Monday December 17, 2018

Importance of Magnesium in Human body, Strenghtens bones

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Physical Injury, VOA
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Benefits of Magnesium:  Higher levels of magnesium in blood may increase bone strength and act as a buffer against the risk of fractures, one of the leading causes of disability and ill health especially among the ageing population, a study has shown.

Study Says: Magnesium is very much required

The study showed that men with high levels of magnesium, an essential nutrient and an important component of the bone, had a 44% reduced risk of having a fracture.
On the other hand, men with lower levels of magnesium had an increased risk of fractures, particularly hip fractures.

“The findings suggest that avoiding low serum concentrations of magnesium may be a promising though unproven strategy for risk prevention of fractures,” said lead author Setor Kunutsor, research student at the University of Bristol.

However, for the elderly, people with certain bowel disorders, and those on certain medications, increasing the intake of foods rich in magnesium may not necessarily increase blood magnesium levels.

Treating the underlying conditions and magnesium supplementation may be another way of avoiding low blood levels of magnesium, the researchers said, in the paper published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

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The study could help trigger initiatives to include blood magnesium screening in routine blood panels, as low blood levels of magnesium are very difficult to identify.

“The overall evidence suggests that increasing serum magnesium concentrations may protect against the future risk of fractures; however, well-designed magnesium supplementation trials are needed to investigate these potential therapeutic implications,” explained Jari Laukkanen, Professor at the University of Eastern Finland.

For the study, the team followed 2,245 middle-aged men over a 20-year period.

None of the 22 men who had very high magnesium levels (> 2.3 mg/dl) experienced a fracture during the follow-up period. (IANS)

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The Young Miracle: Baby In Congo Suffering From Ebola Recovers

The latest WHO assessment, released Thursday, simply calls the circumstances "unforgiving."

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Ebola, baby
- In this photograph taken Dec. 3, 2018, and released by UNICEF, an Ebola survivor cares for one-week-old Benedicte who was infected at birth with the Ebola virus by her mother, at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo. VOA

They call her the “young miracle.” A baby who was admitted to an Ebola treatment center just six days after birth has now recovered from the virus.

Congo’s health ministry calls the baby the youngest survivor in what is now the world’s second-deadliest Ebola outbreak.

The ministry late Thursday tweeted a photo of the infant, swaddled and with her tiny mouth open in yawn or squall, surrounded by caregivers who watched over her 24 hours a day for weeks.

The baby’s mother, who had Ebola, died in childbirth, the ministry said.

The infant was discharged Wednesday from the treatment center in Beni. “She went home in the arms of her father and her aunt,” the ministry said.

 

Ebola, baby
Health workers treat an unconfirmed Ebola patient, inside a MSF (Doctors Without Borders) supported Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in Butembo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nov. 3, 2018. VOA

 

Experts have reported high numbers of children with Ebola in this outbreak, which Congo’s health ministry says has 515 cases, 467 of them confirmed, including 255 confirmed deaths.

 

The tiny survivor is named Benedicte. In video footage shared by UNICEF, she is shown in an isolated treatment area, cradled in the arms of health workers in protective gear or cuddled by Ebola survivors, called “nounous,” who can go without certain gear such as masks. The survivors are crucial with their reassuring presence, the health ministry said.

“This is my first child,” her father, Thomas, said. “I truly don’t want to lose her. She is my hope.” He gazed at his baby daughter through the clear protective plastic.

Infected children

Children now account for more than one-third of all cases in this outbreak, UNICEF said earlier this week. One in 10 Ebola cases is in a child under 5 years old, it said, and children who contract the hemorrhagic fever are at greater risk of dying than adults.

Ebola, Baby
A health care worker carries a cross next to a coffin with a baby suspected of dying of Ebola in Beni, North Kivu Province of Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 13, 2018. VOA

While Ebola typically infects adults, as they are most likely to be exposed to the lethal virus, children have been known in some instances to catch the disease when they act as caregivers.

Few cases of Ebola in babies have historically been reported, but experts suspect transmission might happen via breast milk or close contact with infected parents. Ebola is typically spread by infected bodily fluids.

The World Health Organization also has noted that health centers have been identified as a source of Ebola transmission in this outbreak, with injections of medications “a notable cause.”

Dangerous conditions

So far, more than 400 children have been left orphaned or unaccompanied in this outbreak as patients can spend weeks in treatment centers, UNICEF said. A kindergarten has opened next to one treatment center in Beni “to assist the youngest children whose parents are isolated” there, it said.

Congo, Ebola, Women, Baby
Marie-Roseline Darnycka Belizaire, World Health Organization (WHO) Epidemiology Team Lead, talks to women as part of Ebola contact tracing, in Mangina, Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

Health experts have said this Ebola outbreak, the 10th in Congo, is like no other as they face the threat of attack from armed groups and resistance from a wary population in a region that had never faced an Ebola outbreak before. Tracking suspected contacts of Ebola victims remains a challenge in areas controlled by rebels.

Also Read: Women Hit Especially Hard In Congo’s Worst Ebola Outbreak

The latest WHO assessment, released Thursday, simply calls the circumstances “unforgiving.”

And now, Congo is set to hold a presidential election Dec. 23, with unrest already brewing. (VOA)