In the News: Study Says Pets Linked to Improved Health, Smoking Causes One in 10 Deaths, More Middle-Aged Men Taking Steroids

Study says pets linked to improved health. A 2015 Harris poll has found that 95 percent of pet owners look at their animal as a family member and treat them like gold. In return, pet owners tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and a lower heart rate. While it’s not clear if these health benefits stem from the exercise required to keep up with your pet or the stress relief from having one on hand, the positive side effects are very much there. Specifically, researchers have found that dogs can help children improve their reading skills, fish can help Alzheimer’s patients feel relaxed and improve their eating habits, handling horses can reduce PTSD, and the list goes on and on. To learn more about how pets can increase your longevity, check out this article. (TIME)

Smoking causes one in 10 deaths across the globe. New research has found that smoking causes one in 10 deaths worldwide, with half of them in China, India, Russia, and the United States. Despite everything we know now about the dangers of smoking, one out of four men and one in 20 women are smoking on a daily basis. This study, which spanned 25 years, found that smoking among Russian women went up by 4 percent, with similar findings in Africa as well. In Brazil, the percentage of smokers went down from 29 percent to 12 percent. Ready to quit? Check out this fact sheet to find out how. (BBC)

Increased number of middle-aged men taking steroids. Researchers have found that men in their forties and fifties are increasingly turning to steroids to compensate for lowered testosterone levels. Whether it’s due to weight gain, lowered energy, a reduced sex drive, or a lack of muscle, middle-aged men are turning to these pills as a means of hormone replacement therapy. While there may be benefits to taking these anabolic-androgenic steroids, it’s important to have a professional determine the right dosage, since self-medicating can cause bodily harm down the road. Here are some additional healthy ways to boost testosterone. (GUARDIAN)

In the News: Three Factors Contribute to Successful Diets, Bob Harper Discusses His Heart Attack, Mama June Reveals Stunning Weight Loss

The best diets have three things in common. CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has found that there are three factors involved in successful diets. These meal plans will have a lot more vegetables, cut way back on sugar, and cut back on refined grains. Avoid eating red meat, and when you do eat it, make sure it’s the size of your palm. Gupta also believes in the Japanese principle of pushing the plate away when you’re 80 percent full, also known as “Hara Hachi Bu,” instead of eating until you’re stuffed. Incorporating these tips can help increase your longevity and help you meet your weight-loss goals. Take a look at Dr. Oz’s longevity list to learn more about healthy living. (CNN)

Bob Harper describes his near-fatal heart attack. Bob Harper, of Biggest Loser fame is known to Americans as a super-fit, extremely healthy motivational trainer, who has helped countless people lose weight and improve the quality of their lives. But just two months ago he was fighting for his own life when he suddenly collapsed at a New York City gym. As it turns out, he had a genetic predisposition for heart attacks and had a blockage in an artery that many refer to as a “widowmaker,” as it has just a 6 percent survival rate. Luckily, there were doctors present at the time of his collapse, and his life was saved thanks to a defibrillator. Find out how to know if you’re having a heart attack, so you can be prepared and act fast if you ever feel these symptoms. (NBC)

Mama June debuts stunning weight loss. Mama June, known to many as the mother of precocious Honey Boo Boo, unveiled her stunning transformation this week, leading many of us to ask how she did it. Starting at 460 pounds, she began shedding weight by working with a celebrity trainer in July 2015. From there, she continued exercising and dieting until she hit a plateau in May 2016. That summer she got a gastric sleeve to encourage more weight loss, and had an excess skin removal procedure as well. Afterward, she had a breast lift, tummy tuck, and numerous operations on her arms, neck, and chin, and as of today is a size 4. No matter where you are in your weight-loss journey, whether you are looking to shed 10 pounds or 100 pounds, the 21-Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet is a great place to start. (ET)

In the News: Slow Breathing May Treat Anxiety Disorders, Americans Over 60 Are Drinking More, Five Factors Linked to Unsuccessful Weight Loss

