Tag Archives: Health Studies

Study: Middle-Aged Knees With Meniscal Tears – No Benefits To Surgery Over Exercise Therapy (BMJ)

Exercise or Surgery - Meniscal Tear in Middle-Aged Knees BMJ

Conclusion: The study was inconclusive with respect to potential differences in progression of individual radiographic features after surgical and non-surgical treatment for degenerative meniscal tear. Further, we found no strong evidence in support of differences in development of incident radiographic knee osteoarthritis or patient-reported outcomes between exercise therapy and arthroscopic partial meniscectomy.

Objective: To evaluate progression of individual radiographic features 5 years following exercise therapy or arthroscopic partial meniscectomy as treatment for degenerative meniscal tear.

Design: Randomized controlled trial including 140 adults, aged 35-60 years, with a magnetic resonance image verified degenerative meniscal tear, and 96% without definite radiographic knee osteoarthritis. Participants were randomized to either 12-weeks of supervised exercise therapy or arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. The primary outcome was between-group difference in progression of tibiofemoral joint space narrowing and marginal osteophytes at 5 years, assessed semi-quantitatively by the OARSI atlas. Secondary outcomes included incidence of radiographic knee osteoarthritis and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, medial tibiofemoral fixed joint space width (quantitatively assessed), and patient-reported outcome measures. Statistical analyses were performed using a full analysis set. Per protocol and as treated analysis were also performed.

Results: The risk ratios (95% CI) for progression of semi-quantitatively assessed joint space narrowing and medial and lateral osteophytes for the surgery group were 0.89 (0.55-1.44), 1.15 (0.79-1.68) and 0.77 (0.42-1.42), respectively, compared to the exercise therapy group. In secondary outcomes (full-set analysis) no statistically significant between-group differences were found.

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Health Study: Older Adults With High Glucose Levels (A1C) Have Greater Cognitive Decline

From a MedPage Today online article (April 2, 2020):

Endocrine Society NewsThis relationship between higher glucose levels and poorer cognitive functioning extended beyond just CASI z-score, as well, Cukierman-Yaffe noted. Higher HbA1c levels were also tied to significantly poorer performance in other psychological tests, including the clock making test of executive functioning, test of discriminative ability, and for the test of verbal fluency.

Poorer glycemic control was tied to cognitive decline following a lacunar stroke in a prospective cohort study.

Among 942 individuals with type 2 diabetes who had a lacunar stroke, every 1% higher HbA1c was tied to a 0.06 drop in cognitive function at baseline measured by Cognitive Assessment Screening Instrument (CASI) z-score (95% CI -0.101 to -0.018), reported Tali Cukierman-Yaffe, MD, MSc, of Sheba Medical Center and the Sackler School of Medicine of Tel Aviv University in Israel.

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Study: Maintaining Weight Loss Tied To Healthier Eating Routines Formed Over Two-Year Period

From a New York Times online article (March 16, 2020):

New York Times How To Lose Weight and Keep It Off Study March 16 2020“Maintaining weight loss can get easier over time. Over time, less intentional effort, though not no effort, is needed to be successful. After about two years, healthy eating habits become part of the routine. Healthy choices become more automatic the longer people continue to make them. They feel weird when they don’t.”

Among the useful strategies identified in the new study is to keep lower calorie foods like fruits and vegetables more accessible. “We eat what we see,” Dr. Phelan noted. The corollary is equally important: keep high-calorie, less nourishing foods relatively inaccessible and out of sight if not out of the house entirely.

The new study led by Dr. Phelan, professor of kinesiology and public health at California Polytechnic State University, identified habits and strategies that can be keys to success for millions. Yes, like most sensible weight-loss plans, they involve healthful eating and regular physical activity. But they also include important self-monitoring practices and nonpunitive coping measures that can be the crucial to long-term weight management.

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Health Studies: “Spirulina” Improves Cardiovascular (CVD) Risk Factors, Aids In Weight Loss (BMJ)

From a BMJ Open Heart online study (March 8, 2020):

BMJ Open Heart JournalOverall, the evidence in the literature suggests that spirulina improves several well-established CVD risk factors including hyperlipidaemia and seems to provide benefits around weight loss. 

Although caloric restriction and exercise are the mainstay treatments for obesity, spirulina has shown significant benefits in aiding weight loss. The phycocyanin in spirulina contains a light-harvesting chromophore called phycocyanobilin, which is capable of inhibiting nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate hydrogen (NADPH) oxidase, a significant source of oxidative stress in adipocytes playing a key role in inducing insulin resistance and shifting adipokine and cytokine production in hypertrophied adipocytes. Thus, by suppressing adipocyte oxidative stress, spirulina may lead to systemic anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitising effects.

