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By John Schieszer
Medical Minutes 

Researchers explore the health benefits of eggs, Vitamin D and cellphones

Medical Minutes

 


Can eating eggs help prevent type-2 diabetes?

Researchers in Finland are reporting that eating eggs may benefit blood sugar metabolism. In the past, egg consumption has either been associated with an elevated risk of diabetes or no association has been found. The findings from this new study suggest that some compound or combination of compounds in eggs may help combat diabetes through an anti-inflammatory effect.

The researchers looked at the dietary habits of 2,332 men between the ages of ages 42 and 60. During a follow-up of 19.3 years, they found that 432 men were diagnosed with type-2 diabetes.

Interestingly, egg consumption was associated with a lower risk of type-2 diabetes as well as with lower blood glucose levels. Men who ate approximately 4 eggs per week had a 37 percent lower risk of type-2 diabetes than men who only ate approximately 1 egg per week. This association persisted even after physical activity, body mass index (BMI), smoking and consumption of fruits and vegetables were taken into consideration.

The consumption of more than four eggs per week did not bring any significant additional benefits. The investigators theorize that eggs contain many beneficial nutrients that can have an effect on glucose metabolism and low-grade inflammation, and thus help prevent the development of type-2 diabetes.

How are you feeling? Let me check my phone

In much the same way that glucometers and pregnancy tests have revolutionized in-home diagnostic testing, researchers are now using new biosensing platforms, which can diagnose HIV, E-coli, Staphylococcus aureas and other bacteria with a smartphone.

Florida researchers have developed a phone app that can detect bacteria and disease in the blood using images from a cellphone that could easily be analyzed from anywhere in the world. They have employed three different paper and flexible material-based platforms incorporated with electrical and optical sensing modalities.

This approach may pave the way for detecting multiple biotargets selectively, sensitively and repeatedly from diverse biological mediums using antibodies. It could allow older adults living in Anchorage to consult with physicians and laboratory services all over the world.

“There is a dire need for robust, portable, disposable and inexpensive biosensing platforms for clinical care, especially in developing countries with limited resources,” said study investigator Waseem Asghar, Ph.D., who is an assistant professor of electrical engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

He and his team report their materials are easy to make, easy to use, and can easily and safely be disposed. This technology is evolving quickly and showing considerable promise for those living in Alaska. It may have broad applications for drug development, food safety, environmental monitoring, veterinary medicine and diagnosing infectious diseases.

Vitamin D levels may affect pain in osteoarthritis patients

If you are overweight and have osteoarthritis, you may want to bone up on your dairy and other products that have vitamin D, according to a University of Florida study. It has found that higher levels of vitamin D may decrease pain and improve function in obese individuals with osteoarthritis.

In a study published in The Clinical Journal of Pain, the investigators report that obese individuals who suffer from osteoarthritis and have adequate vitamin D levels could walk, balance and rise from sitting to standing better than obese participants with insufficient vitamin D levels.

“Adequate vitamin D may be significant to improving osteoarthritis pain because it affects bone quality and protects cell function to help reduce inflammation. Vitamin D maintains calcium and phosphate concentration levels to keep bones strong,” said lead author Toni Glover, who is an assistant professor in the University of Florida College of Nursing, Gainesville, Florida. “Increased pain due to osteoarthritis could limit physical activity, including outdoor activity, which would lead to both decreased vitamin D levels and increased obesity.”

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over time, causing pain, stiffness and loss of joint movement. The researchers analyzed blood samples for vitamin D levels in 256 middle-aged and older adults. Among the 126 obese participants, 68 were vitamin D-deficient while only 29 of the 130 non-obese participants were deficient, suggesting obesity is significantly associated with vitamin D deficiency.

Obesity is associated with vitamin D deficiency, knee osteoarthritis pain and poor functional performance. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults ages 18 to 70 get 600 international units of vitamin D per day, and adults over 71 get at least 800 international units of vitamin D per day. An 8 ounce glass of fortified milk contains about 100 international units of calcium. Foods rich in vitamin D include salmon, tuna, sardines, shrimp, mushrooms, egg yolks and foods fortified with vitamin D, such as milk and some cereals, yogurts and orange juices. The body also produces vitamin D through sun exposure.

John Schieszer is an award-winning national journalist and radio broadcaster of The Medical Minute. He can be reached at medicalminutes@gmail.com.

 
 

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