Many Americans not being assessed for depression

(HealthDay)—Many Americans aged 35 and older are not being assessed for depression, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Elisabeth Kato, M.D., from the Agedncy for Healthcare Research and Quality in Rockville, Md., and colleagues used a nationally representative survey to evaluate whether adults aged 35+ were being assessed for depression by their health care providers in 2014 and 2015. The health and sociodemographic characteristics of patients associated with depression assessment were examined.

The researchers found that 48.6 percent of U.S adults aged 35+ were being assessed for depression. The likelihood of being assessed was lower for men versus women, adults 75+ versus adults aged 50 to 64 years, uninsured versus those with private insurance, and adults without recognized depressive symptoms versus those with recognized symptoms (odds ratios, 0.58, 0.47, 0.30, and 0.39, respectively). The likelihood of being assessed was lower for Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans versus non-Hispanic whites (odds ratios, 0.35, 0.47, and 0.42, respectively).

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Effectively expressing empathy to improve ICU care

In nearly every intensive care unit (ICU) at every pediatric hospital across the country, physicians hold numerous care conferences with patients’ family members daily. Due to the challenging nature of many these conversations — covering anything from unexpected changes to care plans for critically ill children to whether it’s time to consider withdrawing life support — these talks tend to be highly emotional.

That’s why physician empathy is especially important, says Tessie W. October, M.D., M.P.H., critical care specialist at Children’s National Health System.

Several studies have shown that when families believe that physicians hear, understand or share patients’ or their family’s emotions, patients can achieve better outcomes, Dr. October explains. When families feel like their physicians are truly empathetic, she adds, they’re more likely to share information that’s crucial to providing the best care.

“For the most part, our families do not make one-time visits. They return multiple times because their children are chronically ill,” Dr. October says. “Families who feel we’re really listening and care about what they have to say are more likely to feel comfortable as they put their child’s life in our hands a second, third or fourth time. They’re also less likely to regret decisions made in the hospital, which makes them less likely to experience long-term psychosocial outcomes like depression and anxiety.”

What’s the best way for physicians to show empathy? Dr. October and a multi-institutional research team set out to answer this question in a study published online in JAMA Network Open on July 6, 2018.

With families’ consent, the researchers recorded 68 care conferences that took place at Children’s pediatric ICU (PICU) between Jan. 3, 2013, to Jan. 5, 2017. These conversations were led by 30 physicians specializing in critical care, hematology/oncology and other areas and included 179 family members, including parents.

During these conferences, the most common decision discussed was tracheostomy placement — a surgical procedure that makes an opening in the neck to support breathing — followed by the family’s goals, other surgical procedures or medical treatment. Twenty-two percent of patients whose care was discussed during these conferences died during their hospitalization, highlighting the gravity of many of these talks.

Dr. October and colleagues analyzed each conversation, counting how often the physicians noticed opportunities for empathy and how they made empathetic statements. The researchers were particularly interested in whether empathetic statements were “buried,” which means they were:

  • Followed immediately by medical jargon
  • Followed by a statement beginning with the word “but” that included more factual information
  • Followed by a second physician interrupting with more medical data.

That compares with “unburied” empathy, which was followed only by a pause that provided the family an opportunity to respond. The research team examined what happened after each type of empathetic comment.

The researchers found that physicians recognized families’ emotional cues 74 percent of the time and made 364 empathetic statements. About 39 percent of these statements were buried. In most of these instances, says Dr. October, the study’s lead author, the buried empathy either stopped the conversation or led to family members responding with a lack of emotion themselves.

After the nearly 62 percent of empathetic statements that were unburied, families tended to answer in ways that revealed their hopes and dreams for the patient, expressed gratitude, agreed with care advice or expressed mourning — information that deepened the conversation and often offered critical information for making shared decisions about a patient’s care.

Physicians missed about 26 percent of opportunities for empathy. This and striving to make more unburied empathetic statements are areas ripe for improvement, Dr. October says.

That’s why she and colleagues are leading efforts to help physicians learn to communicate better at Children’s National. To express empathy more effectively, Dr. October recommends:

  • Slow down and be in the moment. Pay close attention to what patients are saying so you don’t miss their emotional cues and opportunities for empathy.
  • Remember the “NURSE” mnemonic. Empathetic statements should Name the emotion, show Understanding, show Respect, give Support or Explore emotions.
  • Avoid using the word “but” as a transition. When you follow an empathetic statement with “but,” Dr. October says, it cancels out what you said earlier.
  • Don’t be afraid to invite strong emotions. Although it seems counterintuitive, Dr. October says helping patients express strong feelings can help process emotions that are important for decision-making.

