Vitamin C Deficient? The Numerous Benefits Of Vitamin C

Health Benefits of Vitamin C Vitamin C is rapidly finding new applications in protecting against endothelial dysfunction, high blood pressure, and the blood vessel changes that precede heart disease. Additional research is discovering that vitamin C can be helpful in preventing asthma, protecting against cancer, and supporting healthy blood sugar levels in diabetics. While often taken for granted, vitamin C is a critical supplement in your program to improve cardiac health and avoid degenerative diseases. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Unlike most mammals and other animals, humans do not have the ability to make ascorbic acid and must obtain vitamin C from the diet and supplementation. Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency Minor bleeding, such as nose bleeds, or easy bruising. Dry, split hair due to inadequate collagen. Slow wound healing. Vitamin C promotes collagen development in scar tissue. Iron deficiency. Vitamin C promotes iron absorption, so low vitamin C and low iron levels often coexist. Fatigue (Read More)

Some of the Things They Said Were Good For Us… and Some of the Things We Were Told to Avoid

Some of the things they said were good for us… Nature Walks can make you healthier and happier by driving out obsessive, negative thoughts. A Stanford University study found that strolling in a natural setting decreases activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, a brain region particularly active during rumination. “It was pretty striking that a 90-minute walk had this much of an impact,” says author Gregory Bratman. For people with a tendency to brood, interrupting an endless stream of negative thoughts reduces the risk for depression and other mental illnesses. Green spaces may also make kids smarter. A separate study of roughly 2,600 fourth-graders in Barcelona found that those with greater exposure to nature were more attentive and experienced a 5 percent increase in working memory. Awe-inspiring experiences can help you live longer. Gazing out over the Grand Canyon or beholding an artistic masterpiece can trigger positive emotions with immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory effects (Read More)

Americans’ Shortened Life Spans

The life expectancy of Americans is lower than that of people living in other high income countries, and a new study explains why: We’re inflicting earlier death on ourselves with self-destructive behavior. Car accidents, gun violence, and drug overdoses kill 100,000 people in the U.S. each year, which helps explain why American men and women die about 2.2 years earlier than residents of Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, according to a new study by the National Center for Health Statistics. American men and women have a life expectancy of 76.4 and 81.2 years, respectively, compared with the 78.6 and 83.4 years of their peers abroad. “It seems staggering that we get two fewer years of life just for living here,” study author Andrew Fenelon tells the Associated Press. Gun deaths, car crashes, and overdoses are responsible for half that (Read More)

The Perils of a Wealth Shock

Suffering a major financial loss could lead to an early death, a new study suggests. Researchers at Northwestern University analyzed the financial history and health records of nearly 9,000 Americans between ages 51 and 61, from 1994 to 2014. During that period, about 25 percent of the subjects experienced a negative “wealth shock,” measured as a minimum 75 percent drop in their net worth over a two-year period. The median net-worth decrease was just over $100,000. The researchers found that the people who lost their nest egg were 50 percent more likely to die than their peers during the study period, and had the same risk of premature death as those who were poor or in debt. “This is something millions of people go through,” lead researcher Lindsay Pool tells Time.com. “It’s not really a rare event.” Pool and her team say a sudden reversal of fortune can lead to depression, (Read More)

Controlling Parents, Mean Kids

The toxic effects of helicopter parenting may not end once children head off to college. A new study shows that undergrads who’ve been raised by controlling, manipulative moms and dads may take their anger and stress out on other students. Researchers from the University of Vermont interviewed 180 predominantly female college students about their relationship with their parents as well as their tendency to behave aggressively. Those with domineering parents were more likely to exhibit “relational aggression,” which often involves spreading rumors and backstabbing as well as excluding or publicly embarrassing friends, reports Medical Daily. The students’ physiological response to stress influences how they unleash this hostility on their peers, the study shows. Those who perspired more and grew more agitated while recounting a difficult experience were considered impulsive, while the students who sweated less and reacted calmly were deemed more calculating and manipulative. “If you’re calm, you can be (Read More)

