian Winter Vegetable Recipes

3. Regulating Weight: When you’re hydrated, your body is more capable of breaking down fats, effectively regulating body weight.

4. Boosting Skin Health: Drinking adequate water is one of the first things any beauty expert will suggest to you for skin health. During winters, it’s essential to stay hydrated to prevent dry and dull skin.

oc4pjp5Winter health tips: Drinking enough water is key to keeping warm during winters

How To Stay Hydrated During Winters

1. Drink Warm/Room Temperature Water: After exercising during winters or even generally, one should drink beverages or water which is at room temperature. This is because cold water/liquids get absorbed faster in the body.

2. Eat Fruits/Veggies With High Water Content: Eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content is also a great way to stay hydrated. Load up on strawberries, oranges, pineapple, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, cucumber, etc.

3. Limit Consumption of Alcohol/Caffeine: Although it’s extremely tempting to indulge in hot teas, coffees and alcohol during winters, both alcohol and caffeine may dehydrate your body, so excessive consumption of both is not recommended.

4. Eat More Soups/Broths: Salty foods like soups and broths are healthy and may help in retaining water in the body. They also have the added advantage of warming you up from the inside.


Four out of five prostate cancer patients in Ireland showed no symptoms when they were diagnosed, new research shows

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men. Stock photo: Getty

Four out of five Irish men with prostate cancer showed no symptoms when they were diagnosed with the disease, according to new research.

The research funded by the health charity, The Movember Foundation, looked at 4,800 patients who were diagnosed with the disease in 2016 and 2017.

The study, carried out by the Irish Prostate Cancer Outcomes Research (IPCOR) group calls on men, especially those over the age of 45, to speak to their doctor about their prostate health.

The report also found that 1 in 5 men diagnosed with prostate cancer are under the age of 60, which conflicts with general perception that the disease affects men of an older age, further highlighting the importance of men receiving regular health checks.

Two thirds of patients were registered as being under 70, and two out of five are under 65.

The study also found significant differences in waiting times for diagnosis between the public and private health systems.

The report found a 24-day delay in receiving a biopsy in the public healthcare system compared to the private system (32 days vs 56 days).

Patients wait an extra 30 days to learn of the results (55 days vs 85 days) with the report’s author noting delays in access to MRI imaging as a possible contributing factor.

MRI imaging is considered important in performing an accurate biopsy. Those in private hospitals were three times more likely to access a MRI scan before their biopsy, which improves diagnosis and may reduce the need for further biopsies.

Commenting on the findings  Dr David Galvin, IPCOR Principal Investigator and Consultant Urologist, said: “The report’s findings show how important it is for men to have a conversation with their doctor about their prostate health.

“Generally, prostate cancer only causes symptoms when it becomes advanced. The best chance we have to treat and cure the disease, is to catch the cancer early, before symptoms develop. Therefore, we would encourage men from the age of forty-five to speak to their doctor about their prostate health.

“We want the findings in this years’ report to be a catalyst to enhance prostate cancer care, improve patient experience and maximise quality of life for men diagnosed with prostate cancer in Ireland.”

Nanny fundraiser cancer mum leaves ‘trove’ of memories

Lisa Foster and her three children Zach, Scarlett and Ruby

A terminally ill mother who raised more than £50,000 to pay for a nanny to take care of her three children has died.

Lisa Foster, 38, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in May 2017.

Her husband Craig said she had left behind a “treasure trove” of videos for her children to view when they hit milestones in their lives.

The 49 clips include their favourite stories, plus greetings for their 18th birthdays, wedding days and first children.

Mr Foster said she had spent her final months preparing Ruby, eight, Zach, six, and two-year-old Scarlett for life without her.

She also left scrapbooks and recorded “pep talks” which would last “for decades into the future”, he said.

