Early detection, treatment of frailty may help elderly people live healthier lives

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Age-related frailty may be a treatable and preventable health problem, just like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, highlights a review in Frontiers in Physiology.

Source: http://www.news-medical.net

Increase in reported cases of Cyclospora infections compared to last year, CDC reports

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory on 7th August 2017, Monday, in order to alert the health care facilities and the public health department on the increase in the reported cases of cyclosporiasis.

Source: http://www.news-medical.net

How to Trick Your Brain into Eating Less, According to an Expert in 'Gastrophysics'

Author Charles Spence says this new "science of eating" can help you lose weight.

Source: http://www.health.com

Can a DNA Test Really Pinpoint Your Perfect Diet and Workout? Here's What Science Says

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It sounds either too good or too futuristic to be true: With a swab of the inside of your cheek, you can find out the answers to questions that plague us all: Why can't I lose weight? Why can't I sleep? What exercises should I do for a perkier butt?

This is the claim from a new crop of so-called lifestyle DNA tests—genetic tests that, rather than estimate your risk of developing various diseases, provide clues regarding your nutrition, fitness, sleep, even your taste in wine.

In July, lifestyle DNA tests inched closer to mainstream with the launch of Helix, a first-of-its-kind marketplace for personal genome products: For $80, Helix will use a saliva sample to sequence your entire genetic code. (Unlike other at-home DNA tests, Helix looks at all 22,000 of your genes, not just specific gene variants.) Then you can pay for analysis of your results through products designed by third-party vendors that partner with Helix.

The idea is to enable users to get even more info out of their DNA sequencing, explains James Lu, MD, PhD, one of Helix’s co-founders and its SVP of applied genomics. Accessible genetic data can make insights you’re already tracking–say, on a calorie-counting app, or fitness wearable–even more salient. "It's the next layer of information people have about themselves," he says.

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Helix users have 33 products to choose from. There's SlumberType, which promises to unlock how your DNA affects your sleep. Muscle Builder offers to reveal  "your genetic response to exercise," and provide a 12-week "genetically-guided" training plan. And EmbodyDNA, by popular weight-loss app Lose It!, recommends slimming foods based on your genes.

The products, which range from around $25 to a couple hundred bucks, comb through your genome looking for markers linked to specific traits. (For each analysis you purchase, Helix only provides access to the portion of your genome that’s relevant.) For example, you might have a genetic marker common among night owls, or people with higher BMIs. Knowing you’re predisposed to a late bedtime might be extra incentive to cut back on caffeine, explains Dr. Lu; or knowing you’re predisposed to a high BMI might make you think twice about having bacon at brunch.

If that doesn't sound like the quick fix you were expecting, that’s because there is "no magic DNA pill," Dr. Lu says. Instead, he sees Helix as a source of extra insight into your wellbeing that can help you make healthier decisions.

In fact, many of the recommendations you'll get through Helix are based on more than your genes alone. Take, for example, Wine Explorer: For $30, the product will suggest bottles "scientifically selected based on your DNA." But Wine Explorer also asks questions about your wine preferences to learn more about other factors that influence taste beyond your genes. Dr. Lu compares the product to Netflix. "Wine Explorer builds a profile based on genetic markers, and then when you get wine, you rate them, which helps it make better predictions over time," he says.

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Suggestions for the best diet or exercise routine for you may also not be as genetically tailored as you'd hope. For starters, research shows genetics often play only a small role in the effects of diet and exercise, explains Erica Ramos, the president-elect of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. "When studies see a difference between a group with a genetic variant and [a group] without it, pounds lost or muscle built tends to be on a fairly small range," Ramos says.

It seems your behavior matters a lot more than your DNA in these instances. Based on your genes, "there might be a slightly higher chance you'd lose weight with a certain type of diet, but that doesn't mean you couldn't gain weight on it if you're eating more than you're burning," explains Ramos, who is also a clinical genomic specialist at Illumina, a research company backing Helix.

She says the recommendations through Helix aren't meant to be a specific plan for execution, but rather a guide: "As we get more insight into the little things that impact us, I think the hope is we’ll be able to see what we can tweak to be happier and healthier."

