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Archive Health News: April 2009
  Back to 2009 Archives
  Total News For This Month: 11 records

   Walnuts may help lower breast cancer risk
  - The New Straits Times, April 28, 2009

  Walnut may help reduce breast cancer risk, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia, found that lab mice had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer if fed the human equivalent of a handful of walnuts a day.

For the study, researchers used specially bred mice that normally develops breast cancer. Half of the mice were given the human equivalent of two ounces of walnuts per day and half got a normal diet. The mice which ate the walnuts had fewer and smaller breast tumours and those that did get them got them later than the other mice. The laboratory mice typically have 100 per cent tumour incidence at five months; walnut consumption delayed those tumours by at least three weeks.

The researchers said while the study was done with laboratory animals, it is likely that the same mechanism would be at work in humans.

Walnut contain multiple ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols that, individually, have been shown to slow cancer growth.

   A merry heart saves ‘diabetic heart’
  - The New Straits Times, April 28, 2009

  Setting aside time each day for some good, hearty laughter could help diabetic improve their cholesterol levels and lower their risks of heart attacks.

Researchers at Loma Linda University in California revealed that laughter decreased the bad chemicals in the body and increased the good ones, which help diabetics stay well and prevent disease.

The researchers assigned 20 adults with Type II diabetes, average age 50, to a control group or the (laughter group). All had high blood pressure and high cholesterol and were taking standard related medications.

The laughter group who were instructed to view “self-selected” humour for at least 30 minutes every day were found to have an increase of 26 per cent in “good” HDL cholesterol when evaluated 12 months later. The controlled group had just three per cent increase in the good cholesterol. Harmful C-reactive proteins declined by 66 per cent in the laughter group but just 26 per cent for the control group.

   Silent heart attacks deadly
  - The New Sunday Times, April 19, 2009

  Chicago (U.S.A)- A study using new imaging technology found “silent” heart attacks may be far more common, and more deadly, than suspected, US researchers said. It is estimated that these often painless heart attacks, also known as unrecognized myocardial infarctions, affect 200,000 people in the US each year.

Researchers in Duke University, North Carolina, studied 185 patients with coronary artery disease but no record of heart attacks to test for possible blockages in their heart arteries. They found that 35 per cent of the patients had evidence of a prior heart attack. They also found that the so-called non-Q-wave heart attacks were three times more common than silent heart attacks with Q-waves.

Doctors usually can tell whether a patient has had a recent heart attack by looking for signature changes on a test of the heart’s electrical activity on an electrocardiogram called a Q-wave, a marker for damaged tissue and by checking for certain enzymes in the blood. But not all silent heart attacks result in Q-waves.

The study also revealed that after two years of follow-up, people who had suffered a silent non-Q-wave attack had an 11-fold higher risk of death due to heart problems compared with patients who did not have any heart damage.

   Epilepsy drug link to low IQ
  - The New Straits Times, April 17, 2009

  Boston (U.S.A) - Children born to women who took the epilepsy drug valproate while pregnant had lower IQs at least up to the age three, researchers from Emory University in Atlanta wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings add to evidence, which has been around for years, that prenatal exposure to the pill can cause major congenital malformations in one in 10 children.

Valproate is sold by Sanofi-Aventis as Epilim and Depakine in the United States by Abbott Laboratories.

   Fruit, vegetable cancer risk for smokers
  - The Star, April 16, 2009

  The Hague - A research study on some 500,000 people in 10 European countries found that colon cancer risk appears to heighten for smokers who eat fruit and vegetables. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) which reported the study’s finding said that while a high intake of fruit and vegetables appears to reduce the risk among non-smokers, it seems to have a reverse effect on smokers. RIVM says this did not mean that smokers should stop eating their green. They should stop smoking instead.

The study tracked the eating and smoking habits of their subjects for more than eight-and-a-half years.

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