Week of: Monday, August 4th, 2014Courtesy of:
Scientists may have a better understanding of why ongoing stress raises an individual's risk of having a heart attack. They believe stress triggers the body to make extra disease-fighting white blood cells, and this can cause inflammation in the arteries of people with a condition called atherosclerosis, where the artery walls are thickened by a buildup of plaque. Other studies suggest that stress causes blood to clot differently. Both factors can lead to reduced blood flow to the heart.
Nature Medicine, June 2014
Teething infants can be seriously harmed or even die from certain "gum-numbing" medications, according to a new warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA states that local anesthetics known as viscous lidocaine and benzocaine-containing teething products should never be used for teething children, except under the advice and supervision of a health care professional. Viscous lidocaine requires a prescription, and it is typically used to treat mouth ulcers in chemotherapy patients. Parents who have viscous lidocaine on hand should not use it on teething infants. The FDA notes that it received 22 reports of serious incidents thus far in 2014, including deaths, linked to use of viscous lidocaine in babies and toddlers under three and a half years of age. The FDA also advises that over-the-counter benzocaine products, such as Anbesol and Baby Orajel, should not be used for children younger than age two.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, June 2014
Poor memory, difficulty thinking clearly, difficulty finding the right word, and poor concentration -- often referred to as “Brain fog” -- are often experienced by celiac disease patients. A new study suggests that adopting a gluten-free diet seems to improve these symptoms as the intestines heal. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that causes intestinal inflammation. Scientists found that when celiac patients removed gluten from their diet, they scored better for attention, memory, and other functions on assessment tests. Study author Dr. Greg Yelland adds, "Maintaining a gluten-free diet is essential not only for [celiac patients'] physical well-being, but for mental well-being also."
Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, June 2014
Researchers from Kansas State University claim that individuals who exercise with a teammate or partner whom they perceive to be in better shape increased their workout time and intensity by as much as 200%. The research team found that partners who exercise at a level 40% greater are ideal for long-term motivation while they observed motivation levels declined when partners exercised at either the same or vastly superior levels.
Kansas State University, June 2014
A new study indicates that two out of three teen athletes will experience an episode of back pain during their lifetime. Current research estimates the prevalence rate of back pain for the general population to be over 80%, or at least 14 percentage points higher than teen athletes can expect.
International Journal of Sports Medicine, July 2014
Previous research shows that inadequate sleep is a risk factor for both childhood and adult obesity. A new study by researchers at the University of Illinois found that if parents don't get enough sleep, their children don't tend to either. They recommend that in order to reduce the risk of childhood obesity, parents should ensure their children get at least ten hours of sleep per night and that they get at least seven hours themselves.
Preventing Chronic Disease, June 2014
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