HEALTH

Vitamin B deficiency could lead to increased chance of hip fracture

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A study published in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism has found that old people with low vitamin B or high homocysteine protein could have increased risk of hip fractures.

The study looked at 1,000 old men and women, finding that those deficient in vitamin B12 were 60 more likely to have hip fractures than those who had normal levels of the nutrient. People with high levels of homocysteine were 50 to 70 percent more likely to have hip fractures. Low vitamin B6 also increased fracture risk.

Homocysteine tends to increase when B vitamins in the body decrease, but the study shows that the high homocysteine and low B vitamins increase hip fracture risk independently of each other.

Vitamin B12 is found mostly in meat. Vitamin B6 is found in fortified cereal, potatoes, chicken, salmon, bananas and spinach.

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Annual AHS meeting showcases new migraine solutions

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON It may look like a pillow for robots, but a new device uses magnetic pulses to provide relief for migraine headaches.

It’s among the latest technologies for treating migraines being presented this weekend at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society.

New drugs being tested include CGRP antagonists, designed for migraine patients who don’t respond to the more popular triptans.

Another new technology is occipital nerve stimulation, where an electrode is inserted under the skin in back of the neck, using electrical impulses to stop the nerve signals that cause the perception of pain.

The device that looks like a robot pillow uses transcranial magnetic stimulation. Held to the back of the head as a migraine headache starts, it sends two magnetic pulses to the brain, thus blocking the migraine headache.

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Kemeta completes first test of fat metabolism monitor

BY Michael Johnsen

MESA, Ariz. Kemeta on Tuesday announced the successful completion of its first clinical testing of their Fat Burn Monitor, a monitor that measures a person’s fat metabolism immediately after exercise by measuring acetone on the breath.

“The Kemeta product allows our patients to monitor their daily progress, providing the needed immediate feedback to keep them motivated to continue their weight management regimen,” stated John Hernried, Obesity Treatment Center Medical Group medical director and principal investigator on the project.

The 11-week IRB-approved study showed that individuals can receive an immediate indication of their fat burn rate by simply blowing into the Kemeta device. The study also showed a greater-than-90-percent correlation of the Fat Burn Monitor to the Gas Chromatograph, an industry standard bench-top tool used for breath analysis.

The device functions by measuring the concentration of the chemical acetone in the breath. Acetone is produced as fat is metabolized in the body. The simple non-invasive acetone measurement allows the user to track the success of their weight management program.

“This initial study with the OTCMG indicates the efficacy of our technology,” stated Barb Landini, Kemeta vice president of research and development and clinical testing.

The product is expected to reach front-end retailers sometime in 2009, the company stated.

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