Sulforaphane from Broccoli may Prevent Blindness Caused by Macular Degeneration
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers have
discovered that Sulforaphane, a naturally occurring antioxidant
and detoxification stimulant in broccoli protects the eye from
damage caused by the sun's ultraviolet light. Cells in the retina
of the eye are extremely sensitive to damage caused by oxidants
generated by sunlight. Protective mechanisms in the eye help
minimize this damage, but the eye losses these protective mechanisms
as we age. According to molecular scientist Xiangqun Gao at Johns
Hopkins, this is the major cause of age related macular degeneration,
the leading cause of blindness in America. In this experiment the
researchers exposed human retina cells to various doses of Sulforaphane.
The more Sulforaphane the retinal cells got the more protected they
were form oxidative damage and free radicals. The study appears in
the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
Previous Johns Hopkins research has shown that Sulforaphane
prevents tumor growth and that it kills the H. Pylori bacteria,
the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.
High Doses of Vioxx Prescribed Despite Heart Risk
There is mounting and strong evidence that the Cox-2 specific
arthritis pain reliever Vioxx if given at a high dose over a
matter of time, can raise blood pressure and increase the risk
of dangerous heart problems. Vanderbilt University Medical
Center researchers culled the records of patients given
prescriptions for NSAIDs drugs in Tennessee's Medicaid program.
All told, 40,000 people over the age of 49 were given NSAIDs.
Of these, almost 10,000 were taking Vioxx, and almost 1,000
were prescribed high doses of Vioxx at 50mg for 30 days. Half
that dose, or 25mg is recommended for long-term use. The 50mg
dose has been shown to increase the risk of heart attacks. A
study in the Lancet shows that high dose users had nearly
twice the rate of serious heart problems, including heart
attacks ands heart-related deaths. Other studies have shown
an increased risk of edema (swelling) of the arms and legs, a
rise in blood pressure, and an increased risk of congestive
heart failure with the higher dosage of Vioxx. In the Tennessee
Medicare patients on higher doses of Vioxx, 15 percent had been
treated for congestive heart failure and 22 percent had been
treated for other forms of heart disease over the previous 12
months. The study appears in the June issue of the journal
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.
The Asthma-Childhood Obesity Connection
Researchers tracked almost 800 children and found that 60% of the
children continued to have asthma after puberty. It was long
thought that asthma incidence decreased in children after puberty.
The children who were obese or overweight at puberty had a 300%
increased risk of remaining asthmatic into their teenage years.
The study appears in the July issue of the American Journal of
Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Asthma may Raise the Risk of Developing COPD and Emphysema
Adults with asthma have a tremendous increased risk of developing
deadly lung conditions later in life. Researchers found that
asthmatics were 12 and a half times more likely to develop COPD
(chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - a hybrid of bronchitis
and emphysema). COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the
U.S. Asthmatics were 10 times more likely to develop bronchitis
and 17 times more likely to be diagnosed with emphysema. The
study appears in the July issue of the journal Chest.