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How Oral Bacteria Get to the Rest of the Body, & Other News of Note

Posted May 02 2011 10:10am

Mouth as the Gateway to Your Body (MedicalXpress)

After cleaning your mouth, plaque begins forming before your brush even hits the cup.

A key to plaque formation, said Yiping W. Han, a professor of periodontics at Case Western Reserve University is one of the most abundant and persistent bacterium that inhabits the mouth, Fusobacterium nucleatum.

She’s found that the bacterium not only helps contagions attacking your teeth and gums but enables disease and infection to spread throughout the body.

Han’s research is in the upcoming book, Oral Microbial Communities: Genomic Inquiry and Interspecies Communication, edited by Paul E. Kolenbrander, which will be published later this year… More


Gum Disease Linked to Anaemia (Medical News Today)

A new study suggests that severe gum disease (chronic periodontitis) may cause a reduction in red blood cells and haemoglobin leading to the blood disorder anaemia.

The research, published in the Journal of Periodontology (1),found that over a third of people suffering from severe gum disease had haemoglobin levels below normal concentrations. Following a six month course of treatment to improve their oral health, all patients had improved levels of red blood cells, haemoglobin and all other clinical measures used to assess the health of the blood.

The research also suggested that women with severe gum disease had a higher risk of anaemia, compared to men. Less than three in ten men had anaemia, compared to over four in every ten women… More


Risks: Television Time & Children’s Eyes (NY Times)

Children who spend more time in front of television and computer screens and less in outdoor physical activity have narrower blood vessels in their eyes, a new study has found.

In adults, constricted blood vessels in the eyes have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease… More


Pesticide Exposure Linked to Low IQ (Futurity.org)

Children exposed prenatally to pesticides commonly used on food crops score as much as seven points lower on standardized intelligence tests when they reach the age of 7.

A new study finds that every tenfold increase in measures of organophosphates detected during a mother’s pregnancy corresponded to a 5.5 point drop in overall IQ scores.

“These associations are substantial, especially when viewing this at a population-wide level,” says Brenda Eskenazi, professor of epidemiology and of maternal and child health at the University of California, Berkeley… More


Pediatricians Seek Better Regulation of Toxins (USA Today)

The U.S. needs to do a better job protecting children and pregnant women from toxic chemicals, says a policy statement out [last week] from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The group says children’s developing brains and bodies are far more vulnerable than adults’ to toxins. And while pediatricians typically spend more time in the clinic than on Capitol Hill, the policy’s authors say they felt compelled to advocate for patients who can’t defend themselves.

* * *

The pediatrics group is the latest of a growing number of medical organizations — including the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association and American Public Health Association— to call for changes in the way that the government regulates dangerous chemicals.

The Toxic Substances Control Act hasn’t been updated since 1976, Paulson says… More


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