Crohn’s Disease Patients Less Able to Absorb Vitamin D, New Study Shows

Crohn’s Disease Patients Less Able to Absorb Vitamin D, New Study Shows

Vitamin D deficiency is one well-known risk for patients with Crohn’s Disease (CD). A new study by a research team from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) has now demonstrated for the first time that a probable cause is a reduced ability to absorb vitamin D in quiescent CD patients. The study also demonstrated that performing a vitamin D bioavailability test on a patient is the only way to assess absorption efficiency. The findings have been made available on the website of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

The sources of vitamin D are sunlight (ultraviolet radiation) on the skin, which causes the vitamin to be synthesized by the body, and food. In parts of the world that receive comparatively less sunlight, the population has both lower levels of hydroxyvitamin D in their bodies, and a higher incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Beyond that, patients of all ages with IBD show a greater prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. Of IBD sufferers, it’s those with Crohn’s Disease who have the highest incidence of vitamin D deficiency.

The Boston University study looked at vitamin D absorption in 10 normal subjects (evenly divided between males and females), and 37 with quiescent CD (51% female). All received a vitamin D bioavailability test. A baseline blood sample was performed on all subjects, then a single oral capsule dose of 50,000 IU of vitamin D2 given. Twelve hours later blood was drawn to find serum D2 levels, which indicate ability to absorb the vitamin. The resulting figures showed that the Crohn’s Disease patients averaged 30% less absorption ability than the normal participants.

The findings show the importance of the oral vitamin D absorption test in evaluating a patient’s poor absorption of fat soluble vitamins. The study’s lead author, Francis Farraye, MD, MSc, professor of Medicine at BUSM, said, “We demonstrated that neither disease activity nor prior surgery or location of disease predicts the ability to absorb vitamin D.”

Senior author Michael Holick, PhD, MD, Professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at BUSM, concurred. “Since the ability to absorb vitamin D in CD patients is unpredictable, the only way to determine absorption efficiency is to perform a vitamin D bioavailability test. This test is convenient and its use may guide clinicians in administering the appropriate therapeutic dose of vitamin D for treating vitamin D deficiency in patients with CD,” he said.

The team has also performed a pilot study using the vitamin D absorption tests on four patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). Their initial findings showed a wide range in the UC sufferers’ ability to absorb vitamin D2, similar to that in 17 CD patients. This variability in the UC patients was surprising, as vitamin D absorption takes place in the small intestine rather than the colon.

If these pilot study figures are confirmed by other researchers, a vitamin D assay may be developed as a clinical test by reference laboratories. Dr. Farraye said, “Our data support the use of an oral vitamin D absorption test in CD patients, especially in those patients who could not correct in the vitamin D deficiency by either dietary or pharmacologic means.”

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Children Become Victim of Cigarette Makers Advertising

Teens Become a Victim of Cigarette Makers Advertising…

The Marlboro Man and other tobacco and smoking images can influence teenagers to start smoking, a recent study has shown..

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s statistics state that almost twenty-five percent of American high schoolers smoke. About a third of these will go on with the habit and die of smoking-related disease at an early age.

The recent study published in Pediatrics shows that tobacco ads can influence young people even when they don’t respond to other kinds of advertising.

There have been other studies of teen responses to cigarette ads. James Sargent of Dartmouth Medical School in Dartmouth, NH, who worked on the recent research with German colleagues, said that some earlier studies had been suspected of merely identifying teens who were inherently prone to follow any behavioral prompting, including all sorts of advertising.

In an e-mail, Dr. Sargent explained, “This study shows that it is the specific images from tobacco ads that predict smoking and not such a character trait.”

The study followed over 2,000 teenagers between 10 and 17 years old who, at the outset, had never smoked. Researchers initially surveyed them, showing them billboards for six cigarette brands and eight non-tobacco products, with no brand information showing. They were asked if they could identify the product brands, and how often they had seen each ad image in the past.

