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Posted - Aug. 5, 2003 at 8:20 a.m.



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Aug 05, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- ANOTHER LINK BETWEEN TOOTH LOSS AND HEART DISEASE

Tooth loss caused by gum disease could be a sign of cardiovascular disease, researchers said in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. According to the first part of new research, tooth loss could be linked to the buildup of artery-clogging plaque in the vessels that go to the brain, said Dr. Moise Desvarieux, of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. In a study of more than 700 participants, the presence of plaques increased with the number of missing teeth. Researchers said tooth loss could be an indicator of chronic infection or inflammation of the gums. The research will continue with scientists looking closer at the possible link between tooth loss and atherosclerosis.

ANOTHER REASON TO DRINK GREEN TEA

New research suggests chemicals in green tea shut down a key molecule that contributes to cancer. Researchers at the University of Rochester looked at the effects of green tea components on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, a molecule that often plays a part in turning on harmful genes. Two green tea chemicals were found to shut down the AH receptor. In cancerous mouse cells, the chemicals stopped AH activity. Other results suggest the same is true for human cells. However, the researchers said what they see in the lab is not necessarily what will happen in the body. "Right now we don't know if drinking the amount of green tea that a person normally drinks would make a difference, but the work is giving us insight into how the proteins work," said graduate student Christine Palmero. The results were published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

RECOMMENDATION COULD CLOSE VACCINATION GAP

Doctors often miss their chance to vaccinate adults and children, but new recommendations could fix the problem. "Part of the problem lies with healthcare providers ... who miss opportunities, such as sick visits, emergency room visits or visits during which a sibling or parent is being seen, to administer needed vaccines," said Dr. Yemisi Adetunji, of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. New recommendations promote practices such as vaccinating people during unrelated medical visits and creating standing orders for vaccinations that personnel other than physicians can administer. Other ways to boost immunization rates include systems that remind physicians and patients of their immunization dates and financial aid to help people pay for vaccinations. The recommendations were published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

FDA CHANGES OLESTRA LABEL REQUIREMENT

The Food and Drug Administration no longer will require manufacturers of olestra-containing foods to label their products as causing gastrointestinal problems. A 1996 regulation had required manufacturers to warn consumers through labeling that the zero-calorie fat substitute could cause abdominal cramping and loose stools in some people and it inhibits the body's absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K, and other nutrients. After reviewing post-market studies, however, the FDA concluded the labels no longer are necessary. According to the agency, the studies showed olestra caused only infrequent, mild gastrointestinal effects. Plus, since 1996, manufacturers have been required to add vitamins A, D, E and K to olestra-containing foods to compensate for the fat substitute's effects on these nutrients. In the future, consumers will see an asterisk after each of these vitamins in the ingredient label to indicate their added presence though "dietarily insignificant."

(Editors: For more information on the TOOTH-HEART LINK, contact Carole Bullock at 214-706-1279 or carole.bullock@heart.org. For GREEN TEA, Tom Rickey at 585-275-7954 or trickey@admin.rochester.edu. For VACCINATIONS, Yemisi Adetunji at 908-806-4447 or Yadetunji@aol.com. For OLESTRA, FDA at 301-436-2335)

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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