Tuesday, 15 October 2019
Influenza (flu) is a common viral disease affecting up to 20% of the world’s population. In most cases, the flu is benign, but it can also have serious consequences especially in people with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and children. It is estimated to cause 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide each year1.
Wednesday, 28 August 2019
Despite advances in understanding the development of cancer and how it spreads, the method of cancer treatment has not changed much. For the past several decades the main treatment options for a cancer patient have been surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Although there are newer chemotherapy drugs available to treat cancers, the cancer death rate continues to rise. Each of the current treatment options is associated with inherent risks and side effects and most patients are submitted to some combination of these options.
Tuesday, 06 August 2019
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the US, and about 1 in 8 are likely to develop it during their lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 62,930 of noninvasive (in-situ) breast cancers will be diagnosed in the US this year. Despite expensive treatment options and the availability of pharmaceutical drugs, the long-term outlook for curing breast cancer remains poor. While women are aware of breast cancer, very few take steps towards prevention other than mammogram screenings. Men can also develop breast cancer and one percent of all breast cancers are in males. However, male breast cancer is difficult to treat, which is mainly due to lack of awareness and a delay in diagnosis resulting in the cancer having already spread.
Friday, 12 July 2019
Diabetes, which is characterized by elevated blood glucose levels, is the fastest growing non-communicable disease in the world today. In the last two decades, the number of people suffering from diabetes has skyrocketed and it is projected to increase from 171 million in 2000 to 438 million in 2030. Approximately 6000 Americans are diagnosed with diabetes. Type II diabetes has been considered by many as a disease affecting older and overweight people; however, it is now more frequently diagnosed in children and young adults under 25 years of age, as well as in individuals that are not necessarily overweight. Sustained high blood sugar levels can lead to serious diabetic complications including atherosclerosis, stroke, kidney failure, neuropathy, impaired wound healing, and cataracts, and it can lead to long-term disability.
Thursday, 20 June 2019
With the arrival of summer, people become acutely aware of exposure to the sun, the risk of skin cancers and the importance of the use of sunscreen. Skin cancer is the most common of all types of cancers in the USA and other developed countries. Worldwide, it accounts for more than 30% of all diagnosed cancers. Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma are the most common forms of skin cancers, and malignant melanoma is the most dangerous of all of them. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 96,480 new melanoma cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2019 and melanoma will be attributed as a cause of death for 7,230 people. It is estimated that one in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
Thursday, 30 May 2019
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. Although rare, mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer which is difficult to treat. Its main risk factor is long-term exposure to asbestos. Asbestos exposure is most common in people working in the mining, textile, construction and ship building industries. It takes many decades to develop mesothelioma and this type of cancer is more commonly diagnosed in men over 70 years of age. Every year in the United States close to 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma. Depending on the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis, the average life expectancy of mesothelioma patients varies from 4-18 months. The diagnosis is commonly delayed because the symptoms of mesothelioma are nonspecific such as a cough, difficulty in breathing, fatigue, loss of appetite, and abdominal or chest pain. At the present time, the only treatments available for malignant mesothelioma are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, and none of them cure mesothelioma.
Friday, 05 April 2019
The Monsanto takeover in 2018 promised big business for Bayer. At a time of intense pressure on pharmaceutical companies, the strengthening of Bayer’s agrichemical division seemed like the perfect solution. Monsanto owned Roundup, a leading weed killer, and genetically modified plants that worked perfectly with it. Together these products were a multibillion-dollar money-making machine. Bayer, meanwhile, had an established lobbying machine that was highly experienced in promoting toxic substances. To the company’s executives, Monsanto’s Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate looked to be a seamless fit.
Monday, 25 March 2019
Scientists at the Dr. Rath Research Institute in California have published a new study which demonstrates for the first time that only a consistent daily supplementation with vitamin C can protect against heart disease. The study shows that irregular intakes of this essential micronutrient do not achieve the same beneficial effect. Published in the International Journal of Cardiovascular Research, the study further supports the importance of a consistent, sufficient intake of vitamin C in ensuring an optimum profile of blood risk factors, vascular wall integrity, and optimal cardiovascular health.
