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Health Briefs Archive

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Expecting Moms Need to Relax at Holidays

South Korean mothers-to-be whose first trimester occurred during the stressful New Year’s holiday delivered babies a third of an ounce lighter.

Meditation Soothes Anxiety and Improves Focus

A single mindfulness meditation session reduced anxiety levels for participants in a Michigan study, evident even a week later, and breath-based meditation enhanced mental clarity in an Irish study.

Blue Light Raises Cancer Risk

Spaniards exposed to the most blue light via white streetlight LEDs and screens on tablets and phones have up to twice the risk of prostate and breast cancer.

Rosemary Lowers the Blues, Aids Sleep and Memory

Iranian students taking rosemary for a month saw their anxiety and depression drop and their memory and sleep improve.

Dark Chocolate Proven Healthier than Ever

Chocolate with at last 70 percent cacao can reduce stress and inflammation and boost infection-fighting cells and creativity.

Five Healthy Habits Add Years of Life

People can live 12 to 14 years longer if they have a healthy weight, never smoke, exercise daily, eat healthy and drink alcohol only moderately, report Harvard researchers.

Too Much Sitting Thins the Brain

Sitting for extended periods of time seems to thin out the medial temporal lobe, the part of the brain known for forming new memories.

Yams Protect Against Liver Damage

Certain compounds in wild yam root help protect liver cells against damage from free radicals.

Raw Fruit and Veggies Key to Mental Health

Eating raw fruit and vegetables correlated more with psychological well-being in young adults than eating canned, cooked or processed produce.

Eating Well Protects Hearing

In a 22-year study of 33,000 women, Harvard researchers found that a healthy diet can lower the risk of moderate to severe hearing loss by nearly a third.

Pumpkin Compounds Inhibit Cancer Growth

New studies from Italy and China confirm the ability of certain nutrients in pumpkins to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Air Pollution Harms Developing Brains

Fetal exposure to air pollution can thin the outer layer of a developing child’s brain and lead to later cognitive difficulties, say Dutch researchers.

Hostile Teachers Hamper Learning

Students’ test scores dropped by as much as 5 percent when taught by teachers that belittled or criticized students or showed favoritism.

Eating Walnuts Boosts Gut Bacteria

A daily handful of walnuts aids gut bacteria linked to heart, metabolic and gastrointestinal health.

Gut Bacteria Linked to Artery Health

In a study of 617 middle-aged female twins, British researchers found that those with more diverse gut bacteria had more flexible arteries.

Breath and Urine Tests Detect Breast Cancer

A simple, inexpensive breath and urine test accurately detected biomarkers for breast cancer in 95 percent of women.

Aerobic Fitness Helps Prevent Word Loss

Tip-of-the-tongue word loss occurs less frequently in aerobically fit seniors, British researchers found.

Natural Vitamin E Lowers Heart Risks

Tocotrienols, a natural form of vitamin E found in wheat, barley, corn, rice and palm fruit, has been shown to lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure in seniors.

Music Reduces Need for Post-Surgery Opioids

After surgery, 86 percent of patients engaged in music therapy eschewed opioids and other painkillers, compared to 26 percent in a control group.

Knitting Releases the Blues

Knitting can lower depression, slow the heart rate, reduce the likelihood of dementia and distract from chronic pain, research shows.

Music Lessons Make Kids Smarter

Dutch 6-year-olds that sang, listened to music and played an instrument one to two hours a week showed significantly enhanced cognitive abilities and better grades two and a half years later.

Acupuncture Soothes Dental Anxiety

Acupuncture can significantly ease the dizziness, nausea and breathing difficulties that can affect some dental patients.

Calorie Restriction Slows Aging

Adults on a reduced-calorie diet for two years evidenced the reduced oxidative stress that protects against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and diabetes.

Vitamin D Supplements Ease Irritable Bowels

People with irritable bowel syndrome tend to be low in vitamin D, but symptoms can ease with supplementation, report British researchers.

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