Processed Foods and Cancer

Eating “ultra-processed” foods—including packaged breads, snacks, baked goods, instant soups, chicken nuggets, and frozen meatballs—could increase your risk for developing cancer, new research suggests. A team of scientists at France’s Université Sorbonne Paris Cité analyzed the dietary records of nearly 105,000 adults. After tracking cancer diagnoses among the group over the course of five years, they found that every 10 percent increase in the consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with a 12 percent increase in cancer risk. Ultra-processed foods are loaded with sugar and fat, and have fewer vitamins and less fiber than fresh foods. They also contain additives, including nitrates and artificial flavors, colors, emulsifiers, and sweeteners. Certain types of plastic packaging could also contaminate processed foods with potentially harmful chemicals. The study’s authors caution that larger-scale studies are needed, reports, but say their findings “suggest that the rapidly increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods may drive an increasing (Read More)

Understanding ‘Superagers’

Scientists believe they are finally starting to unravel the secrets of so-called -superagers—senior citizens who live beyond 80 but have the mental sharpness of people decades younger. In one study, at Northwestern University, researchers who examined the brains of 10 superagers found heightened levels of Von Economo neurons, brain cells linked to social processing and awareness. Their brains had up to five times more of these cells than a typical octogenarian’s—more, even, than an average young adult’s, reports The team also found that superagers, who they estimate account for about 5 percent of people 80 or older, are more likely to be extroverts, less likely to be neurotic, and tend to have relatively active and engaged lifestyles. A separate study, at the University of California, Irvine, examined the significance of amyloid, a protein that can lead to plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers found that some superagers had these (Read More)

Alcohol-Related Dementia

Heavy drinking takes an irreversible, long-term toll on the brain, increasing the risk for all forms of dementia, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 1 million adults diagnosed with dementia from 2008 to 2013. They found that the strongest predictor for the condition was hospitalization for an alcohol-related health issue, particularly among those younger than 65, and that nearly 60 percent of early-onset dementia cases were associated with alcohol-related brain damage. Alcohol is toxic to brain cells and contributes to chronic conditions that reduce blood flow to the brain. The World Health Organization defines heavy drinking as four or more drinks a day for men, three or more for women. “Some people look at their drinking habits and say, ‘Oh, it’s not so bad,’ or, ‘A lot of people drink this much,’” lead author Jürgen Rehm, from the University of Toronto, tells “And yes, (Read More)

Drug Overdoses Rising

The opioid epidemic gripping the U.S. is getting worse, not better, according to a grim report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between July 2016 and September 2017, suspected opioid-related overdoses increased by 30 percent across 45 states, reports NPR​.org. A more specific analysis of emergency room visits in 16 states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, found a 54 percent increase in overdoses in major metropolitan areas; in Delaware and Wisconsin, they surged by more than 100 percent. Overdose rates increased among men and women of all age groups, the report showed. Furthermore, children who have gained access and exposure to their parents’ drugs have become secondary victims of this health crisis. A separate study found that since 2004, hospitalizations for opioid overdoses have nearly doubled among kids between 1 and 17 years old. “We have an emergency on our hands,” says acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat. “The (Read More)

The Power of Touch

The simple act of holding hands with a loving partner can significantly reduce physical pain, a new study suggests. Researchers asked 22 heterosexual couples who had been together for at least a year to under go brain scans as they participated in different scenarios. The women either sat holding hands with their partners, sat nearby but did not touch them, or were in a different room. The scenarios were then repeated, but this time the women were subjected to mild pain. Overall, the women found that holding hands reduced the intensity of their pain by an average of 34 percent. The brain scans showed that when the couples held hands, their brain waves became synchronized—and that this “coupling” effect was even greater when the women were in pain. The researchers speculate that supportive touch could help people feel understood, which may trigger pain-reducing reward systems in the brain. “We have (Read More)

New and Improved! Best Selling Brain Booster

Let’s Talk Health originally created this formula to enhance brain function from simple memory loss to serious Alzheimer’s disease. As emerging science continues to examine the impact of additional natural ingredients that impact brain function in a positive way, we have improved this amazing formula with this compelling critical nutrients. 6 New Nutrients For Maximum Brain Function: Vitamin C – Studies have conclusively confirmed that vitamin C dissolves amyloid beta, a substance consisting of misfiled protein aggregates found in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Read the article on Vitamin C and Alzheimer’s Disease on our blog at: to learn more. Vitamin B12 (from Methylcobalamin) – We utilize the purest form of B12 from Methylcobalamin. Maintaining proper B12 levels in the body is a way to keep one’s brain healthy, as it may fight off everything from memory problems to depression. Currently, a variety of studies indicate strongly that (Read More)

Can’t Sleep? Write a to-do List

If you’re kept awake at night by worries about an upcoming work project, unpaid bills, or unfinished errands, a new study has a simple tip to help you fall asleep: Write a to-do list. Scientists at Baylor University made that discovery after asking 57 students to spend a night in a sleep lab free of smartphones and other distractions. Five minutes before a strictly enforced 10:30 p.m. bedtime, half of the volunteers wrote a list of things they needed to do over the next few days and the other half listed tasks they’d already completed. Researchers monitored the participants’ brain activity overnight and found that those who wrote a to-do list dozed off nine minutes faster on average – an effect similar to that of some pharmaceutical sleeping aids. “Throughout the day, we have all these things cycling through our head,” lead author Michael Scullin tells “There’s something about (Read More)

People, Not Rats, Spread Plague

Humanity owes rats an apology. Historians have long argued that fleas carried by rats were responsible for the Black Death, the devastating plague that killed a third of Europe’s population – some 25 million people – between 1347 and 1351. But a new study suggests that the disease was in fact spread by human-borne parasites, said Plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and when an infected flea bites a human, the bacteria can congregate in lymph nodes and cause them to swell into the gruesome blackened “buboes” that give the bubonic plague its name. In every outbreak since the late 19th century, rats and other rodents have helped spread the disease. But scientists at University of Oslo suspected that the 14th-century Black Death killed too many people too fast for rats to have been its main transmitters. Researchers used computers to model three different transmission methods: by fleas (Read More)

Saunas’ Heart Benefits

A good sweat in the sauna may be as beneficial for your heart as moderate exercise. That’s the finding of a new study from Finland, which investigated the effects of a 30-minute sauna session on 102 middle aged adults with at least one risk factor associated with heart disease, such as high blood pressure, obesity, or high cholesterol. When participants stepped out of a 160-degree dry-heat sauna, their blood pressure had dropped by an average of seven points and their arteries gained elasticity, reports Their heart rates had also risen, from an average of 65 beats per minute before the sauna to 81 beats after. “At the moment, we can say that sauna use is recommended, and it seems that more is beneficial,” says study co-author Tanjaniina Laukkanen. The positive effects of saunas are likely linked to heat exposure, which can widen blood vessels and improve blood flow. Sweating also (Read More)

The Spice That Boosts Memory

An active compound found in the Indian spice turmeric could help improve memory and ease depression among those with age-related mental decline, new research suggests. Scientists at UCLA gathered 40 volunteers between 50 and 90 years old, all with some memory complaints but none with dementia. Each person was randomly assigned to take either a supplement of curcumin or a placebo pill twice a day for 18 months; over that period they were given memory tests, mood questionnaires, and brain scans to detect the clumps of plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The results were striking: Those taking curcumin saw a 28 percent improvement in their memory function, compared with a slight decline for those in the placebo group. They also had better mood scores and less plaque buildup in two brain regions responsible for memory, decision making, and emotion. “Exactly how curcumin exerts its effects is not certain,” study leader (Read More)