Canned Foods With The Most BPA

June 30, 2016 7:52 am 0 comments

First BPA: It’s the chemical Bisphenol A, and it’s used toimgres make resins that coat the inside of some cans. And yes, it’s associated with health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. While some studies have simply looked at the levels of BPA found in the food contained in cans, a new study by researchers at Stanford and Johns Hopkins looks at the amount of BPA in the urine of people who eat the canned foods. A Stanford news release reports that particular kinds of canned food were associated with higher urinary BPA concentrations. The worst offenders (in descending order): canned soup, canned pasta, and canned vegetables and fruit.

Cosmetics’ Chemicals May Make Us Lazy

June 29, 2016 8:34 am 0 comments

It sounds crazy, but, as Gretchen Reynolds reports in fat-rat1the New York Times, research suggests that a common chemical found in many cosmetics and personal care products may influence our will to exercise. The Times reports that scientists at Texas A&M University set out to determine if the chemicals, called phthalates, influenced the behavior of mice.  They did that by feeding benzyl butyl phthalate (B.B.P.), a common phthalate, to pregnant mice, while another (control) group of pregnant mice was fed a harmless oil. When the baby mice were born, the researchers tracked their activity levels, observing which mice chose to run on wheels and which did not. Reynolds reports that the male mice that had been exposed to the chemicals in utero ran about 20 percent less during adulthood than the other animals, while the exposed females exercised about 15 percent less. Wait, there’s more. The researchers also found that “the researchers found that the male mice exposed to B.B.P. in utero had notably lower levels of testosterone than the other animals in young adulthood, which is also when their running mileage cratered. Those differences lingered into middle age. The exposed females similarly developed during young adulthood low estrogen levels and other reproductive system abnormalities that then produced a profound desire, it seems, to sit for most of the day.”

Chronic Fatigue: It’s In Your Gut

June 28, 2016 8:33 am 2 comments

After years of doubt about whether the condition kimagesnown as chronic fatigue syndrome is really a syndrome, researchers have identified biological markers of the disease in gut bacteria and inflammatory microbial agents in the blood of chronic fatigue sufferers. A Cornell University news release reports that researchers at the school correctly diagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome in 83 percent of patients through stool samples and blood work. When researchers sequenced regions of microbial DNA from the stool samples they found that the diversity of types of bacteria was greatly reduced and there were fewer bacterial species known to be anti-inflammatory in chronic fatigue patients compared with healthy people. And while they still don’t know exactly what causes the disease, the researchers are hopeful that it could be treated with prebiotics such as dietary fibers or probiotics.

Working Long Hours Hurts Women More Than Men

June 23, 2016 7:56 am 0 comments

Working long2spousal470x275 hours can be bad for your health, particularly if you are a woman. Researchers at Ohio State University have found that women whose work weeks averaged longer than 60 hours for three decades were three times as likely to suffer from diabetes, cancer, heart trouble and arthritis than women who worked less than 40 hours. An Ohio State news release reports that health risks begin to climb when women put in more than 40 hours and they take a decidedly bad turn above 50 hours. The study, which used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979,  which includes interviews with more than 12,000 Americans born between 1957 and 1964, found that men are much less affected by long hours. In fact, while men who worked long hours had a higher incidence of arthritis, those who worked moderately long hours (41 to 50 hours weekly) had lower risk of heart disease, lung disease and depression than those who worked 40 hours or fewer. Why the difference? The researchers point out that for many women, work never stops; it just changes to different tasks when they get home.

Health Benefits Of Retirement

June 21, 2016 8:50 am 0 comments

Is retirement good for your health? Reimages-1searchers at the University of Sydney think it may be. The New York Times reports that after following more than 27,000 men and women who retired during a three year period, the researchers found that when compared to people who were still working, the retirees walked for 17 minutes more a week, did moderate-intensity exercise 45 minutes more a week, and slept 15 minutes longer.

