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Pregnant ? Avoid fish

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Researchers in the US have warned pregnant women to limit their fish intake citing high mercury levels in oily fish…..CLICK & SEE

The high mercury levels in fish such as mackerel, salmon and sardines could cause them harm, reported the online edition of BBC News quoting a report published in the New Scientist magazine.

Dr. Fei Xue and colleagues looked at 1,024 pregnant women living in Michigan and measured the amount of mercury they had in their hair and compared this with the date that the women delivered their babies.

The women who gave birth more than two weeks early were three times as likely to have double the average mercury level in their hair samples, the researchers said. On the whole, these women also tended to eat more oily fish, particularly canned fish.

Only 44 of the women, however, gave birth prematurely, and the researchers said more work was needed to corroborate their findings.

They also pointed out that the women were asked to recall how much fish they had eaten, which might be inaccurate. It was also possible that the women could have been exposed to mercury from other sources too, they said.

Xue said until the risks become clearer, women could take fish oil supplements instead.

But experts warn it is important for pregnant women, and indeed everyone, to eat enough fish to keep healthy. Pregnant women should eat fish twice a week, says the Food Standards Agency.

But they should avoid shark, marlin and swordfish because these fish are particularly high in mercury and other pollutants.

Women who are breastfeeding and those trying for a baby should also eat two portions of oily fish per week. Other women, and men and boys, can eat up to four portions per week. One portion is about 140g of fish – one tuna steak, for example.

(From the news published in The Times Of India)

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News on Stem Cell Therapy

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Two recent TheraVitae patients who made their way across the globe to receive Vescell Adult Stem Cell therapy for their heart conditions. Both men are profiled in their local newspapers and their stories here.

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In the first article, Florida native, Jack Bodolay has his story told in The Ledger, a prominent newspaper in Central Florida.

In the second article, the East Oregonian details the exploits of James “Superman” Burns and talks about his new mission to spread the word about the wonders of adult stem cell therapy.

Take Heart: Stem Cell Therapy Found to Be promising
By Robin Williams Adams
The Ledger

LAKELAND — Businessman Jack Bodolay went to Thailand for help when Florida doctors couldn’t do anything more to boost his failing heart.

Stem cells from his blood were multiplied by the millions and put into his heart in an experimental procedure to improve the heart’s ability to pump blood.

The treatment at Bangkok Heart Hospital cost him between $30,000 and $35,000. Improvement wasn’t guaranteed.

Not getting it, however, would have meant giving in to his steadily worsening congestive heart failure, which the Lakeland man wasn’t willing to do.

“My thoughts were `I don’t have much time left and I’m going to do what I have to do,’ ” said Bodolay, who is 76.

His ejection fraction — the percentage of blood pumped from the heart each beat — was 20 percent or less when he left for Thailand, he said. Normal pumping ability is 50 percent to 75 percent; below 35 is low.

Four months later, he’s glad he had the procedure. His pumping percentage has increased slightly to 22 or 23, and Bodolay is optimistic that it is going up instead of down.

“I can tell I’m much stronger on the inside than I was,” he said. “If I can make the same progress in the next three months . . . I’ll be in good shape.”

In deciding to get that treatment, he was encouraged by the improved condition of singer Don Ho, well known for “Tiny Bubbles” and “The Hawaiian Wedding Song,” who had the same procedure late last year.

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Stem cells heal heart overseas

WESTON – Jim Burns was frustrated.

A heart attack at age 44 left him often fatigued and short of breath. Over the 23 years that followed, doctors performed quadruple bypass surgery, did angioplasty and inserted stents, but his condition gradually worsened. Burns’ options appeared to be dwindling.

“I had probably 50 heart attacks,” he said. “Your heart dies a little at a time.”

Then, one day, he saw a public television program about something called stem cell therapy. Some English researchers testing the procedure on a group of patients, saw incredible improvement, Burns remembered.

He searched the Internet for more information about the therapy and found a biotechnology company in Thailand that specializes in stem cell therapy for heart patients. The company, TheraVitae, uses VesCell stem cell treatments on patients with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. The company’s Web site claimed an 80 percent success rate after treating over 130 patients.

