London: Regular high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises such as squats, sprints, and pedalling can improve the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by impacting on several metabolic pathways in the body, finds a new study.
A team from the University of Eastern Finland found that regular HIIT exercise over a period of 12 weeks significantly decreased the study participants' fasting glucose and waist circumference, and improved their maximum oxygen consumption rate and maximum achieved workload.
These positive effects were associated with alterations in the abundance of a number of metabolites. In particular, exercise altered amino acid metabolism in adipose tissue, according to the study published in Scientific Reports.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease, affecting approximately 25 per cent of the world's population. Being largely asymptomatic, the disease may progress from the accumulation of fat in liver cells to liver inflammation and liver cirrhosis.
NAFLD is associated with obesity and other characteristics of the metabolic syndrome, such as Type 2 diabetes and abnormal blood lipid concentrations. The accumulation of fat in the liver can be reduced by weight loss and a health-promoting diet.
Exercise is an integral part of the treatment of NAFLD. The benefits of exercise may relate not only to weight management, but also to alterations in the metabolites produced by the body and gut microbes, whose role in fatty liver disease remains poorly understood.
The study involved 46 subjects diagnosed with NAFLD, who were divided into an exercise intervention group that had a HIIT session twice a week, plus an independent training session once a week for 12 weeks, and into a control group that did not increase exercise during the study.
The most significant alterations were observed in amino acids and their derivatives, lipids, and bile acids.
The levels of various gut microbial metabolites were also altered as a result of exercise, which is suggestive of changes in the composition of gut microbes, or in their function.
Among these metabolites, an increased amount of indolelactic acid, for example, can strengthen the intestinal mucosa, immune defence, and glucose balance.
Based on the findings, exercise can have a beneficial effect on many factors contributing to disease in patients with NAFLD, even without weight loss and dietary changes, the researchers said. Adipose tissue seems to play a key role in these effects. (Agency)
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London: Women with asthma who are going through puberty, pregnancy or are menstruating, are at higher risk of severe asthma attacks and deaths due to the lung disease, according to a report.
The study conducted by a non-profit Asthma and Lung UK highlights that female hormones can trigger asthma flare-ups, BBC reported.
The findings calls for more research to examine the sex-related differences in the common lung condition.
Asthma is a condition in which the airways narrow, swell and may produce extra mucus, making breathing difficult. It is characterised by wheezing, breathlessness, tightness in chest, and coughing.
There are about 136 million women worldwide who suffer from asthma. The report showed that more than 5,100 women have died from an asthma attack, compared with under 2,300 men over the past five years in the UK.
It noted that many people were unaware that fluctuations in female sex hormones can cause asthma symptoms to flare up or even trigger life-threatening attacks.
"Asthma tends to be overlooked or dismissed," Dr Samantha Walker, director of research and innovation at Asthma and Lung UK, was quoted as saying.
In childhood, asthma is more prevalent and severe in boys. However, after puberty, the situation reverses, and asthma becomes more prevalent and severe among women, the report said.
The charity said the current "one size fits all" approach to asthma treatment is "not working" because it does not take into account the impact that female sex hormones during puberty, periods, pregnancy and menopause can have on asthma symptoms and attacks.
More must be done to tackle the "stark health inequality", it added.
"Gaps in our knowledge are failing women, leaving them struggling with debilitating asthma symptoms, stuck in a cycle of being in and out of hospital and in some cases, losing their lives," Sara Woolnough, chief executive of Asthma + Lung UK, was quoted as saying.
