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Latest Health Research

General Health

More belly weight increases danger of heart disease even if BMI does not indicate obesity

American Heart Association Scientific Statement  Research News People with abdominal obesity and excess fat around the body’s mid-section and organs have an increased risk of heart disease even if their body mass index (BMI) measurement is within a healthy weight range, according to a new Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association published today in the Association’s flagship journal, *Circulation*. “This scientific statement provides the most recent research and information on the relationship between obesity and obesity treatment in co…

Flushing a public toilet? Don’t linger, because aerosolized droplets do

Flushing a toilet can generate large quantities of microbe-containing aerosols depending on the design, water pressure or flushing power of the toilet. A variety of pathogens are usually found in stagnant water as well as in urine, feces and vomit. When dispersed widely through aerosolization, these pathogens can cause Ebola, norovirus that results in violent food poisoning, as well as COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2. Respiratory droplets are the most prominent source of transmission for COVID-19, however, alternative routes may exist given the discovery of small numbers of viable …

Changing views on atherosclerosis

Peter Libby, MD, cardiovascular medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; author of a new review paper published in Nature. WHAT Atherosclerosis — hardening of the arteries — is now involved in the majority of deaths worldwide, and advances in our understanding of the biology of the disease are changing traditional views and opening up new avenues for treatment. The picture of who may be at risk for a heart attack has evolved considerably in recent decades. At one time, a heart attack might have co…

Stress from work and social interactions put women at higher coronary heart disease risk

Psychosocial stress — typically resulting from difficulty coping with challenging environments — may work synergistically to put women at significantly higher risk of developing coronary heart disease, according to a study by researchers at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health, recently published in the *Journal of the American Heart Association*. The study specifically suggests that the effects of job strain and social strain — the negative aspect of social relationships — on women is a powerful one-two punch. Together they are associated with a 21% higher ri…

Following a routine of regular physical activity combined with a diet including fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods may be key to middle-aged adults achieving optimal cardiometabolic health later in life, according to new research using data from the Framingham Heart Study published today in the *Journal of the American Heart Association*, an open access journal of the American Heart Association. Cardiometabolic health risk factors i…

How chronic stress leads to hair loss

Harvard University researchers have identified the biological mechanism of how chronic stress impairs hair follicle stem cells, confirming long-standing observations that stress might lead to hair loss. In a mouse study published in the journal *Nature,* the researchers found that a major stress hormone causes hair follicle stem cells to stay in an extended resting phase, without regenerating the hair follicle and hair. The researchers ident…
 Among patients who return to work after a heart attack, those who work more than 55 hours per week, compared to those working an average full-time job of 35-40 hours a week, increase their odds of having a second heart attack by about twofold, according to a prospective cohort study published today in the *Journal of the American College of Cardiology*. Data from the International Labour Office estimates 1 in 5 workers worldwide work o…

Aging
Role of physical, mental health in cognitive impairment

Research News A recent study suggests that preserving physical and mental health helps older adults experiencing cognitive impairment stave off declines in cognitive engagement. “We found that declines in physical and mental health were associated with more pronounced cognitive disengagement,” says Shevaun Neupert, corresponding author of the study and a professor of psychology at North Carolina State University. “The impact of declines in physical health was particularly pronounced for study participants who had more advanced cognitive impairment to begin with.” There’s a lot…

A pilot human clinical trial conducted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine reveals that supplementation with GlyNAC – a combination of glycine and N-acetylcysteine as precursors of the natural antioxidant glutathione – could improve many age-associated defects in older humans to improve muscle strength and cognition, and promote healthy aging. Published in the journal *Clinical and Translational Medicine*, the results of this study show that older humans taking GlyNAC for 24 weeks saw improvements in many…
Sleep
Poor sleep quality, not duration, can lead to female sexual dysfunction

The importance of getting a good night’s sleep cannot be overstated. Lack of sleep can lead to a number of health problems and affect a woman’s overall quality of life. A new study suggests that insufficient quality sleep also may lead to problems in the bedroom in the form of female sexual dysfunction. Study results are published online today in *Menopause*, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Both sleep and sexual function problems are common in women during midlife. More than 26% of midlife women experience significant sleep symptoms that meet the crite…

Does listening to calming music at bedtime actually help you sleep?

