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In This Issue

Approved Medical Treatment for Crohns Disease Show Increase in Cancer Risks

New Antibiotics from the Ocean

Nutritious Fruit Slices

Effective Weight Loss by Adding up your Habits, not your Calories

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Approved Medical Treatment for Crohns Disease Show Increase in Cancer Risks

Journal of the American Medical Association, May 2006, cite an increased rate of several types of cancer and of serious infection with the use of Remicade and Humira. It has been known for a long time that these treatments increase the risk of certain types of cancer or infection like lymphoma and tuberculosis. However, there now appears to be an increased risk for a broader set of cancers and infections in patients undergoing medical treatment of for Inflammaotry Bowel Disease.

The study examined Remicade® (infliximab), which to date is the only anti-TNF therapy that the FDA has approved for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Diseasae as well as Humira® (adalimumab), a treatment that is currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of Crohn's disease. The study, led by investigators at Mayo Clinic, used "meta-analysis" to combine and assess the results from a large set of clinical studies already in the literature. Less common events associated with treatment can be detected with the large number of patients and years of treatment represented by these combined studies.

Overall, the study suggests that the increased risk of cancer like lymphoma, skin, gastrointestinal, breast and lung or serious infection may be three-fold and two-fold, respectively. The risk appears to be mainly in patients receiving high dose treatment which is more than 6 mg/kg every 8 weeks; or use of Humira (adalimumab, 40 mg every other week). The increased risk of cancer occurred early, and there was not a further increase of cancer with longer times.


New Antibiotics from the Ocean

University of California San Diego reported their intention of studying new compounds from the sea floor that may be turned into antibiotics. "The ocean has been a completely unexplored resource for drug discovery," said Bill Fenical, a Scripps researcher and co-architect of the initiative. The need for new antibiotics is great as drug-resistant bacteria are on the rise, yet drug companies are doing little to develop more antibiotics because they lack financial incentives.

The spread of drug-resistant bacteria has contributed to part of the renewed rise. Among the most dangerous bacteria are methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA; vancomycin-resistant enterococci; multiple-drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria; and multiple-drug-resistant tuberculosis.

"There is a looming public health emergency, hopefully not a public health catastrophe, in the issue of antibiotic resistance," said Dr. Victor Nizet, an associate professor of pediatrics and an infectious diseases researcher at the UCSD School of Medicine. Nizet is coordinating the initiative with Fenical.

Seven years ago, Fenical began exploring the sea floor off Guam, Hawaii and even at the end of the Scripps Pier in La Jolla to find chemicals for new medicines. 'These ocean bottoms are inhabited by a whole new set of microbes that make compounds that are antibiotic, have anti-cancer properties and are chemically novel," Fenical said.'When you think about how vast the ocean is you know, 70 percent of the surface of the Earth is covered by oceans the potential for this is enormous." Two chemicals that Fenical's lab discovered are in early clinical trials to treat cancer, he said.


Nutritious Fruit Slices

A study in The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry shows that contrary to expectations, new research has found that fresh fruit does not lose its nutritional value when sliced and packaged. Cutting and packaging have almost no effect on vitamin C and other antioxidants even when the fruit is kept for nine days at refrigerator temperature, 41 degrees.

Using pineapples, mangoes, cantaloupes, watermelons, strawberries and kiwis, the researchers found some variations among the fruits.

Cantaloupes, for example, had minimal reductions in vitamin C and beta carotenoids after the nine-day test, while pineapples exposed to light as part of the experiment actually increased in vitamin C content. After six days, the strawberries and kiwis appeared "under the limit of marketability," even though they suffered no loss of vitamin C and other nutrients.


Effective Weight Loss by Adding up your Habits, not your Calories

Many people wanting to lose weight hate calorie counting. Tracking the caloric content of every morsel of food you put in your mouth is not only time-consuming, it's also tedious, and it can easily make our already hectic lives feel even more overwhelming. Rather than count calories, look at your overall dietary habits, says Eugenie Jones.

Here are a few tips to help you:

NO.1: EAT A VARIETY OF FOODS.Consume a balanced diet including low-fat, whole-grain carbohydrates; lean protein;lots of fruits and vegetables; raw milk products and goat; and minimal amounts of fat and sugar.

NO.2: DON'T MISTAKE EMOTIONAL HUNGER FOR PHYSICAL HUNGER. If your response to certain situations is a bowl of ice cream, you probably use food to pacify or avoid dealing with emotionally demanding situations. Choose to face and resolve these stressors without falling back on Oreos.

NO.3: STICK TO A SNACK AND MEAL SCHEDULE. Watch between-meal snacking and you'll automatically watch your excess calorie consumption go down each day.

NO.4: BIGGIE SIZES ARE FOR BIGGIE BOTTOMS. Unless your goal truly is a bigger bottom, four words you should never hear yourself say are: "Biggie size it, please." It's important that you educate yourself about how much food equals one serving.

NO.5: BE PICKY. As you select what you're going to eat, choose high-quality foods. Choose natural foods over processed foods. Choose baked foods over fried. Choose fiber-rich foods to aid digestion, stay fuller longer and eat less. Overall, always aim for quality in food choices and food preparation.


Did you know?

  • Research shows that you'll be healthier and happier when you show your thanks and lower your stress level by keeping a gratitude journal. At the end of the day, write down three things that you're grateful for.

  • In a study of patients with back, neck or joint pain, research as reported in The Journal of Advanced Nursing, found that regularly listening to music provided pain relief beyond that brought on by standard pain management techniques.

  • Most Americans test positive for one or more allergens. Samuel Arbes, DDS, PhD, epidemiologist, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, leader of a survey of 10,500 individuals, reported in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that the most common allergen is dust mites. 27% of those tested responded positively. Reacting to an allergen doesn't necessrily mean that you will develop allergies, but there is a strong correlation between the two.


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In Good Health.
Pamela Nathan



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