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Archive for September 12, 2013

Why are people buying Vitamin K supplements?

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There’s been a wave of supplements launched containing Vitamin K, particularly K2. Why do people take them?

 

Not everybody will have heard of Vitamin K2.

But more and more of us are consuming it in supplements, according to market research firm Mintel.

It says new food, drink, vitamin and supplement product launches containing Vitamin K2 have gone up 183% globally between 2008 and 2012.

The better known form of Vitamin K, Vitamin K1, posted a healthy, but slower growth – 96% – over the same reviewed period.

The number of products containing Vitamin K1 still far outstrips those containing Vitamin K2. All types of Vitamin K were in 1% of all food, drink, vitamins and supplement launches last year, according to Mintel.

But what is Vitamin K, what’s the difference between K1 and K2, and why are people taking Vitamin K supplements?


The answer

  • Vitamin K is increasingly being seen as a bone health ingredient
  • Ageing population and rise in osteoporosis having impact

The NHS says Vitamin K has several important functions, for example blood clotting, which helps wounds heal properly. Babies are born with lower levels of Vitamin K, and for this reason the NHS offers an injection of it soon after birth to prevent internal bleeding problems.

There is also increasing evidence fat-soluble Vitamin K is needed to help build strong bones.

Baby being injected orally with Vitamin K
New-born babies are given a dose of Vitamin K

Adults need approximately 0.001mg a day of Vitamin K for each kilogram of their body weight, according to the NHS.

It says people should be able to get all they need by eating a varied and balanced diet, with any not needed immediately stored in the liver for future use.

It cites green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, vegetable oils and cereals as good sources of Vitamin K. Small amounts can also be found in meat such as chicken and dairy foods.

The NHS also advises that taking too many Vitamin K supplements might be harmful.

Those taking anticoagulants should also take heed of the experience of an Ayrshire man with a mechanical heart, who was hospitalised after hiseating too many Brussels sprouts – which contain lots of Vitamin K – counteracted their effect.

So why are Vitamin K, and particularly Vitamin K2, supplements on the rise?


What are vitamins

  • Essential nutrients needed in small amounts by human body
  • Some vitamins are fat-soluble (Vitamins A, D, E, K) and found in animal fats, including butter and lard, vegetable oils, dairy foods, liver and oily fish
  • B-vitamins, Vitamin C and folic acid are water-soluble, and found in fruit, vegetables and grains
  • Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored by body; water-soluble vitamins cannot

Vitamins and minerals – NHS Choices

Laura Jones, a global food science analyst at Mintel, says recent research has revealed Vitamin K2 has much broader health benefits than previously thought, and is increasingly being seen as a bone health ingredient.

“Vitamin K1 has a relatively short half-life and is rapidly cleared from the blood and is cleared by the liver within eight hours. In comparison vitamin K2 has a longer half-life of up to 72 hours, meaning it remains biologically active in the body for longer.

“Vitamin K2 is also absorbed better by the body, and is linked to cardiovascular health. It directs calcium to the bones, and prevents it from being deposited where it shouldn’t be, for example arteries and organs, where it can cause harm,” she says.

The health claims for Vitamin K have had support from the European Food Safety Authority in recent years, with the body stating that “Vitamin K contributes to maintenance of normal bone,” and “Vitamin K contributes to normal blood coagulation”.

Cabbage; bowl of strawberries
Cabbage and strawberries both contain Vitamin K

The ageing population – especially in major markets like Europe, Japan, China and the US – is also having an impact on supplement sales, with an increase in osteoporosis resulting in more interest in bone health.

The number of new products with bone health claims having grown 44% since 2009, according to Mintel.

And while calcium and Vitamin D continue to be the most common vitamins in food and supplements making a bone health claim, Jones thinks that as consumers’ awareness of Vitamin K2 increases, so will its prevalence.


Who, what, why?

Question mark from original drawing for Television Centre

A part of BBC News Magazine, Who, What, Why? aims to answer questions behind the headlines

But not everyone is convinced.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, a general practitioner and regular guest on the BBC’s The One Show, says there is no evidence to suggest that people aren’t getting enough Vitamin K.

“I can see no reason why normal healthy people would need a vitamin K supplement or any supplement – with the exception of Vitamin D – it’s far better to have a balanced healthy diet,” she says.

She thinks supplements send the wrong message.

