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Latest Health Research

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I’ve done a comprehensive review of the research on the Health Benefits of Statins. I take a statin, but even before I did so, I took the natural substitute red yeast rice.

I also take aspirin. I have updated my review of the Health Benefits of Aspirin.

I put an awful lot of work into these two reviews, so would very much appreciate it if you would check them out.

Meanwhile, here’s a summary of the latest research news:

I don’t take any herbal supplements:

Study: Herbal products omit ingredients, contain fillers

Consumers of natural health products beware. The majority of herbal products on the market contain ingredients not listed on the label, with most companies substituting cheaper alternatives and using fillers, according to new research from the University of Guelph. “We found contamination in several products with plants that have known toxicity, side effects and/or negatively interact with other herbs, supplements and medications.”

I don’t think I had all that high amounts of abdominal fat in my middle age, but my memory of that period may not be crystal clear:

Fat May Be Linked to Memory Loss

Although there are several risk factors of dementia, abnormal fat metabolism has been known to pose a risk for memory and learning. People with high amounts of abdominal fat in their middle age are 3.6 times as likely to develop memory loss and dementia later in their life.

I don’t lift weights, and my own weight is not as much of an issue as it used to be, but my own kind of aerobic fitness may also help here:

When it comes to the good cholesterol, fitness trumps weight

These findings suggest that regular weight training might improve HDL function and protect against heart disease, even in those who remain overweight. Although indices of weight were associated with HDL cholesterol function, differences in fitness, the authors say, may be a better measure of who has healthier functioning HDL cholesterol, and therefore, who is at risk of heart disease. “The role of obesity in the risk of coronary heart disease may indeed be largely accounted for by differences in fitness,” the authors say.

My soccer games are kind of marathons (2-2.5+ hours each) but I would like to think that I am properly prepared:

Running a marathon can be bad for the heart, especially in less prepared runners

Investigators who studied a group of recreational marathon runners have established that strenuous exercise such as running a marathon can damage the heart muscle. Although they found the effect is temporary and reversible, they warn that these effects are more widespread in less fit distance runners and that recreational distance runners should prepare properly before marathons.

In the you can’t win department:

Good Cholesterol Increases Breast Cancer Risk

High levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as the “good cholesterol,” are thought to protect against heart disease. However, what’s good for one disease may not be good for another. High levels of HDL have also been linked to increased breast cancer risks and to enhanced cancer aggressiveness in animal experiments.

But:

Physical activity = lower breast cancer risk

A large new American Cancer Society study adds to increasing evidence that physical activity reduces the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Researchers say moderate recreational activity was associated with a 14 percent lower risk and high physical activity with a 25 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who were active at the lowest level.

I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, nuts, legumes and cereals:

High Dietary Intake of Polyphenols Are Associated With Longevity

It is the first time that a scientific study associates high polyphenols intake with a 30% reduction in mortality in older adults. Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found largely in fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, nuts, legumes and cereals. More than 8,000 different phenolic compounds have been identified in plants. Polyphenols have antioxidant, antiinflammatory, anticarcinogenic, etc. effects.

I get most of my exercise away from work which apparently is better , although I am not sure why (maybe people are too tense while exercising at work?):

Some Exercise Can Help Prevent High Blood Pressure

Exercising during your leisure time could help prevent high blood pressure, but being physically active at work doesn’t seem to provide the same benefit, according to a new review.

I eat a large portion of oatmeal 6 days a week for breakfast:

Oats may deserve the well-earned status of “super grain”

Oats are a nutritious whole grain with evidence to show that oats are even more complex than previously thought. They possess a wide spectrum of biologically active compounds including carotenoids, tocols (Vitamin E), flavonoids and avenanthramides – a class of polyphenols.

In addition to avenanthramides, oats and oat products have many bioactive compounds that may provide health benefits. Oats and oat-containing products that meet a minimum level of oat beta-glucan are allowed to bear a Food and Drug Administration-approved health claim for cholesterol-lowering benefits. Studies also suggest oats can enhance satiety and may also help reduce the risk of other chronic conditions.

I get 8-9 hours of sleep every night – plus naps on weekends, so I guess I’m OK on this:

Sleeping too little – or too much – associated with heart disease, diabetes, obesity

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links too little sleep (six hours or less) and too much sleep (10 or more hours) with chronic diseases – including coronary heart disease, diabetes, anxiety and obesity – in adults age 45 and older.

I will definitely start strength training when I hit 90:

Strength training benefits ninety-year-olds

After doing specific training for 12 weeks, people over the age of 90 improved their strength, power and muscle mass. This was reflected in an increase in their walking speed, a greater capacity to get out of their chairs, an improvement in their balance, a significant reduction in the incidence of falls and a significant improvement in muscle power and mass in the lower limbs.

I am now drinking moderate amounts of coffee (for my health and improved athletic performance):

Moderate coffee consumption = lower risk of mortality

Among recent studies, a new review paper highlights that for most healthy people, moderate coffee consumption is unlikely to adversely affect cardiovascular health. Furthermore a new paper concluded that higher green tea and coffee consumption is inversely associated with risk of CVD and stroke in the general population. One study found a 21% increase in mortality rate in those drinking more than 28 cups of coffee a week. However recent data from a meta-analysis and systematic review assessed 23 studies and concluded that coffee consumption is, in fact, inversely related to the risk of mortality.

I eat lots of beets:

Beets could lower risk of heart disease

New research from the University of Reading has shown that eating four slices of bread containing beetroot lowers blood pressure and improves the function of blood vessels, significantly improving heart health.

Noted without comment:

Multivitamins with minerals may protect older women with invasive breast cancer

Exercise boosts brain health

Statin medications may prevent dementia and memory loss with longer use

Statins May Boost Your Gums’ Health, Too

Resveratrol remains effective at fighting cancer even after it has been metabolized

Link Found Between High-Fat, High-Calorie Diet and Pancreatic Cancer

Eating more calories in the morning helps overcome reproductive difficulties

Walnuts in one’s diet can protect against diabetes and heart disease

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