Scientists from the University of Warwick have discovered why a newly found form of cholesterol seems to be 'ultra-bad', leading to increased risk of heart disease. The discovery could lead to new treatments to prevent heart disease particularly in people with type 2 diabetes and the elderly.
The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), found that 'ultra-bad' cholesterol, called MGmin-low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is more common in people with type 2 diabetes and the elderly, appears to be 'stickier' than normal LDL. This makes it more likely to attach to the walls of arteries. When LDL attaches to artery walls it helps form the dangerous 'fatty' plaques' that cause coronary heart disease (CHD).
CHD is the condition behind heart attacks, claiming 88,000 lives in the UK every year (1).
The researchers made the discovery by creating human MGmin-LDL in the laboratory, then studying its characteristics and interactions with other important molecules in the body.
They found that MGmin-LDL is created by the addition of sugar groups to 'normal' LDL -- a process called glycation -- making LDL smaller and denser. By changing its shape, the sugar groups expose new regions on the surface of the LDL. These exposed regions are more likely to stick to artery walls, helping to build fatty plaques. As fatty plaques grow they narrow arteries -- reducing blood flow -- and they can eventually rupture, triggering a blood clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.
The discovery might also explain why metformin, a widely prescribed type 2 diabetes drug, seems to lead to reduced heart disease risk. Metformin is known to lower blood sugar levels, and this new research shows it may reduce the risk of CHD by blocking the transformation of normal LDL to the more 'sticky' MGmin-LDL.
Dr Naila Rabbani, Associate Professor of Experimental Systems Biology at Warwick Medical School, who led the study, said:
"We're excited to see our research leading to a greater understanding of this type of cholesterol, which seems to contribute to heart disease in diabetics and elderly people. Type 2 diabetes is a big issue -- of the 2.6 million diabetics in the UK, around 90 per cent have type 2. It's also particularly common in lower income groups and South Asian communities. (2, 3)
"The next challenge is to tackle this more dangerous type of cholesterol with treatments that could help neutralise its harmful effects on patients' arteries."
Dr Shannon Amoils, Research Advisor at the BHF, which funded the study, said:
"We've known for a long time that people with diabetes are at greater risk of heart attack and stroke. There is still more work to be done to untangle why this is the case, but this study is an important step in the right direction.
"This study shows how the make-up and the shape of a type of LDL cholesterol found in diabetics could make it more harmful than other types of LDL. The findings provide one possible explanation for the increased risk of coronary heart disease in people with diabetes.
"Understanding exactly how 'ultrabad' LDL damages arteries is crucial, as this knowledge could help develop new anti-cholesterol treatments for patients."
The research was published in the journal Diabetes.
Many Restaurant Staff Are Undertrained and Misinformed About Food Allergies, Study Finds
A new study published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy reveals that there is no association between a restaurant worker's knowledge of food allergy and his or her confidence in being able to provide a safe meal to a food allergic customer.
Food allergies are common, affecting 2% of adults and as much as 8% of children in the UK alone. Allergic reactions can cause a wide variety of symptoms, the most serious being anaphylaxis, which can cause death.
Led by Professor Helen Smith of Brighton & Sussex Medical School, UK, researchers telephoned 90 table-service restaurants in Brighton to assess staff knowledge of food allergy and determine how comfortable they felt providing meals to food allergic customers.
Responses demonstrate apparent gaps in restaurant staff's knowledge of food allergy. In one out of three kitchens, common food allergens (e.g. eggs, peanuts, wheat, milk, nuts, fish) were not separated from other foods. One in five staff members thought that an allergic customer consuming a small amount of allergen would be safe, as would removing the allergen from a finished meal (e.g. picking the nuts off a pre-prepared desert would render it safe for a nut-allergic customer to eat).
Only one third of respondents had received any sort of food allergy training, but nonetheless 80% reported confidence in providing a safe meal for their food-allergic customers.
"Diners who are food allergic must remain vigilant and not assume restaurants are safe or that all staff are knowledgeable about food allergy," Smith notes. "Our survey supports the need for more rigorous and accessible training if food-allergic customers are to avoid being put at risk by dining out."
