December 1, 2010

The Longer the Better

1 Finger Length Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk

Men with long index fingers have a lower risk of prostate cancer says a new 15-year study from the U of Warwick and The Institute of Cancer Research. The findings indicate that men whose index finger is longer than their ring finger are 33 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer than their counterparts with the opposite finger pattern. "This exciting finding means that finger pattern could potentially be used to select at-risk men for ongoing screening, perhaps in combination with other factors such as family history or genetic testing," says senior author Professor Ros Eeles. Finger length is determined before birth and it’s thought that the greater the exposure to testosterone, the shorter the index finger and the greater the risk of developing prostate cancer later in life.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Blood Tests May Predict Prostate Cancer Risk

Tags: Institute of Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer, Prostate Cancer Risk, University of Warwick, Finger Length and Prostate Cancer, Professor Ros Eeles

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Who Really Killed JFK

2 Buy Used Coffin of Lee Harvey Oswald

While used coffins are generally considered very unsanitary, exceptions are apparently made for old coffins formerly holding famous assassins. In a few weeks, Lee Harvey Oswald's coffin will go on auction in Los Angeles, reports BBC. Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who is believed to have shot President John F Kennedy, was laid to rest in a pine coffin, but his widow had his body exhumed in 1981. After Oswald's widow verified that the coffin contained her late husband's body, Oswald's body was buried in a new coffin in the same Texas cemetery. Since Oswald died before going to trial, many conspiracy theories have persisted over the years regarding who really killed JFK and the reason Oswald was shot.

More at BBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: President John F Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, Oswald's Widow, Famous Assassins, Used Coffin, Conspiracy Theories

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

100 Bikes Lit for Holidays

3 Recycled Christmas Tree for Bicycle Lovers

People who adore their bicycles may also find a bit of extra holiday excitement if they visit The Rocks in Sydney, Australia, home to a 23-foot-tall lit Christmas tree made from 100 old bicycles donated by a recycling company. The recycled Christmas tree, known as Tree-Cycle, took eight weeks to build and is on display at The Rocks, a big shopping district popular with tourists, reports Ed Mazza of AOL News. Former recycled trees at The Rocks have included the Christmas Bottle Tree and the Christmas Chair Tree. According to TreeHugger, the bicycles will be recycled after the tree is taken apart on December 28.

More at AOL News | Hat tip to TreeHugger | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Recycling Company, The Rocks, Recycled Christmas Tree, Tree-Cycle, Ed Mazza, Things to Do in Australia, Tourist Sydney

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Lilies Are the Real Killer

4 Poinsettia Christmas Myth Busted

Most pet lovers have heard the very persistent holiday myth that the poinsettia plant is highly toxic to cats and dogs. Some pet owners even banish the plant altogether during the holidays, but ASPCA says that it's not necessary to miss out on the bright red plant for pet safety. According to ASPCA, "... poinsettias cause only mild to moderate gastrointestinal irritation." The holiday plant pet owners should be really worried about is the lily, which may cause kidney failure in cats. Both holly and mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset, but mistletoe may also rarely cause cardiovascular problems. Plants aren't the only holiday danger pets face. In 2009, ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center worked 17,000 cases of pet sickness caused by human foods, particularly chocolate!

More at ASPCA | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Pet Owners, Pet Sitter

Tags: Poinsettia Plant, Toxic Plants for Cats, Toxic Plants for Pets, Holiday Dangers for Pets, Gastrointestinal Upset in Cats, Poinsettia Holiday Myth

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Old Not Always Good

5 High Lead Concentrations in Used Items

"I love buying things second-hand but you're absolutely right - the items can be contaminated with lead. What I do is test them with LeadCheck Swabs."
- Joan in the comments

Whether they're called vintage, antique or just "used," some second-hand products that Americans are purchasing for their homes are increasing the risk of lead poisoning, say researchers. The new study, published in Journal of Environmental Health, revealed that some toys, jewelry and kitchen items from junk shops and antiques stores in Oregon, Virginia and New York contained lead levels more than 700 times the current federal limit. "The sale of used items in the United States is not regulated by any federal agency and as a result, it is possible that Americans are bringing the lead poisoning hazards of past generations back into their homes," says study co-author, Laurel Sharmer of the State University of New York. She cautions that consumers can't tell by looking if an item has lead.

More at EureakAlert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Lead Poisoning

Tags: Lead Poisoning Risks, Dangers of Antiques, Dangers of Thrift Store Items, Junk Shops, Antiques Stores, Lead Levels in Jewelry, Lead Concentrations in Toys, Vintage Items with Lead, Lead in Vintage Toys, Journal of Environmental Health

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Five Times Greater Risk

6 Recurring Miscarriages Raise Heart Attack Risk

Women who have repeated miscarriages may have a five times greater risk of heart attack down the road, reports CNN. German researchers suggest that women who have recurring miscarriages are at much greater risk of heart attack than women who've never had a miscarriage. The research, published in the journal Heart, claims that each miscarriage a woman experiences increases her heart attack risk by 40 percent. Women in the study who experienced more than three miscarriages had a five times greater risk of heart attack. Those who had just one stillbirth had triple the risk of heart attack. Researchers say that the medical conditions that predispose women to stillbirths and miscarriages may also predispose them to cardiovascular disease.

