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Trauma Affects the Immune System & Other News of Note

Posted May 14 2010 7:01am

Trauma Leaves Its Mark on Immune System (New Scientist)

Traumatic experiences can scar for life, both mentally and physically. Now it seems they even leave chemical marks on DNA – in areas responsible for immune functions and memory.

The result could help explain why people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including some soldiers and victims of rape or earthquake, often have poorer physical health years later, as well as memory problems. It could also lead to a new method for diagnosing the disorder.

Sandro Galea and his team at Columbia University, New York, looked at blood samples from 23 people who had PTSD and 77 who didn’t. Galea examined the samples to see if there were any notable differences in the levels of methyl groups that were attached to various genes.

Such “epigenetic” chemical changes don’t change the genetic code, but can mean that a gene’s function is increased or decreased, or switched on or off… More

What You Eat Affects You, Your Kids and Your Grandkids (LiveScience)

While cancer victims usually blame themselves – I shouldn’t have smoked, should have eaten better, should have exercised – or the cruelty of chance, they may now have a new scapegoat: Grandma.

Eating poorly during pregnancy can increase your children’s and your grandchildren’s risk of cancer, even if they themselves eat healthily, a new study on rats suggests.

The risk associated with high-fat diets, especially those high in omega-6 fatty acids, “can be passed from one generation to another without any further exposure,” said lead researcher Sonia de Assis of Georgetown University… More

Not Aging Fast Enough? Drink a Soda! (Grist)

Hoo boy. The American Beverage Association isn’t going to like this news one bit. Food companies now add significant amounts of phosphates to soda and other processed foods. And now researchers have found evidence that phosphates may accelerate aging….

* * *

This has nothing to do with sweeteners, food coloring or any other previously established badness associated with soda and processed food – it’s a “new and improved” risk… More

Added Sugars Appear to Affect Cholesterol (NY Times)

People who eat and drink high amounts of added sugars have lower blood levels of so-called good cholesterol and higher levels of harmful triglycerides than those with diets lower in such sweeteners, a new study reports… More

Dental Treatment Might Lower Glucose Levels in Type 2 Diabetes (Medical News Today)

Researchers analyzed seven studies of people ages 16 and older with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes who had periodontitis, a bacteria-caused disease that attacks the gums, tissue and bone that support the teeth.

After combining data for 244 patients from the three most pertinent studies, the researchers concluded that treating gum disease could have small but beneficial implications for people with type 2 or “adult-onset” diabetes… More


Filed under: Cancer , Children's health , Cholesterol , Dentistry , Food , General health , Mental Health , Nutrition , Periodontal health Tagged: aging , Cancer , Cholesterol , diabetes , diet , genes , genetics , gum disease , immune system , Nutrition , periodontitis , phosphates , pregnancy , PTSD , soda , soft drinks , sugars , trauma , triglycerides
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