Posted on

New US Link Between MMR And Autism

New American research shows that there could be a link between the controversial MMR triple vaccine and autism and bowel disease in children.

The study appears to confirm the findings of British doctor Andrew Wakefield, who caused a storm in 1998 by suggesting a possible link.

Now a team from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina are examining 275 children with regressive autism and bowel disease – and of the 82 tested so far, 70 prove positive for the measles virus.

Last night the team’s leader, Dr Stephen Walker, said: ‘Of the handful of results we have in so far, all are vaccine strain and none are wild measles.

‘This research proves that in the gastrointestinal tract of a number of children who have been diagnosed with regressive autism, there is evidence of measles virus.

‘What it means is that the study done earlier by Dr Wakefield and published in 1998 is correct. That study didn’t draw any conclusions about specifically what it means to find measles virus in the gut, but the implication is it may be coming from the MMR vaccine. If that’s the case, and this live virus is residing in the gastrointestinal tract of some children, and then they have GI inflammation and other problems, it may be related to the MMR.’

The 1998 study by Dr Wakefield, then a reader in gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital in North London, and 12 other doctors claimed to have found a new bowel disease, autism enterocolitis.

At the time, Dr Wakefield said that although they had not proved a link between MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and autism, there was cause for concern and the Government should offer the option single vaccines – instead of only MMRs – until more research had been done.

The paper – and the confused interpretation of its findings – caused uproar and led to many parents withdrawing their co-operation for the triple jab. Ten of the paper’s authors also signed retractions on the interpretation but stood by the science.

This is the second independent study to back up Dr Wakefield. In 2001 John O’Leary, Professor of Pathology at St James’s Hospital and Trinity College, Dublin, replicated his findings.

Last night Dr Wakefield said: ‘This new study confirms what we found in British children and again with Professor O’Leary. The only exposure these children have had to measles is through the MMR vaccine.

‘They were developing normally until they regressed. They now suffer autism and bowel disease.

‘The Department of Health and some of the media wanted to dismiss our research as insignificant. The excuse was that no one else had the same findings as us. What they didn’t say is that no one else had looked.’

A spokesman for the Department of Health said they had not read the American report, but added: ‘MMR remains the best form of protection against measles, mumps and rubella.’

Read more:

Posted on

Olive Oil In Diet Could Prevent A Stroke

Health-conscious people who eat a nutritious diet containing olive oil could limit the chance of a stroke, a new study has claimed.

According to the American Academy of Neurology, researchers from the University of Bordeaux have uncovered a link between consumption of the substance and a decreased risk in older people.

By examining the medical records of 7,625 individuals over the age of 65 across three French cities, scientists found that people who use olive oil to cook with and as a dressing were 41 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke.

Previous research into the benefits of the cooking aid has revealed its ingredients could be effective in reducing the risk of heart problems, such as diabetes and high cholesterol.

Study author Cecilia Samieri said: “Stroke is so common in older people and olive oil would be an inexpensive and easy way to help prevent it.”

The NHS has urged people to familiarise themselves with the FAST campaign in a bid to recognise the symptoms of a stroke.

Drooping to the face, inability to lift the arms and slurred speech are telltale signs that an individual has suffered and the emergency services should be contacted immediately.

Extract: Diets that contain more olive oil could be beneficial in limiting the chance of a stroke, a study has suggested.

Posted on

Scientists closer To Discovering Benefits Of Probiotics

The digestive health benefits offered by probiotics are now better understood following the publication of new research from University College Cork.

A study conducted by the Irish institution, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, discovered the genes that are responsible for allowing probiotic bacteria to colonise the intestine.

By sequencing the DNA of Bifidobacterium breve UCC2003, scientists were able to show that the organisms produce finger-like appendages called TAD pili that help them to live in the gut.

Professor Fergus Shanahan, director of the university’s Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, said the research is a “significant step towards understanding the interaction between bifidobacteria and their host and how the microbiota influences gastrointestinal health”.

Knowledge such as this is essential in order to scientifically explain the digestive health benefits associated with probiotics.

Also known as friendly bacteria, probiotics are often used by people to help with problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and even tooth decay.

Extract: Researchers at University College Cork have discovered how probiotics are able to inhabit the gut.

Posted on

Drug Cocktails Put Elderly At Risk

Hundreds of thousands of elderly patients who rely on a cocktail of drugs could be condemning themselves to an early death, a major study warns.
Common prescription and over-the-counter medications including treatment for heart disease, dementia, painkillers, allergy remedies and sleeping pills can be extremely harmful if more than one is taken at the same time.

A study of 13,000 elderly patients has found that those relying on two or more of these drugs were three times more likely to die within two years than those not taking any at all.

They were also more at risk of suffering memory loss and concentration problems which may affect their ability to drive or carry out household chores.

Doctors last night warned patients not to panic and said it was crucial that they did not stop taking any medication purely on the basis of these findings.

Researchers from East Anglia University looked at more than 80 drugs known to cause ‘anticholinergic effects’, which mean they can cause certain side effects including dilating pupils, a dry mouth and constipation.
These include warfarin, used for heart disease, the painkiller codeine, Piriton allergy tablets, the antidepressant Seroxat and the sleeping pill Nytol.

The scientists looked at the effects of these drugs on 13,000 patients over 65 over a two-year period from 1991 to 1993.

Posted on

Probiotics Improve Digestive Health

A specialist has spoken of the benefits of the bacteria.

The use of probiotics can help improve a person’s digestive health, one expert has claimed.

Dr Tan Huck Joo, writing for Asia One, noted they are “live, beneficial bacteria” that help promote a healthy digestive system.

These types of products can absorb nutrients and produce certain vitamins and folic acid.

According to Dr Joo, probiotics also “reduce the effects of harmful toxins and cancer-causing substances produced in the intestines”.

He remarked it is very often a good course of treatment for someone who is suffering from acute gastroenteritis, as it lessens the length of time and the ferocity of diarrhoea caused by the virus.

Dr Joo, president of the Malaysian Society of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, stated individuals who take probiotics can expect to “maintain a healthy digestive system and overall wellbeing”.

An example of such an option is Adult formulation CP-1, which according to the manufacturers contains five superior tried and tested strains of acid resistant freeze-dried probiotic microorganisms.