What’s Health Research & News all about?

myWholeLife wants you to be healthy, and that means staying informed. With “Our Take,” we give you our professional opinion on the research that matters to you.

Are you taking to many prescription medications?

The most startling statistics I’ve seen in recent months came from Mayo Clinic researchers last June, who reported that nearly 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/prescription-drugs_b_5065620.html

Why Breakfast May Not Be The Most Important Meal Of The Day

Adding to the ongoing debate about what makes for good food habits is another new study refuting the long-held notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/08/23/why-breakfast-may-not-be-the-most-important-meal-of-the-day/

Can Changing How You Think About Stress Make You Healthier?

Feeling stressed? Time to use effective coping strategies to improve your health

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/leah-eichler/stress_b_5212151.html

Coenzyme Q10 Supplements are Critical for Heart Failure Patients

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) cuts mortality by half in patients with heart failure

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/261072.php

 

Is your green drink wrecking your thyroid?

Imagine my shock, then, at my last physical, when my doctor told me I had hypothyroidism, common in women over 40

 

Article: Kale? Juicing? Trouble Ahead

Sugar molecule may be the key to unlocking link between red meat and cancer risk

New research investigating the link between red meat consumption and cancer risk has suggested that a specific sugar molecule known as Neu5Gc could promote inflammation and tumour growth.

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science/Sugar-molecule-may-be-the-key-to-unlocking-link-between-red-meat-and-cancer-risk

Is there an optimal time to introduce gluten to infants at risk of celiac disease?

New research shows that timing of gluten introduction to at-risk infants does not prevent development of celiac disease.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141001185750.htm

Questioning the Idea of Good Carbs, Bad Carbs

Rigorous new research from the National Institutes of Health suggests that for people who already follow a healthful diet, the glycemic index may not be very important.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/16/questioning-the-idea-of-good-carbs-bad-carbs/

Are proton pump inhibitor medications killing my gut bacteria?

Before reaching for that daily antacid, you might consider what it’s doing to the trillions of bugs living in your gut.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141125074656.htm

Eating a Mediterranean diet may be your key to living longer.

New research finds that middle-aged women who consume a Mediterranean diet have longer telomeres, a genetic predictor of longevity.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/03/health/mediterranean-diet-longevity/index.html?hpt=he_c1

Can people with Celiac Disease consume non-contaminated oats?

To Eat or Not to Eat Oats? That is the Question for Many People with Celiac Disease

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141118105512.htm

Soy or Whey Protein?

The Effects of Soy and Whey Protein Supplementation on Acute Hormonal Responses to Resistance Exercise in Men

http://www.tandfonline.com/07315724.2013.770648#.VGGxx76yhlJ

Weight-Loss Surgery Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Obese people who had gastric bypass, banding were 80 percent less likely to develop blood sugar disease

http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20141102/weight-loss-surgery-lowers-type-2-diabetes-risk-study-shows

Do Cinnamon Supplements Help Diabetic Patients?

Cinnamon might improve not only the taste of apple pie and oatmeal but also the health of people with diabetes, a new review study suggests

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/09/cinnamon-diabetes-fasting-plasma-glucose_n_3896163.html

Do you have prediabetes or diabetes?

New research suggests that short bursts of fast walking lead to more health benefits than continuous walking.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804202138.htm

Breast Cancer and Soy Supplements: Friend or Foe?

“Now, a new study <…> directly compared women who took soy supplements with women who took a placebo to determine what effect soy would have on the expression of genes associated with breast cancer.”

http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/soy-foods-and-breast-cancer-risk

Early, frequent antibiotic use linked to childhood obesity

New research suggests that <…> prescribing broad-spectrum antibiotics in particular, increases those children’s risk of obesity, at least in early childhood.

http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-sn-childhood-antibiotics-obesity-20140929-story.html

Should I take glucosamine to manage arthritis?

