Medical News Today: Sugar alters brain chemistry after only 12 days

New research in pigs finds that sugar intake alters the reward-processing circuitry of the brain in a similar way to addictive drugs.

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New research helps explain why sugary foods are irresistible.

Whenever we learn something new or experience something pleasurable, our brain’s reward system becomes activated. With the help of natural brain chemicals, several brain areas communicate with each other to help us learn and repeat behaviors that improve our knowledge and well-being.

Relying heavily on the neurotransmitter dopamine, the reward system helps explain several quintessential human experiences, such as falling in love, sexual pleasure, and enjoying time with friends.

However, certain substances, such as drugs, hijack the brain’s reward system, “artificially” activating it. Telling the brain to repeat pleasure-seeking behavior constantly is the mechanism behind addiction.

But is sugar such a substance? And if so, does it help explain sugary food cravings?

A United States scientist named Theron Randolph coined the term “food addiction” in the 1950s to describe the compulsive consumption of certain foods, such as milk, eggs, and potatoes.

Since then, the studies exploring this concept have yielded mixed results, and some experts argue that speaking of food addiction is a bit of a stretch.

New research helps shed some light on the matter, as Michael Winterdahl, associate professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University in Denmark, and his colleagues examined the effect of sugar intake on the reward circuitry in the brains of pigs.

The researchers published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.

‘Major changes’ after 12 days

The scientists analyzed the effects of sugar intake on seven female Göttingen minipigs, using complex PET imaging techniques with opioid receptor agonists and dopamine receptor antagonists to examine the animals’ brain reward systems.

The team gave the minipigs access to a sucrose solution for 1 hour on 12 consecutive days and then retook the scans 24 hours after the last sugar dose.

In a subgroup of five minipigs, the team applied an additional PET scanning session after the first exposure to sugar.

“After just 12 days of sugar intake, we could see major changes in the brain’s dopamine and opioid systems,” reports Winterdahl.

“In fact, the opioid system, which is that part of the brain’s chemistry that is associated with well-being and pleasure, was already activated after the very first intake,” adds the study’s lead author.

Specifically, there were alterations in the “striatum, nucleus accumbens, thalamus, amygdala, cingulate cortex, and prefrontal cortex” after the sugar intake.

Why sugar may be addictive after all

The findings, conclude the researchers, imply that “foods high in sucrose influence brain reward circuitry in ways similar to those observed when addictive drugs are consumed.”

The lead researcher explains that the findings contradicted his initial expectations. “There is no doubt that sugar has several physiological effects, and there are many reasons why it is not healthy.”

“But I have been in doubt of the effects sugar has on our brain and behavior, [and] I had hoped to be able to kill a myth.” He continues by emphasizing the addictive aspects of sugar intake.

If sugar can change the brain’s reward system after only 12 days, as we saw in the case of the pigs, you can imagine that natural stimuli, such as learning or social interaction, are pushed into the background and replaced by sugar and/or other ‘artificial’ stimuli.”

Michael Winterdahl

“We’re all looking for the rush from dopamine, and if something gives us a better or bigger kick, then that’s what we choose,” he explains.

Are pig models relevant?

The researchers also explain their choice of minipigs as a model in which to study the effects of sugar on the brain.

They say that previous studies have used rats, but even if these rodents do have a penchant for sugar, their homeostatic mechanisms — which help regulate weight gain and metabolism — “differ significantly from those of humans.”

“It would, of course, be ideal if the studies could be done in humans themselves, but humans are hard to control, and dopamine levels can be modulated by a number of different factors,” explains Winterdahl.

“They are influenced by what we eat, whether we play games on our phones, or if we enter a new romantic relationship in the middle of the trial, with potential for great variation in the data.”

“The pig is a good alternative because its brain is more complex than a rodent and […] large enough for imaging deep brain structures using human brain scanners.”

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327512.php

Medical News Today: How long does molly stay in your system?