Slow breathing may help treat anxiety disorders. A study on neurobiology conducted at UCLA has found that specific brain cells are triggered during slow breathing, and they have a direct impact on mood and activity. While some brain cells are activated without any effort, others require particular breathing techniques to be triggered. As Dr. Mark Krasnow, a biochemistry professor involved in the study points out: While the heart has a slow-to-fast method of beating, there are way more kinds of breathing types from regular to yawning to sobbing to sighing, which provides a lot more room for tweaking and practicing. If you want to learn how to reduce stress, try some of Dr. Oz’s favorite breathing techniques. (TODAY)

Americans over 60 are drinking more. A new study has found that sixty-somethings are drinking more than they did two decades ago. Males in particular were found to have a higher likelihood of binge drinking, but the largest overall increase in alcohol consumption was found in females. The gap between male and female drinking has become smaller and smaller over the last 20 years. While a glass of wine here or there may actually provide health benefits, consuming too many alcoholic beverages can impact the way medications are absorbed and can lead to insomnia, diabetes, and hypertension. Watch this clip to find out what alcohol addiction really looks like. (CNN)

Five factors linked to weight loss struggles. While it’s no secret that losing weight isn’t always the easiest pursuit, it turns out there are five main reasons why. Studies have found that counting calories, having a carb-heavy breakfast, not sleeping enough, eating when not hungry, and hanging out with bad influences are all factors that contribute to weight-loss struggles. Experts recommend focusing on nutritious food instead of worrying solely about the calorie count; shooting for at least 15 grams of protein; getting at least eight hours of sleep; eating only when hungry and not when bored, stressed, or  and hanging out with people that can motivate you and share your goals. Give your diet a boost with Dr. Oz’s two-week rapid weight loss plan. (TODAY)

In the News: Nighttime Bathroom Trips Linked to Salt, Tetris Can Reduce PTSD Onset, Six Healthy Foods Loaded With Secret Sugars

Nighttime bathroom trips linked to salt intake. A recent study has found that people over the age of 60 who wake up in the middle of the night to urinate may need to reduce the amount of salt they consume. Researchers from Nagasaki University monitored 300 volunteers and found that reduced salt intake lowered bathroom trips from twice a night to just once. In the study, 98 people also ate more salt than normal and their bathroom trips increased significantly. While it’s not clear what is causing this connection, researchers think it may be tied into the prostate gland. Here is the plan to break up with salt. (BBC)

Playing Tetris can reduce PTSD onset after traumatic incident. A new study has found that playing Tetris a few hours after going through a car accident or any other traumatic incident can help people cope. The reason PTSD affects the brain so significantly is that one continues visualizing the event over and over again until thebrain stores it away forever. By playing a game like Tetris, that requires you to pay attention and think creatively, it stops your brain from replaying the trauma because it can’t do both tasks at once. (CNN)

Six healthy foods are secretly packed with sugar.  Experts have found that healthy foods like yogurt, granola, health bars, fresh-pressed juice, packaged fruit and vegetables, and low-fat salad dressings can all hide extra sugars. Check the ingredient list carefully to be extra sure, and look for healthier alternatives the next time you go shopping. For yogurt, stick to Greek yogurt or kefir with no added fruit toppings, eat fruits naturally instead of opting for juices, and stick to olive oil and vinegar instead of low-fat dressings since those tend to have sugary substitutes. Find out if you’re unknowingly eating too much sugar. (FOXNEWS)

The Girl in the Tree House by Jennifer Asbenson

On today’s show, Jennifer Asbenson spoke to Dr. Oz about her harrowing experience at the hands of Andrew Urdiales. At the age of 19, Asbenson took a ride from a stranger one night and nearly lost her life. On September 27, 1992 Urdiales, a former U.S. Marine, had given Asbenson a lift when she was stuck at the bus stop having realized she missed the last bus. In the hours that followed, she was physically abused, tied up, and tossed into the truck of his car. Miraculously, she was able to escape the vehicle and survive. Urdiales, who killed eight other women between 1986 and 1996, described Asbenson as “the one who got away” when he was finally caught years after the incident. Here is an excerpt of her upcoming memoir, which talks about her life before and after this traumatic event and how this has shaped the course of her life. In this chapter, she discusses life as a second grader in the middle of nowhere:




