About perimenopausal and postmenopausal women using hormones treatment

Barbara Seaman, New York University, 2003

Barbara Seaman, American author, activist, and journalist, talks.

How Are You Going to Beat Plastic Pollution ?

Join the global game of #BeatPlasticPollution tag!

Video published on 31 May 2018 by UN Environment.

Do you remember playing tag as a kid? So do we.

More Information

  • World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.
  • Read Healthy Environment, Healthy People.
  • Watch our interviews and trailers video playlist on YouTube.

Most of the popular vitamin and mineral supplements people take do not boost health

Journal of the American College of Cardiology : Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals for CVD Prevention and Treatment

Some popular vitamin and mineral supplements could even increase the risk of death, scientists claim. Their research concludes only folic acid is proven to reduce risks of heart disease or stroke.

2018 Study Abstract

The authors identified individual randomized controlled trials from previous meta-analyses and additional searches, and then performed meta-analyses on cardiovascular disease outcomes and all-cause mortality. The authors assessed publications from 2012, both before and including the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force review. Their systematic reviews and meta-analyses showed generally moderate- or low-quality evidence for preventive benefits (folic acid for total cardiovascular disease, folic acid and B-vitamins for stroke), no effect (multivitamins, vitamins C, D, β-carotene, calcium, and selenium), or increased risk (antioxidant mixtures and niacin [with a statin] for all-cause mortality). Conclusive evidence for the benefit of any supplement across all dietary backgrounds (including deficiency and sufficiency) was not demonstrated; therefore, any benefits seen must be balanced against possible risks.

Conclusions

Since the 2013 to 2014 assessment and report of the USPSTF, the most notable finding was the effect of folic acid in reducing stroke and CVD, with significance driven by the 5-year 20,000 Chinese CSPPT RCT, which was supported by the reduction in stroke seen in RCTs of B-complex vitamins in which folic acid was a component. Vitamin B3 (or niacin) might increase all-cause mortality, which was possibly related to its adverse effects on glycemic response. Antioxidant mixtures did not appear to benefit CVD but might increase all-cause mortality. Although sufficient studies on vitamin D exist, to be confident that there is no all-cause mortality effect, further studies on multivitamins, the most commonly used supplement, may still be useful, because of the marginal benefit seen in our analysis. In the absence of further studies, the current data on supplement use reinforce advice to focus on healthy dietary patterns, with an increased proportion of plant foods in which many of these required vitamins and minerals can be found.

Le flux instinctif libre : une alternative aux protections hygiéniques, serviettes et tampons

Sang tabou : comment j’ai arrêté les tampons

Pouvoir retenir ses règles natutellement, pour les évacuer librement aux toilettes, c’est le principe du flux instinctif libre.
Nina Almberg vous dit tout sur cette méthode étonnante.

  • Sang tabou, un documentaire arte RADIO, 08 mars 2018.
  • Extraits de pubs vintage et textes de :
    • Pline l’Ancien, “Histoire naturelle”, 77 après JC
    • Claude Levi-Strauss, “l’Origine des manières de table”, 1968
    • Coran, sourate II, verset 222, VIIème siècle après JC
    • Saint-Grégoire, “Homélie 29”, Vème siècle après JC
    • Tardieu, “Manuel de pathologie et de clinique médicale”, 1873
    • Séverin Icard, “la Femme pendant la période menstruelle : étude de la psychologie morbide”, 1890
    • Sigmund Freud, “Nouvelle Conférence d’introduction à la psychanalyse”, 1932.

Less plastic use help decrease harmful chemicals in the body

The ReThink Plastic Pilot Study Community Report, 2018

A new pilot study has shown that women who reduce their exposure to plastic see a decrease in estrogen-mimicking chemicals in their bodies within a month.

The chemicals used in the manufacture of many plastics are known to mimic estrogen activity. There is strong scientific evidence linking these “environmental estrogens” to breast cancer. The ReThink Plastic study was designed to reduce exposure to these chemicals using simple, practical behavior change and to build a coalition of plastic use reduction by spreading the study messages. This approach could result in broad benefits by effectively reducing exposure to harmful chemicals in plastic and thus protecting against breast cancer and protecting the environment against plastic pollution.

