A recent six week trial published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal evaluated over 1,000 patients and shown that just one serving of legumes (peas, beans, chickpeas, and lentils) can decrease one’s total LDL by 5 percent. A decrease by 5 percent leads to a 5-6 percent reduction in heart attack and other major cardiovascular events. What are your favorite recipes that incorporate legumes?
For additional information visit NYT
For the study visit CMAJ
As a growing number of states legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, the negative effects are beginning to surface in research. A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience scanned the brains of forty young adults from Boston University who smoked marijuana. Results of the brain scans revealed that among those who smoked more, a portion of their brain was structurally altered; the part that is involved with decision making, motivation, and emotional behavior. It is important that results of this small study cannot be generalized, however, it serves as a foundation for further research on marijuana smoking and potentially permanent cognitive abnormalities. How will the findings of this study influence the acceptance of recreational versus medical marijuana? What recommendations would you give to your patient seeking marijuana?
For additional information, please visit The Boston Globe
A new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension suggests that consuming watermelon may help lower blood pressure and have positive impact on other vascular parameters. This cross-over study evaluated the effects of watermelon extracts in 13 middle-aged obese patients suffering from high blood pressure. What other foods do you recommend your patients who are trying to decrease their blood pressure?
For additional information, please visit Science Daily
A new study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology is making researchers look at the placebo effect again. The participants were observed during their sleep to determine if they got above- or below-average sleep. When participants were told they got above-average sleep, they performed better even if they did not sleep well. Taking advantage of this placebo effect, there are three simple methods to improve your day: be more productive, get fitter, and feel happier. How? Focusing on a how much sleep you did get rather than dwell on the fact that the last hour of sleep was spent tossing and turning, knowing how much exercise you achieve during your daily activities, and practicing optimism by having something positive to look forward to throughout the day. How have you experimented with placebo effect in your life or in your practice?
For additional information please visit CNN
With the rising trend towards a greener and more natural lifestyle, the latest issue of the British Medical Journal is making its reader aware of the continuing debate related to alternative approaches to health and well-being. Some say that including complementary alternative medicine (CAM) in the medical school curriculum is necessary in order for a medical professional to provide a wide range of options for patients while others caution the idea of teaching students to recommend treatments without evidence of efficacy or safety. Those in favor argue that lifestyle choices such as performing yoga and meditation has been shown to improve overall health while those against it portray CAM as “seductive yet utterly devoid of scientific merit”. Based on your personal knowledge and experience, should medical students be taught complementary alternative medicine? Why or why not?
For the article, visit BMJ
Was your first impression of someone ever influenced by their odor? Pheromones, a biological factor, play an important role in our sense of attraction. With that in mind, a bar in east London has brought a new scent to the growing dating market where people sniff t-shirts of others in order to determine if they are date-worthy. How do you feel about using science when it comes to the dating world?
For the article visit BBC
Infant sleep machines that produce white noise to drown out disturbances to a baby’s sleep can be damaging to their hearing if set at maximum volume. Researchers at the University of Toronto evaluated 14 brands of sleep machines at maximum volume and found that when placed 30 centimeters from an infant, 3 brands exceeded 85 decibels, the safety limit for adults on an eight-hour work shift determined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. A newborn’s brain is learning to distinguish pitches and sounds while during sleep, therefore, if the newborn is accustomed to white noise, they may not be as responsive to soft speech and other noises. Dr. Blake Papsin, the author and the chief otolaryngologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, suggests putting the sleep machine farther away, using it at a lower volume, and for a shorter duration of time will deliver less sound pressure to the baby and reduce the risk for hearing impairment. What recommendations do you offer your patients to help their babies sleep well?
For additional information, please see New York Times.
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Watching training videos have shown a 11 fold increase in improvement in motor activity by boosting brain structure and increasing the size of brain portions related to motor control and visual processing. A study of 36 healthy adults underwent 10 training sessions over two weeks where half watched training videos before performing simple motor tasks while the other half watched videos of landscapes. The training group showed an increase in cognitive function as well as better motor control and visual processing. Evidence suggests watching these videos can benefit rehabilitating stoke patients and patients with multiple sclerosis. What are your thoughts about this therapeutic intervention helping with motor deficit? What other recommendations to improve brain activity do you provide to your patients?
For additional information please see WedMD Health.
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In a recent national dietary survey published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers analyzed the diets of over 7,000 children and adolescents between 2 to 18 years old. Nutrient content of each food and supplement consumed in each child’s diet was calculated and compared to the Estimated Average Requirements (EAR). The results found that boys and girls between the ages 2 to 8 had the lowest levels of inadequate nutrient intake while girls between the ages 14 to 18 had the highest levels of inadequacy. Vitamin D, thiamin, and folate in fortified foods were the highest contributors of at least half of the nutrient intake. Other nutrients that contributed to at least 12 to 18 percent of the intake were vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, B-6, B-12, iron, and zinc. Calcium was among the lowest at 4.5 to 6.6 percent. Despite the increased nutrients in fortified foods, a significant percentage of children did not meet the EAR for their age and sex. What are your recommendations to your patients for maintaining a healthy diet?
For additional information, please click Reuters.
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