Fish oil-diet benefits may be mediated by gut microbes

Diets rich in fish oil versus diets rich in lard (e.g., bacon) produce very different bacteria in the guts of mice, reports a study published August 27 in Cell Metabolism. The researchers transferred these microbes into other mice to see how they affected health. The results suggest that gut bacteria share some of the responsibility for the beneficial effects of fish oil and the harmful effects of lard.

In particular, mice that received transplants of gut microbes associated with a fish oil diet were protected against diet-induced weight gain and inflammation compared with mice transplanted with gut microbes associated with a lard diet. This demonstrates that gut microbes are an independent factor aggravating inflammation associated with diet-induced obesity and gives hope that a probiotic might help counteract a “greasy” diet.

“We wanted to determine whether gut microbes directly contribute to the metabolic differences associated with diets rich in healthy and unhealthy fats,” says first study author Robert Caesar of the University of Gothenburg. Even though the study was done in mice, “our goal is to identify interventions for optimizing metabolic health in humans.”

Caesar, working in the lab of senior study author Fredrik Bäckhed, began by feeding either lard or fish oil to mice for 11 weeks and monitoring signs of metabolic health. While the consumption of lard promoted the growth of bacteria called Bilophila, which have been linked to gut inflammation, the fish oil diet increased the abundance of bacteria called Akkermansia muciniphila, known to reduce weight gain and improve glucose metabolism in mice.

“We were surprised that the lard and the fish oil diet, despite having the same energy content and the same amount of dietary fiber–which is the primary energy source for the gut bacteria–resulted in fundamentally different gut microbiota communities and that the microbiota per se had such large effects on health,” Caesar says.

In the next set of experiments, Caesar conducted “fecal transplants” to test whether fish oil-diet microbes could improve the health of mice fed only lard and vice versa. The results provide additional evidence that gut microbe communities can both determine and recover health problems caused by poor diet.

“Our paper supports previous reports indicating the bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila is a promoter of a healthy phenotype,” Bäckhed says. “However, further investigations will be needed to determine if this bacteria can be used as probiotic strain and, in that case, how it should be combined with diet to optimize health outcomes.”


This work was supported by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, the Swedish Diabetes Foundation, the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, the Torsten Soderbergs and Ragnar Soderbergs Foundations, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, TORNADO, the EU-funded ETHERPATHS project, and a LUA-ALF grant from Vastra Gotalandsregionen.

Cell Metabolism, Caesar et al.: “Crosstalk between Gut Microbiota and Dietary Lipids Aggravates WAT Inflammation through TLR Signaling”


Posted in Inflammation, Nutrition: Fish Oil, Nutrition: Gut | Leave a comment

Bread recall in mid-Atlantic/southeast US

Bimbo Bakeries Voluntary Regional Recall of Certain Limited Breads Produced Under the following brands;

Sara Lee

Great Value



Nature’s Harvest

L’Oven Fresh Brands

Call Toll Free 1-800-984-0989


Bimbo Bakeries USA has initiated a voluntary regional recall of certain bread products under the Sara Lee®, Kroger®, Bimbo®, Nature’s Harvest®, Great Value and L’Oven Fresh® brands due to the possible presence of fragments of glass caused by a broken light bulb at one of its bakeries.

Recalled products are the fresh bread products with Best By Date, UPC Code and Bakery Code 1658 that were bought in the states listed below.

The Best By Date can be found on the lower front/top third of the bag, the Bakery Code is to the left of the Best By Date.

The UPC Code can be found in the bottom right corner on the back/bottom of the bag.

The company announced the recall after receiving 3 consumer reports of small pieces of glass found on the outside of the bread.

There are no reports of injury.

All recalled products are being removed from store shelves.

No other products are affected.

Consumers who have purchased the product can return the product to its place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-984-0989 at any time 24 hours a day.


Posted in Science Updates | Leave a comment

Vitamin D may play key role in preventing macular degeneration

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Vitamin D has been studied extensively in relation to bone health as well as cancer. Now, a team led by a researcher at the University at Buffalo has discovered that vitamin D may play a significant role in eye health, specifically in the possible prevention of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, among women who are more genetically prone to developing the sight-damaging disease.

In a paper published today (Aug. 27) in JAMA Ophthalmology online, Amy Millen, associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, and her team found that women who are deficient in vitamin D and have a specific high-risk genotype are 6.7 times more likely to develop AMD than women with sufficient vitamin D status and no high risk genotype.

“Most people have heard that you should eat carrots to help your vision. However, there appear to be many other ways that adequate nutrition can support eye health. Having adequate vitamin D status may be one of them,” says Millen, PhD, the study’s lead author. “This is not a study that can, alone, prove a causal association, but it does suggest that if you’re at high genetic risk for AMD, having a sufficient vitamin D status might help reduce your risk.”

“To our knowledge, this is the first study that’s looked at the interaction between genetic risk and vitamin D status in the context of age-related eye disease,” adds Millen.

Macular degeneration is characterized by the deterioration of the macula, a small part of the central retina where the eye’s photoreceptors (rods and cones) are most highly concentrated. The leading cause of legal blindness, macular degeneration affects more than 10 million Americans — more than cataracts and glaucoma combined — according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. The disease affects a person’s central vision, which is needed for common tasks such as reading and driving. The effect is similar to that of a rain drop on the center of a camera lens.

