Weekly Health Update
~ Carol Burnett
Mental Attitude: Sleep Helps Memory.
If you want to give your memory a boost, make sure to get enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation says that sleep benefits your memory the following ways: it helps your body retain what you’ve learned, it fosters new neuron connections that transform experiences into long-term memories, and it enhances your ability to stay focused when studying unfamiliar material.
National Sleep Foundation, May 2017
Health Alert: Any Level of Smoking Promotes Heart Risks.
You may think that having an occasional cigarette in a social setting is less harmful for your heart than smoking a pack a day, but a new study suggests otherwise. Researchers reviewed health data concerning nearly 40,000 people in the United States and found that both social smokers and regular smokers have double the risk for hypertension and more than a 50% greater risk for high cholesterol—both of which are major contributors to cardiovascular disease—when compared with nonsmokers.
American Journal of Health Promotion, May 2017
Diet: Yogurt Consumption Linked to Better Bone HealthAmong Senior Women.
A large observational study of dairy intake and bone and frailty measurements among older adult females has found that increased yogurt consumption is associated with a higher hip bone density and a significantly reduced risk of osteoporosis. Lead author Dr. Eamon Laird notes, “Yogurt is a rich source of different bone promoting nutrients and thus our findings in some ways are not surprising. The data suggest that improving yogurt intakes could be a strategy for maintaining bone health but it needs verification through future research as it is observational.”
Osteoporosis International, May 2017
Exercise: Cardiorespiratory Fitness Reduces the Risk of Fatty Liver.
When too much fat is present in the liver, it can hinder the organ’s ability to heal itself and filter toxins from the body. A new study finds that cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely related to the risk of fat build up in the liver. Researchers measured the cardiorespiratory fitness of 463 people using a cycle ergometer exercise test and determined fatty liver with the use of ultrasound. The researchers found that individuals with greater cardiorespiratory fitness were less likely to have a fatty liver, even after controlling for factors such as smoking, alcohol use, serum lipids, insulin, glucose, and C-reactive protein.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, May 2017
Chiropractic: Musculoskeletal Risk Factors for Back Pain.
A recent research review set out to identify musculoskeletal risk factors that can be treated clinically before the onset of lower back pain (LBP). Investigators found twelve articles that evaluated musculoskeletal risk factors for the development of lower back pain, which included a total of 5,459 participants. The researchers found a link between an increased risk ofdeveloping LBP and restriction in side bending in the low back, restriction ofhamstring range of motion, and limited lumbar lordosis. These findings may allow clinicians to screen for and identify risk factors that could potentially reduce costs and improve the quality of life of many individuals by preventing the development of back pain.
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, May 2017
Wellness/Prevention: Keeping Teens Safe in the Sun.
Teens often enjoy the sun without worrying about wrinkles, sun damage, or skin cancer, but experts say that parents should have a conversation with their children about staying safe while outdoors during the warmer months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following for teens: stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun rays are at their strongest; wear light clothing with tightly-woven fabric that can reflect sun’s rays; wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses; apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day before going outdoors, and reapply it throughout the day; make sure it’s applied to the entire body, including the tops of the ears and feet; regularly check skin for moles that look suspicious, and point any out to a parent or doctor.
American Academy of Pediatrics, May 2017
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