Sunday February 25, 2018

Attention! Your Heart May be at Risk of an Infection Due to High Manganese Consumption

According to researchers, manganese inactivates a key line of defence against pathogens: the innate immune system's reactive oxygen burst

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Research bodies estimate that the number of fragments of dead cells in the bloodstream increase with higher levels of pollution. Pixabay
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New York, September 23, 2017 : Higher intake of dietary manganese – an essential mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts — could lead to infection of the heart by a bacterium, researchers warned.

Staphylococcus aureus (“staph”) is the leading cause of bacterial endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart chamber and heart valves) and the second most frequent cause of bloodstream infections.

As per the study, reported in the journal Cell Host and Microbe, most of the mice that consumed a high manganese diet — about three times more manganese than normal — died after infection with staph.

The researchers, led by Eric Skaar, professor at the Vanderbilt University in the US, found that excess manganese inactivates a key line of defence against pathogens: the innate immune system’s reactive oxygen burst.

ALSO READ Worried About Your Heart’s Health? Make These 5 Spices a Part of Your Diet and See the Benefits Yourself!

Normally, in response to staph, “neutrophils pour into the site of infection and blast the bacteria with reactive oxygen species,” Skaar explained. However, the excess manganese counters this blast.

“It’s striking that a single dietary change can inactivate one of the most powerful branches of innate immune defence and lead to fatal infection,” Skaar said.

“The human body does a wonderful job of regulating nutrient levels and a traditional Western diet has plenty of minerals in it. The idea of super-dosing nutrients needs to be given careful consideration,” he noted.

Another study, appearing in the journal NeuroToxicology, showed that excessive environmental exposure to manganese can result in neurotoxicity and lower intelligence quotient (IQ) scores in children.

Manganese — known to play a vital role in brain growth and development — is also used widely in the production of steel, alloys, batteries and fertilisers and is added to unleaded gasoline.

The findings showed that increased manganese in hair samples was significantly associated with decline in full-scale IQ, processing speed and working memory.

“Children may be particularly susceptible to the neurotoxic effects of ambient manganese exposure, as their brains are undergoing a dynamic process of growth and development,” said Erin Haynes, Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati in the US. (IANS)

 

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Surgical Infections More Common in Low-Income Countries, Study Finds

Overall, about one in 10 patients developed a surgical site infection. But in low-income countries, that rate rose to nearly one in four

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Infections at the site of surgery are the most common complications after operations.
Infections at the site of surgery are the most common complications after operations. Wikimedia Commons
  • Infections at the site of surgery are the most common complications after operations
  • Overall, about one in 10 patients developed a surgical site infection. But in low-income countries, that rate rose to nearly one in four
  • More than 1,500 health care providers took part in the research

Surgeries in low-income countries had higher rates of infections than those in higher-income countries, according to a new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The authors said their report provided a starting point for making surgery safer.

Infections at the site of surgery are the most common complications after operations. These infections raise the cost of procedures that are already expensive. And they often make recovery longer and more painful.

Also Read: Tips That Will Help In Recovery From Surgery

The study looked at more than 12,000 gastrointestinal surgeries at 343 hospitals in 66 countries.

Marked difference

Overall, about one in 10 patients developed a surgical site infection. But in low-income countries, that rate rose to nearly one in four.

The study noted that hospitals in low-income countries gave patients more antibiotics than elsewhere, both before and after surgery. Wikimedia Commons
The study noted that hospitals in low-income countries gave patients more antibiotics than elsewhere, both before and after surgery. Wikimedia Commons

That’s after taking into account factors such as the patient’s health, the type of surgery and the condition being treated.

Other elements that could have been behind the difference included the kinds of facilities available in low-income countries, or how long it took to get patients to a hospital, said study co-author Ewen Harrison at the University of Edinburgh.

“If you’re in rural sub-Saharan Africa and you’re run over by a car, it may be a number of days before you can get to a hospital,” he said. “During that time, the infection can get into wounds.”

Drug resistance

Another component could have been the availability of effective antibiotics, Harrison said.

Antibiotics were nearly always given before surgery to prevent infection. But overall, about one in five surgical site infections were resistant to these antibiotics. The rate was higher in low-income countries — one in three — but the authors cautioned that they did not have enough data to draw firm conclusions.

Also Read: Study: Partial Dose of Yellow Fever Vaccine Provides Protection

Resistance generally develops faster the more antibiotics are used. The study noted that hospitals in low-income countries gave patients more antibiotics than elsewhere, both before and after surgery.

“That may be completely appropriate if the patients are needing the antibiotics,” Harrison said. “But that may also be an area where the unnecessary use of antibiotics could be reduced in order to reduce drug resistance.”

Antibiotics were nearly always given before surgery to prevent infection. Wikimedia Commons
Antibiotics were nearly always given before surgery to prevent infection. Wikimedia Commons

The authors’ next plan is to test different skin-cleaning techniques, antibiotic-impregnated stitches, and other simple, low-cost methods to reduce surgical site infections in low-income countries.

More than 1,500 health care providers took part in the research. Harrison said the study organizers “crowdsourced” their participants, using social media to recruit young surgeons-in-training around the world.

“They are really the driving force behind the change that we hope to happen,” he said.