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Vitamin D supplements do not boost bone health: Lancet

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Wellington, Oct 5: Intake of Vitamin D supplements does not prevent fractures or falls, or improve bone mineral density in adults, especially in women, claimed a new Lancet study.

Vitamin D supplements have long been recommended for older people to treat or prevent osteoporosis — a bone loss condition — with some early evidence suggesting benefits for bone health.

However, the study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, found no clinically meaningful effect of vitamin D supplementation on total fracture, hip fracture, or falls.

There was reliable evidence that vitamin D does not reduce total fractures, hip fractures, or falls by 15 per cent — a clinically meaningful threshold.

Even when lower thresholds were assessed, there was still reliable evidence that vitamin D does not reduce falls by 7.5 per cent and total fractures by 5 per cent.

The differences in the effects of higher versus lower doses of vitamin D.

“Our analysis finds that vitamin D does not prevent fractures, falls or improve bone mineral density, whether at high or low dose. Clinical guidelines should be changed to reflect these findings,” said lead author Mark J. Bolland from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

“On the strength of existing evidence, we believe there is little justification for more trials of vitamin D supplements looking at musculoskeletal outcomes,” Bolland added.

In the study, the team pooled data from 81 randomised controlled trials. Most included women aged over the age of 65 (77 per cent of trials) who lived in the community and who received daily doses of more than 800 IU per day (68 per cent of trials).

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Father’s exercise can boost kids’ health in adulthood

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New York, Oct 23: For men planning to start a family, hitting the gym can help their children with a healthy metabolism.

While the diet and exercise habits of a pregnant woman can have an impact on the health of her baby, a new study on mice suggests that lifestyle practices of fathers prior to conception too can affect children’s health in adulthood.

The findings explored that paternal exercise had a significant impact on the metabolic health of offspring well into their adulthood.

Offsprings from mice who exercised showed improved glucose metabolism, decreased body weight and a decreased fat mass in adulthood.

On the other hand, the sedentary male mice that fed on a high-fat diet passed along the traits of poor metabolic health and higher glucose intolerance.

However, exercise was found to mitigate the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, the researchers said.

“This work is an important step in learning about metabolic disease and prevention at the cellular level,” said K. Craig Kent, from Ohio State University in the US.

“Offspring from the dads fed a high-fat diet fared worse, so they were more glucose intolerant. But exercise negated that effect. When the dad exercised, even on a high-fat diet, we saw improved metabolic health in their adult offspring,” added Kristin Stanford, a researcher from the varsity.

Importantly, exercise was found to change the genetic expression of the father’s sperm that suppresses poor dietary effects and transfer to the offspring, the researchers noted in the paper published in the journal Diabetes.

Development of Type-2 diabetes and impaired metabolic health have been linked to parents’ poor diet, and there is increasing evidence that fathers play an important role in obesity and metabolic programming of their offspring.

“We’re now determining if both parents exercising has even greater effects to improve metabolism and overall health of offspring. If translated to humans, this would be hugely important for the health of the next generation,” said Laurie Goodyear, postdoctoral student from the Joslin Diabetes Centre in the US.

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Eating spinach, beetroot could help prevent vision loss

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Sydney, Oct 22: Eating vegetable nitrates, found mainly in green leafy vegetables and beetroot, could prevent macular degeneration, a common cause of vision loss in people over age 50, new research has found.

People who ate between 100 to 142 mgs (milligrams) of vegetable nitrates each day had a 35 per cent lower risk of developing early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than people who ate less than 69 mgs of vegetable nitrates each day, showed the findings published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Spinach has approximately 20mg of nitrate per 100g, while beetroot has nearly 15mg of nitrate per 100g.

“This is the first time the effects of dietary nitrates on macular degeneration risk has been measured,” said lead researcher Bamini Gopinath from Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia.

For the study, the researchers interviewed more than 2,000 Australian adults aged over 49 and followed them over a 15-year period.

“If our findings are confirmed, incorporating a range of foods rich in dietary nitrates — like green leafy vegetables and beetroot — could be a simple strategy to reduce the risk of early macular degeneration,” Gopinath said.

The research did not show any additional benefits for people who exceeded 142mgs of dietary nitrate each day.

Age is the strongest known risk factor for AMD and the disease is more likely to occur after the age of 50.

There is currently no cure for the disease.

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Ebola death toll rises to 200 in Congo

The DRC authorities declared the outbreak in North Kivu province on August 1. It was also reported in the northern province of Ituri.

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Ebola Infection

Kinshasa, Oct 21 : The death toll in the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has risen to 200, the Health Ministry has said.

According to statistics released by the Ministry on Saturday, of the 200 cases confirmed in Beni and surrounding areas, 117 have died of the virus while 61 others recovered after treatment, Xinhua news agency reported.

The DRC authorities declared the outbreak in North Kivu province on August 1. It was also reported in the northern province of Ituri.

The World Health Organization said the 10th Ebola outbreak in DRC does not currently constitute a public health emergency of international concern.

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