Study: Consuming Broccoli Benefits Asthmatics

broccoli

The University of Melbourne recently carried out a study testing the benefits of broccoli as it relates to asthma. Results showed that consuming one to two cups of steamed broccoli prevents asthma symptoms and potentially reverses lung damage. However, the benefits are not only limited to broccoli but are also found in other cruciferous vegetables.

These vegetables alter the airway formation making it easier to breath. This study is among others that aim to discover the benefits of dietary changes for various illnesses and will be presented at the 2014 Undergraduate Research Conference in Shanghai.

Broccoli could help asthma patients to breathe easy, a new study suggests.

According to researchers at the University of Melbourne, eating one to two cups of lightly steamed broccoli could prevent asthma from worsening.

Other vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family such as kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and bok choy also help reverse lung damage, the study found.                  

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Self Reported Asthma Rate Drops

The Center for Disease Control conducts an annual survey to discover the self-reported U.S asthma rate. Results indicate a significant drop in asthma to a nine year low. 7.4% of the U.S population reported an asthma diagnoses compared to a fairly consistent rate at approximately 8.5% since 2009. The CDC is not completely convinced, having surveyed 47,000 people last year, and they are hesitant to declare its decline. Asthma is a chronic illness affecting around 3 million children and adults in the United States. One of the leading causes of asthma deaths is attributed to a lack of medication adherence.

(Reuters) – Self-reported U.S. asthma rates have fallen significantly for the first time in four years to a nine-year low, according to a survey released on Thursday, but researchers cautioned that the numbers may not mean the disease is dwindling.

About 7.4 percent of the U.S. population reported having asthma in 2013, down from a level that has hovered around 8.5 percent since 2009, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found.

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Asthma Symptoms and Spring Time

Asthma symptoms vary depending on a few major factors, one of them being seasonal change. With spring time approaching and children going outside to play in warmer weather, it is important to review prevention methods. A recent article posted by Dr. Michael Rosenthal on Delaware online provides a good overview.  Spring brings with it a slew of new triggers that can impact asthma. These include air pollution, pollen and increased exposure to animals. Thus, medication adherence is especially important during this time as it could prevent dangerous symptoms.

 

Childhood asthma is the most common chronic disease in children, and can occur year-round. Now that spring has arrived and children are heading outside to play, it’s a good time to consider the impact and dangers of this disease, as well as how to protect against asthma attacks.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways, causing wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. The smaller airways within the lungs have a hard time moving air in and out, making breathing difficult.

Causes of asthma range from genetics to allergens and pollutants. No cure for asthma exists, although some children have fewer symptoms as they get older only to have it recur later in life due to certain triggers.

More than 7 million children nationwide have asthma. The disease accounts for more hospitalizations than any other childhood illness and more than 3,000 childhood deaths each year.

Aside from the health problems, asthma can affect learning and school performance. Among children ages 5 to 17, it is the leading cause of absences from school related to a chronic illness. Children with asthma miss an average of eight days per year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

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TEDMED Features Gecko Health in its Blog

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TEDMED, a platform for sharing health related ideas and innovative solutions, recently featured the Geckocap in a blog post. The article focused on companies using data and monitoring techniques to help adolescents suffering from chronic or temporary health issues. The following companies were discussed in the article: Kinsa, an oral thermometer coupled with the technical prowess of a smartphone, Nonoly, a chemical making vaccine refrigeration obsolete allowing medicine to travel easily to rural areas and our very own Gecko Health Innovations.

Medication adherence is such an integral part of healthcare management that it is important to establish such habits at early ages, thus potentially creating a lifetime of medication self-management.

Move over, plastic stethoscopes: A number of innovations from TEDMED Hive 2013 companies aim to help even the littlest patients become engaged in their own real-life care.