"There is not enough research into why women are more likely to be hospitalised and die from asthma and what treatments, new and existing, could help women," added Mome Mukherjee, researcher at the University of Edinburgh. (Agency)
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बेंगलुरु: भारतीय विज्ञान संस्थान (आईआईएससी) के नये शोध से यह खुलासा हुआ है कि दमे की एक दवा कोरोना वायरस के स्पाइक प्रोटीन को रोकने में कारगर साबित हुई है।
आईआईएससी ने सोमवार को जारी आधिकारिक विज्ञप्ति में कहा कि 'मोंटल्यूकास्ट' नाम की दमे की दवा पिछले 20 साल से बाजार में है और इसका इस्तेमाल दमा, हे फीवर और हाइव्स से ग्रसित मरीज करते हैं। यह अमेरिका के एफडीए से अनुमोदित दवा है।
आईआईएससी का यह शोध ईलाइफ में प्रकाशित हुआ है। शोध के दौरान पता चला कि यह दवा कोरोना वायरस के प्रोटीन एनएसपी1 के एक अंतिम सिरे यानी 'सी टर्मिनल' से मजबूती से जुड़ जाती है। यह उन पहले वायरल प्रोटीन में से एक है, जो मानव शरीर में प्रवेश करती है।
यह प्रोटीन राइबोजोम से जुड़ सकता है, जो हमारी रोग प्रतिरोधक कोशिकाओं के भीतर होती है और वायरल प्रोटीन की सिंथेसिस को बंद कर सकता है। इसकी वजह से रोग प्रतिरोधक क्षमता कमजोर पड़ जाती है। इसी वजह से एनएसपी1 को लक्षित करने से वायरस के कारण होने वाली क्षति को कम किया जा सकता है।
शोधकर्ताओं ने एफडीए से अनुमोदित 1,600 दवाओं की स्क्रीनिंग की थी ताकि एनएसपी1 से तेज जुड़ने वाली दवा का पता लगाया जा सके। उन्होंने इस तरीके से 12 दवाओं को शॉर्टलिस्ट किया, जिनमें से मोंटल्यूकास्ट और एचआईवी की दवा साक्वि नाविर भी शामिल है।
शोध में पाया गया कि यह दवा लंबे समय तक प्रोटीन से जुड़ी रहती है। एचआईवी की दवा भी जुड़ती अचछे से है लेकिन यह प्रभाव देर तक नहीं रह पाता है। (एजेंसी)
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A combination of high-dose Vitamin D, Omega-3s, and simple home strength exercises can help reduce cancer risk in healthy adults aged 70 or older by 61 per cent, claims a study.
Published in Frontiers in Aging, it is the first study to test the combined benefit of three affordable public health interventions for the prevention of invasive cancers that has grown past the original tissue or cells where it developed, and spread to otherwise healthy surrounding tissue.
Apart from preventative recommendations such as not smoking and sun protection, public health efforts that focus on cancer prevention are limited, according to Dr Heike Bischoff-Ferrari of the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland.
"Preventive efforts in middle-aged and older adults today are largely limited to screening and vaccination efforts," Bischoff-Ferrari noted.
Studies have shown that Vitamin D inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Similarly, Omega-3 may inhibit the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells, and exercise has been shown to improve immune function and decrease inflammation, which may help in the prevention of cancer.
However, there was a lack of robust clinical studies proving the effectiveness of these three simple interventions, alone or combined.
Bischoff-Ferrari and her colleagues tested the effect of daily high-dose Vitamin D3 (one form of Vitamin D supplements), daily supplemental Omega-3s, and a simple home strength exercise, alone and in combination, on the risk of invasive cancer among adults aged 70 or older.
The three-year trial, held in Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, and Portugal, involved 2,157 participants.
The results show that all three treatments (Vitamin D3, Omega-3s, and exercise) had cumulative benefits on the risk of invasive cancers, Bischoff-Ferrari said.
Each of the treatments had a small individual benefit but when all three treatments were combined, the benefits became statistically significant, and the researchers saw an overall reduction in cancer risk by 61 per cent.
"Our results, although based on multiple comparisons and requiring replication, may prove to be beneficial for reducing the burden of cancer," Bischoff-Ferrari said, adding the need for further studies. (agency)
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New York: Because of their small and relatively collapsible airways, young children with Omicron are more vulnerable to upper airway infection such as croup, which if severe can lead to cardiac arrest, finds a study.