Researchers analyzed data compiled on 1,230 women ages 54 to 74 who participated in the Carotenoids in Age-related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS), which is an ancillary study of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Observational Study (OS). The WHI OS is a major National Institutes of Health-funded research program aimed at addressing the most common causes of death, disability and poor quality of life in postmenopausal women. UB is one of 40 WHI centers nationally. CAREDS was conducted among participants at three of the centers: University of Wisconsin (Madison), the University of Iowa (Iowa City) and the Kaiser Center for Health Research (Portland, Oregon).

Researchers were able to determine participants’ vitamin D status by analyzing serum samples for a vitamin D biomarker, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], which provided a glimpse into vitamin D intake through all sources: diet, supplements and sunlight.

Human skin can synthesize vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light, Millen explains. However, for many people, 15 to 30 minutes a day with 10 percent of their skin exposed might be sufficient. In winter months, when there is a lower solar angle, sun exposure may not be not sufficient to maintain blood level for people who live north of a line from about Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles. At these times and locations, dietary intake may be needed. Dietary sources of vitamin D include fortified foods such as milk and foods that naturally contain vitamin D such as fatty fish like salmon and mackerel.

“Macular degeneration has been found to be strongly associated with genetic risk,” Millen says. Among many genes linked to AMD, one of the strongest is a specific genetic variant (Y402H) in the complement factor H gene, called CFH for short. This gene codes for the CFH protein that is involved in the body’s immune response to destroy bacteria and viruses.

Inflammation is believed to be involved in the development of macular degeneration.

“People who have early stage AMD develop drusen, lipid and protein deposits that build up in the eye. Your body sees this drusen as a foreign substance and attacks it, in part via the complement cascade response,” explains Millen. “CFH is one of the proteins involved in this response. We see more AMD in people who have certain variants in the gene which encodes a form of this CFH protein that is associated with a more aggressive immune response.”

Vitamin D shows promise for protecting against macular degeneration because of its anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic properties; antiangiogenic refers to slowing the growth of new blood vessels, often seen in late stages of AMD.

“Our thinking was, if a person’s vitamin D status is better, would it reduce the immune response to drusen? We wanted to understand if the association between vitamin D and AMD differed depending on a person’s genetic risk for AMD,” says Millen. “Our study suggests that being deficient for vitamin D may increase one’s risk for AMD, and that this increased risk may be most profound in those with the highest genetic risk for this specific variant in the CFH protein.”

The study results, however, shouldn’t prompt people to run to the nearest grocery store to purchase vitamin D supplements.

“Our message is not that achieving really high levels of vitamin D are good for the eye, but that having deficient vitamin D levels may be unhealthy for your eyes,” Millen says.

Although the odds of having AMD was higher in women who were deficient for vitamin D, with 25(OH)D levels below 12 ng/mL (30 nmol/L), increasing vitamin D levels beyond 12 ng/mL did not further lower the odds of AMD to any meaningful extent, she explains.

“This study supports a role for vitamin D in eye health. That’s significant because when the Institute of Medicine’s report on the dietary reference intakes for vitamin D and calcium were released in 2011, the committee could only make conclusions about D related to bone health,” says Millen. “There wasn’t enough evidence at that time to make any recommendation based on D status and other outcomes beyond bone health.”

Millen’s co-authors on the paper, titled “Association between vitamin D status and age-related macular degeneration by genetic risk,” include researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Iowa, Case Western Reserve University, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The study was funded by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

– See more at:

Posted in Eye Disease: Macular Degeneration, Nutrition: Vitamin D | Leave a comment

Insulet Recalls OmniPod Insulin Management System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 27, 2015 – Billerica, MA – On July 8, 2015, Insulet Corporation (Insulet or the Company) initiated a lot-specific voluntary recall of 40,846 boxes (10 Pods per box) of the OmniPod (Pod) Insulin Management System.

This field corrective action is due to the possibility that some of the Pods from these lots may have a higher rate of failure than Insulet’s current manufacturing standards.

This recall does not affect the OmniPod Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM).

There are two ways in which these Pods can fail at a rate that is higher than Insulet’s current standard.

The cannula may either completely retract or fail to fully deploy, which may result in the patient not receiving the expected insulin dose. Or the Pod may trigger an audible alarm indicating it will no longer deliver insulin and will need to be replaced.

Both situations can result in the interruption of insulin delivery that can cause hyperglycemia, which, if left untreated, can result in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

The affected Pod lots have resulted in 90 Medical Device Reports of which 13 required medical intervention.

No serious injuries or deaths have been reported in patients using OmniPod devices from the affected lots.

Please check to determine if you have Pods from any of the lots listed below.

The lot number is located on the Pod tray lid label and is also laser etched on the side of each individual Pod.

The lot number is also located on the box of OmniPods.

Consumers who have Pods from the affected lots should stop using them and return the pods for replacement.

The following OmniPod lots have been voluntarily recalled:

OmniPods from the affected lots were distributed to customers from December 2013 to March 2015.

Insulet has notified its distributors and customers by email, FedEx, and phone calls and is arranging for return and replacement of all recalled product. Consumers with questions may contact the Company via telephone at 1-855-407-3729 at any time.

Insulet has notified all applicable regulatory agencies of this voluntary action, including U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Competent Authorities in Austria, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

Posted in Diabetes: Type 1 | Leave a comment

Antibiotic Use Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis

Newswise — Washington, DC—People who developed Type 2 diabetes tended to take more antibiotics in the years leading up to the diagnosis than people who did not have the condition, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

A person develops diabetes, which is characterized by high blood sugar levels, when the individual cannot produce enough of the hormone insulin or insulin does not work properly to clear sugar from the bloodstream.

