COVID-19 Ups Complication Risks During Childbirth

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Women who have COVID-19 during childbirth are more likely to face complications than moms-to-be without the coronavirus, researchers say.

Fortunately, the absolute risk for complications for any one woman is very low (less than 1%). But the relative risks for problems — such as clotting and early labor — are significant, the new study found.

Still, “the findings here, truly, are that among women who are hospitalized for childbirth and who were diagnosed with COVID, adverse events are incredibly low. That should provide a lot of reassurance to women who are hoping to become pregnant during this period, or who are pregnant,” said study co-author Dr. Karola Jering, from the cardiovascular medicine division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Over eight months in 2020, she and her colleagues collected data on more than 400,000 mothers-to-be, nearly 6,400 of whom were infected with COVID-19.

Among the COVID-19 patients, the researchers found the relative risk of developing any type of blood clot was nearly five times higher than for those without the virus, and nearly four times higher for venous thromboembolism, clots in the veins.

These women were also far more likely to need intensive care or a ventilator, the researchers found.

Those who had the virus were:

  • 7% more likely to need a C-section.
  • 19% more likely to have preterm labor.
  • 17% more likely to have a preterm delivery.
  • 21% more likely to have preeclampsia.

There’s little a pregnant woman can do to reduce these risks beyond not being infected, Jering said.

“The problem, of course, is that right now we mostly have supportive care for patients who have COVID, in general. And of the things that have been tested for treatment of patients with COVID, most of them have not been tested in pregnant women,” said co-author Dr. Scott Solomon, also from Brigham and Women’s.

But Jering said pregnant women are given the other drugs often given to COVID-19 patients, including blood thinners to prevent clots.

In sum, the study findings were positive, Jering stressed. Among the pregnant women with COVID-19 who gave birth, 99% were discharged home, 3% needed intensive care and 1% needed mechanical ventilation. Less than 1% died in the hospital.

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For Biden, 100 Million Vaccinations in 100 Days Not Easy

By Victoria Knight

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 (Kaiser News) — This story also ran on PolitiFact. It can be republished for free.

It’s in the nature of presidential candidates and new presidents to promise big things. Just months after his 1961 inauguration, President John F. Kennedy vowed to send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. That pledge was kept, but many others haven’t been, such as candidate Bill Clinton’s promise to provide universal health care and presidential hopeful George H.W. Bush’s guarantee of no new taxes.

Now, during a once-in-a-century pandemic, incoming President Joe Biden has promised to provide 100 million covid-19 vaccinations in his first 100 days in office.

“This team will help get … at least 100 million covid vaccine shots into the arms of the American people in the first 100 days,” Biden said during a Dec. 8 news conference introducing key members of his health team.

When first asked about his pledge, the Biden team said the president-elect meant 50 million people would get their two-dose regimen. The incoming administration has since updated this plan, saying it will release vaccine doses as soon as they’re available instead of holding back some of that supply for second doses.

Either way, Biden may run into difficulty meeting that 100 million mark.

“I think it’s an attainable goal. I think it’s going to be extremely challenging,” said Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers.

While a pace of 1 million doses a day is “somewhat of an increase over what we’re already doing,” a much higher rate of vaccinations will be necessary to stem the pandemic, said Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at KFF. (KHN is an editorially independent program of KFF.) “The Biden administration has plans to rationalize vaccine distribution, but increasing the supply quickly” could be a difficult task.

Under the Trump administration, vaccine deployment has been much slower than Biden’s plan. The rollout began more than a month ago, on Dec. 14. Since then, 12 million shots have been given and 31 million doses have been shipped out, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine tracker.


This sluggishness has been attributed to a lack of communication between the federal government and state and local health departments, not enough funding for large-scale vaccination efforts, and confusing federal guidance on distribution of the vaccines.

The same problems could plague the Biden administration, said experts.

States still aren’t sure how much vaccine they’ll get and whether there will be a sufficient supply, said Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, which represents state public health agencies.

“We have been given little information about the amount of vaccine the states will receive in the near future and are of the impression that there may not be 1 million doses available per day in the first 100 days of the Biden administration,” said Plescia. “Or at least not in the early stages of the 100 days.”

Another challenge has been a lack of funding. Public health departments have had to start vaccination campaigns while also operating testing centers and conducting contact tracing efforts with budgets that have been critically underfunded for years.

