Clinical Research

It's hard to find an article on food or metabolism that doesn't imply it has implications for predicting cardiovascular disease (CVD) or diabetes.
Because higher glucose levels have been associated with higher CVD incidence, it has been proposed that information on blood sugar control might improve doctors' ability to predict who will develop CVD, according to background information in the article.

But an analysis of nearly 300,000 adults without a known history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease showed adding information about glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), a measure of longer-term blood sugar control, to conventional CVD risk factors like smoking and cholesterol didn't do much to predict CVD risk.

Researchers have noticed a link between Vitamin D and ASD for years. A new study explains how a lack of the vitamin could lead to problems in fetal and neonatal brain development, creating the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.
Rhonda Patrick and Bruce Ames of Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute showed that vitamin D is essential for the synthesis of serotonin in the brain. They also show that it may be important for the making the precursor to oxytocin, as well as for the formation of the oxytocin receptor and vasopressin receptors. All three of these chemicals, which are both neurotransmitters and hormones that regulate body functions, are crucial for social behavior.

An international collaboration recently analyzed existing cohort studies and randomized trials on coronary risk and fatty acid intake and drew a conclusion that will surprise you if you only get your science and health news from mainstream newspapers or television -  the evidence to support restricting the consumption of saturated fats in order to prevent heart disease isn't there.

And consumption of polyunsaturated fats is probably not a bad idea but there is insufficient evidence for guidelines which advocate the high consumption of polyunsaturated fats (such as omega 3 and omega 6) to reduce the risk of coronary disease. 

Congenital heart disease is the most common form of birth defect, affecting one out of every 125 babies, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers from the University of Missouri recently found success using chemical compound 
to treat laboratory mice with one form of congenital heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — a weakening of the heart caused by abnormally thick muscle.

By suppressing a faulty protein, the researchers reduced the thickness of the mice's heart muscles and improved their cardiac functioning.

Since most people don't want to engage in the only weight loss plan guaranteed to work - consuming fewer calories than they burn - options are limited in America's battle of the bulge and are likely to stay limited.

The Federal Drug Administration has approved few drugs for long-term weight loss and some are no longer marketed because of safety issues.

Women who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac during pregnancy are not at increased risk of miscarriages.

NSAIDs are used by pregnant women in the first trimester to combat pain, fever and inflammation.  Previous studies on whether they increase the risk of pregnancy loss have shown inconsistent results.

A new paper claims that traditional Chinese herbal medicines might slow the progression of diabetes - by slowing the more vague condition referred to as "prediabetes."

Prediabetes is considered to mean elevated blood sugar levels without the rise in glucose levels of type 2 diabetes. Obviously such people are at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes and then also heart disease and stroke. According to such a classification, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that about 79 million American adults age 20 years or older could be considered prediabetic. 

UV-B radiation in sunlight is the most important factor for the production of vitamin D, and that is why some people suffer from low levels of vitamin D during the winter months.

Many foods contain vitamin D, though not all have enough to make food an adequate supply. Some studies have indicated that low vitamin D levels are related to cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, along with other diseases such as diabetes mellitus, autoimmune diseases and even cancer.

Vitamin D deficiency leads to stiffening of the blood vessels

Type 2 diabetes, which is blamed for over three million deaths each year, is on the increase and various food pundits and politicians say they can cure it if people would just ban trans fats or sodas or whatever they happen to be against this year.

And then there is genetics. There are genetic variants that have been associated with it but why wouldn't they have been eliminated by natural selection? Obviously if they had some other value but it has been shown that genetic regions associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes were unlikely to have been beneficial to people at stages through human evolution.

Because caffeine is a mild diuretic, there is a common assumption that caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, also have this effect.

The problem is that a kernel of scientific knowledge can be misconstrued in news outlets. As we discussed on Thanksgiving, everything in a Thanksgiving dinner contains chemicals found by someone somewhere to be a carcinogen in rats and could therefore be banned if they did not occur naturally.