Friday, January 15, 2010

Latest Health Research

Good and bad news in the latest health research reports.

I drink lots of green tea, which is good, and don’t smoke, which is even better:

Green tea fights lung cancer risk for smokers:

Among smokers and non-smokers, those who did not drink green tea had a 5.16-fold increased risk of lung cancer compared with those who drank at least one cup of green tea per day. Among smokers, those who did not drink green tea at all had a 12.71-fold increased risk of lung cancer compared with those who drank at least one cup of green tea per day.

I take Vitamin D which is good, but not calcium, which I guess I bad – I need to think about adding it to my regimen:


Taking both calcium and vitamin D supplements on a daily basis reduces the risk of bone fractures, regardless of whether a person is young or old, male or female, or has had fractures in the past, a large study of nearly 70,000 patients from throughout the United States and Europe has found.

I am not particularly hairy which is good:

Wet and Hairy = Sunburn?

Water droplets held above human skin by body hair can cause sunburn This is because the hairs can hold the water droplets in focus above the surface, acting as a magnifying glass.

I don’t eat mangoes or pomegranates, which is too bad because they are both very good for you:

Mango fights colon, and breast cancer

Pomegranates fight breast cancer

Eating fruit, such as pomegranates, that contain anti-aromatase phytochemicals reduces the incidence of hormone-dependent breast cancer, according to results of a study published in the January issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

I don’t drink much champagne, which I guess is too bad, but do drink plenty of red wine, which is very good (not the wine, but the health benefit) :

Champagne Is Good for Your Heart:

Dr Jeremy Spencer, from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences said: "Our research has shown that drinking around two glasses of champagne can have beneficial effects on the way blood vessels function, in a similar way to that observed with red wine. We always encourage a responsible approach to alcohol consumption, but the fact that drinking champagne has the potential to reduce the risks of suffering from cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke, is very exciting news."

I don’t get much Vitamin C, which is too bad because it’s even better for you than we thought:

Vitamin C Is Good For You:

Famous for its antioxidant properties and role in tissue repair, vitamin C is touted as beneficial for illnesses ranging from the common cold to cancer and perhaps even for slowing the aging process. Now, a study uncovers an unexpected new role for this natural compound: facilitating the generation of embryonic-like stem cells from adult cells.

I don’t do yoga, which is bad, but my wife does, which is good:


Regularly practicing yoga exercises may lower a number of compounds in the blood and reduce the level of inflammation that normally rises because of both normal aging and stress, a new study has shown.

I’ve been cutting way back on my carbs, which has some benefit, although not what I hoped for, but I also kept fat consumption way down, so I’m not in as bad shape as some on low-carb diets:

Low Carb Diet Reduces Pain and Inflammation,

But Not Weight or Heart Risks:

Low-carb diets could be bad for the heart and are no more effective in weight loss than a diet that is high in carbs and low in fat, according to recent research. Some obese people may be considering taking on a low-carb lifestyle for the New Year, such as the popular Atkins diet. But recent research shows that a high-fat, low-carb way of eating could be bad for the heart – and, it is no more effective for losing weight than a diet low in fat and high in carbs.

A research team led by Dr. Steven Hunter of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Ireland examined a group of obese adults. Some of them were on a low-carb, high-fat diet and the others were eating a diet that was low in fat.

The average weight loss was the same for both groups, but over time, the people who ate a high-fat diet showed a clear increase in cardiovascular risk factors.

The Atkins diet allows high-fat meats, including bacon – and many people who try this diet will indulge in them. But Dr. Hunter explained that the risks outweigh the benefits. Patients don’t lose weight much faster than with other diets, and the high saturated fat content can put a toll on the heart. A better bet for the new year, says Dr. Hunter, is a diet low in fat, coupled with exercise.

I get plenty of exrercie, which is very good, but I also sit much too much, which is very, very bad:

Exercise = Reduced Cogntive Risk

Moderate physical activity performed in midlife or later appears to be associated with a reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment.

Exercise Is Good For You

Just three months of physical activity reaps heart health benefits for older adults with type 2 diabetes by improving the elasticity in their arteries -- reducing risk of heart disease and stroke.

Sedentary TV time may cut life short

Study highlights:
Australian researchersfound that each hour spent in front of the television daily was associated with:
" an 11 percent increased risk of death from all causes,
" a 9 percent increased risk of cancer death; and
" an 18 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related death.
Compared with people who watched less than two hours of television daily, those who watched more than four hours a day had a 46 percent higher risk of death from all causes and an 80 percent increased risk for CVD-related death. This association held regardless of other independent and common cardiovascular disease risk factors, including smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, unhealthy diet, excessive waist circumference, and leisure-time exercises.
While the study focused specifically on television watching, the findings suggest that any prolonged sedentary behavior, such as sitting at a desk or in front of a computer, may pose a risk to one’s health. The human body was designed to move, not sit for extended periods of time, said David Dunstan, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and professor and Head of the Physical Activity Laboratory in the Division of Metabolism and Obesity at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Victoria, Australia.

“What has happened is that a lot of the normal activities of daily living that involved standing up and moving the muscles in the body have been converted to sitting, “ Dunstan said. Technological, social, and economic changes mean that people dont move their muscles as much as they used to - consequently the levels of energy expenditure as people go about their lives continue to shrink. For many people, on a daily basis they simply shift from one chair to anotherfrom the chair in the car to the chair in the office to the chair in front of the television.

Dunstan said the findings apply not only to individuals who are overweight and obese, but also those who have a healthy weight. “Even if someone has a healthy body weight, sitting for long periods of time still has an unhealthy influence on their blood sugar and blood fats, “ he said.

Although the study was conducted in Australia, Dunstan said the findings are certainly applicable to Americans. Average daily television watching is approximately three hours in Australia and the United Kingdom, and up to eight hours in the United States, where two-thirds of all adults are either overweight or obese.

And finally, some notes that have nothing to do with my personal health:

Pregnant women should eat bacon and eggs:

If you're pregnant and looking for an excuse to eat bacon and eggs, now you've got one: a new research study shows that choline plays a critical role in helping fetal brains develop regions associated with memory. Choline is found in meats, including pork, as well as chicken eggs.

Raising kids lowers blood pressure

A new Brigham Young University study found that parenthood is associated with lower blood pressure, particularly so among women.