Trees Are Good For Your Health

June 20, 2016 8:36 am 1 comment

Yes trees. And other green01%20Top%20Quintile%20of%20Greennessery, too. Researchers at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital have found that during an eight-year study period, there were fewer deaths among women who lived in the greenest surroundings. In fact. their mortality rate was 12 percent lower than those living in homes in the least green areas. A Chan School news release reports that the researchers studied data on 108,630 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study in 2000-2008, comparing the participants’ rate of mortality with the level of vegetation surrounding their homes, which was calculated using satellite imagery from different seasons and from different years. And yes, the researchers accounted for other mortality risk factors, such as age, socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and smoking behaviors. The researchers found that associations between higher amounts of greenness and lower mortality rates were strongest for respiratory-disease and cancer mortality. Women living in areas with the most vegetation had a 34 percent lower rate of respiratory disease-related mortality and a 13 percent lower rate of cancer mortality compared with those with the least vegetation around their homes.

Stressed? Make Some Art

June 16, 2016 8:00 am 0 comments

imagesFeeling stressed? Paint a picture, even a bad picture. Researchers at Drexel University are convinced that making art, pretty much any art, reduces the stress hormones in our bodies. Most of the time.  A Drexel news release reports that the researchers studied 39 adults, ranging from 18 to 59 years old, who participated in 45 minutes of art-making. Cortisol levels were taken before and after the art-making period. The participants, half of whom had no real experience making art, were given markers and paper, modeling clay and collage materials. No, they were not given directions. Ready? The envelope please…. The researchers found that 75 percent of the participants’ cortisol levels lowered during their 45 minutes of making art. At the same time, 25 percent of participants had higher cortisol levels after making art. Even good art.

Whole Grains = Longer Life

June 15, 2016 11:58 am 2 comments

imagesPeople who eat four servings of whole grains have a lower risk of dying than do people who eat little or no whole grains. That’s the verdict from researchers at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health, where a meta-analysis combined results from 12 published studies, and included health data from 786,076  people. A Chan School news release reports that researchers found that people who ate 70 grams/day of whole grains, compared with those who ate little or no whole grains, had a 22 percent lower risk of total mortality, a 23 percent lower risk of cardio vascular disease mortality, and a 20 percent lower risk of cancer mortality. What’s up with that? The researchers note that multiple bioactive compounds in whole grains could contribute to their health benefits, and that high fiber content may lower cholesterol production and glucose response and increase satiety. They recommend foods that are high in whole grain ingredients—such as bran, oatmeal, and quinoa—that have at least 16 grams per serving, while reducing consumption of unhealthy refined carbohydrates.

Exercise Is Best Defense Against Dementia

June 14, 2016 7:58 am 0 comments

Apparently, you can do something to stave off dementia, but you have to do it imagesin middle age. A landmark 20-year study conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne strongly suggests that regular exercise in middle age is the best lifestyle change a person can make to prevent cognitive decline in their later years. A University of Melbourne news release reports that the study, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, tracked 387 Australian women from the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project for two decades. The researchers made note of their lifestyle factors — including exercise and diet, education, marital and employment status, number of children, physical activity and smoking. They also measured hormone levels, cholesterol, height, weight, body mass index and blood pressure at 11 points throughout the study. The women were given a Verbal Episodic Memory test in which they were asked to learn a list of 10 unrelated words and attempt to recall them 30 minutes later. When measuring the amount of memory loss over 20 years, frequent physical activity, normal blood pressure and high good cholesterol were all strongly associated with better recall. “The message from our study is very simple,” said study author Cassandra Szoeke, director of the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project. “Do more physical activity, it doesn’t matter what, just move more and more often. It helps your heart, your body and prevents obesity and diabetes and now we know it can help your brain.”

Mid-Life Fitness Prevents Late-Life Strokes

June 13, 2016 7:59 am 0 comments

It’s true, even in Texas, where researchers CachedImageat the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have found that among nearly 20,000 adults in their mid to late 40s, the most fit had a 37 percent lower risk of having a stroke after 65, compared with the least fit. HealthDay reports that the researchers analyzed 1999-2009 data from a study conducted by the Cooper Institute in Dallas, and used treadmill tests to measure heart and lung exercise capacity when participants were 45 to 50. What to do?  The researchers recommend an exercise routine that includes aerobic exercise (such as jogging, swimming, walking or biking), plus strengthening exercise (such as free weights or strength-training machines).

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