“My feeling from young people that come into my clinic is that they think they can have a rubbish diet and take multi-vitamins to make up for it, which they can’t.

“And if older people are worried about their bones, it’s more important they look at calcium and Vitamin D. Vitamin K is connected with clotting – too much can have a negative impact,” she says.

via BBC News – Why are people buying Vitamin K supplements?.

視物線條走鐘?老年黃斑部病變搞怪

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老年性黃斑部病變是銀髮族視力殺手,不治療2年內容易有失明風險。

 

1位67歲的洪姓男子,一日如往常至路口搭車上班時,發現對街的銀行標誌,招牌紅色邊框,橢圓弧線竟變直線,到辦公室回電子郵件,詎料,眼前竟發生閃電般的閃爍強光,螢幕上的字體想看也看不清楚,頓時心中感到不妙,隨即就醫檢查,確診罹患「老年性黃斑部病變」。

新竹馬偕醫院眼科主任蔡裕棋醫師表示,這名洪姓年長男子之後聽從建議治療,在接受3針新生血管抑制劑後,視力從0.8回到1.0,銀行的標誌也回復弧線,目前僅需持續追蹤。

黃斑部病變 年齡是致病主因

不過,像洪先生這麼有警覺的例子畢竟是少數,因為門診中發現,許多民眾往往認為視力差就是白內障等疾病,卻不知黃斑部病變惡化速度相當快,稍有輕忽就可能有失明的風險。

事實上,黃斑部病變是中老年人常見的疾病之一,更是導致中老年人永久性視力損害的首要原因。臨床發現,「年齡」是其重要的致病因子,台灣65歲以上每10人就有1人罹患,隨人口老年化,估計2050年患者數將成長3倍,若民眾無此疾病認知,恐對未來老年社會及生活造成嚴重影響。

 

蔡裕棋醫師(右一)表示,這名洪姓年長男子(右二),之後聽從建議治療,視力已經獲得改善。(圖片/新竹馬偕醫院提供)

蔡裕棋醫師(右一)表示,這名洪姓年長男子(右二),之後聽從建議治療,視力已經獲得改善。(圖片/新竹馬偕醫院提供)

 

蔡裕棋醫師強調,眼科門診中,除了青光眼、白內障外,老年性黃斑部病變是常見病灶。由於身體器官的老化,有視力障礙的老年人中,每4人中,就有1人可能患有黃斑部病變,若2年內未積極治療,9成患者的視力可能惡化至 0.1 以下,達到法定失明標準,不容輕忽。

黃斑部位於視網膜正中央,掌管細微中心及色彩視力。(圖片/本網站資料照片)

黃斑部位於視網膜正中央,掌管細微中心及色彩視力。(圖片/本網站資料照片)

 

黃斑部病變 需要早治療

基本上,黃斑部病變越早治療效果越好,若不了解疾病,耽擱就醫時間又找錯專科,改善的效果就有限,但患者也不要灰心,只要積極治療仍有機會可以維持視力。

臨床上,黃斑部位於視網膜正中央,掌管細微中心及色彩視力,但隨年齡增加,眼部的沉積物會逐漸堆積,血管也會開始增生,導致視網膜黃斑部結構及功能發生改變,造成中心視野受損。

黃斑部病變典型症狀:為視力模糊、視物扭曲變形、甚至視野中心產生黑影或空缺,患者只能以餘光看東西。其他症狀還包括:閃光幻視(閃爍或閃爍光)、色覺減少、視覺對比敏感度降低等。除了影響日常生活、無法辨識人臉,也可能導致喪失工作能力,以及自理能力。

預防黃斑部病變 掌握4大重點

1.代償作用:值得注意的是,雙眼的視力會有「代償作用」,正常的眼睛會在視覺上補償視力惡化的眼睛,黃斑部病變初期很少同時影響雙眼,因此當單眼患病時,患者常難以察覺視野有任何扭曲、變形的異狀,也能正常開車、打理日常生活,因而忽略治療。

醫師建議,平常可利用簡便的自我評估工具「阿姆斯勒方格表(Amsler Grid)」自我檢查。(圖片/新竹馬偕醫院提供)

醫師建議,平常可利用簡便的自我評估工具「阿姆斯勒方格表(Amsler Grid)」自我檢查。(圖片/新竹馬偕醫院提供)

 

