People are talking about: Pain relievers and the spread of flu; Paleo diet ranks the worst; pill balloon helps weight loss

Published on Saturday, 25 January 2014 18:37 - Written by

Pain and fever relievers may magnify the spread of flu. Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario say taking over-the-counter medicines to reduce fever and pain may make the sick person more contagious. Since they are feeling better, they have a false security, leading to passing viruses to more people. Researchers said a fever actually lowers the number of viruses in the body and suppressing a fever leads to increased virus shedding. They warn that while recovering, to limit contact with others, particularly older adults or those with weakened immune systems.

Paleo diet ranks at the bottom of list of popular plans. The U.S. News and World Report evaluated 32 popular diets, giving the DASH diet the top rate for its safety, effectiveness for weight loss and ability to prevent or control diabetes and heart disease. The diet includes a balance of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and with a reduction in sodium. The next highest-ranked diets are the TLC diet, the Mayo Clinic diet, the Mediterranean diet and Weight Watchers. The Paleo diet falls at the bottom of the list, tying with the Dukan diet. Health experts say the diet, which calls for eating foods similar to what our ancestor of the Paleolithic period would have eaten, is too difficult to follow. Other diets that didn’t fare as well were Atkins and the raw food diet, which tied for No. 29. The vegetarian diet was ranked No. 11, while a vegan diet was No. 18 on the list.

Pill balloons in the stomach to provide alternative to weight loss surgery. British researchers have developed Obalon, a vitamin-sized pill that expands in the stomach when swallowed. The noninvasive procedure ensures patients feel full and can lose up to 20 pounds in three months. The capsule is attached to a tube and it inflates when swallowed. The tube is removed and no anesthetic or sedation is required in the 15-minute procedure. The capsule is ideal for people with a body mass index of 27 or greater. A treatment over 12 weeks using up to three balloons costs $6,650.