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Why obesity, underweight condition may up depression in women

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New York, Nov 12: Women who are extremely underweight and obese are likely to be at an increased risk of developing common mood disorders like depression and anxiety, as a result of low feel good neuroactive steroid, finds a study.

Neurosteroid “Allopregnanolone” also known as “allo” is a metabolite of the hormone progesterone — a female hormone.

Allo works by producing a positive mood and feelings of well-being.

The findings showed that in women with anorexia nervosa, blood levels of allo were 50 per cent lower than they were in women with normal body mass index (BMIs).

Women who were clinically obese had allo levels approximately 60 per cent lower than women with normal weights.

Further, participants with lower levels of allo had greater severity of depression symptoms, the researchers noted.

“Depression is an incredibly prevalent problem, especially in women, and also particularly at the extremes of the weight spectrum,” said Karen Miller, professor at Harvard Medical School.

“We are beginning to see more and more evidence that low allo levels are tightly linked to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mood disorders,” added Graziano Pinna, associate professor in the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In addition, progesterone levels were similarly low across both groups, suggesting that the decrease in allo in these participants may have been caused by improper functioning of enzymes.

The enzymes that convert progesterone into allo may not be working properly, causing decreases in allo that lead to mood disorders.

For the study, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, the team recruited women with anorexia nervosa and amenorrhea (whose menstrual periods have stopped) whose body mass indices were less than 18.5, normal-weight women with BMIs between 19 and 24, and obese women with BMIs at 25 or higher.

“Drugs that increase the efficacy of these enzymes may be useful in helping to boost allo levels,” Pinna said.

“The hope is that a greater understanding of mechanisms contributing to these disorders — including abnormalities in the regulation of hormones and their neuroactive metabolites — may lead to new targeted therapies in the future,” Miller noted.

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Fish oil reduces bleeding risk in surgery patients: Study

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New York, Dec 5: Fish oil, containing the omega-3s, lowers the risk of bleeding during surgery, say, researchers, challenging current recommendations to stop fish oil.

Fish oil is among the most common natural supplement for treatment of hypertriglyceridemia or prevention of cardiovascular disease.

However, concerns about theoretical bleeding risk have led to recommendations that patients should stop taking fish oil before surgery or delay in elective procedures for patients taking fish oil by some healthcare professionals.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, found that higher blood omega-3 levels — eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — were associated with lower risk of bleeding.

For the study, 1,516 patients scheduled for cardiac surgery were randomised to omega-3s or placebo.

The dose was 6.5-8 grams of EPA+DHA over two-five days before surgery, and then 1.7 grams per day beginning the morning of surgery and continuing until discharge.

The findings showed that there was a significant reduction in the number of units of blood needed for transfusions.

In another analysis, the higher the blood EPA+DHA level on the morning of surgery, the lower the risk for bleeding, according to the Bleeding Academic Research Consortium (BARC) criteria.

“The researchers in this study concluded that these findings support the need to reconsider current recommendations to stop fish oil or delay procedures for people on fish oil before cardiac surgery,” said Bill Harris, Founder of OmegaQuant.

While Omega-3s, specifically EPA and DHA, are important for heart, brain, eye and joint health, most people do not get enough of these valuable fatty acids, which can increase their risk of the most serious health issues.

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Baby born from transplanted uterus from dead donor big breakthrough: Doctors

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Nearly a year after the birth, the mother and her baby daughter are both healthy. (Photo Credit- AP/Dr Wellington Andraus)

Brasilia/New Delhi, Dec 6: The world’s first baby born using a womb transplanted from a dead woman is a breakthrough in the field of obstetrics and a great advantage for women combating infertility, say Indian doctors.

According to a case study published in The Lancet on Wednesday, a healthy baby girl was born in 2017, following the uterus transplant from a 45-year-old brain-dead woman.

The womb transplant, lasting over 10 hours, took place in Sao Paolo in Brazil in September 2016. The baby was born in December 2017.

The uterus was removed from the donor and transplanted into the recipient in a surgery that also involved connecting the donor uterus and recipient’s veins and arteries, ligament and vaginal canals.

“It is a breakthrough in the field of obstetrics as well as a great advantage for women who lost their uterus for some reason or don’t have from birth. This would increase the availability of the uterus as living donors are always in scarcity,” Ranjana Sharma, Senior Consultant, (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, told IANS.

In a majority of such cases, the uterus does not survive after transplant in the recipient due to infections or rejection by the body’s immune system.

But in the case of a uterus transplant from a cadaver, the potential danger for infections is more, says Kamini A. Rao, Medical Director, Milann-The Fertility Centre, Bengaluru.

“One will never be able to find whether the dead woman has had any infections in the uterus, nor in the vaginal canals and whether it is treatable or not,” Rao told IANS.

“This is not in the case of a kidney or liver transplant, clearly because the vagina is an exposed area and since you are unable to identify what kind of organisms were growing, there is a potential danger for rejection,” Rao added.

Still, the advantage is that the surgery takes place only for a person. It is a very good thing compared to a live donor, she noted.

“When a transplant is dome from a live donor, there is a greater responsibility towards both the donor and recipient, but in a dead body the doctors can be a bit relaxed,” Sharma said.

Importantly, in the Lancet case study, the uterus had an interval of eight hours before getting connected to the living body.

“Up till now it was not known that uterus can survive more than four hours out of a living body, however, the present case shows that the uterus is a quite strong an organ,” Sharma said.

“Just as cornea, kidney, liver, heart, the pancreas, I am hopeful that the uterus will also be added in the gamut of organs taken out so that many more people will be benefited,” Rao noted.

Moreover, the doctors said that while a transplanted kidney or liver stays for life, it is not the case with the uterus.

“This is only to give birth to a child. Once the baby reaches maturity, the uterus is taken out along with the baby. It is because we don’t know the long-term effects of having a foreign uterus in the body. So far the uterus have not been left after taking out the baby. It is then discarded, like any hysterectomy,” Sharma said.

Besides women who lost uterus or do not have from birth, this kind of transplant could also some day open doors for people who are transgender, Sharma suggested.

“However sometimes you may only have an absent uterus like in this case. But for transgender, you will also have to take the donor eggs, like a surrogate gestation,” Rao pointed out.

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Alcohol intake may cause weight loss in diabetics

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New York, Dec 4: Regular consumption of alcohol may lead to long-term weight loss in people with diabetes, say, researchers.

The study, led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, showed that losing weight can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Obesity is known as one of the leading risk factors for developing diabetes.

“Patients with Type 2 diabetes who are trying to lose weight should be encouraged to limit alcohol consumption,” said lead investigator Ariana M. Chao, Assistant Professor from the Univeristy’s Department of Biobehavioural Health Sciences.

While best practice for weight loss often includes decreasing or eliminating calories from alcohol, few studies examine whether people who undergo weight loss treatment report changes in alcohol intake and whether alcohol influences their weight loss.

The study suggests that alcohol consumption may attenuate long-term weight loss in adults with Type 2 diabetes.

In the study, published in the journal Obesity, the team followed nearly 5,000 people who were overweight and had diabetes for four years.

One group participated in Intensive Lifestyle Intervention (ILI) and the other in a control group consisting of diabetes support and education.

Data showed that participants in the ILI group who abstained from alcohol consumption over the four-year period lost more weight than those who drank any amount during the intervention. Results also showed that heavy drinkers in the ILI group were less likely to have clinically significant weight loss over the four years.

“This study indicates that while alcohol consumption is not associated with short-term weight loss during a lifestyle intervention, it is associated with worse long-term weight loss in participants with overweight or obesity and Type 2 diabetes,” Chao explained.

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