A short-term study found that oral glucosamine supplementation is not associated with a lessening of knee cartilage deterioration among individuals with chronic knee pain.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311101116.htm

Avoiding the Sun could cause Harm

Health bosses are investigating the results of a study which shows that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die than those who sunbathe every day.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/major-study-suggests-mortality-rate-higher-for-people-who-stay-of-the-sun-than-those-who-dont-9338516.html

Stressed? Put down that burger

If you soothe your stress with a burger and fries, mac and cheese or a tub of ice cream, you might want to rethink your coping strategy.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/stressed-yesterday-put-down-that-burger/article19699028/

Does Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Exist?

Confused about gluten sensitivity? New evidence suggests other foods may be the culprit.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rosspomeroy/2014/05/15/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity-may-not-exist/

Are Children getting enough Vitamins?

Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to vitamins and minerals, less is more.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/27/kids-vitamin-supplements

The ever evolving debate on your daily glass of pinot is heating up again

Scientists have agreed with [wine drinking] for the past 20 years, and even identified a miracle ingredient in red wine that makes people healthier. But new research says resveratrol, as it is called, actually has no effect.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/05/26/the-resveratrol-ruse-a-little-red-wine-every-day-is-healthy-new-research-contradicts-old-dietary-wisdom/

Can Sadness Really Cause A Broken Heart?

A recent piece titled “Can Depression Cause Heart Attacks?” has taken a really good look at the research linking depression and heart attacks.

http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/depression/questions/depression-cause-heart-attack.htm

Apples top 2014 list of most pesticide-contaminated produce.

An Environmental Report found that “every sample of nectarines tested and 99 per cent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/apples-top-list-for-pesticide-contamination-in-2014-1.2634980

You are what your mother ate and when she ate it.

Nothing enrages astronomers more than when people mistake them for astrologists. The idea that your fate is sealed by how the stars were aligned on your birthday is most definitely not science. But a new study offers evidence that your future actually can be influenced by the time of year you were born.

https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/growth-curve/mom’s-nutrition-puts-stamp-baby’s-dna


 

Raging GMO debate calls seemingly harmless word “natural” into question

The trade organization representing the nation’s largest food and beverage companies wants permission to label as “natural” products that contain genetically engineered ingredients like corn, soy, canola and sugar, according to a letter sent to the Food and Drug Administration.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/business/trade-group-seeks-natural-label-on-modified-food.html?ref=geneticallymodifiedfood


 

Should men take Selenium and Vitamin E for Prostate Health?

A multi-center study led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that high-dose supplementation with both the trace element selenium and vitamin E increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer. But importantly, this risk depends upon a man’s selenium status before taking the supplements.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140221184525.htm


 

Is North American milk making us sick?

Recent studies link the consumption of North American milk to, “an increased risk of type 1 diabetes in some infants, adverse immune responses, digestive disorders and respiratory dysfunction”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/10410044/Allergy-free-milk-firm-reaches-1m-sales.html 


 

An apple a day to keep the psychiatrist away?

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will not only lead to a slimmer figure and better physical health, it may also lower the risk of depression according to new study.

http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/09/19/diet-heavy-in-fruits-vegetables-protects-mental-health-while-fast-food-may-invite-depression-finland-study/

 

Orthorexia: When Eating Healthy Is NOT Healthy

Orthorexia affects those who fear eating anything not pure enough for what they perceive as ‘healthful.’ In one case, it turned into a produce aisle meltdown.

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-orthorexia-20140215,0,2691398.story#ixzz2x0KPuCDh

 

“Feeling blue? It may be time to check your vitamin D levels.”

New research suggests that low levels of vitamin D and depression may go hand in hand. The new study included about 12,600 people aged 20 to 90.

http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20120110/low-levels-vitamin-d-may-be-linked-depression

Why men tune out when they’re stressed out … it may have to do with their brains.

A new study finds that stressed men have diminished activity in brain regions responsible for understanding others’ feelings.

http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/09/29/men-respond-to-stress-by-shutting-down/18890.html

Docs Say Stop Taking Multivitamins

Multivitamins aren’t making people healthier, and they might even be doing the opposite, according to a series of recent studies. 

http://healthland.time.com/2013/12/17/docs-say-stop-taking-multivitamins/

Sugar is sweet…but not so sweet for your heart.

Eating too much sugar in foods such as soft drinks, cakes and cereals will not just pack on the pounds, it can increase the risk of dying of heart disease.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/sugar-damages-the-bodys-organs-directly-new-findings-suggest/

New research shows what your brain looks like … on the couch.

A number of studies have shown that exercise can remodel the brain by prompting the creation of new brain cells and inducing other changes. Now it appears that inactivity, too, can remodel the brain, according to a notable new report.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/how-inactivity-changes-the-brain/

Want to reduce your risk of diabetes? Take a trip to the Mediterranean!

More good news on the Mediterranean diet. Sticking to a Mediterranean-style diet may help reduce the risk for Type 2 diabetes, even when people don’t lose weight or increase exercise levels.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/13/mediterranean-diet-for-diabetes/

Understand the actual cost of eating healthier to make this New Year’s resolution stick!

Boston, MA – The healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets, according to new research from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/healthy-vs-unhealthy-diet-costs-1-50-more/

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words … can change your brain?!?

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can change your brain. That’s right. According to Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, words can literally change your brain.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/11/30/words-can-change-your-brain/

Is Vitamin D all it’s cracked up to be when it comes to bone health?

In a large review of studies, researchers have found almost no evidence that taking vitamin D supplements has any effect in preventing osteoporosis in middle-aged adults.

well.blogs.nytimes.com – vitamin D ineffective for preventing osteoporosis

 

Have you ever sat down to have a heart-to-heart conversation?

In America, when two people sit down to talk seriously, it is called having a “heart to heart.” Research of the last 20 years indicates that this is actually very close to the truth and that emotional communication occurs at the level of quantum physics.

www.examiner.com – a new empirical understanding of the heart as the seat of emotion

Could eating habits be the missing link between diet and childhood obesity?

Kids are less likely to be overweight if they eat meals with their families, according to a new study.

health.usnews.com – family meals may keep kids parents at healthy weight

Our Take

In an increasingly polarized food landscape, we often meet two archetypes: the person eating themselves into a life of chronic disease via fast food…and the person desperately trying to avoid that fate by consuming only what they believe to be the most virtuous of foods.

Many of the latter will read this piece in the New York Times and wonder whether it is time to give up on their daily greens. Before you do, read on to better understand the connection between those greens and your thyroid.

The thyroid is a gland that acts as a metabolic spark plug within the body. When it is functioning well, you feel energized and are able to maintain a healthy weight more easily. However, we are seeing an increase in women suffering from underactive thyroid – symptoms include weight gain, dry skin, a hoarse voice, poor appetite and intolerance to cold. Concern over thyroid health is leading the health-conscious to be wary of those foods that may alter function.

The key term here is ‘may’ – when the thyroid is functioning well and your iodine intake is high, greens are unlikely to cause you trouble – unless you literally eat a couple pounds a day long term. However, should your thyroid begin to falter – more likely the result of immune dysfunction – the foods you choose to eat can further impact the thyroid or the action of your thyroid medication. Cruciferous veggies like kale contain sulfur-based compounds called glucosinolates, some of which can also form substances that interfere with iodine uptake in the thyroid or the production of thyroid hormone when eaten in excess. However, these same compounds are also responsible for the cancer-fighting, inflammation-squelching benefits of these foods that we have come to know and love. And cooking cruciferous veggies helps prevent the formation of these compounds – but raw greens don’t have to leave the dinner table. As with all things, it is important to remember that more of a good thing is not always better. Enjoy greens daily but not to the detriment of other important fruits and vegetables.

Desiree Nielsen, B.Sc., RD

 

Additional References:

Learn more about the thyroid and hypothyroidism at Thyroid Foundation of Canada

Linus Pauling Institute on the science of cruciferous veggies