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Joann Bodurtha, MD, a professor of pediatrics and oncology at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, adds that diet recommendations based on genetic testing are probably not individualized enough yet to be helpful. For example, she says, "most people will benefit from eating a Mediterranean diet," and it's tough to tell if the eating plan benefits those with a certain genetic marker more than than those without the marker.

Yet another caveat to the science behind lifestyle DNA tests: Some of the research used to formulate recommendations was done on very specific populations. Research in Olympic athletes, for instance, suggests that there are genetic characteristics of the muscles that might predispose someone to be a better sprinter than a long-distance runner—but we don’t yet know how those findings apply to those of us with less ambitious fitness goals, Dr. Bodurtha says.

She recommends considering lifestyle DNA tests with "a healthy dose of skepticism," especially any that offer to tell you exactly what to eat or how to exercise. She’s also concerned that they might serve as a distraction, and lead people to ignore more established markers of poor health. "You don’t want somebody saying, 'I'm out of breath and my fingers are turning blue, but my DNA test told me I wasn't likely to have a heart attack.'"

That said, Dr. Bodurtha recognizes that DNA tests are exciting (who isn’t at least a little curious?!­) and that the field is progressing fast. "If they help you exercise more, or be a little more attentive to your diet, they fall into the 'Do No Harm' category," she says.

Bottom line? As long as you know what a company is doing with your genetic information (that means reading the privacy regulations, even though it won't be fun); you have an easy-to-understand explanation from the company about what your results can and can’t tell you; and you’re ready to face the sometimes surprising results ("You have a half-brother!"), it probably won’t hurt for curious folks to give lifestyle DNA tests a try.

Source: http://www.health.com

Study: Media portrayals of pregnant, postpartum women tend to be unrealistic

Whether it’s a pregnant character on a TV show or a photo spread heralding a celebrity’s rapid recovery of her pre-pregnancy physique, media portrayals of pregnant and postpartum women tend to be unrealistic, women said in a new study.

Source: http://www.news-medical.net

Protein that protects fetus during pregnancy could help treat atopic dermatitis

A protein which protects the fetus during pregnancy, HLA-G1, shows high potential for treating atopic dermatitis and other related diseases.

Source: http://www.news-medical.net

Experimental drug protects mice from obesity-related liver disease

A drug developed at the University of Rochester Medical Center protected mice from one of the many ills of our cheeseburger and milkshake-laden Western diet — non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Source: http://www.news-medical.net

Oprah Says Her Move to Weight Watchers Was for Her Health, Not Vanity

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

When Oprah weighed more than 200 lbs., she wanted to lean on the body positivity movement to feel comfortable about her weight — but she couldn’t do it without risking her health.

‘‘For your heart to pump, pump, pump, pump, it needs the least amount of weight possible to do that,” Winfrey, 63, tells The New York Times magazine. “So all of the people who are saying, ‘Oh, I need to accept myself as I am’ — I can’t accept myself if I’m over 200 pounds, because it’s too much work on my heart. It causes high blood pressure for me. It puts me at risk for diabetes, because I have diabetes in my family.”

The media mogul — who purchased a 10 percent stake in Weight Watchers in Oct. 2015 before starting the program herself — says the current trend to stay away from terms like “diet” or “skinny” while stressing body acceptance is not so simple to follow.

“This whole P.C. about accepting yourself as you are — you should, 100 percent,” Winfrey says, before clarifying that her personal acceptance required finding a weight-loss plan, which is why Weight Watchers works for her.

‘‘It’s a mechanism to keep myself on track that brings a level of consciousness and awareness to my eating. It actually is, for me, mindful eating, because the points are so ingrained now.’’

Now, Winfrey tells the magazine, she doesn’t care if she’s ever skinny again — she just wants to be in control of her body.

Winfrey told PEOPLE in January that she’s down 42.5 lbs., and she’s “finally made peace with food,” after just over a year on the program.

“This has been the easiest process that I’ve ever experienced,” she said. “At no time during meals do I deprive myself.”

Source: http://www.health.com

Sheffield scientists discover that simple arthritis drug could help treat blood cancer sufferers

Blood cancer sufferers could be treated with a simple arthritis drug, scientists at the University of Sheffield have discovered.

Source: http://www.news-medical.net

8 Surprising Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

Diet tricks that can help you break through a weight-loss plateau.

Source: http://www.health.com