Folic Acid :: Folic acid linked to increased cancer rate

Two recent commentaries appearing in the November issue of Nutrition Reviews find that the introduction of flour fortified with folic acid into common foods was followed by an increase in colon cancer diagnoses in the U.S. and Canada. The two new review articles address these recent findings and provide an overview of the existing evidence on folic acid fortification and the associated policy issues.

Anal Fissure :: A case of anal fissure – prescribing on the seat not the site

An anal fissure is a cut or tear occurring in the anus (the opening through which stool passes out of the body) that extends upwards into the anal canal. Patients may try to avoid defecation because of the pain. The pain may also affect urination causing dysuria, frequent urination, or the inability to urinate. Bleeding in small amounts, itching (pruritus ani), and a malodorous discharge may occur due to the discharge of pus from the fissure.

Diet :: Severely restricted diet linked to physical fitness into old age

Severely restricting calories leads to a longer life, scientists have proved. New research now has shown for the first time that such a diet also can maintain physical fitness into advanced age, slowing the seemingly inevitable progression to physical disability and loss of independence.

Psychology :: Child health psychologists need to promote adult disease prevention

Many of the lifestyle habits that children and adolescents develop – eating a diet high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables, being physically inactive or sedentary, and experimenting with tobacco and alcohol use – can have a major impact on their health later in life. Given that, psychologists with expertise in children’s health and behavior should be taking more of a lead role in helping young people develop good lifestyle habits early on and preventing these problems from occurring, says a researcher from Georgetown University Medical Center.

Genome :: Consortium Publishes Phase II Map of Human Genetic Variation

The International HapMap Consortium today published analyses of its second-generation map of human genetic variation, which contains three times more markers than the initial version unveiled in 2005. In two papers in the journal Nature, the consortium describes how the higher resolution map offers greater power to detect genetic variants involved in common diseases, explore the structure of human genetic variation and learn how environmental factors, such as infectious agents, have shaped the human genome.

Garlic :: Garlic good for heart, relaxes arteries

Eating garlic is one of the best ways to lower high blood pressure and protect yourself from cardiovascular disease. A new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) shows this protective effect is closely linked to how much hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is produced from garlic compounds interacting with red blood cells.

Chocolate :: People are programmed to love chocolate – chocolate lover

For the first time, scientists have linked the all-too-human preference for a food — chocolate — to a specific, chemical signature that may be programmed into the metabolic system and is detectable by laboratory tests. The signature reads ‘chocolate lover’ in some people and indifference to the popular sweet in others, the researchers say.

Health :: New insight into childhood metabolic disease

Glutaric acidemia type I (GA-I) is an inherited disorder similar to Huntington disease. Individuals with GA-I are unable to breakdown completely the amino acids lysine and tryptophan and the intermediates of lysine and tryptophan breakdown accumulate in the brain. In most, but not all, affected children, a period of normal development is followed by an irreversible brain injury triggered by a nonspecific illness.

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