In stem cell therapy, doctors take stem cells from the patient’s own blood, multiply them in a lab and, later, reinject them into the damaged heart.

The more Burns learned, the more excited he got. Many telephone calls and blood tests later, Burns was winging his way to Thailand with his wife, Melva, with high hopes the procedure would help his weakened heart.

On July 20, doctors withdrew blood from Burns. Five days later, he sat on a steel table in a hospital operating room, watching a monitor as doctors worked.

“It took about 40 minutes,” Burns said. “They put 28 million stem cells into me.”

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Food may be like a drug for some

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 The same brain circuits are involved when obese people fill their stomachs as when drug addicts think about drugs, a finding that suggests overeating and addiction may be linked, US researchers reported on Monday.

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The finding may help in creating better treatments for obesity a growing problem in the US and elsewhere.

“We wanted to know why, when people are already full, why people are still eating a lot,” said Dr Gene-Jack Wang of Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York.

“We were able to simulate the process that takes place when the stomach is full, and for the first time we could see the pathway from the stomach to the brain that turns “off” the brain’s desire to continue eating.”

Wang and colleagues tested seven obese volunteers who had been fitted with a gastric stimulator a device that tricks the body into thinking the stomach is full.

They used a PET scan to see which parts of the brain activated when the stimulator was activated. “We thought the activated area (of the brain) must be in the satiety centre,” Wang said. “We saw a lot of activity in all areas of the brain, especially in the hippocampus.”

The gas stimulators also sent messages of satiety to brain circuits in the orbitofrontal cortex and striatum, which have been linked to craving and desire in cocaine addicts.

“This provides further evidence of the connection between the hippocampus, the emotions, and the desire to eat, and gives us new insight into the mechanisms by which obese people use food to soothe their emotions,” said Wang.

(From the news published in The Times Of India)

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Why some live 110 years or more

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 A group of researchers has set up a foundation to study the members of a rare and exclusive club: people who live to be older than 110……..CLICK & SEE

The Supercentenarian Research Foundation hopes to identify why these people live so long, develop strategies to help combat the effects of aging and improve the quality of life of the very old.

It is estimated that there are about 300 people worldwide who are 110 years old or older, but not all of those people have had their ages verified through public documents.

As of this week the foundation, based in Pittsburgh, reported that there were 76 people in the world – 66 women and 10 men – who were verified to be 110 or older.

“The longer we wait, the more they’re going to die and we will lose that information,” said Dr Stephen Coles, the foundation’s treasurer and a researcher who has studied the elderly as part of the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group.

Coles said demographers have shown that the number of people reaching 100 years old is growing exponentially, while few people live to be older than 110. Researchers are turning to science to try to explain why.

The oldest person ever whose age was authenticated was Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to 122 years and 164 days, the foundation said. She was born on February 21, 1875, and died at a nursing home in Arles in southern France on August 4, 1997.

Stanley R Primmer, the foundation’s president, said there have only been seven autopsies of supercentenarians that the group knows of. He said the foundation is in the process of gathering tissues from the very elderly so they can look for clues to longevity.

(From the news published in The Times Of India)

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News on Health & Science Pediatric

Ease off on those kids, it’s their time to play

 Here’s some soothing medicine for stressed-out parents and overscheduled kids: The American Academy of Pediatrics says what children really need for healthy development is more good, old-fashioned playtime. Many parents load their children’s schedules with get-smart videos, enrichment activities and lots of classes in a drive to help them excel. The efforts often begin as early as infancy.

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Spontaneous, free play whether it’s chasing butterflies, playing with “true toys” like blocks and dolls, or just romping on the floor with mom and dad often is sacrificed in the shuffle, a new academy report says.

Jennifer Gervasio has a 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter involved in preschool three mornings weekly, plus T-ball and ballet for each one day a week.

That’s a light schedule compared to her kids’ friends, and Gervasio said her son in particular has trouble finding buddies who are free to come over and just play.

“There’s just such a huge variety of things you can do for your kids if you have the resources, you almost feel why not,” said Gervasio, of Wilmette, Ill. “There is a part of me that would worry if I don’t sign my son up for some of these things, will he not be on par with the other kids.chieldren to play.

(From the news published in The Times Of India)