• Researchers Develop Chewing Gum That Can Reduce SARS-CoV-2 Transmission
    A team of researchers has developed a chewing gum that is laced with a plant-grown protein serving as a “trap” for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and could reduce its transmission. The study has been published in the ‘Molecular Therapy Journal’. The work, led by Henry Daniell at Penn’s School of Dental Medicine and performed in collaboration with scientists at the Perelman School of Medicine and School of Veterinary Medicine, as well as at The Wistar Institute and Fraunhofer USA, could lead to a low-cost tool in the arsenal against the COVID-19 pandemic. “SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the salivary glands, and we know that when someone who is infected sneezes, coughs or speaks some of that virus can be expelled and reach others,” said Daniell. “This gum offers an opportunity to neutralize the virus in the saliva, giving us a simple way to possibly cut down on a source of disease transmission,” he added. Vaccinations for COVID-19 have helped change the course of the pandemic but haven’t stamped out transmission. Even people who are fully vaccinated can still become infected with SARS-CoV-2 and, according to recent research, can carry a viral load similar to those who are unvaccinated. Prior to the pandemic, Daniell had been studying the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) protein in the context of treating hypertension. His lab had grown this protein, as well as many others that may have therapeutic potential, using a patented […]
  • Study: Daytime Meals May Reduce Health Problems Associated With Night Shift Work
    According to a small clinical trial by the National Institutes of Health, eating only during the daytime might prevent higher glucose levels for night shift workers. The study has been published in the ‘Science Advances Journal’. The findings, the study authors said, could lead to novel behavioural interventions aimed at improving the health of shift workers — grocery stockers, hotel workers, truck drivers, first responders, and others — who past studies showed may be at an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. The new study, which the researchers noted is the first to demonstrate the beneficial effect of this type of meal timing intervention in humans was funded primarily by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH. “This is a rigorous and highly controlled laboratory study that demonstrates a potential intervention for the adverse metabolic effects associated with shift work, which is a known public health concern,” said Marishka Brown, PhD, director of the NHLBI’s National Center on Sleep Disorders Research. “We look forward to additional studies that confirm the results and begin to untangle the biological underpinnings of these findings,” Brown added. For the study, the researchers enrolled 19 healthy young participants (seven women and 12 men). After a preconditioning routine, the participants were randomly assigned to a 14-day controlled laboratory protocol involving simulated night work conditions with one of two meal schedules. One group ate during […]
  • Study: Whole Fat Milk Is As Good As Low-Fat For Kids
     A recent study by a team of researchers from the Edith Cowan University asserted that whole fat milk is as good as low-fat milk for kids. The study has been published in the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’. It suggested the current public health advice recommending children over the age of two consume low-fat dairy products may need to be revised. ECU’s Associate Professor Therese O’Sullivan led the investigation into the consumption of full-fat dairy products in children as part of the Milky Way study. Over a three-month period, 49 healthy children aged four to six were randomly allocated to receive either whole-fat or low-fat dairy products in place of their normal dairy intake. Dairy products were home delivered every fortnight in plain packaging at no cost to the participants, to ensure purchase price wasn’t a factor. Neither group knew whether they were consuming whole-fat or low-fat dairy, while any leftover products were weighed each fortnight to assess the children’s overall intake. For the first time, researchers comprehensively measured the children’s obesity, body composition, blood pressure, and blood biomarkers to monitor the effects of their dairy consumption. Regardless of whether they were consuming whole-fat or low-fat dairy, both groups of children took in similar amounts of calories. Although children consuming low-fat dairy took in fewer calories and fat from dairy, they naturally turned to other foods and drinks to make up for this difference. […]
  • Physical Activity Associated With Risk Reductions Of Non-Communicable Diseases & Mortality: Study
    Moderate to vigorous physical activity is associated with risk reductions of non-communicable diseases and mortality, according to a recent study. A study published in the journal PLOS Medicine by Thijs Eijsvogels at Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands and colleagues suggest that while risk reduction for healthy individuals plateaus at higher levels of physical activity, those with cardiovascular disease have no upper limit of physical activity beyond which there is no further benefit. How cardiovascular health status affects the association between physical activity and health outcomes is not well understood. To investigate, researchers used prospectively gathered data from the Lifelines Cohort Study; a population-based cohort of 167,729 individuals living in the Northern Netherlands. They compared the association between physical activity and major adverse cardiovascular events as well as all-cause mortality across healthy individuals, individuals with elevated levels of cardiovascular risk factors, and individuals with cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that increasing physical activity reduced mortality risk in all groups. However, health benefits appeared to level off above a certain volume of physical activity in healthy individuals and those with cardiovascular risk factors. In cardiovascular disease patients, the researchers found no evidence of an upper physical activity limit above which there is no further health benefit. The study was limited in that it relied on self-reported physical activity data from participants, so future research is needed to further validate the findings. “These findings suggest that […]