When a person takes molly orally, the drug makes its way into the stomach before moving to the intestines. From here, it passes into the bloodstream. At this point, the person begins to feel the effects of molly.

This includes effects on the stomach, heart, blood vessels, and muscles, as well as neurological effects such as agitation and anxiety.

The liver then breaks down the drug into chemical compounds called metabolites. MDMA and its metabolites pass to the kidneys, which will filter the drug out of the bloodstream.

The chemicals then move to the bladder, and they eventually leave the body in the urine. The body will also excrete some metabolites through feces and sweat.

The half-life of molly is approximately 8–9 hours. A drug’s half-life is the time it takes for the amount of the drug in a person’s system to be reduced by half. Research indicates that it takes five half-lives for the body to clear over 95% of the molly a person has taken.

Some MDMA metabolites may remain in a person’s system for even longer than this, though drug tests do not usually detect them.

Rate of metabolization

Factors that affect the rate of metabolization include the amount of molly a person has ingested and the time at which they took their last dose. Other factors that affect the rate of metabolization include the person’s:

  • age
  • weight
  • metabolism
  • liver health
  • kidney health
  • last dose of other medications

Combining molly with other drugs may also affect the rate at which their body can process the chemicals.

There is also the risk that the drugs are contaminated with other substances. Many molly and ecstasy tablets contain MDMA, but also:

  • dextromethorphan, which is an over-the-counter cough suppressant
  • caffeine
  • cocaine
  • heroin
  • ketamine
  • methamphetamine
  • phencyclidine

If a molly tablet or powder contains these substances, metabolization times can vary greatly.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327526.php

Medical News Today: Adnexal mass: What to know

A doctor will choose the most appropriate treatment depending on the cause of the adnexal mass. Women with an ectopic pregnancy will have to end their pregnancy. A doctor may choose one of the following procedures:

  • the administration of a single or two-dose intramuscular methotrexate
  • laparoscopic surgery
  • a salpingostomy or salpingectomy, which are surgical procedures involving the fallopian tubes

Doctors have not yet determined the optimal management of an endometrioma, according to a study that featured in Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey.

Currently, the possible treatments for an endometrioma include:

  • watchful waiting
  • medical therapy
  • surgical intervention
  • inducing ovulation and using assisted reproductive technology in females with infertility

People with pelvic inflammatory disease will require courses of intravenous antibiotics, which may include:

  • cefotetan (Cefotan)
  • cefoxitin (Mefoxin)
  • clindamycin (Cleocin)

Some people can receive treatment outside of the hospital setting with oral doxycycline (Vibramycin) and intramuscular ceftriaxone (Rocephin) or another third generation cephalosporin antibiotic. In some cases, doctors will need to add oral metronidazole (Flagyl).

In the past, tubo-ovarian abscesses required surgical removal of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. However, doctors can now prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics. A person with a ruptured tubo-ovarian abscess may still require surgery.

Ovarian torsion is a gynecological emergency. The only treatment is surgery to prevent severe damage to the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

People with leiomyomas or fibroids may receive hormonal treatments or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to control the symptoms. Once a person stops taking medication, the symptoms may return, and the fibroids may continue to grow. Surgery is the most successful treatment for fibroids.

The treatment options for ovarian cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Oncologists will consider the following factors before recommending a treatment plan:

  • the type of ovarian cancer and how much cancer is present
  • the stage and grade of the cancer
  • whether the person has a buildup of fluid in the abdomen causing swelling
  • whether surgery can remove the whole tumor
  • genetic changes
  • the person’s age and general health status
  • whether it is a new diagnosis, or if cancer has come back

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327525.php

Medical News Today: What are the risks of using castor oil to induce labor?

According to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, castor oil will likely cause uterine contractions and irritation. Although these may appear to be labor contractions, they are more likely the result of digestive distress than actual labor.