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AMA adopts new policy on housing for homeless

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) calls for stable, affordable housing, without mandated therapy or service compliance, in order to improve housing stability and quality of life among individuals who are chronically homeless.

According to the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, more than 550,000 people experience homelessness each night in the United States. An estimated 35 percent stay in unsheltered locations.

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Three scientists share $500,000 prize for work on cancer therapy

Tumors once considered untreatable have disappeared and people previously given months to live are surviving for decades thanks to new therapies emerging from the work of three scientists chosen to receive a $500,000 medical prize.

The recipients of the annual Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, announced Wednesday, are being recognized for their studies of the immune system that have led to innovative treatments for cancer, HIV and other diseases.

They are James Allison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Dr. Carl June of the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; and Dr. Steven Rosenberg of the National Cancer Institute. They’ll receive the award at a ceremony Sept. 26 in Albany, New York.

“Their research has given hope to many who otherwise faced a certain death sentence, and has inspired the work of hundreds of other researchers to investigate new pathways for treatment,” said Dr. Vincent Verdile, dean of Albany Medical College. “Their impact on the development of cancer immunotherapy – and where it goes from here – is unsurpassed.”

Immunotherapy harnesses the power of the immune system to attack cancer cells and tumors. In the 1980s, Rosenberg theorized that stimulating white blood cells called T cells could provoke immune reactions. His work led to the first immunotherapy drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat cancer in 1992.

Former President Jimmy Carter credited the new immune therapy drug Keytruda with shrinking his brain tumors in 2015. The drug, developed using an approach pioneered by Allison, is among a new class of genetically engineered antibody-based medicines that are transforming treatment for several kinds of cancer with drugs that are often less toxic than chemotherapy.

June has led groundbreaking work in developing CAR-T cell therapies, which alter a patient’s own blood cells to turn them into specialized cancer killers. CAR-T therapy became the first FDA-approved personalized cellular therapy for cancer in 2017 with the approval of Kymriah to treat certain pediatric and young adult leukemia patients.

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Rural residents lack workplace supports to juggle work and caregiving

In the U.S., more than 43 million family members or friends provide unpaid care to an ailing adult or child. A new University of Minnesota School of Public Health study shows the situation could be particularly difficult for informal caregivers in rural areas, who often lack the workplace flexibility and support they need to juggle their many responsibilities.

The study, led by Assistant Professor Carrie Henning-Smith, was recently published in the Journal of Rural Health.

“The U.S. population is getting older and care needs are increasing, especially in rural areas,” said Henning-Smith. “Meanwhile, lower birth rates, higher divorce rates, lower marriage rates and greater workforce participation all lead to fewer available caregivers. In rural areas, where resources are more scarce, the challenge of balancing work and caregiving is heightened, making it important to look at rural-urban differences in caregiver support.”

To learn more about those differences, Henning-Smith analyzed survey responses from 635 people living in rural and urban communities across the country who both work and care for a loved one.

The study showed that:

  • 15 percent of employed rural caregivers have access to supportive programs, such as employee assistance programs, through their workplace, compared with 26 percent of employed urban caregivers.
  • Less than 10 percent of rural caregivers are able to work from home or telecommute, compared with 25 percent of urban caregivers.
  • 18 percent of rural caregivers have access to paid leave, compared with 34 percent of urban caregivers.

“These findings should raise concern about the well-being of employed rural caregivers who are juggling multiple roles with less support from their workplaces,” said Henning-Smith. “As caregiving needs rise—especially in rural areas—it will become increasingly urgent to find ways to support all caregivers.”

Henning-Smith suggests that employers who create more supportive work environments for employed caregivers will help a large number of people, and could see greater workplace satisfaction and less turnover from employees. Strategies employers can use to increase the level of support in their work environment could include flexible work hours, telecommuting/working from home, supportive programs, paid leave and paid sick leave.

