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Wild almond seed oil may combat obesity

Oil derived from the seeds of wild almond trees could be the future weapon in the battle against obesity and diabetes, according to researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

The key to the oil’s potential lies in its ability to affect certain microorganisms living in our bellies.

Missouri researchers found that adding sterculic oil to the diets of obese laboratory mice increased their sensitivity to insulin. This was due to the oil’s effect on three types of microorganisms that live in the guts of the mice.

As a result, the researchers saw a “statistically significant improvement in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in the obese mice,” said Shreya Ghosh, a Ph.D. student in environmental engineering at Missouri S and T. The sterculic oil had no adverse affects on lean mice fed the same diet.

Sterculic oil is extracted from the seeds of the wild almond tree known as Sterculia foetida.

Stem cells may help prevent post-injury arthritis
Researchers may have found a promising stem cell therapy for preventing osteoarthritis after a joint injury.

Injuring a joint greatly raises the odds of getting a form of osteoarthritis called post-traumatic arthritis, or PTA. There are no therapies yet that modify or slow the progression of arthritis after injury.


Researchers at Duke University Health System have found a very promising therapeutic approach to PTA using a type of stem cell, called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), in mice with fractures that typically would lead to them developing arthritis.
Their findings could lead to a therapy that would be used after joint injury and before signs of significant osteoarthritis.

The scientists thought the stem cells would work to prevent PTA by altering the balance of inflammation and regeneration in knee joints, because these stem cells have beneficial properties in other regions of the body.

“The stem cells were able to prevent post-traumatic arthritis,” said Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., director of orthopaedic research at Duke and senior author of the study.

Daily aspirin intake may help lower cancer mortality
A new observational study has found more evidence of an association between daily aspirin use and modestly lower cancer mortality, but suggests any reduction may be smaller than that observed in a recent analysis.

The study provides additional support for a potential benefit of daily aspirin use for cancer mortality, but the authors say important questions remain about the size of the potential benefit.

A recent analysis pooling results from existing randomized trials of daily aspirin for prevention of vascular events found an estimated 37 per cent reduction in cancer mortality among those using aspirin for five years or more.

But uncertainty remains about how much daily aspirin use may lower cancer mortality, as the size of this pooled analysis was limited and two very large randomized trials of aspirin taken every other day found no effect on overall cancer mortality.

For the current study, American Cancer Society researchers led by Eric J. Jacobs, Ph.D., analyzed information from 100,139 predominantly elderly participants in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort who reported aspirin use on questionnaires, did not have cancer at the start of the study, and were followed for up to 11 years.

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