Study: Diet drinks can lead to stroke, dementia

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 4:05 PM



Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Diet sodas — one of America's favorite caffeine-delivery systems — appears to be just as unhealthy as their sugary cousins

The Washington Post reports that a new study refutes the theory that diet drinks are a better option than those made with sugar or corn syrup.

>> Read more trending news

The new study in the journal Stroke says people who drink diet soda are three times as likely as those who don’t to have a stroke or develop dementia.

“This included a higher risk of ischemic stroke, where blood vessels in the brain become obstructed and Alzheimer’s disease dementia, the most common form of dementia,” Matthew Pase, a Boston University School of Medicine neurologist told The Washington Post.

Paseo is the lead author of the study.

He stressed the study showed just a correlation and not a causation but that diet pop simply “might not be a healthy alternative.”

The study of 2,888 individuals age 45 and older looked for the development of a stroke and 1,484 participants age 60 and older for dementia over a 10-year period.

There was no association with stroke or dementia found in a parallel study of sugary drinks.

The diet sodas used by those in the study contained the artificial sweeteners saccharin, acesulfame-K and aspartame.

“So, the bottom line is, ‘Have more water and have less diet soda,” said Christopher Gardner, director of Nutrition Studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, in an American Heart Association news release. “And don’t switch to real soda.”

He added: “Nobody ever said diet sodas were a health food.”

The American Beverage Association said low-calorie sweeteners have been proven safe by worldwide government safety authorities as well as hundreds of scientific studies and there is nothing in this research that counters this well-established fact.

“While we respect the mission of these organizations to help prevent conditions like stroke and dementia, the authors of this study acknowledge that their conclusions do not — and cannot — prove cause and effect,” the beverage association noted.

To read the whole Washington Post story click here.

Flu virus spread by breathing, study finds

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 1:06 PM


Joe Raedle/Getty Images
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Most people believe that the influenza virus is spread through the coughs and sneezes of infected people, but new research published Thursday suggests that the flu virus is spread more easily than previously thought.

>> Read more trending news

Medical professionals believe that the virus is spread most often by “droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But researchers studying how the virus spreads recently found large amounts of the virus in the breath of people suffering from the flu, according to the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health.

>> Related: Influenza surveillance map: Where is the flu in my state? 

The researchers -- from the University of Maryland, San Jose State University, Missouri Western State University and the University of California, Berkeley -- published their findings Thursday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“We found that flu cases contaminated the air around them with infectious virus just by breathing, without coughing or sneezing,” said Donald Milton, professor of environmental health in the University of Maryland School of Public Health and lead researcher for the study.

Milton and his team examined the virus content in the breath of 142 people who were diagnosed with flu as they were breathing normally, speaking, coughing and sneezing. Researchers found that a majority of those who participated in the study had enough of the infectious virus in just their regular, exhaled breath to possibly infect another person.

A review of the data collected from the coughs and sneezes of infected participants showed that neither action appeared to have a large impact on whether or not the virus was spread.

>> Related: 11 things parents need to know about the flu, the vaccine, how long kids need to stay out of school  

“People with flu generate infectious aerosols (tiny droplets that stay suspended in the air for a long time), even when they are not coughing and especially during the first days of illness,” Milton said.

The study’s authors said the results highlighted how necessary it is for people who have the flu to stay at home.

>> Related: What is the H3N2 flu and how bad is flu season this year? 

“The study findings suggest that keeping surfaces clean, washing our hands all the time, and avoiding people who are coughing does not provide complete protection from getting the flu,” said Sheryl Ehrman, the dean of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State University. “Staying home and out of public spaces could make a difference in the spread of the influenza virus.”

<p>5 Reasons to get a Flu Shot</p>(Bryan Erdy/News | WHBQ)

High-salt diet could cause dementia, study finds

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 11:49 AM

Research Shows High-Salt Diet May Cause Dementia

Consuming too much salt can be dangerous for your health. It can cause your blood pressure and cholesterol to skyrocket, but it might also cause memory loss, according to a new report

>> Read more trending news

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York recently conducted an experiment, published in the Nature Neuroscience journal, to determine if salt was linked with memory loss.

To do so, the researchers observed mice, which were split into two groups. One group was given food containing 4 percent salt, and the other was fed food with 8 percent salt. The amounts represented an “8- to 16-fold increase in salt compared to a normal mouse diet” and was comparable to a high-salt diet for humans, scientists noted. 

>> On AJC.com: These 5 'healthy' foods may have more salt than you think 

After eight weeks, they examined the animals using magnetic resonance imaging, which captured photos of the anatomy and physiology of the brain. 

They discovered the high-salt diet reduced resting blood flow to the brain, causing dementia. They saw a 28 percent decrease in the blood flow in cortex and a 25 percent decrease in the hippocampus, which are two areas of the brain associated with learning and memory. 

Analysts also administered a recognition test, and the mice that consumed more salt performed significantly worse, compared to the mice on a regular diet. Mice with salty diets spent less time building nests and gathering materials. This was the case even for mice that had healthy blood pressure levels. 