Over the course of the next nine months, approximately thirteen percent of the subjects began to use cigarettes. On average, those with survey scores in the top third of brand recognition and previous cigarette ad exposure were almost fifty percent more likely to start smoking than those with bottom-third scores.

This effect held true even when other risk factors were taken into account, as sex, age, family income, school grades, or smokers among the teen’s circle of friends and family.

Sargent attributed the susceptibility of young adolescents to advertising to their developmental stage, in which it’s important for them to establish independent identities. “They do this by ‘trying on’ things they see others doing, much like trying on clothes in a store. They try smoking, in part because of the way they view other smokers and also in part because of what they think smoking might do for them,” he stated. “For example, a young male might adopt smoking to appear more manly — like the Marlboro man.”

The direct or indirect messages in tobacco ads can convey associations between smoking and independence, sexual attractiveness, or (when aimed at girls) thinness. Cigarette advertising has been made illegal on American TV, radio, and billboards, and are less often seen in magazines. However, both the nations represented by the authors of this study – Germany and the U.S. – are more tolerant of tobacco ads than nations like New Zealand and Italy which have banned them completely.

The study team say that keeping teenagers from smoking means that they’re less likely to take up the habit later on. But, as the CDC numbers show, of those who do start as teens, about 30 percent will keep it up and be at high risk of early death as a result.

Dr. Sargent summed up, “In this way, smoking causes more death than alcohol, obesity and illicit drug use combined.”

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Lap Band Hypnotherapy Has Same Weight Loss Effects As Lap Band Surgery – Only Better

Lap Band Hypnotherapy shows an 80% effectiveness rate in the UK, better than the 70% rate from actual Lap Band surgery.

The group of weight loss surgical techniques known as bariatric surgery reduce patients’ weight through the implantation of medical devices in the stomach. Results are often quite dramatic.

Qualified hypnotherapists are able to provide all the beneficial results of these surgical procedures solely with the use of visualization and hypnotic suggestion. The patient loses weight exactly as if the surgery had been performed.

If you opt for Virtual Lap Band Hypnotherapy, the first session will leave you feeling as if you have had the actual surgery – without the anxiety, pain, or the inevitable risks that any surgery entails!

And the results? The Virtual Lap Band Hypnotherapy will leave you able to eat smaller meals comfortably, with smaller helpings, while the bigger meals you used to eat will cause discomfort. In other words, you will experience the same “post-op” results as a patient who has the surgical procedure. What’s more, you’ll be aware of  the subconscious message that lets you know when you’ve eaten enough, and if you fail to stop eating you may experience physical discomfort, even a sensation of nausea. People who repeatedly disregard the “full” sensation sometimes actually do get sick to their stomachs. Hypnotherapy makes use of its ability to use the unconscious mind’s power over physical reactions and sensations.

Virtual Lap Band Hypnotherapy is a pain-free, relaxing experience, yet at the same time it’s very realistic and convincing. You’ll retain the memories of the virtual operation—and this consciousness of reduced stomach size will revolutionize your eating patterns.

In fact, studies comparing the virtual Lap Band procedures with the real thing show that the hypnotherapy is more successful. It simulates the surgical technique, which works by fitting an implanted band around a portion of the stomach to restrict the amount of food it can accommodate. This is accomplished without any actual invasion of the body, without risk of medical complications, without the necessity for drugs or anesthesia, and at much lower cost.

Follow-up visits should be regularly scheduled to insure good continuing results. In these hynotherapeutic sessions, the virtual band can be adjusted to control the rate of weight loss, and the hypnotic suggestions will be strengthened and refined to best help the individual. Additional therapeutic support will help the patient handle the psychological and emotional issues that are associated with their weight and the experience of losing a great deal of it, which are very common sequels to the conventional operations.

This hypnotherapy technique, which is also called Virtual Gastric Band in Europe, is well known in Britain, where it came into more common use because many British patients weren’t able to qualify for the actual surgical operation. Now that it is being accepted in the US, it’s understandably of great interest to patients wanting to lose significant weight, but not comfortable with the prospect of invasive procedures.

