CLEVELAND, Ohio – Healthy people who aren’t pregnant don’t need vitamins to protect against heart disease and cancer, and an increase in liver disease in children may be associated with prenatal exposure to chemicals, according to studies.
Cleveland.com brings together some of the most notable local and national health news making headlines online. Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday, July 12.
Healthy, Non-Pregnant Americans Don’t Need Vitamins, Editorial Suggests
Vitamins are not necessary for healthy, non-pregnant Americans because there is insufficient evidence that they help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer, suggest the scientists at Northwestern Medicine.
The researchers wrote a recent editorial, published in JAMA, supporting the new recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent panel of national experts that provides recommendations on preventive medicine.
The new USPSTF guidelines say it has found “insufficient evidence” that taking multivitamins or supplements can help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer in otherwise healthy, non-pregnant adults. The new guideline was based on a systematic review of 84 vitamin studies.
“The task force doesn’t say ‘don’t take multivitamins,’ but there’s this idea that if they were really good for you, we would know by now,” said Dr Jeffrey Linder, chief of general internal medicine in the department of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is co-author of the editorial.
Liver disease in children may be linked to environmental pollutants, study finds
The increase in potentially carcinogenic liver disease in children may be associated with prenatal exposure to several endocrine disrupting chemicals, new research suggests.
This is the first comprehensive study of the association between prenatal exposure to mixtures of these chemicals and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This disease, which increasingly affects children, can lead to serious chronic liver disease and liver cancer in adulthood.
The researchers used cytokeratin-18 as a new marker for the disease in children. The findings, reported in JAMA Network Open this month, underscore the importance of understanding prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals as a risk factor for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease,
Endocrine disrupting chemicals are a broad class of environmental pollutants that include several flame retardants, pesticides, plastics and toxic metals. Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “permanent chemicals” used in non-stick cookware and food packaging, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) used as flame retardants in furniture and baby products, are examples of endocrine disrupting chemicals.
In this study, researchers measured 45 chemicals in the blood or urine of 1,108 pregnant women from 2003 to 2010. The chemicals included endocrine disruptors such as PFAS, organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides, plasticizers (phenols , phthalates), PBDEs and parabens.
When the children were between 6 and 11 years old, the scientists measured the levels of enzymes and cytokeratin-18 that indicate a risk of liver disease in the children’s blood. They found elevated levels of these biomarkers in children who had been more heavily exposed to environmental chemicals during pregnancy.
Postmenopausal women may have more small brain damage, study finds
Women who have gone through menopause may have smaller brain lesions than premenopausal women or men of the same age. offers a new study.
These tiny lesions, called white matter hyperintensities, are visible on brain scans and become more common with age or with uncontrolled high blood pressure. These biomarkers have been associated in some studies with an increased risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.
“White matter hyperintensities increase as the brain ages, and while they don’t mean a person will develop dementia or have a stroke, larger amounts may increase a person’s risk,” said study author Dr Monique MB Breteler of the German Centre. of Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Bonn, Germany, and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “Our study looked at the role that menopause may have on the amounts of these brain biomarkers.”
The study involved 3,410 people aged 54 on average. Of these, 58% were women, and of the women, 59% were postmenopausal. Additionally, 35% of all participants had high blood pressure and of these, half had uncontrolled high blood pressure.
The researchers looked at the brain MRIs of all the participants and calculated how much brain damage each had.
The findings were published in an online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.