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)

In the News: Colon Cancer Risk Rising for Young People, World Happiness Report Gives Norway Top Ranking, Eating Vegetables May Reduce Stress

Colon cancer risk rising for young people. A recent study has found that Americans under 55 are seeing more colon and rectal cancer cases, with rates rising quickly. If you were born in 1990, you have twice the likelihood of developing colon cancer as if you were born in the ’50s. Since screenings are not common for patients under 50, when these cancers are diagnosed, they are often found at later stages. While there has been a notable increase in colon cancer cases among the population, future studies are required to answer the big question: why? Some symptoms to look out for are cramps, weight loss, constipation, bloating, and bloody stool. Since these symptoms can fall under the umbrella of so many other benign conditions, they are often ignored until the cancer worsens; this is why it’s so important to see a doctor immediately and to be prepared to get second and third opinions to be absolutely safe. To learn more about colon cancer, check out this fact sheet. (CNN)

World Happiness Report gives Norway top billing. According to this year’s World Happiness Report, which took 155 countries into consideration, Norway earned first place for overall happiness. Researchers considered social, socioeconomic, life expectancy, freedom, trust, and other factors into consideration when determining their rankings. The United States came in 14th place this year, with happiness levels declining by about .51 points. If you’re looking for places to travel to, other countries that broke the top 10 list include Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden. (NYTIMES)

Eating vegetables may reduce stress. We all know that eating vegetables can help us lose weight, prevent various diseases, improve digestion, and give our skin a healthy boost, but now it looks like there’s another perk: stress relief. Studies have shown that eating three to four servings a day can lower anxiety levels by 14 percent, and eating five to seven servings of veggies and fruit combined, can lower stress by 23 percent. If you were looking for another reason to eat fresh produce, there you have it! Here are 10 ways to sneak some veggies into your diet. (FOOD&WINE)

In the News: New Obesity Gene May Impact African-Americans, Certain Foods May Help a Hangover, Tia Mowry Opens Up About Endometriosis

New obesity gene may impact African-Americans. Researches conducted a 1,500 participant study in Nigeria and found a genetic mutation known as SEMA4D that may be responsible for weight gain. They found that over 55% of people with this mutation were obese. Over two-thirds of Americans and nearly half of the African-American population are overweight or obese so it’s more important now than ever before to find out how this mutation causes weight gain and what can be done to prevent the number on the scale from growing. Looking to shed some pounds? Try the 21-Day Weight Loss Breakthrough Diet. (NBC)

Certain foods may help ease a hangover. Did you know that around 76% of adults experience hangovers? Whether you’ve experienced a miserable hangover before or you hope to prevent one in the future, the key is moderation. If you do wake up one morning after having one too many and need some relief, look for foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin B, zinc and potassium. Make sure to drink plenty of water and stick to foods like eggs, avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, and yellow veggies. You can also try drinking coconut water, which is a healthier form of electrolyte-rich sports drinks and will help you feel better in no time. For more ideas, here are 11 foolproof hangover cures. (CNN)

Tia Mowry opens up about endometriosis. In a recent interview, Tia Mowry, one half of the famous Sister, Sister duo, spoke out about having painful endometriosis for years. When she was in her mid-20s, she had several surgeries to treat the condition, but the scar tissue kept returning and the symptoms didn’t go away. Eventually, her doctor told her that if she wanted to have children one day she had to change her diet, specifically cutting out dairy and sugar. As soon as she started eating healthier, her symptoms went away and she was able to conceive. Are you looking to cut back on sugar? Try Dr. Oz’s detox plan. (YAHOO)

The Many Benefits of Omega-3s


Written by Brian Dixon, PhD

No nutritional program is complete without a high-quality source of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

Fats are an essential part of our diet. However, we should limit unhealthy fat intake and encourage consumption of healthy fats. Saturated fats found in meat, milk, and cheese help to promote the formation of artery-clogging fatty deposits. The trans-fatty acids (found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) are even more harmful to our health. Monounsaturated fats found in vegetable oils do not promote arterial fat deposits and polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as the omega-3 fatty acids, are the most beneficial to overall health. Read more  »

In the News: Fecal Transplants May Normalize Blood Sugar, DNA Scan Finds Genes Linked to Autism, Veggie Cakes Popular in Japan

