Do You Have The ‘Obesity Genes’ ? You Would Benefit The Most From Healthy Eating !
Posted by

Do You Have The ‘Obesity Genes’ ? You Would Benefit The Most From Healthy Eating !

Though healthy eating is good for everyone, those who have genes that put them at high risk for obesity might benefit the most. A new study suggests that even those who carry an inherited predisposition to pack on excess pounds are not destined to become obese. In fact, researchers say it can be avoided over time by adopting a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and unencumbered by salt, sugar, alcohol and red meat. The finding stems from a new analysis of diet, lifestyle and medical data on about 14,000 men and women that had been collected for two earlier studies. "We found that eating healthy foods -- high intake of vegetable, fruits, whole grain, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, and low intakes of trans fat, fried foods and sugary drinks -- lowers the risk of obesity and promotes weight loss for all populations," said study author Dr. Lu Qi. "Interestingly, the protective effects appear to be more evident among those at higher genetic risk," he said. Qi serves as director of the Obesity Research Center at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, in New Orleans. Qi and his colleagues stressed that obesity risk is driven by a complex brew of genetic and environmental factors. Also, although DNA analyses can easily spot genetic variations linked to obesity, the genetic propensity for gaining weight is itself a complex calculation. Still, he said, the population can be divided into groups with low, intermediate and high risk, each representing about a third of the population. Data for the analysis was drawn from two long-running studies of health care professionals -- one involving mostly women and one mostly men. Nearly all participants were white. The data included information on dietary routines and changes to the participants' body mass index (BMI), a measure often used to categorize weight. Exercise habits were not assessed. Qi's team compared the participants' eating habits with three different diets: the Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010), the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and the Alternate Mediterranean Diet (AMED). Though they differ in some ways, the three diets are all considered to be healthy eating plans. The researchers also assigned a genetic risk score for obesity to each participant. To do that, they considered 77 genetic variations that have been linked to BMI status. People whose eating habits over two decades aligned most closely with either the DASH or AHEI-2010 diets experienced a drop in overall body weight and BMI, the study found. The strongest association was among those who had the greatest genetic risk for obesity. The researchers cautioned that it's premature to comment on cause and effect. And though Qi said he's previously reported on how exercise can protect against obesity, the latest analysis did not take that factor into consideration. Dr. Nathalie Farpour-Lambert, president-elect of the European Association for the Study of Obesity, described the findings as "encouraging." In an editorial published with the study, she noted that the findings "help to dispel misconceptions that a genetic predisposition will inhibit successful weight management." She also argued that the observations should "reinforce the critical urgency of [promoting] comprehensive policies that prioritize healthy food environments and systems, with an emphasis on people at greatest risk." "Genetic predisposition," Farpour-Lambert said, "is no barrier to successful weight management, and no excuse for weak health and policy responses."
0 0 214 11 January, 2018 Alternative, Food, Health more
Cigarette you try for the first time could make you a daily smoker
Posted by

Cigarette you try for the first time could make you a daily smoker

At least two-thirds of those who try cigarettes go on to become daily smokers, even if only temporarily, research suggests.

Data from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand found 60.3% of people had tried smoking and an estimated 68.9% of those progressed to a daily habit. The study's authors said the research showed the "remarkable hold" cigarettes could establish after one experience. They said it confirmed the importance of stopping cigarette experimentation.  

'Right track'

The meta-analysis, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, was based on 215,000 respondents to eight surveys between 2000 and 2016 contained in the Global Health Data Exchange. Lead researcher Prof Peter Hajek, from Queen Mary University of London, said it was the first time the link between trying a first cigarette and becoming a regular smoker had been documented in such a large set of data. "We've found that the conversion rate from first-time smoker to daily smoker is surprisingly high, which helps confirm the importance of preventing cigarette experimentation in the first place," he said. "The UK is seeing a dramatic reduction in smoking at the moment and this tallies with recent findings that only 19% of 11- to 15-year-olds have ever tried a cigarette, so the good news is that we are on the right track."

Is smoking being stubbed out?

