Tag: health

Scientists Say: Shop So You Don't Drop. Discoblog Says: We Don't Buy It

By Patrick Morgan | April 7, 2011 4:03 pm

Sex. Dark chocolate. Nintendo’s Wii. It seems like most anything can be correlated with health and longevity nowadays. Now, some researchers want to add shopping to that list, after they saw a possible link between daily shopping and death age. Not everyone agrees, though, with this “shop so you don’t drop” mentality (surprise!).

In the study, published by the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, the researchers followed nearly 2,000, independently living, Taiwanese citizens who were at least 65 years old. The researchers gathered their shopping habits by looking at a 1999-2000 survey that evaluated how often these Taiwanese geriatrics shopped, and then they used national death registries to keep track of the study groups’ deaths until 2008. After correcting for age, gender, health, ethnicity, financial status, and other factors, the researchers discovered that daily shoppers were 27% less likely to kick the bucket than their less shop-happy peers (aka those who shopped only once a week or less). Oddly enough, the best shopping-related survival record goes to the men, who reduced their chances of dying by 28% by shopping; women who shopped daily cut their chances by 23%. The effect was slightly more pronounced in men than women.

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MORE ABOUT: aging, elderly, exercise, health

Success! Doctors Solve First Known Case Of Popeye Butt

By Patrick Morgan | March 15, 2011 2:52 pm

If someone thought you had an Elmer-Fudd temper or ears like Mickey Mouse, chances are you wouldn’t feel complemented. And while having a butt like Popeye’s bicep sounds even worse, it’s actually a medical first, according to some scientists who, after diagnosing the first medically-described butt-muscle rupture, gave the condition the official name of “popeye gluteus.” And the strange name isn’t just frivolous: enlisting Popeye imagery is supposed to help doctors better visualize—and presumably diagnose—the injury.

The story starts with an unfortunate 42-year-old English cyclist who got rear-ended (and I do mean “rear”) by a bus one day, causing not only extensive bruising, but also a buttock avulsion: Medically speaking, his gluteus maximus muscle detached from his posterier gluteal line, though all the man knew was that he was in a world of pain. And this pain wouldn’t go away; he couldn’t stay seated for long periods of time, and—despite all efforts to rest—eventually couldn’t even continue with his job as an aircrew member for the Royal Air Force. It was time to call in the experts.

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Lawsuit Claims Jenny Craig's Diet Isn't Backed by "Serious Lab Geeks"

By Smriti Rao | January 22, 2010 9:31 am

You’ve seen this ad before.

Weight loss program Jenny Craig’s spokeswoman, actress Valerie Bertinelli, is hanging out in a gleaming white “lab,” surrounded by guys in thick-framed glasses and lab coats. She gleefully announces that people on the Jenny diet lost two times as much weight as those who were on the other big diet program (read: Weight Watchers). She also claims that the results were an outcome of a “major clinical trial run by serious lab geeks.”

Now, Weight Watchers has lashed back, dragging Jenny to court–alleging that the ad campaign makes “deceptive claims” about its success rate.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Food, Nutrition, & More Food
MORE ABOUT: diets, health, nutrition, obesity

Fiber-Filled, Antioxidant-Packed Ice Cream—Brilliant? Sacrilegious? Nasty?

By Brett Israel | November 11, 2009 3:25 pm

What’s the most important scientific research in the world, you ask? Obviously it’s the quest to transform ice cream into a healthy food. Of course, the brain freezing goodness will still be chock full of fat and calories, but hey, toss in some healthy stuff and you can binge guilt-free, right? Right?

Via LiveScience:

In addition to ice-cream’s fat- and calorie-filled ingredients, the researchers hope to add dietary fiber, antioxidants and probiotics (gut bacteria that support a healthy digestive system) to your delectable dessert. Antioxidants could protect cells from damage caused by molecules called free radicals and are suspected of helping to prevent a slew of diseases.

