Fiber-rich diet could cut colorectal cancer risk, says study

In a paper published in JAMA oncology, Doctor Raaj Mehta and colleagues from Harvard Medical School (USA) suggest that a diet rich in fiber and whole grains could influence the risk of developing colorectal cancer linked to a strain of gut bacteria called Fusobacterium nucleatum.

Fusobacterium nucleatum is an inflammatory bacterium that is thought to play a role in colorectal cancer by blocking the immune response triggered to combat tumor cells in the colon.

By studying the diets of 137,217 people over approximately 30 years, and analyzing 1000 samples from colorectal tumors and their Fusobacterium nucleatum levels, the Harvard researchers found that individuals eating diets rich in whole-grain cereals and fiber had a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer containing this particular type of bacteria.

However, the behavior of tumors not containing Fusobacterium nucleatum was unchanged and the risk of developing colorectal cancer not containing the bacterium was not reduced.

The study concludes that, beyond this type of bacteria, dietary choices have the potential to increase or reduce cancer risk by affecting the bacteria in the digestive tract.

Colorectal cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer and the third most common form of the disease. However, if detected early, colorectal cancer can be cured in nine out of 10 cases.




What do you want to be when you grow old?

No country for old men: Japan’s elderly inmates prefer jail

TOKYO, Jan 15 — Every day is the same. He wakes at 6:45 am, eats breakfast 20 minutes later and reports for work at eight o’clock sharp. But this isn’t your typical Japanese salaryman.

  • This man is in his 80s and he is in prison — he is hesitant to ever leave. “I don’t know what kind of life I should lead after I get out. I’ll be worried about my health and financial situation once I leave,” the inmate told AFP from Tokyo’s Fuchu Prison, where he is serving time for attempted theft.
  • His case is not unique: Japan is in the midst of a geriatric crime wave such that its prisons increasingly look like nursing homes.
  • In 2015, almost 20 per cent of those who were either arrested or interrogated by police were aged 65 or older — up from 5.8 per cent in 2000, according to the National Police Agency.
  • Most are imprisoned for petty crime such as shoplifting and theft.
  • The rise in senior crime is attributed to increased economic hardship, an ageing population, and pure greed, according to a 2013 report by the National Police Agency.
  • “It’s a problem that the work of prison officers is becoming more like nursing care,” Officers at Fuchu, Japan’s biggest male-only correctional house, have to change diapers for some prisoners and help them bathe.
  • “Older prisoners sometimes are hard of hearing,” Nishioka said. “They don’t understand instructions and they have to go to the toilet often. It’s tough. We’ll need more officers.”
  • Life is monotonous, and naturally restricted, yet many prefer this predictable regimen where they have shelter, food, and medical care, to life on the outside.
  • “At least (in prison) they have a roof over their head and guaranteed meals,” says Tina Maschi, associate professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.
  • “They don’t have to worry about day-to-day things inside prison,” she said.

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Why do we ignore the elderly?

JANUARY 15 — In 2014, 126 seniors aged 60 and above killed themselves. This is a jump of nearly 60 per cent from the 79 seniors who committed suicide in 2000. There were 95 of them in 2010 as reported by The Straits Times.

  • In wealthy, shiny Singapore, it is easy to not think about things like elderly suicide and it is also easy to push it to the state.
  • It is not necessarily a lack of access to medical care or basic necessities — things that one can ordinarily and reasonably argue is the onus of the state — but rather it is social isolation that is proving to be the major issue.
  • The women and men who raised us feel alone and you can’t legislate for loneliness.
  • A friend wrote yesterday to grieve his grandmother’s recent passing and his one recurring thought was remorse — he fervently regretted all the evenings he returned home from work and walked right past the room of the woman who had loved him all his life and right to the TV.
  • Today, weeks after her death he finds walking past that empty room wrenching.
  • Is it so easy to forget we too will get old?

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Pharma companies are ‘getting away with murder’

Try to google this: Trump says drug company get away with murder and you get to this link:

  • S. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday said pharmaceutical companies are “getting away with murder” in what they charge the government for medicines, and promised that would change, sending drugs stocks sharply lower.
  • Trump on drug prices: Pharma companies are ‘getting away with murder’

SAN FRANCISCO — At his first news conference as president-elect on Wednesday, Donald Trump accused the pharmaceutical industry of “getting away with murder” and said that he would change the way the country bids on drugs to bring prices and spending down.

“Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power. And there’s very little bidding on drugs,” Trump said during the event at Trump Tower in New York. “We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don’t bid properly.”

Federal law forbids the government from negotiating with drug companies to bring down the price of drugs for seniors using Medicare. While Trump did not announce a specific plan to address the issue, he has in the past called for ending the policy — a proposal that Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly put forward.

  • Drug stocks tanked after President-elect Donald Trump, in his first press conference since the election, complained about big price increases and put the industry on notice. Trump said that many companies were “getting away with murder” and that there would be more competitive bidding practices for federal contracts in his administration.
  • NEW YORKS. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday said pharmaceutical companies are “getting away with murder” in what they charge the government for medicines, and promised that would change, sending drugs stocks sharply lower.
  • President-elect Donald Trump went after drug makers in the opening remarks of his press conference Wednesday, calling the industry’s practices “disastrous” and suggested the government should negotiate drug prices. Trump had endorsed having Medicare negotiate drug prices — a long-time Democratic position which Republicans have opposed. “The other thing we have to do is create new bidding procedures for the drug industry, because they’re getting away with murder, pharma. Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists, a lot of power. And there’s very little bidding on drugs,” he said.