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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Yogurt a solution to hospital infection?

By Stacey Burling





JewishWorldReview.com |

P HILADELPHIA— (MCT) In a medical system rife with complex equipment and outrageously expensive drugs, a Pennsylvania hospital has turned to a cheap, low-tech solution for one of modern medicine's most challenging problems.

Holy Redeemer in Montgomery County, Pa., is using yogurt — the kind you could buy at the grocery store — to fight C. difficile, a hospital-acquired infection that has been growing throughout the country.

After dietitians began encouraging patients taking antibiotics to eat yogurt, the infection rate fell by two-thirds. Holy Redeemer has now expanded the program to its nursing-home residents.

"We were really surprised by how easy it was and how quick it worked," said Jeanie Ryan, a registered dietitian, who helped coordinate the effort. "It was just so sudden and such a big impact, that it was striking."

The Hospital & Health system Association of Pennsylvania earlier this year gave Holy Redeemer an Innovation Award for the program.

Other hospitals remain skeptical. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital uses probiotics, or beneficial yeast and bacteria, in pill form only in clinically stable patients who must take antibiotics for long periods.

Neil Fishman, associate chief medical officer at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, said there was not enough science to support the wide use of yogurt or probiotics. They can be dangerous in patients with compromised immune systems.

He said the bacteria in yogurt were not native to the human digestive system and thus would not perform like the normal flora devastated by antibiotics.

Fishman wondered whether other measures helped reduce infection rates at Holy Redeemer. "I doubt strongly that a two-thirds reduction is just due to eating yogurt," said Fishman, who advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on infection control. And "I love yogurt," he said.

The most effective way to reduce C. diff, he said, is to prescribe antibiotics more carefully.



Barbara L'Amoreaux, a Holy Redeemer spokeswoman, said there were no other changes in patient care in the year before the hospital asked patients to eat yogurt.

In 2011, Holy Redeemer officials became alarmed by the increasing numbers of hospital-acquired C. difficile cases. The bacteria cause severe diarrhea and can be fatal. Holy Redeemer had 75 hospital-acquired cases in 2011.

The bug is particularly hard to kill on surfaces, and the infection rate did not improve despite isolation of infected patients, education of the staff, and a change in disinfectants. The CDC says hospital cases nationwide have tripled in the last decade to nearly 337,000. Most C. difficile cases are related to medical care, but only about a quarter show symptoms first in the hospital, the CDC says. C. diff infections cost at least $1 billion in extra health-care costs annually.

At an infection-control committee meeting at Holy Redeemer, a surgeon suggested using probiotics against the bug. While antibiotics are essential for fighting infections, they also can throw off the delicate balance of bacteria in our bodies by weakening both good and bad microorganisms. Without the good bugs to keep it at bay, C. difficile can take off and make us sick.


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Ryan and fellow dietitian Anne Kathryn Bromm knew that some hospitals were using probiotics in granular form, but they liked the idea of giving a food. Yogurt is popular, and it has the extra benefit of providing protein, vitamins, and energy. While some doctors for years have recommended it to patients on antibiotics, Bromm and Ryan could find little scientific evidence on whether yogurt would work in the hospital or which brand would be most effective.

After comparing many brands, they decided there was no good reason to pick one over another. The one they were already using — Dannon — contained three types of beneficial bacteria: S. thermophilius, L. bulgaricus, and L. acidophilus. They decided to start with it, expecting that they might later need to switch to others.

They decided to suggest two six-ounce servings a day to patients taking antibiotics. Dietitians met with each patient to explain the potential value of yogurt. There has been little resistance. Ryan estimates that only 5 percent of patients refuse the yogurt, although some aren't well enough to eat.

The idea has been "extremely well-received," Bromm said. "They have a good understanding of yogurt and probiotics."

Robert Baus, 78, a patient from Southampton, was happy to eat strawberry yogurt with his cod one day last week. He said he would have eaten it even without the medical justification. "It's very tasty," he said. "It's filling, and it's low on salt."

During 2012, the first year of the program, C. difficile cases fell by 52, to 23. This year, there were 21 cases through October.

While the dietitians have not done a scientific study of the program, Ryan said it seemed that patients who got C. diff infections were less likely to have eaten yogurt. "I really haven't come across many that were taking yogurt and did get C. diff," she said.

The hospital also has not done a cost-benefit analysis but says it clearly is cheaper to pay for yogurt than an ICU stay.

The facility definitely is buying more yogurt. In 2011, Holy Redeemer purchased 770 cases of yogurt, or 9,240 individual yogurt cups. In 2012, it ordered 4,664 cases of yogurt, or 55,968 yogurt cups.

BY THE NUMBERS


  • 337,000: Number of cases of C. difficile each year at U.S. hospitals, a threefold increase over the last decade.

  • $1 billion: Financial burden of treating C. diff infections each year.

  • 75: Number of hospital-acquired cases of C. difficile at Holy Redeemer in 2011.

  • 23: Number of cases at Holy Redeemer in 2012 after the hospital began encouraging patients to eat yogurt.

  • 55,968: Cups of yogurt ordered by the hospital in 2012.

SOURCES: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Holy Redeemer

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