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Roundup: HealthNews RoundUp - 2nd Week of January, 2020


Marijuana Can Make Your Ears Ring



If you rang in the New Year enjoying some weed and noticed ringing in your ear, so-called tinnitus, it isn’t a coincidence.  Ear researchers from Stanford now show that annoying tinnitus is associated with marijuana use.


The study looked at 2160 adults tabulating use of marijuana, alcohol, and more dangerous, addicting drugs.  Marijuana use, even once a month, was a significant risk for distracting ear ringing.  No other drugs had this effect, and the frequency and quantity of weed used did not impact the severity of ringing.


If you already notice tinnitus, an early sign of inner ear hearing loss, you might want to skip marijuana smokinq or eating.


Z.J. Qian, J.C. Alyono. An association between marijuana use and tinnitus.  Am. J. Otolaryngology 41: 1-2/2020.


#Tinnitus #ringing #marijuana

Tinnitus #ringing, marijuana



Healthy Eating Quickly Yields Healthy Sperm



Thinking of fathering a child or having problems doing just that.  A new Swedish study shows that only 2 weeks of healthy eating including a lots of sugar the second week might boost your odds.


The investigators checked sperm quality for 15 healthy young men before and at the end of two weeks of controlled healthy eating.  During the second week, the healthy offerings were joined by sugary soda and pastries.


At the beginning, one-third of the men had low sperm motility.  At the end, all had vigorous swimmers!  We don’t know yet whether the healthy diet or the sugar did the trick.  For best results, use both.


Daniel Nätt, Unn Kugelberg, Eduard Casas, Elizabeth Nedstrand, Stefan Zalavary, Pontus Henriksson, Carola Nijm, Julia Jäderquist, Johanna Sandborg, Eva Flinke, Rashmi Ramesh, Lovisa Örkenby, Filip Appelkvist, Thomas Lingg, Nicola Guzzi, Cristian Bellodi, Marie Löf, Tanya Vavouri, Anita Öst. Human sperm displays rapid responses to diet. PLOS Biology, 2019; 17 (12): e3000559 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000559


#Sperm #infertility #motility #healthyeating #sugar

Sperm, infertility, motility, healthyeating, sugar



Kids Drinking Whole Milk Have Healthier Weights



Children given whole milk have a 39% lower risk of becoming overweight or obese.  Canadian researchers publishing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition report this conclusion from their meta-analysis of 28 studies and nearly 21,000 children 1-8 years of age.


This finding flies in the face of current pediatric recommendations to switch from whole milk with 3% fat to reduced fat milk ranging from <1% to 2% fat.  My take: show your pediatrician this study and inquire about continuing whole milk after age 2 particularly if your child and family have risk factors for obesity.  Then cut out the fat by avoiding fried foods.


Shelley M Vanderhout, Mary Aglipay, Nazi Torabi, Peter Jüni, Bruno R da Costa, Catherine S Birken, Deborah L O'Connor, Kevin E Thorpe, Jonathon L Maguire. Whole milk compared with reduced-fat milk and childhood overweight: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2019; DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz276


#Milk #wholemilk #fatfreemilk #obesity #overweight

Milk, wholemilk, fatfreemilk, obesity, overweight




Never Too Early To Control Your Cholesterol



Men and women under 45 who cut their levels of bad cholesterol by half have a 4 times lower risk of cardiovascular disease later in life.  This conclusion comes from an international collaborative study of  nearly 400,000 individuals published in The Lancet.


This population and computer-modeling study shows that the effect of lowering non-HDL cholesterol on later life-threatening disease is greatest for millennials and younger.  Those over 60 cutting their damaging cholesterol by half only cut their risk by half.


It’s never too soon to speak with your personal doc about regular lipid screens.  Keep your levels normal by cutting out saturated fats, consuming fiber, and exercising. 