  • 15.5% Over 18s smoked in England in 2016
  • 26.8% Over 18s smoked in England in 2000
  • 1 in 5 Attempts to quit successful in early 2017
  • 5 "Stoptober" campaigns have been run
  • Over 1.5m have tried quit during them
In 2016, 15.5% of adults from the UK smoked - about 7.6 million people - according to the Office for National Statistics, down from 19.9% in 2010. In the same period, 19.3% of 18- to 24-year-olds were smokers, compared with 25.8% in 2010. Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the charity Action on Smoking and Health, called for the greater government regulation of tobacco sales. "The government is refusing to introduce licensing for tobacco retailers, even though there is strong support for this both from the public and retailers," she said. However, the study's authors said there were limitations to the research. One was that the surveys had yielded different results for the proportions who had progressed to becoming daily smokers - from 52% in one in the US to 82% in one in the UK - which meant the 68.9% figure was an estimate, as a weighted average of the figures. The authors also said there were questions about the accuracy of people's recall of their smoking history. Public health minister Steve Brine said: "Britain is a world leader in tobacco control, and thanks to our tough action smoking rates in England are at an all-time low. "We recently launched a new tobacco control plan to map the path to a smoke-free generation and are working to educate people about the risks and support them to quit for good."
0 0 229 10 January, 2018 Alternative, Health, life more
This is the reason frequent business travel is bad for you !
Posted by

This is the reason frequent business travel is bad for you !

If you’re travelling for business two weeks or more a month, you are more likely to have trouble sleeping than those who travel one to six nights monthly. According to the latest study, frequent business travellers even report symptoms of anxiety and depression and are more likely to smoke. The research has been conducted by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and City University of New York. Among those who consume alcohol, extensive business travel is associated with symptoms of alcohol dependence. Poor behavioral and mental health outcomes significantly increased as the number of nights away from home for business travel rose. This is one of the first studies to report the effects of business travel on non-infectious disease health risks. The Global Business Travel Association Foundation estimates there were nearly 503 million person-business trips in 2016 in the U.S. compared to 488 million in the prior year. “Although business travel can be seen as a job benefit and can lead to occupational advancement, there is a growing literature showing that extensive business travel is associated with risk of chronic diseases associated with lifestyle factors,” said Andrew Rundle, DrPH, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. “The field of occupational travel medicine needs to expand beyond its current focus on infectious disease, cardiovascular disease risks, violence and injury to bring more focus to the behavioral and mental health consequences of business travel.” The study was based on the de-identified health records of 18,328 employees who underwent a health assessment in 2015 through their corporate wellness work benefits program provided by EHE International, Inc. The EHE International health exam measured depressive symptoms with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), anxiety symptoms with the Generalized Anxiety Scale (GAD-7) and alcohol dependence with the CAGE scale. A score above 4 on the Generalized Anxiety Scale (GAD-7) was reported by 24 percent of employees, and 15 percent scored above a 4 on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), indicating that mild or worse anxiety or depressive symptoms were common in this employee population.  Among those who consume alcohol, a CAGE score of 2 or higher indicates the presence of alcohol dependence and was found in 6 percent of employees who drank.  GAD-7 and PHQ-9 scores and CAGE scores of 2 or higher increased with increasing nights away from home for business travel. These data are consistent with analyses of medical claims data from World Bank employees which found that the largest increase in claims among their business travelers was for psychological disorders related to stress. Employers and employees should consider new approaches to improve employee health during business trips that go beyond the typical travel health practice of providing immunizations and medical evacuation services, according to Rundle, whose earlier research found that extensive business travel was associated with higher body mass index, obesity, and higher blood pressure. “At the individual-level, employees who travel extensively need to take responsibility for the decisions they make around diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, and sleep. However, to do this, employees will likely need support in the form of education, training, and a corporate culture that emphasizes healthy business travel.  Employers should provide employees who travel for business with accommodations that have access to physical activity facilities and healthy food options.”
0 0 258 10 January, 2018 Alternative, Health more
Study proves that Ibuprofen is linked to male infertility
Posted by

Study proves that Ibuprofen is linked to male infertility

Ibuprofen has a negative impact on the testicles of young men, a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. When taking ibuprofen in doses commonly used by athletes, a small sample of young men developed a hormonal condition that typically begins, if at all, during middle age. This condition is linked to reduced fertility.