In fact, they go on to say that women who take oral castor oil are no more likely to go into labor than those who do not.

However, one recent study found that there is a connection between taking castor oil and inducing labor. The study concluded that castor oil may induce labor within 24 hours if a woman is 40 weeks pregnant.

Researchers conducted the study using women in their 40th and 41st weeks of pregnancy, over a period of 5 years.

A smaller study, this time from 2000, found that 57.7% of the women who took castor oil went into labor within 24 hours. Only 4.2% of the women who did not receive castor oil went into labor within 24 hours. Evidence from this study suggests that castor oil may help induce labor.

However, one 2009 study found no connection between taking castor oil and inducing labor. This study included over 600 participants in week 40 or above of their pregnancy. The study concluded that castor oil had no effect on the time of birth. It also did not seem to have any harmful effects.

A 2018 study found that castor oil induction is more effective in women who have had babies previously. The researchers reported no adverse effects from their sample of 81 pregnant women.

Another 2018 study looked back on women who had used castor oil (while 40–41 weeks pregnant) under the care of their doctor, and they found it to be effective in inducing labor within 24 hours for most of the women.

Though study results are mixed in terms of castor oil’s labor-inducing abilities, none of these studies examined issues of safety for either the mother or the fetus.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327523.php

Medical News Today: What to know about dry mouth at night

The following are some potential causes of dry mouth at night.

Natural variation in saliva production

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Dry mouth at night may be due to variations in saliva production.

According to an article in the journal Compendium, a person’s salivary glands typically produce less saliva at night. As a result, some people may notice that their mouths feel drier in the evening.

Treatment:

A doctor may prescribe special mouthwashes that can moisten the mouth and reduce sensations of dry mouth before bedtime.

People should also consider keeping a glass of water by their bedside. If a person wakes up with a dry mouth, drinking some water will help moisten the mouth.

Dehydration

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, an estimated 20% of older adults struggle with dry mouth. In older adults, this condition usually occurs as a result of dehydration or as a side effect of certain medications.

Older adults who wear dentures may find that they no longer fit properly as a result of dry mouth. Without adequate saliva, dentures can rub against the gums, causing sore spots.

Treatment:

A person who experiences dry mouth should visit their doctor or dentist who will help determine the cause of the condition.

If dry mouth is due to the medications a person is taking, the doctor or dentist may recommend changing the dosage or switching to a different drug.

In some cases, people may receive medications to improve the function of the salivary glands.

Medication side effects

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services state that more than 400 medicines can reduce the body’s ability to produce saliva. People who take their medications at nighttime may notice their dry mouth symptoms worsening at night.

Some medications that can cause dry mouth include:

Treatment:

A person should see their doctor if they suspect that their medication is causing dry mouth. However, people should not stop taking their medications unless they have their doctor’s approval to do so.

A doctor may suggest lowering the dosage of the medication or taking the drug earlier in the day. Sometimes, a doctor may suggest changing to a different medicine that does not cause dry mouth.

The doctor may also recommend the following:

  • taking medications with plenty of water
  • sipping on water at nighttime
  • chewing on gum to encourage saliva production
  • using a humidifier to release moisture into the air and alleviate sensations of dry mouth

Mouth breathing

Some people wake up during the night and notice that they have an extremely dry mouth. This can be a sign that they have been breathing through their mouth while asleep. Some possible causes of this behavior include:

Treatment:

The treatment for nighttime mouth breathing depends on the underlying cause. We outline the potential causes and their associated treatment options below.

Infections

Antibiotics can help to treat a bacterial infection, while decongestants may help to alleviate any associated sinus congestion.

Allergies

Antihistamines can help to treat allergies, while corticosteroids may also help to relieve any associated nasal inflammation and stuffiness.

Sleep apnea

People who experience sleep apnea may require a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. The CPAP is a mask that fits over the mouth or nose and blows air into the airways to keep them open during sleep.

