Dieting with whole grains reduces abdominal fat
When you calculate the calories in your weight
reduction diet, be sure to include the value of whole grains.
An important clinical study of people age 20 to 65
shows that dieters who included plenty of whole grains not only lost
more belly fat, they reduced an inflammation marker linked to diabetes,
hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Over the 12-week study, all dieters got the same
weight-loss advice, but half of them ate whole grains instead of refined
grains. The two groups lost the same amount of weight, but the
whole-grain group lost significantly more fat from the abdominal region
than those who ate white bread and other refined grains.
The whole grain group also experienced a 38 percent
decrease in C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker linked to the
risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. The
reduction was similar to that seen with the use of statin drugs.
Senior researchers for the study say a lot of foods
claim they contain whole grains but are not really major sources.
They recommend finding products in which at least 51
percent of grain comes from whole grain. Examples of such foods include
oatmeal, whole grain cereal, brown rice, granola bars, popcorn and
For oncoming colds, get zinc
The recent review of scientific studies on the effect
of zinc shows that the mineral may prevent some sneezes and sniffles,
but it only works if you take it within 24 hours of the first signs of a
Researchers reviewed 15 studies of people who took
zinc lozenges, syrups or placebos. The studies show that zinc cut the
duration of colds by a day and reduced the severity of symptoms by 40
Children who took zinc protectively for five months
or longer caught fewer colds and had fewer sick days than kids who
didn't take zinc.
New toothpaste protects dental nerves
A new treatment for patients suffering from tooth
pain and sensitivity was introduced at the recent Chicago Dental Society
conference. The sensitivity may be caused by excessive tooth whitening,
acidic sports drinks and soda, or stress-related tooth grinding.
A sensitive tooth's dentin tubules transmit pain to
the nerve when exposed to heat or cold.
For now, only dentists have the treatment, which has
the protective ingredient NovaMin. It lays down a barrier and prevents
transmission of pain.
A high-fluoride commercial toothpaste containing
NovaMin will be available to consumers in a few months.
Avastin for newborn blindness
Babies born before 30 weeks of gestation have
immature eyes that result in uncontrolled blood vessel growth. It can
lead to scarring and detachment of the retina, causing blindness. It
happens to 3,000 to 4,000 babies each year in the United States.
A study led by the University of Texas Health Science
Center in Houston shows that an inexpensive drug therapy far surpasses
the conventional laser procedure in fixing the cause of blindness.
Avastin is now used in the 15 hospitals that participated in the study.
New procedure aids cure of tendon problems
People who have struggled for months with pain in a
frequently used joint may soon have a new option for treatment.
Injecting a blood-derived liquid called platelet-rich
plasma (PRP) into the painful tendon tissue has shown significant
success. The PRP is derived from a sample of their own blood.
In the case of painful tendons, doctors at the Mayo
Clinic have found that inflammation is not the cause. Rather,
deterioration of the tendon is what causes pain. An MRI or ultrasound is
used to detect abnormalities.
Usually, platelets repair injured tendons by
gathering at the site of an injury to form a clot. The platelets release
growth factors and proteins that stimulate healing. If it doesn't
happen, injecting PRP does the same job only better. At Mayo, one
injection is used.
It is effective in treating tennis or golfer's elbow,
hamstring tendons, the knee's patellar tendon, the Achilles tendon, and
the plantar fascia tendon on the bottom of the foot.
The tendon is first anesthetized with an injection. A
needle is then used to break up degenerative tendon tissue before the
platelet-rich injection is given into the tendon. After the procedure,
use of the tendon is limited for about two weeks before rehabilitation.
Though the therapy is increasingly used and about 70
percent of those receiving it have improvement, patients may need more
than one shot.