Advil and Motrin are two brand names for ibuprofen, an over-the-counter pain reliever. CNN has contacted Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, the makers of both brands, for comment.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a trade group that represents manufacturers of over-the-counter medications and supplements, "supports and encourages continued research and promotes ongoing consumer education to help ensure safe use of OTC medicines," said Mike Tringale, a spokesman for the association. "The safety and efficacy of active ingredients in these products has been well documented and supported by decades of scientific study and real-world use."
The new study is a continuation of research that began with pregnant women, explained Bernard Jégou, co-author and director of the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in France.
Jégou and a team of French and Danish researchers had been exploring the health effects when a mother-to-be took any one of three mild pain relievers found in medicine chests around the globe: aspirin, acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol and sold under the brand name Tylenol) and ibuprofen.
Their early experiments, published in several papers, showed that when taken during pregnancy, all three of these mild medicines affected the testicles of male babies.
Testicles not only produce sperm, they secrete testosterone, the primary male sex hormone.
All three drugs then are "anti-androgenic," meaning they disrupt male hormones, explained David M. Kristensen, study co-author and a senior scientist in the Department of Neurology at Copenhagen University Hospital.
The three drugs even increased the likelihood that male babies would be born with congenital malformations, Kristensen noted.

Tringale noted that pregnant and nursing women should always ask a health professional before using medicines.

Knowing this, "we wondered what would happen in the adult," he said. They focused their investigation on ibuprofen, which had the strongest effects.
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen is often taken by athletes, including Olympians and professional soccer players for example, before an event to prevent pain, Jégou said. Are there health consequences for the athletes who routinely use this NSAID?
The research team recruited 31 male volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35. Of these, 14 were given a daily dosage of ibuprofen that many professional and amateur athletes take: 600 milligrams twice a day, explained Jégou. (This 1200-mg-per-day dose is the maximum limit as directed by the labels of generic ibuprofen products.) The remaining 17 volunteers were given a placebo.
For the men taking ibuprofen, within 14 days, their luteinizing hormones -- which are secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone -- became coordinated with the level of ibuprofen circulating in their blood. At the same time, the ratio of testosterone to luteinizing hormones decreased, a sign of dysfunctional testicles.
This hormonal imbalance produced compensated hypogonadism, a condition associated with impaired fertility, depression and increased risk for cardiovascular events, including heart failure and stroke.
For the small group of young study participants who used ibuprofen for only a short time, "it is sure that these effects are reversible," Jégou said. However, it's unknown whether the health effects of long-term ibuprofen use are reversible, he said.
After this randomized, controlled clinical trial, the research team experimented with "little bits of human testes" provided by organ donors and then conducted test tube experiments on the endocrine cells, called Leydig and Sertoli cells, which produce testosterone, explained Jégou.
The point was to articulate "in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro" -- in the living body, outside the living body and in the test tube -- that ibuprofen has a direct effect on the testicles and so testosterone.
"We wanted to understand what happened after exposure (to ibuprofen) going from the global human physiology over to the specific organ (the testis) down to the endocrine cells producing testosterone," Kristensen said.
More than idle curiosity prompted such an extensive investigation.
0 0 184 09 January, 2018 Alternative, Health, life more
Woman Dies Due To Vibrio Bacteria
Posted by

Woman Dies Due To Vibrio Bacteria

A Texas woman developed a fatal infection with flesh-eating bacteria after eating raw oysters, according to news reports. The woman, Jeanette LeBlanc, went crabbing with her friends and family on the coast of Louisiana in September. During the trip, LeBlanc and her friend Karen Bowers shucked and ate about two dozen raw oysters, Bowers told CBS. But shortly afterward, LeBlanc experienced breathing problems and had a rash on her legs, which looked like an allergic reaction, Bowers said. But LeBlanc's condition continued to worsen, and doctors said she was infected with a type of "flesh-eating" bacteria called Vibrio. The Vibrio bacteria naturally live in coastal waters and are particularly abundant between May and October, when the water is warmer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People can become infected with Vibrio by eating raw or undercooked shellfish, which include oysters, the CDC said. People can also become infected if they have open wounds on their skin that are exposed to brackish or salt water. Vibrio bacteria cause about 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths each year in the United States, according to the CDC. Most people who contract Vibrio from raw oysters experience only diarrhea and vomiting, and those with these milder cases typically recover in about three days, according to the CDC. But in some people, more serious illness can occur, resulting in bloodstream infections and severe blistering skin lesions, the CDC says. About 1 in 4 people with these serious infections dies from the illness. LeBlanc was exposed to both raw oysters and brackish water. (Whether it was raw oysters or brackish water that led to LeBlanc's infection has not been reported.) She battled the illness for 21 days but was not able to recover. She died on Oct. 15, 2017. Now, LeBlanc's partner, Vicki Bergquist, and Bowers want to raise awareness about Vibrio infections. "If we had known that the risk was so high, I think she would've stopped eating oysters," Bergquist said.
0 0 244 09 January, 2018 Alternative, Food, Health more
Study says, Night shifts raises women’s chances of developing cancer by 19%
Posted by

Study says, Night shifts raises women’s chances of developing cancer by 19%

Women who work night shifts have a higher risk of certain cancers, new research suggests.

