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Aspirin's potential role in preventing colorectal cancer progression explored

A recent study published in the journal _CANCER_ suggests that regular use of low-dose aspirin may slow or prevent the progression of colorectal cancer, with a more pronounced effect seen in right-sided tumors. Researchers found that aspirin users had lower rates of cancer spread to lymph nodes and higher infiltration of immune cells into tumors, potentially due to aspirin boosting immune response against cancer cells. While the study had limitations, experts believe the findings are significant, especially for right-sided colon cancer, which has a poorer prognosis than left-sided cancers. Despite the benefits, experts caution that daily aspirin use can lead to gastrointestinal or brain bleeding, and recommend discussing the risks and benefits with a physician before starting an aspirin regimen. The United States Preventive Service Task Force recommends against starting a daily aspirin regimen for those over 60, unless they have existing heart problems or a high risk of cardiovascular disease. sources

Apr 23 2024, 3 am IST

Female Doctors Linked to Improved Health Outcomes in Study

New research published in the journal _Annals of Internal Medicine_ suggests that patients treated by female physicians have better health outcomes, with lower rates of mortality and readmission compared to those treated by male physicians. The study, based on data from Medicare claims, found that female patients had a mortality rate of 8.15% when treated by a female doctor, compared to 8.38% when treated by a male doctor. Female physicians were noted to spend more time with patients, engage in shared decision-making, and deliver higher quality care, leading to improved outcomes. Experts urge male physicians to reflect on these findings and consider how they can improve their own practices to benefit patients, emphasizing the importance of learning from the differences in care delivery patterns between male and female physicians. sources

Apr 23 2024, 4 am IST

Western diet linked to lasting memory damage in developing brains

A recent study conducted on rats by researchers at USC Dornsife in California has revealed that a high-fat, high-sugar diet, typical of Western diets or junk food, can lead to long-lasting memory issues. The study found that these foods can disrupt the functioning of the hippocampus, a crucial area for memory in both rats and humans. Even after switching to a healthy diet in adulthood, the rats continued to exhibit memory deficiencies, indicating potential long-term brain damage. The study also highlighted the importance of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for memory, and its disruption in the hippocampus due to unhealthy diets. The researchers noted that administering certain drugs directly into the hippocampus improved memory, while changes in gut microbiome caused by unhealthy diets can be reversed with a healthier diet, potentially impacting memory. Experts emphasized the detrimental effects of high-sugar and high-fat diets on memory and suggested foods rich in choline, such as eggs and fish, to promote healthy acetylcholine signaling. Further research is needed to understand how early-life dietary factors influence long-term cognitive health and the potential reversibility of memory deficits caused by unhealthy diets. sources

Apr 22 2024, 11 pm IST

Japanese staple green tea boosts cognitive performance

A recent study has shown that drinking green tea or roasted green tea before a mental task may improve performance, with roasted green tea, also known as houjicha, having anti-fatigue properties despite lower caffeine content than regular green tea. The study involved 20 healthy adult men from Japan completing mental arithmetic tasks after consuming either tea or water, with tea consumption resulting in lower stress responses and improved task performance. Experts caution that further research is needed to confirm these findings and recommend incorporating green tea into one's diet in moderation, considering potential interactions with medications and health conditions. Overall, green tea's flavonoids may have positive effects on brain health, making it a beneficial addition to one's routine. sources

Apr 22 2024, 10 pm IST

2 body types linked to higher colorectal cancer risk

New research suggests that people with obesity or who are tall with fat accumulation around their middle are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer, regardless of their ancestry. Previous studies have shown a link between height, obesity, and increased cancer risk, including colorectal cancer. An international team of researchers analyzed data from over 300,000 participants of various ancestries and found that individuals with obesity or central fat accumulation had a 10-12% higher risk of colorectal cancer. Genetic analysis revealed specific variants associated with body shape and genetic expression in different tissues. The study challenges previous research that emphasized the role of height in cancer risk and highlights the importance of considering body shape and adiposity in understanding cancer development. Further research aims to identify genes underlying the relationship between body shapes and genetic expression to better understand the mechanisms behind these findings. sources