Image copyright Foster family
Image caption Mrs Foster hoped to see Scarlett’s first steps and Zach on his first day at school (photographed here), which she did. L to R: Craig, Zach, Scarlett, Lisa, and Ruby with nanny Jane Key

Mr Foster, from Duffield in Derbyshire, said his wife had reminisced about old times and told him to “man up” if he was feeling sorry for himself.

She also said he was doing a great job and not to doubt himself.

“It is only since she has gone we realised how much Lisa had done to prepare us for a world without her,” he said.

When she was diagnosed with cancer Mrs Foster started a blog, which has been read by thousands of people.

“The strange thing was, over time, there was something about her spirit, her attitude, the way which she was fighting, that it seemed to grow over time and [more] people discovered it,” said Mr Foster.

“The last blog post she wrote more than 10,000 people read, in Australia, the US, all over the place.

“Lots of people made life changes on the back of reading it, [they] ditched partners or quit their jobs, which was strange to read.

“There was something about her message which made you realise life is short and none of us know how long we’ve got.”

Image copyright Foster Family
Image caption Mrs Foster said in a blog post all she “ever wanted was to be a mum”

Her last blog post started, “All I ever wanted was to be a mum”, and went on to talk about the “untold rounds of IVF” she went through to conceive her children.

She described being a mum as the “best job in the world” and said it was “heartbreaking to now know I can’t finish the job for Ruby, Zach and Scarlett”.

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Mrs Foster launched the fundraising page with the aim of collecting £50,000 to fund a nanny to take care of her children after her death.

She hit the target in just six days and eventually raised £62,000.

The nanny started in June and Mr Foster said there was enough money left to pay for another 18 months of full-time care.


Cancer cells’ use of sugar holds the key to their destruction

Scientists have suggested a way to improve treatments that use viruses to attack cancer. It exploits the fact that cancer cells need a lot of glucose and must metabolize it rapidly to survive.
cancer cells

Cutting down cancer cells’ sugar supply could make them more vulnerable to treatment.

Oncolytic viruses specifically target and enter cancer cells and use the cells’ machinery for their own multiplication and spread.

They destroy tumors from the inside without harming nearby healthy tissue.

A recent study proposes that restricting the cancer cells’ supply of glucose, and altering their ability to metabolize it, may strengthen the power of oncolytic viruses.

The research team, at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, used mouse models and cells from ovarian, lung, and colon tumors in order to demonstrate the effect.

Cancer Research UK sponsored the study, and a paper on the work features in the journal Cancer Research.

“Our research in the lab,” says lead study author Arthur Dyer, who is currently a Ph.D. student in the university’s oncology department, “showed that restricting the amount of sugar available to cancer cells makes these cancer-attacking oncolytic viruses work even better.”


Nova Scotia launches research program with exercise as part of cancer treatment

A new research project in Nova Scotia is including exercise as part of cancer care, hoping to show it improves patient health and saves on the costs of treating the illnesses.

Nova Scotia’s health authority issued a news release Friday featuring former premier and senator John Buchanan as one of the participants.

Buchanan says the exercises have improved the range of movement in his arms and shoulders and his general mobility as he’s been treated for prostate cancer that spread into other parts of his body.

The former premier is among the first of over 51 people referred to the program, with additional people continuing to register to be enrolled in recent months.

“I was introduced to the program by Dr. Lori Wood at the cancer centre, having been diagnosed with prostate cancer by Dr. David Bell,” Buchanan said in a news release. “It metastasized to some small bones in 2016 and I continue to have adverse effects from the cancer and the medications I take daily.

“For the past month, the … exercise program has helped me greatly to cope with cancer limitations and day-to-day activities. My shoulders, arms and mobility have improved.”

The program is being offered for patients over 18 with a doctor’s referral, with higher-risk patients being supervised at a hospital exercise lab and lower-risk patients completing the program at Halifax’s Canada Games Centre.

A certified exercise physiologist provides each participant with an individualized 12-week exercise plan, and modifications are made during every exercise session based on how the participants are feeling.