Overall, long-term night shift work increased the risk by 19 per cent.

Skin cancer was raised by 41 per cent, breast cancer by 32 per cent and stomach cancer by 18 per cent.

Nurses working nights were found to have the biggest risk of developing breast cancer – 58 per cent higher than in those who only worked days. They also had a 35 per cent higher chance of gastrointestinal cancer and 28 per cent of lung cancer.

'Our study indicates that night shift work serves as a risk factor for common cancers in women,' said assistant professor Xuelei Ma from Sichuan University in China.

Past research shows exposure to light at night decreases levels of melatonin, which can disrupt the internal 'clock' that regulates sleepiness.

This hormone has also previously been found to suppress the growth of breast cancer tumours.

Overall, long-term night shift work increased the risk of women developing cancer by 19 per cent (stock image)

NIGHT SHIFTS INCREASE RISK OF OBESITY BY A THIRD

People who work night shifts have a 35 percent higher risk of obesity because the nocturnal schedule derails their metabolism, a study claims.

Artificial light during night shifts disrupts the brain's melatonin levels and hinders the body's metabolism, according to the Chinese University in Hong Kong.

Someone who works at night will then gain more weight quicker because the metabolism is working slower than normal.

More than 3.4 million people worldwide die every year from obesity related ailments including diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Experts recommend altering the work schedule to avoid working night hours in order to reduce the global obesity epidemic.

How the research was carried out  

To build upon previous studies, the researchers investigated whether long-term night shift work in women was associated with risk for nearly a dozen types of cancer.

They studied data from 61 different studies involving nearly four million people across North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Further analysis looked specifically at long-term night shift work and risk of six types of cancer among female nurses.

After dividing the participants by location, the team discovered an increased risk of breast cancer was only found among female night shift workers in North America and Europe.

The team believe the increased risk in nurses could be down to more intensive shifts – or because nurses are more likely to seek check-ups.

They also revealed the increased breast cancer risk across all professions was only found in North America and Europe.

Assistant professor Ma said: 'We were surprised to see the association between night shift work and breast cancer risk only among women in North America and Europe.

'It is possible that women in these locations have higher sex hormone levels, which have been positively associated with hormone-related cancers such as breast cancer.

'Long-term night shift workers should have regular physical examinations and cancer screenings.'

 
0 0 160 08 January, 2018 Alternative, Health more
Change your meal timings to lose weight !
Posted by

Change your meal timings to lose weight !

Have you been trying to lose some weight for quite some time now? Tried different diets and different workouts yet no significant results? Changing your meal timings may help suggests a new study. Yes you heard us, weight loss is apparently a lot more than just your diet and workout schedule. According to a latest study, tweaking your eating schedule like having an early dinner or even skipping it - can help reduce hunger pangs and promote fat burning. "Eating only during a much smaller window of time than people are typically used to may help with weight loss," said Courtney Peterson, an associate professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham in the US. "We found that eating between 8 am and 2 pm followed by an 18-hour daily fast kept appetite levels more even throughout the day, in comparison to eating between 8 am and 8 pm, which is what the average American does," said Peterson. A new diet called the Time Restricted Eating or Time Restricted Feeding allows you to lose weight, without starving. What's more? You can eat anything you like and want to. But does it really help? Or is it just one of the many fad diets that are doing the rounds. The study is the first human test of early time- restricted feeding (eTRF). The findings revealed that this meal-timing strategy reduced swings in hunger and altered fat and carbohydrate burning patterns, which may help with losing weight.With eTRF, people eat their last meal by the mid- afternoon and do not eat again until breakfast the next morning. Eating a very early dinner, or even skipping dinner, could help you shed a pound or two said the researchers. However, further studies need to take place to confirm that theory. Previous animal studies have indicated that eTRF helped rodents burn more fat. The buman body has an internal clock of its own. The metabolic rate of the body is said to be deeply linked with this biological clock. Researchers say that many aspects of metabolism are at their optimal functioning in the morning. Eating in alignment with the body's circadian clock by eating earlier in the day may positively influence health and also help lose weight. For the study, researchers followed 11 men and women with excess weight over four days of eating between 8 am and 2 pm, and four days of eating between 8 am and 8 pm.They were then tested for the impact of eTRF on calories burned, fat burned and appetite. Participants tried both eating schedules, ate the same number of calories both times and completed all testing under supervision. Researchers found that, although eTRF did not affect how many total calories participants burned, it reduced daily hunger swings and increased fat burning during several hours at night.The diet was also enhance their metabolic flexibility, which is the body's ability to switch between burning carbs and burning fats. The findings could be a major intervention in the field of diet and nutrition, however it is still in the nascent stage. A larger, more comprehensive study will need to take place to find if the diet is sustainable in the long run, the researchers noted.
0 0 276 08 January, 2018 Alternative, Food, Health more
A “200% safe” surgery worth Rs 43-lakh fails !
Posted by