  • Prunes Intake Can Help Control Appetite & Reduce Caloric Consumption
    With the holiday season in its full swing, new research by the University of Liverpool has found that the intake of prunes can help control appetite and reduce overall caloric consumption. The study was published in the ‘Nutrition Bulletin Journal’. “These studies demonstrate that dried fruit can both produce satiety and be incorporated into the diet during weight management,” said Professor Jason C G Halford, University of Leeds and President of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), who was part of the research team. The study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, researchers compared satiety, appetite, and caloric intake among participants who consumed a snack of either prunes, raisins, or jelly-bean-like candy, all comparable in calories. Researchers found that those who ate prunes consumed the fewest calories overall at subsequent meals. The prune snackers also reported reduced hunger levels, improved satiety, and a greater perceived ability to eat less food at subsequent meals. In the second phase of the study, researchers focused specifically on weight loss. Participants were divided into two groups – those who followed a 12-week weight loss program with prunes as their snack and those who followed the same program but were only provided with guidance on healthy snacking. While there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups in terms of pounds lost, the prune group experienced greater weight loss on average than […]
  • Video-Based Exercise, Weight Loss Programs Improves Quality Of Life
    A new study has found that video-based exercise and weight loss programs with online educational support improved pain and function in people with knee osteoarthritis and overweight or obesity. The findings of the study have been published in the journal ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’. Osteoarthritis affects more than 32.5 million adults in the United States and is a major public health problem around the world. Knee osteoarthritis is commonly associated with overweight and obesity, which aggravate pain and disability, accelerate osteoarthritis progression, and increase the likelihood of requiring costly knee surgery. Scalable knee osteoarthritis programs are needed to deliver recommended education, exercise, and weight-loss interventions. Researchers from the University of Melbourne recruited 416 people with persistent knee pain to participate in the Better Knee, Better Me trial. Patients were randomly assigned to one of two 6-month telehealth-delivered programs, one with and one without dietary intervention, compared with an information-only control group. During the trial, participants in the intervention groups were provided support from physiotherapists and dietitians via Zoom and had a suite of educational resources available online. Those in the exercise plus diet group also received meal replacements so they could maintain a ketogenic, low-calorie diet. At 6 months, the researchers found that compared to control, participants in both programs had significant improvements in knee pain, physical function, and quality of life, which were maintained in the longer term. Compared to the exercise-only program, […]
  • Study: College Athletes With Covid-19 Develop Myocarditis
    According to a new study, a small but significant percentage of college athletes with COVID-19 develop myocarditis, a potentially dangerous inflammation of the heart muscle. The findings of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Myocarditis, which typically occurs as a result of a bacterial or viral infection, can affect the heart’s rhythm and ability to pump and often leaves behind lasting damage in the form of scarring to the heart muscle. It has been linked to as many as 20 per cent of sudden deaths in young athletes. The COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns over an increased incidence of the condition in student-athletes. For the new study, clinicians at schools in the highly competitive Big Ten athletic conference collaborated to collect data on the frequency of myocarditis in student-athletes recovering from COVID-19 infection. Conference officials had required all athletes who had COVID-19 to get a series of cardiac tests before returning to play, providing a unique opportunity for researchers to collect data on the athletes’ cardiac status. Jean Jeudy, MD, professor and radiologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, serves as the cardiac MRI core leader for the Big Ten Cardiac Registry. This registry oversaw the collection of all the data from the individual schools of the Big Ten conference. Dr Jeudy reviewed the results of 1,597 cardiac MRI exams collected […]
  • Study: Housework Can Lead To Sharper Memory, Attention Span
    According to a new study, older adults who do housework may have a sharper memory, attention span, better leg strength and greater protection against falls. The findings of the study were published in the open-access journal ‘BMJ Open’. The findings were independent of other regular recreational and workplace physical activities, and active commuting. Regular physical activity is good for maintaining optimal physical and mental health. And among older adults, it curbs the risks of long term conditions, falls, immobility, dependency and death. Yet global monitoring data indicate that in 2016, physical activity was well below recommended weekly levels and had budged little in a decade, with people in high-income countries more than twice as likely to be couch potatoes as those in low-income countries. Given that housework involves physical activity and is an indicator of the ability to live independently, the researchers wanted to explore whether doing the household chores might contribute to healthy ageing and boost physical and mental capacity among older adults in a wealthy country. They included 489 randomly selected adults, aged between 21 and 90, with fewer than 5 underlying conditions and no cognitive issues. All were living independently in one large residential town in Singapore, and able to carry out routine daily tasks. Participants were divided into two age bands: 21-64-year-olds (249; average age 44), classified as ‘younger’; and 65-90-year-olds (240; average age 75), classified as ‘older.’ Walking (gait) […]