The program is led by research scientist Melanie Keats, a three-time cancer survivor, and co-investigator Scott Grandy. They work closely with two oncologists, two cardiologists, exercise specialists and other health professionals.

“We don’t want this to be a one-off research project, we’re looking for this to be something that is sustainable long term,” Keats said during a telephone interview.

The 47-year-old researcher said the program will assess whether the exercise improves overall patient well being and ability to function, as well as measuring cost savings such as whether exercise plays a role in reducing the number of visits to hospitals and the family doctor.

She said the team will track costs for a 12-week program and the savings it brings to the health care system over a one-year period.

Keats notes that there is a growing body of evidence that exercise is helpful for the health of cancer patients, pointing to a recent public statement by the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia.

The society recently provided a position paper stating that exercise “should be embedded as part of standard practice in cancer care and to be viewed as an adjunct therapy that helps counteract the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment.”

The Halifax researcher says the time period spent exercising for cancer patients should mirror a minimum of 100 to 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as running or cycling.

“Those same guidelines have been applied to cancer survivors and patients, with the caveat that you are now dealing with disease specific issues such as … balance issues, or maybe specific muscle loss or you’re very, very fatigued due to treatment,” she said.

She said the Nova Scotia Health Authority program takes into account these issues. For example, a person with balance issues may be put on an indoor exercise bicycle rather than on a bicycle out on the roads.

Keats said one of the surprising aspects to many people is that in most instances, even when they’re experiencing fatigue, exercise actually assists their recovery.

“As long as you’re not severely anemic … movement is one of the best ways to counteract the fatigue associated with treatment … Now we’re saying some movement is beneficial and helps you overcome the fatigue more readily,” she said.

Exercise helps the immune system, reduces inflammation and increases blood flow, all of which help a person heal “physically and mentally,” she added.

Dr. Rob Rutledge, a radiation oncologist at the Nova Scotia Cancer Centre, has been advocating for years for an increased mix of exercise with cancer treatment. He’s promoted this view through the charitable organization he founded, the Cancer and Healing Foundation.

He praised the study as an example of integrative medicine, which combines the best of conventional medical care with “what people can do to empower themselves at the levels of body, mind and spirit.”

“I’ve found that exercise is the most effective adjunct on the cancer journey to improve energy, quality of life, sleep, and even mental function,” he said, adding that his major tip to patients is to “make it fun or social so you’ll stay at it.”


Patients with cancer are more at risk of complications following heart procedure

Image result for Patients with cancer are more at risk of complications follResearch led by Keele University suggests that patients with cancer who undergo a common heart procedure have worse short-term clinical outcomes compared to non-cancer patients, in the largest study undertaken to date.

The study, published today in the European Heart Journal, looked at 6.6 million hospital admissions in the USA over an 11-year period, in which the admitted patient underwent a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedure.

PCI is the most common interventional treatment undertaken in patients with coronary heart disease, and is a procedure in which a stent is used to open up narrowed or blocked blood vessels in the heart, both as a planned procedure or in the emergency heart attack setting.

Approximately 10% of the patients who underwent a PCI procedure during the 11-year period analysed had either a current or historical cancer diagnosis.

The study specifically looked at the impact on patients with a diagnosis of prostate, breast, colon or lung cancer, as these were the most prevalent in the dataset.

The study found that patients with a current diagnosis of lung cancer were three times more likely to die in hospital following a PCI procedure, compared to patients with no cancer. Colon cancer had the greatest association with major bleeding complications post-PCI, with a threefold increase compared to patients with no cancer. Patients with metastatic cancer, irrespective of cancer type, were found to have poorer outcomes following a PCI, and were at increased risk of dying in hospital, and suffering PCI complications, including major bleeding events.

Professor Mamas Mamas, Professor of Cardiology at Keele University who led the study commented:

“Our research found that a concurrent cancer diagnosis during these procedures is not uncommon, and it has an important impact on the clinical outcomes of these procedures, depending on the type of cancer, presence of metastases, and whether the diagnosis is historical or current.

