Weekly Health Update
~ Vincent Van Gogh
Mental Attitude: Pets Help People with Mental Health Woes.
Researchers surveyed more than 50 adults with long-term mental health conditions about the role pets play in their social network and found that 60% of respondents placed pets in the central and most important circle above family, friends, and hobbies. Lead study author Dr. Helen Brooks writes, “The people we spoke to through the course of this study felt their pet played a range of positive roles, such as helping them to manage stigma associated with their mental health by providing acceptance without judgment.” The findings suggest pets should be considered a main source of support in the management of long-term mental health problems.
BMC Psychiatry, December 2016
Health Alert: Waist Size Linked to Lung Cancer Risk.
While lung cancer is often attributed to smoking, a new study finds abdominal obesity may also play a role in lung cancer occurrence. A review of long-term study data concerning 831,535 men and women found a link between each 10 cm increase in waist circumference and about a 10% increase in lung cancer risk, regardless of smoking status. Future studies will seek to understand the nature of the relationship between abdominal obesity and the risk of developing lung cancer.
Nutrients, December 2016
Diet: Beans & Peas Increase Feeling of Fullness.
Study participants who consumed a meal with either beans or peas as the main element ingested 12% fewer calories during their next meal than participants whose meals featured pork or veal. Lead researcher Dr. Anne Raben writes, “It is somewhat contrary to the widespread belief that one ought to consume a large amount of protein because it increases satiety more. Now, something suggests that one can eat a fiber-rich meal, with less protein, and achieve the same sensation of fullness. While more studies are needed for a definitive proof, it appears as if vegetable-based meals—particularly those based on beans and peas—both can serve as a long term basis for weight loss and as a sustainable eating habit.”
Food & Nutrition, December 2016
Exercise: Can Running Lower Inflammation in the Knee?
The idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees may be wrong. New research has found that pro-inflammatory mediators actually decrease in the knee joint after running. In this study, researchers measured inflammation markers in the knee joint fluid of several healthy men and women aged 18-35, both before and after running, and found that specific markers of inflammation decreased in concentration after 30 minutes of running among the participants. Lead author Dr. Robert Hyldahl adds, “What we now know is that for young, healthy individuals, exercise creates an anti-inflammatory environment that may be beneficial in terms of long-term joint health.” The findings suggest that distance runners are no more likely to get osteoarthritis of the knee than any other person.
European Journal of Applied Physiology, December 2016
Chiropractic: Back Pain Common Among Those with COPD.
A recent study investigated causes of pain in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and found that 71% of participants reported pain, with low back pain being the most common complaint (41%), followed by arthritis and muscle cramps. The findings suggest that individuals with COPD are at greater risk of suffering from musculoskeletal pain.
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, November 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Asthma Increases Risk of Daytime Drowsiness.
Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) increases an individual’s risk for motor vehicle accidents, work-related injuries, as well as general poor health. After reviewing data concerning 25,160 adults, researchers report that those with asthma have as much as a 47% greater risk for excessive daytime sleepiness than non-asthmatics.
Journal of Asthma, November 2016
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