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Health Briefs Archive

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Household Cleaning Products Affect Babies’ Guts and Weight

Canadian toddlers in households that used chemical disinfectants at least once a week had disturbed gut microbes and higher body mass index scores than toddlers in households that used vinegar or other eco-friendly cleaners.

Smoking Bans Lower Blood Pressure

Non-smokers in areas that have banned smoking in public space have lower systolic blood pressure.

Curcumin Boosts Fertility in Men

In a 10-week study, infertile Iranian men that took curcumin experienced a significant increase in sperm count, concentration and motility.

Sugary Drinks Linked to Kidney Disease

African-American adults that consumed the most sugar-sweetened drinks were 61 percent more likely to develop kidney disease within 13 years than those with the lowest consumption.

Stress May Be Worse in the Evening

Faced with stress, cortisol levels rise strongly in the morning but not in the evening, suggesting that the human body is more equipped to deal with stress early in the day, say Japanese researchers.

Probiotics Ease Bipolar Disorder

Hospitalized bipolar patients that took probiotic supplements upon release were three times less likely to re-enter the hospital than those given a placebo.

Gut Susceptible to Food Additives

Testing of food additives in a Czech lab found that gut microbes with anti-inflammatory properties were easily harmed by additives, while microbes with pro-inflammatory properties were mostly resistant.

Meditation and Music Slow Cellular Aging

Doing a chanting meditation or listening to classical music 12 minutes a day for three months altered biomarkers associated with cellular aging and Alzheimer’s disease in adults with early memory loss.

Vegetables and Orange Juice Protect Memory

A Harvard study of 27,842 older male health professionals found those that ate the most vegetables and drank the most orange juice suffered less memory loss over a span of two decades.

Lemon Balm Lowers Blood Pressure, Reduces LDL

Taking three grams a day of powdered lemon balm for two months significantly improved the condition of Iranian patients with chronic stable angina.

Light Pollution Disturbs Sleep

A study of 52,027 South Koreans found that those exposed to high levels of artificial outdoor light at night were more likely to have sleep issues and take sleeping pills.

Rose Hip Reduces Cold Symptoms

Danes that took two grams of liquid rose hip during the winter had 13 percent fewer colds and less coughing, headaches, stiffness and fatigue when they did get sick.

Pine Bark Soothes Prostate

Italian men with benign prostate hypertrophy that took 150 milligrams a day for two months of a pine bark extract significantly improved in urination frequency, urgency, intermittency and nighttime occurrences.

Herbs Make Worthy Prebiotics

Ginger, black pepper and holy basil showed significant prebiotic activity compared to the well- known prebiotic fructooligosaccharide (FOS).

Bitter Melon Eases Knee Pain

Patients with knee osteoarthritis who took a bitter melon supplement for three months had significantly less pain, lower analgesic use, and reduced body weight and blood glucose levels.

Harmful Bacteria Linked to Certain Showerheads

Mycobacterium that lurk in showerheads are more often found in homes using municipal water, using plastic showerheads, and in certain regions of the country.

Zinc Combo Fights Aging Diseases

When Zinc combines with certain antioxidant compounds found in tea, coffee and other foods, it produces a type of enzyme that prevents the oxidative stress linked to such diseases as dementia and cancer.

Ashwagandha Normalizes Hypothyroid Levels

Eight weeks of ashwagandha supplementation effectively normalized the serum thyroid levels of women with subclinical hypothyroidism.

The Power of Thank-You Notes

People who receive heartfelt thank-you notes are typically surprised, happy and appreciative, reactions that the letter-writers tend to underestimate.

Walnut Leaves Improve Diabetic Health

Type-2 diabetes patients who took an extract of walnut leaf for eight weeks lost weight and had lower systolic blood pressure.

Sniffing Dogs Can Detect Malaria

Trained to detect malaria parasites in socks that West African children wore for one night, trained canines correctly identified 70 percent of the infected and 90 percent of the uninfected children.

Screen Time Doubles Kids’ Risk of Anxiety and Depression

Children and teens who spend more than seven hours a day on screens are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression.

Nuts Improve Blood Vessel Health

Munching on about two handfuls of either walnuts or almonds increased blood vessel dilation in overweight volunteers and lowered markers of arterial plaque.

Holy Basil Fights Tooth Infection

The herb reduced infection levels in children following root canals, which could help avoid antibiotic reactions and overuse.

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