Safety of Calcium Supplements questioned

People who take calcium supplements could be increasing their risk of having a heart attack, according to researchers in Germany.

Calcium is often taken by older people to strengthen bones and prevent fractures.

But the study, published in the journal Heart, said the supplements “should be taken with caution”.

Experts say promoting a balanced diet including calcium would be a better strategy.

The researchers at the German Cancer Research Centre, in Heidelberg, followed 23,980 people for more than a decade.

They compared the number of heart attacks in people who were taking calcium supplements with those who did not.

There were 851 heart attacks among the 15,959 people who did not take any supplements at all. However, people taking calcium supplements were 86% more likely to have had a heart attack during the study. Continue reading Safety of Calcium Supplements questioned

Alexander Technique helps with Posture

ERGONOMICS…

The term “ergonomics” is derived from two Greek words: “ergon,” meaning work, and “nomoi,” meaning natural laws. Ergonomists study human capabilities in relationship to work demands.

POSTURE…

In recent years, ergonomists have attempted to define postures which minimise unnecessary static work and reduce the forces acting on the body. All of us could significantly reduce our risk of injury if we could adhere to the following ergonomic principles:

  • All work activities should permit the worker to adopt several different, but equally healthy and safe postures.
  • Where muscular force has to be exerted it should be done by the largest appropriate muscle groups available.
  • Work activities should be performed with the joints at about mid-point of their range of movement. This applies particularly to the head, trunk, and upper limbs.
  • Continue reading Alexander Technique helps with Posture

Acupuncture studies by NCCAM

Introduction

Physical pain is a common occurrence for many People; in fact, a national survey found that more than one-quarter of U.S. adults had recently experienced some sort of pain lasting more than a day. In addition to conventional treatments, such as over-the-counter and prescription medications, people may try Acupuncture in an effort to relieve pain. This fact sheet provides basic information about pain and acupuncture, summarizes scientific research on acupuncture for specific kinds of pain, and suggests sources for additional information.

Key Points

  • People use acupuncture for various types of pain. Back pain is the most commonly reported use, followed by joint pain, neck pain, and headache.
  • Acupuncture is being studied for its efficacy in alleviating many kinds of pain. There are promising findings in some conditions, such as chronic low-back pain and osteoarthritis of the knee; but, for most other conditions, additional research is needed. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) sponsors a wide range of acupuncture research.
  • Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed correctly.
  • In traditional Chinese medicine theory, acupuncture regulates the flow of qi (vital energy) through the body. Research to test scientific theories about how acupuncture might work to relieve pain is under way. Continue reading Acupuncture studies by NCCAM

Breast feeding develops Babies gut flora

A new University of Illinois study shows that human milk oligosaccharides, or HMO, produce short-chain fatty acids that feed a beneficial microbial population in the infant gut. Not only that, the bacterial composition adjusts as the baby grows older and its needs change.

Even though HMO are a major component of human milk, present in higher concentration than protein, many of their actions in the infant are not well understood. Furthermore, they’re virtually absent from infant formula. The scientists wanted to find out what formula-fed babies were missing.

“We refer to HMO as the fibre of human milk because we don’t have the enzymes to break down these compounds. They pass into the large intestine where the bacteria digest them. Continue reading Breast feeding develops Babies gut flora

Green Lipped Mussels help relieve Arthritic Pain

Marine biologists in New Zealand have identified a compound in an extract from the native green-lipped mussel that appears to relieve symptoms of arthritis. The biologists, mainly from the School of Medicine at the University Auckland, hope to develop the compound into a drug for treating the disease.

Capsules containing crude extracts from the green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) have been sold as food supplements under the brand name Seatone for 20 years in 65 countries. The active component turns out to be a glycoprotein which blocks the action of neutrophils, white blood cells that trigger the immune system into action at sites of infection or tissue injury.

Neutrophils anchor themselves to the walls of blood vessels and act as ‘gatekeepers’, allowing chemicals of the immune system to enter and combat infection. Inflammation occurs when neutrophils allow the substances to attack healthy tissue.

‘The glycoprotein occupies the sites on blood vessel walls where neutrophils normally dock,’ says John Croft, who manages a marine farm and hatchery where 800 tonnes of the mussels are grown and harvested each year. If the neutrophils cannot dock, they cannot trigger inflammation.

Is Migraine all in your Head ?

IF YOU have ever absent-mindedly rubbed your eyes or nose after chopping up chilli peppers, you’ll have some idea of the suffering of one group of scientists in the name of medical research. A team at the Institute of Neurology in London have been injecting chilli juice into each others’ foreheads. Lab technician Paul Hammond, who got roped into the experiment, says it felt like acid was burning into his skin. “It was one of the most excruciating pains you can imagine,” he recalls.

The researchers weren’t sadomasochists, as far as we know. Their actions were part of a much larger research effort that has been shedding light on migraine. For although in the past few decades we have learned a great deal about the condition, we still have no idea of its root cause. And while we have drugs that help some patients, some of the time, understanding the underlying defect is the best way to boost our chances of discovering a sure-fire cure.

Continue reading Is Migraine all in your Head ?