A new study published in the *Journal of the American Geriatrics Society* has found that listening to music can help older adults sleep better. Researchers from the National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Taiwan combined the results of past studies to understand the effect that listening to music can have on the quality of older adults’ sleep. Their work suggests that: – Older adults (ages 60 and up) living at home sleep better when they listen to music for 30 minutes to one hour at bedtime. – Calm music improves older adults’ sleep quality better than rhythmic …

Two common dietary patterns identified in British adults, which include high intakes of chocolate and confectionary, may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death in middle-age, according to a study published in the open access journal *BMC Medicine*. Carmen Piernas, the corresponding author said: “Cardiovascular disease is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK and poor diet is a major contributor to this. The most common dietary guidelines are based on the nutrients fou…
Inflammatory diet linked to testosterone deficiency in men

Consuming a diet high in pro-inflammatory foods – including foods that contain refined carbohydrates and sugar as well as polyunsaturated fats – may be associated with increased odds of developing testosterone deficiency among men, suggests a study in *The Journal of Urology®*, Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. The risk of testosterone deficiency is greatest in men who are obese and consume a refined diet that scores high on the dietary inflammatory index (DII), according to the n…

Higher mushroom consumption is associated with a lower risk of cancer

Next time you make a salad, you might want to consider adding mushrooms to it. That’s because higher mushroom consumption is associated with a lower risk of cancer, according to a new Penn State study, published on March 16 in *Advances in Nutrition*. The systematic review and meta-analysis examined 17 cancer studies published from 1966 to 2020. Analyzing data from more than 19,500 cancer patients, researchers explored the relationship between mushroom consumption and cancer risk. Mushrooms are rich in vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. The team’s findings show that these supe…


Study strengthens links between red meat and heart disease

An observational study in nearly 20,000 individuals has found that greater intake of red and processed meat is associated with worse heart function. The research is presented at ESC Preventive Cardiology 2021, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1 “Previous studies have shown links between greater red meat consumption and increased risk of heart attacks or dying from heart disease,” said study author Dr. Zahra Raisi-Estabragh of Queen Mary University of London, UK.2,3 “For the first time, we examined the relationships between meat consumption …

Mediterranean diet with lean beef may lower risk factors for heart disease

Eating red meat may have a bad reputation for being bad for the heart, but new research found that lean beef may have a place in healthy diets, after all. In a randomized controlled study, researchers found that a Mediterranean diet combined with small portions of lean beef helped lower risk factors for developing heart disease, such as LDL cholesterol. Jennifer Fleming, assistant teaching professor of nutrition at Penn State, said the study suggests that healthy diets can include a wide variety of foods, such as red meat, and still be heart friendly. “When you create a healthy …

With nuts, a calorie labelled may not be a calorie absorbed

Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that a calorie labelled is not the same as a calorie digested and absorbed, when the food source is almonds. The findings should help alleviate concerns that almonds contribute to weight gain, which persist despite the widely recognized benefits of nuts as a plant-based source of protein, vitamins and minerals. “Nuts have generally been thought of as healthy the last two decades, but the messaging around nuts has often come with a disclaimer that they are high in fat and energy,” said John Sievenpiper, principal investigator on …

Late night snacks may hurt your workplace performance

A recent study finds that unhealthy eating behaviors at night can make people less helpful and more withdrawn the next day at work. “For the first time, we have shown that healthy eating immediately affects our workplace behaviors and performance,” says Seonghee “Sophia” Cho, corresponding author of the study and an assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State University. “It is relatively well established that other health-related behaviors, such as sleep and exercise, affect our work. But nobody had looked at the short-term effects of unhealthy eating.” Fundamenta…

A global study led by Hamilton scientists has found a link between eating processed meat and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The same study did not find the same link with unprocessed red meat or poultry. The information comes from the diets and health outcomes of 134,297 people from 21 countries spanning five continents, who were tracked by researchers for data on meat consumption and cardiovascular illnesse…
 New research shows how drinking sugary beverages early in life may lead to impaired memory in adulthood. The study, published today in *Translational Psychiatry*, also is the first to show how a specific change to the gut microbiome — the bacteria and other microorganisms growing in the stomach and intestines — can alter the f…
Favanols from fruit, vegetables, tea, and cocoa could protect people from mental stress-induced cardiovascular events

Increased consumption of flavanols – a group of molecules occurring naturally in fruit and vegetables – could protect people from mental stress-induced cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart disease and thrombosis, according to new research. Researchers have discovered that blood vessels were able to function better during mental stress when people were given a cocoa drink containing high levels of flavanols than when drinking a non-flavanol enriched drink. A thin membrane of cells lining the heart and blood vessels, when functioning efficiently the endothelium helps to reduc…

Fasting acts as diet catalyst

Research News The metabolic syndrome includes four diseases of affluence: obesity, high blood pressure, lipid metabolism disorder and diabetes mellitus. Each of these is a risk factor for severe cardiovascular conditions, such as heart attack and stroke. Treatment aims to help patients lose weight and normalise their lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and blood pressure. In addition to exercise, doctors prescribe a low-calorie and healthy diet. Medication is often also required. However, it is not fully clear what effects nutrition has on the microbiome, immune system and health….

