The latest fad in homeopathy to hit the United States has roots in an unlikely place: the salt caves of Eastern Europe—a sort of primordial spa where people flocked for eons to treat ailments ranging from respiratory illnesses to skin infections. Dry salt therapy (or, as it’s officially known, “halotherapy”) involves basking in the sodium-rich air of small, custom-crafted “salt chambers.” Its lack of regulation and scientific backing hasn’t stopped its surge in popularity. According to Ulle Lutz, president of consultation service Salt Chambers Inc., about 150 halotherapy facilities have sprung up in the U.S. in the past two years. We gave one a test run.
Deaths in Ferguson, Missouri; New York City; Sanford, Florida; and other areas have focused international attention on young African American men. In a recent campaign, young African American men draw attention to key overlooked facts that describe their demographic: 1 of 3 goes to college, 3 of 4 are drug free, 5 of 9 have jobs, 7 of 8 are not teenaged fathers, and 11 of 12 finish high school.1 How can clinicians help address existing health disparities and add to these positive outcomes?
Around 600,000 people die from malaria every year. The vast majority of these deaths occur in Africa, where female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting malaria between people.
Current mosquito control methods, which include insecticide-covered bed nets and indoor insecticide spraying, have dramatically reduced malaria transmission in many communities. But they have little impact on mosquitoes that bite outdoors.
In a world-first study, a team of international scientists has discovered a chemical called cedrol that attracts pregnant female Anopheles mosquitoes. Read more →
A Finnish study found daily saunas protect middle-aged men against heart attacks.
The Finnish are clearly onto something. Though the Angry Birds ship has sailed—we feel your deep-seeded jealousy toward Rovio’s genius, too—you can jump on Finland’s health bandwagon by stepping into a sauna.
Frequent sauna trips (baths? sits?) may help you live longer, a Finnish study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has found. Saunas are to Finland what Starbucks is to America. For a population of 5.3 million people, there are 3.3. million saunas in Finland, according to InterNations.org. And they have good reason to cherish their sweatboxes.
Laughter is great not just for your mood, but for your gray matter, says a new study out of Loma Linda U., where a group of adults who watched a funny video for 30 minutes did better on unrelated short-term-memory tests afterward than a separate group who’d just sat twiddling their thumbs.
Turmeric is a main spice in curry — it’s a yellow-colored, bitter-tasting ginger root that can also be quite medicinal. Turmeric has been used to treat arthritis, heartburn, stomach issues, and diarrhea, among other things throughout human history — but now researchers have found a new potential outlet for the root in treating disorders involving fear memories, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In a new study led by Glenne Schafe, a professor of psychology at Hunter College, researchers found that curcumin — the principal compound found in turmeric — impaired the formation of fear memories in the brain after a traumatic experience.
Your love for avocados is oh-so right, according to a new study that finds that eating an avocado a day can improve bad cholesterol levels — at least in overweight and obese people.
Avocados have gotten a bad rap in the past because they’re high in calories and fat. But it’s their richness in monounsaturated fat that researchers say gives avocado its ability to lower bad cholesterol.
How to avoid the possibility of eating poisonous rice.
Eaters of white and brown rice have healthier diets— they take in more fruits and vegetables and less saturated fat and added sugar, a Baylor College of Medicine study of more than 14,000 adults showed. But all’s not well in Riceville. It turns out, the grain is often tainted with carcinogenic metals, especially when crops are grown in once industrial areas. In China, the concern is cadmium, a metallic compound that may cause cancer and kidney disease. In fact, a Greenpeace East Asia test found unsafe levels of cadmium in 12 of 13 rice crops sampled. Stateside, arsenic is the enemy, though the FDA has so far deemed levels too low to cause immediate adverse health effects.
Age of first menses has decreased substantially since the early 20th century, and studies have shown that younger age of menarche is associated with increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer in later life.Here is another mark against sugary drinks: A new study has found that drinking them is associated with lowered age of menarche.
The study, published online in Human Reproduction, used data on 5,583 girls ages 9 to 14 who had not yet attained menarche at the start. They filled out diet questionnaires yearly from 1996 to 1998. By 2001, 159 still had not yet had their first period.
After controlling for birth weight, maternal age at menarche, physical activity, and many dietary and behavioral factors, they found that girls who drank one-and-a-half 12-ounce cans a day of nondiet soda or sugared iced tea had their first period an average of 2.7 months earlier than those who drank less than two cans a week.
The lead author, Karin B. Michels, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard, said that the contribution of sugary drinks to early menarche was independent of the well-known contribution of obesity.
“Our findings are robust,” she said, “and not dependent on body mass index. Sugared beverages are not healthy to begin with, and there should be heightened attention to avoiding them.”
read more at BODY, MENSTRUATION, SUGAR
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