what's the buzz

what's the buzz

Ridging of nails common with ageing

Have you ever wondered why do your fingernails have ridges lengthwise on them?
 Vertical lines on one’s nails are a common phenomenon that often get more pronounced with age.

According to Dr. Phoebe Rich, MD, FAAD, clinical adjunct professor of dermatology at Oregon Health Science University, there are many reasons for ridged nails but the most common is ageing, the Huffington Post reported.

She said that with age the nail matrix becomes atrophied in areas resulting in longitudinal ridging of nails.

Jessica Krant, M.D., a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, agrees saying that lengthwise ridges, if they are evenly spaced over the whole nail, are common and harmless, and generally associated with normal ageing and the nail’s increasing inability to retain moisture.

She said that sometimes it can be a sign of lack of certain vitamins or poor nutrition.
 Vertical ridges can also be caused by nail injury and certain diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, according to Rich.

If, instead of a series of ridges, there’s a single vertical streak, Krant cautions saying, this could be a sign of a tumor growing at the root of the nail.  Another caveat: If the ridges have appeared and grown more pronounced very quickly or over a short period of time, they could be a sign of a very rare condition called lichen planus, which often also causes skin rash.

While some people might not like the way they look, it’s better not to buff off the ridges, Rich said.

Since the ridge is the thinnest spot on the nail, it can split and buffing only exacerbates that.

Instead, Krant suggests moisturizing the nail throughout the day with a thick lotion or petroleum jelly, paying close attention to the cuticle.

Meanwhile, horizontal ridges are more likely to signal a problem. One condition, Beau’s lines, is characterized by indentations across the nail bed that are a sign of disrupted growth due to illness.

Antibacterial soaps’ chemical could harm nursing babies

Prolonged use of antibacterial soaps containing the chemical triclocarban may harm nursing babies, a study has revealed.

 The study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which was conducted on rats, showed that exposure to the compound may reduce the survival rates of babies.
 Rebekah Kennedy, a UT graduate student pursuing a dual master’s degree in public health and nutrition, said that people have to weigh their own risks and decide what would be the best route.  She said that there is always a time and place for antibacterial bar soaps, like in health care settings where the chance of infection and transmission is high, asserting that for the average person, antibacterial soap is no more effective than regular soap.

 Jiangang Chen, an assistant professor in the UT Department of Public Health, conducted an earlier study that examined how prolonged exposure to triclocarban affected growth of sex organs in adult male rats.

 Kennedy decided to go a step further and look into how it would affect baby rats in the womb and during nursing.  Humans are exposed to triclocarban through skin absorption. Research shows that based on how the compound is biotransformed, oral exposure in rats is similar to dermal exposure for humans, Kennedy said.

  The study found that triclocarban did not affect the post-birth survival rate of baby rats exposed to the compound in the womb. But baby rats nursed by mothers that were exposed to the compound did not survive beyond the sixth day after birth. The results showed that a mother’s long-term use and exposure to triclocarban could affect her baby’s early development, according to the animal model, Kennedy said.

Raisins may protect against cavities

New findings provide evidence that raisins may protect against cavities.  It’s been traditionally thought raisins can cause cavities because of their stickiness and sugar content.

 However, current research suggests that raisins may provide some protective benefits against dental cavities.

 Even though raisins are sticky, it was found that they do not adhere to the teeth long enough to promote dental cavity formation and may even help clear other types of food particles trapped on the teeth.  Raisins also have potential to reduce risk of diabetes and heart disease.

 Based on a comprehensive review of nearly 80 studies, researchers found that raisin consumption may reduce the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, contribute to improved blood glucose control for diabetic individuals, and be useful for weight loss and weight management.

 Consumption of grape products is also associated with better eating habits.  An analysis of National Health Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003 to 2008 data was conducted to compare grape consumers with nongrape consumers among children and adults.

 The results showed that both children and adults that consumed grape products (fresh grapes, raisins, 100 percent grape juice), had higher total intake of other fruits, dark green/orange vegetables, and key nutrients like fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and potassium than those who did not consume grape products.