BMJ Open Heart Journal Study of Spirulina Health benefits March 2020

Spirulina is both a salt and fresh water blue-green algae, which is being increasingly studied recently. Spirulina was initially classified under the plant kingdom due to its rich plant pigments and its ability to photosynthesize, but was later placed into bacterial kingdom (cyanobacteria) due to its genetic, physiological and biochemical makeup. Spirulina grows naturally in high salt alkaline water reservoirs in subtropical and tropical areas of America, Mexico, Asia and Central Africa.

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Studies: “Ultra-Processed Foods” Are 58% Of All Calories In U.S., & Obesity Epidemic’s Major Cause

From a The Guardian online article (Feb 12, 2020):

What characterizes ultra-processed foods is that they are so altered that it can be hard to recognize the underlying ingredients. These are concoctions of concoctions, engineered from ingredients that are already highly refined, such as cheap vegetable oils, flours, whey proteins and sugars, which are then whipped up into something more appetizing with the help of industrial additives such as emulsifiers. 

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From a MedPage Today online article (March 7, 2020):

The top ultra-processed foods by calorie intake were breads, beverages, cakes, Ultra-Processed Diet and Unprocessed Diet Infographiccookies and pies, salty snacks, frozen and shelf-stable dishes, pizza, and breakfast cereals.

Altogether, ultra-processed foods accounted for 58% of all calories in the U.S. diet and nearly 90% of all added sugars.

They divided foods into four categories:

  • Unprocessed or minimally processed foods: Fresh, dry, or frozen fruits or vegetables, grains, legumes, meat, fish, and milk
  • Processed culinary ingredients: Table sugar, oils, fats, salt, and other substances extracted from foods or from nature and used in kitchens to make culinary preparations
  • Processed foods: Foods manufactured with the addition of salt, sugar, or other substances of culinary use to unprocessed or minimally-processed foods, such as canned food, simple breads, and cheese
  • Ultra-processed foods: Formulations of several ingredients that — besides salt, sugar, oils, and fats — include food substances not used in culinary preparations, in particular, flavors, colors, sweeteners, emulsifiers, and other additives used to imitate sensory qualities of unprocessed or minimally-processed foods and their culinary preparations or to disguise undesirable qualities of the final product

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Health Studies: “Habitual” Supplementation Of Fish Oil (Omega-3) Lowers “All Cause Mortality” (BMJ)

From a BMJ Research study (March 4, 2020):

The BMJ podcastHabitual fish oil supplementation is associated with a 13% lower risk of all cause mortality, a 16% lower risk of CVD mortality, and a 7% lower risk of CVD events among the general population

Fish oil is a rich source of long chain omega 3 fatty acids, a group of polyunsaturated fats that primarily include eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Initially, these compounds were recommended for daily omega 3 fatty acid supplementation for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Consequently, the use of fish oil supplements is widespread in the United Kingdom and other developed countries.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Cardiovascular Protection

Several mechanisms could explain the benefits for clinical outcome derived from fish oil supplementation. Firstly, the results of several studies have indicated that supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids has beneficial effects on blood pressure, plasma triglycerides, and heart rate, all of which would exert a protective effect against the development of CVD. Secondly, several trials have shown that omega 3 fatty acids can improve flow mediated arterial dilatation, which is a measure of endothelial function and health. Thirdly, omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to possess antiarrhythmic properties that could be clinically beneficial. Finally, studies have reported that fish oil can reduce thrombosis. Additionally, studies have reported that the anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil could have a preventive role in the pathophysiology of CVD outcomes. Other mechanisms could also be involved to explain the effect of fish oil on CVD outcomes.

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Diet Study: “Moderate Egg Consumption” Does Not Increase Cardiovascular Disease Risk (The BMJ)

From a BMJ Research online study (March 4, 2020):

BMJ Open Access logoWe found no association between egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in three large US cohorts. Results from the updated meta-analysis lend further support to the overall lack of an association between moderate egg consumption (up to one egg per day) and cardiovascular disease risk. 

One Large Egg Nutrition factsEggs are a major source of dietary cholesterol, but they are also an affordable source of high quality protein, iron, unsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids, and carotenoids.

Introduction: In the United States, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in men and women. Diet and lifestyle undisputedly play a major part in the development of cardiovascular disease. In the past, limiting dietary cholesterol intake to 300 mg per day was widely recommended to prevent cardiovascular disease. However, because of the weak association between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol, and considering that dietary cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern for overconsumption, the most recent 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans did not carry forward this recommendation.

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