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Walnuts can reduce cholesterol

Taking paracetamol during pregnancy can trigger asthma in baby in later years and stress fracture is linked to genetic factors studies and research tips for a healthier you

Walnuts contains polyunsaturated fat and alpha-linolenic acid—a plant-derived form of omega-3 fatty acids. Photo: iStockphoto<br />
Walnuts contains polyunsaturated fat and alpha-linolenic acid—a plant-derived form of omega-3 fatty acids. Photo: iStockphoto

Daily intake of walnuts can help cut cholesterol

Including walnuts in daily diet can help lose fat and reduce cholesterol, a new study has claimed. University of California, San Diego researchers studied 245 overweight and obese women in the age group of 22 to 72 years who had enrolled in a one-year weight loss programme. Participants were randomly assigned to three different diets—a low fat and high carbohydrate diet, a low carbohydrate and high fat diet and, a walnut-rich (45gram), high fat and low carbohydrate diet. The group on walnut-rich diet showed highest improvement in lipid levels in participants who were insulin resistant, a significant decrease in cholesterol levels and a comparable decrease in weight. Walnuts contains polyunsaturated fat and alpha-linolenic acid—a plant-derived form of omega-3 fatty acids. The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Read more here.

Paracetamol use during pregnancy can cause asthma in offspring

Taking paracetamol during pregnancy can increase risk of asthma in child, a European study suggests. Researchers from University of Bristol examined data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study involving 114,500 children and found that 5.7% of the children had asthma at age three, and 5.1% had asthma at age seven. The incidence was highest in children whose mother had used paracetamol at the time of pregnancy. Researchers found that the reason for taking the medication did not affect the chances of asthma, suggesting that the increase chance of asthma was due to paracetamol and due not to the illness for which it was taken. The research was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Read more here.

Weight loss programmes not always reliable

Most weight loss programmes do not follow guidelines properly and do not offer enough information on their websites, a US study claims. To examine whether weight loss programs lived up to medical standards, researchers from University of John Hopkins evaluated 200 programs within a 10-mile radius of 17 primary care clinics in Washington, Maryland and Virginia. They found that only 17% of these options met minimum guidelines for frequency of in-person meetings or clinician appointments. Most of the programs specified dietary changes but didn’t elaborate on what type of eating habits participants should follow. Only 3% of the programs recommended goal of 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity while 34% of the programs endorsed the use of weight-loss supplements, which often lack scientific proof of safety. Read more here.

Risk of stress fractures linked to specific genes

Existence of certain genes can increase the risk of stress fracture in some people, a British study claims. Researchers from the University of Liverpool examined the role of a specific gene called P2X7R in causing stress fracture injuries in two groups of volunteers including military recruits and elite athletes. The study found that two specific variations within the gene were associated with stress fracture injuries in healthy, exercising individuals. Though they couldn’t tell the exact mechanism by which the gene influence stress fracture, the researchers believe their presence decreases sensitivity of bone to mechanical loading or adverse changes to specific bone cells. A stress fracture is a fatigue-induced fracture of the bone caused by repeated pressure over time and can be caused by running and jumping. Read more here.

Risk of breast cancer higher in survivors of thyroid cancer

A Danish study shows that women with a history of thyroid cancer are 1.18 times more likely to develop breast cancer compared to women with no history of thyroid cancer. That is not all, though. The study further suggested that women who survive breast cancer are 1.55 times more likely to have an overactive thyroid which means greater risk of thyroid cancer. Researchers from Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark examined 142,000 cases of breast and thyroid cancer over several decades to identify survivors and the risk of developing a secondary cancer. Though the study doesn’t pin point the exact reason. Previous studies have showed exposure to estrogens and to thyroid-stimulating hormones can lead to secondary breast or thyroid cancer. The study was published in European Journal of Endocrinology. Read more here.

Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar

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