August 2012
Pamela Nathan

Probiotics and Weight Loss

Losing weight is a frustrating endeavor that leaves men and women with troubling problem areas around their waist and thighs. Unfortunately, there are all sorts of companies that seek to take advantage of people who don't know how to lose stomach fat by offering potentially dangerous supplements and fad products.

We all agree as do most experts, that there is no real secret to losing fatty abdominal tissue other than eating a low-calorie diet and exercising consistently. That said, a pair of recent studies suggest dieters may be able to improve their efforts by changing their intestinal flora.

Changing Intestinal microflora:
Recently, a study conducted by researchers from Snow Brand Milk Products reinforced previous findings suggesting that probiotics can help dieters lose stomach fat. Previously, researchers at Kyushu University proved that fermented milk changed the composition of intestinal microflora in mice to speed their metabolisms. To see if this applied to humans, this latest study gave several subjects a fermented milk product containing the Probiotic Lactobacillus. After twelve weeks, the researchers noted a 4.6% drop in abdominal fat, along with a 3.3% drop in subcutaneous fat. Read more

Research on Kids with IBS and Pain

A study was done to compare gastrointestinal permeability and fecal calprotectin concentration in children ages 7 to 10 years that have functional abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) vs Controls and ascertain potential relationships with stooling and pain symptoms.

In the study, GI permeability (Leaky Gut) and fecal calprotectin concentration were measured. Children kept a two-week diary of pain episodes and stooling pattern. The children with IBS had evidence of increased GI permeability and low grade GI inflammation with the latter relating to the degree to which pain interferes with activities. Read more

NSAIDs May Reduce Skin Cancer Risk

From Medscape Medical News
Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may decrease the risk for developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) or malignant melanoma (MM), according to a new population-based, case-control study published online on May 29.

Use of NSAIDs overall (>2 prescriptions) was associated with a decreased risk for SCC (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76 - 0.94) and MM (IRR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.80 - 0.95) compared with nonuse (=2 prescriptions). This was especially true for long-term use (=7 years) and high-intensity use (>25% prescription coverage during the total duration of use). Although NSAID use was not associated with a reduced risk for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) overall (IRR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.93 - 1.01), a reduced risk for BCC at sites other than the head was noted with long-term use (IRR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.76 - 0.95) and high-intensity use (IRR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.69 - 0.91).

"The effect [of NSAIDs] increased with greater duration and intensity of use, which may reflect a cumulative biologic effect (ie, a dose-response effect) exerted in the initiation of carcinogenesis," wrote Sigrun Alba Johannesdottir, BSc, from the Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, and colleagues. Read more

Did You Know...

  • Exercise is Not Enough to Keep Your Heart Healthy
    Avoid sitting for long periods of time as well. People who sat at a computer or for long periods of time in front of the TV screen for four or more hours a day were 48% more likely to die during the four year study regardless of how much they exercised. Also, some type of cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, was twice as likely in those who spent at least two hours a day sitting in front of a screen- compared with those who had less than two daily hours of screen time. Take frequent breaks from the computer or TV to get up and walk around.
  • Statins Raise Diabetes Risk in Postmenopausal Women
    Postmenopausal women who took cholesterol lowering statin drugs had a 48% higher likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes than women who did not take statins. Statins lower risk for cardiovascular disease in people who are already at risk for cardiovascular disease.
    Caution: Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. Do not stop taking statins on your own.
  • Taking Aspirin Before Heart Surgery Saves Lives
    Cardiac patients on aspirin therapy, who continued taking aspirin- instead of stopping one week before surgery, as many doctors recommend, had a significantly lower risk for death in the month after surgery than patients who stopped taking aspirin. The aspirin users had a lower risk for kidney failure and major post surgical cardiac problems, and they spent less time in intensive care.
  • Skin Cancer
    Sunscreen's still a must, but women who downed more than three 8 ounce cups of coffee per day were 20 percent less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma- the most common kind of skin cancer - than who drank less than 1 cup per month, according to a study presented at an American Association for Cancer research conference. Coffee is loaded with inflammation fighting antioxidants, says Liz Applegate, Ph.D, professor of nutrition at the University of California at Davis.

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