The jury is still out on the quality and efficacy of probiotics, many of which don't have clinical studies to back claims of helping to regulate the digestive system and relieve some bowel disease symptoms. Consumers generally should look for products that have the word "live" on the package and list a specific strain of bacteria on their label or Web site.
Chinese researchers say a study that included 1,466 adults with chronic hepatitis B found those with metabolic syndrome were at higher risk factor for liver cirrhosis. The research found 38% of HBV patients with metabolic syndrome had liver cirrhosis, compared with 11% of those who didn't have it. The study team adds, however, they don't yet know if metabolic syndrome affects the severity of HBV.
New research shows both antacids and proton pump inhibitors treat newly diagnosed dyspepsia but going with the antacid first may be less costly if generic PPIs are not used. The study found similar treatment success and side effects for both groups.
More people may have celiac disease than health experts have estimated, and physicians now say there are different degrees of gluten toxicity, including a "silent" or latent form of the disease that may be harder to diagnose. Experts also say that in addition to being a digestive disease, celiac is a systemic condition that can lead to skin disorders, joint pain, dental problems or even reproductive difficulties.
A gluten allergy no longer means giving up pasta. More gluten-free options, such as Asian rice noodles and Papadini pasta, are more readily available, but the key to using them in a tasty pasta recipe is in the preparation. Cook it too long, it falls apart; too little, it gets rubbery.