The Health News – 19 May 2016

Overview:
• Potatoes are receiving a bad rap over a reported link to hypertension and high blood pressure, in a major health study
that also lists women as most affected. However, several Australian experts have questioned the United States-based study, saying it is important to look at a person’s diet holistically.

• A study looking at reducing the severity of spinal injuries by reducing a patient’s body temperature immediately after an accident is entering a new phase amid hopes clinical trials will begin in WA next year. Researchers believe the technique may ultimately make the difference between someone ending up having to use a wheelchair and being able to walk.

• According to researchers from the University of Wollongong (UOW), the molecules found in the eggs of White Rock sea snails in Australia are not only tackling normal cancer cells, they have proved potent killers of chemotherapy-resistant lymphomas and uterine sarcomas – proving incredibly powerful in the fight against cancer.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  19th of May 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-18/potatoes-hypertension-australian-experts-question-study/7423056

Potatoes are receiving a bad rap over a reported link to hypertension and high blood pressure, in a major health study that also lists women as most affected.

However, several Australian experts have questioned the United States-based study, saying it is important to look at a person’s diet holistically.

The study, titled Higher Potato Consumption Associated with Increased Risk of Blood Pressure, is published in today’s edition of the BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal).

Researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said the association between eating potatoes and hypertension had not been studied before.

They said the issue was especially important due to the potato’s recent inclusion as a vegetable in school lunch programs across the US.

The study analysed three large longitudinal studies in the US, following 187,000 men and women for more than 20 years.

After taking into account other risk factors, researchers found that for women, “four or more servings a week of baked, boiled, or mashed potatoes was associated with an increased risk of hypertension, compared with less than one serving a month”.

The report said the consumption of baked, boiled or mashed potatoes did not increase the hypertension risk in men.

However, high consumption of French fries was associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure in both men and women.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-17/spinal-cord-injuries-research-gets-wa-funding/7421966

A study looking at reducing the severity of spinal injuries by reducing a patient’s body temperature immediately after an accident is entering a new phase amid hopes clinical trials will begin in WA next year.

Researchers believe the technique may ultimately make the difference between someone ending up having to use a wheelchair and being able to walk.

The research is being undertaken through WA’s Neurotrauma Research Program and the State Government is contributing $1 million towards it.

Health Minister John Day said 80 people sustained spinal cord injuries in WA each year, which is more than twice the national average.

“When someone has such an injury it obviously causes a major impact on their future lives, on their families and what they are able to do physically,” he said.

The study is part of an ongoing national trial.

UWA Professor Sarah Dunlop is the lead researcher in WA and said outcomes from the study could make an enormous difference to a patient’s quality of life.

Ms Dunlop said a patient’s body temperature could be lowered using intravenous ice cold saline.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-17/sea-snail-discovery-proving-powerful-in-cancer-fight/7418096

Chemicals from the humble sea snail found along Australia’s east coast are proving incredibly powerful in the fight against cancer, according to new research.

The molecules found in the eggs of White Rock sea snails are not only tackling normal cancer cells, they have proved potent killers of chemotherapy-resistant lymphomas and uterine sarcomas, researchers say.

Researchers from the University of Wollongong (UOW) believe the class of molecules will also be effective in fighting breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.

Dr Kara Perrow found the chemicals – called N-alkylisatins – killed 100 per cent of drug resistant cancer cells in the lab in just 48 hours.

Drug resistance is one of the biggest problems facing scientists – particularly when it comes to chemotherapy.

This means scientists are forever on the hunt in new environments and creatures for chemical compounds and drugs to fight drug resistance.

“By looking at the ocean and marine molluscs and we’ve been lucky enough to find a hit compound there,” Dr Perrow said.

In 2002, in collaboration with Southern Cross University, scientists discovered that the White Rock snail egg formula had surprising medicinal properties.

But only recently — and with the help of colleagues in the chemistry department — scientists discovered they could target chemo-resistant cancers.

By incrementally tweaking the sea snail’s chemical compounds, scientists found the right mix to target drug resistance within the cancers.

The next step is making sure the molecules are safe for injection into humans.

“We are looking at putting them into nanoparticles so they become non-toxic and safe for injection,” Dr Perrow said.

“It could be five to 10 years before the drugs are available for use, but it would depend on funding and the success of the drugs eventually in human trials.”

 

Liked it? Take a second to support healthprofessionalradio on Patreon!