Health stories in the news — week starting 20th April 2015

Our round-up of osteopathically-relevant health stories that have been in the news.

Joint cracking investigated

The cause of joint cracking has been previously attributed to gas bubble presence and collapse within the joints (http://www.ncor.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Audible_sounds_sm.pdf).   In a new study at the University of Alberta real-time magnetic resonance imaging demonstrates that the mechanism of joint cracking is related to cavity formation rather than bubble collapse.

The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine have published further details on the experiment, including photographs showing the MRI set-up.

Further information about the study can be found at  Kawchuk GN, Fryer J, Jaremko JL, et al.  Real-time visualisation of joint cavitation.  PLoS One. 2015;10(4):e0119470.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25875374

The effects of paracetamol on mood

Acetaminophen, an effective and popular over-the-counter pain reliever (e.g., the active ingredient in Tylenol), has recently been shown to blunt individuals’ reactivity to a range of negative stimuli in addition to physical pain.  A total of 167 participants were enrolled for the study.  Participants who took acetaminophen evaluated unpleasant stimuli less negatively and pleasant stimuli less positively, compared with participants who took a placebo.  Further information about the study can be found at Durso GR, Luttrell A, Way BM.  Over-the-Counter Relief From Pains and Pleasures Alike: Acetaminophen Blunts Evaluation Sensitivity to Both Negative and Positive Stimuli.  Psychol Sci. 2015 Apr 10. pii: 0956797615570366. [Epub ahead of print].  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25862546

Effect of peanuts on food poisoning

A recent study published in the Journal of Food Science has investigated the effects of peanut white kernel and peanut skin on 3 strains of Lactobacillus and 3 major foodborne enteric bacterial pathogens.  The findings of the study suggest that peanut white kernel might assist in improving human gut flora as well as reducing entero-haemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), whereas the beneficial effects of peanut skins require further research and investigation.  Further information about this study can be found at: Peng M, Bitsko E, Biswas D.  Functional properties of peanut fractions on the growth of probiotics and foodborne bacterial pathogens.  Journal of Food Science.  2015;80(3):M635-41. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25627431