SportsGeezer’s Best-Read Stories of 2010

November 28, 2010 5:02 am 0 comments

1. Men: Regular Sex Cuts Heart Risks in Half

Every so often, research results at some reputable institute suggest that there is a god. First, it was the widely appreciated benefits of red wine.  Now, from the New England Research Institute, comes evidence that regular sex is good for your heart, at least if you’re a man. The researchers, who followed more than 1,100 men for more than 16 years, found that men who had sex twice a week were as much as 45 percent less likely to suffer a dangerous cardiovascular event than those who had sex once a month or less.Read an abstract of their research in the American Journal of Cardiology.

 

2. Ten Risk Factors That Cause 9 Out of 10 Strokes

OK, the risks per se are not going to surprise many readers, but the realization that nine out of ten strokes may be avoidable may persuade a few readers to change their behavior. The Lancet publishes the findings of a study conducted by INTERSTROKE, which concluded that ten easily measurable and modifiable risk factors could explain over 90 per cent of the risk of a heart attack globally and in all regions and major ethnic groups of the world. And the winning risks are: history of hypertension, smoking, waist to hip ratio, diet, lack of exercise, diabetes, alcohol, stress, depression, and a history of heart problems.

Read more in the Lancet.

 

3. Five Tips to Avoid Hip or Knee Replacement

For readers who need them, here, from the New York Times, are two reasons you don’t want to have hips or knees replaced: 1. It’s expensive. The cost of a new hip or knee is $30,000 to $40,000, and while insurance covers most of that, your out-of-pocket costs may be $3,000 to $4,000. 2. It hurts.

In this piece in the Times, Dr. David Felson, a rheumatologist and arthritis prevention specialist at Boston University School of Medicine, offers five tips to saving the hips and knees you were born with.

1.CONTROL YOUR WEIGHT The more you weigh, the more pressure on your joints, which can lead to joint damage.

2.GO LOW-IMPACT Although there is no definitive link between osteoarthritis of the knee and running (or any other sport), sports medicine doctors discourage their patients from running on hard pavement, playing tennis on concrete or activities like skiing over lots of moguls.

3.AVOID INJURY  Major injuries, typically the type that require surgery, greatly increase your risk for osteoarthritis.

4.GET FIT The better toned your muscles are, the less likely you are to injure yourself .

5.BE SKEPTICAL Don’t waste your money on specialized nutrients. Shark cartilage, glucosamine and chondroitin — popular supplements marketed for healthy joints — can be expensive and are of limited benefit.

Read more in the New York Times.

 

4. Finally: How Vitamin D Works

For years, scientists have been asking two big questions about vitamin D: Is there anything it isn’t good for?  and How does it work? Now, it seems, one of those questions has been answered, kind of. The Scientific American reports that researchers at the University of Copenhagen have learned that in order for T cells to do their magic in the immune system, they must change from so-called “naive” T cells into either killer cells or helper cells. It turns out, the Danish scientists learned, that if vitamin D is in short supply, that transition doesn’t happen. Why would the body make it hard to jump start its immune system? Sciam reports that while the vitamin requirement might seem like a handicap, the extra step might actually be a live saver: keeping T cells from ravaging healthy tissue.

Read more in the Scientific American.

 

5. Why Exercise Will Not Take the Pounds Off, And What Will

Exercise alone, the New York Times quotes one health expert saying, “is pretty useless for weight loss.” One reason for that is the likelihood that people who exercise will end up eating more calories. The mathematics of weight loss, the Times tells us, is quite simple, involving only subtraction. Take in fewer calories than you burn, put yourself in negative energy balance, and you will lose weight. The deficit in calories can result from cutting back your food intake or from increasing your energy output — the amount of exercise you complete — or both.

Read more in the New York Times.

 

6. Rye Bread More Healthful Than Whole Wheat

In addition to tasting better (or tasting like anything at all) than whole wheat bread, rye bread is better for you. That news comes from Lund University in Sweden, where researchers measured insulin and blood sugar levels in people who ate rye bread and porridge for breakfast and in those who ate porridge and bread made with wheat. The big difference? Those who ate rye had a much more “stable blood sugar curve.” AlphaGalileo reports that the researchers also found that people who ate boiled rye kernels for breakfast were fuller and ate 16 percent fewer calories for lunch.

Read more from AlphaGalileo.

7. 10 Worst Fast Foods, from Men’s Health

Men’s Health, a veritable monthly book of lists, entertains us with its annual presentation of the 10 worst fast foods that fast money can buy, as well as a more healthful alternative for each listing. Presented in no particular order, the list includes:

Domino’s Chicken Carbonara Breadbowl Pasta

KFC Half Spicey Crispy Chicken Meal with Macaroni and Cheese

Burger King Large Triple Whopper with Cheese Value Meal

and much much more.

 

 

8. For Heart Health, Try Orgasms First, Chocolate Second

Instead of doing the Chocolate is Good For Your Heart thing that seems irresistible to health writers at this time of year, Geezer chooses to point out the health benefits of something that is more fun, and yes, less expensive:orgasms. The Los Angeles Times has two things to say about that. First there is some evidence that DHEA, a hormone released into the bloodstream during arousal and orgasm, helps keeps arteries clear and hearts strong, and second, a 10-year study of Welsh men found that those who had two or more orgasms per week had half the risk of dying compared with their less sexually active neighbors.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times

9. Fish Oil Slows Aging

Loyal readers no doubt recall that telomeres, the strings of repeating DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes, are a surpringly reliable measure of aging. The shorter your telomeres, Geezer regrets to inform you, the sooner you will die. Hence, it makes good sense to find a way to keep telomeres long, and as it hapMackerelpens, scientists at the University of San Francisco have done just that. Science News
reports that researchers there recorded telomere length in white blood cells of 608 people with heart disease and an average age in their mid-60sThe researchers also noted how much omega-3 fatty acid was in the bloodstream of each participant. Science News reports that although some people had higher omega-3 levels than others at the outset, telomere length wasn’t markedly different, but after five years, those who started out with higher levels of omega-3s had substantially less telomere shortening than the others. Skeptical? Read an abstract from the study in JAMA.

