Health Points: Tuesday
- Sure you can go to the gym, run on the treadmills, and use all the machines, heck, maybe even take a couple spin classes or, you can waltz? Now I’m not sure how many muscle-heads would be willing to dance the dance of high-society, but, according to Janet Cromley of The Los Angeles Times, waltzing is a great workout:
In a study of 110 heart failure patients presented last week at a meeting of the American Heart Assn. in Chicago, researchers reported that dancing the waltz three times a week for eight weeks was just as effective in improving cardiopulmonary function as exercising on a treadmill or bicycle for the same period.
- Some new research claims our sense of taste affects our health. According to Lauran Neergaard of the Associated Press, our brains still have a primitive desire for fat (leftover from the days when food was scarce), but our brain carvings might not be conducive to health. Here’s an example:
Are you among the "supertasters," people who shun vegetables because they find them more bitter than the average person does? Supertasters may be more at risk of developing colon cancer as a result, says a recent University of Connecticut study.
- Caffeine has got its hooks deep into standard American culture, and many health experts are worried. Steady caffeine consumption can take a heavy toll on young people. Julie Deardorff of The Chicago Tribune reports:
Abuse of the legal stimulant is an emerging problem among young people, according to Northwestern University researchers, who recently analyzed three years' worth of cases reported to the Illinois Poison Center.
Symptoms include everything from nausea, vomiting and a racing heart to hallucinations, panic attacks, chest pains and trips to the emergency room.
- I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, smoking is bad news. If you blink, you’ll miss the latest headline touting another health complication associated with smoking. Did you blink? Because here’s a new one. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports that smoking may hinder joint injury repair:
In the first study, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis looked at fracture healing in a group of mice exposed to cigarette smoke 6 days a week for a month. There was also a control group of mice that weren't exposed to smoke.
The researchers found that fracture healing was delayed in the smoke-exposed mice. This delay was noted in the early stages of healing and was caused by cigarette smoke's hindrance of the development of mature cartilage cells.
- According to Carla K. Johnson of The Seattle Times research shows white marathon runners have an increased risk of skin cancer. Obviously the prolonged sun exposure has something to do with it. Read on:
They recruited 210 marathon runners for their study and matched them for age and sex with 210 other people they signed up at five recreation centers in Austria. All 420 people were screened by a dermatologist.
The marathon runners had more abnormal moles and lesions, and 24 were referred for surgical treatment, while there were 14 treatment referrals among the nonmarathoners.
- Stuff like this makes me nervous. Libby Quaid of the Associated Press reports salmonella is on the rise in chicken meat. Health officials cite a fourfold rise in positive salmonella tests between 2000 and 2005. Although the whole situation seems to be a little complicated:
"It still continues to rise, even though the overall incidence of salmonella in general has fallen," said Richard Raymond, the Agriculture Department undersecretary for food safety. "It's one that we still don't have all the scientific evidence we need to know how best to attack it."
- I’m not really into cell phones to begin with, but this is all the reason I need to avoid using one even more. According to The Detroit Free Press cell phone usage can cause infertility:
Men who spend four hours or more on their cell phones had significantly lower sperm counts, according to the study, which observed 361 men at an infertility clinic.
- I’m a big fan of the cranberry—and not that gelatinous variety that gets trotted out every thanksgiving! Dried cranberries are to die for. But cranberries in general are full of healthful properties. The Associated Press has more:
Cranberries are full of antioxidants, which protects cells from damage by unstable molecules called free radicals.
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