2.治療方式:包括光動力療法、雷射光凝固療法、及最新治療方法─使用「新生血管抑制劑」。蔡裕棋主任指出,目前醫界普遍採取新生血管抑制劑治療,每個月注射一次,可阻止新生血管增生,改善或穩定視力。

3.治療費用:1年3針約10萬元,目前已有健保給付,超過3針的部分則需自費。醫師提醒,50歲以上民眾應定期至眼科進行眼底相關檢查,並常常「睜一隻眼、閉一隻眼」檢視眼睛健康,但切勿對視力變化「睜一隻眼閉一隻眼」,陷自己於失明危機。

4.自我檢測:平常時可利用簡便的自我評估工具「阿姆斯勒方格表(Amsler Grid)」(或「家中磁磚」、「窗框」等直橫條排列處),左右單眼依序注視格線,若發現視野模糊、扭曲變形,甚至中央有黑影或部分出現空缺時,切記眼睛也有分專科,請盡速至「視網膜專科」諮詢。

via 視物線條走鐘?老年黃斑部病變搞怪 | 20130912 | 華人健康網.

只要10顆輪狀病毒 寶寶就會染病


寶寶不出門就不會感染輪狀病毒嗎?錯!據美國微生物學研究指出,在家中看似清潔的物體上,有16%潛藏著輪狀病毒,兒科醫師指出,家中病菌多為家長帶回,其中輪狀病毒可存活達10天,且傳染性極強,窩藏在被大人碰過的玩具、兒童座椅上,只要10顆病毒就能讓抵抗力本就較差的寶寶染病,加上治療上僅能施以支持性療法,常讓寶寶活受罪!

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家中感染源仍多,潛藏在被大人碰過的玩具、兒童座椅等地方。

 

根據一項針對全台1200名2歲以下家長輪狀病毒認知的調查發現,近5成家長認為只要做好家中清潔就不會有輪狀病毒存在,同時有7成家長不曉得輪狀病毒會出現嚴重脫水、熱痙攣、中樞神經系統併發症等嚴重症狀。「不出門就不會感染輪狀病毒」以及「對輪狀病毒嚴重性認知不足」兩大錯誤迷思導致防疫力不足,提高「宅」寶寶感染輪狀病毒風險。

美調查:看似清潔,16%家中物品潛藏輪狀病毒

而美國微生物學會一項對育幼院中輪狀病毒傳染的研究指出,在育幼院內16%看似清潔的物體上,驗出輪狀病毒,且一旦有室內環境遭受感染,存在輪狀病毒的物體是未遭感染環境的8倍。

台北榮總兒童醫學部主任醫師宋文舉表示,輪狀病毒潛藏在門把、玩具、沙發、餐桌、兒童座椅、馬桶沖水閥等,所有只要被大人摸過的地方都有可能帶有病毒。原因在於家長會將外界環境的感染源帶回家中,且輪狀病毒可存活在物體表面長達10天,加上感染性極強,只要10顆小病毒跑到寶寶身上,就有可能造成感染!

寶寶很可能在玩遊戲時,一不小心就將輪狀病毒吃下肚。

寶寶很可能在玩遊戲時,一不小心就將輪狀病毒吃下肚。

 

加上兩歲以下的寶寶正值口腔期發展,充滿好奇心喜歡把手和玩具放進嘴巴裡,因此也容易把輪狀病毒吃下肚。日前便曾收治1位不出門的「宅寶寶」,無預警的發燒與嘔吐高達十多次,經檢驗才知道感染輪狀病毒,住院治療4天,連續吊13瓶點滴,小小雙手扎滿了針孔令人憐惜。

醫:7種輪狀病毒 疫苗有效預防

宋文舉醫師補充,輪狀病毒因其基因構造,產生7種不同的變異組合,像是全球各地近期已出現的變異型別G8與G12,約佔輪狀病毒感染的4成;加上過去常見的5種輪狀病毒型別G1、G2、G3、G4、G9,佔其餘的6成;顯見病毒變異讓感染型態越來越多元,稍有不慎就讓寶寶陷入輪狀病毒警報中!

提醒家長們,家中感染源仍多,目前沒有針對輪狀病毒治療的藥物,只能採用支持性療法,最有效的預防方法,除了做好個人與寶寶的衛生習慣,還是趁寶寶6個月大前,施以兩劑的口服疫苗。據亞洲大型輪狀病毒疫苗臨床研究顯示,預防效果高達9成6;而北榮在民國95~101年的統計也得知,自95年疫苗問世,感染人數7年來從117人降低至15人。

via 只要10顆輪狀病毒 寶寶就會染病 | 20130912 | 華人健康網.

