This is the most comprehensive look so far at how physical activity influences cancer risk :
You know the virtues of regular physical activity: it can lower your risk of becoming overweight and can keep diseases like heart problems and diabetes at bay. But can it help reduce the risk of cancer, too? A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine sheds new light on that question.
Previous studies have found that people who are more active tend to have lower rates of colon, breast and endometrial cancer. Exercise might lower colon tumors by speeding the transit of waste through the intestines, leaving little time for any potential cancer-causing agents to harm intestinal tissues. And physical activity can lower estrogen levels, which are known to contribute to breast and endometrial tumors. Still, there was plenty scientists didn’t fully understand about the mechanism, if there is one, by which exercise cuts down on cancer risk.
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In an effort to get a more complete picture of how exercise and cancer interact, a team led by Steven Moore, a cancer epidemiologist
The list of cancer-causing agents is long and getting-longer. Experts already tell us to avoid smoking, exposure to UV radiation from the sun and even air pollution because these can increase the risk-of-cancer.
Now the World Health Organization says that hot drinks like coffee, tea and maté belong on that list too. The group’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), made up of 23 scientists from 10 countries, reviewed around 1,000 studies that investigated a connection between high-temperature beverages and their potential link to cancer. Based on the available evidence, they conclude that drinking very hot beverages, which they defined as anything above 149F (65C)—cooler than a cup of coffee from most take-out spots—is linked to higher risk of cancer of the esophagus.
They based their conclusion, which is published in Lancet Oncology, on studies that found higher rates of esophageal cancer among people who drank extremely hot tea or coffee compared to those who consumed their drinks at lower temperatures. The link to cancer remained strong even after they adjusted for things like smoking and other possible cancer
Last year, a zoo in the U.K. attracted international attention when it banned bananas from its primates cages. According to-a-zoo spokesperson, they’re too sugary for monkeys, too caloric, and they could give rise to health problems like type 2 of diabetes.
So should we humans eschew bananas, too? All five of our experts say no.
Bananas are known for their high potassium content. A medium fruit has 422 mg potassium, 12% of the daily total recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “Most Americans do not get enough dietary potassium,” says Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, distinguished university professor emerita at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York who researches such things. “Those who consume more potassium have a lower risk of stroke,” she says.
A medium banana has 102 calories, 17% of recommended daily vitamin C and 3 grams of fiber. It also has 27 grams of carbohydrates (and 14 grams of sugar). “Many of my patients are fearful of this fruit due to its high carbohydrate content,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, registered dietitian and manager of Wellness Nutrition Services at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. Her
The Mediterranean diet has a lot-going for it and no small part is that you can eat plenty of fat while following it.
The diet doesn’t restrict total fats, mainly because it is rich in plants and fish, which contain healthy fats that don’t tend to build up in blood vessels and contribute to conditions like heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains and seafood—also key components—contain unsaturated fats that have been linked to lower risk of chronic diseases, including cancer. Add in olive oil and moderate wine and dairy, and it’s a fat friendly (and pleasurable) way to eat.
In the latest study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers led by Dr. Hanna Bloomfield from the Minneapolis VA Medical Center analyzed data from 53 studies that investigated the health effects of the Mediterranean diet. The researchers focused their attention on clinical trials, which tend to be stronger sources of data than observational studies that look at populations and ask people about their diets. In the clinical trials, people were assigned a specific Mediterranean diet or a control diet and various health measures were recorded over time.
Overall, the analysis found that people on
Cue the sound of a thousand-grills shedding a summer hot tear burgers, as know them. That are not a health food, most of our experts-agree.
But there might be some wiggle room there, depending on what’s in your patty. “Fatty beef from dubiously fed cattle, slathered in sugary ketchup and placed between two haves of a refined flour bun? No thanks,” saysDavid Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. Same for any beef burger not made with 90-97% lean ground beef, says Julia Zumpano, a registered dietitian in preventive cardiology at Cleveland Clinic.
However, Kristi King, senior clinical dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital, gives a thumbs up to burgers in moderation and in proper portion sizes; burgers are high in protein, vitamin B12 and iron, she says. Plus, says Zumpano, if you make the burgers yourself, you can control the ingredients and maximize the better-for-you elements while cutting down on the more harmful ones.
Moderation, of course, is the key word. Eating beef burgers regularly isn’t a good idea for a few reasons, says Erica Frank, MD, professor and Canada research chair in preventive medicine and population health at the University of British Columbia. Beef burgers are loaded with
Hangovers are rough. And when it comes to speeding up your post-binge recovery, there are about as many purported cures : greasy food, A hot sauna, Chugging Pedialyte.
But what actually works? It helps to understand exactly what’s causing you to feel so junky in the first place.
