ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
CANCER
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
CAREGIVING
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Fatty Acid in Olive Oil Wards Off Hunger
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Air Pollution May Cause Appendicitis: Study Reveals
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
EYE CARE, VISION
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
FITNESS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Be Healthy, Spend Less
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Week of Historic Senate Hearings on Integrative Medicine May Open New Doors
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
The Unmedicated Mind
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
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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