The Handoff is a weekly roundup of endocrinology and general medicine news covering various developments in subspecialties, as well as pharmaceutical industry, association, and society news.
—Sugar vs fat: which is the real enemy? A special feature published in The New Yorker takes readers through the history of various dietary trends, particularly how sugar became the “new fat.”
–Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may not originate in the ovaries themselves, according to a study in PNAS. Researchers in Australia attempted to trigger PCOS in 4 different mouse models and found that mice that were missing androgen receptors from their brains did not go on to develop the condition.
–A new therapy may offer hope for women suffering from menopausal hot flushes, according to research published in The Lancet.
–Could type 1 diabetes be prevented by changes in diet? A team of immunologists believe it may be possible. When they fed one group of mice a “normal” diet, more than 70% of the animals developed type 1 diabetes. However, when another group received a fiber-rich diet, they were almost completely protected from disease.
–Scientists have identified a possible genetic factor in hip fracture. A missense SNP in the ALDH2 gene, rs671 was significantly associated with hip fracture in patients with osteoporosis.
–Insomnia is usually an unwanted evening guest, but at least it doesn’t cause bone health problems: according to a study published in PLoS ONE, sleeping less may not affect one’s bone mineral density. However, investigators noted that studies with larger sample sizes, objective assessment of sleep patterns, and prospective designs are necessary to confirm these findings.
—Having children at an older age may no longer be such a worrisome prospect. A recent article in the New York Times noted that both mothers and children of older mothers tend to fare well — perhaps even better than their younger counterparts. Older mothers are less likely to smoke and more likely to breast feed, and their children had higher cognitive scores.