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, according to the Society’s Endocrine Facts and Figures report. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the condition, accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all cases.

“In our research, we found people who have Type 2 diabetes used significantly more antibiotics up to 15 years prior to diagnosis compared to healthy controls,” said one of the study’s authors, Kristian Hallundbæk Mikkelsen, MD, of Gentofte Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark. “Although we cannot infer causality from this study, the findings raise the possibility that antibiotics could raise the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Another equally compelling explanation may be that people develop Type 2 diabetes over the course of years and face a greater risk of infection during that time.”

As part of the population-based case-control study, researchers tracked antibiotic prescriptions for 170,504 people who had Type 2 diabetes and for 1.3 million people who did not have diabetes. The researchers identified the subjects using records from three national health registries in Denmark.

People who had Type 2 diabetes filled 0.8 prescriptions a year, on average. The rate was only 0.5 prescriptions a year among the study’s control subjects. Individuals who filled more prescriptions were more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Many types of antibiotics were associated with a higher risk of diabetes, but there was a stronger link with the use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics such as penicillin V.

Past research has shown that antibiotic treatments can alter the bacteria in an individual’s gut. Studies suggest certain gut bacteria may contribute to the impaired ability to metabolize sugar seen in people with diabetes. This may explain why higher rates of antibiotic use are associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes, but more research is needed to explain the findings, Mikkelsen said.

“Diabetes is one of the greatest challenges facing modern health care, with a globally increasing incidence” he said. “Further investigation into long-term effect of antibiotic use on sugar metabolism and gut bacteria composition could reveal valuable answers about how to address this public health crisis. Patterns in antibiotic use may offer an opportunity to prevent the development of the disease or to diagnose it early.”

Other authors of the study include: Filip K. Knop of the University of Copenhagen; and Morten Frost, Jesper Hallas and Anton Pottegård of the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark.

The study, “Use of Antibiotics and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Population-based Case-control Study,” was published online at, ahead of print.

# # #

Founded in 1916, the Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, the Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 18,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Washington, DC. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at Follow us on Twitter at!/EndoMedia.

Posted in Antibiotics, Diabetes | Leave a comment

Growth Hormone Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis Fractures in Older Women

Newswise — Washington, DC—For years after it was administered, growth hormone continued to reduce the risk of fractures and helped maintain bone density in postmenopausal women who had osteoporosis, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Osteoporosis is a progressive condition that causes the bones to become weak and more likely to break. More than 10 million American adults have osteoporosis, and 80 percent of the people being treated for the condition nationwide are women, according to the Society’s Endocrine Facts and Figures Report. Women are three times more likely to experience an osteoporosis-related bone fracture in their lifetimes than men.

“Our study is the largest and longest controlled study of growth hormone treatment for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women to date,” said one of the study’s authors, Emily Krantz, MD, of Södra Älvsborgs Hospital in Borås, Sweden. “Years after treatment stopped, women who were treated with growth hormone still experienced improved bone density and reduced fracture risk.”

During an 18-month-long randomized, double-blind trial, 80 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis received daily injections of either placebo, a single unit of growth hormone or a 2.5-unit dose of growth hormone. The women were between the ages of 50 and 70 when they were recruited for the decade-long study.

After 18 months, the women who received the placebo halted the injections. Women who received growth hormone continued to receive injections for another 18 months. The researchers continued to follow up with the women for seven years after the growth hormone treatment was halted to monitor their bone density, fractures and perception of their quality of life.

The researchers compared the participants’ bone density and rate of fractures to those of a group of 120 women who did not have osteoporosis. The controls were identified using the city census in Gothenburg, Sweden.

A decade after the study began, the women who received the larger growth hormone dose still had higher bone mineral density levels than the participants who received the lower dose or the placebo. The rate of fractures in the treated women who had osteoporosis declined by 50 percent during the 10-year-long study. More than half of the participants had fractured bones prior to the start of the study. In contrast, the rate of fractures rose four-fold in the control group as some of those women were diagnosed with osteoporosis.

“The findings indicate the beneficial effects of growth hormone remained long after the treatment ceased,” Krantz said.

Other authors of the study include: Penelope Trimpou and Kerstin Landin-Wilhelmsen of Sahlgrenska University Hospital at the University of Gothenburg in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The study, “Effect of Growth Hormone Treatment on Fractures and Quality of Life in Osteoporosis – A 10-year Follow-up,” was published online at, ahead of print.

# # #

Founded in 1916, the Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, the Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 18,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Washington, DC. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at Follow us on Twitter at!/EndoMedia.

Posted in Elder Care, Elder Care: Falls, Osteoporosis | Leave a comment

Interrupting Sitting with Walking Breaks Improves Children’s Blood Sugar

Newswise — Washington, DC—Taking 3-minute breaks to walk in the middle of a TV marathon or other sedentary activity can improve children’s blood sugar compared to continuously sitting, according to a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

A sedentary lifestyle can put children at risk of developing pediatric obesity and metabolic health problems such as diabetes. Nearly 17 percent of children and teens nationwide are obese, according to the Society’s Endocrine Facts and Figures report. A 2013 study estimated that elevated body-mass index in childhood was linked to $14.1 billion in prescription drug costs and emergency room and outpatient visits annually according to the report.

