This week in health: Turmeric as effective as Prozac

Credit: Getty Images
More countries need to implement tobacco control measures, the WHO says. Credit: Getty Images

Substance in turmeric as effective as Prozac

Location of study: India
Study subjects: 60 adults with major depressive disorder.
Results: A substance derived from plants was found to be as effective as Prozac in treating depression, according to a new study published in the international journal Phytotherapy Research. The substance, BCM-95 Curcumin, was also found to have no adverse effects. Curcumin is the major curcuminoid found in the spice turmeric, which is thought to lower inflammation, among other things. People with depression have higher levels of inflammation in the brain and don’t make as many new brain cells (neurogenesis). The study authors claim BCM-95 Curcumin is absorbed 7 to 10 times better than ordinary curcumin.
Significance: “Curcumin is both a potent anti-inflammatory agent and a powerful stimulator for neurogenesis,” says study co-author Dr. Ajay Goel, director of the Department of Epigenetics and Cancer Prevention at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Risk of additional, different cancers for colorectal cancer survivors

Location of study: U.S.
Study subjects: Data study
Results: Colorectal cancer survivors face an increased risk of developing subsequent cancers, according to a new study published online in CANCER, the journal of the American Cancer Society. Researchers from the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and Harvard University in Boston defined a 15 percent higher risk of developing a second cancer of any type compared to the general population. They found an even greater risk depending on where the past cancer was located within the colon or rectum.
Significance: “In the long term, these findings may be useful in guiding strategies for cancer screening and surveillance after a first colorectal cancer diagnosis,” says study author Dr. Amanda Phipps.

Tobacco control increases worldwide, but not by enough

Location of study: worldwide
Study subjects: data study
Results: The increase in bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship increased to affect almost 400 million people worldwide and has more than doubled in the last five years, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO). The report estimates that three billion people are now covered by national anti-tobacco campaigns, but in order to achieve the goal of a 30 percent reduction of tobacco use by 2025, more countries have to implement comprehensive tobacco control programs.
Significance: Tobacco is the leading global cause of preventable death and kills 6 million people every year. “If we do not close ranks and ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, adolescents and young adults will continue to be lured into tobacco consumption by an ever-more aggressive tobacco industry,” says WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan. “Every country has the responsibility to protect its population from tobacco-related illness, disability and death.”

Being overweight may increases risk of gallstones, especially in women

Location of study: Denmark
Study subjects: 77,679 adults
Results: A link between a high body mass index and an increased risk of gallstone disease has been found, according to a report published in Hepatology, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases journal, The researchers from Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital also stated that overweight women are at greater risk of developing gallstones than men. Though prior studies have also shown that a higher BMI is associated with increased risk of gallstone disease, it is unclear if it is the cause of the disease.
Significance: “Obesity is a known risk factor for gallstone disease and our study suggests that elevated BMI likely contributes to the development of this disease,” says Dr. Anne Tybjærg-Hansen, who led the study.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.