Apr 22 2024, 8 pm IST

Blood tests reveal early signs of MS before symptoms appear

A recent study from the University of California, San Francisco, has identified potential blood biomarkers that could lead to an earlier and simpler diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological disorder that affects almost three times as many women as men. The research found that individuals who later developed MS produced a distinctive set of antibodies many years before symptoms appeared, suggesting the possibility of a blood test for MS before symptoms manifest. The study, published in Nature Medicine, analyzed serum samples from over 500 participants, revealing higher levels of neurofilament light chain in those who later received an MS diagnosis. While early diagnosis could benefit many, Caitlin Astbury of the MS Society emphasized the need for new treatments to help all individuals living with MS, including those with limited treatment options. sources

Apr 22 2024, 5 pm IST

New guidelines recommend GLP-1 drugs for adult diabetes treatment

New guidelines from the American College of Physicians recommend the use of weight loss drugs such as Ozempic to help manage type 2 diabetes, alongside the diabetes medication metformin and lifestyle interventions. The updated recommendations highlight the benefits of adding a sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitor or glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist to improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. These drugs, such as Jardiance and Ozempic, have been shown to reduce the risk of serious complications and mortality. However, cost remains a significant barrier to access, with cheaper alternatives proving less effective in reducing mortality and morbidity. The guidelines emphasize the need for personalized treatment tailored to individual needs, with a focus on beneficial clinical outcomes rather than just glycemic control. sources

Apr 20 2024, 4 am IST

Study: Calorie counting as effective as time-restricted eating for weight loss

A recent study from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland has found that time-restricted eating and traditional calorie counting lead to similar weight loss results. Time-restricted eating, also known as intermittent fasting, involves consuming daily calories within specific hours. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, involved 41 adults with obesity and prediabetes who were either assigned a fasting schedule or calorie counting. After three months, both groups showed similar weight loss and health improvements. Experts caution against highly restrictive diets and emphasize the importance of sustainable approaches to weight loss that consider individual preferences and habits. They recommend focusing on the quality and quantity of calories consumed, rather than solely on fasting schedules, to achieve long-term success in weight management. sources

Apr 20 2024, 1 am IST

Microplastics in food and water can travel to the brain

A recent study conducted in mice has found that microplastics, tiny plastic particles that can be found in various substances, including food, can spread from the gut to vital organs such as the brain, liver, and kidneys. Researchers are interested in understanding how consuming microplastics may impact bodily health and functioning. The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, revealed that ingested microplastics can lead to metabolic changes in these tissues, potentially causing systemic effects. Despite the study's limitations in using mice models, the findings highlight the need for further research to fully comprehend the effects of microplastics on human health. In the meantime, individuals can take steps to reduce exposure to microplastics by opting for plastic-free goods, whole foods, and filtered water. Policymakers are urged to take action to prevent increased human exposure to microplastics as plastic production is expected to rise, leading to more microplastics in the environment. sources

Apr 20 2024, 2 am IST

HIV drugs may prevent Alzheimer's disease

Researchers from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California have found that HIV medications could potentially be used to treat Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia globally. The study, published in the journal Pharmaceuticals, explores the role of reverse transcriptase inhibitors in reducing the occurrence of Alzheimer's. Lead author Jerold Chun highlighted the need for more effective treatments for Alzheimer's, as current therapies have limited benefits and negative side effects. While more research is needed to fully understand the potential of reverse transcriptase inhibitors in Alzheimer's treatment, experts like neuropsychologist Karen D. Sullivan and geriatrics specialist Manisha Parulekar find the study promising and innovative. The findings suggest a possible link between reverse transcriptase activity and Alzheimer's disease, paving the way for novel treatment approaches in the future. sources

Apr 19 2024, 9 pm IST