December 2015 - Go Health

Monthly Archives: December 2015

Vitamin Supplements Can Increase Risk Of Cancer

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We often take over-the-counter supplements to compensate for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but research now suggests that this may do more harm than good. A large-scale study conducted in the US has shown that over-supplementation may increase the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

The findings were presented during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015.

“We are not sure why this is happening at the molecular level but evidence shows that people who take more dietary supplements than needed tend to have a higher risk of developing cancer,” said lead researcher Tim Byers from the University of Colorado Cancer Centre.

The research presented goes back 20 years, when studies suggested that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps keep cancer at bay.
Researchers then shifted their focus to vitamin and mineral supplements, to see if supplementing people with additional vitamins and minerals would also have anti-cancer benefits.

Researchers initially tested on animals and found encouraging results. But when they studied thousands of patients who were given dietary supplements over 10 years, the results were quite alarming.

“We found that the supplements were actually not beneficial for their health. In fact, some people actually got more cancer while on the vitamins,” Byers said.

The results of one trial showed that taking excess amounts of beta-carotene in supplement form increased the risk for both lung cancer and heart disease by 20 percent. Another trial showed that taking more than the recommended dose of folic acid increased the number of polyps in the colon, instead of reducing them.

“If taken at the correct dosage, multi-vitamins can be good for you. But there is no substitute for good, nutritional food,” he concluded.
Researchers concluded that by following a healthy diet plan, people can get the optimum amount of vitamins and minerals, without having to rely on supplementation.


A Third Of Arthritis Patients At High Risk Of Sudden Heart Attack

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According to research, patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis are at an increased risk of suffering a ‘surprise’ heart attack. A team of cardiologists found that about 25 percent of people suffering from arthritis are at risk of being struck by a sudden heart attack, even though they have no history of heart disease.

For patients with arthritis, the risk of suffering a heart attack was twice that of people without arthritis. This risk was high even when patients had no symptoms of heart disease, and had no association with conventional cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking and diabetes.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic progressive disease characterised by inflammation and soreness in the joints, which leads to pain and swelling.

“Our study suggests that one quarter of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and no symptoms of heart disease could have a heart attack without prior warning,” said Adriana Puente, a cardiologist at the National Medical Centre in Mexico City, Mexico.

The study included 91 patients who had suffered sudden heart attacks. These patients also suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, but showed no symptoms of heart disease.

90 percent of the study’s participants were women and the average age was 59 years.

Researchers also took into account inflammatory indicators, such as the severity of a patient’s rheumatoid arthritis, and other risk factors.
The findings showed that 25 percent of the patients had irregular Gated SPECT, which signified lack of blood supply to the heart and the death of heart muscle tissue.

“Our study shows that one quarter of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and no symptoms of heart disease do have coronary heart disease. This means they are at increased risk of cardiovascular death,” Puente said.

“Rheumatoid arthritis affects 1.6 percent of the general population and is the first cause of consultation in the rheumatology service. The condition nearly doubles the risk of a heart attack but most patients never knew they had heart disease and were never alerted about their cardiovascular risk,” Puente noted.

The findings were presented at the International Conference on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT (ICNC) 12, which was held in Madrid, Spain.

What You Need To Know About Bariatric Surgery

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Obesity is a disease that affects various parts of the body, including the heart, knees and spine, making an individual more prone to heart attacks, high cholesterol, knee pain and premature ageing. Apart from affecting a person physically, it may also have an emotional and psychological impact on them, as it tends to bring down their self-confidence.

Exercising and following a balanced diet are the only ways to lose weight and overcome obesity. However, when an individual is unable to lose weight and their weight puts them at risk for further health complications, bariatric surgery is advised. It helps get rid of excess fat (also known as morbid weight) around the stomach, either with the help of a gastric band or by doing a surgery around that area. This is performed on people who are double or more than their ideal weight.

Weight-loss surgery is not a cure for obesity, but rather a tool to help people lose weight so that they can live a healthier, longer and more fulfilling life. The success of the surgery depends on their ability to follow the diet and exercise guidelines after the surgery, and alter their lifestyle accordingly.

Recovering from the surgery can be the most difficult part of one’s journey towards wellness. It requires attention to detail, right from medication to handling of the patient. Though the surgery itself last for a few hours, recovery takes time, and it is crucial in determining the success of the surgery. Supervised care is necessary to mitigate any potential complications in the postoperative period. General complications include infection, problems at the surgical site, and blood clots and loss of muscle strength due to inactivity.

Here are some tips for a speedy recovery after bariatric surgery:

•    Follow the diet plan prescribed your doctor and remember to eat slowly.
•    Exercise every day or walk for 15 minutes.
•    Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
•    Shower carefully. Don’t worry if your skin gets red around the staples. However, if the redness becomes severe or you experience pain then consult your doctor immediately.
•    Make it a point to follow-up with your doctor regularly.