Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Health Briefs Archive

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Bitter Melon Eases Knee Pain

Patients with knee osteoarthritis who took a bitter melon supplement for three months had significantly less pain, lower analgesic use, and reduced body weight and blood glucose levels.

Harmful Bacteria Linked to Certain Showerheads

Mycobacterium that lurk in showerheads are more often found in homes using municipal water, using plastic showerheads, and in certain regions of the country.

Zinc Combo Fights Aging Diseases

When Zinc combines with certain antioxidant compounds found in tea, coffee and other foods, it produces a type of enzyme that prevents the oxidative stress linked to such diseases as dementia and cancer.

Ashwagandha Normalizes Hypothyroid Levels

Eight weeks of ashwagandha supplementation effectively normalized the serum thyroid levels of women with subclinical hypothyroidism.

The Power of Thank-You Notes

People who receive heartfelt thank-you notes are typically surprised, happy and appreciative, reactions that the letter-writers tend to underestimate.

Walnut Leaves Improve Diabetic Health

Type-2 diabetes patients who took an extract of walnut leaf for eight weeks lost weight and had lower systolic blood pressure.

Sniffing Dogs Can Detect Malaria

Trained to detect malaria parasites in socks that West African children wore for one night, trained canines correctly identified 70 percent of the infected and 90 percent of the uninfected children.

Screen Time Doubles Kids’ Risk of Anxiety and Depression

Children and teens who spend more than seven hours a day on screens are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression.

Nuts Improve Blood Vessel Health

Munching on about two handfuls of either walnuts or almonds increased blood vessel dilation in overweight volunteers and lowered markers of arterial plaque.

Holy Basil Fights Tooth Infection

The herb reduced infection levels in children following root canals, which could help avoid antibiotic reactions and overuse.

Immigration to U.S. Lowers Healthy Gut Bacteria

The gut bacteria of immigrants accustomed to traditional diets became less diverse and less healthy within six to nine months of moving to the United States.

Changing Landscapes

Stress Lowers Women’s Fertility

Women with the highest levels of self-reported stress are 13 percent less likely to conceive within a year.

Nettle Leaf Helps Inflammatory Bowel Patients

In a 12-week clinical trail, Iranian patients with inflammatory bowel disease that received a nettle leaf extract had lower markers of inflammation in the blood and a better quality of life.

Daily Walks Make Kids Healthier

A Scottish program called The Daily Mile, which allowed school kids to walk or run 15 minutes a day, improved overall fitness and lowered body fat.

Beet Juice Boosts Stamina

Heart failure patients that took beetroot juice supplements exercised longer and harder.

Eating Mediterranean Diet Helps Save Eyesight

A study of 4,500 French and Dutch adults found that those that ate a Mediterranean diet lowered their risk of late-stage, age-related macular degeneration by 41 percent.

Low-Nutrition Foods Linked to Cancers

Europeans eating foods with lower nutritional quality had a significantly greater incidence of certain types of cancer.

Artificial Sweeteners Harm Gut Microbes

Israeli and Singapore researchers found six popular FDA-approved artificial sweeteners to be toxic to digestive gut microbes.

Optimism Linked to Better Heart Health

People that are optimistic tend to have healthier exercise and eating habits, making them less likely to die of heart disease, report Harvard researchers.

Meditation Soothes Anxiety and Improves Focus

A single mindfulness meditation session reduced anxiety levels for participants in a Michigan study, evident even a week later, and breath-based meditation enhanced mental clarity in an Irish study.

Blue Light Raises Cancer Risk

Spaniards exposed to the most blue light via white streetlight LEDs and screens on tablets and phones have up to twice the risk of prostate and breast cancer.

Rosemary Lowers the Blues, Aids Sleep and Memory

Iranian students taking rosemary for a month saw their anxiety and depression drop and their memory and sleep improve.

Dark Chocolate Proven Healthier than Ever

Chocolate with at last 70 percent cacao can reduce stress and inflammation and boost infection-fighting cells and creativity.

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