“Interrupting a long period of sitting with a few minutes of moderate activity can have short-term benefits on a child’s metabolism,” said the study’s senior author, Jack A. Yanovski, MD, PhD, of the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). “While we know getting 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity exercise each day improves children’s health and metabolism, small behavioral changes like taking short walking breaks can also yield some benefits.”

The randomized crossover trial examined sedentary behavior and metabolism in 28 normal-weight children who were between 7 and 11 years old. On two different days, the children either sat continuously for three hours or took 3-minute breaks to walk on a treadmill every half hour during that period. The study participants had their blood sugar and insulin levels tested before and after the experiment. The children drank a sugary soda-like drink prior to sitting so that researchers could measure how their bodies processed the sugar.

When children took breaks to walk, their blood sugar and insulin levels were lower than when they sat continuously. The findings indicate the children’s bodies were better able to maintain blood sugar levels when their sitting was interrupted.

“Sustained sedentary behavior after a meal diminishes the muscles’ ability to help clear sugar from the bloodstream,” said first author, Britni Belcher, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute. “That forces the body to produce more insulin, which may increase the risk for beta cell dysfunction that can lead to the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Our findings suggest even short activity breaks can help overcome these negative effects, at least in the short term.”

Additional exercise did not appear to affect the participants’ appetites. The researchers provided the children with a buffet meal after the blood sugar testing was completed. The children selected similar amounts and types of foods, regardless of whether they had engaged in continuous or interrupted sitting that day.

Other authors of the study include: David Berrigan and Pamela L. Wolters of the National Cancer Institute; Alexia Papachristopoulou, Sheila M. Brady and Ira L. Tigner Jr. of NICHD; Shanna B. Bernstein, Amber B. Courville, Bart E. Drinkard, and Kevin P. Smith of the NIH’s Hatfield Clinical Center; Douglas R. Rosing of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and Robert J. Brychta, Jacob D. Hattenbach and Kong Y. Chen of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

The study, “Effects of Interrupting Children’s Sedentary Behaviors with Activity on Metabolic Function: A Randomized Trial,” was published online at, ahead of print.

# # #

Founded in 1916, the Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, the Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 18,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Washington, DC. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at Follow us on Twitter at!/EndoMedia.

Posted in Diabetes, Exercise: Standing, Exercise: Walking, Prediabetes, Sitting | Leave a comment

Many published psychology results can’t be recreated

Researchers ought to be able to duplicate the findings of other scientists’ work, but a new study suggests that many published psychology results can’t be recreated.

A huge, collaborative research project attempted to recreate 100 studies that were recently published in major psychology journals, and it found that only 39 of those studies’ results could be replicated. That could mean that the studies were wrong in the first place, but researchers say that the findings tell more about the difficulty of designing a reproducible study than the accuracy of the studies themselves.

Studies need to be reproducible so that scientists can confirm their effects. That’s why scientists have generally pushed toward reproducing studies — and not just in psychology. In part, that’s to catch scientific fraud, but it’s also simply to make scientific findings more trustworthy. In January 2014, the National Institutes of Health announced it would create new initiatives to address these concerns, but there still aren’t widely established reproducibility guidelines. The study being published today speaks to why a bigger focus on reproducibility is necessary.

“I don’t see this story as negative or pessimistic,” Brian Nosek, a University of Virginia researcher and the study’s corresponding author, told reporters this week. “The results present an opportunity, and the project is a demonstration of science demonstrating one of its central qualities: self-correction.”


Posted in Health Care: Medical Errors | Leave a comment

Guess where most of us read our email

There’s an incredible technology available to marketers for reaching millennials where they work, play, eat, sleep and shop. It’s not a new device, app or cutting-edge social network. Would it surprise you to learn that it’s email?

The Adobe Campaign team recently surveyed more than 400 US-based white collar workers, 18 and older, about their use of email; and the findings challenge conventional views of email as a tired, over-saturated medium for engaging consumers. And the notion that millennials spend all their time on social networks or texting? The truth is much more complicated.

We found that Americans are practically addicted to email, checking it around the clock no matter where they are or what they’re doing. In fact, more than half of millennials check email from the bathroom! On average, survey respondents report using email six hours a day, or 30+ hours a week. Nine of 10 respondents say they check personal email at work and work email from home. More than one third report having multiple personal accounts.

Email is a cornerstone of workplace culture as well as a powerful tool for productivity and collaboration — thirty-five percent say they prefer communicating with colleagues via email, putting it on par with face-to-face collaboration.


Posted in Human Behavior: Social Media | Leave a comment

FDA Issues Warning Letters to Three Tobacco Manufacturers for the Use of “Additive-Free” and/or “Natural” Claims on Cigarette Labeling

Six years ago, Congress gave the FDA the responsibility to oversee the manufacture, marketing, distribution, and sale of tobacco products. A rigorous compliance and enforcement program has helped the FDA monitor regulated industry’s compliance with the laws designed to protect the public health generally and to reduce tobacco use by minors.

The FDA is announcing today that through ongoing surveillance efforts, we are issuing warning letters to three cigarette manufacturers, who describe their cigarettes on product labeling as “additive free” and/or “natural.” The warning letters are for violations of Section 911 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The FDA has determined that these products, described as “natural” and “additive-free” on their labeling, need a modified risk tobacco product (MRTP) order from the agency before they can be legally introduced as such into interstate commerce.

MRTPs can only be introduced into interstate commerce after scientific evidence to support them has been submitted to the FDA, and the FDA has issued an order permitting their marketing. To date, the FDA has not issued any orders that would permit label claims of reduced risk or harm to users and nonusers. These requirements were put in place so that American tobacco consumers are not misled about the harms of tobacco products.