“States have to pay for creating the systems, identifying the personnel, training, staffing, tracking people, information campaigns — all the things that go into getting a shot in someone’s arm,” said Jennifer Kates, director of global health & HIV policy at KFF. “They’re having to create an unprecedented mass vaccination program on a shaky foundation.”

The latest covid stimulus bill, signed into law in December, allocates almost $9 billion in funding to the CDC for vaccination efforts. About $4.5 billion is supposed to go to states, territories and tribal organizations, and $3 billion of that is slated to arrive soon.

But it’s not clear that level of funding can sustain mass vaccination campaigns as more groups become eligible for the vaccine.

Biden released a $1.9 trillion plan last week to address covid and the struggling economy. It includes $160 billion to create national vaccination and testing programs, but also earmarks funds for $1,400 stimulus payments to individuals, state and local government aid, extension of unemployment insurance, and financial assistance for schools to reopen safely.


Though it took Congress almost eight months to pass the last covid relief bill after Republican objections to the cost, Biden seems optimistic he’ll get some Republicans on board for his plan. But it’s not yet clear that will work.

There’s also the question of whether outgoing President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will get in the way of Biden’s legislative priorities.

In addition, states have complained about a lack of guidance and confusing instructions on which groups should be given priority status for vaccination, an issue the Biden administration will need to address.

On Dec. 3, the CDC recommended health care personnel, residents of long-term care facilities, those 75 and older, and front-line essential workers should be immunized first. But on Jan. 12, the CDC shifted course and recommended that everyone over age 65 should be immunized. In a speech Biden gave last week detailing his vaccination plan, he said he would stick to the CDC’s recommendation to prioritize those over 65.

Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar also said Jan. 12 that states that moved their vaccine supply fastest would be prioritized in getting more shipments. It’s not known yet whether the Biden administration’s CDC will stick to this guidance. Critics have said it could make vaccine distribution less equitable.

In general, taking over with a strong vision and clear communication will be key to ramping up vaccine distribution, said Hannan.

“Everyone needs to understand what the goal is and how it’s going to work,” she said.

A challenge for Biden will be tamping expectations that the vaccine is all that is needed to end the pandemic. Across the country, covid cases are higher than ever, and in many locations officials cannot control the spread.

Public health experts said Biden must amp up efforts to increase testing across the country, as he has suggested he will do by promising to establish a national pandemic testing board.

With so much focus on vaccine distribution, it’s important that this part of the equation not be lost. Right now, “it’s completely all over the map,” said KFF’s Kates, adding that the federal government will need a “good sense” of who is and is not being tested in different areas in order to “fix” public health capacity.

WebMD News from Kaiser Health News

©2013-2020 Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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Fried Food Raises Risk for Heart Disease, Stroke

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Delicious but deadly: Eating fried food is tied to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, a new study suggests.

The risk rises with each additional 4-ounce serving per week, a research team in China found.

For the study, the investigators analyzed 19 previously published studies. They combined data from 17 studies, involving more than 560,000 people with nearly 37,000 major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke.

The researchers also used data from six studies, involving more than 750,000 participants and nearly 86,000 deaths over an average of 10 years.

The study findings showed that compared with those who ate the lowest amount of fried food per week, those who ate the most had a 28% greater risk of major cardiovascular events, a 22% higher risk of heart disease and a 37% higher risk of heart failure.

These risks substantially increased by 3%, 2% and 12%, respectively, with each additional 4-ounce weekly serving, according to Pei Qin, of Shenzhen University Health Science Center, in Guangdong, China, and colleagues.

The report was published online Jan. 19 in the journal Heart.

How fried foods might increase the development of cardiovascular disease isn’t clear, but several explanations are possible, the study authors noted in a journal news release.

Fried foods contain harmful trans fatty acids from the hydrogenated vegetable oils often used to cook them, and frying also increases the production of chemical byproducts involved in an inflammatory response. In addition, foods high in salt, such as fried chicken and French fries, are often served with sugar-sweetened drinks, particularly in fast-food restaurants, the researchers said.

More information

For more on cardiovascular disease, head to the American Heart Association.

