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Health Tips ... from UPI

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International   |   Dec. 20, 2004 at 9:00 AM
PLANT STEROLS, EXERCISE CUT CHOLESTEROL

McGill University researchers in Montreal have identified a new way to reduce fat and cholesterol levels in the body. "In comparison with plant sterols -- nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetable oils and other plant sources -- or exercise alone, the combination of plant sterols and exercise yielded the most beneficial change in the volunteer's cholesterol and lipid levels," said lead author McGill doctoral student, Krista Varady. "This combination therapy favorably altered their lipid profiles by decreasing total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triacylglycerol levels and by increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels." The findings are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


MANY UNAWARE OF KIDNEY DISEASE

Up to 20 million U.S. adults may have kidney disease but most don't know it, according to U.S. study. The research, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, determined actual kidney function from blood and urine tests and estimated glomerular filtration rate or GFR -- a measure of how well the kidneys filter waste from the blood. Kidney disease is measured by levels of creatinine, but muscle mass and other person-to-person variables can alter creatinine levels, so it should be considered along with a patient's age, gender and race to estimate GFR, according to senior author Dr. Thomas H. Hostetter, of the National Kidney Disease Education Program of the National Institutes of Health. People with diabetes or high blood pressure, or who have a relative with kidney failure, should get a urine and blood test to check for kidney disease, according to Hostetter.


BENZOYL PEROXIDE WORKS ON ACNE

A British study finds over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide lotion is as good as prescription antibiotics for mild to moderate facial acne. Facial acne is common among adolescents and antibiotic tablet treatment has been used extensively over the past 40 years. There are concerns, however, about increasing antibiotic resistance. In a study published in the medical journal The Lancet, Hywel Williams of the Universities of Nottingham and Leeds, England, compared five treatment options for acne. After 18 weeks results were similar in all five treatment groups -- oral antibiotics oxytetracycline or minocycline, the topical antibiotic erythromycin, the antimicrobial lotion benzoyl peroxide, or a combination of topical erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide.


NOT MANY TEENS GET PLASTIC SURGERY

Contrary to popular belief, U.S. teens make up only 4 percent of all cosmetic procedures, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports. Researchers say it may seem more and more teens are having cosmetic surgery before going to college, but in reality teens are a small percentage of those seeking plastic surgery. The surgeons group also says that reality television shows can foster unrealistic and unhealthy expectations. Plastic surgery is real surgery with real benefits and risks, the groups says.

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(EDITORS: For more information on CHOLESTEROL contact Christine Zeindler at (514) 398-6754 or christine.zeindler@mcgill.ca. For KIDNEY, contact Mary Harris at (301) 496-3583 or mary_harris@nih.gov. For PLASTIC SURGERY, Brian Huggins at (847) 228-9900)

Topics: Mary Harris
© 2004 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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