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Fatty Fish-oil May Help Reduce Tumour

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An omega 3 fatty acid found in fish oils reduced the size of tumours in mice and made a chemotherapy drug more potent while limiting itsĀ  harmful effects, Egyptian researchers reported.

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The findings, published in publisher BioMed Central‘s peer-reviewed Cell Division journal, add to evidence showing a range of health benefits from eating the fatty acids found in foods such as salmon. A.M. El-Mowafy and colleagues from Mansoura University in Egypt looked at how an omega 3 fatty acid called docosahexanoic acid, or DHA, affected solid tumours growing in mice and how well it interacted with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin.

“Our results suggest a new, fruitful drug regimen in the management of solid tumours based on combining cisplatin and possibly other chemotherapeutics with DHA,” El-Mowafy said in a statement. “DHA elicited prominent chemo-preventative effects on its own, and appreciably augmented those of cisplatin as well.” In March, U.S. researchers showed that a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids– the kind found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines- protected against advanced prostate cancer even in men more at risk of the disease.

The fatty acids, also found in foods such as walnuts and leafy greens, have been shown to provide an anti-inflammatory effect and have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. In their study, El-Mowafy’s team found that, at the molecular level, DHA reduces the accumulation of white blood cells, systemic inflammation, and a harmful condition marked by decreased antioxidant levels- all of which have been linked to tumour growth. Their experiment also showed that the fatty acid reduced toxicity and injury to kidney tissue caused by the chemotherapy drug, the researchers said.

Sources:The Times Of India

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Web Self-Diagnosis Ups Anxiety Attack

 

Playing doctor on the web often leads people to mistakenly believe that they are suffering from rare illnesses, according to a study by researchers at Microsoft.

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“Web search engines have the potential to escalate medical concerns,” or “cyberchondria”, Ryen White and Eric Horvitz wrote in the study published by the Redmond, Washington-based software company. They described cyberchondria as “unfounded increases in health anxiety based on the review of web content”.

White, an expert in text mining, web search and navigation, and Horvitz, another Microsoft researcher who is president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, noted that the internet provides an “abundant source” of medical information.

“However, the web has the potential to increase the anxieties of people who have little or no medical training, especially when web search is employed as a diagnostic procedure,” they said.

“Common, likely innocuous symptoms can escalate into the review of content on serious, rare conditions that are linked to the common symptoms,” they said.

For example, web surfers with a headache may determine they have a brain tumor or those with chest pain that they are suffering a heart attack.

“A brain tumor is a concerning possibility when a searcher experiences headache,” the researchers said. “However, the probability of a brain tumor given a general complaint of headache is typically quite low.”

“Such escalations from common symptoms to serious concerns may lead to unnecessary anxiety, investment of time, and expensive engagements with healthcare professionals,” White and Horvitz said.

The researchers said the study was aimed at “improving the search and navigation experience for people turning to the web to interpret common symptoms” and determining “the challenges that cyberchondria presents for search engine designers.”

Sources: The Times Of India

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