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Book Review of Master Your Sleep by Tracey I. Marks, M.D.

Without adequate sleep, we can’t function properly, think correctly, or live very long. Sleep is essential to every human process from healing our body as 80% of our immune system is active when we sleep to being able to complete a simple task like reading a book.

However, about a third of Americans have dealt with or are dealing with getting adequate amounts of sleep to live optimally.

If you ever dealt with sleep problems, you know it can be a miserable experience tossing, turning and wishing you could shut your eyes and drift off into peaceful dreams. The frustration can build to a point where you feel hopeless and start getting used to living sleep deprived.

The good news is that this expertly written book will give you all the options to conquer the sleep demon and get the rest you deserve. Now, a book being written by a Psychiatrist you would automatically assume she would be pushing drugs from our “friendly” folks at the pharmaceutical industry. However, Dr. Marks gives a brilliant job of covering not only the prescription options but the entire spectrum of natural therapies.

The book covers the basics of sleep, the stages of it, and why a certain amount is critical to emotional and physical well being. Dr. Marks covers the lifestyle, nutrition and mind/body approaches to winning the battle over the sleep stealing demon.

The core of this book covers the various ways to solving sleep problems. Being trained by conventional medicine Dr. Marks covers the prescription options that are available to the public. While there are some people who “sleeping pills” might be the good choice, after reading this book with the amount of natural alternatives it is probably the last approach you may want to take.

Dr. Marks initially recommends observing your sleep patterns and habits and gives some simple, effective tips, techniques and recommendations, which should help build positive sleep. She also discusses different natural mind/body therapies for sleeping including guided imagery to relaxation therapy.

Master Your Sleep gets right to the nitty gritty without added fluff, its well written and simple to read. The book summarizes the tips and techniques for sleep success with lots of examples to help fully understand the concepts. For anyone battling from sleep problems, this is the first place to start. It has many self administered sleep techniques and when you should consult a professional if it comes to that.

Sleep is vital to living a productive and happy life. If you are experiencing problems because of poor sleep, I would highly recommend you start exploring solutions with this book.

Dissecting the Adverse Effects of Surgical Procedures

By: Holly Haden

People have been increasingly reliant on modern medicine. Medical interventions have been able to help prolong lives, especially with the help of modern surgical procedures. It is amazing to know that modern surgical procedures are able to do incredible things to save a person’s life.

One example of this is the bariatric surgery. It has become the more popular option, especially to those who have become morbidly obese. Though this procedure is considered to be highly effective in losing weight, the adverse effects of this procedure cannot be denied.

Nausea and vomiting are the most common adverse effects of bariatric surgery. But the more serious adverse effect would be the development of infection from the wound acquired from the surgery, resulting to leaks from the stomach into the abdominal cavity. Cases like this require the patient to undergo another operation.

Another great example would be the hemorrhoidectomy. It is a surgical procedure that is done to remove hemorrhoids. In other procedures, a circular stapling device is used to remove hemorrhoidal tissue and close the wound. However, this procedure does not require incision. What it does it that, it only lifts the hemorrhoid. After which, it is then placed back (or “stapled”) in the anal canal.

The adverse effect in this procedure is that, 5% of the time, hemorrhoids come back after the surgery. It also leaves you the inability to control the bowel movement and even the bladder. Not only that, it leaves you at risk for infection of the surgical area because some of the stool may be trapped in the anal area.

Removal of gallstones is another example of surgical procedures that can also pose some risk factors to one’s health. One risk factor would be infection on the incision or internal bleeding. Injury to the small intestines may also be experienced by one of the instruments used during the surgery.

All these and other medical surgical procedures provide post-operation risks and other complications. Studies show that the success of these surgical procedures like the aforementioned depends on the ability of the patient to make changes in his lifestyle.

But these conditions can be avoided. Say, hemorrhoids, for example. Hemorrhoids can be avoided from occurring or from coming back if you will be able to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. For one, you have to avoid the common causes of hemorrhoids such as eating too much processed food, prolonged sitting or standing.