A “200% safe” surgery worth Rs 43-lakh fails !

Hinduja Hospital has landed themselves in a hot soup after a 56-year-old Thane housewife lost her life after heart valve surgery in the presence of top heart specialists. According to reports, the Bafna family was assured that Manju Bafna’s heart surgery involving a transcatheter mitral valve was going to be 200 percent safe. Despite the reassurance given by the staff, the surgery costed Manju her life, and 43 lakh rupees that her husband Mithulal Bafna painstakingly coughed up, was gone down the drain. In what is seen as a case of medical negligence, reports say that the heart valve, which was specially ordered for the surgery, “fell” into the heart during the procedure, which was stated as the cause of death. The hospital had assured the family that the surgery was completely safe and that the patient would be back home in just five days. But following the surgery, Manju went into a coma for 60 days and passed away on 19th December 2017. After repeated complaints, Hinduja Hospital reimbursed 12.47 lakh rupees to the Bafna family on “humanitarian grounds.” The family also received an additional 11 lakh through medical insurance. Following his wife’s death, Mithulal Bafna has registered a complaint with the Maharashtra Medical Council on 28th December 2017 against Hinduja Hospital for medical negligence. The family contents that they were not told about the full risks of the procedure and they never had a chance to meet or interact with the specialist who was flown in for the surgery. The hospital has denied all charges of medical negligence and Dr Kushal Pandey from Hinduja Hospital told that the patient was on her way to recovery after the operation. Contradicting the family’s claims of medical negligence, it was a bout of vomiting that triggered an infection. This in turn caused health complications and ultimately led to Manju Bafna’s death.
0 0 204 08 January, 2018 Alternative, Health more
This Simple Patch Would Turn Energy-storing Fats into Energy-burning Fats
Posted by

