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Friday, 29 May 2015

Soy supplements don't improve asthma

Need holistic approach to manage disease, not a single food or strategy
  • Despite early promise of benefits, soy doesn't help lung function
  • Lifestyle and diet may also affect asthma control
  • Study highlights importance of placebo-controlled studies
soya के लिए चित्र परिणामCHICAGO --- Despite previous findings suggesting a link between soy intake and decreased asthma severity, a new study from Northwestern Medicine and the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Network shows soy supplements do not improve lung function for patients with asthma.
The paper, published May 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), highlights the importance of focusing on overall health to manage disease, rather than individual strategies such as increasing soy consumption, according to the authors.
"You are what you eat, but that's a whole constellation of foods, not just a single food or a single component of a food," said first author Dr. Lewis Smith, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Instead of focusing on supplements, we should be taking a more holistic approach."
Nutritional supplements, a multi-billion dollar industry, are widely used to treat and prevent disease and to optimize health, though there's not always data proving their effectiveness. There is, however, evidence that supplements for soy isoflavone -- plant-based compounds in food such as tofu and edamame -- protect against hot flashes during menopause and osteoporosis.
While analyzing the results of a study on diet and asthma, Smith and colleagues previously noticed that asthmatics taking soy isoflavone had better lung functioning than their counterparts. They confirmed the observation in a different group of patients, and followed up in the laboratory: In cell cultures, they saw that an isoflavone called genistein reduces eosinophil inflammation, a key factor in asthma.
"If you look at people who consume more soy products, mostly in Japan and parts of China, they actually have less asthma," said Smith, also a professor of preventive medicine at Feinberg. "That could be due to many different factors, but there was enough epidemiological and biological evidence data to support looking at this association."
The new study explored the effects of soy in 386 adults and children aged 12 or older with poorly controlled asthma. All were taking medicine to treat their asthma -- either corticosteroids or leukotriene modifiers -- but none were consuming soy. In the randomized, double-blind study, half of the participants took a soy isoflavone supplement twice daily for six months, and the other half took a placebo.
"We found that the supplement, though able to increase blood levels of the key soy isoflavone genistein, did not improve lung function, symptoms or measures of inflammation in these individuals," Smith said.
Why didn't the soy-asthma link in previous studies translate to this one? Smith said other factors may have been at play, such as diet and lifestyle patterns, like eating less meat or exercising frequently. And though genistein reduced inflammation in cell cultures, in the human body additional cells may nullify that benefit.
"This study highlights why it is so important to perform well-designed, placebo-controlled studies when associations are reported between specific nutrients and disease outcomes," Smith said.

Beliefs about complementary and alternative medicine predict use among patients with cancer

A new study has shed light on how cancer patients' attitudes and beliefs drive the use of complementary and alternative medicine. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings may help hospitals develop more effective and accessible integrative oncology services for patients.
Although many cancer patients use complementary and alternative medicine, what drives this usage is unclear. To investigate, a team led by Jun Mao, MD and Joshua Bauml, MD, of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, conducted a survey-based study in their institution's thoracic, breast, and gastrointestinal medical oncology clinics.
Among 969 participants surveyed between June 2010 and September 2011, patients who were younger, those who were female, and those who had a college education tended to expect greater benefits from complementary and alternative medicine. Nonwhite patients reported more perceived barriers to the use of complementary and alternative medicine compared with white patients, but their expectations concerning the medicine's benefits were similar. Attitudes and beliefs about complementary and alternative medicine were much more likely to affect patients' use than clinical and demographic characteristics.
"We found that specific attitudes and beliefs -- such as expectation of therapeutic benefits, patient-perceived barriers regarding cost and access, and opinions of patients' physician and family members -- may predict patients' use of complementary and alternative medicine following cancer diagnoses," said Dr. Mao. "We also found that these beliefs and attitudes varied by key socio-demographic factors such as sex, race, and education, which highlights the need for a more individualized approach when clinically integrating complementary and alternative medicine into conventional cancer care."
The researchers noted that as therapies such as acupuncture and yoga continue to demonstrate clinical benefits for reducing pain, fatigue, and psychological distress, the field of integrative oncology is emerging to bring complementary and alternative medicine together with conventional care to improve patient outcomes. "Our findings emphasize the importance of patients' attitudes and beliefs about complementary and alternative medicine as we seek to develop integrative oncology programs in academic medical centers and community hospitals," said Dr. Bauml. "By aligning with patients' expectations, removing unnecessary structural barriers, and engaging patients' social and support networks, we can develop patient-centered clinical programs that better serve diverse groups of cancer patients regardless of sex, race, and education levels."