Read more about it in Science News.

 

10. Blood Pressure Drugs May Be Best Taken at Night

When it comes to taking blood pressure meds, it may be better to be night person than a morning person. HealthDay reports that researchers at the bioengineering and chronobiology laboratories at the University of Vigo, Spain randomly assigned 2,156 men and women with high blood pressure (average age 56) to one of two treatment groups. One group took their blood-pressure medications at bedtime, and the other took it in the morning. The researchers monitored the volunteers’ blood pressure at 20- and 30-minute intervals, depending on time of day, for 48 hours at least once a year for five years. They found that, of those who took at least one of their blood-pressure pills at night, 62 percent had controlled blood pressure over the 24-hour period, compared to 53 percent of those who took all their pills in the morning. Wait, there’s more: Those who routinely took at least one of their blood-pressure medicines at night experienced only one-third of the cardiovascular events — including angina, stroke and heart attack — as the morning people.

Read more in HealthDay.

 

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts

  • Fitness Gear Rating iPhone Fitness Apps

    Rating iPhone Fitness Apps

    At the University of Florida, yes, the place where Gatorade was first concocted four decades ago, researchers took a close look at 30 free fitness apps made for iPhones, paying particular attention to their adherence to guidelines for physical activity from the American College of Sports Medicine, including parameters for safety, warm-ups, cool-downs, stretching, intensity, frequency and progression. Ready? The envelope please…..A U of Florida news release reports that when compared to the guidelines for aerobic exercise, strength or resistance, […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Women's Health How Mosquitoes Find You: Smell, Sight and Temperature

    How Mosquitoes Find You: Smell, Sight and Temperature

    How do mosquitoes find us before they bite us? Let me count the ways. One, they smell us, or more specifically, they smell the carbon dioxide that is exhaled every time we breathe out. Two, they also see us, or at least they use their eyes to detect dark objects, which are particularly attractive to mosquitoes who have already detected carbon dioxide. And three, they sense our body heat and move in our direction. How do we know this? Because […]

    Read more →
  • Pain How To Remove A Tick

    How To Remove A Tick

    Yes, ticks are creepy, especially when their pointy barbed heads are burrowed into your flesh. What to do? The Wall Street Journal has some advice, along with descriptions of several special tick removal devices that are, according to experts, no more effective at removing ticks than a good pair of fine-tipped tweezers. First, the journal warns, “although most tick-borne pathogens, including the one that causes Lyme disease, generally aren’t transmitted before the tick has been attached for at least 24 […]

    Read more →
  • Attitude Books Immediate Rewards Keep People Exercising

    Immediate Rewards Keep People Exercising

    Exercising to lose weight? Nice idea, unlikely reality. Exercising because it makes you feel good? Nicer idea, and one with a pretty good chance that you’ll actually follow through with it. That’s the thesis put forth by New York Times health columnist Jane Brody, who backs it up with personal experience and the wisdom of Michelle Segar, director of the Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy Center at the University of Michigan. Segar, who is also the author of “No […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain To Reverse Bone Loss; Squats With Weights

    To Reverse Bone Loss; Squats With Weights

    No, it doesn’t sound pleasant, but doing squats with weights has been shown to reverse bone loss in middle-aged men. Ditto for deadlifts, lunges and the overhead press, none of which is anywhere near as much fun as and good tennis game. A news release from the University of Missouri reports that researchers at the school studied 38 active, middle-aged men who completed either a weight-lifting program or a jumping program for a year. Both programs required 60-120 minutes of targeted exercises […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Non-Aspirin Painkillers Riskier Than Believed

    Non-Aspirin Painkillers Riskier Than Believed

    Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) pose a greater risk to heart health than had been believed. That’s the word from the FDA, which, according to the New York Times, will soon ask drug manufacturers to change the labels to reflect new evidence that the drugs increased the risk of heart attack and stroke soon after patients first started taking them. The Times quotes Dr. Peter Wilson, a professor of medicine and public health at Emory University in Atlanta, and a member […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain Uncategorized Two Weeks of Inactivity = Muscle Loss of 40 Years

    Two Weeks of Inactivity = Muscle Loss of 40 Years

    Two weeks. That’s how long you have to be inactive to cause appreciable muscle loss. How much is loss that? According to researchers at the University of Copenhagen, young men who have one leg immobilized for two weeks lose up to a third of their muscular strength, and older people lose approximately one fourth. Yikes! Futurity reports on the research, and the site quotes Andreas Vigelsø, a PhD student at the U Copenhagen’s Center for Healthy Aging and the biomedical sciences department, saying […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Women's Health Men and Women Feel Pain Differently

    Men and Women Feel Pain Differently

    He hurts; she hurts, but she hurts differently–and probably more often. That’s the opinion of researchers at McGill University, who took a close look at the longstanding theory that pain is transmitted from the site of injury or inflammation through the nervous system using an immune system cell called microglia. Their research, yes, on mice, not humans, shows that this is only true in male mice. When the researchers altered the function of microglia in a variety of different ways, […]

    Read more →