Body fat, blood type and ADHD.

Body Mass Index.

As we thought – BMI measurement is not so useful. What matters is the body fat percentage as this is associated with early death in both men and women. (Canadian study in 50k people over 7 years). Adiposity (fat) around the middle is a real concern.  Indeed yesterday a separate study reported reversal of Type 2 diabetes when such adiposity was reduced.  Eat right is the message.

Blood type and thrombosis.

Increased risk of thrombosis (and heart or stroke events) in folk with non-O blood types. So says a Swedish study of 1.1 million blood donors. So it is down to our genes. However, no need to panic – the risk is small in absolute terms.  Most people won’t know their blood groups in this country as medics don’t have much interest in knowing it.  Maybe that needs to change if our risk calculators are to be more accurate. Hmmm – I am one such non-O person! But then a healthy lifestyle will deal with any of this.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Preliminary evidence points to “real and nontrivial” differences in bone health of children taking an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug relative to those not on an ADHD drug.

“Prescribing physicians and parents should be aware of potential bone health risks associated with these medications,” the study team concludes in an abstract presented on March 3rd 2016 at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

It is estimated, controversially, that 5% of school aged children in the UK take medications to treat ADHD.

The study found that children on ADHD medication had lower bone mineral density in the femur, femoral neck, and lumbar spine, relative to their peers not on ADHD drugs. Their bones were therefore weakened.

As for mechanism, the researchers note that ADHD stimulant medications can cause gastrointestinal problems such as reduced appetite and upset stomach, which may contribute to poor nutrition and reduced calcium intake. They may also lower bone density through their actions on the sympathetic nervous system, which plays a key role in bone remodelling and regeneration.

It seems a discussion should be had regarding children’s nutritional needs.  A previous post points out the possible benefit of Probiotics.  If we can reduce the need for medication we will reduce the risk of ‘collateral damage’ to the child.

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