Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Wakeful Resting Can Boost New Memories

 

Sudoku layout

Sudoku layout (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

From the 25th July 2012 article at Medical News Today

 

Too often our memory starts acting like a particularly porous sieve: all the important fragments that should be caught and preserved somehow just disappear. So armed with pencils and bolstered by caffeine, legions of adults, especially older adults, tackle crossword puzzles, acrostics, Sudoku and a host of other activities designed to strengthen their flagging memory muscles.

But maybe all they really need to do to cement new learning is to sit and close their eyes for a few minutes. In an article to be published in the journal Psychological Science, a publication of the Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientist Michaela Dewar and her colleagues show that memory can be boosted by taking a brief wakeful rest after learning something verbally new – so keep the pencil for phone numbers – and that memory lasts not just immediately but over a longer term. ..

…Dewar explains that there is growing evidence to suggest that the point at which we experience new information is “just at a very early stage of memory formation and that further neural processes have to occur after this stage for us to be able to remember this information at a later point in time.”

We now live in a world where we are bombarded by new information and it crowds out recently acquired information. The process of consolidating memories takes a little time and the most important things that it needs are peace and quiet. 

 

 

July 25, 2012 Posted by | Psychiatry, Psychology | , , | Leave a comment

There Is No Such Thing As A Safe Tan: GW Researchers Break Tanning Misconceptions

Blue Ultraviolet Light Lamp

Blue Ultraviolet Light Lamp (Photo credit: epSos.de)

From the 24 July 2012 article at Medical News Today

A new study conducted by GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) researchers Edward C. De Fabo, Ph.D., Frances P. Noonan, Ph.D., and Anastas Popratiloff, M.D., Ph.D., has been published in the journal Nature Communications. Their paper, entitled “Melanoma induction by ultraviolet A but not ultraviolet B radiation requires melanin pigment,” was published in June 2012.

“This is the first time that UV-induced melanin formation (tanning), traditionally thought to protect against skin cancer, is shown to be directly involved in melanomaformation in mammals,” said De Fabo, who is professor emeritus at SMHS. “Skin melanoma is the most lethal of the skin cancers. Our study shows that we were able to discover this new role for melanin by cleanly separating UVA from UVB and exposing our experimental melanoma animal model with these separated wavebands using our unique UV light system designed and set up at GW. Dermatologists have been warning for years there is no such thing as a safe tan and this new data appears to confirm this.” ..

..

“Also new is our discovery that UV induction of melanin, as a melanoma-causing agent, works when skin is exposed only to UVA and not UVB radiation. This is especially important since melanoma formation has been correlated with sunbed use as many epidemiological studies have shown. One possible reason for this is that tanning lamps are capable of emitting UVA radiation up to 12 times, or higher, the UVA intensity of sunlight at high noon. Melanin plus UVA is known to cause photo-oxidation, a suspected, but still to be proved, mechanism for the formation of melanoma as we describe in our study,” De Fabo said. 

July 25, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raisins Found To Be As Effective As Sports Chews For Fueling Workouts

 

English: A pile of Sunmaid raisins.

English: A pile of Sunmaid raisins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

From the 25th July 2012 article at Medical News Today

 

New research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutritionsuggests that eating raisins may provide the same workout boost as sports chews.

Conducted by researchers at the University of California-Davis, the study evaluated the effects that natural versus commercialcarbohydrate supplements have on endurance running performance. Runners depleted their glycogen stores in an 80-minute 75% V02 max run followed by a 5k time trial. Runners completed three randomized trials (raisins, chews and water only) separated by seven days. Findings included:

  • Those that ingested raisins or sports chews ran their 5k on average one minute faster than those that ingested only water
  • Eating raisins and sports chews promoted higher carbohydrate oxidation compared to water only

“Raisins are a great alternative to sport chews as they also provide fiber and micronutrients, such as potassium and iron, and they do not have any added sugar, artificial flavor or colors,” said James Painter, Ph.D., R.D., and nutrition research advisor for the California Raisin Marketing Board. “As an added bonus, raisins are the most economical dried fruit according to the United Stated Department of Agriculture, so they are cost effective and convenient for use during exercise.” 

