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5 Food Groups to Jump-Start Nutrition

5 Food Groups to Jump-Start Nutrition

5 Food Groups to Jump-Start Nutrition By Julie DavisHealthDay Reporter Latest Nutrition, Food & Recipes News FRIDAY, May 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Most Americans still don’t eat enough nutrient-rich foods from key groups including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy, according to federal […]

Adults Who Love Exercise May Gain 9 'Biological' Years

Adults Who Love Exercise May Gain 9 'Biological' Years

Adults Who Love Exercise May Gain 9 'Biological' Years Latest Exercise & Fitness News FRIDAY, May 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Could regular, strenuous exercise be a “fountain of youth”? New research suggests it could be — for your cells, at least. “Just because you’re […]

Special Diets, Supplements for Autism Still a Question Mark

Special Diets, Supplements for Autism Still a Question Mark

Special Diets, Supplements for Autism Still a Question Mark

News Picture: Special Diets, Supplements for Autism Still a Question MarkBy Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

Latest Nutrition, Food & Recipes News

THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Parents of children with autism often try diet changes or supplements to ease symptoms of the disorder, but a new review concludes there’s no solid evidence that any work.

After analyzing 19 clinical trials, researchers found little proof that dietary tactics — from gluten-free foods to fish oil supplements — helped children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

Some studies showed positive effects, while others found nothing, the researchers said. Overall, the trials were too small and short-term to draw conclusions one way or the other.

“Even though we don’t have clear evidence documenting safety and efficacy, many — if not most — families of children with ASDs try different diets and nutritional supplements at some point in time,” said senior researcher Zachary Warren.

Parents often feel there is at least no harm in trying, according to Warren, an associate professor of pediatrics, psychiatry and special education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

But, “that’s not always a safe assumption,” he said.

“For example, some nutritional supplements can actually cause harm in high doses,” Warren noted.

He recommended that parents talk to their doctor before changing their child’s diet or adding supplements.

Others agreed.

“It’s very important for parents to consult with their child’s pediatrician if they are tempted to try a dietary intervention,” said Geraldine Dawson. She is director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, in Durham, N.C.

“Since kids with autism are already picky-eaters, it’s critical to consider the nutritional impact of any change in the child’s diet,” she said.

Dawson wrote an editorial that accompanied the study, published online May 25 in the journal Pediatrics.

Thomas Frazier is chief science officer for the non-profit Autism Speaks. He also encouraged parents to talk to their child’s doctor about nutrition, including supplements.

Some parents might hesitate to do that, Frazier said, because they feel their doctor will be resistant to those types of approaches. “But that may just be your perception,” he noted. “I think it’s important to have these conversations.”

Everyone also agreed on another point: Larger, “high-quality” studies are needed to know whether certain diets or supplements benefit at least some kids.

Dawson pointed out that “it’s hard for parents to know whether a specific intervention is actually effective unless it’s been carefully studied. Parents deserve to have answers so they know how best to spend their time and money.”

The new review findings were based on 19 clinical trials Warren’s team dug up in a search of the medical literature. The studies were small, including anywhere from 12 to 92 kids, and they typically lasted less than six months.

Several studies looked at whether omega-3 fatty acids made a difference in children’s language abilities, behavior or social skills.

There was no clear evidence of a benefit, Warren’s team said. In a couple of trials, kids given a placebo (an inactive substance) showed bigger improvements than those on omega-3 supplements.

According to Dawson, it’s been found that up to 30 percent of children with autism spectrum disorders “respond” to placebos — highlighting how important well-controlled studies are.

Some other trials tested supplements — such as digestive enzymes and methyl B-12 — with mixed results. One study, for example, found that digestive enzymes seemed to improve kids’ digestive symptoms and behavioral issues, while another found no benefit.

As for diet, several studies examined gluten-free/casein-free diets — which are commonly advocated for kids with autism. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley; casein is a milk protein.

Again, Warren’s team found the results were mixed. Plus, the studies that did find a benefit were less rigorously done, the researchers said.

It is inherently tricky to study the role of diet changes or supplements in managing autism spectrum disorders, according to Warren.

The disorders are complex and vary widely from one person to another: One child might have milder problems with communication and social skills, while another might be profoundly affected — speaking little, if at all, and getting wrapped up in repetitive, obsessive behaviors.

