Clinical Archive

  • It is the 21st century and yet those in Ontario  with serious mental illness and diabetes are receiving inadequate medical care compared to those with only diabetes. This was the finding from a study just published online ahead of the print journal by ...

    People With Schizophenia Have Unseen Physical Health Needs

    It is the 21st century and yet those in Ontario with serious mental illness and diabetes are receiving inadequate medical care compared to those with only diabetes. This was the finding from a study just published online ahead of the print journal by ...

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  • When Grace Parraga, PhD, professor at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, talks about Javier Avina, you can hear the frustration in her voice. Avina is a ten-year-old Wallaceburg boy who died during an asthma attack at school in early April 2016. Parraga believes that the innovative imaging technique developed by her […]

    A New Picture of Chronic Lung Disease

    When Grace Parraga, PhD, professor at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, talks about Javier Avina, you can hear the frustration in her voice. Avina is a ten-year-old Wallaceburg boy who died during an asthma attack at school in early April 2016. Parraga believes that the innovative imaging technique developed by her […]

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  • When it comes to health, there are two streams of advice. The first is medical in nature, held true by doctors and supported by clinical trials and years, if not decades, of evidence. The other can be best described as the
    Despite this imbalance in scientific validity, in many cases, Canadians will choose grandma over GP. Why? Ask anyone and you'll probably hear: "The methods work." For anyone specializing in public health research, trying to justify using an onion inside a sock to help cure a cold, chewing raw garlic to clear a sore throat or drinking chicken soup to beat a fever can be quite a challenge.

    Over the years, researchers have tried to understand the mechanism behind these apparently effective procedures. The answer usually lies in the chemical composition of the natural product. In all three cases, the plants contain chemicals with natural antimicrobial activity and as such, help the body to combat infection. Chicken soup also has anti-inflammatory agents to help calm down that fever.

    The number of activities given the scientific stamp of approval continues to grow. Yet, some have never been tested even though they have been used -- sometimes even by health professionals -- for decades, if not centuries. One example is gargling with salt water. Although most people believe this is an effective way to maintain oral health, particularly when gums are injured, there has been an absence of actual evidence to suggest this does anything other than offer a brief sensation of relief (which admittedly may be enough).


    Their results once again revealed the validity of traditional practice in our modern lives.


    But last week, science finally caught up with grandma. An international team of researchers
    published a laboratory examination of salt water on the cells inside the mouth. Their results once again revealed the validity of traditional practice in our modern lives.

    The researchers wanted to make sure the experiments reflected real-life situations, so they acted as tooth fairies in lab coats. Volunteers undergoing molar extractions provided their teeth to the team -- although there was no word on how much money they received in return. The teeth were brought back to the lab where the gum tissue was separated and cultured. These cells, known as human gingival fibroblasts, were then kept for use later on.

    The cells were then scratched to mimic injury in the mouth and then rinsed to leave an experimental wound. At this point, the gargling could begin. Over the next few days, the cells were subjected to various concentrations of salt water ranging from pure water (control) to a rather high (7.2 per cent), which is akin to brine. The cells were examined by microscopy for any signs of healing.

    When the data was analyzed, the results offered a rather surprising finding. Of the different concentrations used, the fastest healing occurred in the presence of 0.9 per cent and 1.8 per cent salt. The higher amounts seemed to have little effect.

    In a biological sense, this makes perfect sense. The fluid in our bodies contains on average 0.9 per cent salt. The addition of the lower concentration of salt water increases the amount of fluid needed for healing. Going any higher leads to a negative effect in which the body doesn't respond.

    But this wasn't the only goal of the study. The researchers also wanted to know the mechanism behind the healing. Although one might expect the body was simply making more cells faster with the saline rinse, the results suggested this wasn't the case. Instead, the healing cells migrated from dense environments into the wound zone. This balancing of cell density allowed for a more natural healing process.

    Going even deeper into the molecular realm, the researchers examined how the healing cells changed when they migrated. The group found the salt water appeared to increase the formation of proteins known to help attach cells together, known as adhesion. With each rinse, the cells made more of these proteins to ensure migrating cells would anchor themselves into the wound area and improve healing.

    For the authors, this study provided a mechanism to explain why gargling with salt water -- as long as it is not too concentrated -- can be helpful in oral care. While they focused on wounds, the results suggest this type of adhesion improvement can happen even when there is no injury. This may be able to help reduce the effects of other chronic ailments such as gingivitis.

    As for how to best gargle with salt, the researchers provided a recipe. Simply add one teaspoon of salt to one cup of water. Granted, this may not exactly match grandma's advice, but in this case you may have a justification. After all, she's still right, but now you're following the science to achieve the best results.

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    " title="It’s Official! Gargling With Salt Water Actually Works" />

    It’s Official! Gargling With Salt Water Actually Works

    When it comes to health, there are two streams of advice. The first is medical in nature, held true by doctors and supported by clinical trials and years, if not decades, of evidence. The other can be best described as the "grandma" approach. There's little to no information on the mechanism, clinical evidence simply does not exist and most likely no support comes from medical professionals.

    Despite this imbalance in scientific validity, in many cases, Canadians will choose grandma over GP. Why? Ask anyone and you'll probably hear: "The methods work." For anyone specializing in public health research, trying to justify using an onion inside a sock to help cure a cold, chewing raw garlic to clear a sore throat or drinking chicken soup to beat a fever can be quite a challenge.

