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31 January 2011

Qigong improves neck pain in office staff

Qigong is a Chinese health promoting exercise with a rhythmic pattern of slow movements and breathing. Researchers from Sweden studied the effect of a 6-week course of Qigong for half an hour daily in a computerised office. They found a significant improvement in neck pain, a symptom which is common in office staff.

Skoglund L, Josephson M, Wahlstedt K, Lampa E, Norbäck D. Qigong training and effects on stress, neck-shoulder pain and life quality in a computerised office environment. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011;17(1):54-7.

30 January 2011

Low vitamin D levels associated with fall-related hip and arm fracture in elderly women

In a study of 472 women who were admitted to a rehabilitation hospital with a fall-related hip fracture, 27 sustained an arm fracture as well. These 27 women were found to have significantly lower levels of blood vitamin D levels. The researchers suggest that 'preventing vitamin D deficiency may lower the incidence of simultaneous fractures due to a singe fall in elderly women'.

Di Monaco M, Vallero F, Castiglioni C, Di Monaco R, Tappero R. Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are associated with the occurrence of concomitant upper limb fractures in older women who sustain a fall-related fracture of the hip. Maturitas. 2011;68(1):79-82.

29 January 2011

Melatonin, magnesium and zinc improves quality of sleep

An Italian study has found that nightly supplementation with melatonin, magnesium and zinc improves the quality of sleep and the quality of life in long-term care facility residents aged 70 years and older with primary insomnia.

Rondanelli M, Opizzi A, Monteferrario F, Antoniello N, Manni R, Klersy C. The Effect of Melatonin, Magnesium, and Zinc on Primary Insomnia in Long-Term Care Facility Residents in Italy: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011;59(1):82-90.

28 January 2011

Magnesium may lower sudden cardiac death risk

In this study of just over 88,000 women, higher magnesium blood levels and dietary magnesium intakes were associated with a lower risk of sudden cardiac death.

Chiuve SE, Korngold EC, Januzzi JL Jr, Gantzer ML, Albert CM. Plasma and dietary magnesium and risk of sudden cardiac death in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(2):253-60.

27 January 2011

Women with musculoskeletal problems benefit from yoga

Twenty-seven women with musculoskeletal problems, such as osteoarthritis and low back pain, participated in 8 sessions (twice weekly for 4 weeks) of a yoga program which included asanas, stretching exercises, and breathing techniques. Yoga was found to improve both balance and gait properties (movement/walking ability). The researchers conclude that 'yoga programs should be considered as alternative or additional approaches for the treatment and management of systemic, chronic, and persistent musculoskeletal conditions'.

Ulger O, Yağlı NV. Effects of yoga on balance and gait properties in women with musculoskeletal problems: a pilot study. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011;17(1):13-5.

26 January 2011

Iron supplementation may prevent preterm birth in anemic pregnant women

A higher rate of preterm birth was found in anemic pregnant women taking part in a Hungarian study. The researchers also found that this adverse birth outcome was prevented with iron supplementation.

Bánhidy F, Acs N, Puhó EH, Czeizel AE. Iron deficiency anemia: pregnancy outcomes with or without iron supplementation. Nutrition. 2011;27(1):65-72.

25 January 2011

Decreased absorption of vitamin D in Crohn's Disease patients

More than 70% of the patients with quiescent Crohn's Disease in this study were found to be vitamin D deficient or insufficient. Crohn's Disease patients also had on average a 30% decrease in their ability to absorb vitamin D suggesting that vitamin D deficiency may result from reduced intestinal absorption.

Farraye FA, Nimitphong H, Stucchi A, Dendrinos K, Boulanger AB, Vijjeswarapu A, Tanennbaum A, Biancuzzo R, Chen TC, Holick MF. Use of a novel vitamin d bioavailability test demonstrates that vitamin D absorption is decreased in patients with quiescent crohn's disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

24 January 2011

Playing a computer game during lunch affects food intake

A study assessed the effects of playing the computer game solitaire during lunch on the memory of what was eaten and food intake in a taste test 30 min later. Distracted individuals were less full after lunch and they ate significantly more biscuits in the taste test than did nondistracted participants. Memory of the 9 lunch items was also less accurate in participants who had been distracted during lunch.