Policymakers can also help ease the strain on caregivers by mandating workplace protections, such as expanding access to family leave, and by addressing systemic issues, such as access to broadband Internet, that would make it easier for employers to give rural caregivers flexibility. Health care providers can play a role as well by being aware of a caregivers’ multiple roles and ensuring that they have the support they need to provide high-quality care while taking care of their own health.

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Tips for Traveling Safely When You Have a Serious Mental Illness

For those with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, traveling can include additional health risks. These tips can help.

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Illustration by Brittany England

Research shows that travel provokes anxiety in most people. In fact, for some, the stress can even trigger a psychotic episode.

Mary Seeman, a psychiatrist in Toronto, told the story of one woman who became nauseated on a plane and came to believe that the pilot was deliberately making her ill so that he would have an excuse to be with her when the plane landed. “She was convinced that he had fallen instantaneously in love with her when he saw her board,” Seeman wrote.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, recalled one business executive with bipolar disorder who landed in the hospital every time he flew from the United States to Europe.

Travel across time zones is especially risky for a person dealing with a mental illness. One theory is that people with mental illness may already have altered circadian rhythms, which makes adjusting to jet lag tougher.

So, when a person has a condition that carries a risk of experiencing a psychotic episode, is any travel ever worth it?

Avoiding travel altogether isn’t always possible. If you need to travel, planning ahead can make a big difference.

For the business executive, the solution was to take a boat across the Atlantic instead of a plane, giving his body more time to adjust. “He did that and had no trouble,” Duckworth said.

Psychiatrists offer a variety of tips to help minimize the risk of trigging a psychotic episode while traveling.

Who is at risk?

Even if you’ve never had psychosis, but know you’re at risk, it’s best to think ahead. Your first break with reality may come while traveling.

Seeman told Heathline the chances are higher if you have a family history of psychiatric illness and are in a vulnerable moment, such as after a breakup or the death of a loved one, or after losing a great deal of weight or experience other physical or emotional shocks.

In those circumstances, “people should try to avoid sleep loss, time shifts, alcohol, and maybe high altitudes as well,” she said.

Symptoms of bipolar or schizophrenia usually show up by a person’s early 20s. But they may arrive in one’s 40s or later, especially in women who have other illnesses and stresses like a history of unemployment, some research indicates.

Older adults can also have their first break while traveling when they are slipping into dementia.

Additionally, psychosis can be triggered by mefloquine (sometimes called Lariam), a medication used to prevent malaria. If you’ve had depression, generalized anxiety disorder, or a psychotic or seizure disorder, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises you to ask for a different medication.

How can you protect young adults?

If psychosis runs in the family, Margaret Cochran, a therapist from San Jose, California, advises talking to children about their risk when they are young. “Mental illness, among other things, needs to be ‘normalized’ as in its nothing to be ashamed of. You just recognize it, go to the appropriate physician and get treated,” she said, noting that parents can include other medical issues like diabetes or high cholesterol in the same conversation.

But young people should also know that they may never develop symptoms. Most people with a relative or even a sibling or parent with schizophrenia will not develop the disorder. These were the findings of a family study done in 2014 by the Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia. The study, which had 16 co-authors and looked at nearly 300 families, concluded that the risk of schizophrenia was only 31 percent within a nuclear family.

Before a big trip or stay abroad, schedule a physical for your child and ask the doctor to discuss mental health issues during the exam.

Children with a risk of psychosis need to know that marijuana can trigger an episode. This information may also be best coming from your doctor. Cochran pointed out it’s normal for children between the ages of 13 and 25 to pay more attention to “an authoritative outsider” than to their parents.

Destinations matter

Traveling east or west is tougher than north or south because of time zone changes. If you’re in Boston and have bipolar disorder, “and you have a chance to go to either Brazil or Italy, if it’s all the same I’d consider Brazil,” Duckworth said.

High-altitude trips also may be especially tough. Among mountain residents, high altitudes seem to be a risk factor for suicide, especially for people with bipolar disorder. But it’s not yet clear how travelers are affected.

Certain destinations are associated with psychotic episodes. “Tahiti syndrome” can be triggered when you find crowds of tourists instead of a paradise. “Jerusalem syndrome” may be brought on by religious feeling. “Florence syndrome” may occur at the sight of fine art.

The reason for the trip can be another factor. Traveling for weddings and other big occasions could add another layer of stress for many people, Seeman noted.

