New Cure for AIDS?

German doctors claim to have cured AIDS. The patient, who was infected by both the virus and leukemia, received a bone marrow transplant from a donor who had a genetic mutation which is known to grant immunity to the virus. The mutation affects a receptor, or cellular doorway, that the AIDS viruses usually breach in order to infect the cell. The mutation has been known to researchers since the 90s, and is most common in people of a Northern European descent.

Nearly four years have passed since the transplant, and the patient appears to be free of the virus, and it cannot be found hiding anywhere in his body. The patient has given samples from his colon, liver, spinal fluid and brain; the places where the virus commonly hides before rebounding in patients who have stopped their medication.

The problem with the cure is that is a long, complicated, painful process. “It’s not practical and it can kill people,” Dr. Robert Gallo of the Institute of Human Virology, who helped discover the virus that causes AIDS. “It is possibly a cure, that’s for sure, you won’t know for absolute sure until the person dies and undergoes extreme PCR (genetic) analysis of post-mortem tissue.”

New Study Shows Benefits of Active Lifestyles

exerciseA new study shows that people who begin an active lifestyle at a young age, and keep it up into their middle years, can greatly lessen mid-life weight gain and other health issues. People generally focus on exercise as a way to eliminate excess weight, as opposed to a way to prevent it. The results of the study show that this may be a mistake. Dr. Arlene L. Hankinson, the lead researcher explained that “it’s not so much about achieving some dramatically high activity level. It’s about maintaining a level of daily physical activity over time.”

Generally, health experts suggest that adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise (such as brisk walking), five days a week. Many people claim that they are too busy for a daily visit at a gym, to which Hankinson says “it should be about finding an activity that you actually like and can maintain. But you should also look into the choices you make in your daily life. Do you walk to the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car further away so you have to walk more…?”

Aspirin May Reduce Cancer Risks

A new Oxford University study has shown that a small amount of aspirin (75mg), taken daily, can greatly reduce cancer death rates. Professor Peter Rothwell, who directed the research, explained that healthy households should not start taking aspirin as if it were a vitamin, although the new discovery “tips things towards it being well worth it.”

The results were described as “promising” by Cancer Research UK, and family health expert Ed Yong said that they “encourage anyone interested in taking aspirin on a regular basis to talk to their GP first.” The full results of the study were publicized in the Lancet Medical Journal.

Why You Should Drink Orange Juice

Everyone knows that orange juice is the perfect beverage to go with breakfast, and that it is recommended even by doctors. However, the reasons for this are less known.

Orange juice is in fact incredibly healthy, and here’s why:
• It contains a high amount of vitamin C, which is known to significantly boost the immune system and help prevent illnesses.
• Medical studies have shown that OJ can lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, two problems common in middle aged women
• It is rich in antioxidants, which are believed to prevent certain forms of cancer
• It is rich in potassium, which is a significant nutrient of the body.
• It improves blood circulation.
• It contains Folate, a substance involved in the reproduction of new cells, which can help with healing processes.
• It has anti-inflammatory qualities, and may help relieve arthritis-related pain.

Vegetarians and Iron

/Iron-oreVegetarians and vegans often worry about the level of iron that they consume, as meat, poultry and fish are all rich sources of this nutrient. In reality, the amount of iron found in beans, leafy green vegetables and enriched cereals comes pretty close to that in meats. Why, then, are vegetarians and vegans often lacking iron in their blood?

Iron comes in two forms: nonheme and heme. Meats and other animal products contain iron in the ‘heme’ form. This form of iron is easily absorbed and stored in the human body. Nonheme iron, on the other hand, is not processed as efficiently in the body, and so it is more difficult to maintain healthy stores of iron with foods that contain it. Also, many vegetarian foods contain phytate, a protein which interferes with iron absorption. Vegetables, grains, soy; all these foods contain such proteins.