In the News: Birth Control Could Lower Cancer Risk, How Breathing Can Spread the Flu, Hot Yoga Doesn’t Have to Be Hot to Be Beneficial

Birth control could decrease your risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers. Research published in JAMA Oncology showed that birth control’s ability to affect a woman’s hormones may also lower their cancer risk. In fact, the longer that a woman was on the pill seemed to lower the risk even further: “For those taking the pill for 10 years or more, the risk of ovarian cancer was 40 percent lower compared to women who had never used the pill or used them for less than a year, and 34 percent lower for endometrial cancer.” While similar studies have been done before, this research study took a closer look at potential lifestyle factors — like smoking, obesity, etc. — that may increase cancer risk. This study found that regardless of lifestyle factors, long-term birth control use benefitted all women regardless of health or even family history. However, the results of this study do not mean that you should throw health out the window if you’re on the pill, you should still follow healthy practices in your daily life. (TIME)

You can spread the flu by breathing. While most people think that catching a virus comes from coughing or sneezing, a new study shows that just breathing can put unwanted bacteria out in the air. The study, funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, looked at 142 people with the flu and analyzed their breath, coughing, and sneezing. Researchers found that “…a significant number of flu patients routinely shed infectious virus…into aerosol particles small enough to present a risk for airborne transmission.” Make sure to get your flu shot in order to take preventative measures against catching the virus this season. (SD)

Hot yoga doesn’t actually have to be hot to benefit your body. Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga, is yoga performed at very high temperatures. But a study out of Texas found that while traditional Bikram yoga improved heart health, Bikram yoga in a room temperature environment had the same results. So if you are interested in trying Bikram but haven’t because of the sweltering temperatures, rest assured that you can still learn Bikram while improving your health and working out at the same time. Look up the moves and do them in the comfort of your own home in a normal temperature environment. (MNT)