SOURCE: BMJ, news release, Jan. 19, 2021

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Healthier 2021: Bill Is Staying on Track, Even While Traveling

This post appears as part of our Healthier 2021 series, in which we follow three WebMD team members as they strive to improve their health this year. You can follow their journeys here.

By Bill Kimm

I was put to the test last week. (Spoiler alert: I passed!)

 My daughter is a competitive cheerleader, and last weekend we had an out-of-town competition. In the past, that meant eating out for every meal and lots of sitting around, but with a focus on a Healthier 2021, I couldn’t treat this cheer competition like the previous ones. I had to do better.

My amazing wife of 23 years, Marlene, who is also on this Healthier 2021 journey with me, came up with a brilliant, albeit simple, game plan for us to make sure we didn’t take a step back after 2 weeks of great progress. Be ready to have your mind blown! We brought food with us to the hotel to make sure we didn’t need to eat out every meal. Simple, right? We knew we had a fridge in our hotel room, so we packed up our cooler with healthy options and ate at the hotel, not at a restaurant. Due to our cheer schedule, we ate brunch each day instead of breakfast and lunch. We brought low-calorie tortillas, lunchmeat, lettuce, and cheese, and made wraps. We brought baked chips, apples and peanut butter, grapes, and other low-calorie snack options, and it was perfect.

Not only did we stick to our calorie and healthy-eating goals, but because we were good during the day, it allowed us to splurge a little bit when we went out to dinner (and we did!). I think this is going to be the new normal for us moving forward when we are out of town. It was incredibly easy.

Knowing I was going to have a lot of downtime, I brought my workout clothes with me with every intention of hitting the treadmill on both Saturday and Sunday to finally get my exercise going. I was heartbroken when I arrived at the hotel and learned the gym was closed due to COVID-19. Not to be deterred, I went to plan B, and it’s one I find myself doing more and more.

A couple of years ago, I created a HIIT workout for myself that uses no equipment and gives me a good sweat and sore muscles every time. It features 12 exercises, focusing on four groups: cardio, legs, arms, and abs. Here is what it looks like:

Warm-Up: 5 minutes of stretches

Cardio: Jumping Jacks, High Knees, Mountain Climbers

Arms: Push-Ups, Chair Dips, Overhead Arm Press

Legs: Wall Sit, Squats, Lunges

Abs: Crunches, Plank, Leg Raises

I am a firm believer that all of us can do anything for 30 seconds, so that is the basis for this workout. Do each of the 12 exercises once, in whatever order you want, to the best of your ability, for 30 seconds, and take a 15-second break between each exercise. That’s 9 minutes, and because I like an even number, I run in place for 1 minute at the end for some extra cardio. On Saturday I was able to do a full circuit twice for a 25-minute workout, but Sunday I was sore and did it once. But I did it!

The gym was closed, but that’s not an excuse anymore. It was too cold to run outside, but that’s not an excuse anymore, either. There are no more excuses.

This weekend was a big boost for my confidence: Even though I was out of town, I not only ate healthy and stayed under my calorie goal, but I exercised both days! On top of that, my daughter’s two teams finished second and fourth in their divisions, so all in all, a very successful weekend!


WebMD Feature

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Nearly 45,000 Floridians Overdue for 2nd Second Vaccine

Jan. 20, 2021 — More than 1 million people in Florida have received a COVID-19 vaccine, but 44,500 are overdue for their second dose, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The recommended timeframe to receive a second dose is 21 days for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 28 days for the Moderna vaccine. Those who don’t receive a second dose aren’t considered fully immunized against the coronavirus.

Health care workers expected to see some issues around second doses, according to CBS 12 News in West Palm Beach. Some vaccine recipients are concerned about experiencing more serious side effects after the second dose and are afraid to get it. However, doctors and nurses are urging patients to get their second shot to make sure they’ve reached the 95% efficacy level for the two-shot regimen, even if they’re late.

“I am a great example, I got my second dose today,” Kitonga Kiminyo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society, told the news station. “Trust me, nothing worse is going to happen after you get the second shot.”

Local health departments are also trying to stay on top of scheduling and vaccine supplies to ensure that people take their second dose on time. So far, more than 100,000 Floridians have taken both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and about 920,000 are on track to receive their second dose, the Florida Department of Health reported.