The same goes with other ailments as well. Taking care of your body from the inside and out will keep you from getting morbidly obese or from suffering from chronic diseases.

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How To Overcome And Stop Emotional Eating

How to Control Emotional Eating

Nothing is more likely to throw a monkey wrench into a diet or weight loss program than emotional eating — the powerful urge to turn to food for comfort. You may be dealing with a difficult life situation, you may be generally stressed, you may be looking for a way to stay occupied and calm your mind, and food may seem like a refuge.

The problems with emotional eating are two fold: you tend to eat too much, and you tend to crave sweet, high-fat foods. What’s the solution? There’s plenty you can do to beat the comfort-food trap and regain control of your weight-loss program.

The Way You Feel, the Way You Eat

Eating becomes “emotional eating” when you consume food to counteract  uncomfortable feelings. Those feelings can span the whole spectrum from being flat bored to nagging financial worries, to grieving over a serious personal loss. If you’re trying to lose or control your weight, life can hand you many triggering situations that make it seem almost impossible to stay away from the calorie-heavy foods that temporarily offer solace. Those situations can include:

-Fatigue and boredom

-Stress at work

-Dealing with bad weather

-Family and relationship difficulties

-Money problems

-Job loss

-Health issues

Emotional stress makes some people want food less. But if you’re more likely to respond with food cravings, you may well find yourself getting into a pattern of impulsive bingeing, where you hastily eat whatever is around, sometimes hardly tasting it. The connection between negative feelings and eating can become so automatic that you may find yourself eating without really realizing you’re doing it.

The distracting quality of eating can also lead to bad habit patterns. While we’re eating, we don’t have to deal with anything else – so we turn to food again and again to avoid facing our problems.

Emotional eating can trap the aspiring weight-loser on a circular loop: guilt over “falling off the diet wagon”, eating more to assuage the guilt, then more guilt.

How to take control and get back on your program successfully.

Get a grip on emotional eating by following these tips to help you lose weight in a healthy manner:

-Stress management. If it’s stress that gets you opening the refrigerator, get serious about something like       meditation, relaxation techniques, or yoga.

-Ask yourself: am I actually hungry? If your last food was only a few hours ago and your stomach isn’t rumbling, the answer is probably no. Don’t head for the kitchen, but let the craving sensation pass. It will.

-Keep track of what you eat with a food diary. Record what, when, and how much you eat, and also what your emotional state is and how hungry you feel. You may see links between feelings and cravings becoming clear.

-Support is important. Family, friends, a support group, can all give you the backing you need in dealing with your problems.

-Be interested! Boredom can be as much of a trigger as stress, so don’t counteract it with snacks. Instead, do something that engages your mind – go online, call a friend, read – or your body – take a walk, exercise, pull out your bike – or both.

-Keep those diet-busting comfort foods out of your house if you can. And don’t shop for groceries when you’re feeling sad or mad; wait until you’re calmer.

-Don’t go in for severe self-deprivation. The ultra-strict approach to losing weight, which may include too few calories per day, a very limited range of foods, and no treats at all, is counterproductive for emotional eaters since it can increase cravings, and potentially unhealthy to boot. You need variety in your diet to counter the cravings, and a treat every once in a while is helpful, too.

-If you snack between meals, do it the healthy way. Unbuttered popcorn, veggies with a no-fat dip or dressing, fresh fruits. You can also experiment with lower-cal, lower-fat equivalents of some of your favorite comfort snacks.

-Sleep is important. Physical tiredness often triggers unnecessary eating as the body signals it needs an energy boost. Try napping instead of eating, or re-think the amount of sleep you’re getting.