Although the treatment is effective against sleep apnea, the constant stream of air can actually worsen symptoms of a dry mouth. A person should talk to their doctor or dentist who can adjust the mask or recommend a machine that does not dry out the mouth.

Narrowed nasal passages

In some cases, people who have severe difficulty breathing through their nose may require surgery to widen the nasal passages. This will help to promote airflow through the nasal passages, preventing the need for mouth breathing.

Sjogren’s syndrome

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its tear glands and saliva-producing glands. As a result, a person who has Sjogren’s syndrome will typically experience sensations of dry mouth. This symptom may worsen at nighttime when the salivary glands naturally produce less saliva.

People with Sjogren’s syndrome may experience the following symptoms as a result of dry mouth:

  • difficulty swallowing food without a drink
  • pain in the mouth
  • speech problems at night

They may also experience dryness in their eyes, nose, throat, or vagina.

Treatment:

Doctors may prescribe medications to reduce dry mouth and encourage saliva production. Examples include pilocarpine (Salagen) and cevimeline (Evoxac).

A doctor will also encourage people with Sjogren’s syndrome to drink water frequently, and chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327522.php

Medical News Today: Eye exercises: Some tips and techniques

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Looking away from a computer screen every 20 minutes may help people with digital eye strain.

Eye exercises can be helpful for the following conditions:

  • nystagmus, which is an eye movement condition
  • strabismus, which is also an eye movement condition
  • amblyopia
  • myopia
  • visual field defects
  • dyslexia
  • vergence problems
  • ocular motility conditions
  • accommodative dysfunction
  • asthenopia
  • convergence insufficiency
  • visual field deficits following brain injury
  • motion sickness
  • learning difficulties

It is important to note that people with eye conditions such as retinopathy, cataracts, or glaucoma are unlikely to benefit from trying the eye exercises below.

The following are seven eye exercises that people may wish to try for the conditions listed above:

1. The 20-20-20 rule

Digital eye strain can become a problem for people who need to focus on a computer screen all day while working.

The 20-20-20 rule helps ease digital eye strain. The rule is easy: a person needs to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes while working on a computer.

Learn more about the 20-20-20 rule here.

2. Focus change

The focus change exercise can also help with digital eye strain. People should perform this exercise while sitting.

  1. Hold one finger a few inches away from one eye.
  2. Focus the gaze on the finger.
  3. Move the finger slowly away from the face.
  4. Focus on an object farther away, and then back on the finger.
  5. Bring the finger back closer to the eye.
  6. Focus on an object farther away.
  7. Repeat three times.

3. Eye movements

This eye movement exercise also helps with digital eye strain.

  1. Close the eyes.
  2. Slowly move the eyes upward, then downward.
  3. Repeat three times.
  4. Slowly move the eyes to the left, then to the right.
  5. Repeat three times.

4. Figure 8

The figure 8 exercise can also help ease digital eye strain.

  1. Focus on an area on the floor around 8 feet away.
  2. Move the eyes in the shape of a figure 8.
  3. Trace the imaginary figure 8 for 30 seconds, then switch direction.

5. Pencil pushups

Pencil pushups can help people with convergence insufficiency. A doctor might recommend this exercise as part of vision therapy.

  1. Hold a pencil at arm’s length, situated between the eyes.
  2. Look at the pencil and try to keep a single image of it while slowly moving it toward the nose.
  3. Move the pencil toward the nose until the pencil is no longer a single image.
  4. Position the pencil at the closest point where it is still a single image.
  5. Repeat 20 times.

6. Brock string

The Brock string exercise helps improve eye coordination.

To complete this exercise, a person will need a long string and some colored beads. They can complete this exercise either sitting or standing.

  1. Secure one end of the string to a motionless object, or another person can hold it.
  2. Hold the other end of the string just below the nose.
  3. Place one bead on the string.
  4. Look straight at the bead with both eyes open.