Manufacturers must ensure their tobacco products and all related labeling and/or advertising comply with the FD&C Act and the FDA’s implementing regulations. Failure to obey federal tobacco laws may result in the FDA initiating action, including, but not limited to, civil money penalties, criminal prosecution, seizure, and/or injunction.

A manufacturer that seeks to claim that a product poses fewer risks than other tobacco products may submit a MRTP application to the FDA with scientific evidence to support that claim.

Source: FDA

Posted in Smoking | Leave a comment

Man Sheds Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus for 28 Years

Researchers report the unusual case of an immunodeficient man who has been excreting highly virulent, vaccine-derived poliovirus for 28 years in PLOS Pathogens.

Other so-called “chronic excreters” may be out there, and they may complicate the World Health Organization’s (WHO) plans to eradicate polio, said senior investigator Javier Martin, PhD, of the U.K.’s National Institute for Biological Standards and Control in Potters Bar, and colleagues.

Chronic excreters are extremely rare. Only 73 have been identified since 1962. The man described in the study is the only one known to be excreting virus at present, and the only one to have produced vaccine-derived virus for such a long period of time, Martin and colleagues said.

However, vaccine-derived virus strains likely originating from immunodeficient individuals have been discovered in sewage samples in Slovakia, Finland, Estonia, and Israel, “indicating that an unknown number of these chronic excreters exist elsewhere,” Martin and colleagues said.

The patient is a white male from the U.K. who received a full course of childhood immunizations, including the oral polio vaccine at 5, 7, and 12 months with a booster at age 7. He was later diagnosed with common variable immunodeficiency and started on immunoglobulin therapy.


Posted in Health Care: Medical Errors, Pediatric Health: Vaccines, Science Updates, Vaccinations, World Health: Polio | Leave a comment

Alzheimer’s may be accelerated by abnormal build-up of fat in the brain

People with Alzheimer’s disease have fat deposits in the brain. For the first time since the disease was described 109 years ago, researchers affiliated with the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) have discovered accumulations of fat droplets in the brain of patients who died from the disease and have identified the nature of the fat.

This breakthrough, published today in the journal Cell Stem Cell, opens up a new avenue in the search for a medication to cure or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. “We found fatty acid deposits in the brain of patients who died from the disease and in mice that were genetically modified to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Our experiments suggest that these abnormal fat deposits could be a trigger for the disease”, said Karl Fernandes, a researcher at the CRCHUM and a professor at University of Montreal.

Over 47.5 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s disease or some other type of dementia, according to the World Health Organization. Despite decades of research, the only medications currently available treat the symptoms alone.

This study highlights what might prove to be a missing link in the field. Researchers initially tried to understand why the brain’s stem cells, which normally help repair brain damage, are unresponsive in Alzheimer’s disease. Doctoral student Laura Hamilton was astonished to find fat droplets near the stem cells, on the inner surface of the brain in mice predisposed to develop the disease. “We realized that Dr. Alois Alzheimer himself had noted the presence of lipid accumulations in patients’ brains after their death when he first described the disease in 1906. But this observation was dismissed and largely forgotten due to the complexity of lipid biochemistry”, said Laura Hamilton.

The researchers examined the brains of nine patients who died from Alzheimer’s disease and found significantly more fat droplets compared with five healthy brains. A team of chemists from University of Montreal led by Pierre Chaurand then used an advanced mass spectrometry technique to identify these fat deposits as triglycerides enriched with specific fatty acids, which can also be found in animal fats and vegetable oils.

“We discovered that these fatty acids are produced by the brain, that they build up slowly with normal aging, but that the process is accelerated significantly in the presence of genes that predispose to Alzheimer’s disease”, explained Karl Fernandes. In mice predisposed to the disease, we showed that these fatty acids accumulate very early on, at two months of age, which corresponds to the early twenties in humans. Therefore, we think that the build-up of fatty acids is not a consequence but rather a cause or accelerator of the disease.”

Fortunately, there are pharmacological inhibitors of the enzyme that produces these fatty acids. These molecules, which are currently being tested for metabolic diseases such as obesity, could be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease. “We succeeded in preventing these fatty acids from building up in the brains of mice predisposed to the disease. The impact of this treatment on all the aspects of the disease is not yet known, but it significantly increased stem cell activity,” explained Karl Fernandes. “This is very promising because stem cells play an important role in learning, memory and regeneration.”

This discovery lends support to the argument that Alzheimer’s disease is a metabolic brain disease, rather like obesity or diabetes are peripheral metabolic diseases. Karl Fernandes’ team is continuing its experiments to verify whether this new approach can prevent or delay the problems with memory, learning and depression associated with the disease.


Source: University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM (CRCHUM).

About the study

This study is the result of a multidisciplinary collaboration between Karl Fernandes’ team at the CRCHUM, Pierre Chaurand’s team at Université de Montréal’s Department of Chemistry and Martin Parent’s team at Université Laval’s Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec Brain Bank. The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Karl Fernandes holds the Canada Research Chair in Neural Stem Cell Biology. Laura Hamilton is funded by an award from the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS). The other authors are: Martin Dufresne, Sandra E. Joppé, Sarah Petrysyn, Anne Aumont, Frederic Calon, Fanie Barnabé-Heider, Alexandra Furtos and Martin Parent. To find out more, see the study:


Posted in Aging, Alzheimer's, Nutrition: Fat, Nutrition: Fatty Acids | Leave a comment

We look because madmen know we will look

By John Biggs

We look because it’s there. We humans look towards violence in order to define it, to decide where we must run (or if we should stand and fight). We are fascinated by suffering. There is a cognitive bias towards the terrible.