Kinsa makes an oral thermometer that leverages the crowdsourcing power of a smart phone. The thermometer plugs into and transmits data to a free smartphone app – iOS now, but Android as well in the future – which also records and tracks symptoms and temps for easy retrieval at a pediatrician’s office. What’s more, the next phase of the product will provide crowd sourced data from social networks to allow parents to see what’s going on in a child’s neighborhood or school. Strep going around? Lice? Better act now.

The company is focusing first on tracking childhood ills, because mothers are the primary users of thermometers, says Kinsa deputy CEO Qian Qian Tang, and because children are prime carriers of highly contagious diseases like flu, whooping cough and measles.

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Study Aims to Curb Asthma Over-Medication

NBC published an article covering new research currently being carried out by Dr. John Mastronarde and his team at the Ohio State Medical Center. The study aims to find the optimal amount of medication for each asthma patient. This research is essential in the asthma medication space due to over-medication creating unnecessary costs and health hazards. The study will examine combinations of inhalers and medicines to find the most effective dose levels at various situations.

“With 26 million Americans taking asthma medicines at a cost of $150 million a day, a new study seeks to determine how to change the fact that many of those patients are taking too much medicine.

Dr. John Mastronarde and his colleagues at Ohio State University Medical Center are researching how to get patients on the lowest dose of asthma medicine possible.

He said the drugs can cost patients between $3 and $500 per month.

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The Effect of a High-Fiber Diet on Asthma


Christingasner/iStockphoto/Thinkstock (Taken From Original Article)

A recent article published by Science Magazine covered a study completed in the University of Lausanne in Switzerland regarding the effect of a high fiber diet on asthma. High fiber diet has already been linked to managing irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Researches are now trying to see if it provides any benefit for those suffering from asthma.

The study involved taking two separate groups of mice, one group feeding on a high fiber diet and the other feeding on a low fiber diet. After two weeks, the mice were exposed to an allergenic and their reactions were observed. They found that the mice with a high fiber diet were much less susceptible to a strong reaction. This research could pave the way towards developing a diet catered specifically to asthma and allergy sufferers.

The fiber consumed in fruits and vegetables seems to help quiet the overzealous immune system activity that leads to such conditions as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and possibly even colon cancer. Now it appears that a diet rich in fiber may also fend off asthma, an inflammatory condition that constricts the airways of the lung, by changing the way some immune cells are produced in the bone marrow.

When we eat plentiful fruits and vegetables, the bacteria that occur naturally in our intestines help us digest the fiber. The microbes take “soluble” fiber such as pectin—found in apples, pears, berries, citrus fruits, and onions—and ferment it into specific types of fatty acids that interact with immune cells, helping keep inflammation in check. Whether this anti-inflammatory effect extends beyond the digestive tract is less clear. But the fatty acids in question are able to circulate through the bloodstream, perhaps hooking up with immune cells throughout the body.

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USA Today: “Technology, prevention will move healthcare costs down”

Medication non-adherence is estimated to cost the U.S anywhere between $180 to $400billion dollars annually. Many in the industry view technology as the solution to increasing adherence in patients and cutting healthcare costs. USA Today recently wrote an article on the subject and how the Affordable Care Act could prevent unnecessary costs in the industry. These include penalties for patient readmission with preventative illnesses and the increased use of healthcare information technology in administrative processes.

“WASHINGTON — In 2014, expect a flurry of changes to continue to bend the health cost curve down, accelerated by the Affordable Care Act, experts say.

Even die-hard believers in the connection between the economy and how people spend on medical expenses are saying this may be the year that proves them wrong, as providers and insurers rush to make changes to keep profit margins high in light of changes in how they’re billed. They’ll be led by improved technology that helps them see how to improve quality; preventive programs that have proven they can save millions in long-term costs; and an acknowledgement that consumers hold the purse strings.

“There is a considerable level of consensus based on several recent studies about how to keep costs down,” said David Blumenthal, president of The Commonwealth Fund, whose report looking at recent research was released Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. “I think there’s a lot of work to be done.”

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