氣喘兒免驚 6個運動處方強身


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氣喘兒只要有正確的運動認知,多多運動對改善氣喘的幫助更大。

家有氣喘兒總讓父母們細心保護,深怕「動過頭」會誘發症狀。醫師指出,限制越多讓氣喘小朋友的體力越差,甚至發育趕不上同齡小孩,其實,只要有正確的運動觀念,眾多研究顯示,適當、循序漸進而穩定的運動例如健走、游泳、慢跑、騎腳踏車等,對改善氣喘的幫助非常大!

林口長庚兒童過敏氣喘中心主任醫師歐良修表示,許多氣喘兒的家長,都視小孩運動為畏途,但這項錯誤認知反而讓氣喘兒喪失改善症狀、增進體能的契機!其實,氣喘是奧運中最常見的慢性呼吸道疾病,連英國足球名將貝克漢也患有氣喘,而一般人也有10%機率透過運動誘發氣喘。

氣喘兒只要有正確的運動認知,多多運動對改善氣喘的幫助更大,長庚醫院的一項調查也發現,國中2年級氣喘兒童在心肺適能與爆發力的表現,與沒有氣喘的兒童有顯著差異,但在控制得當,進而搭配規律運動時,1年內跟常人無異。

6個運動處方 氣喘兒動起來!

歐良修醫師提到,氣喘兒在經由醫師診治狀況後,備妥用藥就可正常運動。運動時有6個小地方要特別注意。首先第1點,「依照醫囑,平時規律用藥」,按時使用氣喘藥物控制病情,狀況不佳時,運動前可先使用吸入型支氣管擴張劑,並且隨身攜帶備用。

游泳是對氣喘兒相當好的運動之一。

游泳是對氣喘兒相當好的運動之一。

 

第2點是當發生「運動喘鳴時」,只要先緩和下來,休息30分鐘就可復原,切勿過度緊張,或是因此懼怕而不運動。第3點則為「充足暖身」,足夠的熱身可以避免身體因無法適應劇烈運動,而突發氣喘症狀,適用於第4~6點的3個運動項目中。

第4點選擇「跑步」的氣喘兒,應以最大心跳率的60~80%為強度,每次以20~30分鐘為宜,切忌一開始跑太快,且應以腳跟、腳掌著地的方式來跑;第5點選擇「游泳」盡量讓最大心跳率達到60~80%,時間則以30分鐘以上;而第6點選擇「騎腳踏車」時,最大心跳率約達到80%,連續騎30分鐘不間斷。

歐良修醫師補充,最大心跳率的預估公式為「220-年齡」,依低強度運動為達到60~70%,中強度運動為70~80%,高強度運動則為80%以上。例如10歲的小朋友,當進行低強度運動時,心跳的速率建議為(220-10)*60%約120下。呼籲氣喘兒只要平時保養控制好,持續運動就能明顯減少到醫院掛急診的次數。

 

10/6永慶盃路跑將邀請身心障礙者騎成「手搖車」領道。(攝影/黃子倫)

10/6永慶盃路跑將邀請身心障礙者騎成「手搖車」領道。(攝影/黃子倫)

 

相揪來運動 10/6永慶盃路跑

另外,長庚醫院為提倡健康公益,自2010年開始舉辦的永慶盃路跑活動,在今年將定於10月6日上午在北市、嘉義縣、廈門長庚紀念醫院三地同日開跑,今年將邀請身心障礙者騎成「手搖車」領道,並結合氣喘學童參加路跑,正是要鼓勵氣喘兒走出戶外,多多運動。

via 氣喘兒免驚 6個運動處方強身 | 20130912 | 華人健康網.

研究:每天運動半小時 預防子宮癌

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女性運動不但可以保持身材,研究還發現對於預防子宮癌症的發生也有幫助!

