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Sep 29, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- ACUPUNCTURE EFFECTIVE AT REDUCING NAUSEA

Acupuncture is more effective at reducing nausea and vomiting after major breast surgery than the leading medication, U.S. researchers find. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., find patients who underwent acupuncture -- using an electro-acupuncture device that delivers a small electrical pulse through the skin instead of using a needle -- reported decreased postoperative pain. The study, published in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia, says about 70 percent of women who undergo major breast surgery with general anesthesia suffer from nausea. "The patients in our randomized trial who received acupuncture enjoyed a more comfortable recovery from their surgery than those who received an anti-sickness medication," says study leader Dr. Tong Joo Gan.

SOME GENES BOOST FISH OIL PROTECTION

U.S. and Singapore researchers have discovered that fish oils, or omega-3, may benefit women with particular genetic makeups for breast cancer. The team from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and the National University of Singapore believes women whose bodies do a poor job of getting rid of fish oil byproducts are the ones who benefit most from consuming the oils found in fish such as salmon, sardines and mackeral. "We found that women with certain common DNA patterns experienced more breast cancer protection from marine n-3 fatty acids than women with other common patterns," says study leader Dr. Manuela Gago-Dominguez of USC. The findings, from the Singapore Chinese Health Study that investigates diet and cancer risk in 63,000 Chinese men and women in Singapore, are published in Carcinogenesis.

WALKING MAY REDUCE DEMENTIA RISK

U.S. researchers find men who walked more than 2 miles a day had less dementia than men who walked less than a quarter mile a day. "There are no clear explanations for the relation between walking and dementia," the authors write in the Journal of American Medical Association. "It would be important to determine if men who walk regularly are less prone to development of intervening conditions that have a closer link with dementia." Those who walked less than quarter-mile a day experienced a 1.8-fold excess risk of dementia than those who walked 2 miles a day, according to study leader Robert D. Abbott, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.

KIWI THINS BLOOD

Researchers at the University of Oslo in Norway find consuming two to three kiwifruit per day can work to thin blood. Kiwifruit consumption has similar effects to the daily dosage of aspirin, which has been shown to reduce the incidence of myocardial infarction, stroke and death from cardiovascular disease, the researchers say. "Our study shows that consuming two or three kiwifruit per day for 28 days significantly reduced platelet aggregation (blood clotting) in human volunteers," says study leader Asim K. Duttaroy. "Moreover, plasma triglyceride levels were also reduced in these volunteers." The findings are published in the journal Platelets. The researchers stop short of recommending kiwifruit as a replacement for aspirin by cardiovascular patients and recommend patients consult a physician before making dietary changes.

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(EDITORS: For more information on ACUPUNCTURE, contact Richard Merritt at (919) 684-4148 or Merri006@mc.duke.edu. For FISH OIL, Sarah Huoh at (323) 442-2830 or shuoh@usc.edu. For DEMENTIA, Bob Beard at (434) 982-4490. For KIWI, Dominique Hansen at (831) 786-1665.)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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