New Tool to Assess Asthma-Related Anxiety
When children or adolescents with asthma and their parents become overly anxious about the disorder, it may impair their ability to manage the asthma effectively. A new, effective tool to assess asthma-related anxiety is described in an article in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
A high level of disease-related anxiety among adults with asthma has been associated with an overreaction to asthma symptoms and overuse of medication. To assess asthma-related anxiety among pediatric patients and their parents, a team of researchers from New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, NYU, and LaSalle University (Philadelphia, PA) developed and validated a survey tool. Jean-Marie Bruzzese, PhD, Lynne Unikel, PhD, Patrick Shrout, PhD, and Rachel Klein, PhD, tested their Youth Asthma-related Anxiety Scale (YAAS) and Parent Asthma-related Anxiety Scale (PAAS) on a population of adolescents and their parents. The results highlight two key factors -- anxiety about asthma severity and about disease-related restrictions -- that are good indicators of overall asthma-related anxiety.
"This will be a valuable tool for asthma researchers," says Harold Farber, MD, MSPH, Editor of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Pulmonology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. "Now that we have validated measures for asthma-related anxiety in children and their parents, future research will be able to measure the impact of asthma-related anxiety on asthma outcomes. This will help us better understand how to deliver the best asthma care for our children."
Cockroach Allergens in Homes Associated With Prevalence of Childhood Asthma in Some Neighborhoods
the prevalence of asthma among children entering school varies by neighborhood anywhere from 3% to 19%, and children growing up within walking distance of each other can have 2-3 fold differences in risk for having asthma. In the first comprehensive effort to understand what drives these localized differences, researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health compared the household presence of cockroach, mouse, cat, dust mite and other allergens in neighborhoods with a high prevalence of asthma to that in low-prevalence neighborhoods.
They found that cockroach, mouse and cat allergens were significantly higher in homes located in neighborhoods where asthma is more common and that children in these higher-exposure homes were more likely to be sensitized to cockroach antigens.
The full study is now online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The researchers studied 239 children 7 to 8 years old who were recruited through the middle-income HIP Health Plan of New York, as part of the ongoing New York City Neighborhood Asthma and Allergy Study. A total of 120 children lived in high asthma prevalence neighborhoods and 119 were from low-prevalence areas. Based on a parent reported survey of symptoms, 128 were classified as having asthma and 111 were assigned to a control group.
Allergen exposure was measured by collecting and analyzing bed dust samples from the upper half of the children's beds. Sensitization was measured by screening blood samples for antibodies to various household allergens. Earlier studies of inner-city children have found that exposure and sensitization to cockroach and mouse allergens is associated with having asthma.
Researchers found that cockroach, mouse and cat allergens were more prevalent in the bed dust taken from homes in high asthma neighborhoods than low asthma neighborhoods, and that sensitivity to cockroach allergen was twice as common: 23.7% versus 10.8%. However, there was no significant difference by neighborhood in sensitization mouse and cat antigens.
"Our findings demonstrate the relevance of exposure and sensitization to cockroach, mouse, dust mite, and cat in an urban community and suggest that cockroach allergen exposure could contribute to the higher asthma prevalence observed in some New York City neighborhoods," said Matthew Perzanowski, PhD, associate professor of Environmental Health Sciences and senior author.
"Although the relationships between allergen levels and household demographics have been examined in the U. S. on a national level, an advantage to focusing on a single city is the decreasing likelihood of confounding by regional differences, such as building types or climate," he noted.
Dr. Perzanowski also stresses that in this study of middle-income families in New York City it was a child's neighborhood income that was more important in predicting the likelihood of exposure to pests in the home than family income.
"In summary, significant differences in allergen exposure in homes throughout New York City have been demonstrated with this unique study cohort:
cockroach allergen was higher in the homes of the high asthma prevalence neighborhoods,
cockroach sensitization was higher among children living in neighborhoods with high rates of asthma,
cockroach allergen exposure was associated with sensitization, and
cockroach sensitization was associated with increased risk for asthma.
Diet control and weight loss
Burn calories at a higher rate. Control your diet and maintain and reduce your waistline.
Weight loss can be achieved in many ways. You can achieve weight loss by diet control, exercising, yoga, medicines, etc.
The best way is to follow a combination of all these to ensure that your daily routing life is not affected in any way.
The thumb rule is very simple "be happy". Always try to come out of stress and other worries. Feel free and flying. Most of us feel very heavy and tired only because of our mind. Mind is the cause of all diseases. Your confidence is what will talk about your fitness.
Know all, follow what your want. You are the best judge for yor life.
Diet Control and Weight loss : Food intake plays a very vital role while trying to reduce or control weight. You have to know what to eat? how to eat? and when to eat?