But that doesn’t mean no one should try. The Women’s Clinic for Psychosis in Toronto has sponsored travel abroad for patients with schizophrenia so that they could reconnect with estranged children or visit other distant friends and relatives. To ensure safety, the staff takes a number of precautions, including making contact with medical caregivers at the destination.

Preparation for your trip

All travelers with an active prescription should be sure to bring enough of their medications. In some countries, you need proof of a prescription to carry sleeping pills. Check the rules for your destination.

If you are in danger of a psychotic break, you need to carry a doctor’s letter that explains your need for medications, ideally in the language of your destination, and perhaps copies of your prescriptions. Duckworth suggests also carrying a list of the places where you have been hospitalized, with dates, so staff at your destination can check your medical records if the need arises.

However, he doesn’t suggest carrying around your “discharge” papers from hospitalizations.

It’s also important to check your medical insurance to see if it would cover the cost of hospital treatment in a foreign country or an emergency trip home. Most travel policies don’t.

Patients who need injections of antipsychotics like lithium or clozapine may need to arrange in advance for care at the destination site.

Don’t drink or use recreational drugs to soothe your anxiety in the airport, on the plane, or after you land; they can aggravate dehydration, motion sickness, and temperature-related illness and trigger symptoms, Seeman noted.

To manage a change in time zones, Cynthia Last, clinical psychologist and author of “When Someone You Love is Bipolar: Help and Support for You and Your Partner,” suggests starting before you leave: “Gradually, in small increments, change your sleep and wake time in the direction of the location you will be traveling to.”

To help manage jet lag after you arrive, you can take 2 to 5 milligrams of melatonin before bedtime for up to four days, Seeman noted.

Last suggests slowing down the entire trip. “Don’t try to cram too many activities into one day. Take breaks. And try to keep a regular reasonable bedtime,” she said.

The most important step: Think carefully about whether the trip is a good idea. “Don’t combine stresses. There may be times when a trip isn’t worthwhile,” Duckworth said. “You have to know yourself.”

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Here’s What Predicts a Woman’s Odds of Living Till 90

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15, 2018 — Women whose mothers lived a long and healthy life have a good chance of doing the same, a new study suggests.

A long-term study of about 22,000 postmenopausal women in the United States found that those whose mothers had lived to age 90 were 25 percent more likely to reach that milestone without suffering serious health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and hip fractures.

If both parents reached age 90, women were 38 percent more likely to live a long and healthy life, the findings showed.

The study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, was published Aug. 15 in the journal Age and Ageing.

“Achieving healthy aging has become a critical public health priority in light of the rapidly growing aging population in the United States. Our results show that — not only did these women live to age 90 — but they also aged well by avoiding major diseases and disabilities,” said first author Aladdin Shadyab. He’s a postdoctoral fellow in the department of family medicine and public health.

“It’s not just about the number of candles on the cake. These women were independent and could do daily activities like bathing, walking, climbing a flight of stairs or participating in hobbies they love, like golf, without limitations,” he added in a university news release.

But Shadyab’s team found no increase in daughters’ longevity or health if only their father lived to 90 or beyond.

“We now have evidence that how long our parents live may predict our long-term outcomes, including whether we will age well, but we need further studies to explore why,” Shadyab said. “We need to clarify how certain factors and behaviors interact with genes to influence aging outcomes.”

Longevity may be influenced by a combination of genetics, environment and behaviors passed from parent to child, according to the researchers.

The women in the study whose mothers lived to at least 90 were more likely to be college graduates and married with high incomes. They were also more likely to be physically active and have good eating habits.

“Although we cannot determine our genes, our study shows the importance of passing on healthy behaviors to our children,” Shadyab said. “Certain lifestyle choices can determine healthy aging from generation to generation.”

More information

The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion outlines how to protect your health as you age.

Posted: August 2018

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New research suggests it’s all about the bass

When we listen to music, we often tap our feet or bob our head along to the beat – but why do we do it? New research led by Western Sydney University’s MARCS Institute suggests the reason could be related to the way our brain processes low-frequency sounds.

The study, published in PNAS, recorded the electrical activity of volunteers’ brains while they listened to rhythmic patterns played at either low or high-pitched tones. The study found that while listening, volunteer’s brain activities and the rhythmic structure of the sound became synchronized – particularly at the frequency of the beat.

