Dr. Bray Links

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Common Household Chemicals Tied to Language Delays in Kids

Early prenatal exposure to phthalates — the synthetic chemicals commonly found in household items and personal care products — has been tied to language delays in children, new research shows.

In the first study of its kind, the collaboration between investigators from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, and Karlstad University, Sweden, showed that the risk for language delay was as much as 30% greater in children whose mothers were exposed to twice the levels of dibutyl phthalate and butyl benzyl phthalate, two chemicals commonly found in such everyday items as cosmetics, plastic toys, and food.

"The bottom line here is that the phthalates that a mother is exposed to in early pregnancy can affect the development of the brain in her children, particularly in this area of language development," principal investigator Shanna Swan, PhD, professor of environmental and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told Medscape Medical News.

"Unfortunately, these results point to different phthalates than we've found to be bad actors in the past. We've previously observed negative associations with di-ethylhexyl phthalate, which is more commonly found in food. Now we have more phthalates to worry about," said Swan.

The study was published online October 29 in JAMA Pediatrics.


https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/904083

Common Household Chemicals Tied to Language Delays in Kids

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Plant-Based Diet to Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk: Is It All or Nothing?

A Plant-Based Dietary Index

We embedded these analyses in the Rotterdam study, a large population-based cohort in the Netherlands, where almost 15,000 people were followed over time. We measured their diets at baseline.

For each participant, we scored how much they consumed of plant-based foods—such as vegetables, nuts, and legumes—and of animal-based foods, such as meat, dairy, eggs, and fish. We computed an overall score, with higher scores reflecting more plant-based and less animal-based foods.

When we analyzed this plant-based diet score in relation to incident diabetes and insulin resistance—controlling for body mass index, physical activity, smoking, and several other factors—we consistently found that higher scores on the plant-based dietary index were related to lower diabetes risk and lower levels of insulin resistance in the general population.

Overall, these findings strengthen current dietary recommendations that support the adoption of a more plant-based diet for lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/903699

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Vitamin C cocktail for sepsis: randomized trials to test efficacy - PulmCCM

Since Marik et al announced exceptional survival rates among patients with septic shock given a cocktail of vitamin C, thiamine, and hydrocortisone, physicians taking care of septic patients have expressed both enthusiasm and skepticism about the cocktail's reported lifesaving effects.

Soon, more rigorous testing from randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trials should provide harder data about the sepsis cocktail's efficacy.

Jonathan Sevransky, MD of Emory University announced plans for a clinical trial enrolling between 500 and 2,000 patients at multiple centers over about 18 months, completing by the end of 2019. Patients with septic shock would get either the cocktail, or placebo. Mortality will be tested, as well as days free of vasopressors or a ventilator. The study will be funded by a private foundation.

Michael Donnino, MD of Harvard's Beth Israel plans to enroll 200 patients at multiple centers, also testing the cocktail vs. placebo in patients with septic shock. Organ failure, mortality, and other outcomes will be compared. Major funding will come from the Open Philanthropy Project. The study should be completed in the autumn of 2019.


https://pulmccm.org/infectious-disease-sepsis-review/vitamin-c-cocktail-for-sepsis-randomized-trials-to-test-efficacy/

Saturday, October 13, 2018

High-Quality Diet Linked to Better Outcomes in Bipolar Disorder

A high-quality diet was one that included an abundance of fruits and vegetables, whereas poorer-quality diets included more saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol.

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/903342

Sunday, October 7, 2018

FDA Bans Use of 7 Synthetic Food Additives

Ever heard of these food additives? Synthetically-derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, methyl eugenol, myrcene, pulegone, or pyridine?

These compounds can help mimic natural flavors and are used to infuse foods with mint, cinnamon and other flavors.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/10/06/655135633/fda-bans-use-of-7-synthetic-food-additives-after-environmental-groups-sue

Friday, October 5, 2018

Patient Advocacy Groups Take In Millions From Drugmakers. Is There A Payback? | Kaiser Health News

It spotlights donations pharma companies made to patient groups large and small. The recipients include well-known disease groups, like the American Diabetes Association, with revenues of hundreds of millions of dollars; high-profile foundations like Susan G. Komen, a patient group focused on breast cancer; and smaller, lesser-known groups, like the Caring Ambassadors Program, which focuses on lung cancer and hepatitis C.

The data show that 15 patient groups — with annual revenues as large as $3.6 million — relied on the pharmaceutical companies for at least 20 percent of their revenue, and some relied on them for more than half of their revenue. The database explores only a slice of the pharmaceutical industry's giving overall and will be expanded with more companies and groups over time.

https://khn.org/news/patient-advocacy-groups-take-in-millions-from-drugmakers-is-there-a-payback/

US woman develops salmonella in breast implant after trip to Cancun | Fox News

An American woman who traveled to Mexico five months after undergoing breast augmentation surgery had to have one of the implants removed because she developed salmonella in her right breast. The 34-year-old patient, who was not named in the JPRAS Open case report, was otherwise healthy before vacationing in Cancun and is believed to be the first documented case of breast implant infection following a case of traveler's diarrhea. 

https://www.foxnews.com/health/us-woman-develops-salmonella-in-breast-implant-after-trip-to-cancun

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Is Kombucha Actually Good For You? - Eater

Perhaps the only kombucha study that meets today's scientific standards came out in the September 2000 issue of Nutrition. A team of researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks department of psychology gave kombucha to a group of lab mice. Male mice that drank kombucha lived 5 percent longer than males that didn't drink kombucha; for females, kombucha extended life by 2 percent. Kombucha also inhibited weight gain, even though kombucha-drinking mice ate and drank more than those that didn't drink it. The authors speculated that this could be due to the free xanthines — naturally occurring chemical compounds with the same base as caffeine — in the kombucha stimulating the metabolism. The tea leaves are likely the source of the xanthines, as xanthines are found in green, black, and oolong tea. These results were in line with anecdotal health claims, but that's not all the study found. The mice that were treated with kombucha also developed smaller brains and larger livers and spleens, which are all associated with poor health in humans. 

https://www.eater.com/2018/5/23/17208400/kombucha-health-benefits-studies-history

Kombucha Isn't Making You Any Healthier - Tonic

But if it's a probiotic boost you're seeking, Hallen-Adams recommends yogurt or kefir instead—it boasts more good bugs, has been more solidly linked to health benefits (including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels, and obesity) and fewer risks. As Murad points out, it delivers other nutrients like protein, calcium, and vitamin D.

Besides, you don't necessarily need to ingest more bacteria, even the beneficial types. "You have good seeds, you just need to take care of them. You don't need to keep planting in poor conditions," Li says. In other words, you're better off nurturing the flora already growing in your gut with high-quality soil and fertilizer, aka a healthy diet full of vegetables, fruits, and bacteria-feeding fiber. "If you really want to grow the garden with rich variety, take good care of it by eating right." 

https://tonic.vice.com/en_us/article/7xx9bz/kombucha-isnt-making-you-any-healthier