Studies: Chewing gum ingredient xylitol could prevent pediatric ear infections
WASHINGTON — There is "fair evidence" to support the use of xylitol, a natural sweetener used in gums and mints, to prevent inner ear infections in healthy children, according to a new evidence review.
Xylitol, also known as birch sugar, is used in chewing gum to prevent cavities and has been shown to have antibacterial properties in lab tests. In the new review, researchers at the University of Toronto sought to figure out whether there is sufficient evidence to support the use of xylitol to prevent ear infections, the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, reported Thursday. The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research.
Among three studies, there was a 25% overall reduction in the occurrence of ear infections in the xylitol group compared to the control group. The review’s lead author, Amir Azarpazhooh, suggested xylitol appears to work in healthy children by inhibiting bacteria.
Mark Shikowitz, vice chairman of otolaryngology with the North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y., hypothesized that gum itself appears to be beneficial as a way to prevent ear infections, possibly because chewing gum opens and closes the Eustachian tubes, the tubes that link the throat to the middle ear. However, Shikowitz said, too much gum chewing can be an issue: he often sees young patients who develop jaw problems as a result.
About 6-out-of-every-10 kids have an ear infection in their first year of life, and about 83% have one by 3 yearsold. Doctors typically treat ear infections with such antibiotics as penicillin and tetracycline.
Research: Tears being examined as a pain-free way to measure glucose levels
WASHINGTON — Scientists are reporting development and successful laboratory testing of an electrochemical sensor device that has the potential to measure blood-sugar levels from tears instead of blood — an advance that could save diabetes patients the discomfort of pricking their fingers for droplets of blood used in traditional blood-sugar tests.
Tests of their approach in laboratory rabbits, used as surrogates for humans in such experiments, showed that levels of glucose in tears track the amounts of glucose in the blood. "Thus, it may be possible to measure tear glucose levels multiple times per day to monitor blood glucose changes without the potential pain from the repeated invasive blood drawing method," stated Mark Meyerhoff, lead researcher.
Their report appears in the American Chemical Society’s journal Analytical Chemistry.
Joulebody introduces meal replacement bar to complement meal delivery service
NEW YORK — Joulebody on Thursday announced the launch of its Jouledetox Bar, a vegan whole food bar, to complement the company’s meal delivery offering with a retail component, beginning Dec. 1.
The meal replacement bar contains 307 calories with 9.5 grams of protein and retails for $4.25. Ingredients include goji berry, buckwheat flour, chia seeds, raw sugar, Himalayan salt, flax seeds, maple syrup, water, canola oil and JouleCleanse proprietary formula of hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dandelion root, flax seeds, turmeric powder, fennel seeds, Himalayan salt and cayenne pepper. Together, the ingredients are designed to kickstart the body’s detox system without starving the body into submission, the company stated.
“Shock and starvation is a ridiculous approach to health,” stated Yvette Rose, Joulebody founder and New York, N.Y.-based nutrition specialist. “The body is already a perfectly designed machine. The Jouledetox Bar is the very first nutrition styled bar designed to help kickstart the body’s own cleansing system to operate optimally — this requires food; it just needs to be good food.”