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what's the buzz

Weight loss improves cardiovascular health

Researchers have said that weight loss at any age in adulthood could help yield long-term heart and vascular benefits.

The findings are from a study examining the impact of lifelong patterns of weight change on cardiovascular risk factors in a group of British men and women followed since birth in March 1946. They showed that the longer the exposure to excess body fat (adiposity) in adulthood the greater the cardiovascular-related problems in later life, including increased thickness of the carotid artery walls, raised systolic blood pressure, and increased risk of diabetes.

For the first time, the findings also indicate that adults who drop a BMI category—from obese to overweight, or from overweight to normal—at any time during adult life, even if they regain weight, can reduce these cardiovascular manifestations.The study used data from 1273 men and women from the UK Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD). Participants were classified as normal weight, overweight, or obese in childhood and at 36, 43, 53, and 60-64 years of age. Cardiovascular phenotyping between the ages of 60 and 64 years with carotid intima media thickness (cIMT; a surrogate marker for cardiovascular events) was used to assess the effect of lifetime exposure to adiposity.

According to lead author Prof John Deanfield from University College London (UCL), UK, said their study is unique because it followed individuals for long time, more than 60 years, and assessed the effect of modest, real-life changes in adiposity.He said their findings suggest that losing weight at any age can result in long-term cardiovascular health benefits, and support public health strategies and lifestyle modifications that help individuals who are overweight or obese to lose weight at all ages.

Mobile phones could cause allergic reactions

Researchers have claimed that despite efforts to control allergen release in phones, many phones on the market release levels of metals, such as nickel and chromium, which are sufficient to 

induce allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).

In the article, a team of researchers led by Jacob Thyssen, MD, PhD, Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte (Hellerup, Denmark), Loma Linda University School of Medicine (Loma Linda, CA), and University of Arizona College of Medicine (Phoenix, AZ), review the current literature on mobile phone dermatitis in both children and adults. Nickel sensitisation is common in children, resulting in ACD prevalence levels of up to 33 per cent.

This information is important for practitioners, particularly when evaluating patients with dermatitis of the face, neck, hands, breast, or anterior thighs—common places exposed to cell phones.

Vitamin E in canola and other oils linked to lung problems

Researchers have found a link between Vitamin E in canola and other oils to the rising incidence of lung inflammation and, possibly, asthma.

The new study shows drastically different health effects of vitamin E depending on its form. The form of Vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol in the ubiquitous soybean, corn and canola oils is associated with decreased lung function in humans, the study reports.

The other form of Vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol, which is found in olive and sunflower oils, does the opposite. It associated with better lung function.

This is the first study to show gamma-tocopherol is associated with worse lung function.

The study examined 4,526 individuals from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study (CARDIA). Cook-Mills had done previous allergy research in mice showing alpha-tocopherol decreased lung inflammation, 

protecting healthy lung function and gamma-tocopherol increased lung inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness, a characteristic of asthma. She hypothesized that they might have similar effects in humans.

Cook-Mills examined the CARDIA results for individuals’ lung function tests at four intervals from baseline to 20 years and the type of tocopherol levels in their blood plasma at three intervals from baseline to 15 years. She found that a high level of gamma-tocoperol, 10 micromolar in the blood plasma, was associated with a 10 to 17 percent reduction in lung function. Micromolar is a measure of the amount of gamma-tocopherol per liter volume of blood plasma.

“The blood plasma showed how much they had acquired in their tissues,” Cook-Mills said. “You get vitamin E from your diet or supplements.”

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