Specifically, the objectives of the study were to:

  1. Inform participants about the harmful effects of chemicals that are in plastic
  2. Teach participants simple ways to reduce the use of plastic in order to reduce the potential for harmful health effects
  3. Ask participants to spread the message to other friends and family
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of the study:
    • Examine changes in “plastic use” behavior before and after the study
    • Examine changes in estrogenic activity before and after the study in a small sub-study of post-menopausal women.

Reference.

Promouvoir et Généraliser l’Allaitement Maternel

Quel avenir pour les seins plats ?

Publié par Luc Perino, médecin généraliste, humeur du 08/05/2018

Lorsqu’un marché s’annonce mirobolant par l’énormité de sa clientèle potentielle, l’art du marketing est de transformer chaque évidence en question et chaque angoisse en un problème soluble. Au moment du baby-boom et de l’agro-alimentaire florissant, remplacer le lait maternel par du lait industriel était un rêve mercatique sans précédent. Mais, vendre ce que la nature offre toujours, et convaincre que du lait de vache en poudre est plus profitable au nourrisson que du lait liquide au sein, nécessitait de copieux argumentaires.

Pendant les deux ou trois jours qui suivent l’accouchement, une mère produit du colostrum, encore plus précieux que le lait, mais dont l’aspect jaunâtre n’inspire pas la sympathie. Des mères furent ainsi subtilement persuadées qu’elles n’avaient pas de lait ou qu’il n’était pas de bonne qualité. Avec la preuve par les faits : au bout de trois jours, elles n’avaient vraiment plus de lait, car c’est la tétée du colostrum qui déclenche la lactation.

L’argument des petits seins a convaincu d’autres mères de leur misère lactique. Même si l’on savait que des seins plats produisent autant de lait que les autres, puisque chez tout mammifère, le lait se fabrique au moment de la tétée.

L’argument de la libération a été le plus efficace : les femmes pourraient travailler et se libérer du poids de la maternité. Les seins, n’étant plus soumis à la voracité du bébé, seraient définitivement protégés de l’avachissement (notez la racine ‘vache’ du mot). « Les femmes ne sont pas des vaches tout de même ! » Le marché a réussi à faire prononcer cette phrase à des femmes de haut niveau d’éducation.

Mieux encore, plusieurs de ces arguments ont su convaincre l’Afrique puisque le lait blanc des blancs a pénétré les colonies, provoquant une hausse spectaculaire de la mortalité infantile, à côté de laquelle les génocides sont un « détail » de l’histoire, comme dirait un populiste.

Aujourd’hui encore, l’allaitement artificiel est la première cause de morbidité infantile, et l’une des causes de cancer du sein. Voilà un véritable enjeu de santé publique. Mais le piège dialectique et politique est infernal : promouvoir l’allaitement maternel sans passer pour machiste ou rétrograde.

Au-delà de la gestion des médicaments et autres leurres ou babioles, un ministre de santé devrait étudier comment assurer la carrière professionnelle, l’égalité salariale, la protection sociale et tous les aspects de la reconnaissance, à celles qui allaitent nos enfants.

J’entends tous les jours qu’il faut penser aux générations futures. Soudoyer des entrepreneurs qui garantiraient la protection, le salaire et la promotion des femmes allaitantes me parait plus adéquat que de soudoyer des entrepreneurs qui vendent des milliards de médicaments qui ne font pas gagner un jour de vie à nos vieillards. Je concède cependant qu’il sera très difficile d’évaluer, sans biais, la balance bénéfices/risques pour le PIB, la Sécurité sociale et la santé publique.

En Savoir Plus

The Necessity of Exercise : Physical Activity and Aging

Exercise can help older adults achieve a higher quality of life, and it can help them live longer

This infographic – by the University of Southern California – was originally published on/for World Heart Day.

It is estimated that doing three hours of exercise per week can increase an elderly person’s lifespan by 5 years : physical activity can help the aging population lower its blood pressure, increase balance and flexibility, maintain weight, as well as help treat chronic diseases like heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.

