Today’s Headlines: Sugary Drinks, Bikram Yoga and Vaccines

High-fructose corn syrup linked to increases in heart risk factors. A lot of data has come out about the health problems caused by sugary drinks like soda or juice, but new research has found that consuming drinks with high-fructose corn syrup can increase heart risk in a short period of time. “The researchers conducted a study on 85 healthy people between the ages of 18 and 40. Researchers gave some participants drinks with varying levels of high fructose corn syrup. Others had sugar-free beverages. Blood tests were taken on an hourly basis to check for changes in levels of lipoproteins, triglycerides and uric acid, which are all heart disease risk factors. Researchers found after only two weeks, those consuming drinks with high fructose corn syrup had significantly increased heart disease risk factors in the blood. heart disease risk factors increased as the dose of high fructose corn syrup went up, but even those who consumed the smallest level of added sugars at 10 percent exhibited increased risk.” The researchers were surprised that two weeks was enough to change these blood markers and point out that the body is exquisitely sensitive to these sorts of changes in diet. The study shows how one aspect of unhealthy diets could lead to increased health risks further down the road. (CBS)

Bikram yoga may lead to dangerous body temperatures, high heart rates. Fans of Bikram yoga have long claimed that keeping the room temperature (105° F) and humidity (40%) up help boost the challenge of the workout while also helping with flexibility. But new research has shown those very benefits may be dangerous. “The researchers looked at 20 healthy volunteers between the ages of 28 and 67 who regularly practiced Bikram yoga. The men and women swallowed a core body temperature sensor, and wore a heart-rate monitor during their class. Their core temperature was recorded before the class started and then every 10 minutes. Heart rate was recorded every minute. The researchers found that many of the volunteers’ core temperatures reached higher than 103° F and one passed 104° F. None of the men or women had symptoms of heat intolerance, but the researchers note that heat illness and heat stroke can happen when core temperatures reach104° F. In addition, the researchers found that average heart rate was 80% of the predicted maximum heart rate for men and 72% of the predicted maximum for women. The highest heart rate for women in the class was 85% of the predicted maximum heart rate for women and 92% for men.” The researchers acknowledge that the yoga can have its benefits, but emphasize that practitioners should stay well hydrated and avoid pushing it if they feel their body is telling them to cool it. (TIME)

MMR shown not to be responsible for autism, even in those at high risk. Study after study has disproven the false link between the MMR vaccine and autism and new research out this week has shown that holds even when a person is at high risk for developing autism. “A study of nearly 100,000 children found that toddlers known to have an elevated risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were no more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder if they were vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella than if they weren’t. What’s more, the diagnosis rate for high-risk children who were vaccinated was the same as for immunized children with no family history of the disorder, according to the report. The study – and others before it – makes plain that ‘the age of onset of ASD does not differ between vaccinated and unvaccinated children, the severity or course of ASD does not differ between vaccinated and unvaccinated children, and now the risk of ASD recurrence in families does not differ between vaccinated and unvaccinated children.” (LA Times)