“Without knowing the ‘why’ here, it is challenging to know whether it should be concerning,” Jason Salemi, an epidemiology professor at the University of South Florida, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“Right now, I’m not concerned,” he said. “But if that number continues to grow … or the reasons for missing the second dose are concerning (such as no doses available, people unable to make it to their appointments in a timely manner), then I’d be brainstorming effective solutions.”

WebMD Health News


Florida Department of Health, “COVID-19: vaccine summary.”
CBS 12 News, “Supply issues or side effects? 45,000 Floridians overdue for second COVID-19 vaccine dose.”
South Florida Sun Sentinel, “Vaccine in Florida: More than 40,000 people overdue for second dose.”

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 Politics The Buzz

Assuming US presidency, Biden tells divided nation ‘democracy has prevailed’

Washington, January 20

Democrat Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States on Wednesday, assuming the helm of a country reeling from deep political divides, a battered economy and a raging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans.

With his hand on a five-inch thick heirloom Bible that has been in his family for more than a century, Biden took the presidential oath of office administered by US Chief Justice John Roberts just after noon (1700 GMT), vowing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

“Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew, and America has risen to the challenge,” Biden said as he began his inaugural address.

Read also | Committed to taking India-US ties to greater heights: PM Modi congratulates US President Biden

“Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause: the cause of democracy…At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.” Biden, 78, became the oldest US president in history at a scaled-back ceremony in Washington that was largely stripped of its usual pomp and circumstance, due both to the coronavirus and security concerns following the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.

The norm-defying Trump flouted one last convention on his way out of the White House when he refused to meet with Biden or attend his successor’s inauguration, breaking with a political tradition seen as affirming the peaceful transfer of power.

Trump, who never conceded the November 3 election, did not mention Biden by name in his final remarks as president on Wednesday morning, when he touted his administration’s record and promised to be back “in some form.” He boarded Air Force One for the last time and headed to his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida.

Top Republicans, including Vice President Mike Pence and the party’s congressional leaders, attended Biden’s inauguration, along with former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, became the first Black person, first woman and first Asian American to serve as vice president after she was sworn in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court’s first Latina member.

Harris used two Bibles, including one owned by Thurgood Marshall, the first Black US Supreme Court Justice.

Biden takes office at a time of deep national unease, with the country facing what his advisers have described as four compounding crises: the pandemic, the economic downtown, climate change and racial inequality. He has promised immediate action, including a raft of executive orders on his first day in office.

The ceremony on Wednesday unfolded in front of a heavily fortified US Capitol, where a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building two weeks ago, enraged by his false claims that the election was stolen with millions of fraudulent votes.

The violence prompted the Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives to impeach Trump last week for an unprecedented second time.

Thousands of National Guard troops were called into the city after the siege, which left five people dead and briefly forced lawmakers into hiding. Instead of a throng of supporters, the National Mall on Wednesday was covered by nearly 200,000 flags and 56 pillars of light meant to represent people from US states and territories.

‘Soul of America’

Biden, who has vowed to “restore the soul of America,” will call for American unity at a time of crisis in his inaugural address, according to advisers.

His inauguration is the zenith of a five-decade career in public service that included more than three decades in the US Senate and two terms as vice president under former President Barack Obama.

But he faces calamities that would challenge even the most experienced politician.

The pandemic in the United States reached a pair of grim milestones on Trump’s final full day in office on Tuesday, reaching 400,000 US deaths and 24 million infections – the highest of any country. Millions of Americans are out of work because of pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions.

Biden has vowed to bring the full weight of the federal government to bear on the crisis. His top priority is a $1.9 trillion plan that would enhance jobless benefits and provide direct cash payments to households.

But it will require approval from a deeply divided Congress, where Democrats hold slim advantages in both the House and Senate. Harris was scheduled to swear in three new Democratic senators late on Wednesday, creating a 50-50 split in the chamber with herself as the tie-breaking vote.

Biden will waste little time trying to turn the page on the Trump era, advisers said, signing 15 executive actions on Wednesday on issues ranging from the pandemic to the economy to climate change. The orders will include mandating masks on federal property, rejoining the Paris climate accord and ending Trump’s travel ban on some Muslim-majority countries.

Although Biden has laid out a packed agenda for his first 100 days, including delivering 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations, the Senate could be consumed by Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial, which will move ahead even though he has left office.

