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Month: April 2018 (page 1 of 2)

Exercise lowers risk of depression at all ages

Amina Zafar, CBC News:

Researchers pooled data from 49 studies to create a sample of more than 266,000 people on four continents to examine the role of physical activity in preventing depression.

“The key message is that really when it comes to exercise and our mental health that something is better than nothing,” said study author Simon Rosenbaum, senior research fellow in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

“And if you’re doing something, try to add a little bit more.”


The Canadian mood and anxiety treatment guidelines for mild to moderate depression say there’s good evidence of exercise as a treatment, said Dr. David Goldbloom, a psychiatrist and senior medical adviser at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He was not involved in the research.

“We live in an age where between limitless streaming of TV, the paralytic effect of social media on human movement and the erosion of physical education … [we are] creating a more static human population,” said Goldbloom.

Researchers have found that staying active over the long term slows down the ageing process

Researchers at the University of Birmingham and King’s College London have found that staying active, over the long term, keeps the body young and healthy.


The study recruited 125 amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79, 84 of which were male and 41 were female. The men had to be able to cycle 100 km in under 6.5 hours, while the women had to be able to cycle 60 km in 5.5 hours. Smokers, heavy drinkers and those with high blood pressure or other health conditions were excluded from the study.

The participants underwent a series of tests in the laboratory and were compared to a group of adults who do not partake in regular physical activity. This group consisted of 75 healthy people aged 57 to 80 and 55 healthy young adults aged 20 to 36.

The study showed that loss of muscle mass and strength did not occur in those who exercise regularly. The cyclists also did not increase their body fat or cholesterol levels with age and the men’s testosterone levels also remained high, suggesting that they may have avoided most of the male menopause.

More surprisingly, the study also revealed that the benefits of exercise extend beyond muscle as the cyclists also had an immune system that did not seem to have aged either.

The wealthy are betting on living longer, and they know it’s not going to be inexpensive

It’s already well established that one of the benefits of being rich is a longer and healthier life. Now the wealthy want to streatch that even further.

Ben Steverman, Bloomberg:

In China, the U.S. and most of Eastern Europe, the average life expectancy at birth has reached the late 70s, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD. People in Western Europe and Japan, meanwhile, can expect to live into their early 80s.

The World Bank states that life expectancy in Japan is 83.8 years, Canada 82.1 years, and the USA is at 78.7 years.

Most rich people, however, are counting on living even longer—a lot longer, as in two decades more than average. In a new UBS Financial Services survey, 53 percent of wealthy investors said they expected to live to 100.

And they are willing to do what it takes to get there.

Those who increase their exercise levels after a heart attack halved their risk of dying within the first four years

Agence France-Press:

A study which followed 22,000 heart attack survivors aged 18-74, found that those who boosted their exercise levels after being discharged from hospital, halved their risk of dying within the first four years.


Almost 1,100 of the group of 22,227 died in the four years of the study.

The team also measured whether the patients became less or more active over time, or maintained a constant level of activity.

Making provision for other factors such as the patients’ age, gender, smoking habits and health, the team then looked at trends.

“Compared to patients who were constantly inactive, the risk of death was 37 per cent, 51 per cent, and 59 per cent lower in patients in the categories of reduced activity, increased activity, or constantly active, respectively,” said a press statement.


The Study: Exercise after a heart attack. It could save your life – European Society of Cardiology

Multivitamins and supplements are not only ineffective, they can be dangerous

Derek Beres, BigThink:

The National Institute of Health spent $2.4 billion studying vitamins and supplements only to find out they really don’t work. As Pieter A. Cohen writes in JAMA:

During the past 2 decades, a steady stream of high-quality studies evaluating dietary supplements has yielded predominantly disappointing results about potential health benefits, whereas evidence of harm has continued to accumulate.

This includes clinical trials showing that vitamin E, once promoted as heart healthy, actually increases your risk of heart failure and prostate cancer. Multivitamins do not prevent cancer and heart disease; St John’s wort will do nothing for your depression; Echinacea is no match for the common cold. In smokers, beta-carotene increases the risk of lung cancer.


In study after study Offit shows that cancer and heart disease rates increase with the consumption of vitamins and supplements. A few examples:

  • A 1996 study in Seattle of 18,000 people showed that people exposed to asbestos who were taking megavitamins with large doses of vitamin A and beta-carotene were 28 percent more at risk of developing lung cancer and 17 percent more at risk for developing heart disease.
  • A 2004 study in Copenhagen conducted 14 randomized trials with 170,000 people and discovered that those taking large amounts of vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene were more likely to develop intestinal cancer.
  • A 2005 study at John Hopkins School of Medicine performed a meta-analysis of 19 studies with over 136,000 people. Those taking megavitamins were at an increased risk of early death.
  • Another 2005 study of 9,000 people published in JAMA found increased risks of cancer and heart disease in those taking large doses of vitamin E.
  • A 2011 study at the Cleveland Clinic involving 36,000 men found a 17 percent increased risk of prostate cancer in those consuming vitamin E and/or selenium.

