Monday, November 11, 2013

It's never too late for women to start a diet: Even switching to healthy food in middle age is likely to lead to a longer life (?)

The journal article is:  "The Association Between Dietary Patterns at Midlife and Health in Aging: An Observational Study".  It was an upper/lower quintile analysis, which suggests that their overall data did not support their conclusions

Healthy eating is good for you, no matter when you start, claim researchers.  They found middle-aged women who ate a Mediterranean diet lived longer and were healthier.

Cecilia Samieri, who examined data on almost 11,000 women, said: ‘Those with healthier dietary patterns at mid-life were 40 per cent more likely to survive to the age of 70 and over.’

They were also more likely to be ‘healthy agers’ with no problems in physical functioning, mental health or thinking skills.

A Mediterranean diet is thought to improve heart health and help stave off cancer as it is high in fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, whole grains and ‘healthy’ fats, and low in red meat and dairy products.

Dr Samieri and a team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, used data from a major study that began in 1976.

They followed 10,670 US women in their late fifties and early sixties who had no chronic diseases in the mid-1980s.

The women were given scores from 0 (least healthy) to 110 (healthiest) based on how closely their diets matched a general healthy eating index, and scores from 0 to 9 based on how ‘Mediterranean’ their diet was.  The team followed them to see how they aged up to 2000.

In all, 1,171 women, or 11 per cent, were healthy agers, the Annals Of Internal Medicine reports.

 Healthy agers had an average general diet score of 53.2, compared to 50.6 among usual agers.

On the Mediterranean diet scale, they scored 4.5 on average, compared to 4.3 for usual agers.

Healthy agers were also less likely to be obese or smoke and they exercised more in mid-life.

Dr Samieri said there was no reason to believe similar results would not be found in men.


Leukemia patient, 10, CURED of peanut allergy after undergoing bone marrow transplant

Hopeful. May lead to treatment insights

A 10-year-old boy suffering from leukemia was cured of his peanut allergy after receiving a bone marrow transplant.

The boy's case was described at the annual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology meeting (ACAAI) on Friday. The Huffington Post reports that the patient had a peanut allergy since he was 15 months old. He vomited and developed hives over his body after eating peanuts, the website adds.

'It had been reported that bone marrow and liver transplants can transfer peanut allergy from donor to recipient. But our research found a rare case in which a transplant seems to have cured the recipient of their allergy,' Dr. Yong Luo, the study's author, said in a ACAAI press release.

Dr. Steven Weiss, the study's co-author, told Fox News that prior to the boy's transplant, he was supervised by his parents.

'We kept him well by avoiding it. We kept something called an EpiPen around, and he never had any accidental ingestion,' Weiss told Fox News.

Weiss also said that the boy was diagnosed with acute lymphoctyic leukemia at age 4. He underwent chemotherapy, then received a bone marrow transplant in 2011 after a relapse.

After the transplant, the boy was given an oral food challenge, WebMD reports. He ate a small amount of peanuts and showed no allergic reation.

'He did not have any reaction,' Weiss told Fox News. 'He was able to go home and reintroduce that into his diet. He no longer needs an EpiPen.'

Weiss said in the ACAAI release that the case, along with similar ones, indicates 'genetic modification during the early stages of immune cell development in bone marrow may play a large role in causing allergy.'

In 2005 UK researches observed a 12-year-old boy lose his peanut allergy after a bone marrow transplant, NBC reports. In 1999, a 5-year-old's latex allergy was allegedly cured after surgery correcting a bone marrow disorder.

Bone marrow transplants, NBC adds, come with major risks, including infection, anemia, bleeding and diarrhea. Because of this, doctors do not suggest using transplants for patients suffering from allergies.


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