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

  • Pain Women's Health Common Drugs Linked to Dementia

    Common Drugs Linked to Dementia

    No, not marijuana. The researchers at the University of Washington were looking at drugs like Benadryl, anti-depressants like Sinequan, anti-histamines like Chlor-Trimeton, and antimuscarinics for bladder control like Ditropan.  A university news release reports that the scientists, who tracked nearly 3,500 Group Health seniors participating in a long-running joint Group Health-UW study funded by the National Institute on Aging, found that such drugs, with anticholinergic effects, significantly increased risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, in people who took them for longer […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Uncategorized Women's Health Research Suggests That Exercise Cuts Breast Cancer Risk

    Research Suggests That Exercise Cuts Breast Cancer Risk

    Can exercise really help to ward off breast cancer? Researchers at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque think so. The Wall Street Journal, reports that scientists at the school have been studying the cancer fighting effects of irisin, a hormone that is released from muscles after vigorous exercise. When the researchers tested genetically engineered irisin on aggressive breast-cancer cells and on nonmalignant breast cells, they found that irisin treatment reduced the number of malignant cells by 34 percent compared with untreated cells, […]

    Read more →
  • Eating Well Fitness Gear The Beet Juice Conundrum: Does It Boost Blood Flow?

    The Beet Juice Conundrum: Does It Boost Blood Flow?

    For years, athletes have been drinking beet juice before working out to increase blood flow to muscles and boost performance. Now comes a study from researchers at Penn State suggesting that the beet juice strategy was all for naught. A Penn State news release reports that while beetroot juice is in fact rich in nitrates, it did not enhance muscle blood flow or vascular dilation during exercise. The good news, although not necessarily for athletes, is that the researchers found that […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Gear Sitting Is The New Smoking

    Sitting Is The New Smoking

    Yes, it’s yet another study on the health risks of too much sitting, which is now described, in some circles, as the new smoking. This study, a meta-analysis of others, comes from scientists at Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN) and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and like others, identifies a definite relationship between the amount of time a person sits everyday and heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and death. Wait, there’s more unsurprising news.  Science Daily reports that study found that the […]

    Read more →
  • Attitude Fitness Gear Get Up. Stand Up. Stand Up For Your Health

    Get Up. Stand Up. Stand Up For Your Health

    If sitting is the new smoking, is standing the healthful alternative? The Boston Globe reports that many experts think it is. The Globe cites a recent Harvard study of more than 92,000 women that found that the more time participants spent sitting at work, driving, or watching TV, the greater their risk of dying from heart disease, cancer, or strokes. Wait, there’s more, such as a Canadian study involving 17,000 people that found that those who reported the most time […]

    Read more →
  • Attitude Fitness Pain Want To Build Muscle? Think About It

    Want To Build Muscle? Think About It

    Can just thinking about building muscle actually build muscle? Researchers at Ohio University’s Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute think so. HealthDay reports that scientists at the institute put 29 people in casts that completely immobilized their hand and wrist for four weeks. Fourteen of those people were told to routinely perform an imagery exercise, imagining that they were intensely contracting their wrist for five seconds with five seconds of rest. Wait, there’s more: As they performed this imagery exercise, they were […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain Staying Warm Really Can Ward Off A Cold

    Staying Warm Really Can Ward Off A Cold

    Some wives’ tales turn out to be true. Maybe. A Yale University news release reports that researchers at the school are convinced that the common cold virus can reproduce itself more efficiently in the cooler temperature found inside the nose than at core body temperature, suggesting that there is truth to the popular notion that people are more likely to catch a cold in cool-weather conditions. The researchers examined cells taken from the airways of mice, and compared the immune response to […]

    Read more →
  • Attitude Pain The Most Common Cause Of Cancer: Bad Luck

    The Most Common Cause Of Cancer: Bad Luck

    Are you worried that what you eat, where you live, or your own genes might increase your chances of getting cancer? Well, those factors might contribute to cancer, but according to a recent study at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the most likely culprit is bad luck. A Johns Hopkins news release reports that scientists at the center created a statistical model that measures the proportion of cancer incidence, across many tissue types, caused by random mutations that occur when […]

    Read more →