Co-author of the paper, Dr. Sylvie Nozaradan from the MARCS Institute, say these findings strongly suggest that the bass exploits a neurophysiological mechanism in the brain – essentially forcing it to lock onto the beat.

“There is mounting evidence supporting the hypothesis that selective synchronization of large pools of neurons of the brain to the beat frequency may support perception and movement to the musical beat,” says Dr. Nozaradan.

While this research is an important step in answering the mystery of why we “dance to the beat of the drum,” according to co-author Dr. Peter Keller from the MARCS Institute, these findings could also prove important in clinical rehabilitation.

“Music is increasingly being used in clinical rehabilitation of cognitive and motor disorders caused by brain damage and these findings, and a better understanding of the relationship between music and movement, could help develop such treatments,” says Dr. Keller.

The research team – also comprising of co-authors Dr. Manuel Varlet and Tomas Lenc – suggests that while this research is an important step in understanding the relationship between bass and movement, there are still many open questions about the mechanisms behind this phenomenon.

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An Artist Discovered a Parasitic Worm in His Eye, Which He Said 'Guided' His Work

The eerie painting depicts an image few of us would want to see in the mirror, let alone casting a shadow across our own field of vision: a pale, segmented worm slithering across an unblinking eyeball.

Called "The Host," by contemporary artist Ben Taylor, the striking painting is based on Taylor's personal experience with a parasitic worm called Loa loa, which he discovered crawling through his eye one day in 2015. Adding to this strange tale, Taylor says he thinks the parasite influenced his artwork, even before he was aware of his infection.

"Now that I look back, I realize how strange and interesting it was to have my artwork subconsciously guided" by worms, Taylor wrote on his website. "It has made me wonder who the artist is, really?" ['Eye' Can't Look: 9 Eyeball Injuries That Will Make You Squirm]

For about two years before his diagnosis, Taylor, who lives in England, experienced a slew of mysterious symptoms, including high white blood cell counts, lumps that would appear and disappear, itchy skin patches, joint aches, severe eye pain and sensitivity to light. Taylor said he felt "a sense that amongst the millions of microscopic beings that form 'me,' that there was something gatecrashing the party." But tests for parasites came back negative.

During this period of deteriorating health, Taylor began work on an abstract painting that consisted of intricate, worm-like patterns inside a round circle. But at the time he painted it in 2014, Taylor was not satisfied with the result. "I had no idea what compelled me to paint it, or what it was trying to say," Taylor wrote, and he shelved the work in his studio.

Months later, Taylor felt a persistent pain in his eye, and when he looked in the mirror, he saw something wriggling under the surface of his eyeball.

He went to the hospital, where an eye surgeon removed a worm 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters) long from his eye.

Taylor was diagnosed with loiasis, an infection caused by the Loa loa worm, also known as the African eye worm. People get Loa loa if they are bitten by infected deerflies that are found in certain parts of West and Central Africa, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Taylor, who says he has spent "a lifetime living and travelling in far-flung lands," visited Gabon in Central Africa in 2013, when he likely became infected with the worm.

After his loiasis diagnosis, Taylor underwent a week of intensive treatment, and doctors also diagnosed him with two additional parasites: hookworm and Strongyloides, a type of roundworm.

Shortly after his treatment, Taylor came across the painting he had started in 2014 and realized what it looked like. "I was immediately aware that what I had painted looked like an eye made out of intricate worm-like patterns," Taylor said. He began a "second phase" of his painting, adding eyelashes, the sclera (the white part of the eye) and the slithering white worms.

Taylor told The Washington Post that worm-like patterns were not typically his style, but oddly, he started experimenting with them as his then-mysterious symptoms progressed. "I definitely believe that the worms had a hand in that painting," he said.

Taylor's painting is featured on the cover of the August issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, which is published by the CDC. The managing editor of the journal, Byron Breedlove, came across the painting while looking for an image that would fit the issue's theme for this month: Parasitic and Tropical Diseases.

"You're sort of startled by this almost 3-D thread that runs around the eye. It's very arresting to look at," Breedlove told The Washington Post. "I realized this would make a very striking image for a cover art … You can't help but look at it … It's looking back at you."

Original article on Live Science.

