Can Broccoli Chemical Cure Autism?

Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A chemical found in broccoli may point the way to a cure for autism. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts, improved the classic symptoms of autism in teens and young men.
 
"We believe that this may be preliminary evidence for the first treatment of autism that improves symptoms by apparently correcting some of the underlying cellular problems," said Paul Talalay, M.D., professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences.
 


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Are pills containing frozen POO the key to beating hospital superbug?

A deadly hospital superbug could be treated using capsules of frozen faeces from healthy people, a new study has found.

The gut infection Clostridium difficule (C. difficile) can be life-threatening, especially in the elderly.

But scientists in the US found introducing 'normal' gut bacteria from a healthy donor's excrement, rebalanced a C. difficile patient's system, curing their illness.

They successfully cured 18 of 20 patients who took part in the study at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston of their diarrhea, improving their condition.

A new study has found capsules of frozen facecal matter from healthy donors can cure C. difficile patients of their severe diarrhoea. Doctors in the US cured 18 of the 20 patients taking part in their research. (File picture)
A new study has found capsules of frozen facecal matter from healthy donors can cure C. difficile patients of their severe diarrhoea. Doctors in the US cured 18 of the 20 patients taking part in their research. (File picture)


In healthy people the bacteria C. difficile lies harmlessly in the gut.  But the feared infection is caused when antibiotics upset the balance of the intestines.  While natural bacteria that protect against infection are decimated by the drugs, C. difficile multiply.  The result is severe diarrhoea, which can cause fatal complications, including swelling of the bowel from a build-up of gas.

The new research builds on a UK study published in 2012 where 'stool transplants' were used to restore the balance of the gut in mice suffering C. difficile.

But the methods used were invasive and presented problems for human patients.
The researchers developed a method whereby they could freeze healthy stool samples, enclosing them in capsules for patients to swallow. 


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2792108/are-pills-containing-frozen-faeces-key-beating-hospital-superbug-stool-samples-healthy-donors-restores-balance-gut-bacteria.html#ixzz3G7mJYe5S
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Could symptoms of autism be improved by eating broccoli?

Suforaphane - which gives broccoli its bitter taste - could help treat autism, a study found
Suforaphane - which gives broccoli its bitter taste - could help treat autism, a study found
Broccoli could hold the key to treating autism, research suggests.The chemical that gives broccoli its distinctive bitter taste made teenagers and young men with autism calmer and more sociable, a study found.

‘Remarkable’ improvements were seen in as little as four weeks and by the end of the study, some of those given a capsule a day felt able to look the researchers in the eye and shake their hand.

The finding suggests it may be possible to create a pill that gets to the root of autism for the first time.Existing drugs simply control symptoms such as aggression, hyperactivity or sleep problems, but do not address the underlying cause of the condition.  

Researcher Dr Paul Talalay, a professor of pharmacology in the US who has spent the last 25 years researching nature’s medicine cabinet, said: ‘It was a small study but the effects were very, very large.

‘We believe that this may be preliminary evidence for the first treatment for autism that improves symptoms by apparently correcting some underlying cellular mechanisms.’
British experts described the research as ‘intriguing’ but said it is simply too early to say if broccoli is beneficial in autism.

The research, from the respected MassGen Hospital for Children and Johns Hopkins University, both in Boston, comes amid concern about rising rates of autism.
More than one in 100 British children has autism or a related condition such as Asperger's Syndrome - a 10-fold increase on 30 years ago.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2791237/could-symptoms-autism-improved-eating-broccoli-chemical-gives-veg-bitter-taste-helps-autistic-teens-calmer-sociable.html#ixzz3G4KdaWvh
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Low-calorie sweeteners found in diet drinks RAISE the risk of obesity and diabetes by affecting how the body processes sugar

Low-calorie artificial sweeteners found in diet drinks actually 'raise the risk of diabetes and obesity'
Low-calorie artificial sweeteners found in diet drinks actually 'raise the risk of diabetes and obesity'
Millions rely on them to help them stay thin. But low-calorie artificial sweeteners actually raise the risk of obesity, researchers fear.
The popular sugar alternatives found in diet drinks and in sachets in cafes and restaurants may also increase the odds of diabetes.

