Category Archives: Uncategorized

Panel proposes a new guideline for men: just one drink per day

I am not a drinking guy. If I eat out once or twice a week, I might have a glass of beer with dinner, but that is it. I just don’t get anything out of alcohol. I also realize that I am in the minority. For the rest of the world ….

For several decades, government guidelines have recommended that men should limit their alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day. Now a panel of health experts is proposing a new guideline that would cut that limit in half.

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The recommendation for women—one drink per day—would remain the same.

The new proposal comes from a panel that advises the federal government on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are released every five years by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. The new guidelines will be released later this year.

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Concussions can cause long-term sleep problems

I have posted numerous times about the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Now it turns out that previous head injuries can also affect night time rest.

Every year, thousands of people end up in the emergency room or hospital with minor head injuries, often diagnosed as concussions. Concussions usually result from falls, violence, bicycle accidents or sports injuries.

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In the first days following a severe concussion, it is common to experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, an increased need for sleep or difficulty sleeping.

“Most people fully recover from their problems after a short time, but some individuals suffer long-term problems that affect their quality of life, work and school,” says PhD candidate researcher Simen Berg Saksvik at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Department of Psychology.

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Apropos of nothing …

I wanted to share this picture with you. My girlfriend and I went out to celebrate her birthday dinner at Jack Binion’s Steakhouse at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN this past weekend.

This is a photograph of my shrimp cocktail appetizer. Is that a gorgeous picture, or what?

I admire good presentation in a restaurant and in my opinion this is the finest food presentation I have ever seen. I almost felt guilty destroying the symmetry when I began to eat it.

Tony

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Airborne Viruses Can Spread on Dust

Influenza viruses can spread through the air on dust, fibers and other microscopic particles, according to new research from the University of California, Davis, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The findings, with obvious implications for coronavirus transmission as well as influenza, are published Aug. 18 in Nature Communications.

“It’s really shocking to most virologists and epidemiologists that airborne dust, rather than expiratory droplets, can carry influenza virus capable of infecting animals,” said Professor William Ristenpart of the UC Davis Department of Chemical Engineering, who helped lead the research. “The implicit assumption is always that airborne transmission occurs because of respiratory droplets emitted by coughing, sneezing or talking. Transmission via dust opens up whole new areas of investigation and has profound implications for how we interpret laboratory experiments as well as epidemiological investigations of outbreaks.”

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Study focuses on low-carb, high-fat diet effect on older populations

A new study, published in Nutrition and Metabolism, from researchers with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Nutrition Obesity Research Center observed improvements in body composition, fat distribution and metabolic health in response to an eight-week, very low-carbohydrate diet.

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Older adults with obesity are at particularly high risk of developing cardiometabolic disease such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Rather than total fat mass, deposition of fat in certain areas, such as the abdominal cavity and skeletal muscle, may confer this greatest risk of disease development.

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Low humidity increases COVID risk; another reason to wear a mask

Dry air could prompt further disease spread Share Professor Michael Ward says we could face increased risks of coronavirus community transmission when humidity is low or when the air is drier.

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A study in June focused on the Greater Sydney area during the early epidemic stage of COVID-19 found an association between lower humidity and an increase in community transmission.

Now a second study in August by the same team confirms the risk.

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More healthful milk chocolate by adding peanut, coffee waste

Milk chocolate is a consumer favorite worldwide, prized for its sweet flavor and creamy texture. This confection can be found in all types of treats, but it isn’t exactly health food. In contrast, dark chocolate has high levels of phenolic compounds, which can provide antioxidant health benefits, but it is also a harder, more bitter chocolate. Today, researchers report a new way to combine milk chocolate with waste peanut skins and other wastes to boost its antioxidant properties.

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The researchers presented their results today at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo. ACS held the meeting through Thursday. It features more than 6,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.

“The idea for this project began with testing different types of agricultural waste for bioactivity, particularly peanut skins,” says Lisa Dean, Ph.D., the project’s principal investigator. “Our initial goal was to extract phenolics from the skins and find a way to mix them with food.”

When manufacturers roast and process peanuts to make peanut butter, candy and other products, they toss aside the papery red skins that encase the legume inside its shell. Thousands of tons of peanut skins are discarded each year, but since they contain 15% phenolic compounds by weight, they’re a potential goldmine of antioxidant bioactivity. Not only do antioxidants provide anti-inflammatory health benefits, they also help keep food products from spoiling.

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Stomach Capacity, Desire to Eat Increases at Buffets

In this pandemic-framed period of social distancing, a study on buffets may seem quaint at best. Hopefully, there will come a time in the not so distant future when buffets can be a part of our lives again.

Research suggests stomach capacity in obesity changes to accommodate different eating situations, which has an effect on feelings of fullness and the urge to overeat. The study is published in the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.