To Eat Healthy, Teach the Do’s as They Work Better Than Dont's

Inculcate healthy eating habits in your child by telling him that it is good for him than telling him the ill effects if he doesn't eats it

"Telling your child to eat an apple so they stay healthy will work better than telling them not to eat the cookie because it will make them fat. Don't" messages don't work for most of us," researchers at Cornell University said. 

The findings showed that focusing on 'Do' is better than on 'Don't'. That is, stressing the benefits of eating healthy foods is more effective than warning against the harm of eating unhealthy foods. 

"If you're a parent, it's better to focus on the benefits of broccoli and not the harm of hamburgers," said lead author Brian Wansink, Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. 

The researchers analyzed 43 published international studies that involved either negative or positive nutrition messages. 

They found that while negative messages tended to work best with experts - like dieticians and physicians - who were highly involved and knowledgeable in the area, most people who did not know a lot about nutrition would rather be told what they should eat and why it is good for them. 

The researchers recommended that when designing public health messaging campaigns, focus on positive consequences of target healthy behaviors rather than focusing on the negative consequences.
 Cornell University 

First Part of Semen Contains Better Quality DNA and is Effective for Conception

 Sperm in the first part of ejaculation are more numerous, move faster and contains better quality DNA, says a new study.
The fluid squirted during ejaculation is composed of various fragments and the sperm in the first fragment are more effective in fertilizing the eggs and in embryonic development than those lagging behind. 

"Ejaculation has always been considered as a whole. However, we believe that it is divided into two quite different phases due to its composition and physiological functions, aimed at achieving two equally important actions in terms of reproduction," said lead author of the study Maria Hebles from Ginemed Assisted Human Reproduction Clinic in Seville, Spain. The first objective of ejaculation would be to fertilize the egg and the second so that no other male has the opportunity to fertilize it. 

Therefore, the first fraction is characterized as having protective components such as zinc, whereas the second contains elements that can cause damage to sperm, the researchers said. 

For the study, the specialists asked 40 participants to collect the ejaculate separately into two containers, one for each phase. 

They then separated the first and the second phase and studied the characteristics of the sperm in each of them. 

The first phase contains an enhanced sub-population of sperm, with less sperm DNA fragmentation, the findings showed. 

Therefore, the use of sperm from this fraction can have a positive effect on fertilization and embryonic development. 

"As we were expecting, the sperm from the first fraction of ejaculate were faster moving and the count was higher, and more importantly, they had higher DNA integrity than sperm from the second phase," the researchers said. 

However, they noted that the pre-ejaculatory phase or pre-seminal fluid does not contain sperm. 

Source:The findings appeared in the journal Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine.

Mass Public Events to Mark the First International Yoga Day in Belgium

June 21 has been declared as International Yoga Day following a UN resolution piloted by India and co-sponsored by 177 countries. Mass public yoga sessions in collaboration with Indian embassy will take place across several Belgian cities to mark the very first International Yoga Day on June 21, 2015.

Several thousand people are expected to participate in these free yoga events in Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent, among other cities. 

Yoga teacher and practitioner Sreemati, who will be moderating Belgium's largest public yoga session in Brussels' Bois de la Cambre park said, "Yoga is more than a healthy practice or an exercise, it is an attitude, a wellness of the mind and body." 

These yoga sessions in Belgium are being hosted by a range of regional yoga associations in collaboration with the Indian embassy.

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