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Notes: HealthNews RoundUp - 4th Week of November, 2019



Middle Age Activity Reduces Later Dementia Risk - Reprise 



Keeping your head, hands, and body busy in middle age pays off big later in life.  The latest pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is that your risk of dementia drops by nearly 35 to more than 50 percent.  


This finding comes from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg’s study of 800 women who were followed from their mid-forties well into their nineties.


The physically active women were 34 % less likely to develop dementia than their inactive peers.  Their activities included intense exercise such as running and swimming but also lighter physical pursuits such as biking, walking, bowling, or gardening.


The more intellectually active women enjoyed a 46 percent lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and a 34% lower incidence of any dementia.  Their activities were reading writing, needlework, attending shows and concerts, singing in a choir, and painting.


I end each of my news reports with the suggestion that a smile on your face, an active mind, and your body in motion are the best medicines.  This study is a testimony to the value of both physical and intellectual activity and suggests that such pursuits will keep you smiling throughout your life.



Jenna Najar, Svante Östling, Pia Gudmundsson, Valter Sundh, Lena Johansson, Silke Kern, Xinxin Guo, Tore Hällström, Ingmar Skoog. Cognitive and physical activity and dementia. Neurology, 2019; 10.1212/WNL.0000000000007021 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000007021


#exercise #intellectualactivity #dementia #reading #writing

exercise, intellectualactivity, dementia, reading, writing



Nicotine During Pregnancy Triggers Offspring ADHD - Reprise 

Vidcast:  ttps://


Mothers who smoke, vape, or use oral and patch nicotine products may be exposing their unborn children to the risk of attention deficit and hyperactivity issues,ADHD, later in life.  A study from Finland just published in the journal Pediatrics studied over 1,000 children and matched controls born 10 years ago.  


The researchers studied serum samples from mothers collected during the first and second trimesters and measured the levels of cotinine, a biomarker for nicotine.  Then the mothers were divided into 3 groups according to serum nicotine levels during pregnancy.


Those mothers with the highest nicotine levels were more than 3 times more likely to have children suffering from ADHD.   Prior to this definitive study, there was no solid proof that the association was with nicotine.


If you love your children-to-be, don’t consume nicotine in any form by smoking tobacco, vaping, chewing nicotine gum, or placing patches during pregnancy.  Don’t expose your developing child to nicotine period!  Then, after you deliver, if you love your life, health, and family, don’t smoke or vape.


Andre Sourander, Minna Sucksdorff, Roshan Chudal, Heljä-Marja Surcel, Susanna Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, David Gyllenberg, Keely Cheslack-Postava, Alan S. Brown. Prenatal Cotinine Levels and ADHD Among Offspring. Pediatrics, 2019; e20183144 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-3144


#nicotine #cotinine, ADHD #attentiondeficithyperactivitydisorder #vape #Nicorette #nicotinepatch

nicotine, cotinine, ADHD, attentiondeficithyperactivitydisorder, vape, Nicorette, nicotinepatch



Constant Infant Correction Sensitizes The Brain To Anger - Reprise 



If a parent constantly corrects an infant, that child’s brain becomes more sensitive to angry vocalizations.  Investigators at Britain’s University of Manchester studied 40 six month old infants and their mothers utilizing the novel neuroimaging technique of Near Infrared Spectroscopy.  This permits the study of a baby’s brain activation by maternal vocalizations without the noise of MRI.


Infants as young as 6 months can differentiate happy and unhappy vocal rhythms.  The researchers found that those babies whose mothers repeatedly corrected them developed nerve networks that preferentially respond to angry vocalizations.


This study underscores the exquisite sensitivity of infant humans.  Parents need to monitor their own and each other’s interactions with their children and realize how much their behavior imprints their offspring in both negative as well as positive ways.  


Good parenting is creating a safe, happy environment for your child by constructing boundaries in a playful and positive manner.


Chen Zhao, Georgia Chronaki, Ingo Schiessl, Ming Wai Wan, Kathryn M. Abel. Is infant neural sensitivity to vocal emotion associated with mother-infant relational experience? PLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (2): e0212205 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212205


#anger #parentalcorrections #happy #helicopterparenting

anger, parentalcorrections, happy, helicopterparenting



Night Owls Can’t Count On Weekend Catch-up Sleep - Reprise 



If you burn your candle at both ends during the week and think that you can catch up on sleep over the weekend, think again!  A study from the University of Colorado shows that you won’t catch up on sleep and that your irregular sleep pattern will torpedo your glucose metabolism and internal time clock.


The study assigned health young adults to one of three groups: a group with only 5 hours of sleep at night with no weekend catch-up; a group with only 5 hours of sleep for 5 nights followed by the chance to snooze forever on the weekend; and a control group who slept 9 hours each night.  The researchers studied the subjects’ sleep patterns via sleep studies, their weight gain, insulin sensitivity, and body circadian rhythms.