The long-term impact of folic-acid supplements in pregnancy on offspring DNA methylation

Follow-up of the Aberdeen Folic Acid Supplementation Trial (AFAST)

Key Messages

  • We investigated the impact of a folic-acid supplementation trial that enrolled pregnant women in the late 1960s on long-term epigenetic changes in their offspring by assessing differences in DNA-methylation levels of their offspring at a mean age of 47 years.
  • In saliva samples obtained from the offspring 47 years after the trial was conducted, we identified 45 regions of the genome that were differentially methylated in response to the intervention.
  • The results of the study suggest that maternal folic-acid supplement use is associated with changes in DNA methylation that persist for many years after in-utero exposure, but further work is needed to investigate whether these epigenetic changes translate into detectable phenotypic differences

Abstract

Background
It has been proposed that maternal folic-acid supplement use may alter the DNA-methylation patterns of the offspring during the in-utero period, which could influence development and later-life health outcomes. Evidence from human studies suggests a role for prenatal folate levels in influencing DNA methylation in early life, but this has not been extended to consider persistent effects into adulthood.

Methods
To better elucidate the long-term impact of maternal folic acid in pregnancy on DNA methylation in offspring, we carried out an epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) nested within the Aberdeen Folic Acid Supplementation Trial (AFAST—a trial of two different doses: 0.2 and 5 mg, folic acid vs placebo). Offspring of the AFAST participants were recruited at a mean age of 47 years and saliva samples were profiled on the Illumina Infinium Human Methylation450 array. Both single-site and differentially methylated region analyses were performed.

Results
We found an association at cg09112514 (p = 4.03×10–9), a CpG located in the 5’ untranslated region of PDGFRA, in the main analysis comparing the intervention arms [low- (0.2 mg) and high-dose (5 mg) folic acid combined (N = 43)] vs placebo (N = 43). Furthermore, a dose–response reduction in methylation at this site was identified in relation to the intervention. In the regional approach, we identified 46 regions of the genome that were differentially methylated in response to the intervention (Sidak p-value <0.05), including HLA-DPB2, HLA-DPB1, PAX8 and VTRNA2–1. Whereas cg09112514 did not replicate in an independent EWAS of maternal plasma folate, there was suggested replication of differential methylation in PAX8.

Conclusions
The results of this study suggest that maternal folic-acid supplement use is associated with changes in the DNA methylation of the offspring that persist for many years after exposure in utero. These methylation changes are located in genes implicated in embryonic development, immune response and cellular proliferation. Further work to investigate whether these epigenetic changes translate into detectable phenotypic differences is required.

The long-term impact of folic acid in pregnancy on offspring DNA methylation: follow-up of the Aberdeen Folic Acid Supplementation Trial (AFAST), International Journal of Epidemiology, dyy032, doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyy032, 12 March 2018.

Parents’ Preconception Well-Being Affects Child’s Future Health

A series of three articles, published online April 16 in the Lancet, shine a light on this critical period

Medscape Medical News reviewed emerging evidence showing that preconception health of the mother- and father-to-be — especially their diet and weight — affects fertilization, embryo development, and even their child’s risk of future cardiometabolic disease.

Health and nutrition of both men and women before conception is important not only for pregnancy outcomes but also for the lifelong health of their children and even the next generation. The preconception period can be seen in three different ways: from a biological standpoint as the days and weeks before embryo development; from the individual perspective as the time of wanting to conceive; and through a population lens as any time a women is of childbearing age. This Series of three papers highlights the importance and summarises the evidence of preconception health for future health and suggests context-specific interventions. It also calls for a social movement to achieve political engagement for health in this particular phase in life.

Before the beginning : nutrition and lifestyle in the preconception period and its importance for future health

