In the News: Older Fathers May Have ‘Geekier’ Sons, Airplane Coffee and Tea May Be Full of Bacteria, Centenarians Share Secrets to Longevity

Older fathers may have ‘geekier’ sons. According to a “Geek Index”, created by King’s College London, men who wait longer to start a family may have “geekier” sons. A team of scientists analyzed test results from 15,000 twins, noting their non-verbal IQ, ability to focus on a subject, and social aloofness.  They found that the boys who scored high were brighter, more focused, and less worried about fitting in. Interestingly, they discovered that the age of the mother played no role in these results, and that daughters of older fathers were immune to these traits. When looking for an answer, researchers point out that new sperm mutations may be in play, as well as the fact that older men may simply encourage geeky traits thanks to their lifestyles.  (BBC)

Airplane coffee and tea may be full of bacteria. Do you find yourself ordering a cup of coffee or tea on a flight? You may want to rethink this beverage choice.  When asked which beverages they never go for on planes, stewardesses admitted they refuse to drink coffee, tea, or hot water. As it turns out, they may have the right idea. The water used for these warm beverages comes from the tap as opposed to a bottle, and that tap water may be full of horrible germs. One study found that in 158 airplanes, 13% were found to have coliform and two airplanes were even found to have E.coli in their tap water. An astounding one in every eight planes does not even pass the standards of water safety. To avoid ingesting potentially dangerous strains of bacteria, simply opt for bottled water or bring your own and save your caffeine fix for after you land. Here are eight more tricks to stay healthy while traveling. (T+L)

Centenarians share their secrets to longevity. As more and more people are reaching 100 years of age and up, scientists are looking into the secret behind their longevity. When asked how they maintain their youthful energy at the ages of 104 and 102, John and Charlotte Henderson point to a few key factors: eating well, sleeping enough, not drinking too much, having a loving partner, not overeating, and making time to exercise consistently. Another factor that plays a role is genetics. When Mac Miller, 102 years old, was asked how he’s stayed alive and healthy this long, he explained “my grandparents were in their 80s, my mother was 89, and my father was 93.” So it looks like a blend of behavioral factors, genetics, and today’s improved healthcare have led to an increase in the number of centenarians in the U.S. Want to stay on top of your longevity regimen? Check out this handy checklist. (USAT)

A Closer Look at the Recent News on Coconut Oil

 

Coconuts and organic coconut oil

This week coconut oil filled the news with headlines like “Worse Than Lard: Researchers Warn Against Trendy Use of Coconut Oil” and “Coconut oil isn’t healthy.  It’s never been healthy.” If you watch what you eat—and you probably do if you are reading this blog—you may be confused, because according to a survey conducted by the AHA, 72% of people think coconut oil is healthy.  So what is the truth?

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In the News: Fish May Reduce Arthritis Symptoms, Trouble Concentrating Linked to Excessive Drinking, Tick Bites May Cause Meat Allergy

Eating fish may reduce arthritis symptoms. A study of 176 participants had found that eating fish may cut down in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms such as painful joint inflammation. Researchers divided members into two groups based on their diets: ranging from those who eat fish less than once a month, and those who eat fish more than twice a week. After factoring in lifestyle habits, fish oil supplement consumption, sex, BMI, and race, they discovered that the disease symptoms lessened in those who ate fish most frequently. As it turns out certain types of fish can actually benefit your mental and physical health in more ways than one. Check out why eating fish once a week can also give you a brain boost. (NYT)

Trouble concentrating may be linked to excessive drinking. Do you notice it’s hard to concentrate and you often lose your train of thought? Research suggests that these struggles may be linked to excessive alcohol and drug use. This study is the first of its kind to analyze the link between attention issues and binge drinking, as well as opioid, cocaine, marijuana, tranquilizer, and stimulant use in those are who are 18 and up. Researchers at Columbia University also point out that these concentration problems are not solely specific to drug and alcohol users but reflect a larger issue present in today’s population. Want to cut back on your drinking? Here is how to start. (SD)