 

 

July 25, 2012 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Loneliness in Older Adults, Study Shows

Mindfulness

Mindfulness (Photo credit: Cathdew)

From the 24 July 2012 article at Science News Daily

For older adults, loneliness is a major risk factor for health problems — such as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s — and death. Attempts to diminish loneliness with social networking programs like creating community centers to encourage new relationships have not been effective.

However, a new study led by Carnegie Mellon University’s J. David Creswell offers the first evidence that mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults. Published in Brain, Behavior & Immunity, the researchers also found that mindfulness meditation — a 2,500-year-old practice dating back to Buddha that focuses on creating an attentive awareness of the present moment — lowered inflammation levels, which is thought to promote the development and progression of many diseases. These findings provide valuable insights into how mindfulness meditation training can be used as a novel approach for reducing loneliness and the risk of disease in older adults.

“We always tell people to quit smoking for health reasons, but rarely do we think about loneliness in the same way,” said Creswell, assistant professor of psychology within CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “We know that loneliness is a major risk factor for health problems and mortality in older adults. This research suggests that mindfulness meditation training is a promising intervention for improving the health of older adults.”…

July 25, 2012 Posted by | Psychology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is There Such a Thing as Eating Too Many Fruits and Vegetables?

 

English: Fruit on display at La Boqueria marke...

English: Fruit on display at La Boqueria market in Barcelona. Français : Fruits à l’étal dans le marché de La Boqueria à Barcelone. Español: Fruta en el mercado de La Boquería, en Barcelona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

From the 24 July 2012 article at Science News Daily

 

t may make you scratch your head, but in fact it is possible to overeat healthy foods, according to Loyola University Health System registered dietitian Brooke Schantz.

While fruits are nutritious, too much of even a healthy food can lead to weight gain,” Schantz said. “The key is to remember to control the portion sizes of the foods you consume.”

Schantz reported that overeating healthy foods is easy to do, but the same rules apply to healthy food as junk food. Weight fluctuates based on a basic concept — energy in versus energy out. If your total caloric intake is higher than the energy you burn off in a day, you will gain weight. If it is lower, you will lose weight.

“I have had many patients tell me that they don’t know why they are not losing weight,” Schantz said. “Then they report that they eat fruit all day long. They are almost always shocked when I advise them to watch the quantity of food they eat even if it is healthy.”

Schantz said that one exception applies. Nonstarchy vegetables are difficult to overeat unless they are accompanied by unnecessary calories from sauces, cheeses and butter. This is due to the high water and fiber content of these vegetables coupled with the stretching capacity of the stomach. The vegetables she suggested limiting are those that are high in starch, such as peas, corn and potatoes. Foods that are labeled as fat-free or low-fat are another area of concern.

“People tend to give themselves the freedom to overeat ‘healthy’ foods,” Schantz said. “While the label might say that a food or beverage is low-fat or fat-free, watch the quantity you consume and refrain from eating an excessive amount. Foods that carry these health claims may be high in sugar and calories.”

 

 

 

July 25, 2012 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , | Leave a comment

[Inforgraphic Reblog] The High Price of Eating Disorders

 

 

The High Price of Eating Disorders

July 23, 2012

Posted by:Staff Writers
Writer for InsuranceQuotes.org

 

The topic of weight has long been a touchy subject in most societies, and today’s culture is no exception. From obesity issues to media portrayals of body image and expectation, people are constantly bombarded by issues of weight and personal appearance. While this barrage affects people of all ages, genders, sizes, and upbringings, the demographic most noticeably affected by the topic of weight is adolescent girls, who are seeing a surge in struggles with a variety of eating disorders. Like most mental illnesses, eating disorders are a difficult subject to broach, and as a sensitive topic it often tends to go unaddressed by many. The fact of the matter, however, is that eating disorders are a very serious illness, and like many serious illnesses, they can be incredibly costly to treat. From inpatient therapy to outpatient follow-up, hundreds of thousands of dollars can quickly go into trying to eradicate the illness. What’s most frightening about this cost, however, is that it causes millions of people each year to forgo the treatment they need to address eating disordered behavior. When eating disorders go untreated, the consequences can be deadly, and as the eating disordered demographics have shifted to include girls as young as eight or nine, the problem of overly expensive treatment for eating disorders needs to be addressed more than ever.

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Cost of an Eating Disorder

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July 25, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

   

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