Top 25 most violent American cities according to FBI data

This according to FBI violent crime statistics the agency compiled from US cities with a population over 100,000 between January 2017 to June 2017. Violent crimes includes murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

  1. Baltimore, Maryland, had 98.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  2. Memphis, Tennessee, had 97.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  3. St. Louis, Missouri, had 91.5 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  4. Little Rock, Arkansas, had 87.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  5. Birmingham, Alabama, had 86.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  6. Rockford, Illinois, had 78.0 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, had 75.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  8. Cleveland, Ohio, had 69.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  9. Stockton, California, had 68.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  10. Anchorage, Alaska, had 57.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  11. New Orleans, Louisiana, had 56.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  12. Minneapolis, Minnesota, had 53.7 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  13. Lansing, Michigan, had 52.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  14. Tulsa, Oklahoma, had 50.9 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  15. Hartford, Connecticut, had 49.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  16. Pueblo, Colorado, had 48.9 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  17. West Palm Beach, Florida, had 47.7 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  18. Buffalo, New York, had 47.0 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  19. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, had 46.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  20. South Bend, Indiana, had 46.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  21. Atlanta, Georgia, had 45.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  22. Washington DC had 45.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  23. North Charleston, South Carolina, had 43.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  24. Newark, New Jersey, had 42.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
  25. Salt Lake City, Utah, had 42.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.

More: Business Intelligence

More than 95% of world’s population breathing unhealthy air

James Masters, CNN:

According to the report, China and India were found to be jointly responsible for over 50% of global deaths attributable to pollution.

It also found that India now rivals China for early deaths from outdoor air pollution with 1.1 million being recorded in 2016.

While the report found that China had made some progress in declining air pollution, it states that Pakistan, Bangladesh and India have experienced the steepest increases in air pollution levels since 2010.

Harvard study confirms meditation affects your genes and can lower your blood pressure

Richard Knox, WBUR:

Harvard scientists have come up with evidence that the mere act of clearing your mind for 15 minutes each day actually alters how your genes operate.

A new study indicates that people who meditated over an eight-week period had a striking change in the expression of 172 genes that regulate inflammation, circadian rhythms and glucose metabolism. And that, in turn, was linked to a meaningful decrease in their blood pressure.

Yale’s popular ‘happiness class’ is now online for free

Amy X. Wang, Quartz:

The most popular course ever to be taught at Yale University—this semester enrolling 1,200 students, or a quarter of the undergraduate student body—is one titled “Psychology and the Good Life.”

PSYC 157, or “Laurie Santos’ happiness class” as it is affectionately known on Yale’s campus, teaches practical advice such as how to pick a meaningful career and how to separate satisfying pursuits from hollow ones. And now, an expanded version of the class, filmed in Santos’ own house, is available for free on Coursera as part of a seminar-style series on “the science of well-being.”

The link between drinking alcohol and breast cancer that the alcohol industry has being trying to hide

Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones:

Way back in 1988, the World Health Organization declared alcohol a Group 1 carcinogen, meaning that it’s been proved to cause cancer. There is no known safe dosage in humans, according to the WHO. Alcohol causes at least seven types of cancer, but it kills more women from breast cancer than from any other. The International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates that for every drink consumed daily, the risk of breast cancer goes up 7 percent.

The research linking alcohol to breast cancer is deadly solid. There’s no controversy here. Alcohol, regardless of whether it’s in Everclear or a vintage Bordeaux, is carcinogenic. More than 100 studies over several decades have reaffirmed the link with consistent results. The National Cancer Institute says alcohol raises breast cancer risk even at low levels.

I’m a pretty voracious reader of health news, and all of this came as a shock. I’d been told red wine was supposed to defend against heart disease, not give you cancer. And working at Mother Jones, I thought I’d written or read articles on everything that could maybe possibly cause cancer: sugar, plastic, milk, pesticides, shampoo, the wrong sunscreen, tap water…You name it, we’ve reported on the odds that it might give you cancer. As I schlepped back and forth to the hospital for surgery and radiation treatments, I started to wonder how I could know about the risk associated with all these other things but not alcohol. It turns out there was a good reason for my ignorance.

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