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Statins May Raise Risk of Diabetes

Study finds almost 50% increase in relative risk of diabetes in statin users.

A cohort of 8749 randomly selected men without diabetes at baseline, but taking statins, were followed for 6 years. After adjustment for potential confounders, those using statins had a 46% increased relative risk of developing diabetes. More research is needed, but the tendency found in this study may give pause to statin use in those with borderline indications. 

PositiveTip: Make healthy lifestyle choices your first line defense against both hyperlipidemia and diabetes.

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Will Exercise Trigger Cardiac Risk?

Risk of cardiac problems during exercise in healthy people is very small.

Have you heard a middle-age person say, "Oh, I don't exercise anymore because I am afraid it will trigger a heart attack." Researchers analyzed all sudden cardiac events (SCAs) in a group of people 35-65 years old over 10 years. They found only 5% experienced SCAs during exercise, and almost two-thirds of those had previous cardiovascular symptoms. 

PositiveTip: The small short-term increase in risk associated with exercise is outweighed by the long-term benefits of regular physical activity.

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Thin Results for Weight Loss Programs

Best programs result in modest weight loss below participants expectations.

Researchers compared results from 45 commercial weight loss trials focused on 11 well-known programs (including Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and SlimFast) with controls based on counseling and education. At one year, only Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers showed a very modest loss compared with controls. Structure and strong social support seem to be key ingredients to success. Almost all of these trials were relatively short in duration. 

PositiveTip: Let consistent good choices and regular exercise empowered by God's grace bring true success. 

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"Eveningness" and Diabetes Risk

Many factors in modern life--lights, computers, Internet--keep us awake at night!

If you tend to be a night owl, you may be at higher risk for diabetes. Korean researchers found middle-age adults with a preference for going to bed late were 1.73 times as likely to have diabetes and metabolic syndrome. These differences persisted after adjusting for sleep length and other lifestyle factors. This early study did not show causation. It could be that unhealthy lifestyle habits influence circadian rhythms, or the opposite could be true.

PositiveTip: Establish good sleep habits and reduce your risk of diabetes.

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Improve Your Game with Optimal Sleep!

Optimizing sleep positively impacts functioning and enhances performance.

When crunch time comes sleep is often sacrificed first. Athletes are no exception! Stanford University researchers found basketball players who got at least an extra hour of sleep each night for 5-7 weeks experienced increased shooting accuracy and sprint times by almost 10%. They also reported increased vigor. less fatigue along with better physical and mental well-being scores.

PositiveTip: Make optimal daily sleep a priority. It improves your chances to reach peak performance--physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.

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TV Time Increases Diabetes Risk

The more time spent watching TV the higher the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Over 3000 overweight people were randomized to lifestyle intervention, daily metformin (medication), or placebo groups. The lifestyle group was encouraged to limit sedentary behaviors and get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. At 3 years the lifestyle group had significantly reduced the time spent watching TV. After adjusting for confounders in all groups, each hour of watching TV was associated with a 3.4% increased risk of diabetes.

PositiveTip: Make movement a significant part of each day.

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Lifestyle Change First!

Scientific consensus is to treat with lifestyle changes first.

Why do patients and mainstream medicine seem to chose medications for diseases that can be treated with lifestyle change? Patients often think physicians are professional drug dealers owned by big pharma, yet many patients choose not to cooperate with behavioral recommendations saying, "That is too hard, doc. Don't you have a pill for me?" Consider the current guidelines for reducing cardiovascular risk recommend dietary and exercise as first-line strategies.

PositiveTip: Ask your doctor what lifestyle changes you should make! Opt for Grace-empowered hard work--not quick-fix pills.

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The Burden of Constipation

Emergency rooms admit more constipated people than ever.

Researchers estimate in the U.S. there are 500,000 annual emergency room (ER) visits for constipation. Each visit averages $2300 in costs. That adds up  to $1.6 billion dollars yearly. In most cases a plant-based diet rich in dietary fiber combined with adequate fluids and physical activity will prevent this problem. Taking a dietary fiber supplement (available over-the-counter at all pharmacies) with an otherwise fiber-depleted diet can also help.

PositiveTip: Help unclog the wait at the ER! Eat a fiber-rich diet, drink enough water, and walk every day.

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Epidemiology Fun

Software now allows visualization of the way viruses travel around the globe.

Imagine you are a virus like H1N1 or Ebola. You decide to take a trip and infect others to create an epidemic. Where would you travel? Scientists have built data mapping software to predict the paths epidemics will take across the globe. The resulting maps are beautiful and complex. Many are currently on display at the New York Hall of Science.

PositiveTip: Help stop epidemics with good, common-sense practices and excellent personal hygiene.

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City Fast Food Ban Fails

Ban resulted in no beneficial impact.

In 2008 Los Angeles restricted the opening or remodeling of some stand-alone fast-food restaurants in very poor neighborhoods. The intent was to improve health outcomes and lower obesity rates among 700,000 residents of the affected area. Seven years later those ordinances have had little impact. Unfortunately, consumption of "fast food" increased and the average BMI (body mass index) is higher than in other parts of the city.

PositiveTip: The most effective ordinances for improving our health are those we establish in our minds empowered by God's help.