Researchers hope to have a taste-testable prototype within six months, but it may not be entirely delicious; some antioxidant ingredients have a bitter flavor, the researchers note, and adding fiber might give the ice cream a gritty texture. Still, the research team is optimistic they can strike a balance between health and taste, and they hope to have shelf-ready tubs within two years.

Check out the video below of these scientists working in the best laboratory ever.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Food, Nutrition, & More Food
MORE ABOUT: food, health, ice cream

Monday News Roundup: Bowie Spiders, Masshole Sharks, and Killer Ladybugs

By Melissa Lafsky | September 8, 2009 2:36 pm

Yee-haw! It’s the blog roundup. • It’s arachna-Bowie! A rare, hairy, and yellow spider has been named after the master of Ziggy Stardust himself. It’s new title: Heteropoda davidbowie.

• Today’s flabbergast: If Fruit Loops are a healthy food, our derriere is a color television set.

• Swimmers of Amity Island, beware—great white sharks have been tagged up in New England (hear that, Robert Shaw?).

• It was only a matter of time: Porn hits Twitter.

• Meanwhile, Boulder, CO is being taken over by ladybugs.

MORE ABOUT: health, Twitter

Just Like Humans, Crows Embrace Junk Food…and Pay the Price

By Allison Bond | June 9, 2009 3:10 pm

crows like french friesHigh in calories but low in nutrition, junk food isn’t exactly optimal fuel for kids. And, it turns out, it’s not the best for baby crows, either.

A steady diet of scavenged discarded doughnuts and French fries has had deleterious effects on crow chicks in suburban areas, according to researchers at Binghamton University. The urban crows are smaller and have lower levels of blood protein and calcium than chicks living in rural areas, the study found.
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MORE ABOUT: crows, health, junk food

Edible EKGs? New Pill Can Measure Your Heart Rate

By Melissa Lafsky | January 22, 2009 1:30 pm

pillsSure, drugs are too plentiful, prescribed too often, and promoted too heavily. But we’re not above saying that taking a pill can sometimes be a great idea. Like this one, from Proteus Biomedical in Redwood City, California: an ingestible microchip [insert Innerspace joke here] that can be added to any capsule or tablet without altering the medicine and performs an EKG when you swallow it. Made of food ingredients (so it’s non-toxic, though not necessarily vegetarian-safe), the chip reportedly:

has digestible sensors that are made of food products and are activated by stomach fluids. Once swallowed, the sensors can send a digital signal through the body to a receiver. The receiver date- and time-stamps, decodes, and records information about the drug and the dosage. It also measures and reports heart rate, activity, and respiratory rate.

According to USA Today, the receiver could come in the form of a bandage that transmits data to a cellphone, so caregivers or relatives could get a text letting them know when and what pills their charge has taken—or whether they’ve taken them at all.

Related:
DB: Step One in Your Surgery: Swallow the Microscopic Hands
RB: Drug Industry 1, Country 0: Big Pharma Can Now Hawk Unapproved Drugs
RB: Drugonomics: Cash-Strapped Americans Taking Fewer Prescription Meds

Image: iStockPhoto

MORE ABOUT: doctors, health, medicine

Need that Cancer-Fighting Plant? It May Soon Be Extinct.

By Boonsri Dickinson | January 13, 2009 3:07 pm

hoodia.jpgIt’s no secret that we’re a drug obsessed nation. But not everyone knows that more than half our prescription drugs come from chemicals found in plants. Plus, according to New Scientist, many people around the world, including 80 percent of Africans, rely on medicinal plants for treatment of illnesses as serious as malaria and HIV.

And now, those potentially-life-saving plants are in trouble. The international conservation group Plantlife reports that pollution, over-harvesting, and habitat destruction are threatening the existence of 15,000 (out of a total 50,000) species of medicinal plants.

Plants that have the potential for treating migraines, fever, and even cancer could wind up disappearing in the near future, with countries such as China, India, Kenya, Nepal, Tanzania, and Uganda reporting shortages. Some of the plants at risk include:

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