Repoopulating the gut: The future of diabetes management? Fecal transplant normalized blood sugar in mice. In a recent study, researchers fed healthy mice resveratrol, the molecule in red wine that may be the reason it has so many health benefits. Then, they transplanted the fecal matter from those mice into the intestines of mice that had insulin resistance (the hallmark of type 2 diabetes). They found that after just a couple weeks, those pre-diabetic mice had normalized blood sugar levels! While the scientists don’t yet understand how these fecal transplants help with blood sugar regulation, the study opens the door to the possibility of fecal transplant for more than just gut health. Watch Dr. Oz explain more about fecal transplants here! (SCIENCEDAILY)

New DNA scan finds 18 genes associated with autism. A new study of autistic participants and their relatives found a staggering number of genes linked to this condition. They found that 18 genes and 72 unique mutations may be involved in the symptoms. Autism is becoming increasingly common in the U.S., with studies showing that one in 45 kids is now diagnosed. While it’s not clear why this is happening, Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy organization, is hoping to answer questions and raise awareness with further research. (NBC)

Salad Cakes are a new craze in Japan. Mitsuki Moriyasu, a cafe owner and food stylist in Nagoya, is starting a new trend with her vegetable cakes. Called Vegedeco Salad (decorated vegetables), these cakes are meant to be a guilt-free way to indulge in your favorite desserts. The frosting is typically made from tofu, the sponge cake is made from soy powder, eggs, and oil, and the colorful icing is made from all-natural vegetable coloring, from beetroot, carrots, and cabbage. Since Moriyasu’s two sons have food allergies, she decided to get create with her baked goods, which is what led her to make sugar and wheat-free desserts. Thinking of ditching gluten? Here’s what you need to know. (CNN)


In the News: Americans Drinking More Bottled Water Than Soda, Salt and Sugary Drinks May Cause Heart Disease, Soy No Longer Considered Harmful to Women

Americans now drink more bottled water than soda. Bottled-water consumption in the U.S. has now reached an astounding 39.3 gallons per capita according to last year’s data. The idea that people would purchase more bottled water than soda was simply unthinkable even 10 years prior, especially given that the packaged version is readily available for free from the tap. Nonetheless, bottled water sales have been steadily growing ever since Perrier entered the market in the ’70s. In recent years, bottled water sales have also been bolstered thanks to the increased knowledge of sugary soda drinking dangers. It’s great to see that water has eclipsed less healthy beverages and we’re excited to see how this trend will develop in the coming years. Ready to say goodbye to your favorite soft drink? try Dr. Oz’s 4-week soda detox. (MARKETWATCH)

A salt with a deadly weapon. Salt and sugary drinks may be the cause of heart-disease deaths. A study published this week in JAMA suggests that 10 foods may be contributing to half of all heart-disease related deaths. In the study, researchers looked at the diets of thousands of patients who died from a heart attack, stroke, or type-2 diabetes. They found that diets high in sodium, sugar sweetened beverages, and processed meats increase mortality risk the most. Furthermore, diets that are low in nuts and seeds, fish, fruits and veggies can also increase the risk. The authors go on to say that public health policies targeting proper dietary habits may provide patients with the most improvement to their health. Check out Dr. Oz’s plan to find out how to break up with salt. (TODAY)

It’s soy K to eat tofu! New research clears up some confusion about the complicated relationship between soy and breast cancer. The health advice on eating soy is fraught with confusion. Some studies support the idea that estrogen-mimicking molecules in soy like isoflavone could slow the development of breast cancers by decreasing estrogen production. But other studies believe that the isoflavone molecules may interfere with the efficacy of estrogenic medications for breast cancer like tamoxifen. To help clear the air, a new study evaluated the diets of thousands of women diagnosed with breast cancer. They found that diets high in soy may be protective for women with hormone insensitive breast cancer. As for women with hormone sensitive types, soy neither increased nor decreased their risk of mortality. While the authors acknowledge that we’re far from a definite answer about soy, we’re certainly on our way to one. Check out recipes for one of Dr Oz’s, favorite types of soy: tofu! (TIME)

How Diet Plays a Role in Disease Prevention


heart-healthy diet

This morning, Dr. Oz visited the Today Show to talk about an important new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by researchers at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition. Scientists looked at data regarding what Americans eat and what they die from and found a clear relationship between certain foods and the risk of disease. The researchers discovered that they could attribute almost half (45%) of the more than 700,000 deaths from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes to just 10 dietary factors.