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Health Updates 31 August 2011

  • Aerobic exercise beats resistance training in losing belly fat: “The Duke University Medical Center researchers looked at how these types of exercise reduced the fat that’s deep within the abdomen and fills the spaces between internal organs.  This type of fat – called visceral and liver fat – is associated with increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.  Aerobic exercise significantly reduced visceral and liver fat and improved risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, such as insulin resistance, liver enzymes and triglyceride levels.  Resistance training didn’t deliver these benefits.  Aerobic exercise plus resistance training achieved results similar to aerobic exercise alone, the investigators found.” (HealthDay)
  • Is sea salt really lower in sodium than regular table salt? “Recently, the American Heart Association surveyed 1,000 people nationwide about their thoughts on sodium and heart health.  Sixty one percent said that they believed sea salt was a low-sodium alternative to table salt.  They can be forgiven for thinking so.  Sea salt is marketed as a health food, added to soups, potato chips and a wide variety of packaged snacks labeled as ‘low sodium’, ‘all natural’ and ‘healthy’.  But in reality, sea salt and table salt are not terribly different, at least chemically.  The real differences are in how the two are used in cooking….both contain the same amount of sodium chloride by weight, which means they contribute equally to total sodium consumption and have the same effect on blood pressure.”  So the bottom line: sea salt is no lower in sodium than table salt.  Sorry! (Anahad O’Connor, NY Times)
  • Doctors call for better protection of C-section patients against blood clots: “The guidelines, issued by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, say that wearing the sleevelike devices on the legs can help prevent thromboembolism.  That’s a condition in which a blood clot that forms in a leg travels via the bloodstream to the brain or other organs.” (CBS)
  • Panel urges payment for people hurt in research: “A group of international experts, reviewing American policies on protection of human research participants, has urged that the US adopt a system to compensate individuals injured in the course of research….The plan included the recommendation in a report to the full commission on the adequacy of US safeguards for research participants – an outgrowth of the commission’s probe of a 1940’s-era study in which US public health researchers deliberately exposed Guatemalan prostitutes, prisoners and soldiers to sexually transmitted diseases.”  While many safeguards are now in place, “the most significant recommended change is adoption of a ‘system to compensate research subjects to research-related injuries’.”  (John Gever, MedPage Today)
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