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British hens’ eggs slash risk of premature births and depression

British hens’ eggs slash risk of premature births and depression

Hard to beat! Why eggs are the best all-round food for a healthy pregnancy, reveals new study

  • Also supply key nutrients, such as iron, iodine, vitamin B12, vitamin D and folate
  • Just one has more than 100 per cent of vitamin B12 required during pregnancy
  • Comes 2 years after the government changed their advice for pregnant women

British eggs are the best all-round food source for a healthy pregnancy.

Not least because they can slash the likelihood of premature birth, low birth weight and maternal depression.

That’s according to new research, which pulled together the findings of 18 different studies looking at child-bearing and consumption of hens’ eggs. 

The new report, published in Network Health Digest, comes just two years after the government officially changed their advice for pregnant women.

Good for you: The rich nutritional composition of eggs means that they supply most key nutrients required during pregnancy, such as iron, iodine, vitamin B12, vitamin D and folate

Author and dietitian, Cordelia Woodward, who co-conducted the analysis, said: ‘Eggs are a neat package of protein, highly bio-available nutrients, and one of the few natural sources of vitamin D which is vital during pregnancy. 

‘Eggs also contain small amounts of long-chain fatty acids (typically found in marine foods) which have been linked with increased infant birth weight, reduced risk of preterm birth and reduced maternal depression.

‘The iron in eggs plays an important role during pregnancy as this is a time when women’s blood iron levels can fall, leading to tiredness and fatigue. 

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‘Iron supplements can be prescribed but may cause constipation. A daily meal which includes eggs is a natural way to boost iron in the diet’.

The report concluded that the rich nutritional composition of eggs means that they can supply most of the key nutrients required during pregnancy, such as iron, iodine, vitamin B12, vitamin D, folate and choline.

It also found that just one egg contains more than 100 per cent of the vitamin B12 requirement during pregnancy. 

Fact: Just one egg contains more than 100% of the vitamin B12 requirement during pregnancy

Vitamin B12 helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells, as well as being involved in DNA synthesis (DNA is the genetic material for all cells, including those of the growing foetus).

More than three quarters of UK women of childbearing age have low blood levels of folate, a nutrient that helps to prevent neural tube disorders, such as spina bifida, which occur in 1 in 1000 births. 

What’s in an egg? 

Along with milk, eggs contain the highest biological value (or gold standard) for protein. 

One egg has only 75 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids.

The egg is a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. 

These carotenoids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. And braindevelopment and memory may be enhanced by the choline content of eggs.

Source: WebMD

Two eggs provides 55 micrograms of folate – but pregnant women still need to take a daily folic acid supplement in the first three months.

Iodine deficiency has been found in up to 40 per cent of pregnant women and some UK studies have demonstrated that deficiency may be associated with low birth weight and delays in infant neurological and behavioural development Two eggs provides around a quarter of the daily iodine recommendation.

After oily fish, eggs are the richest source of vitamin D, providing 3.7 micrograms per serving of two eggs. 

Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy is linked with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, urine infections and caesarean deliveries. 

Pregnant women are advised to aim for 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily.

The protein level in eggs is high enough to boost satiety levels, so you feel fuller after eating. This can help women maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy. Serious obesity (BMI>35) affects around 5 per cent of pregnant women and can lead to a greater risk of caesarean sections and induced births.

How safe are eggs in pregnancy?

‘Thanks to huge safety advancements in the UK, British Lion eggs are now safe to eat raw or partially cooked by pregnant women and children from the age of 6 months,’ says dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton.

‘This means that these groups can enjoy a runny boiled egg with soldiers, mousses, soufflés or homemade mayonnaise. 

‘As advised by the NHS, check whether you have the right eggs by looking for the red Lion stamp or asking restaurant staff if they are using British Lion eggs’. 


Cases of salmonella caught from British eggs rose sharply in the 1980s

In December 1988, health minister Edwina Currie outraged producers by warning that most British eggs were infected.

Sales plummeted by 60 per cent and did not recover for several years

In 1998 the egg industry reinstated the British Lion stamp on shells signifying producers had vaccinated hens against salmonella and performed other checks. 

A 2004 study of 28,000 British eggs by the Foods Standards Agency found none contained salmonella.

In 2016, a year-long review by a panel of Government scientists concluded that the risks of contracting salmonella from UK eggs is ‘very low.’ 

They told the Food Standards Agency to change its official advice for children, the elderly and pregnant women – if they eat British Lion eggs.

Now 11.8billion eggs are eaten in Britain every year and consumption is rising.


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