This Simple Patch Would Turn Energy-storing Fats into Energy-burning Fats

A new approach to reducing bulging tummy fats has shown promise in laboratory trials. The solution aims to “use a person’s own body fats to burn more energy, which is a natural process in babies.” Combining a new way to deliver medicine, via a micro-needle patch, with drugs that are known to turn energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat, this innovative approach developed by scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) reduced weight gain in mice on a high fat diet and their fat mass by more than 30% over four weeks. The new type of skin patch contains hundreds of micro-needles, each thinner than a human hair, which are loaded with the drug Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist or another drug called thyroid hormone T3 triiodothyronine. When the patch is pressed into the skin for about two minutes, these micro-needles become embedded in the skin and detach from the patch, which can then be removed.   As the needles degrade, the drug molecules then slowly diffuse to the energy-storing white fat underneath the skin layer, turning them into energy-burning brown fats. Brown fats are found in babies and they help to keep the baby warm by burning energy. As humans grow older, the amount of brown fats lessens and is replaced with visceral white fats. Published in the journal Small Methods recently by NTU Professor Chen Peng and Assistant Professor Xu Chenjie, this approach could help to address the worldwide obesity problem without resorting to surgical operations or oral medication which could require large dosages and could have serious side effects.   “With the embedded micro-needles in the skin of the mice, the surrounding fats started browning in five days, which helped to increase the energy expenditure of the mice, leading to a reduction in body fat gain,” said Xu, who focuses on research in drug delivery systems. “The amount of drugs we used in the patch is much less than those used in oral medication or an injected dose. This lowers the drug ingredient costs while our slow-release design minimizes its side effects,” said Xu. Obesity which results from an excessive accumulation of fat is a major health risk factor for various diseases, including heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.9 billion adults in the world are overweight in 2016 with 650 million of them being obese. “What we aim to develop is a painless patch that everyone could use easily, is unobtrusive and yet affordable,” said Chen, a biotechnology expert who researches obesity.   Under the two scientists’ guidance at NTU’s School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, research fellow Dr Aung Than conducted experiments which showed that the patch could suppress weight gain in mice that were fed a high fat diet and reduce their fat mass by over 30%, over a period of four weeks. The treated mice also had significantly lower blood cholesterol and fatty acids levels compared to the untreated mice. Being able to deliver the drug directly to the site of action is a major reason why it is less likely to have side effects than orally delivered medication. The team estimates that their prototype patch had a material cost of about S$5 (US$3.50) to make, which contains beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist combined with Hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally found in the human body and commonly used in products like skin moisturizers.   Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist is a drug approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration and is used to treat overactive bladders, while T3 triiodothyronine is a thyroid hormone commonly used for medication for an underactive thyroid gland. Both have been shown in other research studies to be able to turn white fats brown, but their use in reducing weight gain is hampered by potentially serious side-effects and drug accumulation in non-targeted tissues if conventional drug delivery routes were used, such as through oral intake. NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine Associate Professor Melvin Leow, who was not affiliated with this study, said it is exciting to be able to tackle obesity via the browning of white fat, and the results were promising. “These data should encourage Phase I Clinical studies in humans to translate these basic science findings to the bedside, with the hope that these microneedle patches may be developed into an established cost-effective modality for the prevention or treatment of obesity in the near future,” added Leow, an endocrinologist. Since the publication of the paper, the team has received keen interest from biotechnology companies and is looking to partner clinician scientists to further their research.
0 0 153 08 January, 2018 Alternative, Health, life more
Officials Say Romaine Lettuce could be the reason for E. Coli Deaths
Posted by

Officials Say Romaine Lettuce could be the reason for E. Coli Deaths

At least two people were killed and dozens sickened by E. coli outbreaks in Canada and the United States that the authorities in Canada have linked to romaine lettuce.

Health officials in the United States are not yet ready to blame the American outbreak to the leafy green. Still, they say, the Canadian finding has proved helpful and both outbreaks appear to have been caused by related strains of the bacteria, suggesting the possibility of a shared source.

“They’ve done a really thorough job there, and I think that gave us a really good clue to start with,” Dr. Matthew Wise, who oversees investigations into such outbreaks for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a telephone interview on Friday.

In all, at least 58 people in both countries have been sickened, and two — one in California and one in Canada — have died. In the United States, the C.D.C. has so far linked at least 17 reports of illness in 13 states to the outbreak.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement last week that it was investigating 41 cases of illnesses linked to E. coli from November and December.

Most of those patients reported eating romaine lettuce before they became ill, the agency said, adding, “Individuals reported eating romaine lettuce at home, as well as in prepared salads purchased at grocery stores, restaurants and fast food chains.”

American officials have not yet issued recommendations to avoid any particular product because they are still collecting information on the outbreak. Consumer Reports, the nonprofit advocacy organization, said it was urging shoppers to avoid the lettuce as a precaution.

“Even though we can’t say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the U.S., a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that lettuce is almost always consumed raw,” James Rogers, the director of Food Safety and Research, said in a post on the group’s website.

The widespread nature of the American outbreak suggests that the cause was not limited to a restaurant or particular area, Dr. Wise said.

“When we see this pattern of illnesses, we certainly would default to thinking that this was a commercially distributed product that was contaminated,” he said.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include fever, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and, less commonly, a syndrome that can lead to kidney failure. In such outbreaks, young and older people and those with weakened immune systems are most likely to have the most severe symptoms.

E. coli, short for Escherichia coli, live in human and animal intestines and can contaminate fruits and vegetables when they come in contact with feces from infected animals, according to the Public Health Agency.

That contamination can happen at any point along the journey from farm to table. Most E. coli strains are harmless to humans.

0 0 265 06 January, 2018 Alternative, Food, life more