Location of study:Montreal
Study subjects: Over 3,000 men who answered a questionnaire partially focused on sexual activity
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Results: It appears that men who have a higher number of female sex partners throughout their lifetime are at a decreased risk for prostate cancer. In fact, having sex with more than 20 women is linked to a 28 percent lower prostate cancer risk. Another interesting twist researchers found was that when compared to men who had never slept with another man, men who had more than 20 male partners in a lifetime were twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
Significance: It appears that having several female partners over a lifetime might be protective against prostate cancer, while having several male partners could be harmful. However, researchers clarified that the study only included a small population of men in the Montreal area who reported having sex with other men. They speculate that having a high frequency of ejaculation may be behind the findings.
Study subjects: Rodent models of teen drinking
Results: Teen drinking is considered a rite of passage by some, but new research suggests that it could have lasting effects on the brain. More specifically, binge drinking during adolescence may permanently impact developing brain pathways. In rodent models, the prefrontal cortex (which matures during adolescence) was impaired in subjects that were exposed to binge drinking.
Significance: “Adverse effects of this physical damage can persist long after adolescent drinking ends,” UMass neuroscience researcher Heather N. Richardson said in a statement. More specifically, heavy adolescent binge drinking predicted poor performance on a working memory task in adulthood. It also appeared to contribute to significant white matter loss in the prefrontal cortex.
Location of study:U.S.
Study subjects: 10 HPV-positive women
Results: Research out of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School is offering new hope for HPV treatment. At the center of the research is a Japanese mushroom extract known as AHCC, which was found to eradicate HPV in a recent study. Of the 10 women who participated in the study, half went on to achieve a negative HPV result, with three experiencing a complete eradication of the virus after stopping the AHCC treatment.
Significance: “The big difference between our responders and non-responders in this study was that the five people who didn’t respond all did not receive a full course of treatment,” said principal investigator Judith A. Smith, Pharm.D., who added that six months of treatment appears to be the magic number. According to Smith, AHCC has been used for decades for its immune benefits. It has also been used in the oncology arena to help improve the side effects associated with chemotherapy.
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