In the News: Hospital Releases Playlist for CPR, Acetaminophen During Pregnancy May Cause Hyperactivity, Boy’s Giggle Fits End Up Being Epileptic Seizures

Your DJ is now your doctor. A New York hospital releases a playlist of songs for CPR. Music can set the mood at a dinner party, date night, and even when you need to save a life – thanks to New York Presbyterian Hospital. They recently released a Spotify playlist of songs that are all 100 beats per minute – the recommended rate for chest compressions during Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). CPR can be easy. Kneel down at the person’s side and place the heel of you palm on the center of their chest. Place your other hand on top and interlace the fingers. Then lean over so your arms are straight and push down about 2 inches to the beat of Beyonce, ABBA, or even Shakira! Watch Dr. Oz teach hands-only CPR so you’re ready if a loved one ever needs it. (CNN)

Acetaminophen use during pregnancy may cause hyperactivity. According to a new study, taking acetaminophen (the main ingredient in Tylenol) during pregnancy may increase the chance of having a hyperactive child with emotional or behavioral issues. This ingredient, which is also found in allergy, flu, and sleeping medications may have more of an effect than was once realized. While doctors say that taking Acetaminophen only when needed is safe, they are now looking into other factors to determine if hyperactivity is directly related to this medication. (CNN)

Boy’s giggle fits actually epileptic seizures. Ever since he was a little boy, Justin Cho loved to giggle and laugh all the time. His family always assumed he was just a happy child, until one day the giggles lasted longer and he had a full-blown epileptic seizure. When he went to the hospital, doctors discovered that he had a benign lesion, known as a hypothalamic hamartoma inside his brain. This type of mass can cause development problems, cognitive disorders, and rage disorders as well, making it extra important that he was diagnosed at the age of nine and not any later. Six months since his surgery, Cho is no longer having any seizures and living life as a regular boy. (ABC)

In the News: Restful Sleep Can Dramatically Improve Mood, New Cholesterol Drug Can Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, CDC Ranks Most Sleep-Deprived Jobs

Counting sheep might be as good as counting cash. A good night’s sleep feels like winning the lottery. Ever notice that quality rest and relaxation makes you feel like a million bucks? Well, researchers at the University of Warwick followed thousands of British participants for four years and found that you’re not alone. People who reported improved quality of sleep or reduced usage of sleep medications had four year mood boosts comparable to lottery winners a couple years out from their big payoff. The scientists think it’s because sleep can have such a profound effect on both our physical and emotional health. Check out Dr. Oz’s favorite tips on getting better sleep. (TIME)

Breakthrough drug gives docs a change of heart. New cholesterol drug can protect patients most at risk for heart disease. A new cholesterol drug, Evolocumab is an injectable antibody that can lower lousy LDL cholesterol to unnaturally low levels according to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Participants in the study experienced a 15 percent decrease in their risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. Although it’s only used for patients with the highest risk of heart disease, the study provides hope that we may soon have more effective ways to cut CVD risk in the future. Watch Dr. Oz and a team of cardiologists discuss one of the most common treatments for cholesterol, statins. (NYTIMES)

Have your dream job? You should keep dreaming. CDC ranks the most sleep deprived occupations. Multiple sleep research organizations say that less than seven hours of snoozing has been linked to issues like heart disease, obesity, and depression. Many experts think sleep deprivation may have something to do with our jobs. To find out how many of us are missing out on beauty rest, the CDC conducted a survey of American adults and found out which jobs get the least amount of sleep. They found that the worst offenders were communications equipment operators but several others made the list including health-care workers, firefighters, and transportation workers. The authors suggest we need to fix our poor sleep habits to improve our health. Find out your own sleep score today. (CBS)