>> Related: These are the best diets for 2018

“We discovered that mice fed a high-salt diet developed dementia even when blood pressure did not rise,” senior author Costantino Iadecola said in a statement. “This was surprising since, in humans, the deleterious effects of salt on cognition were attributed to hypertension.”

Why is that?

The researchers discovered that the high-salt diet prompted an immune response in the gut, which increased a protein called interleukin 17. Its job is to regulate immune and inflammatory responses. But high levels of interleukin 17 can cause a reduction in the production of nitric oxide, which affects brain functions. 

>> On AJC.com: Here’s what we always get wrong about salt 

Luckily, the scientists revealed they were able to reverse the immune signals by discontinuing the high-salt diets and prescribing drugs to lower the interleukin 17 levels.

Scientists now hope to continue their investigations by further exploring interleukin 17 and other ailments associated with it.

They said their findings may be able to “benefit people with diseases and conditions associated with elevated IL-17 levels, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and other autoimmune diseases.”

Oklahoma family seeking medical marijuana for child hopes for legalization

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 5:43 AM

Via FOX23.com
FOX23.com
Via FOX23.com(FOX23.com)

As Oklahoma voters prepare to make a decision on legalizing medical marijuana, one family is using cannabis oil to help a young girl with a rare medical condition.

>> Watch the news report here

>> On FOX23.com: Oklahoma Gov. Fallin sets election date for medical marijuana measure

KOKI has been following the story of Jaqie Angel Warrior for years now. Her mother, Brittany Warrior, said she needs cannabis oil to help with the seizures she has every day.

>> On FOX23.com: New poll finds 62 percent of Oklahomans support medical marijuana measure

Jaqie Angel Warrior suffers from a rare and potentially deadly form of epilepsy. Traditional pharmaceuticals haven't worked well for her, the family says.

She started having seizures at 5 months old. At 20 months old, the family put her on cannabis oil at the advisement of her neurologist. Since then, she has been weaned off all pharmaceuticals.

Jaqie's mother, Brittany Warrior, said they were losing all hope before they tried cannabis oil.

>> Read more trending news 

"Prior to starting cannabis, Jaqie had anywhere from 150 to 300 seizures a day. She was catatonic and life was fading out of her before my eyes," she said.

The family has traveled back and forth, and even temporarily moved to states with legalized medical marijuana.

Now that State Question 788 is on the ballot in Oklahoma, Brittany Warrior hopes that voters will support the measure to help her child.

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'I don’t believe it myself': Ohio breast cancer survivor, former teacher turns 104

Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 8:10 AM

Via Journal-News.com
Journal-News.com
Via Journal-News.com(Journal-News.com)

To celebrate being 104 years old, like Ruth Ann Slade did Tuesday afternoon, one must have good genes and what her friend called “inner strength.”

>> Watch an interview with Slade here

Slade, who spent 37 years as a first- and second-grade teacher in Poasttown, Ohio, has beaten breast cancer twice and persevered after her leg was pinned under a patio door for 18 hours as her body temperatures fell to dangerous levels.

“I see a survivor,” said Chuck Veidt, 60, who cares for Slade in his West Alexandria Road residence. “She is something else. A true survivor. Her mind is better than mine. She’s a tough act to follow.”

When asked about her 104th birthday, Slade said: “I don’t believe it myself.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

About 10 years ago, Veidt checked on Slade in her home up the street from his to see if she needed anything from the grocery store. He was shocked to see her lying face down in the kitchen as about a foot of snow accumulated just outside the door. She was rushed to Middletown Regional Hospital, where her body temperature returned to safe levels after two hours. She suffered frost bite.

She later told Veidt she listened to the furnace turn off and on so she wouldn’t fall asleep.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1979, she had her left breast removed. Thirty-one years later, the cancer returned in her right breast.

Longevity is part of Slade’s DNA. Her father and mother lived to be 91 and 89, respectively, though she has buried her two younger brothers and sister.

She credits eating fresh food from the family garden for her long life, but Veidt chimed in that Slade often told him not being married was the reason.

Born in a farmhouse in Madison Twp. in 1914, Slade graduated from Middletown High School in 1932. Her last MHS class reunion was her 60th in 1992. She’d probably be the only one still alive for her 86th class reunion.

“A class of one,” Veidt said with a smile.

>> Read more trending news 

Slade taught two years in a one-room school house, then 35 years after Poasttown built a new school. One of her former first-grade students, Homer Hartman, 86, attended Slade’s birthday party. Before Hartman was wheeled into the house, Slade gave a warning: “He’s going to tell a bunch of lies about me.”

Hartman didn’t disappoint. While he called Slade his “favorite” teacher, he said she frequently put him in the corner of the classroom.

“She didn’t let me get away with much,” he said.

She responded: “I never put him in the corner. None of my students.”

Slade retired in 1972 and said there is no way she could teach today because of the lack of discipline shown by some students.

“Kids would tell me where to go,” she said with a smile.

Is Slade afraid to die? She just shook her head.

“A new experience for me,” she said.

She paused, then added: “When (God) comes for me, I will be ready to go.”

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