Weekly Health Update
~ Oliver James
Mental Attitude: Traffic Pollution Increases Parkinson’s Risk.
Taiwanese researchers report that among a sample of over 55,000 adults, those exposed to the greatest amounts of traffic-related air pollution had a 17-36% greater risk for developing Parkinson’s disease than those with the least air pollution exposure.
Environment International, November 2016
Health Alert: Batteries in E-Cigarettes May Explode.
A new report claims that e-cigarette devices are randomly and unexpectedly exploding, burning and maiming users as well as bystanders. It’s believed the explosions are caused by the powerful lithium-ion batteries that charge the heating coil used to help create inhalable vapor. In some of the devices, these batteries are overheating, causing either a fire or an explosion.
New England Journal of Medicine, October 2016
Diet: Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Prevent Lupus?
Michigan State University researchers have found that an essential fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can stop a known trigger of lupus—a systemic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s skin, joints, and organs. It is considered a genetic disease and can be triggered by inhaling crystalline silica toxicants or other environmental factors, such as sun exposure. The researchers discovered that DHA blocked the activation of lupus 96% of the time when it was triggered by crystalline silica. DHA can be found in fatty, cold-water fish and is produced by the algae that fish eat and store in their bodies. Fish oil supplements can also supply this essential fatty acid. Lead researcher Dr. James Pestka adds, “What we do know is this study is a clear indication that eating DHA can prevent this one type of environmental triggering of lupus.”
PLOS ONE, August 2016
Exercise: Don’t Forget to Stretch Before and After Exercise.
Do you take the time to stretch? Do you know how to properly stretch before and after a workout? The American Council on Exercise offers these stretching recommendations: breathe in deeply, then slowly exhale as you stretch the desired muscle to tension; hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds, then relax and repeat the stretch a few more times; when holding a stretch, move as little as possible, which can help prevent you from injuring yourself; don’t stretch a muscle that isn’t properly warmed up; and don’t stretch a muscle to the point that it becomes painful.
American Council on Exercise, October 2016
Chiropractic: Low Back Pain Common in Children.
A new study recently investigated the prevalence of and risk factors associated with non-specific low back pain in children. The study included 444 students with an average age of about 15 years, and the results revealed that non-specific low back pain affected 22.3% of participants, leading to school absenteeism in 13% of cases. The investigators also found the following risk factors associated with low back pain in teens: number of hours spent on computer games, improperly worn backpacks, being overweight, and shoulder imbalance.
Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, September 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Prevent Corns and Calluses.
Corns and calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop when your skin attempts to protects itself from increased friction and pressure. Choosing the right shoes can help prevent the development of uncomfortable corns and calluses on your feet. The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends the following prevention tips: make sure you only wear shoes that fit properly; consult your podiatrist if you have a foot deformity or problem that requires special shoes; and wear gel pad inserts inside your shoes to ease pressure points.
American Podiatric Medical Association, October 2016
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