Weekly Health Update
Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.”
~ Terry Pratchett
Mental Attitude: Volunteer Work Is Good for the Brain.
An analysis of data from the 2010, 2012, and 2014 Swedish National Prescribed Drug Register reveals that seniors who regularly perform volunteer work in their community are significantly less likely to develop dementia than those who don’t do volunteer work or only do so infrequently. The authors of the analysis write, “Our results largely support the assumptions that voluntary work in later life is associated with lower self-reported cognitive complaints and a lower risk for dementia, relative to those who do not engage, or only engage episodically in voluntary work.”
PLOS ONE, March 2017
Health Alert: Hearing Loss to Increase Significantly in the US By 2060.
Researchers report millions of men and women in the United States (US) will face the prospect of losing their hearing as the population ages. The number of adults affected by hearing loss is expected to increase from 44 million in 2020 to 73.5 million by 2060. Lead author Dr. Adele Goman adds, “In the coming decades, there will be an increased need for affordable interventions and access to hearing healthcare services.”
JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, March 2017
Diet: Gluten-Free Diets May Elevate Diabetes Risk.
New research casts some doubt on a gluten-free diet’s presumed health benefits. In a large study involving nearly 200,000 health professionals in the United States, scientists found that participants who ate the least amount of gluten actually had a somewhat higher risk of developing diabetes over time. The investigators speculate that going on a low-gluten diet reduces the intake of dietary fiber, which helps ward off type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Lauri Wright, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics comments, “Unless you have celiac disease, focusing on the quality of your carbohydrates—rather than gluten avoidance—is the way to go.”
American Heart Association, March 2017
Exercise: Physical Exercise Benefits Cancer Patients During Chemo.
Jogging or simply walking can help patients with gastrointestinal cancer better cope with the side effects of chemotherapy. In the study, cancer patients exercised either 50 minutes a day three times a week or for 30 minutes a day five times a week at a pace which they considered to be “slightly strenuous.” Not only were the patients better able to tolerate their chemotherapy treatments but they also had a lower risk of disease recurrence.
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, March 2017
Chiropractic: Neck Stiffness and Headaches.
A recent study investigated upper cervical spine stiffness among patient with either migraine or tension-type headaches. Regardless of headache type, the participants in the study exhibited a reduced cervical range of motion, suggesting a “likely link between the cervical discomfort and these pathologies.” The findings confirm what chiropractors have noted for years: neck function and headaches are often interrelated.
Clinical Biomechanics, February 2017
Wellness/Prevention: Folic Acid During Pregnancy May Protect Some Kids from High Blood Pressure.
Researchers wanted to see if a woman’s folic acid levels and heart disease risk factors (high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity) during pregnancy individually or jointly had an impact on a child’s blood pressure. They found an association between higher levels of folic acid during pregnancy and a 40% reduced risk of high blood pressure among children of mothers with heart disease risk factors. Study author Dr. Xiaobin Wang notes, “Our findings raise the possibility that early risk assessment and intervention before conception and during pregnancy may lead to new ways to prevent high blood pressure and its consequences across life span and generations.”
American Journal of Hypertension, March 2017
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