The results revealed that the sleep-deprived group only recaptured a little more than one hour of the more than 12 hours of lost sleep when they were able to sleep in over the weekend.  Of even more importance, they could never recapture all the lost critical deep or slow wave sleep.  They gained more weight than the well-rested group and suffered reduced insulin sensitivity, a risk factor for diabetes.


So..... to avoid flogging your body, try to get 8 or 9 hours of sleep a day on a regular basis.  Those weekend hours on the couch won’t repay your sleep debt, and they rob your loved ones of your sterling presence.



Christopher M. Depner, Edward L. Melanson, Robert H. Eckel, Janet K. Snell-Bergeon, Leigh Perreault, Bryan C. Bergman, Janine A. Higgins, Molly K. Guerin, Ellen R. Stothard, Sarah J. Morton, Kenneth P. Wright. Ad libitum Weekend Recovery Sleep Fails to Prevent Metabolic Dysregulation during a Repeating Pattern of Insufficient Sleep and Weekend Recovery Sleep. Current Biology, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.069


#sleepdeprivation #weekendsleep #insulinsensitivity #deepsleep

sleepdeprivation, weekendsleep, insulinsensitivity, deepsleep



Mouthwash May Bump Up Your Blood Pressure - Reprise 



Using popular mouthwashes may cause your blood pressure to jump up significantly.  Dentists and cardiologists at the University of Texas report that the antibacterial agent in mouthwash, chlorhexidine, prevents the normal oral bacteria from metabolizing ingested nitrates into the nitric oxide that plays a key role in normalizing blood pressure.


The investigators recruited subjects from the faculty, staff, and student populations in order to study their oral bacteria, oral nitrites, and blood pressures before, during, and after their use of mouthwash.  The subjects used Peridex mouthwash twice daily for 7 days.


Use of the mouthwash and tongue cleaning significantly elevated both the systolic and the diastolic blood pressures as it depressed counts of oral bacteria and the concentration of nitric oxide.  Parameters returned to baseline 3 days following mouthwash discontinuation.


This study is an additional reason why so-called therapeutic mouthwashes containing anti-bacterial agents should be avoided except on the express recommendation of your dentist or periodontist.



Tribble GD, Angelov N, Weltman R, Wang B-Y, Eswaran SV, Gay IC, Parthasarathy K, Dao D-HV, Richardson KN, Ismail NM, Sharina IG, Hyde ER, Ajami NJ, Petrosino JF and Bryan NS (2019) Frequency of Tongue Cleaning Impacts the Human Tongue Microbiome Composition and Enterosalivary Circulation of Nitrate. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 9:39. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2019.00039


#mouthwash #chlorhexidine #nitric oxide #hypertension

mouthwash, chlorhexidine, nitric oxide, hypertension



Toxins At Home Can Make You Sterile - Reprise 



Listen up men.  Two chemicals that can damage your sperm and your ability to father a normal child are lurking in and around your home.   A study just published by England’s University of Nottingham shows that the plasticizer DEHP and the industrial chemical PCB153 both reduce the motility and increase the level of DNA damage of sperm exposed to them in the test tube.


DEHP is found in carpets, linoleum flooring, upholstery, clothing, and even children’s toys.  Although PCB use was banned in the US more than 40 years ago, these chemicals degrade so slowly that they remain in many structures and in the soil on which we all walk and play.


Male fertility is on the decline, and sperm samples from around the world demonstrate a 50% reduction in quality over the past 80 years.  If you are trying to father a child, avoid drinking from plastic containers or wearing plastic clogs that contain the organic compounds DEHP, PCBs, or BPAs.   To maintain your reproductive health, drink from glass or aluminum containers and wear leather sandals.  See that your kids do the same.



Rebecca N. Sumner, Mathew Tomlinson, Jim Craigon, Gary C. W. England, Richard G. Lea. Independent and combined effects of diethylhexyl phthalate and polychlorinated biphenyl 153 on sperm quality in the human and dog. Scientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-39913-9


#DEHP #PCB #sperm #fertility #plastic #clogs

DEHP, CB, sperm, fertility, plastic, clogs



Raw Dog Food Contains Dangerous Bacteria - Reprise 



Raw dog food is becoming quite the rage.  A study just published in the British Medical Journal’s Veterinary Record reveals that raw dog food from 10 different sources contains dangerous levels of E.coli and other fecal bacteria, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Clostridia.


Raw pet food is prepared from miscellaneous body parts and organs that are a byproduct of slaughtering cattle, chickens, sheep, turkeys, pigs, ducks, salmon, and even reindeer.  The raw meat is not heat treated or freeze-dried to kill bacterial contaminants but rather only packaged and fresh frozen.  This type of simple freezing fails to kill many bacteria.


