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Breastfeeding may cut risk of breast cancer in black women

Published:Wednesday | October 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM

A new study is suggesting that black mothers who don't breastfeed may be at higher risk for an aggressive type of breast cancer.

Researchers analysed data from nearly 3,700 black breast cancer patients. About one-third of them had estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer - a tumour subtype that is more common in black women and carries a higher risk of death.

Women with children were one-third more likely to develop these estrogen receptor-negative breast tumours compared to those who never had children, according to a team led by Julie Palmer, professor of epidemiology at Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center in the United States.

However, whether or not a mother breastfed her infants seemed to influence her risk for the tumour, the study found.

For example, the results indicated that women who had four or more children but had never breastfed were 68 per cent more likely to develop an estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, compared to women who had only one child but did breastfeed.

Breast cancer cells are often influenced by the presence of estrogen if they have certain 'receptors' on the surface of the cell. So, breast cancer subtypes include estrogen receptor-negative and estrogen receptor-positive tumours.

When it came to estrogen receptor-positive tumours, the study found that women who had four or more children had a slightly lower risk for these cancers, whether or not they had breastfed their babies.

Curry may boost the brain's neural stem cells

Curry may prevent brain decay, according to recent findings published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy.

"While several substances have been described to promote stem cell proliferation in the brain, fewer drugs additionally promote the differentiation of stem cells into neurons, which constitutes a major goal in regenerative medicine. Our findings on aromatic turmerone take us one step closer to achieving this goal," said lead study author Adele Rueger, in a news release.

For their findings, scientists found that the spice could indeed hold clues for treating certain neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

After analysing how aromatic (ar-) turmerone influences adult brain stems, known as endogenous neutral stem cells, researchers found that the spice helps to block the activation of microglial cells that have been linked to neuroinflammation and certain neurological disorders.

Furthermore, scientists examined how brain cell growth and differentiation in mice with effects observed in vitro and in vivo.

Curry, which mainly contains turmeric, coriander and cumin, is often used as an ingredient in many dishes.

Working long hours with low wages can cause type 2 diabetes

Health experts have found that persons working more than 53 hours per week and earning low wages are more at risk of diabetes. Those who worked in offices, but worked more than 55 hours more than the previous group, did not have a higher chance of being diagnosed with diabetes.

To find out why low-paying laborers were at higher risk than those who work at offices, a team of researchers looked at data from workers. The data included 222,120 workers from Europe, Australia, United States and Japan. Up to 68 per cent of them worked more than 55 hours each week.

Out of 222,120 workers included in the study, 4,963 were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Not all the subjects were at risk of being diagnosed with diabetes. The group was compared against those who work 35-40 hours a week; researchers found out that people working 55 hours a week are seven per cent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.

The researchers were able to look at the subject's socioeconomic status and the results were surprising. Workers with a high income, and work 55 hours or more, were not at risk of developing diabetes. People who worked 55 hours or more, but who have a middle to low income were are a greater risk of developing diabetes. The team found out that the amount of money paid to office workers made a difference between developing diabetes and not developing diabetes.

People with low income, working 55 hours had an increase of 26 per cent to 59 per cent. Researchers found out that the correlation between working long hours, plus low pay and diabetes applies to workers around the world.

The researchers were not able to figure out why the amount of money a person is paid made such a difference.