“I like to think of a hangover as a mini withdrawal syndrome,” says George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. When you drink, your brain experiences an uptick in feel-good neurotransmitters, Koob explains. Swallow enough booze, and the resulting comedown from that massive surge of intoxicating chemicals may switch on pro-stress and pro-inflammation responses that cause or contribute to your feelings of queasiness, headache and other “flu-like symptoms,” Koob says. As you age, these responses may become more pronounced, he adds.
Other factors that contribute to your hangover are the additives or ingredients in your drink. Koob uses the term “congeners” to refer to any substances other than water and alcohol produced during the fermentation of your adult beverage. A drink’s congener content may exacerbate some of the pro-inflammatory or withdrawal-like responses he mentioned above.
In general, more flavorful liquors—think bourbon or cognac—tend to have more
Sure, your breath may remind you about the garlic you ate at lunch. But that’s not-all-your mouth can tell you a problems with your gums, teeth, and tongue can hint at health concerns deeper in the body, a dentist at the Cleveland Clinic.
If you suddenly have a bunch of cavities
It might mean: Diabetes
Say you’ve gone most of your life without many cavities; then at your biannual check-up, your dentist announces you’ve got five. Assuming you’re not hooked on soda or taking any new medications, the tooth decay could be a sign that you’re body is having trouble processing glucose. When that happens, the sugar can build up in saliva and spur the growth of cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth, says Haberkamp. You might also feel some tooth pain, especially after eating something sweet, hot, or cold. “For the record, cavities aren’t the only oral side effect of diabetes,” she adds. “Gum disease, oral thrush, and dry mouth are others, too.”
Health.com: 20 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Teeth
If your teeth are “wearing away”
It might mean: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Heartburn can happen to anyone. But if you’re experiencing it more than twice a week for a few weeks in a row,
This food from the sea is a no brainer for all five of our-experts.
A small 3-oz serving of wild salmon has about 156 calories and 23 grams of protein, plus 6 grams of fat. Omega 3 fatty acids are salmon’s claim to fame, “providing anywhere between 2-3 grams per 3-oz. serving,” saysJulia Renee Zumpano, a registered dietitian at the Center for Preventive Cardiology Cleveland Clinic. (To put that into perspective, that’s the nutrient equivalent of taking three days’ worth of soft gels of fish oil in supplement form.) “Omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce blood triglycerides, blood pressure, and reduce swelling.”
“Wild is better than farmed,” says Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, an assertion with which most of our experts agree. Zumpano points out that farmed salmon may contain more saturated fat, calories, pollutants and antibiotics than wild salmon. (Salmon does have low mercury levels, however, according to the FDA.)
Farmed salmon may not deliver as many omega-3s, says Peter D. Nichols, senior principal research scientist at CSIRO Food, Nutrition & Bioproducts in Australia who’s researched long-chain omega-3 (LC Omega-3) oils. “The content of the LC Omega-3 has generally decreased in farmed salmon both in
Being physically or emotionally abused as a child can increase a woman’s risk-of-death, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA-Psychiatry.
The researchers surveyed nearly 6,300 adult men and women about their experiences with childhood emotional and physical abuse and followed the people in the study for 20 years. They found that women—but not men—who reported experiencing abuse as a child were more likely to die from any cause during the 20-year follow up compared to women who did not report being abused.
“It is important for us to consider not just the psychological consequences of childhood abuse, but also the possibility that there may be physical health consequences of abuse,” said study author Edith Chen of the department of psychology at Northwestern University in an email.
The study can’t determine why childhood abuse is associated with a higher risk for death, but the researchers speculate that abuse may heighten women’s risk for mental health issues, like depression, that can take a toll later on. Abuse might also lead young people to engage in activities like drug use which could effect their health. It’s also possible, the researchers note, that being abused could cause biological changes, like chronic
You’ve heard a million times that you should relax more. That loosening-up a little bit could do wonders for your health.
Turns out, it can also make you a better runner.
Relaxing your body is a main tenet of ChiRunning, a technique that incorporates principles of T’ai Chi to make your stride feel more fluid and less strenuous—and help you avoid injury. “It’ll change your perspective on running,” says senior instructor Maurice Wills.
One of the keys is tweaking your form so the impact from running is gentler on your body. Many people land on their heels. “But when you do that, you absorb three to five times your body weight,” says Wills, who co-owns a triathlon training facility called Infinity Multisport in Chicago. The shock travels up your legs, putting you at a greater risk of injury.
With ChiRunning, you aim for a mid-foot strike, with “a relaxed, floppy foot,” says Wills. Ideally your feet should land directly under or slightly behind your hips. That creates a softer landing that should help protect against aches and pains, he says.
Runners are also encouraged to engage their core and lean forward slightly (with a straight spine, not slumped over). In this position, your center of