Brunner, Fabian JZeller, Tanja et al.  Application of non-HDL cholesterol for population-based cardiovascular risk stratification: results from the Multinational Cardiovascular Risk Consortium.  The Lancet, Volume 394, Issue 10215, 2173 - 2183


#Cholesterol #HDL #cardiovasculardisease #millennials

Cholesterol, HDL, cardiovasculardisease, millennials




Lose Weight Only Eating During A 10 Hour Window



Confining food consumption to 10 hours produces significant weight reduction, better overall health and sounder sleep.  Researchers at UC-SanDiego studied 19 unhealthy subjects with so-called metabolic syndrome before and after 3 months of time-restricted eating (TRE). Metabolic syndrome includes a number of issues including obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes..


Time restricted feeding during any 10 hour timeframe led to a significant loss of abdominal fat, some blood pressure and cholesterol reductions, and, for 70% of subjects, better sleep.  Many participants tended to eat breakfast later and dinner earlier.


This plan involves no ca    lorie counting but suggests healthy eating.  Try it!


M.J. Wilkinson, E. N.C. Manoogian, A. Zadouri, S. Navlakh, S. Panda, P.R. Taub. Ten-Hour Time-Restricted Eating Reduces Weight, Blood Pressure, and Atherogenic Lipids in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome.  CellPress,:December 05, 2019DOI:


#Timerestricteddiet #metabolicsyndrome #dieting #sleep

Timerestricteddiet, metabolicsyndrome, dieting, sleep



Breastfeeding Safe While Taking ExAnti-seizure Drugs



A large, multicenter study of  222 breastfeeding babies and their mother shows that insignificant amounts of most anti-seizure drugs pass from mom to babe through breast milk.  The one drug that did pass was lamotrigine marketed as Lamictal.


Nearly 50% of babies had undetectable levels of drug in their blood, and the remainder had insignificant quantities.  Lamictal did pass through more readily into breast milk than the others, and its concentration in the baby depended upon the mother’s dosing.


This study concludes that mothers, taking most drugs for their seizure disorders, can safely breastfeed.  As always, you should consult with your own doctors before proceeding.


Birnbaum AK, Meador KJ, Karanam A, et al. Antiepileptic Drug Exposure in Infants of Breastfeeding Mothers With Epilepsy. JAMA Neurol. Published online December 30, 2019. doi:


#Breastfeeding #antiseizuredrugs #antiepileptics #lamotrigine #Lamictal

Breastfeeding, antiseizuredrugs, antiepileptics, lamotrigine, Lamictal




Paying It Forward Helps Pain



Kindness to others can reduce your feelings of pain.  This the conclusion of Chinese experiments just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


In one experiment, the needle jab to donate blood hurt less when volunteers were giving to earthquake victims rather than making a routine donation.  In another, subjects were exposed to extreme cold but those working on a project to help migrant children complained less about the temperature.  In a third experiment, cancer patients helping to care for others noticed their own pain less.


Previous studies have shown that giving will bring you and others happiness.  Now, we know that charitable deeds also have therapeutic benefits for you.


Yilu Wang et al. Altruistic behaviors relieve physical pain, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1911861117


#Charity #pain #altruism

Charity, pain, altruism




Kids Eat Healthier After Watching Healthy TV Cooking



Pre-teens viewing healthy food prep on TV are nearly 3 times more likely to make healthy food choices for themselves.  


A Dutch study focused on 125 participants 10 to 12 years of age who viewed a 10 minute TV clip before choosing a snack.  The snack choices included healthy apple and cucumber pieces versus unhealthy chips and min-pretzels


Those pre-teens viewing the clip showing fruit and vegetable prep were 2.7 times more likely to choose a healthy snack compared with those who viewed the clip of burgers and fries being readied.


I suggest your kids view one of the kid cooking shows such as Chopped Junior.


