ISLAMABAD: Chronic exposure to a common food additive found in everything from chewing gum to bread can decrease the ability of small intestine cells to absorb nutrients and act as a barrier to pathogens, warns a study.
Ingestion of the compound, known as titanium dioxide, is nearly unavoidable. It can enter the digestive system through toothpaste, as titanium dioxide is used to create abrasion needed for cleaning. The oxide is also used in some chocolates to give it a smooth texture.
“Titanium oxide is a common food additive and people have been eating a lot of it for a long time — don’t worry, it won’t kill you! But we were interested in some of the subtle effects, and we think people should know about them,” said one of the authors of the study, Gretchen Mahler, Assistant Professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York. For the study, the researchers exposed a small intestinal cell culture model to the physiological equivalent of a meal’s worth of titanium oxide nanoparticles — 30 nanometers across — over four hours (acute exposure), or three meal’s worth over five days, Medical Xpress reported.
Acute exposures did not have much effect, but chronic exposure diminished the absorptive projections on the surface of intestinal cells called microvilli. With fewer microvilli, the intestinal barrier was weakened, metabolism slowed and some nutrients — iron, zinc, and fatty acids, specifically were more difficult to absorb. Enzyme functions were negatively affected, while inflammation signals increased, the study said. “To avoid foods rich in titanium oxide nanoparticles you should avoid processed foods, and especially candy. That is where you see a lot of nanoparticles,”
People with type 2 diabetes may be testing blood sugar too much
MICHIGAN: People with type 2 diabetes might be testing their blood sugar levels too much, a study says.
Researchers at the University of Michigan say that roughly 14 percent of people with diabetes, but who don’t require insulin, are spending hundreds of dollars per year and using thousands of test strips to check something that is not necessary. New research published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, based on insurance information for more than 370,000 people with Type 2 diabetes but who did not take insulin, suggests that these tests are unnecessary.
One of my patients who didn’t need to be testing daily told me that her previous doctor had told her to test her sugars two or three times a day, Kevin Platt, the internal medicine resident in the Department of Internal Medicine at University of Michigan and study lead investigator, said in a press release. These data show that over-testing is quite common – and with the appropriate guidance can be reduced significantly.
About 23 percent of people in the study refilled prescriptions for test strips at least three times a year, getting 90 strips at a time. Another 43 percent of participants filled prescriptions exclusively for metformin or other medicines that don’t have a risk of hypoglycemia. Once patients established the proper dosage of medication that didn’t cause a blood sugar spike, they no longer needed daily testing.
But those two groups kept testing their blood sugar, even though they didn’t need to. The researchers say many patients needlessly test daily to see how well exercise, dieting, and their medication regimens are actually working.
Over 400 dengue cases reported in 2018!
RAWALPINDI: District Health Officer Dr. Zeeshan Ahmed today said around 421 dengue positive patients were reported in Allied hospitals of the city in 2018, while last year 334 patients results were positive, in 2016 the number was 1106 and in 2015 the number was 3303.
He said to date, the allied hospitals have registered 421 confirm patients while at present only 5 dengue patients were under treatment in hospitals. The DHO said that Municipal Corporation area and Potahar Town witnessed a sharp decrease this year in dengue patients as 63 cases were reported in MCR area and 82 in Potohar area while last year the number was 74 in MCR and 189 in Potohar Town.
While Rawalpindi Cantonment Board area has witnessed an increase this year as 197 cases were reported and the number was only 40 last year, he added. He said that in the RCB area the number of cases were increased as there were some hurdles to reach sensitive areas. “Dengue fever situation is under control and no death has occurred due to it,” he added.
E-cigarette makers using aggressive marketing tactics
SEOUL: Makers of e-cigarettes are employing an active marketing strategy, reaching out directly to consumers, industry officials said today.
KT&G, Philip Morris Korea and British American Tobacco (BAT) Korea have all set up departments to exclusively promote sales of their e-cigarettes and are increasing the number of their street stores.
Philip Morris was the first of the pack, opening a shop in June last year with the launch of its IQOS. It has since launched four more independent stores nationwide and has a sales booth at 20 Electro Mart outlets, an electronics store chain run by Shinsegae Group.
The company now runs two call centers, one each in Seoul and in the southeastern city of Busan, and has increased staff from 35 to 170 for around-the-clock operation.
KT&G has three stores, including a standalone in southern Seoul and two shop-in-shop flagships. It offers a visiting service to customers to handle their requests and has 200 staff members standing by.
The company has 10 after-sales service centers throughout the country and 31 smaller consultation stations to solve simple product problems. It has added incentives by giving leather cases to purchasers of its product line.
BAT Korea allows online purchases of its e-cigarette product Glo after confirming the age and identity of the buyer. In addition to its recently opened flagship store, it set up Glo care zones at a number of Seven-Eleven convenience stores that can handle after-sales service care and free product experience.
Industry officials say another change in their marketing tactic is the use of media events when new products are launched.
Such aggressive marketing has displeased social commentators who see it as contradicting efforts to bring down the country’s smoking rates. These watchers also want the government to amend laws on the tobacco industry that are outdated and unable to regulate the new e-cigarette market.
“With the launch of e-cigarettes, the industry can no longer survive in the old way,” an industry official said. “We need to communicate more actively with different segments of society to adapt better to the changing market conditions and to improve the regulations on tobacco.”