Today’s Headlines: Stress Can Cancel Out Healthy Diet, Exercise Helps Seniors Recover from Injury, and “Hidden Hearing Loss” Presents New Medical Challenge

A new study, published this week in the journal of Molecular Psychiatry, suggests that stress can cancel out the benefits of a healthy diet for women. A chaotic afternoon after a healthy breakfast might be akin to a candy bar after a workout. The reason: inflammation. Inflammation is “not an innocent bystander,” said Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, who led the research. Chronic inflammation caused by stress is a risk factor for heart disease, cancer, depression, and dementia. The study, authored by Kiecolt-Glaser and her team, is a small one. Nonetheless, it serves as a useful reminder to take a holistic approach to healthy living. (LATimes)

For seniors, physical exercise might do more than to prevent injuries. New research, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, shows that those who regularly exercise tend to recover better from injuries. Dr. Thomas Gill, who teaches at Yale University’s School of Medicine, hopes that these findings will encourage family members to discuss the importance of exercise with their parents and older relatives. Exercise, Gill says, is “probably the single best mechanism for [seniors] to maintain their independence.” (TIME)

Those who struggle to understand speech in noisy environments might be suffering from a kind of hearing loss that is different from the kind caused by old age. A new paper in the journal PLOS One suggests that this type of hearing loss, called “hidden hearing loss,” can affect young and middle-aged individuals. “We believe this is the first evidence of hidden hearing loss in humans—but it is just a first step,” said Stéphane Maison, who led the study. “Hidden hearing loss” results from a specific type of damage (called cochlear synaptopathy), which researchers don’t fully understand yet. (WSJ)