Weekly Health Update
~ Joseph R. Cooke
Mental Attitude: Depression and Facebook.
Experts say that comparing yourself with others on Facebook can lead to feelings of depression. Researchers examined studies from 14 countries that included 35,000 participants and found that Facebook users were more at risk for depression when they felt envy, accepted former romantic partners as Facebook friends, made negative social comparisons, and made frequent negative status updates. They also found that gender and personality influenced the risk, with women and people with neurotic personalities more likely to become depressed. However, researchers stressed that online activity can also help people with depression who use it as a mental health resource.
Behavior and Social Networking, November 2016
Health Alert: Smoking Raises Heart Attack Risk in Those Under 50.
An analysis of data from more than 1,700 adult heart attack patients revealed smokers under age 50 have a heart attack risk nearly 8.5 times higher than former smokers and nonsmokers in their age group.
Heart, November 2016
Diet: Common Sugar Substitute May Promote Weight Gain.
Investigators have discovered a possible mechanism explaining why use of the sugar substitute aspartame may not promote weight loss. In a new study, researchers found that aspartame blocks a gut enzyme called intestinal alkaline phosphatase. Previous research has shown that this enzyme can prevent obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. The study also found that mice receiving aspartame gained more weight and developed other symptoms of metabolic syndrome compared with a control group not fed the sweetener. Senior author Dr. Richard Hodin writes, “Sugar substitutes like aspartame are designed to promote weight loss and decrease the incidence of metabolic syndrome, but a number of clinical and epidemiologic studies have suggested that these products don’t work very well and may actually make things worse.”
Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, November 2016
Exercise: Tennis May Prolong Your Life.
After reviewing data concerning over 80,000 adults, researchers report those who played racquet sports—such as badminton, squash, and tennis—had nearly a 50% lower risk of dying from any cause over a 15-year period. Furthermore, they observed those who played racquet sports also had a 56% lower risk of death from heart disease during the course of the study.
British Journal of Sports Medicine, November 2016
Chiropractic: Goodbye Heel Pain.
A recent case involved a 44-year-old patient with a one-year history of heel pain. An examination led to a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis and weakness of the hip muscles. The patient received ten sessions of hip strengthening and manipulative therapy over a period of three months. After the conclusion of care, the patient reported a significant improvement in pain intensity. This case history demonstrates how a combination of hip strengthening and manipulative therapy can improve foot pain in a patient suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, December 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Keep Your Skin Looking Healthy.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following to protect your skin as you age: wear sunscreen when you’re outside; don’t smoke; inspect your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer; determine your skin type, such as oily or dry, and use products formulated for that type; use warm water and a gentle cleanser when washing your face; wash your face before bed, when you wake, and after you sweat; and find ways to manage stress.
American Academy of Dermatology, December 2016
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