Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Aspiration Pneumonia: Black Pepper to the Rescue

news you may not know

Ah, Yes...

This Should Do The Trick!

What's in your wallet?

Well, if Japanese researchers are right, you may be toting a pack of Black Pepper Oil (BPO) sniffing strips on your next visit to Grandma's nursing home. A recent study shows elderly patients with swallowing problems respond favorably to inhaling the aromatic peppers prior to eating.

Aspiration pneumonia, common among elderly stroke patients, is caused by an inadequate swallow response and the subsequent introduction of liquids into the lungs. Researchers used BPO to stimulate both brain and swallow functions prior to meals with a group of geriatric patients in Japan. Over the course of the thirty-day trial participants showed an improvement of 75% in the initiation of swallowing. Pass the pasta!

There's certainly still work to be done. This small study is just the first step in the exploration of the power of the pepper. But, in the mean time, don't neglect the sensation of smell when you visit Grandma. A well-chosen fragrance, of flowers or food, can rekindle memories from decades past and bring them to life in vivid detail. Enjoy...

The study was originally reported in the September issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society. For more details, see this summary article at Yahoo!News: Pepper oil aroma helps elderly with swallowing.


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