Probiotics and Healthcare: Using Good Bacteria for Health

Do Probiotics Have Healthcare Value?

© 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved. Nature publishing group  Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology 11, 506–514 (2014) doi:10.1038/nrgastro.2014.66 Published online10 June 2014

© 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved. Nature publishing group Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology 11, 506–514 (2014) doi:10.1038/nrgastro.2014.66
Published online10 June 2014

Over the past two decades, healthcare advocates, physicians, and scientists have been looking at the benefits of probiotics (healthy bacteria) and their impact on wellness.

Lactobacillus, probiotics found in yogurt and chocolate, add to their tasty attraction. But now scientists are aware that they might help treat diarrhea and aid in lactose digestion. Similarly, bifidobacterium are used to treat irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Anecdotal reports attest that probiotics assist with stimulating a healthy immune system and may useful in treating stomach gas, bloating, skin conditions, urinary and vaginal ailments, allergies, colds, and oral health.

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Healthcare Maintenance Latest Trends

The Wellness Industry is Anything But a Niche Market © 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit

The Wellness Industry is Anything But a Niche Market © 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit

This is the age of the “feel good” generation. Feel good about yourself, your career, your appearance, and no less important your health and wellness. One of the fastest growing fads—or trends—in wellness and health are extreme exercise workouts.

Already, consumer sales of exercise videos and DVDs top $300m a year and are growing annually by 8%. A plethora of exercise equipment and apparatus are sold to fitness centers, while fitness-related items for home use include electronic monitoring devices, footwear, gloves, and hydration packs. Continue reading

Healthcare: Healthy Eating and Food Marketing

Despite the fact that Your Body Needs Natural Fat, "Low Fat" is a Leading Health Claim

Your Body Needs Natural Fat but “Low Fat” is Still a Leading Health Claim

Food marketing in the digital age is a science art. The food and beverage industries spend more than $2b each year, marketing to U.S. adults and children. The target markets are bombarded with the basic 4Ps:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Placement
  • Promotion

The choices consumers make affect their weight, cholesterol and triglycerides levels, consumption of sodium, and other factors affecting healthcare outcomes. Continue reading

Digital Medicine: Looking Forward

Digital Medicine Allows Doctors to Craft Individual Health Management Plans

Digital Medicine Allows Doctors to Craft Individual Health Management Plans

Digital medicine moves health-care professionals from the written and printed word into a revolutionary period. Medical records are stored in cloud computing, where clinical data are gleaned and diagnoses are speedily determined. Medical knowledge is generated. The digital data lead to magistral treatment plans including medicines, therapies, biotech wearables, and devices. Digitized data shared globally across mobile devices and computers stimulate open access input from a wide range of medical and health-care specialists, pharmaceutical and laboratory professionals, and patients.

Moving forward, digital medicine presents exciting opportunities for extending life and preserving the patient’s health, safety, and comfort. For instance, technology will increasingly be used to identify the location of patients, sense patient status, and transmit information persistently to doctors and health-tech monitors over mobile devices. Big data will become more important in deciding patient treatment plans and in public health management.  Continue reading

Vegetarian Trends Impact Healthcare

Vegetarianism is a Health and Increasingly Popular Way to Eat

Vegetarianism is Delicious, Healthy and Increasingly Popular

There is adequate information suggesting there has been a cultural shift toward wider acceptance and commitment to vegetarianism at the macro level, as well as changes in the food culture at the micro level throughout the American and European food sectors. Vegetarianism impacts the food processing industry, restaurant businesses, grocery sales, farm goods production, nutrition and diet planning in school lunchrooms, hospital and corporate cafeterias, airline meals, restaurant menu planning, and all the ancillary and support industries.

Some doctors proclaim vegetarianism as a healthy choice for avoiding and treating disease. From a business perspective, the following data from the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom are worth considering:  Continue reading

Obesity: The Healthcare Management Menace

Everything in Moderation May Be the Key to Weight Loss

Eating Less and Moving More Do Not Appear to Help People Lose Weight 

Studies tell us that people weigh more and that there are more obese people on the planet with each passing generation. Costs from overweight and obese children and adults increase government healthcare budgets and healthcare management services. Money flies out of wallets for fad diet programs, books on nutrition and weight loss, gym memberships and fat farm retreats, healthcare management wearable technologies, home exercise equipment, weight control pharmaceuticals, surgeries, and private and group therapies.

A plethora of studies released between 2013 and 2015 paint a picture of the amplitude and cornucopia of weight gain solutions that, according to one professor, seemingly having no impact on sustained weight loss and the overall healthcare problem.  Millennials eat less and exercise more, but appear no more successful than the 1971 Gen Yers. A September 2015 report from York University in Toronto, Canada, on 36,400 Americans surveyed between 1971 and 2008, reveals that calorie intake and level of physical activity do not significantly impact weight control. Continue reading

Security Dominates Healthcare Recordkeeping

Patient Confidentiality Means Little without Good Cybersecurity

Patient Confidentiality Means Little without Good Cybersecurity

Cyberattacks targeting patient electronic medical records are on the rise. It is going to take a complete overhaul if data breaches are going to be stopped. The healthcare community, including health insurance carriers, cannot be insouciant about this threat. It needs to bring outsourcers on board to build protections with martinet vigilance.

Hospital IT departments and medical groups are not cybersecurity experts. Their job is to maintain the Internet as an information highway providing doctors, nurses, rehab specialists, pharmacies and laboratories easy access to great amounts of patient information in a short amount of time. Continue reading

Is Milk Good or Bad for You?

Is Milk Good or Bad for Your Child?

Is Milk Good or Bad for Your Child?

Early childhood vaccinations and feeding children cow milk and dairy products are two of the most fractious issues among healthcare professionals and parents. On one side are those claiming early childhood vaccinations and dairy products are dangerous or deadly for children. Proponents of vaccinations and milk products point to the dangers for children of not consuming daily recommended quantities. Both claim science is on their side.

I give short shrift to arguments from opponents of early childhood vaccinations. They cite a now discredited 1998 research paper by Andrew Wakefield published in The Lancet charging popular childhood vaccines are linked to autism and colitis. There is no other scientific evidence they can reasonably cite, and The Lancet, one of the prestigious medical journals, retracted the paper in 2010 claiming the research “utterly false.” Wakefield was found guilty of professional misconduct and struck from the UK General Medical Council Register. Continue reading