Vigorous exercise shown to increase 'good' estrogen levels.
A randomized, interventional physical activity study in 381 premenopausal women strongly suggests that exercise changes the way the body breaks down estrogen. Sedentary, young women who experienced regular, intense physical activity for 30 minutes per day for 16 weeks produced more of the 'good' metabolites of estrogen that lower breast cancer risk, compared to the sedentary control group.
PositiveTip: Keep moving every day! It helps in so many different ways to keep you healthy.
Low levels of lead exposure hurt kindergarten reading readiness.
Urban children exposed to low levels of lead are at risk for not achieving reading readiness in kindergarten. Learning to read is the foundation to the whole process of formal education. Researchers will be following these children through elementary school to better understand the long-term impact on school success.
PositiveTip: While lead-based paints have been prohibited for years, children should be kept away from surfaces with peeling, chipped paint.
Rates of using smokeless tobacco unchanged in U.S. youth.
The use of smokeless tobacco among adolescents and teens continues at just over 5% prevalence in middle and high school students in the U.S. This data comes from the National Youth Tobacco Survey. In spite of tough approaches to cigarette use, distribution of smokeless tobacco products are not prohibited. While the use of 'chaw' may reduce the risk of lung cancer, it increases the risk of mouth cancer.
PositiveTip: Treat all tobacco products alike. Avoid them as you would poison.
Almost half of U.S. teens admit to texting while driving.
A national survey of U.S. teens 16 years or older revealed that 44.5% had texted while driving at least once in the previous month. When compared to teens who did not text when behind the wheel, texters were more likely to drink and drive, ride with a drinking driver, and fail to use a seatbelt. Because this study was based on self-reported data it may underestimate the prevalence of driving while texting.
PositiveTip: Parents, supervision of your teen drivers is probably the most effective prevention strategy to risky driving.
Large, randomized study fails to show benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
Consuming n-3 fatty acids daily did not reduce cardiovascular morbidity or mortality in an Italian study of over 12,000 patients with risk factors but no history of a heart attack. Half were randomly assigned to 1 gram of n-3 fatty acid supplements, the other a half received a placebo of olive oil. While this study did not account for dietary variability from person to person, it does underscore that providing a supplement without a known dietary need may not be beneficial.
PositiveTip: Choose to consume a diet that provides sufficient n-3 fatty acids from natural sources.
Clean your kids pacifier with your saliva--its good for the child.
This may sound like weird science, but parents who suck their child's pacific to clean it may actually reduce that child's risk of developing allergies. Swedish researchers followed 184 full-term infants. At 18 months children whose parents cleaned the pacifier by sucking on it had significantly less asthma and eczema compared to those whose parents cleaned the pacifier in other ways. At 36 months they still had less eczema but not asthma. Exposure of infants to parental saliva may reduce allergies by beneficially influencing the child's microbiota.
PositiveTip: Go ahead and suck on your child's pacifier--it may reduce future allergies.
There are pitfalls to hitting the grocery store hungry.
It should come as no surprise that walking down the isle of the grocery store with an empty stomach will almost guarantee a basket full of high-calorie foods! Researchers demonstrated this in both a laboratory study of 68 participants, and a field study of 82 participants. Hungrier participants did not select more food items, but did purchase more high-calorie items.
PositiveTip: Avoid grocery shopping when you are hungry!
Melanoma is second leading cause of invasive cancer in 15-29 year olds.
The Federal government (U.S.) has proposed that indoor tanning beds be labeled stating those 18 or younger should not use them, and that people who do, need regular cancer screening. The same proposal has reclassified these beds as a Class II medical device, requiring the manufacturers to show that the product meets performance standards.
PositiveTip: Get the sunlight you need outdoors in appropriate amounts--daily if possible.
Plan B contraceptives to be available to 15 year olds.
A federal judge has reversed a Health and Human Services decision to restrict over-the-counter Plan B contraceptives, now allowing 15 year olds access with no point-of-sale interference. While many major professional organization have approved this change, it still stirs controversy in many sectors.
PositiveTip: This ruling makes it even more imperative that parents openly discuss with their youngsters these issues in the context of the family values.
Mushrooms a plant source of vitamin D.
A small trial conducted at Boston University has shown that a preparation of dried mushrooms that were exposed to ultraviolet light may contain as much vitamin D as a vitamin D supplement. When mushrooms are exposed to ultraviolet light, they produce vitamin D2, similarly to how humans produce vitamin D3 in the skin. This is good news for people who want to get vitamin D from non-animal based foods.
PositiveTip: Consuming mushrooms regularly can significantly contribute to vitamin D levels--as long as the mushrooms have been exposed to ultraviolet light.