Oldham-Cooper RE, Hardman CA, Nicoll CE, Rogers PJ, Brunstrom JM. Playing a computer game during lunch affects fullness, memory for lunch, and later snack intake. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(2):308-13.

23 January 2011

Green tea may improve cardiovasular health in those with metabolic syndrome

Green tea beverage (4 cup daily) or Green tea extract (500mg daily) for 8 weeks significantly reduced plasma serum amyloid alpha, an independent cardiovascular disease risk factor, in obese subjects with metabolic syndrome.

Basu A, Du M, Sanchez K, Leyva MJ, Betts NM, Blevins S, Wu M, Aston CE, Lyons TJ. Green tea minimally affects biomarkers of inflammation in obese subjects with metabolic syndrome. Nutrition. 2011;27(2):206-13.

22 January 2011

Yoga improved quality of life and reduced waist circumference

During a 6-month period, a group of obese breast cancer survivors attended an average of 20 yoga classes and practiced at home an average of 56 times. Quality of life and fatigue was found to be improved and waist circumference decreased by an average of 3.1 cm.
Littman AJ, Bertram LC, Ceballos R, Ulrich CM, Ramaprasad J, McGregor B, McTiernan A. Randomized controlled pilot trial of yoga in overweight and obese breast cancer survivors: effects on quality of life and anthropometric measures. Support Care Cancer. 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

21 January 2011

Leafy greens and olive oil shown to reduce risk of coronary heart disease

In an Italian study of almost 30,000 women, those who consumed more leafy vegetables and olive oil in their diet were much less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease.

Bendinelli B, Masala G, Saieva C, Salvini S, Calonico C, Sacerdote C, Agnoli C, Grioni S, Frasca G, Mattiello A, Chiodini P, Tumino R, Vineis P, Palli D, Panico S. Fruit, vegetables, and olive oil and risk of coronary heart disease in Italian women: the EPICOR Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(2):275-83.

20 January 2011

Mediterranean diet improves mood

Changing to a Mediterranean diet for only 10 days significantly improved self-rated vigour, alertness and contentment. The Mediterranean diet consisted of an increased intake of fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, low fat natural dairy and wholegrain cereals. At each main meal, participants were instructed to combine a form of protein, healthy fat (providing essential fatty acids) and carbohydrates. Red meat, refined sugars, refined flour, pre-packaged and processed foods, caffeinated products, soft drinks and condiments were all excluded from the eating plan.

McMillan L, Owen L, Kras M, Scholey A. Behavioural effects of a 10-day Mediterranean diet. Results from a pilot study evaluating mood and cognitive performance. Appetite. 2011; 56:143-7

19 January 2011

Smoking during pregnancy depletes antioxidant status

In this study of 140 pregnant women, tobacco smoking was found to reduce total antioxidant status in both the mother and newborn. The authors conclude that 'therefore smoking during pregnancy may stimulate free radical damage in the mother and the growing fetus'.

Chelchowska M, Ambroszkiewicz J, Gajewska J, Laskowska-Klita T, Leibschang J. The effect of tobacco smoking during pregnancy on plasma oxidant and antioxidant status in mother and newborn. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2011 Apr;155(2):132-6.

18 January 2011

Low vitamin D levels associated with tonsil disease

Seventy-eight percent of Auckland children having their tonsils taken out in this study had a blood vitamin D level of less than 75nmol/L, a level which is associated with an increased incidence of upper respiratory tract infection.

Reid D, Morton R, Salkeld L, Bartley J. Vitamin D and tonsil disease - Preliminary observations. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2011;75(2):261-4.