“This research is important because there is limited data regarding outcomes of patients undergoing PCI with a current or historical diagnosis of cancer. Such patients are often excluded from randomised controlled trials, and cancer history is not captured in national PCI registries. Clinicians are often unsure what the risks of these procedures are in these patients, and how best the procedures should be undertaken.”

Dr Jessica Potts, Research Associate at Keele University and co-author of the study, commented:

“Our recommendation is that treatment of patients with a cancer diagnosis should be individualised, recognising that cancer is associated with a higher risk of complications, and should involve a close collaboration between cardiologists and oncologists.”


Event highlights importance of cancer research

Image result for Event highlights importance of cancer researchJosue Flores’s story of survival was just one of many shared at the Cancer Research Breakfast in Providence Friday morning.

Patients, physicians and public health advocates attended the fifth annual breakfast hosted by the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network.

The event was a forum for all to discuss what’s been working in Rhode Island and nationwide in the fight against cancer.

Flores, 20, was diagnosed with Stage 4 testicular cancer last year.

“Knowing how much cancer can do to a family, like for me, I thought I was done for. My family was brought down financially, emotionally,” Flores said.

Dr. Thomas Renaud, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist, helped treat Flores at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Renaud said Flores’ road was challenging, but thanks to research in the last five to 10 years, he knew to take a certain approach.

“It’s become very clear that young people, young men his age who have the kind of cancer that he had, do need to be treated more like according to adult protocols instead of according to pediatric protocols,” Renaud said.

Research also helped Renaud find the then 19-year-old the right kind of care team.

“Most importantly, got him surgery by a medical surgical oncologist who has experience in the kind of somewhat uncommon surgery that he needed to remove the remaining disease that he had,” Renaud said.

Flores is now cancer free. His story is just one reminder of the need for continued cancer research that the American Cancer Society and its Cancer Action Network participate in.

“All the research, they knew how to think quick, with what’s the next step and all that, and they just made me feel better,” Flores said.

Flores is continuing to receive regular check-ups, and isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

He said plans to attend boot camp with the Rhode Island Air National Guard in hopes of eventually joining the police academy.


Happy Birthday Kartik Aaryan: Diet And Fitness Routine Of The Lukka Chhupi Actor

Happy Birthday Kartik Aaryan: Diet And Fitness Routine Of The Lukka Chhupi Actor

Bollywood actor Kartik Aaryan is celebrating his 30th birthday today. The dapper actor, who is known for his roles in the ‘Pyaar ka Punchnama’ movies, is going to be seen opposite Kriti Sanon in ‘Lukka Chhupi’ next. The actor was shooting in his hometown Gwalior for the same and he created quite a wave among his fans in the city. The good-looking actor also seems to be a gym freak, as is evident from the multiple workout videos he has posted on his Instagram page. We’re all fans of his lean torso and fit physique, which he obviously works very hard to maintain. Recently Kartik Aaryan made headlines after ‘Kedarnath’ actor Sara Ali Khan said that she would like to date him. This statement of Sara Ali Khan sent a wave of excitement among the netizens, who seemingly started shipping this good looking duo already. Well, we aren’t complaining either!

Coming to Kartik Aaryan, the actor seems like he takes a lot of care of his diet and maintains a strict fitness regime in order to look as physically fit as he does. Here is a look at birthday boy Kartik Aaryan’s diet and fitness routine, which you all may want to steal.

Kartik Aryan Diet Secrets

The actor told NDTV in an interview that the one diet tip that he follows without fail is the consumption of lukewarm water with lemon and honey first thing in the morning, because he believes that it helps in cutting fat accumulation. He also said that staying hydrated is very important to keeping fit. He might be keeping his daily diet austere and simple, but he sure doesn’t shy away from indulging once in a while. Here’s a look at Kartik Aaryan enjoying a plate of fries and drinks during a midnight swim in Singapore: