Good Stuff To Know – November 2018

Artificial sweeteners have toxic effects on gut microbes

The collaborative study indicated relative toxicity of six artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame, and acesulfame potassium-k) and 10 sport supplements containing these artificial sweeteners. The bacteria found in the digestive system became toxic when exposed to concentrations of only one mg./ml. of the artificial sweeteners.

Could less deadly therapies be a better way to keep cancer in check?

While many cancer therapies initially can be very successful, tumors often return and spread when remaining cancer cells develop resistance to treatment. To combat this tendency, Frédéric Thomas of the French National Centre for Scientific Research proposes that cancer researchers take a lesson from our own immune system and explore “natural adaptive therapies.” Such an approach would mimic the immune system’s more restrained way of keeping cancer in check by gradually killing off cancerous cells. Ideally, these therapies would remove the evolutionary pressure that often leads to the spread of resistant tumors.

BM: Use of “natural adaptive therapies” on a grand scale is not going to happen. There is too much money at risk from drugs to surgery and the “cancer-fighting” industry in general to propose something so simple and likely useful. 

Processed meat consumption linked to breast cancer risk

Studies on red and processed meat consumption with breast cancer risk have generated inconsistent results. A new analysis has now examined all published studies on the topic. Comparing the highest to the lowest category in the 15 studies included in the analysis, processed meat consumption was associated with a 9% higher breast cancer risk.

Dutch study estimates 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men set to develop dementia/parkinsonism/stroke

Preventive strategies could, in theory, more than halve lifetime risk for those aged 85-plus, say researchers. One in two women and one in three men will likely be diagnosed with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or stroke in their lifetime, estimate Dutch researchers in an observational study.

Irreversible damage to color vision linked to popular erectile dysfunction drug

In a first-of-its-kind study, Mount Sinai researchers have shown that color vision problems caused by retinal damage on a cellular level can result from a high dose of sildenafil citrate, the popular erectile-dysfunction medication sold under the brand name Viagra. The results demonstrate that excessive use of the drug could lead to long-term vision problems, including possible irreversible damage. The findings have been published in the fall issue of Retinal Cases.

Teen cannabis use is not without risk to cognitive development

Although studies have shown that alcohol and cannabis misuse are related to impaired cognition in youth, previous studies were not designed to understand this relationship and differentiate whether cannabis use was causal or consequential to cognitive impairment. A new study by researchers at CHU Sainte-Justine and Université de Montréal, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, shows that beyond the role of cognition in vulnerability to substance use, the concurrent and lasting effects of adolescent cannabis use can be observed on important cognitive functions and appear to be more pronounced than those observed for alcohol.

Periodontal disease bacteria may kick-start Alzheimer’s

Long-term exposure to periodontal disease bacteria causes inflammation and degeneration of brain neurons in mice that is similar to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Periodontal disease may be an initiator of Alzheimer’s.

Planned intermittent fasting may help reverse type 2 diabetes, suggest doctors

Planned intermittent fasting may help to reverse type 2 diabetes, suggest doctors after three patients in their care, who did this, were able to cut out the need for insulin treatment altogether.

Even when presented with facts, supported by evidence, many choose not to believe them

In an era of fact-checking and ‘alternative facts,’ many people simply choose not to believe research findings and other established facts, according to a new article.

Nice people finish last when it comes to money

Nice people may be at greater risk of bankruptcy and other financial hardships compared with their less agreeable peers, not because they are more cooperative, but because they don’t value money as much.

Simple, cost effective treatment following failed back surgery shows promise

Failed back surgery (continued low back and leg pain after surgery) is relatively common. With each reoperation, success, as defined by pain reduction, becomes less likely and most patients do not improve. However, preliminary studies using a simple procedure to remove scar tissue or adhesions suggests a new treatment could help those with post-surgical, chronic low back pain.

BM: Yes, failed surgery is common. Use of PRP injections may be more effective but insurance doesn’t pay in most instances. 

Does open heart surgery affect cognitive abilities?

Understanding how heart valve surgery may affect your cognition is important for older adults. To learn more, researchers reviewed studies to see how patients’ cognition changed before and after heart valve surgery. They also looked at whether surgeries on two types of heart valves, the mitral or the aortic, were associated with better or worse outcomes.

Adding flavors to e-cigarette liquids changes chemistry, creates irritants

New research shows added flavorings in e-cigarettes or vaping devices react to e-liquid, or e-juice, creating new compounds that could trigger irritation and inflammation when inhaled.

Link found between chronic inflammation and risk for Alzheimer’s disease

While it is widely shown that possessing the ApoE4 gene is the major genetic risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), not all ApoE4 carriers develop AD. For the first time, researchers have shown that ApoE4 linked with chronic inflammation dramatically increases the risk for AD. This can be detected by sequential measurements of C-reactive protein, a common clinical test which can be could be done routinely in a clinical setting.

Comments

  1. It takes me longer in the grocery to read the contains label than Gone With the Wind. I didn’t eat eggs for years and now find they are good for you. However, I never gave up my coffee, so I’m ahead of the game now.

    I read your article and copied down the names of the artificial “sugar” not to consume. I cut sugar from my diet years ago, but it looks as though I’m going to develop some chronic something or the other anyway. I liked you article anyway, and try and figure out what I can eat for breakfast now.

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