    Over the years, researchers have tried to understand the mechanism behind these apparently effective procedures. The answer usually lies in the chemical composition of the natural product. In all three cases, the plants contain chemicals with natural antimicrobial activity and as such, help the body to combat infection. Chicken soup also has anti-inflammatory agents to help calm down that fever.

    The number of activities given the scientific stamp of approval continues to grow. Yet, some have never been tested even though they have been used -- sometimes even by health professionals -- for decades, if not centuries. One example is gargling with salt water. Although most people believe this is an effective way to maintain oral health, particularly when gums are injured, there has been an absence of actual evidence to suggest this does anything other than offer a brief sensation of relief (which admittedly may be enough).


    Their results once again revealed the validity of traditional practice in our modern lives.


    But last week, science finally caught up with grandma. An international team of researchers published a laboratory examination of salt water on the cells inside the mouth. Their results once again revealed the validity of traditional practice in our modern lives.

    The researchers wanted to make sure the experiments reflected real-life situations, so they acted as tooth fairies in lab coats. Volunteers undergoing molar extractions provided their teeth to the team -- although there was no word on how much money they received in return. The teeth were brought back to the lab where the gum tissue was separated and cultured. These cells, known as human gingival fibroblasts, were then kept for use later on.

    The cells were then scratched to mimic injury in the mouth and then rinsed to leave an experimental wound. At this point, the gargling could begin. Over the next few days, the cells were subjected to various concentrations of salt water ranging from pure water (control) to a rather high (7.2 per cent), which is akin to brine. The cells were examined by microscopy for any signs of healing.

    When the data was analyzed, the results offered a rather surprising finding. Of the different concentrations used, the fastest healing occurred in the presence of 0.9 per cent and 1.8 per cent salt. The higher amounts seemed to have little effect.

    In a biological sense, this makes perfect sense. The fluid in our bodies contains on average 0.9 per cent salt. The addition of the lower concentration of salt water increases the amount of fluid needed for healing. Going any higher leads to a negative effect in which the body doesn't respond.

    But this wasn't the only goal of the study. The researchers also wanted to know the mechanism behind the healing. Although one might expect the body was simply making more cells faster with the saline rinse, the results suggested this wasn't the case. Instead, the healing cells migrated from dense environments into the wound zone. This balancing of cell density allowed for a more natural healing process.

    Going even deeper into the molecular realm, the researchers examined how the healing cells changed when they migrated. The group found the salt water appeared to increase the formation of proteins known to help attach cells together, known as adhesion. With each rinse, the cells made more of these proteins to ensure migrating cells would anchor themselves into the wound area and improve healing.

    For the authors, this study provided a mechanism to explain why gargling with salt water -- as long as it is not too concentrated -- can be helpful in oral care. While they focused on wounds, the results suggest this type of adhesion improvement can happen even when there is no injury. This may be able to help reduce the effects of other chronic ailments such as gingivitis.

    As for how to best gargle with salt, the researchers provided a recipe. Simply add one teaspoon of salt to one cup of water. Granted, this may not exactly match grandma's advice, but in this case you may have a justification. After all, she's still right, but now you're following the science to achieve the best results.

    Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook


    MORE ON HUFFPOST:




    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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  • 'They have done a great job of destroying this family': The province, it's health department and a group home were all to blame for the false allegations that tore the family apart

    A family nightmare: P.E.I. father falsely accused of sexually assaulting autistic, non-verbal daughter

    'They have done a great job of destroying this family': The province, it's health department and a group home were all to blame for the false allegations that tore the family apart

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  •  Los Angeles, CA,  April 09, 2014 --(PR.com)-- What: Release of The Mindfulness Movie. Where: International When: Now Details: Available on DVD through Amazon / June 2014: available through...

    Internationally Acclaimed Documentary "The Mindfulness Movie"

    Los Angeles, CA, April 09, 2014 --(PR.com)-- What: Release of The Mindfulness Movie. Where: International When: Now Details: Available on DVD through Amazon / June 2014: available through...

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  •  Los Angeles, CA,  November 20, 2013 --(PR.com)-- AIDS Research Alliance is pleased to announce that its Second Annual World AIDS Day Concert at The Colburn School will honor three distinguished...

    AIDS Research Alliance Announces 2013 World AIDS Day Concert Honorees: Robin Smalley, Sir Patrick Stewart, and Sir Ian McKellen

    Los Angeles, CA, November 20, 2013 --(PR.com)-- AIDS Research Alliance is pleased to announce that its Second Annual World AIDS Day Concert at The Colburn School will honor three distinguished...

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  •  Los Angeles, CA,  October 23, 2013 --(PR.com)-- World Wide Motion Pictures Corporation (World Wide) is pleased to announce its association with the University of Colorado Cancer Center (CU Cancer...

    World Wide Motion Pictures Corporation and University of Colorado Cancer Center Collaborate to Spread Awareness for Pediatric Cancer

    Los Angeles, CA, October 23, 2013 --(PR.com)-- World Wide Motion Pictures Corporation (World Wide) is pleased to announce its association with the University of Colorado Cancer Center (CU Cancer...

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