-Consider therapy. You may try many self-help methods but still feel like you’re at the mercy of your emotional eating. A professional therapist can guide you toward understanding why you eat the way you do, and teach new behavioral management skills. Therapy can also reveal eating disorders, which sometimes are linked to emotional eating. Don’t punish yourself if you’ve had an emotional eating episode. You’ll stay off the guilt/eating treadmill by being forgiving with yourself. Tomorrow is a new day, so start fresh: think calmly about the episode, learn from it, and plan out a way to prevent a similar one in the future. Be clear in your own mind about the vital changes you’re making in your relationship with food, and give yourself a pat on the back about the good things you’re doing for your future life and health.

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It’s Never To Late Too Lose Weight

Australian Research Studies Perceptions of Obese Persons

People who are very obese are less likely to believe they’ll be able to lose their weight than those who are mildly to moderately obese. That’s the finding of a study of over 100 obese Australians this year, the first of this kind conducted in that country. The interview-based research sought to understand how clinically overweight persons perceived their relationship to their weight and possibility of weight loss. It was led by Monash University and paid for by an Australian Research Council grant.

The participants whose Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more – that is, severely obese – felt that they and their bodies were at war, and held themselves responsible for their condition, according to the the study’s co-author, Dr. Samantha Thomas, Head of Monash University’s Consumer Health Resource Group.

“Severely obese individuals felt an urgent and desperate need to lose weight, but felt completely powerless to do so,” said Dr. Thomas. “Most felt worried and scared about the potential health consequences of their weight. Most felt blamed and ashamed by public health and education campaigns about obesity, which did little to actually help them address their weight.”

The results were different for those who were categorized as mildly to moderately obese. Dr. Thomas said that they realized their weight was significantly above normal, but didn’t feel it necessary to reduce for health or reasons of emotional well-being.

According to Dr. Thomas, “Those individuals with a BMI between 30 and 40 believed they could lose weight if they needed to, but did not feel this was an urgent health priority as most felt physically healthy. “Most of the study participants in this category deliberately sought to distance themselves from public health messages about obesity and the word obesity because of the social stigma attached to the condition. They also stigmatized those who were bigger than themselves.”

Public health messages and healthy weight loss aren’t  reaching the people who most need to be reached, concluded Dr. Thomas. “The campaigns don’t seem to be having much of an effect. Those in the mild-moderately obese category said their weight creates feelings of social isolation or discrimination, yet don’t fully understand the health risks associated with the extra kilos.”

“In contrast, people with a significant weight issue realised they were at an extremely high risk of disease but didn’t feel they could change. Further confirmation that the stigma and social stereotyping associated with obesity — including from government campaigns — is vastly impacting on individuals’ beliefs and behaviours.

“Society’s attitudes need to change, governments need to refocus health messages and we need to accept obesity as a serious health issue that addresses a person’s well-being not just the added weight.”

Eighteen percent of Australian adults are estimated to be clinically obese, with a BMI of 30 or more. Two percent of these fall into the severe (BMI of 40 or more) category. This is a small percentage of the obesity total, but studies, both in Australia and in other countries, are showing that severe obesity is increasing twice as fast as obesity generally.

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You Can Loss Weight After Pregnancy And Here’s How

Diet Plus Exercise Advised for Healthy Weight Loss After Pregnancy.

A recent review of several trials indicates that women who want to return to pre-pregnancy weight after giving birth do better with a combination of exercise and dieting than with either alone.

Weight gain is natural and healthy during pregnancy, and many women find that the extra poundage drops off gradually after childbirth. However, a significant number of women retain much of the new weight, a possible contributor to obesity rates in females. Many different programs and regimes are promoted in the media for women anxious to lose weight and regain their pre-pregnancy figures.

The Cochrane Systematic Review considered results from weight loss six trials, in which a total of 245 women took part. The participants in exercise-only trials did not have better weight loss results than women who had standard post-childbirth care. But weight loss was improved in those women who were in trials that combined exercise and diet control.

A gradual return to pre-pregnancy body weight is important to overall health. Women who have gone back to their pre-pregnant weight within six months after childbirth are less likely to be overweight ten years later. According to Amanda Amorim, an epidemiologist working in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the advantages of a diet-plus-exercise program are multiple. “As well as helping weight loss, exercise has the added advantage of improving the women’s cardiovascular fitness and preserves fat-free mass … [whereas] dieting alone reduces fat-free mass.”