The trial could serve as an early test of Biden’s promise to foster a renewed sense of bipartisanship in Washington.

Trump issued more than 140 pardons and commutations in his final hours in office, including a pardon for his former political adviser, Steve Bannon, who has pleaded not guilty to charges that he swindled Trump supporters as part of an effort to raise private funds for a Mexico border wall.

But Trump did not issue preemptive pardons for himself or members of his family, after speculation that he might do so. Reuters

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Coronavirus COVID-19 Delhi The Buzz

Rajasthan Congress MLA Gajendra Singh Shaktawat dies at 48

Jaipur, January 20

Rajasthan Congress MLA Gajendra Singh Shaktawat, who was suffering from liver infection, died at a private hospital in Delhi on Wednesday morning. He was 48.

The MLA had also tested positive for coronavirus, family sources said.

Shaktawat represented Vallabhnagar constituency of Udaipur.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, PCC president Govind Singh Dotasra, former deputy CM Sachin Pilot and other leaders expressed grief over the demise.

“Deep condolences on untimely demise of Congress MLA Shri Gajendra Shaktawat,” Gehlot tweeted, saying he was sick for a long time. The Chief Minister said he was in touch with the legislator’s family as well as Dr Shiv Sareen to enquire about his health.

“I am deeply saddened by the devastating news of the passing away of my colleague & MLA Shri Gajendra Singh Shaktawat ji. He was a humble and a kind soul, always dedicated towards the development of his constituency. My heartfelt condolences to his family,” Pilot said on Twitter.  

Shaktawat, a two-time MLA, was among the Congress legislators, led by Pilot, who had revolted against the leadership of the Chief Ninister in July last year.

He is survived by wife, son and two daughters. 

Shaktawat is the third Congress and fourth sitting MLA in Rajasthan to have died in the recent past.

Congress MLAs Master Bhanwar Lal Meghwal (Sujangarh in Churu), Kailash Trivedi (Sahara in Bhilwara) and BJP MLA Kiran Maheshwari (Rajsamand) are the others who died recently. 

Meghwal, the social justice and empowerment minister, had suffered brain haemorrhage and died in November last year. Kailash Trivedi and Kiran Maheshwari died due to coronavirus infection. While Trivedi died in October, Maheshwari passed away in November last.

With this, the tally in the House of 200 has come down to 196 in the Congress-ruled state.

Bypolls will now be conducted to four Assembly constituencies in the state. PTI

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Coronavirus COVID-19 The Buzz

In farewell address, Trump wishes luck to next administration without mentioning Biden

Washington, January 20

US President Donald Trump, in a farewell address released on Tuesday, touted his legacy and wished luck to the new administration of President-elect Joe Biden but without acknowledging his successor by name.

Trump has refused to offer a full concession to Democrat Biden, who won the November 3 election with 306 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 232. Biden will be inaugurated at 12 pm on Thursday and Trump is not meeting with Biden beforehand or attending the swearing in as is customary in the handover of power to the White House. Trump instead plans to fly to Florida.

“This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous,” the Republican president said in recorded remarks. “We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck – a very important word.”

Trump campaigned on a pledge to “Make America Great Again” but leaves office with more than 400,000 people dead of the novel coronavirus – the most in the world – whose risk he played down, an economy struggling from the pandemic, and relationships strained with key U.S. allies.

“The greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves, a loss of confidence in our national greatness,” Trump said.

For months Trump said without evidence that the election was rigged against him and applied pressure on state officials to overturn the results. At a rally near the White House on Jan. 6 he encouraged followers to march on Congress while lawmakers were certifying Biden’s win.

Trump has been holed up at the White House for the final weeks of his term, reeling after the riot by his supporters at the Capitol that led to five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer.

The stampede, which followed a rally in which Trump repeated false allegations of election fraud and urged his supporters to fight, has overshadowed any efforts to emphasize the president’s legacy in his final days in office.

The House of Representatives impeached Trump on a charge of incitement, making him the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. He will have to face the charges after leaving office.

In Tuesday’s farewell, without specifically mentioning Twitter’s decision to suspend his @realDonaldTrump account, Trump made reference to his complaint that free speech had been muzzled by the company. Twitter said it suspended the account because of the risk of the incitement of further violence.

