Heart drugs have a strong male bias
Women are under-represented in clinical trials of heart drugs, leaving doctors in the dark as to how treatments may work differently in their bodies, revealed a review of articles in the European Heart Journal. Hormones, body weight and other biochemical factors indicate that men and women respond differently to pharmaceuticals, yet research on heart disease is skewed heavily towards men. This is mainly because cardiovascular conditions are erroneously perceived as “male” diseases, according to Dr Verena Stangl of the Charite Hospital, Berlin. “Because too few women participate in heart disease trials, we are not sure whether they really benefit from some therapeutic strategies that have shown clinical benefit in trials conducted predominantly in men,” she said.
The pill can trigger cancer
Women who take the birth control pill may be increasing their risk of cervical and breast cancer, says the World Health Organisation (WHO). A review of research by scientists at WHO conclude that oral contraceptives offer protection from some types of cancer, but may trigger others. Previously, liver cancer was indicated as a risk for women who took the pill. But the latest research shows cervical and breast cancer are also possible risks, reports Reuters. The pill can protect women from cancer of the endometrium (lining of the ovary) and ovary, WHO says, calling for more research to determine whether the benefits from contraceptives outweigh the risks.
Yogurt combats colitis
Consuming a mixture of eight good, or “probiotic,” bacteria reduces symptoms in patients with ulcerative colitis that doesn’t respond to conventional medications, research reported in American Journal of Gastroenterology suggests. Ulcerative colitis is a severe inflammatory disease of the colon that often produces bloody diarrhoea and is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. Complete removal of the colon is performed to reduce the symptoms of the disease and eliminate the cancer risk. The probiotic mixture contains four strains of Lactobacillus, all well-known species of good bacteria. Incidentally, traditional Indian yogurt is loaded with a couple of these strains of friendly bugs.
Dietary strategy for teenagers
Teenagers can be inspired to avoid junk food if parents spread a small lie, says a study reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. For some adolescents, simply suggesting that they had had a bad childhood experience with a particular food can make them avoid it. For instance, just telling that a cookie caused a horrible food poisoning will make them avoid it altogether.