Tick bites may cause meat allergy. With tick bites becoming more prevalent throughout the summer months, there is now an increased chance of developing an allergic reaction to meat of all things. Alpha-Gal, which stands for galactose-alpha-1, 3-galactose, is a sugar molecule that spreads in the body from a Lone Star tick bite. This tick is dubbed Lone Star thanks to the resemblance of the state of Texas on its back. If you are bitten by this type of tick and it has mammal blood in its system, it can completely change your immune system, causing an allergic reaction to meat that you’ve never had before. Unfortunately, many people are not aware they have this new allergy until they eat meat or take medication that has animal gelatin in it. Another more well-known side-effect of tick bites is Lyme disease, which carries its own set of risks and dangers. Here are the facts you need to know. (NATGEO)

5 Tips for Fitness Beginners

Runner athlete legs running on stairs. woman fitness jogging workout wellness concept.

By: George & Jamie Hess of @NYCfitfam

Summer is here, and headlines everywhere are screaming at us to be prepared.

“Summer Slim Down!,” they shout.

“Get Beach Body Ready!,” they command.

“Learn How to Pick Your Most Flattering Bikini,” they instruct, assuming you feel anywhere near comfortable enough to don a two-piece.

It’s an easy time to feel overwhelmed, especially if you’re an exercise beginner. It’s also easy to feel frustrated by the washboard abs we see all over social media, leading to a feeling of defeat before you’ve even begun.

Fitness should be about how you feel from the inside out. Beauty is about how you show up in the world, and when you feel good, you look beautiful. Summer is the perfect time to start a fitness routine as a beginner because it’s lovely outside, but most beginners need some guidance and motivation to take that first step.

Read more  »

In the News: Fried Potatoes Linked to Mortality, EpiPen Rival Gets FDA Approval, Marijuana May Treat Period Pain

Fried potatoes may increase risk of death. French fry lovers may have cause for concern: a recent study has found that eating fried potatoes two or more times weekly can double the likelihood of early death, compared to people who don’t consume fried potatoes on a regular basis. On the other hand, potatoes that are not fried during preparation seem to have no bearing on early mortality. With fried potato consumption increasing annually, scientists have been looking for the cause of this alarming link. It appears that trans fats are to blame, as this type of fat raises the bad type of cholesterol, also known as “LDL” in the blood. When LDL levels get too high, it can lead to heart disease, which explains the increased risk of death. Other factors in play include being obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and consuming too much sodium. Need to lower your cholesterol? Add these foods to your shopping cart. (CNN)

Epipen’s cheaper rival gets FDA approval. Mylan, the company responsible for EpiPens, the emergency medication for allergy-suffers, recently came under fire for charging outlandish amounts of money for this life-saving product. While this medication was once $94 back in 2007, once Mylan acquired it, the price shot up to $608 dollars in 2016. These syringes require annual replacement, which only lends itself to more financial burdens. Luckily, a San Diego company called Adamis has come up with a competing product that is more affordable, easier to use, and more convenient to carry around. While they are still looking for distributors which will determine the price, it is expected to be more affordable which is an exciting development for allergy-sufferers across the country. Could you have an allergy without knowing it? Watch this clip to find out. (ABC)

Marijuana may treat period pain. According to recent reports, New York legislators are set to approve marijuana for the treatment of menstrual pain. Period cramps, which are caused by prostaglandins that cause muscle cramps can be treated by oral contraceptives and anti-inflammatory medication, but more and more people are beginning to look for natural alternatives to treat their suffering. In Colorado and California, marijuana tampons are potentially affective in reducing pain, by blocking the nerves that alert your brain to pain. While it’s not fully clear yet if marijuana will be an effective treatment for cramps, it’s an exciting development nonetheless. Suffering from cramps? Find out what your period reveals about your health. (GUARDIAN)

In the News: Interesting Vegetable Names Make Them More Appealing, One in Ten People Obese Worldwide, Drug Can Create a Tan Without the Sun

