Is it true there may be a new method that may help pinpoint a woman's final menstrual period?
Yes indeed! A new formula to predict a woman's final menstrual period could help menopausal women fight bone loss and reduce their heart disease risk, a new study reports conducted by UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. Read More..
LET'S GET SOCIAL!
Low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk of complications in mothers-to-be and low birth weight in their newborns, a new study finds.
The research shows an association but doesn't prove that insufficient vitamin D causes complications. Still, taking vitamin D supplements may help reduce these risks, the researchers noted.
Researchers examined data from 31 studies published between 1980 and 2012. The studies had between 95 and 1,100 participants.
The analysis revealed that pregnant women with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to develop gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) and preeclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in the urine). They were also more likely to have a low birth weight baby.
The findings, published online March 26 in the BMJ, are "concerning" given recent evidence that low levels of vitamin D are common during pregnancy, particularly among vegetarians, women with limited sun exposure and those with darker skin, the researchers said.
The body makes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Other sources include supplements and certain types of foods, such as fish. Milk is usually fortified with vitamin D.
While the study identified a significant association between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk for pregnancy complications, further research is need to determine whether programs to boost vitamin D levels in pregnant women would reduce those risks, the researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada wrote.
The findings support a goal of ensuring that all pregnant women have adequate levels of vitamin D, according to an accompanying editorial by Robyn Lucas, of the National Center for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University in Canberra.
She said that vitamin D "supplements, diet and sunlight exposure" are all measures that "should be used together, with care." Large, well-controlled studies are still needed to clarify the association between too little vitamin D in pregnancy and birth complications, she said in a journal news release.
Grapefruit is one of nature's healthier foods—but not if you take any one of a growing number of drugs that interact with it, says David Bailey, Ph.D., a clinical pharmacologist at the Lawson Health Research Institute in Canada. His new report shows there are now 85 known medications to watch out for, including common ones like the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft) and the cholesterol med simvastatin (Zocor).
“Grapefruit, as well as Seville oranges and pomelos, contains chemicals that interfere with your ability to break down these drugs before they hit your bloodstream, so you could end up with a much higher dose than prescribed,” warns Bailey.
Click here to see the list; if your meds are on it, stick to water or other fruit juices. If you're still unsure, talk to your doctor.
Source: Shape Magazine April 2013
This year's spring allergy season is nothing to sniff at: The season may be longer and stronger, allergists say.
Blooming trees have been releasing pollen into the air, triggering allergic reactions in some people. The start of tree pollination varies across the country.
Increased mean temperatures from climate change affect tree pollination, says Richard Weber, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. "We are seeing trees not only pollinate earlier but also produce more pollen," he says.
Some people who are sensitive to tree pollen also may feel the effects of grass pollen as spring gives way to summer. They may get a break before ragweed pollen hits in the fall.
Many people with spring and summer allergies may not get relief until July, when it gets very hot and pollen counts go down, says William Berger, an adviser for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
A study in the September issue of the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology echoed the impact of climate change on allergies. The study linked increased pollen concentrations and lengthened allergy seasons to warmer temperatures.
Tips for people with allergies
-- Watch the pollen count. If pollen counts are high, you may want to avoid outdoor activities during early morning hours. (You can find pollen levels on allergy relief and weather sites such as AccuWeather.com and the National Allergy Bureau.)
-- When driving, keep your car windows closed.
-- When you're home, keep your bedroom windows closed.
-- Clean your air-conditioning filters regularly.
-- If you've been outdoors, take a shower and wash your hair to get rid of any pollen.
Source: USA Today