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Saturday 21 July, 2012

NEW YORK: Some women with unexplained fatigue may get a bit more pep from iron supplements - even if they do not have full-blown anemia, a new clinical trial suggests.

The study focused on women who were chronically tired and had relatively low iron stores. They did not, however, have full-blown iron-deficiency anemia, in which the body has too few oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

It has not been clear whether iron supplements can help battle fatigue in non-anemic women.

To find out, Swiss researchers randomly assigned 200 women with unexplained fatigue to take either 80 milligrams of iron a day or a placebo (identical-looking pills with no active ingredient.)

Over 12 weeks, both groups improved. But women on iron supplements fared better, the researchers report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

On average, scores on a standard measure of fatigue fell by nearly half - from about 25 to 13, on a scale of zero to 40 - among women getting the extra iron.

That compared with a 29 percent decline in fatigue reported by the placebo group, whose average score fell from about 25 to just over 16.

The findings suggest that when a woman's persistent fatigue cannot be explained by any health condition, low iron should become a suspect, according to lead researcher Paul Vaucher, a doctoral candidate at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

Physicians often test for iron deficiency by measuring blood levels of hemoglobin, a protein in blood cells that carries oxygen. But hemoglobin levels usually don't fall until the later stages of iron deficiency, when a person has full-blown anemia.

In their study, Vaucher's team measured women's blood levels of ferritin, which is a marker of the body's stored iron. Doctors may or may not order that test when looking for iron deficiency.

Vaucher said that for a woman with unexplained fatigue, measuring ferritin would be wise.

"This marker will then give a better idea of whether iron load is low or not, even if women are not anemic," Vaucher said in an email.

All of the women in this study had ferritin levels below 50 micrograms per liter, which would be considered low to borderline-low.

Since women in the placebo group also improved, the effects of the iron supplement were not huge. They amounted to an extra 3.5 points shaved off a woman's fatigue score.

 ( Friday 20 July 2012,

. NEW YORK: Substituting almonds for less healthy foods could help dieters stick to a calorie-controlled diet, and lower their cholesterol at the same time, says a new study.

"Nuts, and in this case almonds, shouldn't be on the ‘do not eat' list, they can be effectively incorporated in a weight loss plan, with the caveat that they have to be portion controlled," said Dr. Gary Foster, who led the study at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and supported by the Almond Board of California, involved 123 generally healthy but obese people who followed a calorie-controlled diet for 18 months. Women ate 1,200-1,500 calories per day, while men ate 1,500-1,800.

Half the people, assigned at random by researchers, were given two 28-gram packages of almonds (about 24 almonds per package) to eat each day. That works out to about 350 calories' worth. The other half agreed to avoid nuts altogether.

When researchers checked in with dieters after six months, they found that the nut-free dieters had lost slightly more weight than the almond eaters: 16 pounds compared to 12 pounds, on average. A year later, both groups had gained some of their weight back, and there was no longer a clear difference in total weight loss between participants who did and didn't eat almonds.

Past research also suggests that nuts like almonds might play a role in reducing risk factors for heart disease, so Foster and his team expected to see some improvement in cholesterol and levels of blood fats known as triglycerides among the almond-eating dieters.

Six months into the study, cholesterol in the almond group had fallen 8.7 milligrams (mg) per deciliter (dL), on average, compared to 0.1 mg/dL in the nut-free group - keeping both groups under the 200 mg/dL limit for total cholesterol recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After 18 months, cholesterol levels had risen in both groups but were still lower, on average, in the almond group - although the difference could have been due to chance.

"This shows you can include almonds in the context of a weight control program, lose a significant amount of weight and get nice additional benefits in terms of cholesterol and triglycerides," said Foster.

Still, he urges caution. "Almonds don't make you lose weight; they're not free calories," he said.

‘GOOD QUALITY FATS'

It can be difficult for dieters to stay on track for as long as 18 months, and healthy people have fewer incentives to lose weight than those with health problems, said Dr. Michelle Wien, a nutrition researcher at Loma Linda University in California, who wasn't involved in the study.

In their report, researchers point to a lack of difference in blood fats at the end of the study as evidence that participants stopped following the diet over time. That's normal in any type of weight loss program, said Wien.

Snacks like nuts - promoted as a healthy source of nutrients by the U.S. Department of Agriculture - are generally considered off-limits to dieters because of their high fat content. Almonds are particularly rich in magnesium, potassium and vitamin E, as well as being a good source of fiber and calcium, according to the study's funder, the Almond Board of California.

When dieters are limiting how many calories they eat, it's important they eat foods that are nutrient dense, with a nice level of vitamins and minerals, and good quality fats, said Wien.

It's a comfort for people who are struggling with weight management, said Wien. They often crave something crunchy, something palatable with a nice texture, she added.

Foster agreed. If people can eat foods they enjoy when they're dieting, they are more likely to stick to their weight loss plan, and keep the weight off, said Foster.

The message to dieters is not ‘eat all the almonds you want and you'll lose weight,' but you can effectively incorporate almonds as part of a weight controlled diet," said Foste

 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Public Health Minister, Dr. Saraya Dalil had demanded the early arrest and punishment of those responsible for the public execution of a woman in Shinwari district, Parwan province.
Addressing a news conference yesterday, the public health minister besides strongly condemning the brutal extra- judicial killing of the helpless lady by Taliban militants said the awful killing of the woman indicates the ensuring justice and women rights in the country still needs more time to achieve.
The minister also expressed sympathy with the family of the victim and hatred to those behind the barbaric act.
She also noted that the achievement have been made over the past decades should be defended.
 

Sunday, July 08, 2012
Kabul (BNA) The minister for public health has collected four tons of low quality food and expired date from Murad Khani area of 1st precinct and destroyed it yesterday, Dr. Abdul Basir Sarware the deputy for the minister told newsmen at a press conference.
The expired and poor quality food items, he added were collected in coordination with Kabul Municipality, police and national directorate for security were destroyed and all those violated the law had been referred to concerned bodies for investigation.
He also added that 19 shops were closed. Pork was also among the 300 food items, collected from the area, saying the monitoring of shops will continuo particularly in the month of Ramadan.
Dr. Sarwar also called upon the traders to keep in mind the health of their countrymen and avoid importing and supplying food items with poor quality otherwise legal action would be taken against the law breakers.