Drinking beetroot juice may promote healthy aging

Research News Drinking beetroot juice promotes a mix of mouth bacteria associated with healthier blood vessels and brain function, according to a new study of people aged 70-80. Beetroot – and other foods including lettuce, spinach and celery – are rich in inorganic nitrate, and many oral bacteria play a role in turning nitrate to nitric oxide, which helps to regulate blood vessels and neurotransmission (chemical messages in the brain). Older people tend to have lower nitric oxide production, and this is associated with poorer vascular (blood vessel) and cognitive (brain) health….

Exercise
Elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes increase the risk of heart disease. But a large study today reveals that in people with these conditions, increasing activity levels is associated with a reduced likelihood of heart events and mortality. The research is presented at ESC Preventive Cardiology 2021, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1 Study author Dr. Esmée Bakker of Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands said: “Previous research showed that improvements in physical activity are beneficial to health….
4-min of high intensity exercise significantly improve health

High intensity interval training has become increasingly popular as it’s a quick and effective way to improve health. This is all the more important as countries around the world emerge from lockdowns due to coronavirus and are looking for quick and easy way to exercise again. Recently, researchers have been studying whether shorter variations of HIIT, involving as little as 4-min of high intensity exercise per session (excluding a warm up and cool down), also improve health. A new review paper published in the *Journal of Physiology* collates a decade’s worth of research on the t…

Leisure physical activity is linked with health benefits but work activity is not

The first large study showing that leisure time physical activity and occupational physical activity have opposite, and independent, associations with cardiovascular disease risk and longevity is published today in *European Heart Journal*, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). “We adjusted for multiple factors in our analysis, indicating that the relationships were not explained by lifestyle, health conditions or socioeconomic status,” said study author Professor Andreas Holtermann of the National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark….

Major risk of injury for recreational runners

Research News Almost half of all recreational runners incur injuries, mostly relating to knees, calves or Achilles tendons, and the level of risk is equally high whatever your age, gender or running experience. These are the findings of a thesis within sport science. Doctoral student Jonatan Jungmalm recruited a little over 200 recreational runners from the list of entrants for the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon and monitored them over a period of one year. To take part in the study, they had to have been running for at least a year, have run an average of at least 15 km per week …

Physical activity entices you to eat more

Worldwide 39 percent of the adults were overweight in 2016, according to statistics of the World Health Organization. In the US the prevalence of obesity was 42.4 percent in 2017/2018, according to a survey of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Concurrently millions of people want to lose weight. Physical exercise is an important option to achieve this. After all, more calories are consumed through sport than when sitting, standing or lying down. But what influence does sport have on (direct) eating habits? Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and …

Air pollution and physical exercise: when to do more or less


 Physical activity is important in preventing heart and blood vessel disease in young people so long as they don’t undertake very strenuous activity on days when air pollution levels are high, according to a nationwide study of nearly 1.5 million people published…

The recommendations are clear: physical activity is good for mental health. But it also depends on how varied it is. That’s what a new study by researchers at the University of Basel shows, pointing to one of the reasons why well-being suffers during the pandemic. A walk in the morning, a jog in the evening or even just going out to buy groceries: activity helps the psyche. Many are trying to stay active during the pandemic despite mandatory home office and limited leisure activities. Others find that they are moving sig…

Supplements
Baby aspirin linked to lower risk of colorectal cancer death

Low-dose aspirin use prior to diagnosis of colorectal cancer associated with better survival outcomes Long-term, regular use of baby aspirin–at least 15 times per month–prior to a diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) may reduce the risk of death from the disease by limiting the spread of cancerous tumors pre-diagnosis, according to a study led by Cedars-Sinai Cancer researchers. While previous research has offered consistent evidence that low-dose aspirin use reduces colorectal cancer risk, key findings from the study, published in the peer-reviewed *Journal of the National Can…

GlyNAC improves multiple defects in aging to boost strength and cognition in older humans

A pilot human clinical trial conducted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine reveals that supplementation with GlyNAC – a combination of glycine and N-acetylcysteine as precursors of the natural antioxidant glutathione – could improve many age-associated defects in older humans to improve muscle strength and cognition, and promote healthy aging. Published in the journal *Clinical and Translational Medicine*, the results of this study show that older humans taking GlyNAC for 24 weeks saw improvements in many…

Previous Summary

* Diet* High-fiber diet brings beneficial changes to human gut microbiome A short-term intervention in daily fiber consumption can significantly alter the gut microbiome and nutrient intake, according to a study led by University of California, Irvine researchers. The research was recently published by the American Society for Microbiology. Dietary fiber consists of resistant carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fiber persists in our digestion system, and while not digestible by humans, our gut bacteria can metabolize fiber into short-chain fatty acids and …