If the eyes are working correctly, a person should see the bead and two strings in the shape of an X.

If one eye is closed, one of the strings will disappear, which means that the eye is suppressing. If the person sees two beads and two strings, the eyes are not converged at the bead.

7. Barrel cards

Barrel cards is a good exercise for exotropia, which is a type of strabismus.

  1. Draw three red barrels of increasing sizes on one side of a card.
  2. Repeat in green on the other side of the card.
  3. Hold the card against the nose so that the largest barrel is farthest away.
  4. Stare at the far barrel until it becomes one image with both colors and the other two images have doubled.
  5. Maintain the gaze for about 5 seconds.
  6. Repeat the exercise with the middle and smallest images.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327524.php

Medical News Today: Supplement may help burn fat long after exercise

Gut bacteria produce an appetite suppressant than can strengthen the effect of an exercise-based weight loss program.

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A supplement may boost the fat-burning effects of exercise long after it has finished.

The many health benefits of regular exercise are well known. However, its impact on weight loss is less clear, as exercise increases appetite, potentially resulting in an increased calorie intake.

A new study appearing in the journal Metabolism presents a possible solution.

The research comes from the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, the Universities of Glasgow and the West of Scotland, and Imperial College in London, all of which are in the United Kingdom.

It suggests that adding a certain appetite-suppressing supplement to moderate exercise increases the likelihood of weight loss, even without a change of diet.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council provided funding for this research.

A fascinating supplement

The study explored a supplement called inulin-propionate ester (IPE).

Propionate is a short-chain fatty acid produced in the digestion of dietary fiber by gut microbes. It is a natural and effective appetite suppressor.

Propionate breaks down quickly in the body, so to strengthen its effect, scientists have chemically bound it to inulin. This is a fiber common to garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, chicory, and onion. The result is IPE.

As corresponding study author Douglas Morrison notes, “There’s a great deal of interest at the moment in how our gut microbiota affects our health and well-being.”

The scientists’ previous research established that the use of IPE as a dietary supplement increased the rate at which the body oxidizes, or burns, fat while at rest.

The research also found that IPE suppresses the urge to consume high calorie foods. As an example, those who the researchers offered all the pasta they could eat wound up eating 10% less than they usually would.

Their new study has revealed that IPE can enhance the weight loss effects of a moderate exercise program without requiring dietary changes.

As Morrison explains, “What we’ve been able to show for the first time is that this latter effect continues when exercise is added to regular IPE intake.” The study did not examine the effectiveness of a weight loss diet plus exercises plus IPE.

The trial consisted of 20 women aged 25–45. Each had a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25. The trial lasted for 4 weeks.

The team divided the participants into two groups of 10. Both groups participated in moderate exercise programs.

One group received a supplement of IPE, and the other received a placebo supplement comprising cellulose. All participants maintained their normal eating patterns throughout the trial.

The researchers measured each person’s resting fat oxidation levels both before and after the trial using blood and gas samples. They collected these before breakfast, after breakfast, and after lunch.

The participants who exercised while taking the placebo exhibited no change to their fat oxidation levels after the trials.

The group taking the IPE, however, showed a significant increase in the burning of fat at rest, even 7 hours after their most recent dose of IPE.

Limitations of the study

The new study was small and its duration brief, so its conclusions require additional verification.

Study co-author Dalia Malkova says, “While these initial results are promising, we should stress that there are limitations to this study, which was conducted with a small group over just [4] weeks.”

“For example, we can’t yet draw any conclusions about how the increased fat oxidation, combined with exercise, might affect participants’ body composition and body mass.”

The researchers are seeking funding for further trials of IPE, involving more people and for a longer period of time.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327519.php

Medical News Today: New SARS-like virus may be spreading outside China

Global health policymakers have announced that they are investigating the emergence of a new virus — one very similar to the dangerous severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus — in Thailand and Japan, hinting at worries that it could spread farther.

