Today’s Headlines: Rita Wilson, Cheese and Long Work Days

Rita Wilson removes dangerous breast cancer with double mastectomy. Actress Rita Wilson has spoken out about the details of her breast cancer treatment. “Wilson revealed in a statement that she underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma, a form of breast cancer. ‘I have taken a leave from the play Fish in the Dark to deal with a personal health issue,’ Wilson said in the statement. ‘Last week, with my husband by my side, and with the love and support of family and friends, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction for breast cancer after a diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma. I am recovering and, most importantly, expected to make a full recovery. Why? Because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion.’” Initial biopsies of a suspicious area of Wilson’s breast had shown no cancer. But Wilson decided to get a second pathologist’s opinion on the biopsy, which turned out to be crucial in discovering a potentially dangerous cancer. According to Wilson, “a second opinion is necessary and vital. Not just by another doctor but by another pathologist.” Click here to read the fully story.  (CNN)

Cheese may encourage certain kinds of healthy gut bacteria. You’ve probably heard that cheese is not so good for you, but the French are well known both for eating lots of cheese and for being healthier than their diet would suggest. Research out this week brings us one step closer to understanding why that might be the case. “The research—funded in part by Arla Foods (a Danish food company that produces dairy products) and the Danish Dairy Research Foundation—analyzed data from 15 healthy young men who ate three diets for two weeks. All diets had the same amount of calories and fat, but one was rich in 1.5% fat milk, another required eating 1.7 grams of cow cheese per day, and the third was a control diet. The researchers analyzed the men’s urine and feces to figure out how dairy is metabolized and what effect it had on markers of blood cholesterol levels.” Researchers saw more metabolites like short-chain fatty acids like butyrate and propionate that they know are related to the metabolism of the microflora in the dairy eaters. “They also had lower levels than the control group of TMAO, a metabolite produced when the body metabolizes choline, which is found in many animal-derived foods like red meat.” More short chain fatty acids and lower levels of TMAO have been associated with lower levels of cholesterol, which may help stave off heart disease. (TIME)

Long days at work can lead to more boozy evenings. While a beer or glass of wine might seem like a great way to unwind at the end of a long day, too many long work days might be causing you to overdo it. “A review of 61 studies across 14 countries (for a total of more than 330,000 subjects) linked working more than 48 hours a week with ‘risky’ alcohol use. Researchers found that when subjects worked those longer hours they were 11% more likely to be heavy drinkers than those who punched in for no more than the typical 40-hour workweek. For the purposes of this study, the team defined ‘risky’ drinking as more than 14 alcoholic drinks per week for women and more than 21 for men. The CDC defines heavy drinking as more than eight drinks a week for women, 15 drinks if you’re a guy. The researchers warn the study is observational and more studies are needed. But the team did find that switching to longer hours also changed your drinking habits. Over a six-year period, 12% of normal drinkers evolved into heavy drinkers after they started working longer hours.” (Fox)