Prescriptions for opioid painkillers have been falling in recent years. At the same time, prescriptions for medications to treat opioid addiction are rising sharply. Credit Patrick Sison/Associated Press
The number of new monthly prescriptions for medications that treat opioid addiction nearly doubled over the past two years, according to new data, while prescriptions for opioid painkillers continued to decline.
The changing calculus reflects a stepping up of efforts among policymakers and the medical establishment to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, which is killing more than 115 people every day. But it also underscores questions about whether some pain patients are now being undertreated, and whether tightened prescribing over the last few years has contributed to the surge in overdose deaths from heroin and especially fentanyl. Continue reading
Plant-based fats, like those found in avocados and olive oil, could extend your life by 25%
A diet that swaps fats found in meat for those in plants could reduce people’s chances of dying early by 24-to-26 per cent, according to a recent study. Plant-based fats, like those found in avocados and olive oil, significantly reduce a person’s risk of premature death, study from Harvard University found… (Continue to full article)
Beetroots could help in the fight against Alzheimer’s
Compound in the vegetable prevents the accumulation of harmful protein plaques in the brain… (Continue to full article)
Snacking on nuts and seeds could almost HALF your risk of premature death by transforming heart health
Those with a higher intake of linoleic acid, found in omega-6-rich foods like pine nuts and pumpkins seeds and vegetable oil, were 43 percent less likely to die early of preventable diseases… (Continue to full article)
Bugged by ringing in your ears? After doctors have ruled out possible serious causes, for example the presence of a tumor, there is really very little else that they can do for you. Whether the sound in your ear is ringing, whistling, clicking or hissing; loud or soft; intermittent or incessant; mildly annoying or downright infuriating, one of the following natural remedies could be the answer you seek. Continue reading
Medicare spent $4.5 billion last year on new, pricey medications that cure the liver disease hepatitis C — more than 15 times what it spent the year before on older treatments for the disease, previously undisclosed federal data shows.
© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg A research scientist for Gilead Sciences Inc., works on the synthesis of a potential hepatitis C virus drug candidate at the company’s lab in Foster City, California, Feb. 8, 2012.
The extraordinary outlays for these breakthrough drugs, which can cost $1,000 a day or more, will be borne largely by federal taxpayers, who pay for most of Medicare’s prescription drug program. But the expenditures will also mean higher deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket costs for many of the program’s 39 million seniors and disabled enrollees, who pay a smaller share of its cost, experts and federal officials said. Continue reading
A recipe found in a ninth-century Anglo Saxon book of medical remedies has proven effective in killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
The key to killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — also known as MRSA or golden staph — may not be new-fangled treatments after all, but a treatment for an infected eyelash follicle found in a 1,000-year-old book.
The MRSA “superbug” is notoriously difficult to treat. Over the years, it developed resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, which include common treatments like penicillin and its derivatives, cephalosporins, monobactams and carbapenems. It’s also a particular problem in hospitals and nursing homes, where a high percentage of the population of which have open wounds and weakened immune systems. Continue reading
Archaeologists find oldest evidence of disease in 4,200 year old Egyptian skeleton
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said the bones of the woman, who lived at the end of the 6th Pharaonic Dynasty, showed’an extraordinary deterioration’.
A team from a Spanish university has discovered what Egyptian authorities are calling the world’s oldest evidence of breast cancer in the 4,200-year-old skeleton of an adult woman. Continue reading
Cholesterol in foods does NOT cause heart disease
Potentially reversing almost 40 years of government policy, the top nutrition advisory board for the United States has dropped its warning against dietary cholesterol. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee concluded that no evidence supports a link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease.
Even five years ago, the committee was still promoting the warning first popularized by the American Heart Association in 1961. But the new position has been a long time coming.
“There’s been a shift of thinking,” said Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health. He called the committee’s decision to drop the cholesterol warning a “reasonable move.” Continue reading
The world’s most widely-used weed killer can “probably” cause cancer (non-Hodgkin lymphoma), the World Health Organization said recently.
The WHO’s cancer arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), said glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto Co herbicide Roundup, was “classified as probably carcinogenic to humans”.
It also said there was “limited evidence” that glyphosate was carcinogenic in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, said scientific data do not support the conclusions and called on the WHO to hold an urgent meeting to explain the findings. Continue reading
Scientists believe the gases in our body can reveal a range of diseases such as colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome.
But attempting to ‘scientifically analyse people’s farts’ – either by using a breathalyser or looking at feces – can prove tricky.
Now one engineer claims he has come up with two methods to do this that are far more effective; fecal fermentation and gas-sensing capsules.
Fecal fermentation involves incubating feces in conditions similar to those found in the large intestine.
To do this scientists place a spoonful of feces in a jar, and place a lid on it. Continue reading
New study reveals why taking statins may be harmful
People with high cholesterol are less likely to have type 2 diabetes, which could help explain why taking lipid-lowering statins may trigger the disease
People with high cholesterol are less likely to have diabetes, which may help explain why statins may trigger the condition.
Researchers found rates of type 2 diabetes among 25,000 patients with inherited hypercholesterolemia – a genetic disorder leading to high cholesterol levels – were significantly lower than among their unaffected relatives.
Some studies suggest people taking cholesterol-lowering agents face an increased risk of up to 46 per cent of developing diabetes, with higher risk linked to higher doses of the drugs.
However, experts say the absolute risk of diabetes is lower than the benefits of statins in cutting heart attacks and deaths. Continue reading