Why might smoking and drinking alcohol raise the risk of osteoporosis?

Recent research has uncovered a cell mechanism that could help explain why smoking, alcohol, and other modifiable factors could raise the risk of developing the bone disease osteoporosis.

The mechanism spurs a cell type in the immune system to turn into osteoclasts, which are a type of cell that resorbs, or dissolves, bone.

It appears that mitochondria, the tiny enclosures that produce energy in cells, send out a signal that triggers this process when under stress.

When this happens in the mitochondria of macrophages, the cells turn into osteoclasts. Macrophages are prolific immune cells that remove cell waste and foreign objects by swallowing and digesting them.

Full story at Medical News Today

Can you drink alcohol with antibiotics?

Many people believe that mixing alcohol and antibiotics is not safe. Is it dangerous? What are the risks of drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics?

Antibiotics are drugs that target bacteria to treat and prevent infections. There are many types of oral antibiotic.

Not all antibiotics interact with alcohol, and doctors give different recommendations about alcohol depending on the type of antibiotic.

In this article, we discuss the risks of mixing antibiotics and alcohol. We also explore the effects of alcohol on the immune system.

Full story at Medical News Today

Indicators of despair rising among Gen X-ers entering middle age

Indicators of despair — depression, suicidal ideation, drug use and alcohol abuse — are rising among Americans in their late 30s and early 40s across most demographic groups, according to new research led by Lauren Gaydosh, assistant professor of Medicine, Health and Society and Public Policy Studies at Vanderbilt University. These findings suggest that the increase in “deaths of despair” observed among low-educated middle-aged white Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) in recent studies may begin to impact the youngest members of Generation X (born 1974-1983) more broadly in the years to come.

The study, The Depths of Despair Among U.S. Adults Entering Midlife, appears in the American Journal of Public Health. Gaydosh’s co-authors are Kathleen Mullan Harris, Robert A. Hummer, Taylor W. Hargrove, Carolyn T. Halpern, Jon M. Hussey, Eric A. Whitsel, and Nancy Dole, all at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In 2016, U.S. life expectancy began to decline for the first time in nearly a quarter-century, and researchers theorized that this was driven by a marked increase in deaths due to drug overdose, alcoholic cirrhosis and suicide among middle-aged whites with low education or in rural areas. At the time, this was explained by a unique triple-punch of worsening employment prospects accompanied by a declining perception of socioeconomic status and an erosion of social supports for this group. But studies to better understand those mortality trends did not definitively show that low-income rural whites were actually experiencing more despair than other groups.

Full story at Science Daily

The ‘burden of disease’ in those who recover from addiction

Recent research shows that more than one-third of people who are recovering from addiction continue to experience chronic physical disease.

Excessive use of alcohol and drugs can lead to mental and physical health issues, some of which include anxiety, depression, diabetes, liver disease, and heart disease.

Many of these conditions may improve after recovery, but some may linger and diminish the quality of life.

Full story at Medical News Today

Is it safe to mix ibuprofen and alcohol?

Many people are aware that taking ibuprofen at the same time as alcohol is not always safe, but what are the risks, and when is it dangerous?

Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter medication that people use to reduce pain, inflammation, and fever. It is available under various brand names, such as Advil and Motrin, and in some combination medications for colds and the flu.

Alcohol and ibuprofen can both irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines. Mixing the two can cause side effects that vary in severity from mild to serious depending on the dose and how much alcohol a person ingests.

Full story at Medical News Today