Access to gastrointestinal specialty care was associated with increased five-year survival for liver disease patients, researchers reported in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. The study, which included 28,861 patients, found those who had an ambulatory GI visit after their diagnosis were less likely to die within five years, compared with a control group. Read the abstract.
A British study showed vitamin D directly affects more than 200 genes, including some linked to cancer and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes and Crohn's disease. Researchers called on health officials to recommend supplements for some people.
Joanne Messenger of Florence, Miss., is on a mission to educate people about chronic acid reflux. The terminally ill cancer patient says after years of taking medications for acid reflux problems, she never realized the condition could damage the lining of the esophagus and lead to Barrett's esophagus and cancer. "How many people are out there like I was putting out money for Rolaids and Tums and for acid reflux and don't realize just exactly what they are facing?" Messenger asked.
Gluten-free foods are beneficial to people with celiac disease, but don't promote weight loss or boost nutrition, experts say. "Many packaged gluten-free products are even higher in carbs, sugar, fat and calories than their regular counterparts, and they tend to be lower in fiber, vitamins and iron," said a registered dietitian on the medical advisory board of the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Yale University researchers said zinc salts may help treat acid reflux symptoms. The report in the American Journal of Gastroenterology noted it was not clear whether over-the-counter zinc supplements would have the same effect. Read the abstract.