This New Study Has the Best News Ever About Caffeine

“An extensive multi-year study found that regular intake of caffeine (and a number of related compounds found in tea and dark chocolate) can help block the chronic inflammation that’s linked to over 90% of all noncommunicable diseases of aging, said lead study author David Furman, Ph.D., a consulting associate professor at the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection. Study participants who consumed less caffeine were more likely to die younger, and research showed that people who consumed more caffeine showed lower activation of “inflammatory gene clusters” that are associated with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors.” more

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Wider Racial Gap Found in Cervical Cancer Deaths

NY Times reports: ”

The death rate from cervical cancer in the United States is considerably higher than previously estimated and the disparity in death rates between black women and white women is significantly wider, according to a study published Monday in the journal Cancer.

The rate at which black American women are dying from the disease is comparable to that of women in many poor developing nations, researchers reported. What makes the findings especially disturbing, said experts not involved in the research, is that when screening guidelines and follow-up monitoring are pursued, cervical cancer is largely preventable.” See Cervical Cancer Taking Deadlier Toll in U.S. Than Had Been Thought

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New Medical Worry: Deadly Fungal Infection That Resists Treatment.

NPR Reports: “You’ve probably heard of antibiotic resistance — germs that can resist the drugs designed to wipe them out. Now there’s a new kind of resistance to worry about — fungal infections that are resistant to treatment. The fungal infection in question is Candida auris, which can cause infections in the mouth, genitals, ears, wounds or, worst of all, the bloodstream. While other species of Candida can lead to the same kinds of infections, Candida auris is getting worldwide attention because, according to a study in the February 2017 journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, some cases have proved to be resistant to all three classes of drugs available to treat fungal infections. The first reported case was in Japan in 2009 but it has now been found on five continents.” See New Medical Worry: Deadly Fungal Infection That Resists Treatment. 

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How burnt toast and roast potatoes became linked to cancer

“This week, the UK’s Food Standard Agency became the latest regulator to draw consumers’ attention to the issue with its Go for Gold campaign that urges the public to avoid singeing their toast or leaving roast potatoes to char in the oven. “As a general rule of thumb, aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and bread,” the FSA recommends. At the same time, it acknowledges: “there is more to know about the true extent of the acrylamide risk.” More.

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Can you sidestep Alzheimer’s disease?

From the Harvard Medical School:


Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by progressive damage to nerve cells and their connections. The result is devastating and includes memory loss, impaired thinking, difficulties with verbal communication, and even personality changes. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may live anywhere from two to 20 years after diagnosis. Those years are spent in an increasingly dependent state that exacts a staggering emotional, physical, and economic toll on families.

A number of factors influence the likelihood that you will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these you can’t control, such as age, gender, and family history. But there are things you can do to help lower your risk. As it turns out, the mainstays of a healthy lifestyle — exercise, watching your weight, and eating right — appear to lower Alzheimer’s risk.

Get your copy of Alzheimer’s Disease

Product Page - A Guide to Coping with Alzheimer's Disease
Have you noticed memory problems piling up in ways that affect daily life in yourself or someone you love? Do you find yourself struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word, becoming confused in new places, or botching tasks that once came easily? About 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and estimates suggest it will affect 7.7 million by 2030. Already, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. This Special Health Report includes in-depth information on diagnosing Alzheimer’s and treating its symptoms.

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5 steps to lower Alzheimer’s risk

While there are no surefire ways to prevent Alzheimer’s, by following the five steps below you may lower your risk for this disease — and enhance your overall health as well.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Cut back on calories and increase physical activity if you need to shed some pounds.
  2. Check your waistline. To accurately measure your waistline, use a tape measure around the narrowest portion of your waist (usually at the height of the navel and lowest rib). A National Institutes of Health panel recommends waist measurements of no more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.
  3. Eat mindfully. Emphasize colorful, vitamin-packed vegetables and fruits; whole grains; protein sources such as fish, lean poultry, tofu, and beans and other legumes; plus healthy fats. Cut down on unnecessary calories from sweets, sodas, refined grains like white bread or white rice, unhealthy fats, fried and fast foods, and mindless snacking. Keep a close eye on portion sizes, too.
  4. Exercise regularly. This simple step does great things for your body. Regular physical activity helps control weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise (walking, swimming, biking, rowing) can also help chip away total body fat and abdominal fat over time. Aim for 2 1/2 to 5 hours weekly of brisk walking (at 4 mph). Or try a vigorous exercise like jogging (at 6 mph) for half that time.
  5. Keep an eye on important health numbers. In addition to watching your weight and waistline, ask your doctor whether your cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood sugar are within healthy ranges. Exercise, weight loss if needed, and medications (if necessary) can help keep these numbers on target.

For more on ways to help prevent Alzheimer’s as well as information on diagnosing and treating it, buy A Guide to Coping with Alzheimer’s Disease, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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The Power of Will

From The Boston Globe.

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Savings, Longevity and the Year in Fitness

The NY Times reports: “Two numbers are, to me, particularly emblematic of what science had to tell us about fitness this year. The first is 42 percent and represents the extent by which people’s risk for premature death rises if they are out of shape, according to a study published in July. That number almost equals the risk of early death associated with heavy smoking. The second figure is $2,500 and is the amount of money that each of us most likely could save annually on medical costs related to heart disease if we walked for 30 minutes most days, according to a wonderfully pragmatic study released in September. In other words, exercise science this year taught us that being inactive could potentially cost us years from our lives and many thousands of dollars from our wallets. More of Savings, Longevity and the Year in Fitness 

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