“Shutting down free and open debate violates our core values and most enduring traditions,” Trump said. “America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree.” In the recorded remarks Trump sought to highlight aspects of his presidency in which he took pride.

“We did what we came here to do, and so much more,” he said.

“I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices – because that’s what you elected me to do.” Trump noted Middle East peace deals his administration brokered and lauded his foreign policy agenda.

“We revitalized our alliances and rallied the nations of the world to stand up to China like never before,” he said. “I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars.”

Trump, who leaves amid deep divisions in the country, acknowledged the Capitol riots, which in the immediate aftermath of the violence he was slow to condemn.

“All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol.

Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated,” he said.

And the president, who former advisers predict has lost much of a political future after the riots, suggested his movement would go on.

“Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning,” Trump said.

“I go from this majestic place with a loyal and joyful heart and optimistic spirit, and a supreme confidence that for our country and for our children, the best is yet to come.” Reuters

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Is There a Link Between Breast Cancer and Chronic Inflammation?


Journal of Clinical Oncology: “Elevated Biomarkers of Inflammation Are Associated With Reduced Survival Among Breast Cancer Patients.”

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: “Inflammatory Biomarkers and Breast Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review of the Evidence and Future Potential for Intervention Research.”

Current Pharmaceutical Design: “Inflammation Fuels Tumor Progress and Metastasis.”

Cynthia Lynch, MD, medical oncologist, breast cancer program clinical advisor, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Phoenix, AZ.

Naoto Tada Ueno, MD, PhD, section chief, translational breast cancer research, breast medical oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

Oncotarget: “Inflammatory responses and inflammation-associated diseases in organs.”

Tina J. Hieken, MD, surgical oncologist, Mayo Clinic; professor of surgery, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN.

Scientific Reports: “The Microbiome of Aseptically Collected Human Breast Tissue in Benign and Malignant Disease.”

Molecules: “The Microbiome and Its Implications in Cancer Immunotherapy.”

The Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health, University of Washington: “Fast Facts About the Human Microbiome.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Fecal Transplantation (Bacteriotherapy).”

News Release, Australian Science Media Centre Inc.

National Center for Biotechnology Information: “StatPearls: Chronic Inflammation.”

Mayo Clinic: “How much should the average adult exercise every day?”

American Cancer Society: “Alcohol Use and Cancer.”

PLOS ONE: “The association between cigarette smoking and inflammation: The Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy (GENOA) study.”

Scripps Health: “Six Keys to Reducing Inflammation.”

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Go Low-Carb for Type 2 Diabetes Remission?

Overall, Brinkworth’s team found, low-carb diets were winning at the six-month mark: People on those plans had lost, on average, about 7.5 pounds more than those on comparison diets, and their triglycerides (a type of blood fat) were lower.

In trials that looked at diabetes remission, 57% of people on low-carb plans had gone into remission, versus 31% of people on other diets. Remission meant that a person’s average blood sugar in the past three months was below the threshold for diagnosing diabetes.

By the 12-month point, however, most of the advantages of low-carb diets had vanished.

“Despite the benefits for blood-sugar control that very low-carb diets can offer, they can be very difficult to adhere to,” said Julie Stefanski, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She was not part of the study.

The fact is, carb-rich foods are pleasurable, hard to avoid and offer “emotional connections to our pasts,” said Stefanski, who is also a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Beyond those hurdles, Stefanski said, tight limits on carbs can end up depriving people of some nutrients, including fiber and certain vitamins.

“To be successful on a very low-carbohydrate diet, people really need a game plan to tackle all of the issues that come up,” Stefanski said.

She agreed, though, that starting with a strict low-carb plan, then transitioning to a moderate diet, can work. Stefanski also agreed that people with type 2 diabetes should first talk to their doctor — and possibly consult a dietitian about crafting a low-carb diet.

Across the studies, low-carb plans did appear safe in the short term. The one red flag appeared at the one-year point, when people on the diets tended to show an increase in their LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind).

It’s unclear, though, what that could mean for their health, Brinkworth said.

In the end, Stefanski said, there is no one-size-fits-all diet for people with diabetes.

Nor are all carbohydrates created equal. Stefanski said that a diet high in vegetables and other fiber-rich foods may help ease inflammation and benefit people with diabetes.

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