Digital Eye Strain Growing

All the time we spend on computer screens and smartphones is taking a toll on our eyes. A new survey of more than 10,000 adults shows that 65 percent of Americans experience uncomfortable symptoms of digital eye strain, such as headaches, dry or irritated eyes, blurry visions, and neck pain. The condition is most prevalent among Millennials, who tend to use more than one device simultaneously. Holding small screens less than a foot from their eyes reduces the rate of blinking which can lead to eye dryness, irritation and redness. Digital screens also emit blue lights, which may cause cellular damage deep inside the eye. “Our eyes are not built to stare at digital screens all day but the demands of our modern-day world frequently put us in front of a screen for hours every day,” optometrists Justin Bazan tells MedicalDaily.com. “It’s the problem everyone has but no one knows (Read More)

Distracted-Walking Injuries

People who wander through the streets transfixed by their smartphones, utterly unaware of their surroundings, aren’t merely irritating. Research indicates that walking while preoccupied can lead to serious injuries – and even death. An Ohio State University study  found that injuries due to distracted walking doubled between 2004 and 2010, resulting in more than 1,500 emergency room visits for broken pelvises, legs and wrists, and injuries to the head and neck, The New York Times reports. Preoccupied pedestrians are walking off train platforms, falling down stairs, walking into poles or moving cars in crosswalks, or in the recent case of a tourist in San Diego, even stumbling off cliffs. Experts warn that this 21st-century menace may only get worse as handheld gadgets become equipped with even more enticing features. The best safeguard is a simple common sense. “You can’t really pay attention to more than one thing at a  time,” (Read More)

Grilling Causes Inflammation

Regularly eating grilled, broiled, or roasted meat, chicken, or fish may increase the risk for high blood pressure, a new study shows. Harvard researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing the diet and cooking methods of more than 86,000 women and 17,000 men who were followed for up to 16 years. They found those who ate foods cooked by high heat more than 15 times a month were 17 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who ate them less frequently. The people who preferred their meats well-done were also 15 percent more likely to become hypertensive, reports Reuters.com. “The chemicals produced by cooking meats at high temperatures induce oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance in animal studies, and these pathways may also lead to an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure,” says the study’s lead researcher, Gang Liu. Lowering the heat could help reduce these health (Read More)

Happy Heart Syndrome

It’s already been proven that intense emotional distress—say, after losing a loved one—can trigger a cardiac abnormality called “broken heart syndrome.” But now new research suggests sudden bursts of joy can have the same effect. The condition, known as Takotsubo syndrome (TTS), occurs when the base of the heart’s left ventricle balloons and becomes partially paralyzed. TTS is rarely fatal but causes a rapid and severe weakening of the heart that brings on chest pain and breathlessness— symptoms akin to those of a heart attack. After analyzing 485 cases of the syndrome linked to emotional events, researchers in Switzerland found that 96 percent were caused by sadness and stress, but 4 percent were provoked by ostensibly happy occasions, such as weddings and birthdays, The Washington Post reports. It’s unclear exactly how extreme emotions damage the heart, but cardiologists suspect a surge of adrenaline may be to blame. “We believe TTS is a (Read More)

Size Really Does Matter

Short men and overweight women are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to education, career opportunities, and earning potential, a new study shows. After examining the DNA of about 120,000 adults, researchers at Exeter University in England found that men who are genetically predisposed to be short generally have less schooling and lower wages than those with tall genes. For every additional 2½ inches in height resulting purely from genetics (rather than diet or economic status), a man’s annual income increases by nearly $2,300. A similar analysis of body mass index (BMI)—a measure of body fat based on height and weight—reveals that heavier women face even greater obstacles than short men. When a woman has a genetically predicted weight 28 pounds more than another woman of the same height, she is on average paid $4,300 a year less. “This is the strongest evidence by far that there is a (Read More)