Weekly Health Update: Week of Monday, March 19th, 2018

“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.”
~ William Arthur Ward

Mental Attitude: Concussions Tied to Increased Dementia Risk.
Experiencing a serious head injury appears to increase one’s risk for dementia later in life. A new large-scale study found that an individual’s risk for dementia can remain elevated by up to 25% even three decades after their head injury occurs.
PLOS One, January 2018

Health Alert: Another Reason to Quit Smoking…
According to a new study, smokers who abstain from tobacco products following a hospital stay are 30% more likely to report good health and 19% less likely to experience psychological distress during the following six months.
Preventative Medicine, February 2018

Diet: Low-Carb Diets Boost Risk for Serious Birth Defects.
Following a low-carb diet while pregnant may increase the risk of serious birth defects. In a new study, researchers found the pregnant women who reduced or eliminated carbs were 30% more likely to have babies with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida or anencephaly than women who didn’t restrict their carbs while pregnant. Study leader Dr. Tania Desrosiers writes, “This is concerning because low-carbohydrate diets are fairly popular… This finding reinforces the importance for women who may become pregnant to talk to their health care provider about any special diets or eating behaviors they routinely practice.”
Birth Defects Research, January 2018

Exercise: Aerobic Exercise May Delay or Improve Alzheimer’s Symptoms.
A review of data from 19 published studies found that older adults either at risk for or diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease who engaged in an aerobic exercise program experienced an improvement in their cognitive function. Interestingly, the researchers observed that participants who performed only aerobic exercise fared better in regards to mental function than those in an aerobic exercise plus resistance training group. The findings suggest that older adults who are at risk for or who have Alzheimer’s disease should focus on aerobic exercise over other types of exercise to help preserve the ability to think and make decisions.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, January 2018

Chiropractic: How to Improve Your Chances for a Successful Outcome.
While nearly all of us will experience an episode of neck or back pain during our lifetime, not everyone recovers and many go on to experience chronic pain. In this study, researchers reviewed data from seven clinical trials and found that the more time a patient waited before seeking treatment for a musculoskeletal condition, the lower their odds for a successful outcome within the next 90 days.
European Journal of Pain, January 2018

Wellness/Prevention: Chew Gum to Protect Your Teeth?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), chewing gum increases the flow of saliva in the mouth, which can neutralize and wash away harmful acids produced by chewing food, offering some protection to the teeth. Currently, the ADA grants a Seal of Acceptance to companies that provide proof that their gum can safely and effectively protect teeth. While chewing gum does not replace brushing and flossing, the ADA says that clinical research shows that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent tooth decay.
American Dental Association, January 2018

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