Many complain that there is not enough “happy” news. The problem is that there is happy news all around us, we just don’t notice. A baby smiling or someone offering someone else a spot on the bus doesn’t go viral because most humans experience little kindnesses and forget them.

But we don’t forget violence.

We look because it’s always available. There is a moment, as you watch a violent video, that you feel you need to fast forward. ISIS fighters in front of ragged flags, knives out – fast forward to the death. Gunshots on a pier – fast forward to what thousands of live viewers saw. The destruction of culture, of lives, of futures, of belief in the decency of mankind – we look because in the end we want to see how far we’ll fall if given the impetus. We want to see how thin the spiderweb veil of sanity really is, how deep the well truly goes until we hit rancid water.


Posted in Human Behavior: Violence | Leave a comment

Cybex International Recalls 4400 Arm Curl Machines Due to Impact Injury Hazard

Name of product:

Cybex Arm Curl Machines


The swivel handles can break off from the frame causing users to hit themselves in the face or head, posing an impact injury hazard.

Consumer Contact:

Cybex International toll-free at 888-678-3846 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at and click on Support, followed by Service and then Recalls for more information.

Recall Details

About 4,400 Units

Description and Models

This recall involves four models of exercise machines that allow consumers to use the resistance from the selected weight to perform bicep curls. The user sits on an adjustable seat, selects the amount of weight, and grabs the swivel handles to perform a curl motion towards them. The recall affects the VR2, VR2TA, Eagle, and the VR3 models with the following serial numbers. A complete list of serial numbers is available at The serial number is located on the frame tube of the weight stack by the floor. Cybex and the model name are printed on the top of the machine.


Serial Numbers starting with

VR2 Arm Curl

451691S068646, 4535XXXX

A01-050 through A03-230

SN #1, SN#0006

X05-070 through X12-230

Y01-090 through Y12-300

Z01-060 through Z12-200

VR2TA Arm Curl

A01-100 through A12-190

B01-260 through B09-180


Y10-210, Y12-310

Z02-240 through Z12-160

Eagle Arm Curl

1107090W through 1107098X

A01-061 through A12-291

B01-081 through B12-281

C01-091 through C10-311

X01-071 through X12-311

Y01-131 through Y12-311

Z01-051 through Z12-301

VR3 Arm Curl


A01-051 through A12-291

B00-121 through B12-281

C01-041 through C10-311

Z09-061 through Z12-281


The firm has received 108 reports of incidents, including 12 reports of injury to users. One injury involved loss of sight to one eye.


Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and contact the firm for a free repair kit. Cybex is contacting purchasers of the recalled arm curl machines directly.

Sold at

Cybex or its distributors directly to gyms from November 1996 through October 2008 for between $3,700 and $4,200


Cybex International, Inc., of Medway, Mass.

Manufactured in

United States

VR2 Model

Posted in Commercial Fitness Industry | Leave a comment

Try Doing One Simple Thing This Afternoon To Give Your Brain A Boost

If you’re feeling a twinge of midweek fatigue setting in (along with a thickening brain haze), you’ll be interested to know that a simple bio-hack can make a big difference in alertness. Its power lives right outside the office window and doesn’t require tossing back another venti Café Americano to enjoy.

Just follow these instructions:

(1) Get up.

(2) Walk to the building entrance.

(3) Continue walking outside.

(4) Keep walking a little while longer or, if you prefer, just stand there for a few minutes basking in the rays.

As long as the sun is shining, this hack should flood your brain with enough sunlight to trigger a neurochemical reaction and juice up your alertness.

A new video from the American Chemical Society called “How to Stay Awake (Without Caffeine)” discusses how a bit of afternoon exposure to bright light triggers the release of a neuropeptide called hypocretin (aka orexin) that promotes alertness. Hypocretin plays a role in triggering the release of other chemicals in the brain, like dopamine and norepinephrine, which in turn stabilize wakefulness and keep you from drooling on your keyboard. (People with narcolepsy suffer from a depletion of hypocretin.)

If you decide to walk outside instead of just standing there, all the better, since recent research indicates that walking is also quite good for the brain.


By David DiSalvo , Contributor

I write about science, technology and the cultural ripples of both.

David DiSalvo is the author of Brain Changer: How Harnessing Your Brain’s Power to Adapt Can Change Your Life and the best-selling What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite, which has been published in 10 languages. His work has appeared in Scientific American Mind, Forbes, Time, Psychology Today, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Salon, Esquire, Mental Floss and other publications, and he’s the writer behind the widely read science and technology blogs “Neuropsyched” at Forbes and “Neuronarrative” at Psychology Today. He can be found on Twitter @neuronarrative and at his website, Contact him at: disalvowrites [at]

Posted in Brain, Brain Fitness, Brain Fog, Human Behavior: Stress, Workaholism, Workplace Issues | Leave a comment

Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life

From the immensely popular blogger behind Little House Living comes a motivational homemaking book, inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie, featuring creative, fun ways to live your life simply and frugally.

Shortly after getting married, Merissa Alink and her husband found themselves with nothing in their pantry but a package of spaghetti and some breadcrumbs. Their life had hit rock bottom, and it was only after a touching act of charity that they were able to get on their feet again.

