Clinical Question Are Echinacea products associated with a reduced incidence and a shorter duration of common colds compared with placebo?
Bottom Line Individual prophylaxis trials show no association with prevention of the common cold, but exploratory meta-analysis suggests that Echinacea products may be associated with a small reduction in cold incidence. In treatment trials, there was no association of Echinacea products with a shorter duration of colds.
Preparations of the plant Echinacea are widely used in North America and Europe for prevention and treatment of the common cold.1 This JAMA Clinical Evidence Synopsis summarizes the results of a Cochrane review2 regarding the association ofEchinacea products with prevention and treatment of colds.
Over the last 2 decades, adults around the world modestly increased their intake of healthy dietary items, but this trend was exceeded by increases in consumption of unhealthy items, according to an analysis of global dietary patterns (Imamura F et al.Lancet Glob Health. 2015;3:e132-e142).
Study finds global diet quality declined, despite increased consumption of healthy foods.
I think the world has become fascinated by drones. I know I have. I got one for Christmas and it’s really fun to play with. The one I got is really hard to fly, but in many ways that makes it more fun.
What a lot of people don’t realize is how many ways drones are going to be part of our future life. No, I’m not talking about the military drones. In fact, using the term drones is so tied to the military that it’s almost not right to use the term. However, many people have become more familiar with drones thanks to Go pro cameras that are attached and bring us some really amazing footage even from amateurs. Read more →
A flood of recent studies is giving us new insights into how important getting enough good sleep is for staying healthy, feeling great, and thinking straight. So take a short siesta and check out the slumber stats below.
Sleep deprivation makes you eat more.
Skip sleep, and the next day you’ll eat too many calories from fat and too few from carbs, according to a UPenn School of Medicine study. When subjects were kept from sleeping, a brain region called the salience network, which regulates emotions and bodily sensations like a racing heart, lit up and raised their fat cravings. By the way, if you do pig out, just don’t do it late at night: Eating when the body’s usually asleep can hamper learning, damage memory, hurt the immune system, and even lead to type-2 diabetes, UCLA researchers say.
A Deadly Case of MANOPAUSE A quest for the Fountain of Youth may cost more years than it gains.
The Case “I told him he never should have started that medication,” said the patient’s worried wife. Several hours earlier, her husband had presented to the emergency department for chest pain and shortness of breath. He first noticed it over the past week when doing routine chores such as cleaning and moving furniture. “It didn’t stop him, even though it was bothering him. He never had any serious health problems,” she said. Other than diabetes and sleep apnea, her 62-year-old husband was healthy. His primary doctor sent him to the ED for further evaluation after a concerning ECG was obtained in his office. He was tachycardic but seemed relatively stable. We proceeded with a chest pain and dyspnea work-up, which included cardiac enzymes, chest X-ray, and a d-dimer. He waited patiently, charming the staff with his small talk and affable personality. Enzymes were negative, and d-dimer was positive. I took him for his CT angiogram. As soon as it was done, the tech and I immediately noticed the large bilateral pulmonary emboli on the screen in front of us (see Figure 1). I was preparing to take him back to the ED when he asked, “Is there a bathroom over here? I’d rather use it here before going back to the ED. It’s pretty crowded over there.” He had a point. The ED could be a madhouse with just two bathrooms. His wife and I assisted him to the bathroom. It was only seconds before I heard her scream. I opened the door, and he was sitting on the toilet, a glazed look on his eyes. “I think he just passed out,” she exclaimed.
With vivid burgundy seeds and a distinctive sweet flavor, the pomegranate is a nutrient-dense fruit that is fun to eat and steeped in history. Its medieval French name originates from the Latin roots for “apple” and “seedy,” according to the University of California. It was first cultivated in Iran, but spread to the Mediterranean area and later to the Americas. People during the Middle Ages thought pomegranates were good for liver inflammation, a common malady in men, but today, other male health benefits are being discovered.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a first-of-its-kind weight loss treatment device that electronically suppresses hunger signals traveling between the stomach and the brain. The Maestro Rechargeable System, which is manufactured by EnteroMedics of St Paul, Minnesota, consists of an electrical pulse generator, wire leads, and electrodes that are implanted into the abdomen and intermittently send electrical pulses to the vagus nerve.
A new device targets the brain-stomach nerve connection that controls feelings of hunger and satiety.
TOLEDO — The new machine that could one day replace anesthesiologists sat quietly next to a hospital gurney occupied by Nancy Youssef-Ringle. She was nervous. In a few minutes, a machine — not a doctor — would sedate the 59-year-old for a colon cancer screening called a colonoscopy.
But she had done her research. She had even asked a family friend, an anesthesiologist, what he thought of the device. He was blunt: “That’s going to replace me.” Read more →
Durham, NC — The latest statistics show impressive progress in the fight against malaria — a 46 percent decrease in infections among children in sub-Saharan Africa and an estimated 4.3 million deaths averted globally.
A substantial increase in international funding has contributed to those achievements. The U.S. government is among the major funders of malaria control through its President’s Malaria Initiative– one of the few international assistance programs that has garnered bipartisan support through the Bush and Obama terms. Read more →
Taking aspirin every day appears to reduce the odds of developing and dying from colon, stomach or esophageal cancer, a new study suggests.
Based on a review of available studies, researchers determined that the benefits of aspirin therapy for preventing cancer outweigh the risks. Millions of people already take this inexpensive drug to prevent or treat heart disease.
“We came to the conclusion that most people between the ages of 50 and 65 would benefit from a daily aspirin,” said lead researcher Jack Cuzick, head of the Center for Cancer Prevention at Queen Mary, University of London.
“It looks like if everyone took a daily aspirin, there would be less cancer, and that would far outweigh any side effects,” added Cuzick.
Gastrointestinal bleeding is the most serious side effect associated with aspirin.
Taking aspirin for 10 years could cut colon cancer risk by around 35 percent and deaths from colon cancer by 40 percent, the researchers reported Aug. 6 in the Annals of Oncology.
Daily aspirin also can reduce the risk of esophageal and stomach cancers by 30 percent and deaths from these cancers by 35 to 50 percent, the investigators reported.
Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, said this study falls short of a recommendation that everyone take aspirin to prevent cancer. “But it rises to the level that people should have a discussion with their doctor,” he said.