Trees

eat more, lose weight

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Orna @ 6:55 am

Most popular diet plans turn on the simple idea that you’ll weigh less if you eat less. While this can be true in some cases, under eating can lead to problems ranging from malnutrition to rebound weight gain. Happily, there’s another way — one that lets you eat more and still lose weight. The secret weapon? Veggies and fruits. These foods are densely packed with nutrients, offering lots of health benefits with fewer calories. Also, they’re high in both water and fiber, keeping you feeling full longer. And, of course, they taste great, making it easier to assuage a sweet tooth in a healthy way. (Via WebMD.)

brushing staves off heart disease

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Orna @ 8:28 am

English researchers have turned up a new tool for fighting heart disease: the humble toothbrush. Medical professionals have long known that inflammation in the body is a major contributor to heart disease, and that included inflammation in the mouth and gums. The new study looked at information on 11,000 people who participated in the Scottish Health Survey. After balancing other contributors to heart disease, such as obesity and smoking, the researchers looked at markers of inflammation and how often the study participants brushed their teeth. The findings were unambiguous: people who brushed less than twice a day had a 70 percent greater risk of heart disease, along with higher blood levels of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and fibrinogen. (Via ScienceDaily.)

heartburn drugs must warn of fracture risk

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Orna @ 8:45 am

In late May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told drug companies they’d need to put new warning labels on popular heartburn drugs. The issue? Long-term use of these antacids can lead to more fractures of the hips, the wrists and the spine. The affected class of drugs are proton-pump inhibitors, which halt production of acid in the stomach. And while that can reduce heartburn symptoms and protect against esophageal cancers, stomach acid is critical for absorbing the minerals needed for healthy bones. The new warning labels apply to both prescription and over-the-counter versions of the medications, whose familiar brand names include Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and Protonix. (Via Drugs.com.)

vitamin B6 halves lung-cancer risk

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Orna @ 6:55 am

Looking for another excuse to eat your avocados and broccoli? A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that good levels of vitamin B6 — found in those vegetables as well as whole grains, fish and meat — may cut lung-cancer risk by as much as half. In a study of nearly half a million Europeans, some of whom smoked, researchers looked at the B6 levels in people who did or did not get lung cancer after five years. While there were undoubtedly differences in diet, the B6 connection was profound and unequivocal, even for the smokers in the group. That doesn’t mean smoking is safe if you take a supplement, but it does offer a good reminder about the importance of eating right regardless of your other habits. (Via CNN.)

strong muscles fight diabetes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Orna @ 8:25 am

People battling diabetes can take a cue from fighters everywhere: muscle strength helps make winners. New research finds that low muscle mass — common in elderly and obese people at greatest risk of type 2 diabetes — is associated with the insulin resistance that causes the disease. People with incipient or frank symptoms have long been told to eat well and exercise, but the new finding help make the latter prescription more specific. While walking and cardiovascular workouts are still important, building strong muscles is a critical component to reversing the disease. Muscle mass is empowering! (Via ScienceDaily.)

are statins’ benefits worth their risks?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Orna @ 1:12 pm

The cholesterol-lowering statins drugs are among the most widely prescribed. By lowering cholesterol, proponents say, drugs such as Crestor and Lipitor help reduce the risk of killer strokes and heart disease. A recent study published in the British Medical Journal considered the benefits and risks of the drugs, and came up with some interesting findings. The researchers considered data on more than 2 million English patients. Among the women, they found 271 fewer cases of heart disease and eight fewer cases of esophageal cancer for every 10,000 high-risk women treated with the drugs. On the flip side, however, they found high levels of side effects: 74 extra cases of liver dysfunctions, 307 cases of cataracts, 23 cases of acute renal failure and 39 cases of muscle pain and weakness. The numbers were similar among male patients, although the men experienced more of the muscle side effects. (Via Reuters.)

sex, trust and hormones

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Orna @ 12:56 pm

Intimacy both requires and ideally engenders trust. And, researchers from Utrecht University in Holland have discovered, both sides of this coin have hormonal triggers. Think of a romantic dinner, with soft lighting and gentle caresses. Those warm, fuzzy feelings are partly the result of a pulse of the hormone oxytocin (also triggered by childbirth and orgasms) that makes a person more trusting. The flip side, researchers found, is associated with testosterone. In women, this hormone is associated with sexual arousal — but also with decreased trust. Researchers believe this makes evolutionary sense: Testosterone spikes in women when they’re most fertile, which is also a time when good decision making about a potential parenting partner is most critical. (Via The New York Times.)

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