May 22, 2009, 6:51 AM
First there were blackcurrants, then apples and grapes . and now there are black raspberries! According to American researchers, extracts from varieties of black raspberry appear to have anti-cancer or, more precisely, chemopreventive properties. This is due to the presence of anthocyanines in this fruit, which grows mainly in Canada. Anthocyanines are antioxidants belonging to the flavonoid group. From their study conducted on rats, Dr Gary Stoner and his team at Ohio State University have shown that these substances stimulate apoptosis - in other words they have re-established a process that encourages tumour cells to self destruct.
At this stage, the results must be treated with caution. However, Dr Stoner "soon hopes to test the effectiveness of black raspberry anthocyanines on man". And we shall be keeping an eye on progress.
Nicotine on its own is Not Addictive!
Researchers at the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) and the College of France have highlighted the role of certain monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) that are also found in tobacco products.
It is their association with nicotine that, according to the researchers, appears to be the cause of dependency.
This is how it works: these MAOIs act by unleashing the addictive properties of nicotine, explains Jean-Pol Tassin of the College of France, who carried out this research. In fact they cancel out the natural protection of neurons with respect to nicotine.
In other words, as Tassin and his team have shown, nicotine alone is not enough to trigger a state of dependency among smokers.
Other tobacco components -the infamous MAOIs in fact - prove to be essential in unleashing its addictive
For the authors, this discovery also explains why the nicotine substitutes used to help in quitting smoking are ineffective in the long-term. Indeed, according to the researcher who cites several studies on the subject, 80% of nicotine patch users start smoking again within one year of quitting.
Nicotine alone is not sufficient as a substitute product.
It should be remembered that worldwide, smoking kills nearly 5 million people each year. And by 2030, this figure is expected to rise to as many as 8 million. which is an increase of 63%.
Surgical Errors - the WHO Checklist Bears Fruit
More than 6 months after the publication of its checklist setting out standardized safety requirements in respect of operating theatres, the WHO has produced a largely positive report on its results.
Trials carried out in 8 pilot countries have in fact revealed a one third reduction in deaths and surgical complications.
This checklist is nothing more than a brief control protocol placed at the disposal of operating theatre teams. It is simply a matter of validating procedures at three critical stages: before anaesthesia is used, before incision and lastly, before leaving the operating area.
The study was conducted over one month in hospitals in 8 countries, both wealthy and under-developed: Tanzania, the Philippines, India and Jordan, the United States and Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Almost 7,700 patients were involved in this study.
The results show that the rate of major complications following surgical intervention was brought down from 11% to 7% on average, which in fact corresponds to a one-third reduction. As for deaths, they decreased by as much as 40%. Dr Atul Gawande, responsible for drawing up the list, believes that the extent of these results is such as that the list could become as essential as the stethoscope in everyday medicine. However, this optimism should not be allowed to mask the reservations of many specialists, namely that individual strengthening of operating theatre controls will never be enough.
Only a more rigorous checking of practitioner skills will seriously reduce surgical errors...
Courtesy of www.destinationsante.com