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Studies have found that people with obesity have a greater gastric volume (stomach capacity) compared with those with a lower body mass index. Physical, genetic and social factors are just a few components that influence eating behavior, which includes the desire to stop eating due to fullness (satiety) and the physical state of fullness (satiation). The associations between stomach capacity—while fasting and after eating—and both satiety and satiation are unclear.

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Weekend funnies

Tony

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Coming soon – A simple blood test for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease

By now I think everybody reading this blog knows about my family’s connection to Alzheimer’s and dementia. So,it should come as no surprise that I am thrilled to pass on this latest info from the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry.

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A promising new blood test for Alzheimer’s disease is now on the horizon.  The newly reported test proved to be just as reliable as more invasive and costly tests at detecting Alzheimer’s and may even be able to detect the disease as long as 20 years prior to symptoms.  This is an exciting new development that could make detecting the disease much easier and speed up enrollment in clinical trials.

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What are the health benefits of acai berries?

Acai (ah-sigh-EE) berries are a grape-like fruit native to the rainforests of South America. They are harvested from acai palm trees.

 

The fruits are about 1 to 2 centimeters (cm) in diameter and a deep purple color. The seed constitutes about 80 percent of the fruit. The taste of acai berries has been described as a blend of chocolate and berries, with a slight metallic aftertaste.

close up photo of berries

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Acai berries have been called a superfood, with benefits ranging from improved skin appearance to weight loss, but not all of these claims are supported by evidence.

Health benefits

Many fruit and vegetables offer a range of health benefits, and acai berries are no exception. Continue reading

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Schooling critical for cognitive health throughout life

Investing time in education in childhood and early adulthood expands career opportunities and provides progressively higher salaries. It also conveys certain benefits to health and longevity.

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A new analysis published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI), however, reveals that even though a more extensive formal education forestalls the more obvious signs of age-related cognitive deficits, it does not lessen the rate of aging-related cognitive declines. Instead, people who have gone further in school attain, on average, a higher level of cognitive function in early and middle adult adulthood, so the initial effects of cognitive aging are initially less obvious and the most severe impairments manifest later than they otherwise would have.

“The total amount of formal education that people receive is related to their average levels of cognitive functioning throughout adulthood,” said Elliot M. Tucker-Drob, a researcher with the University of Texas, Austin, and coauthor on the paper. “However, it is not appreciably related to their rates of aging-related cognitive declines.” Continue reading

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Heavier smoking linked to skyrocketing health risks

You really might call this the – so what else is new – post.

Each cigarette smoked a day by heavier smokers increases the risk of contracting some diseases by more than 30 per cent, according to a new international study published today.

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The Australian Centre for Precision Health based at the University of South Australia led the study, which links heavier smoking* with 28 separate health conditions, revealing a 17-fold increase in emphysema, 8-fold increase in atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and a 6.5-fold higher incidence of lung cancer.

The findings, published in EClinicalMedicine, analysed hospital data and mortality statistics from more than 152,483 ever* smokers in the UK Biobank to look how heavier smoking affects disease risks.

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Homocysteine: The Facts – Tufts

While I have blood work done at least once a year, with my physical, must confess this was news to me. I had never previously encountered homocysteine, before I read it in the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.

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Doctors routinely measure blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar, because high levels are strongly associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and bringing these levels down through diet, exercise, and appropriate medication may lower risk. Some researchers suggest that another measure, homocysteine (ho-mo-SIS-teen) levels, should be added to that list. “Multiple studies have found an association between high blood levels of homocysteine and higher cardiovascular disease risk (especially heart attack) as well as higher risk of certain causes of cognitive decline,” says Irwin H. Rosenberg, MD, a professor at Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and senior scientist at the Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory. Continue reading

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Flu vaccine may reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease – Study

People who received at least one flu vaccination were 17% less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease over the course of a lifetime, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

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First author Albert Amran, a fourth-year medical student at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, presented the findings at the 2020 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference July 27-31. The conference was held virtually due to COVID-19. Senior author of the study was Paul E. Schulz, MD, Rick McCord Professor in Neurology and Umphrey Family Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases at UTHealth.

“Because there are no treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, it is crucial that we find ways to prevent it and delay its onset,” Amran said. “About 5.8 million people in the United States have this disease, so even a small reduction in risk can make a dramatic difference. We began our study by looking for ways we could reduce this risk.” Continue reading

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New blood test shows great promise in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease

A new blood test demonstrated remarkable promise in discriminating between persons with and without Alzheimer’s disease and in persons at known genetic risk may be able to detect the disease as early as 20 years before the onset of cognitive impairment, according to a large international study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and simultaneously presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

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For many years, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s has been based on the characterization of amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain, typically after a person dies. An inexpensive and widely available blood test for the presence of plaques and tangles would have a profound impact on Alzheimer’s research and care. According to the new study, measurements of phospho-tau217 (p-tau217), one of the tau proteins found in tangles, could provide a relatively sensitive and accurate indicator of both plaques and tangles — corresponding to the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s — in living people. Continue reading

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