Welcome to another rendition of talkhealth’s weekly round-up of the biggest news stories of the week. This week, we’ll be looking at topics including vitamin pills, diabetes and sexual health. So, let’s get started!
Diabetes Type 1
Experts believe they may have found the key to eliminating the chances of developing Type 1 Diabetes in high-risk babies.
The researchers, based at Oxford University, think that by training infants immune systems from a young age, they are able to prevent the risk of Type 1 Diabetes in later life. The training consists of providing these high-risk children with powered insulin from a young age in order to provide life-long protection from the condition. This in turn should help the baby’s own immune system tolerate their body’s own insulin and prevent the onset of the condition.
Pregnant women from a number of counties are being asked if they would like to participate in the proposed trial to see if this methodology is successful. It is thought that around 1 in every 100 babies has genes which could potentially signal developing the condition in later life and researchers are aiming to screen 30,000 new-borns with the method to judge its success rate.
Vitamin pills and heart attacks
New research has found that vitamin pills that promote healthy cardiovascular health do not prevent heart attacks and strokes.
The scientists behind the latest research, which combined the results of studies involving more than two million people, said that vitamin pills, including those that claimed to combat poor heart health, were at best a distraction for people looking to prevent cardiovascular disease. People should instead concentrate on interventions that are known to work, such as exercise, a healthy diet and giving up smoking, the researchers said.
The Health and Food Supplements Information Service, which is part-funded by supplement manufacturers, said the latest research missed the point of the products. Emma Derbyshire, a public health nutritionist with the service, said: “Vitamins and minerals are not intended for the prevention of chronic conditions like heart disease.”
New sex disease likened to next “superbug”
A relatively unknown sexually transmitted disease could become the next “superbug” according to researchers.
The disease, called Mycoplasma genitalium (MG), in many cases exhibits no symptoms but can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which could leave some women infected by the condition infertile. Mycoplasma genitalium is a bacterium that can cause inflammation of the urethra in men, causing discharge from the penis and making it painful to urinate.
In women, it can cause inflammation of the reproductive organs (womb and fallopian tubes) too, causing pain and possibly a fever and some bleeding.
As with most sexually transmitted diseases, the use of a condom can greatly help prevent the spread of the disease. If you are concerned that you may have contracted the condition, Public Health England says testing is available to diagnose MG and any signs of drug resistance, if necessary.
Alongside this, there is also a useful guide to help prevent urinary tract infections to help promote a healthy pelvic lifestyle. talkhealth will have our own report of pelvic health published on our website in the upcoming weeks, so make sure you keep your eyes out for that.
And that’s it for the week. If you would like to continue to conversation, head over to our forums.