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Acid reflux may raise risk of larynx, esophagus cancers. Pixabay

Acid reflux disease which also causes heartburn symptoms is linked with higher risks of various cancers of the larynx (or voice box) and esophagus, suggests new research. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, where it can cause tissue damage.

Research indicates that this damage may put patients at risk of developing a type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma. To provide additional insights concerning this link and potential links to other types of cancer, a team led by Christian Abnet of the National Cancer Institute, part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), examined information on 490,605 adults enrolled in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.


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Using Medicare claims data, the investigators estimated that 24 percent of participants had a history of GERD. Over the following 16 years, after participants joined the study, 931 patients developed esophageal adenocarcinoma, 876 developed laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma, and 301 developed esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

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People with GERD had about a two-times higher risk of developing each of these types of cancer, and the elevated risk was similar across groups categorized by sex, smoking status, and alcohol consumption, said the study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

“This study alone is not sufficient to result in specific actions by the public. Additional research is needed to replicate these findings and establish GERD as a risk factor for cancer and other diseases,” said Abnet. “Future studies are needed to evaluate whether treatments aimed at GERD symptoms will alter the apparent risks.” (IANS/SP)


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Basil Leaves

Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.

Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K, and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.

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This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one's body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don't dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil's volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.

In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one's gut health, may complete one's fiber quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol.

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When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.

The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.

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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.

"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.

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