Today’s Reading List: Can a cancer drug trigger hair growth?

Today at @ontariosdoctors we look at a cancer drug that may have the ability to cure a type of hair loss. Also, we consider what types of food can satisfy hunger for longer.

New research suggests the cancer drug, ruxolitinib, may start re-growth of hair in those suffering from alopecia, a type of hair loss. Scientists have isolated the immune cells responsible for destroying hair follicles on people with the condition. A pilot study indicates patients who are treated with 20 mgs of ruxolitinib twice a day experience hair growth after three or four months. The National Post brings us this story:

Another trial follows tests on mice using two new drugs that block immune pathways. In the experiments, both drugs completely restored the hair of animals with alopecia within 12 weeks.

“We’ve only just begun testing the drug in patients, but if the drug continues to be successful and safe, it will have a dramatic positive impact on the lives of people with this disease,” said Dr. Raphael Clynes, from Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

Ruxolitinib has been approved for treatment of bone marrow cancer. Further testing is required before the drug can safely be used as a treatment for alopecia.

“We still need to do more testing to establish that ruxolitinib should be used in alopecia areata, but this is exciting news” says Clynes

According to researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, adding beans or lentils to your meal can help you feel fuller and snack less. Diets are often derailed by hunger triggering cravings and overeating. Hunger also can also cause irritability, decreased concentration and sagging energy. The Globe and Mail brings us this story:

A recent obesity study highlights trials which measure the effect of pulses (foods such as peas, lentils, black beans, navy beans and kidney beans) on reduction in appetite compared to meals heavy in white bread, potatoes or macaroni. Each meal provided in the study was 313 calories.

“The findings indicate the participants felt 31 per cent fuller after eating one serving (3/4 cup) of pulses compared to the control meals that included quickly digested, or high glycemic, carbohydrates. To put that into perspective, research suggests that increasing the feeling of fullness by 10 per cent can cause people to eat less, a potential advantage for weight control.”

Scientists say the more fiber, protein and water a food contains, the longer it will satisfy hunger. For example, one serving of lentils has 13 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber which is the equivalent to almost four large white eggs and a half a cup of bran cereal.

“While adding certain foods to meals and snacks can make you feel fuller – and potentially help you eat less – other strategies are important, too. Eating at regular intervals during the day (every three to four hours), eating slowly and avoiding distractions while eating (watching television, reading, checking e-mails) will also help increase satiety and avert hunger.”

Posted on August 19, 2014 in Health in the News, Reading List, Uncategorized

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