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Health News: Coffee Consumption and Longevity; High Dose Vitamin D Decreases Sunburn Effects; Antidepressants' Effects in Pregnancy;Antibiotics and Birth Defects...

written by Thu Tran, MD,FACOG
on Friday, 21st July ,2017

Coffee Consumption Could Improve Lifespan

Two large studies, recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found a link between lower mortality risk and coffee consumption.  

The study from University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles, reviewed data on185,855 of middle aged to older Americans over a decade.  The researchers found a lower overall mortality rate in those who drank 1 or more cups of decaffeinated or caffeinated coffee a day, taking into account other lifestyle factors such as smoking.  They found similar results in different ethnic groups such as Japanese-Americans, African-Americans, Latinos and Whites.

The second study was from Europe, with 521,330 study subjects, over 16 years.  The researchers found how those who drank 3 cups of coffee a day were 7 to 12% less likely to die over the next 16 years compared to those who did not.


High Dose Vitamin D3 Decreases Side Effects of Sunburn

Taking a high dose of vitamin D3 one hour after having sunburn significantly decreases side effects from the sunburn.  This study of 20 subjects from Case Western Reserve University, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, found that those who took the highest level of vitamin D3, which was 200,000 IU, had long-term benefits such as decrease in inflammation 48 hours after sunburn. Those with highest level of vitamin D3 were found to have reduced skin redness. Using skin biopsies, the researchers found how those with lower blood levels of vitamin D3 had more significant levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which impede tissue repair.

The authors of this study stated the result showed the potential benefit of vitamin D3 in sunburn treatment, but believe more studies should be done on this subject.


Antidepressants in Pregnancy Do Not Harm Children’s Brains

A study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City finds little risk of brain impairment in children whose mothers take antidepressants during pregnancy.

The study was published on line on  July 12 in JAMA Psychiatry, using data on 179,000 children born in Sweden in 2006 and 2007, in which 4,000 children had mothers who took antidepressants during pregnancy.  The researchers concluded that there was not a statistically significant risk in “major limitations in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior” in children whose mothers took antidepressants.

Early Exposure to Certain Antibiotics Maybe Linked to Major Birth Defects

A study from the University of Montreal, Canada, published in The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, reported an increased risk of major birth defects when certain antibiotics were taken in the first trimester, which is first few months of pregnancy.  The antibiotics included clindamycin, doxycycline, quinolone, macrocodes and phenoxymethylpenicillin.  There was no increased risk observed following use of other antibiotics such as amoxicillin, cephalosporins, or nitrofurantoin.

The study reviewed data of 140,000 children with 15,469 having mothers taking antibiotics during pregnancy.  The birth defects varied from heart defects after doxycycline or clindamycin, to urinary system after erythromycin, to brain defects following phenoxymethylpenicillin. 

The absolute risk associated with these antibiotics was small, but the authors concluded that safer antibiotics should be considered in the early part of pregnancy.

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