Summary

A woman who is healthy at the time of conception is more likely to have a successful pregnancy and a healthy child. We reviewed published evidence and present new data from low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries on the timing and importance of preconception health for subsequent maternal and child health. We describe the extent to which pregnancy is planned, and whether planning is linked to preconception health behaviours. Observational studies show strong links between health before pregnancy and maternal and child health outcomes, with consequences that can extend across generations, but awareness of these links is not widespread. Poor nutrition and obesity are rife among women of reproductive age, and differences between high-income and low-income countries have become less distinct, with typical diets falling far short of nutritional recommendations in both settings and especially among adolescents. Several studies show that micronutrient supplementation starting in pregnancy can correct important maternal nutrient deficiencies, but effects on child health outcomes are disappointing. Other interventions to improve diet during pregnancy have had little effect on maternal and newborn health outcomes. Comparatively few interventions have been made for preconception diet and lifestyle. Improvements in the measurement of pregnancy planning have quantified the degree of pregnancy planning and suggest that it is more common than previously recognised. Planning for pregnancy is associated with a mixed pattern of health behaviours before conception. We propose novel definitions of the preconception period relating to embryo development and actions at individual or population level. A sharper focus on intervention before conception is needed to improve maternal and child health and reduce the growing burden of non-communicable diseases. Alongside continued efforts to reduce smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity in the population, we call for heightened awareness of preconception health, particularly regarding diet and nutrition. Importantly, health professionals should be alerted to ways of identifying women who are planning a pregnancy.

Reference

Origins of lifetime health around the time of conception: causes and consequences

Summary

Parental environmental factors, including diet, body composition, metabolism, and stress, affect the health and chronic disease risk of people throughout their lives, as captured in the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease concept. Research across the epidemiological, clinical, and basic science fields has identified the period around conception as being crucial for the processes mediating parental influences on the health of the next generation. During this time, from the maturation of gametes through to early embryonic development, parental lifestyle can adversely influence long-term risks of offspring cardiovascular, metabolic, immune, and neurological morbidities, often termed developmental programming. We review periconceptional induction of disease risk from four broad exposures: maternal overnutrition and obesity; maternal undernutrition; related paternal factors; and the use of assisted reproductive treatment. Studies in both humans and animal models have demonstrated the underlying biological mechanisms, including epigenetic, cellular, physiological, and metabolic processes. We also present a meta-analysis of mouse paternal and maternal protein undernutrition that suggests distinct parental periconceptional contributions to postnatal outcomes. We propose that the evidence for periconceptional effects on lifetime health is now so compelling that it calls for new guidance on parental preparation for pregnancy, beginning before conception, to protect the health of offspring.

Reference

Intervention strategies to improve nutrition and health behaviours before conception

Summary

The nutritional status of both women and men before conception has profound implications for the growth, development, and long-term health of their offspring. Evidence of the effectiveness of preconception interventions for improving outcomes for mothers and babies is scarce. However, given the large potential health return, and relatively low costs and risk of harm, research into potential interventions is warranted. We identified three promising strategies for intervention that are likely to be scalable and have positive effects on a range of health outcomes: supplementation and fortification; cash transfers and incentives; and behaviour change interventions. On the basis of these strategies, we suggest a model specifying pathways to effect. Pathways are incorporated into a life-course framework using individual motivation and receptiveness at different preconception action phases, to guide design and targeting of preconception interventions. Interventions for individuals not planning immediate pregnancy take advantage of settings and implementation platforms outside the maternal and child health arena, since this group is unlikely to be engaged with maternal health services. Interventions to improve women’s nutritional status and health behaviours at all preconception action phases should consider social and environmental determinants, to avoid exacerbating health and gender inequalities, and be underpinned by a social movement that touches the whole population. We propose a dual strategy that targets specific groups actively planning a pregnancy, while improving the health of the population more broadly. Modern marketing techniques could be used to promote a social movement based on an emotional and symbolic connection between improved preconception maternal health and nutrition, and offspring health. We suggest that speedy and scalable benefits to public health might be achieved through strategic engagement with the private sector. Political theory supports the development of an advocacy coalition of groups interested in preconception health, to harness the political will and leadership necessary to turn high-level policy into effective coordinated action.

Reference

Global Exposure to Air Pollution and its Disease Burden : SOGA 2018 Report

Over 95% of world’s population breathe dangerous air, study finds

More than 95% of the world’s population breathe unsafe air and the burden is falling hardest on the poorest communities, with the gap between the most polluted and least polluted countries rising rapidly, a comprehensive study of global air pollution has found.

More Information

  • State of global air 2018, stateofglobalair.
  • Over 95% of world’s population breathe dangerous air, study finds, euractiv, 17 Apr 2018.