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Beauty treatments can be injurious to health

Researchers have found despite maintaining the highest levels of hygiene during cosmetic surgery, customers experience unpleasant side effects in the form of tender subcutaneous lumps that are difficult to treat.

In isolated cases these complications also lead to lesions that simply will not heal. Injections of fillers were previously reserved exclusively for trauma treatment – when rebuilding a face disfigured in a traffic accident, for example. However, the jelly-like substances are increasingly being used in beauty treatments with the intention of making lips swell up and to erase the effects of ageing from the skin.

Morten Alhede, a postdoc at the Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen, said  most experts believed that the side effects were caused by an auto-immune or allergic reaction to the gel injected. He said that research involving tissue from patients and mouse models has now shown that the disfiguring lesions are due to bacteria injected in connection with the cosmetic procedure.

Associate Professor Thomas Bjarnsholt said that the problem will become very serious when the treatment becomes so widespread that people are able to walk in off the street to have their wrinkles smoothed out. The biofilm that can develop in the wake of a filler treatment is resistant to antibiotics.

High protein diet may help prevent functional decline

Researchers have suggested that a diet high in protein, particularly animal protein, may help elderly individuals maintain a higher level of physical, psychological, and social function.

Research suggests that as people age, their ability to absorb or process protein may decline. To compensate for this loss, protein requirements may increase with age. Megumi Tsubota-Utsugi, PhD, MPH, RD, of the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Japan, and her colleagues in Tohoku University and Teikyo University, Japan, designed a study to investigate the relationship between protein intake and future decline in higher-level functional capacity in older community-dwelling adults in Japan.
Their analysis included 1,007 individuals with an average age of 67.4 years who completed food questionnaires at the start of the study and seven years later.
Participants were divided into four groups (quartiles) according to their intake levels of total, animal, and plant protein. Tests of higher-level functional capacity included social-intellectual aspects and measures related to daily activities.
Men in the highest quartile of animal protein intake had a 39 per cent decreased chance of experiencing higher-level functional decline than those in the lowest quartile. These associations were not seen in women.

Nicotine patches do not help pregnant smokers to quit

Guidelines suggest adding nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) to behavioural smoking cessation support in pregnant smokers because of their excellent safety profile and proved effectiveness in other groups of smokers. However, there is a lack of good quality evidence on the effectiveness of NRT in pregnant smokers.

So a team of researchers based in France set out to assess the efficacy of 16 hour nicotine patches among 402 pregnant women aged over 18 years and between 12 and 20 weeks’ gestation, who smoked at least five cigarettes a day.

Participants were randomised to receive either nicotine patches or placebo patches up to the time of delivery. Doses were individually adjusted to try to match participants’ nicotine intake to that achieved by smoking. Participants were assessed monthly. The primary outcome measures were complete abstinence and birth weight.

Nicotine patches offered no benefit over placebo in terms of increasing smoking cessation or birth weight.

Complete abstinence was achieved by only 11 (5.5 per cent) of women in the nicotine patch group and only 10 (5.1 percent) in the placebo patch group. The average time to the first cigarette smoked after target quit date was 15 days in both groups. Average birth weight was 3065g in the nicotine patch group and 3015g in the placebo patch group.

Blood pressure was significantly higher with the nicotine patch than with placebo, suggesting that further studies with nicotine in pregnant smokers should control for blood pressure.

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