Thursday December 12, 2019

Consuming this Bacteria May Cut Risk of Heart Diseases

This research would limit cardiovascular risks and therefore potentially have an impact on half of the population, if properly used, researchers said

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air pollution, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension
Hypertension and metabolic syndrome are important causes of stroke, the researchers said. Pixabay

Researchers have discovered that the use of a pasteurised form of Akkermansia muciniphila-an intestinal bacteria provides greater protection from various cardiovascular disease risk factors.

According to the findings published in the journal Nature Medicine, the research team from the University of Louvain developed a clinical study in order to administer the bacteria to humans.

For the study, 40 participants were enrolled and 32 completed the trial. The researchers administered Akkermansia to overweight or obese participants, all displaying insulin resistance (pre-diabetes type 2) and metabolic syndrome, in other words, having several elevated risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

The participants were randomly divided into three groups — placebo group, those taking live bacteria and those taking pasteurised bacteria — and were asked not to change their dietary habits or their physical activity. Akkermansia was provided as a nutritional supplement.

The primary goal of the study was to demonstrate the feasibility of ingesting Akkermansia daily for three months, without risk.

Physical activity
“Many of us tend to think cardiovascular disease hits in older age, but arteries begin to stiffen when we are very young,” said study lead author Nicole Proudfoot from McMaster University in Canada. Pixabay

The researchers observed excellent compliance – the supplements were easy to ingest and there were no side effects in the groups taking live or pasteurised bacteria.

According to the study, the tests in humans confirm what had already been observed in mice. Ingestion of the (pasteurised) bacterium prevented the deterioration of the health status of the subjects (pre-diabetes, cardiovascular risks).

Also Read: Joe Casanova Shares His Experience of the Volatility Behind Entrepreneurship

Even better, the researchers observed a decrease in inflammation markers in the liver, a slight decrease in the body weight of the subjects (2.3 kg on average) as well as a lowering of cholesterol levels.

In contrast, the metabolic parameters (insulin resistance or hypercholesterolemia) in placebo subjects continued to deteriorate over time.

This research would limit cardiovascular risks and therefore potentially have an impact on half of the population, if properly used, researchers said. (IANS)

Next Story

Human Health Affected due to Climate Change: WHO

As Lungs Pay Cost of Dirty Fuels, UN Urges Action on Climate Health Risks

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Pollution- climate crisis
Climate crisis has increased due to air pollution and people are facing lung and heart-related problems. VOA

Human health is paying the price of the world’s failure to curb global warming, the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday, urging governments at U.N. climate talks to cut climate-changing emissions faster and provide funds to address growing threats.

Those range from lung and heart problems caused by toxic air to deaths in storms and wildfires, and the expansion of dengue, malaria, cholera and other diseases spread by mosquitoes and contaminated water.

“The cost of not taking enough action at the climate summit … is paid by my lungs and your lungs,” said Maria Neira, director of the department of environment, climate change and health at the World Health Organization (WHO), a U.N. agency.

The causes of climate change and air pollution overlap, she added, calling for societies to “decarbonize,” including by ditching coal as a source of power and heat, and ending subsidies for the extraction and use of fossil fuels.

According to the WHO, the burning of oil, gas and coal is responsible for two-thirds of the outdoor air pollution that causes about 4 million premature deaths each year.

More intense and longer heat waves are another growing health problem in many parts of the world.

A study published in the journal Nature on Monday found extreme heat in the United States from 1969-1988 caused an increase in deliveries of babies on the day it hit and the day after, with those births happening up to two weeks before they were due.

Such early births can potentially harm children’s later development, researchers said.

Mozambique Cyclone- climate
An aerial photo shows local residents walk on a damaged road following the devastating Tropical Cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique due to climate change. VOA

At the Madrid climate talks Tuesday, activists and aid agencies cited a rise in hospital emissions linked to smoke from Australia’s recent bushfires.

In southern African countries hit by Cyclone Idai this year, they said, people are struggling to feed their families after fields and homes were destroyed.

To deal with the rising human and financial health costs of climate change, health services and related institutions need a boost in funding — currently sorely lacking, the WHO said.

On Tuesday, it released a report highlighting how countries are increasingly prioritizing dealing with climate change threats to health.

Half of about 100 nations surveyed said they had developed a national strategy or plan to tackle the risks.

Paying for improvements

But only about 38% had finances in place to even partially implement their plans, and fewer than 10% had the money to put them fully into practice, the report showed.

Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, WHO’s coordinator for climate change and health, said all countries surveyed — from Europe to the Americas, Africa and Asia — are struggling to finance measures such as protecting hospitals from weather disasters and ramping up disease surveillance.

In richer countries, the difficulty lies in securing allocations from national budgets due to competing priorities.

Poorer nations, on the other hand, need international climate finance to help them cope, but are struggling to access it because of a lack of information, capacity and connections.

As a result, less than half a percent of international climate finance has gone to projects to head off climate risks to health, Campbell-Lendrum said.

Heat Wave
Due to the climate crisis, tourists hold umbrellas to shelter from the sun as they walk past the Colosseum, in Rome. VOA

“These countries are exposed, they are vulnerable and they are unsupported,” he added.

Smart hospitals

The WHO plans to help developing countries put together projects to bolster their health systems that can secure backing from international climate funds, he added.

One of the biggest potential sources of finance, the Green Climate Fund, has identified health and well being as a priority area but has yet to approve any projects with that focus, Campbell-Lendrum noted.

Things that could be financed might include “smart hospitals” — now being tested in the Caribbean — built to withstand strong winds and floods while also harvesting rainwater and running on solar power.

Off-grid renewable energy projects also can cut emissions from health facilities and make them more resilient in disasters when electricity networks go down, Campbell-Lendrum said.

He noted that the mental health impacts of climate change had “shot up the agenda.”

Also Read- China- Top Contributor in Global Warming

The effects can range from the trauma of going through disasters to the shock of being made homeless, or young people feeling anxious and frustrated about climate change.

Once a “hidden issue,” it is “the one that we have heard the most about in the past four to five months,” he told journalists in Madrid. (VOA)