So it’s possible, Warren said, that a dietary approach could benefit certain children, but not others.

It will take larger, “well thought-out” trials to get clearer answers, Warren said.

Frazier agreed. “We know ASDs are not just ‘one thing,’ ” he said. “We need more information on whether there are subgroups of children who might be more responsive to a given dietary intervention.”

In the United States, roughly one in every 68 children has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts believe that a mix of factors make certain children vulnerable — including genetics and certain environmental exposures during early brain development.

MedicalNews
Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCES: Zachary Warren, Ph.D., associate professor, pediatrics, psychiatry and special education, Vanderbilt University, Nashville; Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, director, Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Thomas Frazier, Ph.D., chief science officer, Autism Speaks, New York City; May 25, 2017, Pediatrics, online

Published at Fri, 26 May 2017 07:00:00 +0000

Lysteda (tranexamic acid)

Lysteda (tranexamic acid)

Lysteda (tranexamic acid) What is tranexamic acid (Lysteda), and how does it work (mechanism of action)? Tranexamic acid (Lysteda) promotes the clotting of blood and thereby reduces bleeding due to heavy menstruation. Tranexamic acid is a man-made amino acid derivative that increases blood clotting by […]

Fitness Trackers Highly Inaccurate in Counting Calories Burned: Study

Fitness Trackers Highly Inaccurate in Counting Calories Burned: Study

Fitness Trackers Highly Inaccurate in Counting Calories Burned: Study Latest Exercise & Fitness News Wristband fitness trackers accurately monitor heart rate, but are much less effective in determining calories burned during exercise, a new study finds. Stanford University researchers assessed seven of the most popular […]

Supercharging Exercise With Interval Training

Supercharging Exercise With Interval Training

Supercharging Exercise With Interval Training

News Picture: Supercharging Exercise With Interval TrainingBy Regina Boyle Wheeler
HealthDay Reporter

Latest Exercise & Fitness News

THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) — If your exercise routine isn’t producing lower numbers on the scale, consider kicking it up a notch with high-intensity interval training.

The concept is simple: alternate bursts of high-intensity activity with intervals of less strenuous movement.

Doing high-intensity exercise, even for short periods, burns more calories than doing steady, moderate activity in the same amount of time, according to the American Council on Exercise. So, you can increase your intensity and your results without burning yourself out or spending more time exercising.

Here’s how it works. If you’re a walker, add in spurts of running or speed-walking. Walk at a slower pace for two minutes, then at the faster pace for one. Repeat the pattern until your workout is done.

If you’re a cyclist, the idea is the same. Go fast for a minute or two, then ease up for the next few minutes — just don’t go into complete coasting mode.

Base the length of your hard interval on your overall fitness level, general health and how you feel that day. There are no time minimums, so you can make up your own combinations and vary them as often as you like.

But keep in mind that the harder the high-intensity interval, the shorter it can be. So you might run full out for just 15 seconds and then jog lightly for 90 seconds or even longer.

Aim for a total workout session of 20 to 30 minutes.

As you build stamina, challenge yourself. Pick up the pace for a longer period of time. And you’ll likely see the benefits in the mirror in no time.

MedicalNews
Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Published at Thu, 25 May 2017 07:00:00 +0000

Health Tip: Warm Up Before You Work Out

Health Tip: Warm Up Before You Work Out

Health Tip: Warm Up Before You Work Out Latest Exercise & Fitness News (HealthDay News) — Warming up is an important part of any workout, and it’s well worth the extra few minutes. The American Heart Association recommends: Warming up for five minutes to 10 […]

Health Tip: Eat More Mediterranean Foods

Health Tip: Eat More Mediterranean Foods Title: Health Tip: Eat More Mediterranean FoodsCategory: Health NewsCreated: 5/25/2017 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 5/25/2017 12:00:00 AM Published at Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Caffeine Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ

Caffeine Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ

Caffeine Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the MedicineNet Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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Published at Wed, 24 May 2017 07:00:00 +0000

Sleep Apnea May Boost Odds of Irregular Heartbeat

Sleep Apnea May Boost Odds of Irregular Heartbeat

Sleep Apnea May Boost Odds of Irregular Heartbeat By Steven ReinbergHealthDay Reporter Latest Sleep News TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) — People with sleep apnea may be more likely to develop the abnormal heart rhythm atrial fibrillation, especially if the oxygen level in their […]