April 7, 2014

Health Roundup: Sleep, diesel, morning light, watermelon, jogging, cancer test and dogs

SLEEP. How a bad night's sleep could age your brain by five YEARS: Poor quality slumber causes loss of memory and concentration

Just three years of poor sleep could cause a decline in mental faculties. Poor sleep is linked to a 50% increase in risk of a decline in faculties. Sleep quality is more important than quantity in determining brain aging.

CHILDREN: Circumcision should be offered 'like vaccines' to the parents of baby boys, study claims
The health benefits of male circumcision 'outweigh the risks 100 to one'  Half of uncircumcised men develop a health problem as a result, it is claimed. It would be 'unethical' not to offer it to the parents of all baby boys, the researchers state

Emissions from diesel can damage children's brains and increase the risk of autism and schizophrenia, scientists warn.  Nitrogen dioxide, a chemical present in diesel emissions, causes eye, nose and throat irritation and is said to cause breathing problems in young children.  But scientists have warned that as well as damaging the lungs, the fumes could cause autism and schizophrenia to develop within children living near busy roads. Long-term exposure to the fumes changes the way that a child's brain develops, it has been revealed.  The danger of the fumes has been compared to the effect of lead in petrol.

WEIGHT.  Get up earlier.  Morning Light Exposure Linked to Lower Weight  In the study, participants who were normally exposed to at least 500 lux of light (about the brightest level you'd find in homes and offices) starting at 8 a.m. had lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than those who usually got that much light exposure later in the day, the researchers found.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.  Eat more watermelon and exercise in warm water.
Watermelon could slash the risk of heart attacks in obese people
The study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, revealed that eating watermelon is good for heart health and can reduce the risk of heart problems in cold conditions. Professor Arturo Figueroa, from Florida State University, said: ‘The pressure on the aorta and on the heart decreased after consuming watermelon extract."

Research suggests that exercising in warm water could help people with high blood pressure, even those who don't respond to drugs. Hot aquarobics takes place in water heated to 90F. The temperature of the water dilates blood vessels improving the flow of blood which reduces blood pressure and slashes heart attack and stroke risk.

EXERCISE:  Jogging could actually be BAD for you: Too much running increases risk of early death
People who do a moderate amount of exercise live the longest.  Those who do none at all, or too much, have shorter lifespans. Experts recommend running for two to three hours per week

CANCER. Simple blood test could soon diagnose if patient has cancer and how far advanced the disease it is, scientists say.  A quick and simple blood test could soon diagnose which cancer a patient has and how advanced the disease is, scientists said….But researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a test which can quickly tell doctors how large the tumor is, how it is responding to treatment and how it has evolved over time…..According to the medics, the new test works for the most common types of cancer, including breast, lung and prostate. It could even be used to screen healthy or at-risk patients for signs of the illness.
Cancer cells continuously divide and die, as they do so they release DNA into the bloodstream, which can be screened for using blood tests.

DOGS CAN SMELL CANCER.  BBC Video. Dogs watch us all the time and read our body language like a sixth sense. They also smell our bodies for changes. Max smelt cancer in Maureen before any medical scans could pick it up. Dogs do this naturally and can be trained to pick up on tiny volatile chemicals given off by cancerous tumors. They can even be taught to alert diabetics to low blood sugar levels.

Posted by Jill Fallon at April 7, 2014 11:53 AM | Permalink