Thursday, 21 March 2019
Chlorophyll is a green pigment present in plants. It is called a photoreceptor pigment and absorbs sunlight. Chlorophyll is essential for food production in plants (photosynthesis) and keeping the plants healthy. Chlorophyllin is a water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll and is one of the most potent antioxidants. It neutralizes heterocyclic amines and aflatoxin, two of the dangerous free radicals that can occur in foods and can act as carcinogens. Heterocyclic amines are a potent risk factor for colorectal cancers. They are created when food is cooked at very high temperatures such as when food is processed, grilled, fried, or broiled. Aflatoxin is a fungus that grows on grains such as wheat, rice, corn and nuts, and it increases the risk of developing liver cancer.
Thursday, 24 January 2019
PRESS RELEASE A team of researchers from the Dr. Rath Research Institute in California has developed a cancer vaccine that is effective in reducing tumor growth. A peptide-based vaccine, it targets specific enzymes known as metalloproteinases (MMPs) that are necessary for any cancer to grow tumors, metastasize, and form blood vessels in tumors (angiogenesis). The Dr. Rath research team showed that test animals, vaccinated with peptides containing specific sequences from MMP-2 and MMP-9 and subsequently challenged with melanoma cancer cells, had an average reduction in tumor volume of about 76% compared to unvaccinated controls. Notably, some vaccinated animals did not develop any cancer at all.
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
In our last Health Science News Page, we focused on various types of air pollutants and how they affect health worldwide. In this issue, we discuss how micronutrients can help to alleviate the many harmful effects of air pollution. Research and clinical data show that a healthy diet can provide some preventative benefit. Multiple clinical trials are investigating the benefits of micronutrients in averting the harmful effects of air pollution, and the major micronutrients that may help are the B group of vitamins, vitamins C and E, phytobiologicals, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Air pollution is one of the most serious environmental problems in today’s world. Except for occasional natural events such as volcanic eruptions and wildfires, human activities are the sole contributor for the disastrous levels of particulate matter that is present in the air. Air pollution is the presence of excessive biological or chemical compounds in the air due to many things such as transportation, industrialization, agriculture, dust, household energy consumption, waste production and so on. Ozone emission is a major part of air pollution in cities and creates smog. In general, a modern life style and urbanization has resulted in more than 91% of the world’s population living in places where the air quality is detrimental to health.
Thursday, 27 September 2018
In August 2018, a jury in California awarded $289 million to a cancer patient whose cancer was caused by the Monsanto weed killer Roundup. Monsanto (an agro-giant, now part of the pharmaceutical company Bayer) has spent years claiming that their glyphosate-based herbicides are safe for humans. This court case also revealed that Monsanto knew and concealed the carcinogenic effects of this herbicide. For decades, researchers have warned about the cancer causing potential of glyphosate, however, there was no consensus until now. In 2015, the International Agency of Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), concluded that glyphosate has a substantial potential to cause non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in humans. Yet, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presently allows 50 times more glyphosate on corn crops than they did in 1996.
Tuesday, 11 September 2018
In a recent clinical trial involving 183 pregnant women in the Netherlands, the drug sildenafil (also sold under the trade name-Viagra) was tested to increase blood flow to the placenta and improve growth of unborn babies. This was supposed to be a groundbreaking trial to help the babies who were not growing properly in the womb. The theory behind this clinical trial was that Viagra would help dilate the placental blood vessels, increase the size of the placenta, and thus increase the blood supply to the fetus and its development.
Wednesday, 08 August 2018
Hemangiomas are the most common birth defect involving malformations of blood vessels leading to benign tumors in infants and children. Approximately 4-10% of infants are born with at least one hemangioma. A recent increase in the incidence of hemangiomas in the United States is found to be linked with the increase in the frequency of low birth weight infants. More frequently seen in Caucasians than African Americans or Asians, the hemangiomas are five times more common in females than males.
Tuesday, 19 June 2018
With the approaching summer season, we discussed some aspects of vector borne diseases mainly, Lyme disease in the last section of the Health Science News Page. Lyme disease (LD) was first widely recognized in 1975 by Old Lyme in Connecticut, USA, and today it results in approximately 30,000 cases per year in the USA and 65-80,000 cases in Europe. However due to misdiagnoses and underreporting, it is thought that the actual number of Lyme disease cases could be close to 300,000. And recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the insect borne diseases have tripled in the last decade.