Croup is a type of respiratory illness, known medically as laryngotracheitis, in babies and young children. It is characterised by barking cough, and noisy breathing. In severe cases, it can dangerously constrict breathing.
A team of researchers from Universities of Colorado and Northwestern in the US, examined 18,849 children hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2.
Their results published in the JAMA Pediatrics showed that upper airways infection increased during the Omicron surge. More than one-fifth of children hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2 and upper airways infection in the US developed severe disease.
About 384 had upper airway infection. Severe disease, defined as requiring invasive ventilation, vasopressors, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or death, occurred in 81 children.
The study also found that children with upper airways infection during the Omicron period were more likely to be younger and less likely to receive dexamethasone or develop severe disease compared with those in the pre-Omicron period.
"Children with severe upper airway infection are at risk of cardiac arrest from rapid-onset upper airway obstruction. They may require therapies typically provided in intensive care units, including frequent administration of nebulized racemic epinephrine, helium-oxygen mixtures, and intubation," said the researchers including Blake Martin, from Department of Pediatrics at University of Colorado's School of Medicine.
"While the rate of SARS-CoV-2 paediatric upper airway infection is not overwhelmingly high, understanding this new clinical phenotype and the potential for acute upper airway obstruction may help guide therapeutic decision-making," they added.
After being detected from African countries in November last year, Omicron soon gained presence worldwide and became the dominant strain, replacing Delta. It became dominant in the US the week ending December 25.
"Omicron is known to cause lower severity disease than the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant. This may be because Omicron replicates less efficiently in lung parenchyma and more efficiently in the conducting airways," the researchers said.
The team explained that SARS-CoV-2 can cause severe paediatric disease, including acute Covid-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Published reports associating SARS-CoV-2 with upper airway infection, such as laryngotracheobronchitis (croup), have been limited to small case series.
Although non coronaviruses, including parainfluenza and respiratory syncytial virus, most frequently cause upper airway infection, coronaviruses (eg, type NL63) are also commonly implicated.
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New York: About 25 per cent or one in four adults worldwide has a liver condition, often undiagnosed, that raises risk for heart disease, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement.
The condition, called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), occurs when abnormally elevated amounts of fat are deposited in the liver, sometimes resulting in inflammation and scarring.
"NAFLD is a common condition that is often hidden or missed in routine medical care. It is important to know about the condition and treat it early because it is a risk factor for chronic liver damage and cardiovascular disease," said P. Barton Duell, chair of the statement writing committee.
The statement is published in the Association's peer-reviewed journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.
There are two types of NAFLD: one when only fat is present in the liver (called non-alcoholic fatty liver), and the other when inflammation and scarring are also present (called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH).
NAFLD often raises risk of heart disease and is the leading cause of death in people with the liver condition.
The diseases share many of the same risk factors, including metabolic syndrome (elevated blood sugar and blood triglycerides, increased abdominal fat and high blood pressure); Type 2 diabetes; impaired glucose tolerance (prediabetes); and obesity.
However, people with NAFLD are at higher risk of heart disease than people who have the same heart disease risk factors without the liver condition.
NAFLD can go undiagnosed for years, as the initial stages generally have no symptoms and people feel well, and routine blood tests may not show liver abnormalities.
Often, elevated liver enzymes in blood, a possible sign of NAFLD, may be mis-attributed to a side effect of medication or to recent alcohol consumption. In addition, the absence of elevated liver enzyme levels does not rule out NAFLD or NASH.
According to the statement, a specialised ultrasound that measures liver elasticity, fat and stiffness (a result of scarring) in the liver can detect NAFLD.
This type of liver scan is a non-invasive way to help diagnose and monitor treatment in NAFLD and NASH, yet it is underused. Liver biopsy is the definitive test for the diagnosis of more advanced stages of NAFLD, however, it is invasive and expensive.
However, NAFLD is often preventable by maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising regularly, eating a heart-healthy foods diet and managing conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and elevated triglycerides (a type of fat) in the blood, the statement noted. (Agency)
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