Frans Folkvord, Doeschka Anschütz, Marieke Geurts. Watching TV Cooking Programs: Effects on Actual Food Intake Among Children. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2019.09.016 


#TVcookingshows #healthyeating #parenting #kidcookingshows

TVcookingshows, healthyeating, parenting, kidcookingshows



Two Daily Apples Normalize Cholesterol



The polyphenols and fiber in just two apples a day can lower cholesterol and normalize other lipids and vascular function.  This conclusion comes from a British and Italian Study just published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Study participants were 40 overweight men and women with mildly elevated cholesterol who consumed 2 Renetta apples a day for 8 weeks.  The apple supplement significantly lowered total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides.  Beneficial vascular relaxation was better after downing the apples.


The Italian-grown Renetta apples are particularly rich in the very bioactive polyphenol proanthrocyanidins.  The researchers don’t know if these polyphenols or fiber do the trick.  Either way, don’t pass up apples.


Athanasios Koutsos et al. Two apples a day lower serum cholesterol and improve cardiometabolic biomarkers in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2019). DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz282


#Apples #cholesterol #lipids

Apples, cholesterol, lipids




Older Teens Suffer Unnecessary Pelvics And Paps



More than 2 million teens 15 through 19 years underwent uncomfortable bi-manual pelvic exams and Pap tests over a recent 6 year period.  More than half the pelvics and nearly two-thirds of Paps were unnecessary according to a just published CDC/UC-San Francisco study.  


FYI: A routine pelvic is not recommended for young women unless pregnant or symptomatic.  Pap tests for cervical cancer screening are not suggested for those under 21.  


Ok young ladies and mothers of same, listen up.  You have a right to question and refuse these procedures if inappropriate.  Unnecessary procedures can be painful, add to your costs, and can lead to complications and other unnecessary testing.  


Jin Qin, ScD1; Mona Saraiya, MD, MPH1; Gladys Martinez, PhD2; et al. Prevalence of Potentially Unnecessary Bimanual Pelvic Examinations and Papanicolaou Tests Among Young Women Aged 15-20 Years In The United States.  JAMA Network.


#Teens #gynecology #cervicalcancer #unnecessarymedicine

Teens, gynecology, cervicalcancer, unnecessarymedicine



Poor Sleep Can Trigger Delayed Migraines



If you tend to sleep poorly and are prone to migraine headaches, beware that a doozie may strike you two days later.  This warning comes from a Harvard study of 98 young persons 35 yrs on average who wore wrist devices to quantitate their sleep and kept headache diaries.  


The data shows that a night with 6 and a half hours or less of fragmented sleep triggers a 39% chance of a migraine the second day after.  Ironically, the chance of a next day migraine is lower.  


Migraine sufferers should do all they can to assure a good nights sleep every night including avoiding caffeine, late night meals, and agitation. 


Suzanne M. Bertisch, Wenyuan Li, Catherine Buettner, Elizabeth Mostofsky, Michael Rueschman, Emily R. Kaplan, Jacqueline Fung, Shaelah Huntington, Tess Murphy, Courtney Stead, Rami Burstein, Susan Redline, Murray A. Mittleman

Neurology Dec 2019, 10.1212/WNL.0000000000008740; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000008740


#Migraines #insomnia #fragmentedsleep

Migraines, insomnia, fragmentedsleep



Prepare, Prepare, Prepare For Post-Hospital Home Care



A huge problem is the lack of comprehensive care and services after any hospitalization elective or not.  A Canadian study of 700 persons shows that top 3 patient complaints are: insufficient home care services, services not in place before discharge, and the dumping of the burden for arranging services on the recovering patient.  


US national hospital surveys also show that patients find hospital discharge planning and execution woefully inadequate.  Patients and families are given too little useful info about the medicines to take and the therapy they need to complete their recovery.  


Don’t leave the ER or hospital floor until you fully understand what to do at home. Just don’t!


#Hospitals #dischargeplanning #homehealthservices

Hospitals, dischargeplanning, homehealthservices


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