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Cases of a new SARS-like virus have emerged in China and now in Thailand and Japan.

SARS is part of the coronavirus family, which encompasses a range of airborne viruses. These can cause infections of varying degrees of severity.

In the case of SARS, the first symptom is a high fever and sometimes coughing. A person with the infection usually develops pneumonia, which can become life threatening.

A SARS epidemic in 2002–2003 affected people in as many as 26 countries, and most cases occurred in mainland China and Hong Kong.

In mainland China, the SARS virus infected more than 5,300 people and led to the death of 349, while in Hong Kong it affected 1,750 people and resulted in the death of 286 individuals.

After 2003, the SARS virus dropped off the radar, for the most part. However, in December 2019, Chinese authorities reported the emergence of a series of new coronavirus infections.

According to information available to the World Health Organization (WHO) at the start of 2020, 41 cases of the novel coronavirus had been diagnosed in Wuhan, the capital of Huabei province in central China. Of the infected individuals, seven are “severely ill,” the WHO report.

Chinese authorities have said that these cases appear to be connected with attendance at a seafood market in the Wuhan city center. The market has been closed since January 1, 2020.

But the infection has not been contained in China, according to new reports that may prompt the WHO to call an Emergency Committee meeting to investigate the situation.

New cases put authorities on alert

On January 14, authorities in Thailand reported that, using thermal surveillance, they had intercepted a 61-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan who was visiting the country.

The woman was clearly feverish, and the authorities transported her from Suvarnabhumi airport to a hospital, where doctors determined that she had an infection with the novel coronavirus.

However, the woman said that she had not visited the seafood market connected with the other cases. This suggests that she came into contact with another, still unknown, source of the virus.

Thai authorities are currently monitoring the health of 182 other individuals who may have had contact with the woman during the flight to Thailand.

According to data reported by Hong Kong’s Department of Health, the Chinese woman, who received medical care upon her arrival in Thailand, has now recovered.

But the scare is not over. Prof. Yuen Kwok-yung, an expert in coronaviruses from the University of Hong Kong, has said that genetic sequencing of the new virus has revealed that it is about 80% similar to the one that causes SARS.

Following the case reported in Thailand, “WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will consult with Emergency Committee members and could call for a meeting of the committee on short notice,” a recent WHO statement informs.

The potential for the virus to spread farther seems increasingly pressing, as Japanese authorities have also confirmed a case of infection.

Representatives of the country’s health ministry have announced that the case involves a Japanese man in his 30s, who first developed a fever when visiting Wuhan earlier in January.

Upon his return to Japan, he was hospitalized, and doctors diagnosed an infection with the novel SARS-like virus. Like the Chinese visitor in Thailand, the Japanese man states that he did not visit the seafood market connected with the other cases of infection.

The health authorities did, however, indicate that the man had been in contact with other individuals with the infection, suggesting that the viral strain can be transmitted from person to person.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327520.php

Medical News Today: Does turmeric have anticancer properties?

A recent literature review investigates whether turmeric may be useful for treating cancer. The authors conclude that it might be but note that there are many challenges to overcome before it makes it to the clinic.

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Turmeric is loved the world over, but can it help fight cancer?

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. Native to India and Southeast Asia, people have used turmeric root to flavor their food for thousands of years.

Historically, people associated turmeric with healing properties. Even now, some hail turmeric as a panacea for all ills. Recently, its popularity has surged, as evidenced by the recent turmeric latte fad. However, as with many things in life, the reality rarely matches the hype.

The chemical in turmeric that most interests medical researchers is a polyphenol called diferuloylmethane, which is more commonly called curcumin. Most of the research into turmeric’s potential powers has focused on this chemical.

Turmeric as a healer?

Over the years, researchers have pitted curcumin against a number of symptoms and conditions, including inflammation, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, liver disease, obesity, and neurodegenerative diseases, with varying levels of success.