The sweeteners under the microscope are saccharin, which is found in Sweet’N Low, sucralose, which is found in Splenda, and aspartame, which is found in many diet drinks.

The Israeli researchers that ‘today’s massive, unsupervised consumption’ of artificial sweeteners needs to be reassessed.

The warning at a time when growing concern about the damage done by sugar is likely to mean more people are switching to artificial alternatives.

British experts urged caution, saying that much of the work was done in mice. But they also said that water is the healthiest drink.
The researchers, from the Weizmann Institute of Science, first showed that all three sweeteners made it more difficult for mice to process sugar.

This is known as glucose intolerance and is important because it raises risk of developing diabetes and obesity.

In a study of almost 400 people, the researchers linked artificial sweetener with being fatter and glucose intolerance.

And, worryingly, volunteers who didn’t normally eat or drink artificially-sweetened foods began to become glucose intolerant after just four days of consumption.

The numbers affected were small – just four out of seven men and women in the trial – but the research overall was judged significant enough to be published in Nature one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals.

Other experiments suggested the sweeteners do the damage by altering type of bacteria in the gut.

While this might seem odd, some of the bugs that live naturally in our digestive system are very good at breaking down food.

If they thrive on artificial sweeteners, this could lead to more energy being extracted from food and more fat being stored – raising the odds of obesity. 


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2759723/Low-calorie-artificial-sweeteners-RAISE-risk-obesity.html#ixzz3FkUNUXRs
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Common diabetes drug metformin could cause thyroid and heart problems, experts warn

A drug widely prescribed to those with diabetes could cause thyroid, heart and a host of other health problems, a study has warned.

Metformin is commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes. It lowers blood sugar levels by reducing glucose production in the liver.  

But new research, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found the drug is linked to having an underactive thyroid.

The drug metformin - widely prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes - could cause heart disease and a host of other health problems, scientists have warned
The drug metformin - widely prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes - could cause heart disease and a host of other health problems, scientists have warned


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2765338/Diabetes-drug-metformin-cause-heart-disease-thyroid-problems-experts-warn.html#ixzz3FkU1IssE
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An apple a day could keep obesity away: Granny Smiths promote friendly bacteria helping us feel fuller for longer


An apple a day could keep obesity away: Granny Smiths promote friendly bacteria helping us feel fuller for longer


Granny Smith apples were found to contain high levels of a compound that promotes good bacteria in the gut, helping people feel fuller for longerĀ 
Granny Smith apples were found to contain high levels of a compound that promotes good bacteria in the gut, helping people feel fuller for longer 
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, goes the saying.
But a new study has found more specifically, that a Granny Smith a day could be the key to preventing obesity.
The bright green, crisp variety helps people feel full, inhibiting the urge to eat.
They were found to promote friendly bacteria, which invokes the feeling of being full. 
The study, published in the journal Food Chemistry, revealed that the non digestible compounds in the fruit, which include fibre and polyphenols, do not get broken down by stomach acid.
When they reach the colon they are fermented by bacteria in the colon which helps friendly bacteria in the gut to grow. 
Scientists at Washington State University tested several different varieties of apple on mice, to see which caused the most growth of friendly bacteria.
Granny Smiths worked better than Golden Delicious, Gala, Braeburn and other popular varieties, they discovered. 
The variety, known for its slightly tart flavour, had a particularly high fibre content and compounds like polyphenols which do not break down when eaten, they reported. 
The team analysed mouse droppings after feeding the animals, some of which were obese, different types of fruit.
They discovered the balance of bacteria in the colon of obese people is often 'disturbed' in a way that can disrupt the metabolism and make people feel hungry.
It was revealed that the faeces of overweight mice that had eaten Granny Smith apples had changed and become similar to that of slim mice.
The discovery could lead to future treatments for weight problems.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2774895/An-apple-day-obesity-away-Granny-Smiths-prevent-diabetes-illnesses-linked-overweight.html#ixzz3FkTeJRJ9
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