ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
CAREGIVING
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Even in 'Last Supper,' Portion Sizes Have Grown
Iced Teas Pose High Risk of Kidney Stones
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Exhaust From Railroad Diesel Linked to Lung Ailments
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Go To Work But Skip The Car
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Go To Work But Skip The Car
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
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Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage

Curcumin -- a component of the Indian spice turmeric -- may delay the inflammation-related liver damage that leads to cirrhosis, according to a new study in the journal Gut.

Another study in the same issue of the journal found that hair dye and smoking are linked to progressive liver disease.

In the first study, researchers analyzed tissue and blood samples from mice with chronic liver inflammation before and after curcumin was added to the rodents' diet for a period of four and eight weeks.

Consuming curcumin significantly reduced bile duct blockage and curbed liver cell damage and liver scarring (fibrosis). Curcumin interferes with several chemical signaling pathways involved in the inflammatory process, said Michael Trauner, of Medical University in Graz, Austria, and colleagues.

The benefits were seen at both four weeks and eight weeks. No such effects were noted in mice with chronic liver inflammation that were fed a normal diet. The findings suggest that curcumin may offer a promising treatment for liver inflammation, the researchers said.

They noted that the current treatment for inflammatory liver disease is ursodeoxycholic acid, but the long-term effects of this therapy aren't clear. The other alternative is liver transplant.

In the second study, British researchers sent questionnaires to thousands of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), an early form of liver cirrhosis. In people with PBC, the liver's bile ducts become inflamed, scarred and blocked, resulting in extensive tissue damage and liver cirrhosis. It's believed that environmental factors play a role in PBC.

The questionnaire asked participants about exposure to potential environmental and genetic risk factors associated with primary biliary cirrhosis. The responses showed that autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid and celiac diseases were all more common among patients with PBC. The researchers also found that people with a family history of autoimmune disease were more likely to have PBC. Psoriasis, urinary infection and shingles also significantly increased the likelihood of having the condition.

Compared to the general population, people with primary biliary cirrhosis were 63 percent more likely to have smoked at some point in their lives and to have started smoking before being diagnosed with PBC.

Women who used hair dye were 37 percent more likely to develop PBC than women who didn't use hair dye. Previous research has suggested a link between PBC and chemicals in cosmetics, particularly octynoic acid, which is found in hair dye and nail polish.

SOURCES: Gut, news release, March 24, 2010 Published on: March 25, 2010