Friday Fun Facts

Fact #1 Remember, it's not all about calcium. A new study suggests that neutralizing an acid-producing diet may be an important key to reducing bone breakdown while aging. Fruits and vegetables are metabolized to bicarbonate and thus are alkali-producing. But the typical American diet is rich in protein and cereal grains that are metabolized to acid, and thus are acid-producing. With aging, such diets lead to a mild but slowly increasing metabolic acidosis which can then lead to bone loss.

Increasing fruit and vegetable intake can help reduce metabolic acidosis and thus decrease the rate of related bone breakdown.

Fact #2

“Honey, let me call you back on a land line. That annoying oxidative stress in my brain is acting up again.” Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to prevent oxidative stress in brain tissue caused by mobile phone use. Also, Ginkgo biloba prevented mobile phone induced cellular injury in brain tissue histopathologically.

Fact #3

If I was stuck on a deserted island and had to take only one vitamin with me, this would be the one. Women who have insufficient levels of vitamin D during their pregnancy may negatively impact a genetic variant in their offspring that increases the risk of multiple sclerosis.

Researchers found that proteins in the body activated by vitamin D bind to a DNA sequence next to the DRB1*1501 variant on chromosome 6. DRB1*1501 is a variant which increases the risk of MS to 1 in 300 in those who carry a single copy and 1 in 100 in those carrying 2 copies, in contrast to a risk of 1 in 1000 in the rest of the population. The team believes that a mother's vitamin D deficiency could alter the expression of DRB1*1501 in their children.

Fact #4

A guy walks past a mental hospital and hears a moaning voice " ... 13 ... 13 ... 13 ... ".

The man looks over to the hospital and sees a hole in the wall. He looks through the hole and gets poked in the eye. The moaning voice then groaned " ... 14 ... 14 ... 14 ... ". Researchers have discovered that a form of vitamin B1 could become a new and effective treatment for one of the world's leading causes of blindness.

Scientists believe that uveitis, an inflammation of the tissue located just below the outer surface of the eyeball, produces 10 to 15 percent of all cases of blindness in the United States, and causes even higher rates of blindness globally. The inflammation is normally treated with antibiotics or steroid eye drops.

"Benfotiamene strongly suppresses this eye-damaging condition and the biochemical markers we associate with it," said UTMB associate professor Kota V. Ramana, senior author of the study. "We're optimistic that this simple supplementation with vitamin B1 has great potential as a new therapy for this widespread eye disease."

Fact #5

What do you do when a pig has a heart attack? You call a hambulance!

People who have had heart attacks are likely to have been in traffic right before their symptoms started, according to new research.

“Driving or riding in heavy traffic poses an additional risk of eliciting a heart attack in persons already at elevated risk,” said Annette Peters, Ph.D., lead author of the study and head of the research unit at the Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum Muchen, Germany. “In this study, underlying vulnerable coronary artery disease increased the risk of having a heart attack after driving in traffic.”

If you ask me, that's just another reason to cycle instead of drive.