The bacteria in these products can easily pass to you and to your children.  If you choose to feed it to your poor dog and risk making the animal sick, keep the raw dog food frozen until just before using it, keep it far away from your own food,, and handle it with separate kitchen equipment while you wear gloves.


If you really want to give your doggie a treat, cut that oversized slice of beef your are about to consume in a restaurant and save it for Rover.  Both of you will be healthier.



Josefin Hellgren, Lovisa Staaf Hästö, Camilla Wikström, Lise-Lotte Fernström, Ingrid Hansson. Occurrence of Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium and Enterobacteriaceae in raw meat-based diets for dogs. Veterinary Record, 2019; vetrec-2018-105199 DOI: 10.1136/vr.105199


#Rawmeat #Ecoli #fecalcontaminants #salmonella #campylobacter #clostridia

Rawmeat, Ecoli, fecalcontaminants, salmonella, campylobacter, clostridia



Mediterranean Diet Turbocharges In Just Days - Reprise 



Want to boost your long distance running performance in only 4 days?  Get yourself on the Mediterranean Diet says investigators from St. Louis University.


They studied 11 male and female 5K runners giving each 4 days of the Mediterranean Diet or 4 days of the typical Western Diet before they ran the 5K on a treadmill.  Consuming the Mediterranean Diet with its fruits, veggies, nuts, olive oil and whole grains pumped the runners performance up by a consistent 6 percent compared with their times after consuming the Western Diet’s red meats, processed meats, dairy, refined sugar, and fats.  


The researchers attribute the performance boost to the Mediterranean Diet’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  Just be aware that these advantages are quickly lost after stopping the diet.


If you want top performance from your body in so many challenging situations, not just in running, eat the fruits and vegetables that your body craves and treat the offerings of the typical Western diet as special treats or desserts.



Michelle E. Baker, Kristen N. DeCesare, Abby Johnson, Kathleen S. Kress, Cynthia L. Inman, Edward P. Weiss. Short-Term Mediterranean Diet Improves Endurance Exercise Performance: A Randomized-Sequence Crossover Trial. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2019.1568322


#MediterraneanDiet #WesternDiet 

MediterraneanDiet, WesternDiet



Childbirth In the 50s As Safe As In The 40s - Reprise 



Obstetricians at Israel’s Ben Gurion University now proclaim that “50 is the new 40 when it comes to childbirth!”  They studied more than 8,000 pregnant women 40 years and above.


The data revealed that complications such as premature birth, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and a need for c-section were no higher for those in their 50s compared with mothers in their 40s.  They do however consider all pregnancies in women 40 or older to be high risk with a need for careful followup of blood sugars and blood pressures.


This is all well and good, but just because it’s possible for parents to have a child when they are over 50 doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.  Raising children requires lots of energy and lots of money.  


Couples in their 50s may have both, but they don’t have the 30 to 40 years that couples in their 20s and 30s have before they reach an age when their bodies and minds are entering the relaxation mode.  


Children need guidance throughout their and their parents’ lives.  Parents should begin that journey at a time that permits full participation in their lives for as long as possible.


American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "50 is the new 40 for safe childbirth?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2019.


#50s #40s #childbirth #olderparenting #pregnancy

50s, 40s, childbirth, olderparenting, pregnancy



Vaping Triggers Heart Attacks and Stokes - Reprise 



E-cigarettes, touted as being safer than tobacco cigarettes, seem to trigger heart attacks and strokes.  This is the conclusion of research from the University of Kansas that studied nearly 100,000 Americans.  It was presented recently at this year’s meeting of the American College of Cardiology.


Those who vape are 56% more likely to suffer a heart attack, 30% more likely to have a stroke, and 55% more likely to be depressed or at least anxious.   E-cigarettes also expose users to as much or more of the highly addictive drug nicotine compared with conventional cigarettes.


Proponents of vaping claim that e-cigarette users can avoid tobacco’s carcinogenic tars.  Studies are now showing that the flavorings added to the liquid nicotine are themselves toxic and carcinogenic.  


Worse yet, manufacturers of the nearly 500 brands of e-cigarettes are following the tobacco companies’ evil playbook and marketing these devices to children and adolescents.  The bottom line is that anything you put in your mouth that has fumes coming from it is dangerous.



American College of Cardiology. "E-cigarettes linked to heart attacks, coronary artery disease and depression: Data reveal toll of vaping; researchers say switching to e-cigarettes doesn't eliminate health risks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2019.


#Vaping #heartattack #stroke #depression #ecigarettes #nicotine

Vaping, heartattack, stroke, depression, ecigarettes, nicotine

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