Interesting vegetable names make them more appealing. It turns out that the key to getting people to eat their vegetables has more to do with the marketing than the vegetable itself. Stanford University researchers discovered that students were consuming more vegetables in the cafeteria when the names were given an upgrade. The experiment, which lasted throughout the fall semester, involved tracking how many of the 600 diners chose a given vegetable dish. The vegetables were given four different labels: Basic (simply naming the vegetable), Healthy Restrictive (vegetable with sugar-free dressing), Healthy Positive (vitamin C packed vegetable), and Indulgent (citrus-glazed twisted vegetable). As it turns out, 25% more students chose the vegetable with the indulgent name versus the basic one, 41% more people chose the healthy restrictive ones, and 35% more people chose the healthy positive labels. Want to add more vegetables to your diet? Start with these. (BBC)

One in ten people on Earth is obese.  According to a report out of the New England Journal of Medicine, one in 10 people across the globe were labeled obese in 2015, which amounts to 604 million adults and 108 million children. The country with the highest rate of child obesity was the United States coming in at 12.7%, while the country with the highest rate of obese adults was in Egypt at 35.3%. When analyzing these numbers, many point to a change in employment as an explanation. Many countries have switched from physical labor to more sedentary office jobs. Obesity accounted for four million deaths around the world, 70% of which were linked to heart disease. Even scarier, 39% of deaths were from individuals who were overweight, not obese. Want to lose weight? Try the 21-Day Weight Loss Breakthrough diet. (CBS)

Drug that creates a tan may prevent cancer. Love having a sun-kissed look but hate exposing yourself to dangerous rays? It looks like science is now on your side. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital  have found that a drug can fool the skin into producing melanin, even working on redheads, who typically only get sunburnt. When the drug is rubbed on the skin it causes the skin to darken, the way it would normally when exposed to the sun. When examined up close, scientists found that the melanin production was genuine, which is an exciting development in the world of sunless tanning. While many rely on spray tans, airbrush tans, and tan towels to achieve a summer glow, these services have also come into question, thanks to the potentially harmful ingredients inside them. While further research will be required to determine that there are no harmful side-effects, so far this drug is showing a lot of promise. Want to learn how to make your skin look its best? Try this seven second skin care routine. (BBC)

In the News: New Exercise Pill Won’t Replace Gym Time, Social Interaction Critical for Overall Health, Diet May Be Linked to Depression

New exercise pill won’t replace gym time. A drug known as GW501516 has been getting a lot of attention lately, with articles stating that this exercise pill might eliminate the need for the gym. However, this drug was never intended to be a substitute for healthy lifestyle choices, but rather to supplement exercise instead. Often referred to as “Endurobol”, many marketing companies may still try to convince consumers that this magic pill can help them achieve all their weight loss and fitness goals but it is simply not the case. Researchers are currently looking at the effect of this drug on animals before they move on to testing on humans, though that won’t be happening for some time. Want to start a exercise routine? Get all your fitness info here. (ABC)

Social interaction critical for overall health. While we all know that socializing and maintaining friendships is an important part of the human experience, it turns out scientific studies have spent decades proving this very same truth. Social interaction is not just linked to improved mental health, but is linked to longevity too. In a study of 7,000 participants which began in 1965, researchers found that those who were disconnected from society were three times more likely to pass away than the participants with strong connections. As it turns out, the key to living a long and healthy life may have more to it than simply exercising and eating your fruits and vegetables.  (NYT)

Diet may be linked to depression. Recent findings suggest that roughly 300 million people around the world are suffering from depression. While factors like finances, relationships, and work can lead to depression, experts are now taking a closer look at the influence of diet as well. Researchers at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia conducted a 12-week study where they observed 67 individuals with varying degrees of depression. One group was given social support and one group was given dietary guidance, with an emphasis on the Mediterranean diet. The findings were remarkable: 30% of the patients given diet guidelines saw improvement in their symptoms, as opposed to only 8% of the group that only received social support. Want to learn how to eat the Mediterranean way? Check out this shopping list (FOX)