1. I find this news depressing
Positive Effects of Depression
Sadness, apathy, preoccupation. These traits come to mind when people think about depression, the world’s most frequently diagnosed mental disorder. Yet, forthcoming research in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology provides evidence that depression has a positive side-effect.
According to a new study depressed individuals perform better than their non-depressed peers in sequential decision tasks.
2. I'm going to continue to try to get more fit, although my mental or emotional stress levels are high
Fitness Does Not Necessarily Equate to Health
Fitness does not necessarily equate to health. Optimal health is a combination of many things—both mental and physical. When mental or emotional stress levels are high, intense physical training may actually add to the body’s stress load.
3. I'm going to continue to take niacin and drink alcohol in an effort to lower my bad cholesterol despite this report:
‘Bad’ Cholesterol Not As Bad As People Think
The so-called “bad cholesterol” – low-density lipoprotein commonly called LDL – may not be so bad after all, shows a Texas A&M University study that casts new light on the cholesterol debate, particularly among adults who exercise.
The study reveals that LDL is not the evil Darth Vader of health it has been made out to be in recent years and that new attitudes need to be adopted in regards to the substance. The study showed that after fairly vigorous workouts, participants who had gained the most muscle mass also had the highest levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, “a very unexpected result and one that surprised us.
“It shows that you do need a certain amount of LDL to gain more muscle mass. There’s no doubt you need both – the LDL and the HDL — and the truth is, it (cholesterol) is all good."
4. I will continue to avoid salty snacks and adding salt to my food - well maybe not so rigid on salty snacks:
Salt Not So Bad after All?
In a study conducted to examine the health outcomes related to salt intake, as gauged by the amount of sodium excreted in the urine, lower sodium excretion was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death, while higher sodium excretion did not correspond with increased risk of hypertension or cardiovascular disease complications.
5. I'm going to continue eating lots of fish and taking fish oil supplements:
High percentage of omega-3s in the blood may boost risk of aggressive prostate cancer
The largest study ever to examine the association of dietary fats and prostate cancer risk has found what's good for the heart may not be good for the prostate.
Men with the highest blood percentages of docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, an inflammation-lowering omega-3 fatty acid commonly found in fatty fish, have two-and-a-half-times the risk of developing aggressive, high-grade prostate cancer compared to men with the lowest DHA levels.
Conversely, the study also found that men with the highest blood ratios of trans-fatty acids – which are linked to inflammation and heart disease and abundant in processed foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils – had a 50 percent reduction in the risk of high-grade prostate cancer.
So based on these findings, should men concerned about heart disease eschew fish oil supplements or grilled salmon in the interest of reducing their risk of aggressive prostate cancer? Brasky and colleagues don't think so.
"Overall, the beneficial effects of eating fish to prevent heart disease outweigh any harm related to prostate cancer risk," Brasky said.
6. And how about this discouraging news?
Are dietary supplements working against you?
Do you belong to the one-half of the population that frequently uses dietary supplements with the hope that it might be good for you?
Well, according to a study published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, there seems to be an interesting asymmetrical relationship between the frequency of dietary supplement use and the health status of individuals. Wen-Bin Chiou of National Sun Yat-Sen University decided to test if frequent use of dietary supplements had ironic consequences for subsequent health-related behaviors after observing a colleague chose an unhealthy meal over an organic meal simply because the colleague had taken a multivitamin earlier in the day.
"After reviewing the literature of the prevalence of dietary supplement use, it seemed to show that use of dietary supplements is increasing, but it does not appear to be correlated with improved public health," says Chiou.
Two different experiments were conducted using a diverse set of behavioral measures to determine whether the use of dietary supplements would license subsequent health-related behaviors. Participants in Group A were instructed to take a multivitamin and participants in the control group were assigned to take a placebo. However, all the participants actually took placebo pills. The results from the experiments and survey demonstrated that participants who believed they had taken dietary supplements felt invulnerable to health hazards, thus leading them to engage in health-risk behaviors. Specifically, participants in the perceived supplement use group expressed less desire to engage in exercise and more desire to engage in hedonic activities, preferred a buffet over an organic meal (Experiment 1), and walked less to benefit their health (Experiment 2) than the control group.
7. And this:
Link between calcium supplements and heart problems
New research adds to mounting evidence that calcium supplements increase the risk of cardiovascular events, particularly heart attacks, in older women
Now, for some more encouraging news, mostly reinforcing what I already know about
A new miracle drug?
Resveratrol, known as a red wine molecule, exhibits almost magical properties, promoting new blood vessels which speed healing after a heart attack, but doing the exact opposite in the retina, inhibiting the development of new blood vessels which can destroy vision.
9. Healthy behaviors
Following cancer prevention guidelines lowers risk of death from cancer, heart disease, all causes
The researchers conclude that adhering to cancer prevention guidelines for obesity, diet, physical activity, and alcohol consumption is associated with lower risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all-causes in non-smokers. They say beyond tobacco avoidance, following other cancer prevention guidelines may substantially lower risk of premature mortality in older adults.
Omega-3 Consumed During Pregnancy Curbs Postpartum Depression Symptoms
The bottom line? Although larger-scale intervention studies will be needed to better understand the mechanisms and magnitude by which fish oil consumption can improve postpartum mental health, women would be wise to eat at least a serving of high-omega-3 fish 2-3 days per week. Although fish oil supplements may be more acceptable to some women, the real thing is clearly the more nutritious option as a serving of fish is also protein- and mineral-rich. Clearly, fish as a "brain food" is gaining the nod from not only from the general public, but scientists as well.
Note: fish high in mercury - (including tuna and salmon) is actually very dangerous for pregnant women, so this advice must be adhered to only with the greatest caution.
11. Coffee, caffeine
New evidence that caffeine is a healthful antioxidant in coffee
Scientists are reporting an in-depth analysis of how the caffeine in coffee, tea, and other foods seems to protect against conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and heart disease on the most fundamental levels. Coffee is one of the richest sources of healthful antioxidants in the average person's diet. Some of the newest research points to caffeine (also present in tea, cocoa, and other foods) as the source of powerful antioxidant effects that may help protect people from Alzheimer's and other diseases.
12. Vitamin D
Low Sunlight Exposure May Increase Risk of MS
13. Social activity
Higher levels of social activity decrease the risk of cognitive decline
Lower risk of coronary heart disease from alcohol
Statin significantly reduces lung damage in severe abdominal sepsis
Exercise Protects the Heart Via Nitric Oxide
Vegetarians may be at lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke