Health Updates 12 December 2011

  • Study finds low carb diets are more effective at cutting cancer risk: “Following a low-carb diet, even for only two days a week, was better than following a calorie-restricted diet every day or losing weight and lowering insulin levels, which are both associated with lower risks of breast and other cancers, says a new study presented Dec. 8 at the American Cancer Research Society meeting in San Antonio. (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Staying trim when fat runs in the family: “Just in time for Thanksgiving, a major new study offer[ed] some hopeful news about fat and fate, as well as about the consequences of the choices we make”.  Previous findings, based on the so-called fat gene, seemed to doom about 65 percent of us to inevitable obesity.  However, the new study, strongly suggests otherwise.  “It found that physical activity, even in small doses, may subvert genetic destiny”. (Gretchen Reynolds, NY Times)
  • FDA’s decision to prohibit girls under 17 to buy the morning-after pill without a prescription may scare other women from its use: “In the days that followed, advisers to the Food and Drug Administration recommended revised labels on the best-selling class of birth control pills, as well as for a contraceptive patch, to better convey their higher risk of blood clots.  Some women’s advocacy groups worried the negative attention on the blood clot risk of a new generation of pills that contain drospirenone – including Bayer AG‘s popular Yaz and Yasmin – would create concern about birth control in general. (MSNBC)
  • A new worry for soccer parents: heading the ball: “What happens inside the skull of a soccer player who repeatedly heads a soccer ball?  That question motivated a provocative new study of the brains of experienced players that has prompted discussion and debate in the soccer community, and some anxiety among those of us with soccer-playing offspring….players who had headed the ball about 1,100 in the previous 12 months showed significant loss of white matter in parts of their brains involved in memory, attention and the processing of visual information, compared with players who had headed the ball fewer times.” (NY Times)

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