Weekly Health Update
~ Charlie Chaplin
Mental Attitude: Is Vitamin D Deficiency a Risk Factor for Dementia?
Vitamin D is created in the body by way of exposure to sunlight, though it can also be acquired by diet or supplementation. A review of data from six cohort studies indicates that men and women with serious vitamin D deficiency have a 54% greater risk for developing dementia than those with adequate vitamin D levels.
BMC Geriatrics, January 2017
Health Alert: Flameless Candle Batteries Pose Dangers to Kids.
The tiny button batteries that light up flameless “tea candles” pose a significant risk to children when swallowed. These lithium batteries, which are commonly used in these candles, account for 14% of all the button batteries swallowed by children during the last two years. Button batteries have higher voltage than other batteries, and they can cause severe burns in the esophagus if they become lodged there. Experts recommend that parents make sure battery compartments are shut on all devices that use batteries. They also recommend choosing devices that have screws to secure the battery compartment or using strong tape to make batteries difficult to access.
National Capital Poison Center, January 2017
Diet: Eating Rare Meat Safely.
If you prefer your meat cooked rare versus well done, it is important that it is prepared safely. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests: use a food thermometer to make sure rare meat is hot enough to destroy any germs; avoid using the color of meat, the color of juices, or the firmness of meat to determine if it’s sufficiently cooked; cook ground lamb, pork, veal, or beef to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71.11 degrees Celsius) at its center; and cook steak to 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62.77 degrees Celsius) at its center.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, January 2017
Exercise: Set a Health Goal That Lasts.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution to become healthier? The American Council on Exercise offers the following tips to help one continue to strive towards their goal as the year progresses: set a small, specific, actionable goal, such as going for a walk every other day; view your goal as a positive change that you want to see in yourself; don’t make your goal so challenging that you are likely to get frustrated; reward yourself for meeting the goal; and ask for support from family, friends, and loved ones.
American Council on Exercise, January 2017
Chiropractic: Surgery No More Effective Than Conservative Care for Disk Herniations in the Long-Term.
A recent study sought to compare the effectiveness of surgical and conservative treatment for patients with a lumbar disk herniation in regards to sciatica symptom severity and quality of life. Researchers followed 370 lumbar disk herniation patients for 104 weeks and found that surgical treatment did not show a benefit over conservative treatment during long-term follow-up. The findings suggest that conservative care has the same long-term effects as surgery for lumbar disk herniation but with less cost and associated risk.
BMJ Open, December 2016
Wellness/Prevention: How to Avoid Feeling Tired.
If you’re not getting enough sleep and feel groggy when you wake up, you don’t need to turn to caffeine to stay awake. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following to feel more alert: avoid alcohol before bed; set a sleep schedule, waking and going to sleep at the same time every day—even on weekends; set your alarm for the time you truly need to wake up; open the curtains to let in natural sunlight as soon as you wake; exercise daily; and eat a nutritious and balanced breakfast.
National Sleep Foundation, January 2017
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