Inspired by this gesture of kindness as well as the beloved Little House on the Prairie books, Merissa found that a life of self-sufficiency and simplicity could be charming and blissful. She set out to live an entirely made-from-scratch life, the “Little House” way, and as a result, she slashed her household budget by nearly half—saving thousands of dollars a year. She started to write about homesteading, homemaking, and cooking from scratch, and over the next few years developed the recipes and DIY projects that would one day become part of her now beloved website,

As whole foods became staples of the family diet, Merissa realized the dangers of putting overly processed ingredients not only into our bodies, but on or near them as well. In addition to countless delicious, home-cooked meals, she developed natural, easy-to-make recipes for everything from sunscreen to taco seasoning mix, lemon poppy hand scrub to furniture polish. With their simple ingredients, these recipes are allergen friendly and many are gluten-free.

With over 130 practical, simple DIY recipes, gorgeous full-color photographs, and Merissa’s trademark charm in personal stories and tips, Little House Living is the epitome of heartland warmth and prairie inspiration.

Source: Amazon

Posted in Human Behavior, Human Behavior: Calm, Human Behavior: Frugality, Human Behavior: Independence, Human Behavior: Individualism, Human Behavior: Isolation, Human Behavior: Materialism, Human Behavior: Privacy, Human Behavior: Solitude, Human Behavior: Stillness, Personal Finance | Leave a comment

Dead Pets Don’t Lie: The Official and Imposing Undercover Report That Exposes What the FDA and Greedy Corporations Are Hiding about Popular Pet Foods

Dog Behavior Expert and Certified Professional Trainer/Instructor Joe Ardis teams up with best-selling investigative author Donna Howell to sound the alarm on shocking practices in the commercial pet food industry.

Within these pages, readers are shown the scandalous production practices of leading commercial pet food manufacturers who are knowingly passing off harmful, detestable, and poisonous foods as vitamin-rich, healthy, nutritious, complete, and balanced meals for animals across the states.

Editorial Reviews

“I just WISH more people knew what was going on [in the pet food industry]”–Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM –Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM

“For the sincere pet owners: Words cannot express how much you need to read this book and learn from its revelations.”–Dr. Thomas R. Horn, CEO, Whispering Ponies Ranch –Thomas R. Horn, CEO, Whispering Ponies Ranch

Product Details

Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Defender Publishing (November 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0996409521
ISBN-13: 978-0996409520
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Source: Amazon

Posted in Pets | Leave a comment

December 4-6, Long Beach, CA, Clinical Nutrition Conference

Convening Health Professionals and Researchers around Today’s Hot Topics in Food, Nutrition and Health

The 2015 Advances and Controversies in Clinical Nutrition conference highlights the latest research, advances, and best practices in clinical nutrition. The conference features lectures, controversy sessions, workshops, professional development, scientific posters, networking and more.

Target Audience: The primary target audience for this conference is health care professionals (MDs, NPs, PAs, RNs, RDs), faculty in medical, nursing, nutrition and other health professional schools, nutrition scientists and public health professionals.

Activity Goal: This activity is designed to foster an interest in clinical nutrition among health care professionals. Programming is designed to communicate significant, cutting-edge advances in nutrition research, as well as stimulate discussion on emerging or controversial topics that impact human health. Many health care professionals lack adequate training and education in nutrition, although nutrition plays a critical role in the prevention and treatment of various non-communicable diseases.

Learner Objectives: At the conclusion of the activity, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the role of diet in the development of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other chronic diseases.
  • Critically appraise current nutrition controversies and advances and identify opportunities for integrating evidence-based research findings into clinical practice.
  • Discuss advances in the treatment of obesity and methods to improve clinical practice and patient care.
  • Discuss patient-provider communication techniques to encourage lifestyle changes and help patients reach their goals.
  • Evaluate evidence obtained from nutrition research.

2015 Program Highlights

  • Gluten Sensitivity: New Epidemic or Current Craze?
  • Highlights from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee Report
  • Saturated Fats: To Eat or Not to Eat?
  • Carbs Under Attack: Helping your Patients Navigate the World of Carbohydrates
  • Low and No Calorie Sweeteners and Weight Management
  • Is there an Optimal Diet for Patients with Diabetes?
  • Lifestyle Approaches to the Management of Sarcopenia in the Elderly
  • The Microbiome: What We’re Learning from Human Studies
  • Nutrition in the Post- acute Hospital Stay
  • Nutritional Approaches to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Dietary Supplements: Is There a Recommended Approach for Evaluating the Evidence?
  • Motivational-Interviewing Techniques to Encourage Lifestyle Change and Weight Loss
  • Fit Bits, Apps and Weigh Ins: What do we Know about Self-Monitoring?


Posted in Nutrigenomics, Nutrition, Nutrition is Medicine, Nutrition: Dietitians, Nutrition: Diets, Nutrition: Information, Nutrition: Information: Confusion, Nutrition: Innovation | Leave a comment

Nomopobia: fear of being without your mobile phone: a quiz

Newswise — AMES, Iowa – If you’re wondering how to respond to that question, an Iowa State University study can help you find the answer. ISU researchers have developed a questionnaire to help you determine if you suffer from nomophobia or a fear of being without your mobile phone.

Caglar Yildirim, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student in human computer interaction, and Ana-Paula Correia, an associate professor in ISU’s School of Education, identified four dimensions of this modern-day phobia. The study was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. Watch this video to learn more about nomophobia and then answer the questions below to see if you are nomophobic.

