Clinical Research

Cardiac arrest, essentially a heart attack, appears on a lot of coroner reports but it frequently misclassified and exaggerated. A new analysis finds that 40 percent of deaths attributed to cardiac arrest are not sudden or unexpected, and nearly half of the remainder are not arrhythmic--the only situation in which CPR and defibrillators are effective. Which means they should not be considered cardiac arrest. An alarming 13.5 percent were instead overdoses.

Pigs are a main livestock species for food production worldwide and is also widely used as an animal model in biomedical research. Today we know that the many types of bacteria that inhabit the gut are important for health and disease. Knowledge of the genes of these bacteria and their function therefore constitutes the first step towards a more comprehensive understanding of how bacteria in the gut affect health and disease.

An international consortium of researchers from INRA (France), University of Copenhagen and SEGES (Denmark), BGI-Shenzhen (China) and NIFES (Norway) has now established the first catalog of bacterial genes in the gut of pigs. This achievement is published in the latest issue of Nature Microbiology.

Evidence-based medicine is a sensitive topic for naturopaths. They love to claim that naturopathic medicine is safe and effective.

A research team has unearthed more evidence that casts doubt on the traditional "heart healthy" practice of replacing butter and other saturated fats with corn oil and other vegetable oils high in linoleic acid - in unpublished raw data whose co-principal investigator was Dr. Ancel Keys, the lead warrior in the fight to get saturated fat a warning label and who brought the Mediterranean Diet into the nutritional lexicon.

A running meme throughout most of my life - and I came of age in the late 1960s and '70s, when pot was all the rage - is that people get stoned, then they get hungry. Any number of media portrayals showed it, and still do now. No surprise, marijuana is the most commonly used non-legal drug in America, so references to it resonate with a lot of people. And the munchies after smoking it do as well.

Inference: You should probably get fat if you continue to smoke marijuana into old age.
Though it was once common to claim that red meat caused heart disease, those turned out to be flawed epidemiological conclusions based on observational studies and things like food diaries. 

A new study finds red meat metabolite levels high in acute heart failure patients, and seeks to re-establish the link between red meat and heart disease using biological markers. Patients with acute heart failure often have high levels of the metabolite trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and red meat is a dietary source. Red meat is a source of L-carnitine which is broken down by gut bacteria to form TMAO. Some papers have linked TMAO with mortality risk in chronic heart failure but no association in acute heart failure has been established.

Early in the New Year is the traditional time for setting ambitious goals for better health, fitness and, often, a slimmer body. This resolve commonly reflects guilt stemming from the dissipation of the preceding festive season – and it often starts with a detox.

It’s unclear where the idea of an in-depth body cleanse or “the detox cure” comes from, but it’s worth noting that many traditional and complementary medicine practices describe cleansing and detoxification as a way to avoid illness, or engender wellness.

Contrary to current clinical belief, regular caffeine consumption does not lead to extra heartbeats that have been linked to heart-or stroke-related morbidity and mortality.

The study, which measured the chronic consumption of caffeinated products over a 12-month period, rather than acute consumption, appears in the January 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association. The authors say it is the largest to date to have evaluated dietary patterns in relation to extra heartbeats.

There is good news in the annual data report from the United States Renal Data System, coordinating center based at the University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center, in partnership with Arbor Research Collaborative for Health. 

A team of academic cancer specialists has a way to lower drug discovery costs without politicians killing off one of the few remaining non-service industries in America: do less research.

Currently, early cancer drug studies involve extra biopsies solely for the purpose of trying to understand the pharmacodynamics -- what the drug does to the tumor -- they are often mandatory in government-sponsored phase 1 clinical trials because the belief is that computer and cellular models won't be accurate enough. This obviously increases the time and costs of development and a team says that this costly process has had no impact on subsequent drug development or how physicians use these new drugs to treat future patients.