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Vitamin D may Help Fight Crohn’s Disease

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A new study has discovered that nutritional supplements with vitamin D could help fight Crohn’s disease,  which is a chronic form of inflammatory bowel disease.


Researchers from McGill University found a link that ties vitamin D to Crohn’s disease, according to a report published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

It was noted that people who live in northern countries where they receive less sunlight are more prone to developing Crohn’s disease. Initial research was conducted to determine the nutritional supplement’s affect on cancer, however, when scientists determined the results kept pointing the immune system, they decided to look at other options.

The researchers were quick to point out that siblings of victims of Crohn’s disease that haven’t noticed symptoms yet should consider looking at their vitamin D levels as it may be a way to treat the ailment before it starts.

“This discovery is exciting, since it shows how an over-the-counter supplement such as Vitamin D could help people defend themselves against Crohn’s disease,” said researcher Marc J. Servan. “We have identified a new treatment avenue for people with Crohn’s disease or other inflammatory bowel diseases.”

Source:Better Health Research:Jan.27.2010

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Old Diarrhea Drug, an Anti-Aging Cure

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An 80-year old drug once used to treat diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders, may help slow down the aging process, say researchers.

Recent animal studies have shown that the drug, clioquinol, can reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson‘s and Huntington’s diseases.

However, scientists had a variety of theories to attempt to explain how a single compound could have such similar effects on three unrelated neurodegenerative disorders.

Now, researchers at McGill University have discovered that clioquinol acts directly on an aging gene called, CLK1, often informally called ‘clock-1.’

Clioquinol is a very powerful inhibitor of clock-1,” said Dr. Siegfried Hekimi, McGill’s Strathcona Chair of Zoology and Robert Archibald & Catherine Louise Campbell Chair in Developmental Biology.

“Because clock-1 affects longevity in invertebrates and mice, and because we’re talking about three age-dependent neurodegenerative diseases, we hypothesize that clioquinol affects them by slowing down the rate of aging,” Hekimi added.

Hekimi said that the exact mechanism of how clioquinol inhibits CLK-1 is till under investigation.
“One possibility is that metals are involved as clioquinol is a metal chelator,” he said.

Chelation is a type of binding to metal ions and is often used to treat heavy metal poisoning.
Hekimi said he is optimistic but cautious when asked whether clioquinol could eventually become an anti-aging treatment.

“The drug affects a gene which when inhibited can slow down aging. The implication is that we can change the rate of aging. This might be why clioquinol is able to work on this diversity of diseases that are all age-dependent,” he added.

The advance online edition of the study was published in Oct. 2008 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

You may click to see:->Age Management with Medicines
Sources: The Times Of India

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News on Health & Science

‘Virtual Treadmill’ to Walk Faster

Scientists have developed what they claim is a “virtual reality” treadmill which can trick people into believing that they are moving more slowly than they actually are.


According to them, the technology could be of great help to stroke sufferers across the world by encouraging them to move faster on the treadmill, which in turn will speed up their recovery.

“The virtual system encourages patients to walk more quickly and for longer, almost without them realising it. It is not just that they are distracted from the pain; by moving faster than they realise, their body actually feels it less. We’re effectively fooling the brain and cheating the body.

“It’s a lot more fun than traditional rehab and it can actually facilitate a much faster recovery. Our test subjects are usually surprised when I tell them they’ve improved by up to 20%,” lead scientist Wendy Powell was quoted by the Independent as saying.

In fact, moving images on a giant screen respond to patients’ efforts on an adapted treadmill. And using a variety of different settings, including urban and rural landscapes, the device creates a virtual world for the patient to “walk” through on the treadmill.

This immersion also acts as a distraction, and early research has already shown patients using it have a decreased perception of pain, according to the researchers at Portsmouth University.

It may be mentioned that clinical trials on patients are currently taking place in collaboration with Canada-based McGill University and early results are also said to be very encouraging. Sixty-one-year-old stroke sufferer Andy Long, who has been using the technology as part of his rehab, hails it as “magic”.

“The vast majority of stroke survivors cannot use a normal treadmill because they are not in control.

Many can only hold on with one hand, making it almost impossible. Walking is the best possible exercise for their bodies, and this system means it could all become available to them,” he said.

The Times Of India

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