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Health Talk Recommends: What’s so bad about gluten?

Bart Everson/CC 2.0/flic.kr/p/dErQ3a

If you’ve visited a grocery store or restaurant lately you’ve undoubtedly seen an increase in the amount of gluten-free food options available to you. The gluten-free food industry is exploding now, too, and according to a recent article in The New Yorker, by 2016 the gluten-free product industry will exceed $15 billion.

The article explains that gluten is one of the most commonly and heavily consumed proteins on earth, and has been for thousands of years. Gluten is created when two molecules, glutenin and gliadin, come into contact and form a bond. For the one percent of the American population with celiac disease, even the slightest exposure to gluten can trigger a violent immune system reaction that can damage the small intestine.

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Family dinners may decrease risk of obesity for children

Photo courtesy Flickr user Ian Freimuth

Although sit down family dinners are most commonly used to strengthen a family’s bond, a new study from the University of Minnesota shows eating dinner together has more than just emotional benefits.

According to the study recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics, having just one sit down family dinner each week can decrease the risk of obesity for adolescents later in life.

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In the News: A new idea for treating Alzheimer’s

Photo: Joey Gannon/CC 2.0/ flic.kr/p/vepwc

Ling Li is taking Alzheimer’s disease research in a new direction.

Recently, Scientific American took a minute to feature her preliminary research into a novel approach to Alzheimer’s drug development.

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Mandated decrease in work hours may not be advantageous for neurosurgical residents

Photo courtesy Flickr user Mariano Cuajao

In an effort to decrease the amount of medical errors due to fatigue, in 2003 the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) imposed a mandatory maximum 80-hour work-week restriction on medical residents.

Before this mandate, residents often worked more than 100 hours per week and some neurosurgery residents in particular worked in excess of 120 hours per week. A University of Minnesota study recently  published in the Journal of Neurosurgery now finds the mandate could be leaving neurosurgery residents underprepared.

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One baby’s heart defect is saving lives with new test

Photo courtesy WCCO TV

When baby Eve Saarinen was first born, she looked healthy. However, right before she was discharged, Eve’s doctor detected a heart murmur, a condition that is fairly common in newborns.

After Eve was screened, her physician, Lazaros Kochilas, M.D., a pediatric cardiologist with the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, informed the family their child was in heart failure and she needed immediate surgery. This inspired Eve’s mom, Annamarie Saarinen, to help prevent seemingly healthy babies being discharged who in reality have a serious medical condition.

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In the News: U of M Study: PTSD symptoms linked to food addiction in women

Photo courtesy Flickr Megan Allen

New research suggests women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms may be more likely to experience food addiction or dependence.

The study conducted by epidemiologist Susan Mason, M.P.H., Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health was recently published in JAMA Psychiatry.

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