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Women Who Quit Smoking Lower Heart Risks Quickly


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A large trial, involving more than 100,000 women, saw significant declines in several death risks within 5 years of putting out the last cigarette.

This is undoubtedly welcome news for many female smokers, as it shows that the dangers of smoking are reversible and can decline to the level of nonsmokers. This does not happen over night though, as for some conditions like lung cancer, it can take as long as 30 years of no smoking to equalize the risk.

Warning Against Nursing Mothers Taking Codeine


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morphine and codeine
Image 1: Morphine and codeine structures are very similar.

Codeine is a weak opiate analgesic, with antitussive and antidiarrheal properties. It is widely used either alone or in combination with paracetamol to relieve pain and/or treat cough. After ingestion, the cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver metabolize it to morphine, a powerful opiate that acts on the central nervous system to relieve pain. The speed of this conversion varies between people, with some of them, so called ultra-rapid metabolizers, converting codein into morphine very quickly. When breastfeeding mothers, who are ultra-rapid metabolizers, take codeine preparations they may also have higher-than-usual levels of morphine transferred to breast milk.

DASH-Style Diet May Reduce Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke


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Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH for short, is a dietery pattern designed to lower blood pressure. In a new analysis of data from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), the DASH diet has been shown to reduce the risk for both coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. It appears that individuals who best adhere to this kind of diet over the long term, enjoy the biggest reduction of risk for coronary heart disease and stroke.

High-Fiber and Low-Saturated-Fat Diet May Protect Against Parkinson's Disease


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Up to now, there have been several studies which have shown inconsistent results regarding associations between Parkinson's disease (PD) risk and individual foods and nutrients. A new study by Xiang Gao, PhD, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and colleagues published in 2007, examined associations between dietary patterns and risk of Parkinson's disease on two very large cohorts of men and women.

Healthy Diet and Lifestyle Cut Myocardial Infarction Risk and Heart Failure


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Although a healthy diet and a good exercise regime may seem the obvious ways of reducing one's risks for cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction and heart failure, no prior research has investigated the benefit achieved with a combination of several healthy lifestyle behaviors on coronary heart disease (CHD). Findings from a new Swedish study by Dr. Agneta Akesson and colleagues indicate, that the combined benefit of diet, physical activity, nonsmoking and healthy body weight could prevent as much as three out of every four cases of myocardial infarctions (MI) in women.

Certain Veggies and Fish Protect Against Childhood Wheeze and Atopy


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Recent studies have shown that a diet rich in fish and fruity vegetables (e.g. tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans and zucchini) has a protective role against childhood asthma symptoms (wheeze and atopy). Although earlier studies have been inconclusive, the most recent study of 460 children has given some very convincing evidence.

Pharmacists Demand Respect


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If you have been following the recent developments in the standoff between the HSE and the pharmacists in the Republic of Ireland, you will know that the situation at the moment is anything but peachy. In order to help motivate his fellow pharmacists in this time of crisis, a collegue over at the pharmacycrisis.com has opened a forum thread to help pick a pharmacy anthem. The likes of Twisted Sister's We're Not Gonna Take It and You'll Never Walk Alone have been suggested, but the best one must be an old McGaw Pharmacy ad, from the 1990s, which is a must see. I guess some things never change.



Testosterone Does Not Improve Function In Older Men


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As men get older, many of them experience a decline in hormone levels, which has been linked to many signs and symptoms of ageing. In a Dutch University medical center study the use of testosterone supplements has been shown to increase lean body mass and reduce fat mass in older men, but has failed to show an improvement in functional mobility, bone mineral density, muscle strength or mental ability.

Helicobacter pylori May Protect Children From Asthma


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Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that has acquired a rather negative reputation, due to that fact that it was shown to be the cause of many stomach ulcers. New findings published in October 2007 however present it a much more favorable light, suggesting that it may be protecting children from developing asthma.

Vitamin D Appears to Cut Cancer Risk


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Based on the results of two separate studies, raising vitamin D levels may prevent up to half of all breast and two thirds of colorectal cancer cases. The researchers recommend a daily intake of 2000 IU of vitamin D3 and, when possible, moderate sun exposure.

Inadequate photosynthesis or oral intake of vitamin D is associated with high incidence and mortality rates of breast cancer.