Above all, though, scientists have focused on cancer. According to the authors of the recent review, of the 12,595 papers that researchers published on curcumin between 1924 and 2018, 37% focus on cancer.

In the current review, which features in the journal Nutrients, the authors mainly focused on cell signaling pathways that play a role in cancer’s growth and development and how turmeric might influence them.

Treatment for cancer has improved vastly over recent decades, but there is still a long path to tread before we can beat cancer. As the authors note, “the search for innovative and more effective drugs” is still vital work.

In their review, the scientists paid particular attention to research involving breast cancer, lung cancer, cancers of the blood, and cancers of the digestive system.

The authors conclude that “curcumin represents a promising candidate as an effective anticancer drug to be used alone or in combination with other drugs.”

According to the review, curcumin can influence a wide range of molecules that play a role in cancer, including transcription factors, which are vital for DNA replication; growth factors; cytokines, which are important for cell signaling; and apoptotic proteins, which help control cell death.

Challenges remain

Alongside the discussions surrounding curcumin’s molecular influence over cancer pathways, the authors also address the possible issues with using curcumin as a drug.

For instance, they explain that if a person takes curcumin orally — in a turmeric latte, for example — the body rapidly breaks it down into metabolites. As a result, any active ingredients are unlikely to reach the site of a tumor.

With this in mind, some researchers are trying to design ways of delivering curcumin into the body and protecting it from undergoing metabolization. For instance, researchers who encapsulated the chemical within a protein nanoparticle noted promising results in the laboratory and in rats.

Although scientists have published a great many papers on curcumin and cancer, there is a need for more work. Many of the studies in the current review are in vitro studies, which means that the researchers conducted them in laboratories using cells or tissues. Although this type of research is vital for understanding which interventions may or may not influence cancer, not all in vitro studies translate to humans.

Relatively few studies have tested turmeric’s or curcumin’s anticancer properties in humans, and the human studies that have taken place have been small-scale. However, aside from the difficulties and limited data, curcumin still has potential as an anticancer treatment.

Scientists are continuing to work on the problem. For instance, the authors mention two clinical trials that are underway, both of which aim to “evaluate the therapeutic effect of curcumin on the development of primary and metastatic breast cancer, as well as to estimate the risk of adverse events.”

They also refer to other ongoing studies in humans that are evaluating curcumin as a treatment for prostate cancer, cervical cancer, and lung nodules, among other diseases.

The authors believe that curcumin belongs to “the most promising group of bioactive natural compounds, especially in the treatment of several cancer types.” However, their praise for curcumin as an anticancer hero is tempered by the realities that their review has unearthed, and they end their paper on a low note:

“[C]urcumin is not immune from side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, headache, and yellow stool. Moreover, it showed poor bioavailability due to the fact of low absorption, rapid metabolism, and systemic elimination that limit its efficacy in diseases treatment. Further studies and clinical trials in humans are needed to validate curcumin as an effective anticancer agent.”

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327455.php

Medical News Today: What to know about dental implants

an infographic showing how dental implants work

A dental implant is a structure that replaces a missing tooth. With screw-like devices, the surgeon inserts an implant into the jawbone, and it acts as an anchor for an artificial tooth, called a crown.

A device called an abutment connects the artificial tooth to the dental implant.

The crown is custom-made to fit the person’s mouth and match the color of their teeth. Crowns look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

Implants have several advantages over dentures, which are removable artificial teeth. Implants:

  • are more natural and comfortable
  • have a higher success rate
  • improve chewing function
  • lead to a lower risk of cavities developing in nearby teeth
  • lead to better maintenance of bone at the site of the lost tooth
  • cause decreased sensitivity in nearby teeth
  • do not need to be taken out and cleaned every night

However, dental implants are not suitable for everyone. The implanting devices must bond with the jawbone, so a person’s bones must be healthy before they can undergo implant surgery.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327515.php