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Showing posts from 2016

Does so-called good cholesterol really protect from heart disease?

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A new study challenges the notion that HDL or so-called good cholesterol protects us from heart disease.
Findings published by University of Maryland researchers suggests maybe we shouldn't be comfortable with the notion that HDL or high density lipoproteins in our blood are an indicator that our heart disease risk is low.
First study reveals more about HDL cholesterol not so protective effect
The researchers looked at cohort data from 25 years from the Framingham Heart Study. The focus was to determine the impact of high triglyceride levels, "bad", or LDL cholesterol and HDL on heart disease risk.
Men and women without heart disease were followed between 1987 and 2011. The study included 3,590 men and women.
What the researchers found is that HDL cholesterol's protective effect isn't exactly what we thought.
Senior author Michael Miller, MD, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and preventive cardiologist at the Uni…

It's not just about beauty: Trees and plants around the home help us live longer

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Surrounding ourselves with greenness can do more than just add beauty to the environment surrounding our homes. Research has found women who have more green vegetation around their homes have a lower chance of dying compared to those with fewer trees and plants. 

How trees and plants protect health
What the researchers found was women were 12 percent less likely to die from cancer, respiratory and kidney diseases when they had green spaces near their homes. 
The study was a collaborative effort between researchers at Harvard and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. 
The finding that is published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives reinforces what we already know about the health benefits of a natural environment.
The researchers literally looked at greenness around the women's homes using high resolution satellite imagery. 
There was a consistent link to lower mortality rates related to having more trees and other types of vegetation near to the women's home. 
Th…

How curcumin in turmeric could help treat drug resistant tuberculosis

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Curcumin that is an active chemical compound in the spice turmeric may be effective for treating drug resistant tuberculosis that has become a public health concern.

A new study that was carried out in lab cultures and not yet on humans found curcumin was able to remove the organism that causes tuberculosis - Mycobacterium.

The compound in the Indian spice stimulated cells called macrophages that play an important part in immune function.

What that means is that curcumin could potentially be used as a treatment for tuberculosis strains that cannot be eradicated with drugs.

The study results are published in the journal Respirology.
Curcumin has shown much potential for as a medicinal for cancer treatment, as an anti-inflammatory and much more. Researchers have been studying the compound in hopes of finding ways to develop targeted treatments for a variety of diseases.
Dr. Xiyuan Bai said in a media release that the finding still needs confirmation, adding that if the research is valida…

Sunbathers live longer study finds: The question is why?

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A surprising study has found people who regularly sunbathe might live longer than people who avoid sunshine. The finding suggests fears about skin cancer and public warnings about avoiding UV rays may causing more harm than good.

Results from an analysis published in the Journal of Internal Medicine raises questions about the harmful effect of not getting enough vitamin D from sunshine and risk of developing other diseases.
Sun avoidance might carry the same risk as smoking

For this study, researchers followed 29, 518 Swedish women for twenty years. The women were compared to those who avoid the sun.

The observational study showed sunbathing was associated with a lower chance of dying from heart disease or cancer.

Dr. Pelle Lindqvist, lead author of the study says:. "Guidelines being too restrictive regarding sun exposure may do more harm than good for health."

Smokers who get the most sun exposure had the same risk of dying as a non-smoker that avoids the sun, the study found…

Just a few minutes of movement can lower your risk of dying

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A new study from Penn researchers shows just getting up and moving every ten minutes can lower our chances of dying, even for people who regularly exercise. 

The findings, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercisecomes from data that included approximately 3,000 people between 50 and 79 years of age.

Tracking the health benefits of just moving

Ezra Fishman, a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging and other scientists placed accelerometers on study participants for seven days to gather information about the subjects' movements. 

They then looked at who died over the next 8 years. 

Sitting still boosts death risk five-fold

When the researchers compared the most sedentary people to those who just moved about doing dishes or other activities they found a five-fold higher chance of dying from being a couch potato or from sitt…

Is it true that opposites attract?

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Researchers say seeking like-minded people seems to be the norm when it comes to friendships and relations, contrary to the popular belief that opposites attract. 

Researchers at Wellesley College and University of Kansas say the finding is a warning to couples who think their partner could change over time. 

Surprise finding

A surprise finding is that people really don't change. It just seems that way. When we form a relationship there are already similarities between friends and couples that most people fail to notice. 

Assistant Professor of psychology Angela Bahns said in a media release:

"Picture two strangers striking up a conversation on a plane, or a couple on a blind date. From the very first moments of awkward banter, how similar the two people are is immediately and powerfully playing a role in future interactions. Will they connect? Or walk away? Those early recognitions of similarity are really consequential in that decision."
Professor of psychology Chris Crandal…

How can sleeping help you find your keys?

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A good night's sleep has everything to do with memory. If you fail to get enough sleep, chances are you could find yourself forgetting where you put your keys. 

Important information stored during sleep

University of Bristol researchers explain when we sleep our brain sorts through a ton of information. Getting a good night's sleep can help keep memory intact. 
The finding is especially important for people with Alzheimer's disease and for understanding how to prevent memory loss with aging. 
The finding, published in the journal Cell Reportshighlights how the events of a day's activities are replayed in fast forward when we sleep. The brain then stores those memories in the hippocampus.  Sleep strengthens brain cell connections Sleep strengthens nerve cells in the brain when things we learn throughout the day are filed. A good night's sleep can keep us from experiencing forgetfulness and might help prevent cognitive decline. 
Dr. Jack Mellor from the School of Physiolog…

How caregivers benefit from meditation

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Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease can be challenging. A new study shows Transcendental Meditation can help protect caregivers' health and well being. 

The new study was conducted by researchers at Marashi University of Management. 

Caregiver stress relieved by meditation

Lead study author Dr. Sanford Nidich points out in a media release that most caregivers are family members who may not be aware of the importance of taking care of themselves. 

Chronic stress can lead to health problems that include heart disease, decreased immune function and early death. 

Transcendental meditation was found to improve spiritual well-being, boost energy and relieve psychological stress among 23 study participants enrolled in the study.

The study is published in International Archives of Nursing and Health Careand funded by the David Lynch Foundation.

Most of the study participants were caring for a family member with Alzheimer's disease. 

Dr. Charles Elder, a physician and researche…

Why men over age 65 may want to consider testosterone therapy

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A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found men over age 65 might benefit from testosterone therapy. 

Studies about the benefits of testosterone treatment have been mixed. Some studies suggest there are no benefits in boosting the hormone that naturally declines in men with aging.

Testosterone boosts sexual function in older men, trial finds

The new study took a look at the results of the first 3 of 7 Testosterone Trials, also known as T Trials involved in an analysis of the effect of testosterone replacement therapy on sexual function, physical function and mood.

Treatments restored testosterone levels to the mid-level of that of younger men, boosted the men's desire for sex, improved erections and resulted in increased sexual activity.

Improvements in mood and depression were small, the study found. There was no change in physical activity among the men studied.

Cora E. Lewis, MD of the University of Alabama at Birmingham who co-authored the study said the find…