 

婦女疾病中,子宮的相關病症常是許多女性最感困擾的問題,其中子宮頸癌更是全球婦女第2大普遍癌症,根據世界衛生組織(WHO)統計,每年約50萬起新增病例與25萬人因此死亡。英國最新研究則發現女性日常運動習慣、維持正常體重,與子宮癌症的機率密切相關,此外,喝咖啡也有助於降低風險。

每天半小時動一動,維持免疫系統活力

根據英國國家廣播電台《BBC》報導指出,倫敦帝國學院(Imperial College London)進行的研究蒐集了自2007年起所有關於「子宮內膜癌」的研究報告,並與飲食、生理活動、體重等變因做比較分析。研究發現,在個案分析中每年有44%比例的病患可以藉由規律運動習慣、維持身材來降低罹患子宮癌症的機率。

研究人員指出,規律的運動可以幫助身體荷爾蒙調節,也可以強化免疫系統、消化機能等,而維持體重、正常體脂肪值,可以減少脂肪細胞干擾內分泌系統運作的可能,因此學者建議每天至少要運動30分鐘,才能達到相當效果。

日本、美國都有研究指出咖啡可降低罹患子宮癌症的機率。(圖片/取材自英國《BBC》)

日本、美國都有研究指出咖啡可降低罹患子宮癌症的機率。(圖片/取材自英國《BBC》)

 

研究:喝咖啡也有助防癌

除了要多運動保持健康,日本厚生勞動省領導的研究,在長達15年針對40歲以上,子宮癌症的高危險族群追蹤分析飲食,發現每天飲用3杯以上咖啡的組別,子宮癌的罹患機率降低了60%。主要可能是因為咖啡造成怡島素濃度降低,進而抑制了子宮癌細胞的產生。

而美國哈佛大學的研究也同時佐證,每天喝4杯以上咖啡的人,罹患子宮癌的機率降低25%,甚至男性每天喝6杯咖啡以上者,攝護腺癌的機率也降低了18%。顯示飲用咖啡對於抑制癌症的確有幫助。

不過國外習慣將咖啡當做飲料喝是因為通常都泡得較淡,如果以台灣一杯濃醇黑咖啡來比較,一天喝6杯以上可能就會有咖啡因攝取過量的問題。根據歐盟食品科學專家委員會評估,咖啡因每日攝取量建議控制在300毫克以內,若過量攝取,易導致骨質疏鬆、心悸、失眠等問題,患有心血管疾病、心律不整、腸胃病、長期失眠的患者與孕婦及孩童,更應該避免飲用。

via 研究:每天運動半小時 預防子宮癌 | 20130912 | 華人健康網.

“Humanised mouse” developed to test dengue drugs

humanised-mouse-smart
Researchers at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research Technology (SMART) have developed a humanised mouse to test dengue drug treatments on animals.

Scientists in Singapore have developed a “humanised mouse” that mimics human responses to dengue infection, allowing scientists to test dengue drugs on animals which are usually unaffected by the virus.

SINGAPORE: Scientists in Singapore have developed a “humanised mouse” that mimics human responses to dengue infection, allowing scientists to test dengue drugs on animals which are usually unaffected by the virus.

The lab mice are injected with human fetal liver stem cells when they are a day old, developing a human immune system after three months.

This means that when the mice are infected with the dengue virus, their immune system responds in the same way as a human being’s, for example, its platelet count drops.

Researchers at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research Technology (SMART) hope to one day develop vaccines for dengue.

Humanised mice have been used in previous clinical trials, but this is the first time scientists have detected the presence of human platelets in the mice.

– CNA/ec

via “Humanised mouse” developed to test dengue drugs – Channel NewsAsia.

Healthcare system is rapidly changing: PM

healthcare
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak meeting participants after officiating the Hospital Engineering International Conference and Exhibition. NSTP/Effendy Rashid

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the healthcare system in Malaysia was rapidly changing in line with the government’s 2020 Vision.

Speaking at the opening of the Hospital Engineering International Conference and Exhibition 2013 here this morning, Najib said Malaysia had progressively taken steps to improve the healthcare facility and engineering services.

He said: “Our initiative of privatising hospital support services has successfully improved the quality of hospital support services in public hospitals.

“This has in turn set the benchmark for the private sector to emulate”.

Najib said this had resulted in the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognising the provision of clinical waste management services in Malaysia as among the best in developing countries and comparable to those in developed countries.

Read more: Healthcare system is rapidly changing: PM – Latest – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/healthcare-system-is-rapidly-changing-pm-1.354430#ixzz2eh1WZbBp

via Healthcare system is rapidly changing: PM – Latest – New Straits Times.

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