  • Study Finds Possibility How An Unborn Baby Can Contract Covid-19
    According to a study led by UCL researchers with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the NIHR Great Ormond Street Biomedical Research Centre, it is only possible for an unborn baby to contract Covid-19 if their gut is exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The research was published in the ‘BJOG – An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Journal’. Although the study did not look specifically at mothers with Covid-19 and whether their infection was transmitted to an unborn baby, it found that certain fetal organs, such as the intestine, are more susceptible to infection than others. However, researchers said, that opportunities for the Covid-19 virus infecting the fetus are extremely limited, as the placenta acted as a highly effective and protective shield, and evidence suggested fetal infection, known as vertical transmission, is extremely uncommon. Researchers set out to understand how newborn babies could have developed Covid-19 antibodies, as it had been reported in a small number of cases. Specifically, they wanted to know if and how the virus could be passed from an infected mother to the unborn fetus. To answer this question, researchers examined various fetal organs and placenta tissue to see if there was any presence of the cell surface protein receptors, ACE2 and TMPRSS2. These two receptors sit on the outside of cells and both are needed for the SARS-Cov-2 virus to infect and spread. Researchers found the only […]
  • Study: Working Out Before Fasting Maximizes Health Benefits
    As the holiday season is coming up, the last thing on anyone’s mind is fasting. However, fasting is now becoming a trend for weight loss and better metabolic health. This can be time-restricted eating, periodic fasting or the “monk” fast. A new study by Brigham Young University has found out that working out intensely before fasting can help maximize the health benefits of temporarily foregoing food. The research was published in the journal ‘Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise’. “We really wanted to see if we could change the metabolism during the fast through exercise, especially how quickly the body enters ketosis and makes ketones,” said BYU PhD student Landon Deru, who helped design the study for his thesis. Ketosis occurs when the body runs out of glucose — its first, preferred fuel — and begins breaking down stored fat for energy, producing chemicals called ketones as a by-product. In addition to being a healthy energy source for the brain and heart, ketones combat diseases like diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. For the study, the researchers asked 20 healthy adults to complete two 36-hour fasts while staying hydrated. Each fast began after a standardized meal, the first fast starting without exercise and the other with a challenging treadmill workout. Every two hours while awake, the subjects completed hunger and mood assessments and recorded their levels of B-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), a ketone-like chemical. Exercise made […]
  • Covid-19 Infection Risk Rises After Second Dose Of Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine
    A new study has found a gradual increase in the risk of COVID-19 infection from 90 days after receiving a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Results confirm that protection wanes with time and suggest a third (booster) dose might be warranted. The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘BMJ’. The study was carried out by the Research Institute of Leumit Health Services in Israel. Israel was one of the first countries to roll out a large scale covid-19 vaccination campaign in December 2020, but it has seen a resurgence of infections since June 2021. The findings confirm that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provided excellent protection in the initial weeks after vaccination, but suggest that protection wanes for some individuals with time. Across the world, large scale covid-19 vaccination campaigns are helping to control the spread of the virus, but even in countries with high vaccination rates, breakthrough infections can occur, which scientists think is due to a gradual loss of immunity over time. Examining the time elapsed since vaccination and the risk of infection could provide important clues about the need for a third injection and its preferred timing. To do this, the researchers examined electronic health records for 80,057 adults (average age 44 years) who received a PCR test at least three weeks after their second injection and had no evidence of previous covid-19 infection. Of these 80,057 participants, 7,973 […]
  • Study: Alcohol Is Associated With Heart Arrhythmia
    According to research at UC San Francisco, it was found out that while the common heart condition is triggered by caffeine, sleep deprivation and sleeping on the left side, alcohol is the only one that was associated with heart arrhythmia (improper beating of the heart, whether irregular, too fast or too slow). The study has been published in the ‘JAMA Cardiology Journal’. The authors concluded that people might be able to reduce their risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) by avoiding certain triggers. Researchers were surprised to find that although most of the things that participants thought would be related to their AF were not, those in the intervention group still experienced less arrhythmia than the people in a comparison group that was not self-monitoring. “This suggests that those personalized assessments revealed actionable results,” said lead author Gregory Marcus, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at UCSF. “Although caffeine was the most commonly selected trigger for testing, we found no evidence of a near-term relationship between caffeine consumption and atrial fibrillation. In contrast, alcohol consumption most consistently exhibited heightened risks of atrial fibrillation,” he added. Atrial fibrillation contributed to more than 150,000 deaths in the United States each year, reported the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the death rate on the rise for more than 20 years. To learn more about what patients felt was especially important to study […]