LONDON (AFP) – Healthy people taking a daily dose of aspirin to prevent heart attacks may be doing themselves more harm than good, according to a new study by British scientists.
Researchers found that the risks of bleeding from taking aspirin were such that its routine use in healthy people "cannot be supported" -- although they did not dispute its use in patients with a history of vascular problems.
The results of the Aspirin for Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis (AAA) study add to a long-running debate about whether the potential dangers of taking aspirin could outweigh the benefits from reducing the risk of clots.
"We know that patients with symptoms of artery disease, such as angina, heart attack or stroke, can reduce their risk of further problems by taking a small dose of aspirin each day," said Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation which helped fund the research.
Full story here.
I have been taking a low dose aspirin daily for the last several months due to the fact that I suffer from hypertension.
I hope the benefit from taking the aspirin daily, in my case, far outweighs the risk! Otherwise ... it'll be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Flaxseed may be one way to reduce the bothersome hot flashes of menopause, Mayo Clinic researchers report.
A small pilot study found that postmenopausal women not on estrogen who used dietary flaxseed daily reported a 50 percent reduction in hot flashes over the course of six weeks.
"Flaxseed worked very well," said Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, director of the Mayo Breast Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "The women who used it said it really helped them." But another expert, Dr. Wulf H. Utian, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, cautioned that the study was too preliminary to prove that flaxseed is effective.
While hormone replacement therapy, particularly estrogen, is effective against hot flashes, its long-term use has fallen out of favor since the large study known as the Women's Health Initiative found an increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer and other problems with long-term HRT use. So, Pruthi and her team were looking at options for women who suffered from hot flashes but didn't want to take estrogen.
They enrolled 29 postmenopausal women, median age 55, in the study. To join, the women had to have at least 14 hot flashes a week for at least one month.
"Flaxseed has some natural phytoestrogens," Pruthi said, explaining how it, like the hormone estrogen, could possibly have an effect on hot flashes.
Over the course of the study, the women sprinkled 40 grams of crushed flaxseed daily into yogurt or cereal or mixed it with orange juice or water.
In the end, 21 women completed the study; others had dropped out because of side effects. Of those who finished, the researchers said, the frequency of hot flashes declined 50 percent, and the hot flash score -- a combined measure of a flash's severity and frequency -- was found to have decreased about 57 percent.
"By the second or third week, most women noticed improvement," Pruthi said, adding that she is now planning a larger study to compare flaxseed to a placebo.
Until those results are in, Utian is not convinced the flaxseed is a proven treatment for hot flashes.
"This reduction [in the pilot study] could fall into the placebo effect," he said.
The study was also relatively brief, he added. And many women experiencing menopause suffer many more hot flashes than 14 a week. (Fifteen of the Mayo study women reported 10 or more a week, but 13 reported 2 to 9 a week.)
Utian added, however, that he was not aware of any harm in eating flaxseed.
And Pruthi said that because the fiber content gave some women in the study abdominal discomfort, those that find it hard on the stomach should consider starting at a lower dose and working up.
Her research was just published in the summer 2007 issue of the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology.
I am experiencing premenopausal symptoms which include hot flashes. My hot flashes happen at night and recently I seem to experience it nightly at least twice a night.
I find these nightly hot flashes bothersome, and I have now started taking at least two flaxseed capsules a day in hopes of reducing these nightly hot flashes!
We'll see how well the flaxseed oil reduces the hot flashes!
WEDNESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- Delivering a gene called neurogenin3 into the livers of diabetic mice activates adult stem cells that promote steady insulin production, say researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
The mice had type 1 diabetes. Within a week after the gene was delivered using a disarmed virus, the researchers said, the rodents' blood sugar levels returned to normal and remained that way for the rest of their lives.
The gene triggers a two-step response. First, neurogenin3 goes into the mature liver cells and causes them to make small quantities of insulin, enough to reduce blood sugar levels to normal.
"This is a transient effect. Liver cells lose the capacity to make insulin after about six weeks," Dr. Vijay Yechoor, assistant professor of medicine-endocrinology at Baylor and the study's first author, said in a news release from the college.
Other cells that make larger amounts of insulin show up later. These cluster around the portal veins, which carry blood from the intestines and abdominal organs to the liver. These new cells, which look similar to pancreatic islet cells that normally make insulin, come from a small population of adult stem cells usually found near the portal vein, the authors said.
These stem cells normally act as reserves in case of liver injury. When the liver is damaged, the stem cells form mature liver cells or bile duct cells. But neurogenin3 changes their programming so that they become insulin-producing beta cells in the liver, the researchers said.
The study appears in the March issue of Developmental Cell.
Though the finding is important, much more research is needed before similar results might be seen in humans, Yechoor and his colleagues said.
This research seems very promising. There is a history of diabetes in my family and for me personally, it is not a matter of if but when.
My father's kidney is starting to fail and he will have to start dialysis treatment soon. It is depressing for him but at his age, and the length of time he has had diabetes and hypertension, it is not something unexpected.
It is depressing for me too, because I see the possibility of the same thing happening to me.
That is why the promise of a treatment for diabetes through this gene delivered to the liver of a diabetic is something I hope will one day be routine treatment for people diagnosed with diabetes.
Yesterday I was playing around with my web cam on my new netbook. I downloaded a little plugin from GoogleTalk so I could could do video chat with my cousin in France who just bought a netbook of her own.
However, I am having second thoughts about broadcasting myself over the web cam. Boy, do I look old and haggard on the web cam! The web cam is not very forgiving when it comes to exposing your real age and all its flaws!
I thought the mineral make-up I've been wearing did a good job of giving my skin a much smoother look but the web cam doesn't seem to think so. Also, underneath the make-up my skin tone has improved tremendously ever since I started giving it the proper skin care it needs with a certain product line that seems to work well with my skin condition.
As for my hair, I am trying to see if keeping it a little longer than usual will do anything for my overall appearance. I dread to think that some people may think I am trying too hard to look youthful! I have been spending more money than I normally do on hair care products so my hair does not look dry and limp - dry from all that hair coloring, and limp from the not so great volume that I have.
And let's not forget the body washes and lotions that fill the bathroom and bathroom sink counter top!
Well, it seems that despite all the beauty treatments and pampering I've been doing on myself, the web cam does not seem to appreciate the effort. Oh well, at least it is just my cousin I am video chatting with, and she knows exactly how I look like!