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Your Body Doesn’t Want You To Lose Weight But Here Is How You Can

Research Shows Human Body Resists Weight Loss

The human body is inherently resistant to losing weight. That’s the finding of research presented to an international obesity convention by Dr. Neil King of Queensland (Australia) University of Technology and the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI).

Dr. King’s two weight loss studies followed induced energy deficits in two groups of overweight subjects. They clearly showed the “plateau effect”, the phenomenon of weight loss stalling after an initial period of dropping pounds. “The ‘plateau effect’ has been known about for some time and weight management consultants recommend longer exercise times, higher intensity or cross training to combat it,” he said. “But these studies show that a plateau in body weight occurs even in the face of a continued negative energy balance.”

The first study group of 30 obese persons of both sexes participated in an exercise-only weight loss program with five controlled, laboratory-based exercise sessions per week. The second group was of men only using a commercial program that combined diet counseling and exercise. Dr. King explained, “In the first study, the subjects’ energy deficit was caused by exercise only which was fixed and imposed, in contrast to the second study where subjects used diet and exercise to lose weight but chose how much they did of each.”

The first group’s weight loss during the first 8 weeks was an average of 3 kg, then it “plateaued”, with much smaller rate of loss at .7 kg during the following 4 weeks. The second, less controlled group experienced a varied rate of weight loss but it too hit a plateau.

Dr. King noted, “There appears to be little at this stage to predict the onset, duration and frequency of the plateau. My research now aims to identify and characterise mechanisms responsible for our inbuilt weight loss resistance.” He said that ancestral human energy balance mechanisms evolved to deal with periods of shortage and famine,”not the current obesogenic environment which enforces inactivity and a plentiful food supply.”

His research results were presented in 2006, to the Physical Activity and Obesity Satellite Conference of the International Congress on Obesity (ICO2006) in Brisbane and at the International Conference on Obesity in Sydney.

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Vitamin Supplements are Saving Kids From Measles and Diarrhea

Child Deaths from Measles and Diarrhea Reduced by Vitamin Supplements

Refuting recent controversies about vitamin A supplement programs for children in developing countries, a new study by researchers at Cochrane finds that vitamin A supplements clearly lower the death toll from childhood measles and diarrhea

Diets deficient in vitamin A are common in many countries with low and middle-range per capital income levels. The effects of deficiency can include various impairments of physical function and increased vulnerability to blindness, infections, and early death. The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes the use of A supplementation and children.

The Cochrane study reviewed 43 trials with a total of 215,633 children aged between six months and five years. With the exception of one trial, all those reviewed administered the WHO-recommended standard dose capsules. The overall result was a reduction in the risk of death from any cause of 24% for the vitamin recipients when compared to either placebos or normal medical treatment without vitamin A. Expanded to a global scale, this amounts to saving almost a million vitamin A-deficient children’s lives in a year.

This review indicates that vitamin A supplement programs in developing countries may owe much of their live-saving effect to lowering the rates of diarrhea and measles. “Giving vitamin A is associated with a reduction in the incidence of diarrhea and measles, as well as the number of child deaths due to these diseases,” said Zulfiqar Bhutta, Chairman of the Division of Women and Child Health at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan, who was senior reviewer on the Cochrane project. “However, the effects of supplementation on disease pathways are not well understood, so this could be a focus for further studies.”

A strong recommendation for continuing vitamin A supplement programs for children up to 5 years of age was issued by the Cochrane researchers. They acknowledge that such programs are not a permanent or complete solution to the vitamin A-poor diets in many countries. “Fortification, dietary diversification, food distribution programs and horticultural developments such as home gardening and bio-fortification may provide more permanent relief,” Dr. Bhutta said. “For example, vitamin A content could be increased in staples such as rice or growers may aim to promote use of  foods such as orange sweet potato.”

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