Research from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans may provide a new way to fight cancer. Dr. Augusto Ochoa, director of the LSU Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, along with his brother, Dr. Juan Ochoa of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, discovered cancer and trauma patients quickly lose Arginine, an amino acid, (below). This loss lowers the body’s ability to replicate and produce receptors for infection-fighting T-cells.

The LSU scientists believe this may explain the link between chronic inflammation and carcinogenesis (tumor development). They found tumor cells produce an enzyme that contributes to both inflammation and to the depletion of Arginine. They also found that by inhibiting the initial inflammatory enzyme, tumor growth decreases.

Ochsner too, will be doing their part in the fight against cancer, with help from a hefty charitable donation.

The Larry Reynolds Fund gifted Ochsner Medical Center with $250,000. The money will go toward the David Stone Memorial for Pancreatic Cancer at Ochsner and will be used for cancer research and educational outreach programs.

East Jefferson General Hospital’s Joseph Eppling, Director of Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Services, earned the title of Nurse of the Year from the Louisiana State Nurses Association at the organization’s 2008 Nightingale Gala. Eppling’s excellence in clinical practice, patient care and overall dedication to his profession for over 20 years led the long list of reasons for his honor.

German researchers have found that chewing too much sugar-free gum can have severe adverse effects on the body. The gum component to blame is sorbitol, an artificial sweetener with laxative properties.

Doctors at Charité University Hospital in Berlin recently published a report in the British Medical Journal regarding two patients experiencing puzzling, long-term symptoms. The female patient chewed about 14 sticks of gum a day, the male patient, about 20 (plus sugar-free candy). Both patients experinced diarrhea and severe weight loss. (The male patient lost almost 49 pounds in the course of a year.)
After doctors linked the patients’ problems to consumption of sorbitol-sweetened products, the patients ceased their intake and their symptoms disappeared.

A doctor from the hospital’s Department of Gastroenterology said five to 20 grams of sorbitol can cause cramps and bloating, while more than 20 can cause diarrhea and rapid weight loss – an average stick of gum has 1.25 grams of sorbitol.