HealthWise at 5 From 2.10 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/10/03

HealthWise at 5 From 2.10

  • Vitamin A Benefits

New research is shedding light on what may lead to an anti-cancer therapy for former smokers someday. The study finds a new, synthetic form of vitamin a restores a gene that disappears in patients at high risk of lung cancer. The gene is called "RAR Beta" and it's believed to protect against cancerous changes in the lung. Researchers studied 226 former smokers and found that after three months of taking different versions of the supplement, the patients that took the one called "9-CIS-Retinoic Acid" had an increase in the production of that gene which may protect against lung cancer.

More study is needed partly because of all the side effects patients experienced during the study, but researchers stress this at least opens the door to a new potential weapon in the fight against lung cancer particularly in former smokers. About half of the cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year in the U.S. involve former smokers. All of the patients in this study had stopped smoking at least a year before the study began.

This research was conducted by scientists at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The full study is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

  • Pre-Term Prevention

Doctors believe they have made a giant step in the search for a way to prevent pre-term births. A new study finds injections of a progesterone-like hormone called "17-P" reduces the risk of pre-term birth by more than a third. The study involved 463 women with a history of delivering before the 37th week of pregnancy. Some patients were given the hormone weekly from the 16th week on and others got a sugar pill. Turns out the women in the hormone group were 34% less likely to delivery before the 37th week of pregnancy, and 42% less likely to deliver before week 32. Other smaller studies have pointed to this same evidence.

This is the largest study yet to confirm the benefit of 17-p therapy. Next, researchers plan to test a combination of the hormone and Omega-3 Fatty Acid. Deficiencies of Omega-3 Fatty Acid have been linked to pre-term birth. This research was conducted by scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. It is being presented this week at a Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

  • Kids Eating Right

A five star restaurant may not appeal to your third grader, but earning five stars for eating a healthy lunch might be a fun challenge for that same child. To help dinner-stressed parents everywhere, the American Dietetic Association has published a new book, the ADA's guide to healthy eating for kids. The guide provides eating strategies for parents of children from ages 5 through 12. The book includes kid-friendly recipes, and tips to help youngsters make good nutritional choices even when they're out of your sight.

For more information on the book (click here).

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