More at CNN | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Journal Heart, Stillbirths, Cardiovascular Disease Risk, Greater Risk of Heart Attack, Women Who Have Miscarriages, Repeated Miscarriages

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Need a Little Help from Friends

7 A Healthy Lifestyle Is Contagious

When you are with friends who make healthy choices, such as eating right and exercising, do you feel compelled to follow along? A new study from Deakin University thinks you do. After following over 3,600 women, researchers found that they were most likely to follow the eating and physical activity behaviors of those around them, especially when it comes to fast food eating, soft drink consumption, and intake of fruits and vegetables. Dr. Kylie Ball, senior research fellow, says women who see others engaging in healthful behaviors may adopt these either due to a shared belief in the value of such activities or just as a desire to “fit in.” Nevertheless, either being a healthy role model or following one is an opportunity to spread the word about eating right and exercising more.

More at Science Alert | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Doctor's Personal Habits Affect Advice Given to Patients

Tags: Diet, Eating Behaviors, Exercise, Fast Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Women's Health

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

A Nutritional Disaster

8 Pediatrician Pushes to Limit White Baby Foods

For most babies, the first food they consume after formula or breast milk is a bland white rice cereal, thought to be a good introduction to solids because it is easy to digest. But Dr. Alan Greene, a pediatrician at Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, says this isn’t necessarily the best choice as it could set them up for a lifetime of bad habits, such as a predilection toward refined carbohydrates. He has launched a “White Out” campaign to change infant eating habits. He suggests instead that parents try a brown rice alternative or starting babies off with a pureed fruit or vegetable instead. He also encourages families to make their own baby food, using a simple food grinder, which encourages children to learn to like real food instead of processed.

More at USA Today | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Calcium in Early Life Essential for Bone Health

Tags: Baby Food, Child Nutrition, Infants, Refined Carbohydrates

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (50%) / No! (50%)

Shake Shake Shake

9 Post Workout Protein Helps Build Muscle

Many serious exercisers swear by the after-workout ritual of downing a protein shake, believing it will help the muscles recover and rebuild, but is it true? According to a small study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it just might be. In the study, 48 sedentary men, half of whom were in their twenties and half in their seventies, consumed a drink containing 20 grams of protein after 30 minutes of exercise. That practice led to a greater increase in muscle protein for both age groups, compared with drinking the beverage after a period of rest. According to the lead researcher, the findings suggest that exercising before consuming protein may help the body better use the nutrients for muscle rebuilding.

More at Reuters | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Fish Oil Supplements Support Muscle Recovery

Tags: Exercise, Fitness, Men's Health, Nutrition, Protein

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Stick to It

10 Yo-Yo Dieting Ultimately Leads to Weight Gain

"Karen Collins disagrees: 'Weight cycling is not desirable, but it is not as risky as staying significantly overweight.'"
- Mark in the comments

For the vast majority of us who choose to diet, that is severely restricting food with the goal of weight loss, once we return to our regular way of eating, the pounds often return. For those who consistently go on and off diets, a practice called yo-yo dieting, they may actually be doing their body more harm than good. An animal study published in the Journal of Neuroscience has confirmed what we already know – extremes in diets can often lead to a greater vulnerability to weight gain. Mice who were assigned a calorie-restricted diet in an effort to lose 10 to 15 percent of their weight had increased levels of the stress hormone corticosterone and exhibited symptoms of depression. After the diet, the mice ate more fatty foods than those who did not restrict calories.

More at LA Times | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Cut Calories for a Long Healthy Life

Tags: Calorie Restriction, Diet, Dieting, Diets, Nutrition, Obesity

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Mass Social Media Massacre

11 Celebrity Digital Deaths Mark World AIDS Day 2010

Lady Gaga, Ryan Seacrest, Justin Timberlake, Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys, and Kim and Khloe Kardashian are dead. Digitally dead, that is. To raise awareness for World AIDS Day, over 20 of the world’s most-followed celebrities participated in a "digital death." BuyLife.org has each celebrity’s Last Tweet and Testament posted alongside an eerie postmortem coffin photo. Fans can donate to Keep a Child Alive online or via text message to buy their chosen celebrity’s life back. The celebrities agreed to stay mum on social networking sites until the charity raises $1,000,000. As of this post, the 'Digital Death' campaign has raised over $200,000. Is a digital celebrity "massacre" enough to inspire awareness in fickle fans?

More at BuyLife | Posted 7 years ago by Marissa Brassfield

Previously: Not Much Media Coverage of HIV/AIDS

Tags: AIDS, Kim Kardashian, World AIDS Day 2010, World AIDS Day

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Basic Training Meets Basic Diet

12 U.S. Army Embraces Performance Nutrition

U.S. Army soldiers at basic training will soon learn how to eat and exercise like professional athletes. The Army's latest "soldier-athlete" initiative will add lessons in performance nutrition and a focus on injury prevention, flexibility and coordination to recruits' steady diet of pushups, sit-ups and rucksack marches. In the dining halls, drill sergeants will still monitor soldiers' demeanor and comportment, but they’ll also zero in on proper hydration and nutritious food choices. "We've changed from feeding soldiers to fueling the tactical athlete," Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling told the Associated Press. Fort Knox, Fort Benning, Fort Jackson, Fort Leonard Wood and Fort Sill will be the first installations to begin the program.

More at Army Times | Posted 7 years ago by Marissa Brassfield

Previously: Military Says Obesity Is National Security Threat

Tags: Diet, Military, Army, Basic Training

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

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