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Effects of Too Many Dental X-Rays & Other News of Note

Posted Jul 05 2010 7:01am

Dental X-Ray Link to Thyroid Cancer (Telegraph)

In a study of 313 cancer patients, scientists from Brighton, Cambridge and Kuwait found the chances of developing cancer rose with increasing numbers of dental X-rays.

The researchers said the idea that dental radiography is absolutely safe merits further examination due to their findings.

They argued that their study drew attention to concerns that dental X-rays should only be prescribed to cater for a specific clinical need, rather than as part of a routine check-up… More

Manipulating Microbes in the Gut May Remedy Disease and Enhance Health (ScienceDaily)

“For each human cell in your body there are 10 microbial cells, most of them living in the gut and helping us digest things we can’t digest on our own,” said Justin Sonnenburg, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “In turn, what you eat is proving to be one of the major determinants of the components of your ‘inner self’ — that community of bacteria living in your intestine.”

Each individual’s microbial ecosystem is different in its relative composition, with potential implications for our health. Disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer and even obesity have been linked to skewed intestinal microbe distributions.

* * *

In an animal study…published June 25 in Cell, Sonnenburg and his colleagues showed that zeroing in on just a small set of bacterial genes, while ignoring the vast majority, allowed them to predict how bugs would respond to a diet change. The results highlight the potential of the burgeoning new field of prebiotics, which (in contrast to probiotics — the seeding of food with healthful bacterial organisms) involves adding substances to the diet in an effort to shift the mix of bugs in our gut in a healthy direction… More

FDA: Antibiotics in Livestock Affect Human Health (WebMD)

“We are seeing the emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens,” FDA Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein, MD, said at a news conference. “FDA believes overall weight of evidence supports the conclusion that using medically important antimicrobial drugs for production purposes is not appropriate”… More

Did Politics Outweigh Mammography Science? (Futurity.org)

Medicare coverage of the device was key to its marketing to hospitals and health-care facilities, which resulted in intense lobbying of Congress for approval of CAD as a covered benefit.

“This illustrates how industry and government interact to determine the course of health-care practice, and it’s not really guided by science,” [study author Joshua] Fenton says. “This is a case in which expensive technology gets widely adopted in clinical practice before it is proven effective”… More

A Workout for Your Bloodstream (NY Times)

What does exercise do to your body? It may seem as if science, medicine and common sense answered that question long ago. But in fact, the precise mechanisms by which exercise alters your body — at a deep, molecular level — remain poorly understood. A number of analyses of the effect that exercise has on heart disease, for instance, have concluded that working out lessens a person’s chances of developing heart problems far more than scientists can account for. They understand the physiological reasons for about 60 percent of the reduced risk. The rest is a mysterious if welcome bonus.

But a new study that gauged the metabolic effects of exercise may significantly advance our understanding of what’s going on inside a body in motion. During the experiment, scientists actually saw how much being fit changes your ability to incinerate fat, moderate blood sugar and otherwise function well. They also uncovered proof, at once inspiring and cautionary, of just how complicated and pervasive exercise’s consequences are… More

Gel That Regenerates Tooth Tissue Could Replace Fillings (Medical News Today)

After testing their idea on cell cultures and laboratory mice, scientists in France suggest that a new biomaterial shown to regenerate bone could be used as a gel inserted in tooth cavities to encourage tooth regeneration, thus avoiding the need to drill and fill the teeth.

* * *

[Study co-author Nadia] Benkirane-Jessel told the press that the purpose of the gel would be to control cavities after they develop, it was not like toothpaste, so people would still need to keep brushing and flossing to prevent the cavities in the first place, reported Discovery News… More

 


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