Mental Attitude: Large Waist Size Could Mean Higher Risk for Cognitive Disorders.
New research indicates a relationship between a greater waist size and lower levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)—a protein that supports the survival of existing neurons in the brain and encourages the growth and development of new neurons and synapses—that may hasten the development of dementia and other cognitive disorders. While it’s unclear how central adiposity influences BDNF, researchers suspect engaging in BDNF-promoting behaviors like regular exercise and eating a healthier diet may protect the brain function of adults with a larger waist circumference.
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, May 2016
Health Alert: Hepatics C May Triple Heart Attack Risk.
Coronary atherosclerosis is a condition described by the hardening of the arteries in the heart, which can result in sudden blood clots or a heart attack. An analysis of ten published studies concludes that chronic hepatitis C infection can increase an individual’s risk for coronary atherosclerosis by nearly 300%.
Public Health, May 2016
Diet: Many Report Better Mood After Dieting.
According to a new study, going on a diet may improve your health, mood, and stress levels. The study involved 220 participants of whom nearly two-thirds were asked to restrict their daily calories by 25% for two years, while the other third ate whatever they wanted. Investigators found that participants restricting their calories experienced an improved mood, better quality of life, improved sleep, and better relationships than those who did not practice calorie restriction.
JAMA Internal Medicine, May 2016
Exercise: Barefoot Running Good for the Brain.
Brain function appears to be boosted by running without shoes. This study included 72 volunteers who were instructed to run either barefoot or while wearing shoes for about 16 minutes. The study found that after running barefoot, participants experienced about a 16% improvement in their working memory, or their ability to recall or process information. However, running in shoes did not result in the same immediate benefits to memory. The findings suggest that running barefoot requires greater mental intensity and use of working memory, which may explain this discrepancy. Study leader Dr. Ross Alloway writes, “If we take off our shoes and go for a run, we can finish smarter than when we started.”
Perceptual and Motor Skills, May 2016
Chiropractic: Manual Therapies Reduce Pain & Disability.
A recent study investigated both the short- and long-term benefits of manual therapy in the treatment of neck and back pain. Participants age 18 to 65 received twelve weeks of treatment that included spinal manipulation, spinal mobilization, stretching, and/or massage. At the conclusion of treatment, 64% reported improvement in pain intensity while 42% experienced improvements in pain-related disability. When investigators followed-up with these participants a year later, 58% continued to report improvements in pain intensity and 40% continued to note improvements in pain-related disability.
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, April 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Too Much, Too Little Sleep Can Shorten Your Life.
An analysis of 40 published studies that included over 2.2 million participants indicates that both too little and too much sleep per night may increase one’s risk for an early death. Compared with those who slept an average of seven hours per night, participants who slept six or fewer hours were 4-9% more likely to die prematurely while those who slept nine or more hours per night were more than 8% at risk of early death. According to the authors of the study, close to half of adults either sleep too much or too little each night.
Sleep Medicine Reviews, March 2016