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One ketamine shot could help heavy drinkers cut down

New research finds that the combination of a single shot of ketamine and a memory retrieval technique can significantly reduce alcohol cravings and harmful drinking behavior among people who drink heavily. Approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year in the United States. According to recent estimates from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 26% of adults aged 18 years and above are likely to have engaged in binge drinking in the past month, with 6.7% engaging in heavy alcohol use. Overall, more than 14 million adults are living with alcohol use disorder in the U.S., and only a small percentage of them are getting treatment. There are currently only three approved medications that can help treat alcohol use disorder, and none of them can cure the condition. Now, a small experimental study of 90 people suggests that ketamine holds promise as a better, more effective treatment for harmful drinking behavior. Ravi Das, from the clinical psychopharmacology unit at University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom, is the lead author of the Nature CommunicationsTrusted Source paper that details the findings.
(credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

How fruit and vegetable compounds help prevent colorectal cancer

Flavonoids are compounds that are naturally present in fruit and vegetables. Scientists have known for 20 years that they can help prevent colorectal cancer but have not fully understood the underlying biology. Now, a new study describes a molecular mechanism through which a product of flavonoid digestion can inhibit cancer cell growth under certain conditions. The study is the work of a team at South Dakota State University in Brookings, who report their findings in a recent issue of the journal Cancers. At first, the researchers were investigating how aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) can reduce colorectal cancer risk. In that earlier work, they saw how a salicylic acid derivative called 2,4,6-trihydroxybenzoic acid (2,4,6-THBA) was able to slow cancer cell growth. They decided to search for natural sources of 2,4,6-THBA and found that it was also a compound that results from the digestion of flavonoids. The researchers are already investigating which gut bacteria produce metabolites from flavonoids. They foresee the possibility of developing probiotics that could help to prevent colorectal cancer. "We have so many drugs to treat cancer, but almost none to prevent it. Therefore, demonstrating 2,4,6-THBA as a protective agent against colorectal cancer has immense potential health benefits." Jayarama Gunaje, Ph.D.
(credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)