What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Intravenous fish oil and ICU stay

A new research has shown that patients in the ICU who received intravenous fish oil had shorter hospital stays compared to those given standard treatment.

Decreased inflammation and improved gas exchange in the lungs from the omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil allowed the patients to get better faster and go home sooner.
Philip Calder, University of Southampton, UK, and colleagues investigated the effects of including fish oil in the normal nutrient solution for patients with sepsis, finding a significant series of benefits. They conducted the study in 23 patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome or sepsis in the Hospital Padre Américo, Portugal. The results showed that patients with sepsis given fish oil were discharged from the hospital earlier compared to those receiving traditional nutrition.

Recently there has been increased interest in the fat and oil component of vein-delivered nutrition, with the realisation that it not only supplies energy and essential building blocks, but may also provide bioactive fatty acids, Calder said.
“Traditional solutions use soybean oil, which does not contain the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil that act to reduce inflammatory responses. In fact, soybean oil is rich in omega-6 acids that may actually promote inflammation in an excessive or unbalanced supply,” he added.

Plastic food containers linked to heart disease

A chemical commonly used in plastic food containers is linked to heart disease, a new study has confirmed.

Bisphenol A or BPA is commonly used in consumer plastics, particularly polycarbonate plastic items such as many sunglasses, reusable bottles, food packaging, and baby bottles.

In a sampling of US adults, those with the highest levels of BPA in their urine were almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease than those with the lowest concentrations of BPA.

Study co-author Tamara Galloway, an ecotoxicologist at the UK’s University of Exeter, said that the findings almost perfectly dovetail with a 2008 study on the same topic.

“If you see it once, that’s interesting. If you see it twice in a separate population, it’s a strong indication that what you’re seeing is not just some chance finding,” said Galloway.

However, Galloway warned that no direct cause-and-effect had been found between BPA and heart disease.

Stress can cause cancer

Yale researchers have discovered that stress sends out signals that can turn cells into cancerous tumours.

Until now, most researchers believed that more than one cancer-causing mutation needed to take place in a single cell in order for tumours to grow.

The Yale team illustrated that cancer-causing mutations can cooperate to promote tumour development even when they are located in different cells within a tissue.
According to the researchers, the new finding describes a novel way cancer takes hold in the body and suggests new ways to attack the deadly disease.

“The bad news is that it is much easier for a tissue to accumulate mutations in different cells than in the same cell,” said study’s lead author Tian Xu.