Nomophobia Questionnaire

Study participants were asked to respond the following statements on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Total scores were calculated by adding the responses to each item. The higher scores corresponded to greater nomophobia severity.

1. I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone.
2. I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so.
3. Being unable to get the news (e.g., happenings, weather, etc.) on my smartphone would make me nervous.
4. I would be annoyed if I could not use my smartphone and/or its capabilities when I wanted to do so.
5. Running out of battery in my smartphone would scare me.
6. If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic.
7. If I did not have a data signal or could not connect to Wi-Fi, then I would constantly check to see if I had a signal or could find a Wi-Fi network.
8. If I could not use my smartphone, I would be afraid of getting stranded somewhere.
9. If I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it.

If I did not have my smartphone with me:
10. I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends.
11. I would be worried because my family and/or friends could not reach me.
12. I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.
13. I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends.
14. I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me.
15. I would feel anxious because my constant connection to my family and friends would be broken.
16. I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.
17. I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks.
18. I would feel awkward because I could not check my notifications for updates from my connections and online networks.
19. I would feel anxious because I could not check my email messages.
20. I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.

Posted in Mobile Health | Leave a comment

Survivors of Childhood Cancer Have High-Risk of Recurrent Stroke: UCSF

Newswise — Most people assume strokes only happen to octogenarians, but recent evidence suggests that survivors of childhood cancer have a high risk of suffering a stroke at a surprisingly young age.

A new study from the UC San Francisco Pediatric Brain Center shows that childhood cancer survivors suffering one stroke have double the risk of suffering a second stroke, when compared with non-cancer stroke survivors. The study found that the main predictors of recurrent stroke were cranial radiation therapy, hypertension and older age at first stroke – factors that could help physicians identify high-risk patients.

The findings provide strong evidence for adjusting secondary stroke prevention strategies in these patients, and to aggressively detect and treat modifiable stroke risk factors, such as hypertension. Findings appear in the August 26, 2015, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“We are at a point where more children are surviving cancer because of life-saving interventions,” said Sabine Mueller, MD, PhD, director of the UCSF Pediatric Brain Tumor Center in UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco and co-author of the study. “ Now, we are facing long-term problems associated with these interventions.”

The Pediatric Brain Center (PBC) is a collaboration between two UCSF centers – the Pediatric Brain Tumor Center, and Pediatric Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease Center – that brings specialists together to provide coordinated care for patients, while conducting research to better understand how to care for children.

The researchers analyzed retrospective data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), which has followed 14,358 survivors diagnosed between 1970 and 1986 in the United States and Canada to track long-term outcomes of cancer treatment. All of the recruits were diagnosed with cancer before age 21. To assess stroke recurrence rates, the researchers sent a second survey to participants who had reported a first stroke, asking them to confirm their first stroke and report if and when they had had another. The researchers analyzed the respondent demographics and cancer treatments to identify any potential predictors of recurrent strokes.

Of the 271 respondents who reported having had a stroke, 70 also reported a second one. Overall, the rate of recurrence within the first 10 years after an initial stroke was 21 percent, which is double the rate of the general population of stroke survivors. The rate was even higher – 33 percent – for patients who had received cranial radiation therapy.

Previous research has shown that radiation therapy targeting the head is a strong predictor of a first stroke. In an earlier study, the authors found that children treated for brain tumors were 30 times more likely to suffer a stroke compared to their siblings. While the exact mechanisms are unclear, the scientists think high-dose radiation causes the blood vessels to constrict and encourage blockage.

“If they have one stroke, it’s not actually surprising that they have a high risk of getting another stroke,” said Heather Fullerton, MD, professor of Neurology, founder of the UCSF Pediatric Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease Center, and first author of the study. “You might use aspirin after the first stroke to try to reduce blood clots, but you’re not making those diseased blood vessels go away.”

The findings have significant implications for medical follow-up in childhood cancer patients. The authors said that current survivor screening guidelines do not recommend checking for diseased blood vessels, even though the signs are visible in standard MRIs.

“The radiologists are so focused on looking in the brain area where the tumor used to be that they’re not looking at the blood vessels,” Fullerton said.

Based on the findings, UCSF has updated protocols for monitoring patients to include screening for both blood vessel injury and modifiable stroke risk factors, but it is not required on a national level.

“If we could identify high-risk patients, we could recommend they be followed by a pediatric stroke specialist,” said Mueller. “That will be huge in providing effective follow-up care for these children.”

Other collaborators on the study are Robert R. Goldsby, MD, professor of Pediatrics and director of the UCSF Survivors of Childhood Cancer Program; Kayla Stratton, MS, and Wendy Leisenring, ScD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Gregory Armstrong, MD, Leslie Robinson, PhD, and Kevin Krull, PhD, of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital; Marilyn Stovall, PhD, and RE Weathers, MS, of the University of Texas, and Charles Sklar, PhD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

This work was supported by the National Cancer Institute (U24 CA 55727), the Cancer Center Support (CORE), the American Lebanese-Syrian Associated Charities, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the Frank A. Campini Foundation and a private donation from the LaRoche family.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco is the only California state-designated children’s medical center in San Francisco. The hospital is one of the leading children’s hospitals in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Its expertise covers virtually all pediatric conditions, including cancer, heart disease, neurological disorders, organ transplants and orthopedics as well as the care of critically ill newborns.

About UCSF: UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences, as well as a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. Please visit

Posted in Cancer, Stroke | Leave a comment