Weekly Health Update Week of: Monday, October 3rd, 2016

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Mental Attitude: Bigger Brain & Blood Flow Involved in Evolution of Human Intelligence.
Australian researchers are challenging the long-held theory that human intelligence evolved from bigger brains alone. The researchers analyzed the size of two holes in the base of fossil skulls and found that while brain size increased about 350% during the course of human evolution, blood flow to the brain increased 600%. Research leader Dr. Roger Seymour explains, “We believe this is possibly related to the brain’s need to satisfy increasingly energetic connections between nerve cells that allowed the evolution of complex thinking and learning.” The finding suggest the human intelligence is not only dependent on brain size but also a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients from blood. This corresponds with present research that associates increased blood flow to the brain via exercise with improved cognition.
Open Science, August 2016

Health Alert: Excessive Alcohol Consumption Poses Dangers to Those with Atrial Fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation is a common heart rhythm disorder described as an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can elevate the risk of stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. In a new study, researcher followed more than 25,000 adults with this condition for five years and found that alcohol-related hospitalization doubled the risk of stroke. Study leader Dr. Faris Al-Khalili writes, “Doctors should ask their [atrial fibrillation] patients about alcohol use and advise patients to cut down if they are drinking more than is recommended.”
European Society of Cardiology, September 2016

Diet: Going Paleo May Benefit Your Heart.
The Paleo diet is based on consuming foods eaten by early humans, such as meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food. Researchers asked eight healthy people who usually consumed a diet high in processed foods to switch to the Paleo diet for eight weeks. During the study, the researchers found that participants experienced a 35% increase in levels of interlukin-10 (IL-10), a signaling molecule secreted by immune cells. Scientists believe that higher IL-10 levels may protect blood vessels and lower one’s risk for a heart attack.
American Physiological Society, September 2016

Exercise: More Steps Equal Greater Well-Being Among Seniors.
Being active can result in a greater sense of well-being for older adults. Japanese researchers analyzed data collected from 192 seniors and found that those who took the most steps per day were the participants most likely to be happy with their lives and least likely to experience depressive symptoms.
Geriatrics & Gerontology International, September 2016

Chiropractic: Risk Factors for Low Back Pain In US Workers.
Researchers analyzed data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey and found the prevalence of self-reported low back pain was 25.7% among workers in the United States (US). Additionally, they found significant associations between low back pain and psychosocial factors such as work-family imbalance, exposure to hostile work, and job insecurity. The findings suggest that employers, policymakers, and healthcare providers should take these factors into consideration when creating programs aimed at reducing low back pain and its consequences among workers.
Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, August 2016

Wellness/Prevention: Decision-Making Tool Could Reduce Antibiotic Use.
Investigators have identified seven key predictors that could help determine if a child with a respiratory tract infection and cough requires antibiotics. The predictors include an illness of less than three days; fever of 100 F (37.7 C) or higher; a child younger than two years of age; respiratory distress; wheezing; asthma; and moderate/severe vomiting in the previous 24 hours. The researchers suggest that children with one or fewer of these predictors are at very low risk for future complications. They add that the decision-making tool could reduce antibiotic use among children with respiratory infection and cough by 10%.
The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, September 2016

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