General (2021)

7th June 2021. Portion-size
A recently published study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism the authors lead by Nicola Bondonno of Edith Cowan University’s Institute for Nutrition Research in Perth, Australia after studying 7,675 subjects, concluded that people who consumed 2 standard servings of fruit per day had a 36% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next five years than those who consumed less than half a standard serving of fruit per day. This is an easy to follow life style modification to keep diabetes at bay for people who are prone to the disease.

28th May 2021.
“Super tasters” are people who are highly sensitive to bitterness. According to a new study, recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, these supertasters are not only less likely to get COVID-19 than others, they’re also less likely to be hospitalized with COVID 19 disease. Interestingly, supertasters also experienced milder COVID-19 symptoms for much less time (five days), compared with an of average 23 days among non-tasters who participated in the study.

How, or even if, taste affects COVID-19 risk isn’t precisely understood, but the authors of the study postulate that bitter taste receptors, (including the T2R38),  are found in the taste buds of the tongue. When they are stimulated, they respond by producing copious amounts of nitric oxide which kills  or prevent further replication of viruses in the respiratory mucosa. The study looked at about 2,000 people whose ability to taste was tested using various paper strips. All participants were tested before COVID-19, as COVID 19 could compromise their sense of taste and smell. The participants were then divided into three groups: non-tasters, supertasters, and tasters. Non-tasters were participants who couldnt detect bitter flavors at all.

Supertasters, were participants who were very sensitive to bitterness. Tasters were somewhere in between. During the study, 266 participants tested positive for COVID-19. The study found that non-tasters were much more likely than supertasters to get infected and they were also more likely to have severe COVID-19. Tasters were likely to have mild-to-moderate COVID-19 disease which usually did not require hospitalization. The authors concluded that if you are unable to taste bitterness, you should be extra careful and wear a mask for a longer duration to protect yourself.  Unfortunately, however, most people don’t know which type of taster they are. 

21st May 2021.
Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is associated with many health benefits including less stress, according to new research work published in the journal Clinical Nutrition. The research study looked at the correlation between fruit and vegetable intake and stress levels of over 8,600 Australians between the ages of 25 and 91 years who participated in this study named: Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) Study which was conducted by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Victoria. The findings suggested that people who ate at least 470 grams of fruit and vegetables everyday  had a 10 % lower stress level compared to those who had eaten less than 230 grams. The mechanisms for this beneficial effect is thought to be by reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables every day to remain healthy. The more colorful they are the more their benefits.

14th May 2021.
Physician burnout is becoming more and common as the deadly COVID 19 pandemic wreaks havoc across the world. A recently published study in the American journal of Medicine looks at its causes and strategies for its prevention.

7th May 2021.
If one develops type 2 Diabetes at a young age, the risks of developing dementia in the future are higher according to a recent publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study conducted in England, authored by CB Amidei et al, looked at the followup of over 10,000 participants with a median followup of 31 years. This phenomenon needs attention while treating young patients with type 2 Diabetes.

28th April 2021.
According to a recently published study in the journal “Circulation”, atleast 5 servings of fruits and vegetables result in increased life expectancy. The study looked at over 100,000 males and females and followed them up for over 25 years before drawing its conclusions.

21st April 2021.
An interesting app based observational study recently published in the BMJ suggests that some specific micro nutrients and food supplements may have a protective effect against COVID 19. Although all observational studies have some inherent design flaws, this is a big one involving a large number of app users. The analysis has thrown up some interesting results.

7th April 2021.An excellent review of biomarkers that help to stratify  and prognosticate in patients with COVID 19 disease has recently published in the journal Frontiers in Paediatrics and is an exhaustive reference source for practicing physicians.

March 28th 2021.
If COVID 19 disease complicates hospitalization in cardiac surgery patients, the mortality is significantly higher according to a recent study published in the Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

March 15th 2021.
Obesity is a well documented risk factor for severe COVID19 disease. Obese people have higher levels of chronic inflammation. Their lung capacity is also lower. According to a recently published mortality and morbidity weekly report of the CDC which looked at 148,494 adults with  COVID-19, the rates of ICU admissions, need for mechanical ventilation and overall mortality were higher.

January 21st 2021.
Shortened telomeres are associated with numerous disease including accelerated aging. A recent study study also found them to be associated with severe COVID 19 disease.

14th January 2021.
Sticking to a healthy lifestyle, which includes avoiding smoking, not being overweight, exercising regularly etc has recently been proven to be associated with a longer life expectancy and disease free life at the age of 50 years with a significantly lower incidence of various cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes according to a recently published study in the British Medical Journal.

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