Research shows fat molecule ceramide might play a leading role in muscle deterioration in older adults

As men and women age, increasing quantities of fat tissue inevitably take up residence in skeletal muscle. A small study of older and younger men conducted at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University suggests that a build-up of a fat molecule known as ceramide might play a leading role in muscle deterioration in older adults. The results of the study were published online this month by the Journal of Applied Physiology, a publication of the American Physiological Society.

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Review of research shows smoking and being overweight during pregnancy increases risk of overweight kids

Mums who carry too much weight and/or who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk of having overweight kids, indicates a systematic analysis of the available evidence published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

A high birth weight and rapid weight gain during the first year of life also increase the risk, indicates the study.

The authors base their findings on a comprehensive review of the available evidence, housed in reputable research databases, such as MedLine and PubMed, and published between 1990 and 2011.

They included only those studies which tracked children's health from birth until at least the age of two years, and which looked at potential risk factors before birth and up to the age of 12 months.

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Flu shot may reduce risk of a major cardiac event and cardiac deaths

Two Toronto-based researchers presented studies at the 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress which found that the influenza vaccine could be an important treatment for maintaining heart health and warding off cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks.

Dr. Jacob Udell, a cardiologist at Women's College Hospital and the University of Toronto, and his team from the TIMI Study Group and Network for Innovation in Clinical Research looked at published clinical trials on this subject, dating back to the 1960s.

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Research reveals new clues about weight regulation by hypothalamus

Maintaining a healthy body weight may be difficult for many people, but it's reassuring to know that our brains and bodies are wired to work together to do just that—in essence, to achieve a phenomenon known as energy balance, a tight matching between the number of calories consumed versus those expended. This careful balance results from a complex interchange of neurobiological crosstalk within regions of the brain's hypothalamus, and when this "conversation" goes awry, obesity or anorexia can result.

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Obese patients have a greater risk of complications following total knee replacement surgery

Obese patients have a greater risk of complications following total knee replacement surgery, including post-surgical infections, according to a new literature review recently published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS). Because of complications, obese patients are more likely to require follow-up surgery (revision).

Obesity is reaching epidemic proportions, particularly in the United States, and is a well-documented risk factor for the development of osteoarthritis. Arthritis is initially treated nonsurgically, but total joint replacement often becomes necessary if the disease progresses. Consequently, the rate of joint replacements in obese individuals has increased in the last several decades.

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Research review shows complex association between moderate alcohol consumption and breast cancer

An excellent review article from two scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the USA to be published in Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2012, describes the epidemiologic and basic scientific evidence linking alcohol consumption to the risk of breast cancer.

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