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Australia vitamin ‘breakthrough’ to cut miscarriages, birth defects

August 16, 2017

Taking a common vitamin supplement could significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and birth defects worldwide, Australian scientists said Thursday, in what they described as a major breakthrough in pregnancy research.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that deficiency in a key molecule among pregnant women stopped …

How dietary fiber helps the intestines maintain health

UC Davis Health researchers have discovered how by-products of the digestion of dietary fiber by gut microbes act as the right fuel to help intestinal cells maintain gut health.
The research, published August 11 in the journal Science, is important because it identifies a potential therapeutic target for rebalancing gut microbiota and adds to …

Is the dark really making me sad?

How do Scandinavians deal with long, dark winters? And what might this teach us about the relationship between our moods and sunlight?
The inhabitants of Rjukan in southern Norway have a complex relationship with the sun. “More than other places I’ve lived, they like to talk about the sun: when it’s …

Flame retardant exposure found to lower IQ in children

August 08, 2017

A hazardous class of flame retardant chemicals commonly found in furniture and household products damages children’s intelligence, resulting in loss of IQ points, according to a new study by UC San Francisco researchers.
The study, published Aug. 3, 2017, in Environmental Health Perspectives, included the largest meta-analysis performed on flame retardants …

Protein at all 3 meals may help preserve seniors’ strength

Eating protein at all three daily meals, instead of just at dinner, might help seniors preserve physical strength as they age, new research suggests.
The Canadian study found that protein-rich meals evenly spread throughout the day staved off muscle decline, but did not increase mobility, in older people.
Study co-author Stephanie Chevalier …

Social isolation, loneliness could be greater threat to public health than obesity

Loneliness and social isolation may represent a greater public health hazard than obesity, and their impact has been growing and will continue to grow, according to research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.
“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need—crucial to …

Depression doubles the risk of death from coronary artery disease

August 02, 2017

Depression appears to double the chance of dying in any given year for patients with coronary artery disease, according to a new study.
The researchers said such mental distress was a “stronger risk factor” than age, having had a heart attack, or diabetes.
The effect was seen if the person was depressed before …

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users’ sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.
The findings are published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
“We know that women, the elderly, and minorities have been underrepresented in clinical trials for …

A short history of vaccine objection, cults and conspiracy theories

But there’s a long history of opposition to childhood vaccination, from when it was introduced in England in 1796 to protect against smallpox. And many of the themes played out more than 200 years ago still resonate today.
For instance, whether childhood vaccination should be compulsory, or whether there should be penalties for not …

The neuroscience of inequality: does poverty show up in children’s brains?

July 26, 2017

There is increasing evidence that growing up poor diminishes the physical development of a child’s brain. A landmark US study is attempting to establish a causal link – and unlock new ways to help our poorest children.
With its bright colours, anthropomorphic animal motif and nautical-themed puzzle play mat, Dr Kimberly Noble’s …

Prescription opioids are killing more Australians than heroin

More Australians are dying from accidental opioid overdoses each year, with prescription painkillers rather than heroin now accounting for two-thirds of the fatalities, latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.
An analysis of finalised ABS data by researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre found 68 per cent of …

Small drop in measles vaccinations would have outsized effect

A 5 percent drop in childhood measles vaccination levels would cause annual measles cases to triple, according to researchers at Stanford and Baylor.
Small reductions in childhood measles vaccinations in the United States would produce disproportionately large increases in the number of measles cases and in related public health costs, according …

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