Mental Attitude: Email-Based Interventions Improve Wellbeing.
In this study, researchers found that participants who engaged with an email-based program aimed at improving their wellbeing experienced long-term improvements in their ability to handle stress, in their confidence in the future, and in the amount of physical activity they engaged in per week. The authors conclude, “Internet-based interventions are feasible for mental health promotion and should be available for people interested in improving their psychological well-being and lifestyle.”
BMC Psychology, May 2016
Health Alert: Pesticide Exposure Possible Risk Factor for ALS.
Exposure to pesticides may increase the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease)—a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that attacks the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that are responsible for voluntary muscle control. This study included 156 patients with ALS and 128 controls without the disease. The researchers found an association with an increased risk of ALS and both the presence of pesticides in the blood and residential and occupational pesticide exposure. This link was particularly strong for exposure to organochlorine pesticides, such as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), methoxychlor, and benzene hexachloride. The authors of the study write, “Our findings identify classes of pollutants that increase the likelihood of ALS and therefore are modifiable disease risk factors.”
JAMA Neurology, May 2016
Diet: Cutting Calories.
To lose a pound a week, experts say you’ll need to cut 3,500 calories during that time frame. To reach this weekly goal, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests avoiding sweetened drinks and foods with added sugar, limiting fatty food consumption, snacking on raw vegetables, enjoying sliced fruits, avoiding alcohol, and drinking more water.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, May 2016
Exercise: Walking Is Good for Your Health.
Enjoying regular walks can help keep you healthy without extra strain on your body. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, walking can offer the following benefits: a stronger heart, lower blood pressure, greater oxygen intake, slower loss of bone mass with age, slower onset of arthritis, improved muscle tone, less stress, improved sleep, improved mood, and improved attitude.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, May 2016
Chiropractic: Behavior & Low Back Pain.
Low back pain is a prevalent musculoskeletal disorder that can significantly affect individuals, business, and society. Identifying behavior-related factors that contribute to low back pain may help in the prevention and reduction of this potentially disabling condition. Based on data from the 2009-2012 National Health Interview Survey, investigators found links between self-reported lower back pain and leisure-time physical inactivity, current or former smoking, current or former alcohol drinking, short sleep duration, and obesity. The authors recommend that public health policy makers and clinicians consider addressing these factors to reduce the burden of low back pain on a societal basis.
Spine, April 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Breath Test Could Help Diagnosis IBS.
Currently, there is no specific diagnostic test for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but researchers now claim they have discovered a combination of 16 different substances in the breath that can accurately identify individuals with IBS when measured together. Senior author Dr. Frederik-Jan van Schooten notes, “Now we know which chemicals in breath have diagnostic information that we can use to develop noninvasive tools to follow the disease and to steer therapeutic interventions.”
Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, May 2016