March 7, 2011

Strong Genetic Component

1 Bad Backs Run in Families

Back pain? Blame it on a relative. Chronic back pain has a strong genetic component, according to a growing number of studies. One study from the University of Utah analyzed health records from more than a million patients with herniated or degenerative disc disease. The data showed that having an immediate family member with a bad back raised a person’s risk more than four times. The risk was also increased if one has an aunt, uncle, grandparent or cousin with a bad back. In the past, researchers focused on lifestyle factors that relatives often share, including lack of exercise and having similar careers. Other studies confirm the genetic component hypothesis by identifying a gene that appears to be linked to sciatica and disc herniation.

More at NYTimes.com | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Massage Can Alleviate Lower Back Pain

Tags: Back Pain, Back Problems, Exercise, University of Utah, Genetic Component of Back Pain, Back Pain Runs in Families

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (31%) / No! (69%)

Use Drug with Lower Risk

2 Topamax Receives New Birth Defect Warning

Topamax (topiramate), approved for treating epilepsy and preventing migraines, increases the risk of cleft lip and cleft palate in infants when the mother takes the drug during pregnancy, warns the FDA. Topamax is also prescribed off-label (for conditions not approved by the FDA) to treat bipolar disorder, alcoholism and obesity, reports WebMD. According to the FDA, 1.4 percent of infants exposed to Topamax during pregnancy developed cleft palate or cleft lip. Among infants exposed to other epilepsy drugs, only 0.38 to 0.55 percent developed the oral birth defects. The FDA advises patients and doctors to use alternative medications with a lower risk of birth defects.

More at WebMD | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Heart Defects Tied to Smoking Early in Pregnancy

Tags: Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate, Topamax, Topiramate, Treating Epilepsy, Bipolar Disorder Drugs, Alcoholism Drugs, Topamax During Pregnancy, Drugs That Treat Epilepsy, Preventing Seizures, Lowering Risk of Birth Defects, Causes of Cleft Lip, Prescribing off-Label Drugs

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (39%) / No! (61%)

What Will Headstone Say?

3 Win Your Funeral Costs from a German Radio Station

A radio station in Germany is hosting a very controversial contest: Write your own epitaph and receive a check to cover your funeral if you win. BBC reports that Radio Galaxy's contest in Aschaffenburg, north Bavaria has been called "tasteless" by an association of undertakers who are suing the station. However, listeners don't seem to agree that the contest is tasteless. More than 600 people have sent in their own descriptions for their future headstones for a chance a free funeral. The winner of Radio Galaxy's contest will be announced on Wednesday. Radio Galaxy told BBC that they're hosting the contest in an effort to "raise awareness about this difficult topic [death] among young people."

More at BBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: North Bavaria, Radio Galaxy, Aschaffenburg, Write Your Own Epitaph, Young People Attitudes Death, Talking About Death, Funeral Expenses, Covering Cost of Funeral, Tacky Contests

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

Do You Remember?

4 Phil Collins Retiring from Music for Health

Struggling with hearing problems, nerve damage to his hands and a dislocated vertebra, Phil Collins has decided to retire from music. The musician told FHM magazine that he no longer feels he belongs in "that world" when he views the MTV Music Awards. He said, "I don't think anyone's going to miss me. I'm much happier just to write myself out of the script entirely." CNN reports that the nerve damage in Collins' hands has made it almost impossible to even hold drumsticks. Collins sold more than 150 million records during his career, but now he's more concerned with being physically able to be a dad to his two sons.

More at CNN | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Retirement Age

Tags: Phil Collins, Retiring Musicians, Phil Collins Retires, Health Problems Phil Collins, Hearing Loss among Musicians, Hearing Loss Affects Work, Reasons for Retiring, FHM Magazine, Nerve Damage to Hands, MTV Music Awards

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (41%) / No! (59%)

What Sharing Too Much Says

5 Facebook Photo Sharing Tied with Self Worth

"Basing your self-worth on this is like expecting a frozen lake to be safe to walk on all year long!"
- Dr. J in the comments

Women who base their self worth on their appearance are the most prolific photo sharers at Facebook, and they maintain larger networks when participating in online social networking sites, claim researchers. University of Buffalo researcher Michael A. Stefanone, PhD, and colleagues believe that their study results suggest that females identify more strongly with their appearance and use Facebook to compete for attention. The study, published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, reveals that those with a self-worth based on more private contingencies like family or academic competence are more likely to spend less time online.

More at Eurekalert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Facebook Affect on Health, Facebook and Self-Esteems, Facebook Habits, Facebook Health News, Facebook Studies, University at Buffalo, Cyberpsychology Behavior and Social Networking

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (39%) / No! (61%)

Warning Signs of Betrayal

6 Women Think Men with Deep Voices Aren't Faithful

Men with deep voices are more likely to cheat, believe women who are choosing a partner. Newly published research in the journal Evolutionary Psychology explores the link between voice pitch and perceived infidelity. The researchers believe that men and women choosing romantic partners may rely on voice pitch to help them choose a mate who's less likely to cheat. The more attractive the voice, the more likely a potential mate will cheat. Women with higher pitched voices are considered to have a more attractive voice and be more likely to cheat. For men, more attractive lower voices may be viewed by potential mates as a warning of infidelity. The research involved participants listening to recorded versions of voices that were electronically manipulated to lower or heighten pitch.

More at Health 24 | Hat tip to Fox News | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Evolutionary Psychology, Infidelity Trait, Predicting Cheating Spouse, Spotting Cheating Girlfriends, Figuring Out If Boyfriend Cheating, Voice Tells Husband Cheating, Voice Pitch Indicates Cheating

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Marrying Young in Romania

7 World's Youngest Grandmother Was 23

A Romanian woman became the world's youngest grandmother when she was just 23 years old, says Fox News. Marrying young is the norm in Romanian gypsy culture, said Ridca Stanescu whose daughter Maria gave birth at age 11. The grandmother gave birth to Maria when she was 12 years old. Fox News reports that although Stanescu, now 25, had "wanted more" for her daughter, she didn't try to stop the wedding because it's "tradition." While Stanescu said she's happy to be a grandmother, she had "wished something else for Maria," and for herself.

More at Fox News | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: World's Youngest Grandmother, Youngest Grandmother, Youngest Grandmother World, Ridca Stanescu, Romania, Giving Birth at 11, Preteens Giving Birth, Too Young to Give Birth, Marrying Young

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (33%) / No! (67%)

Whole Grain and Vegan

8 BRUBAR Is All-Natural Beer-Inspired Energy Bar

Christian D’Souza was eating an energy bar while driving to a homebrewing supply store when he realized that energy bar flavors are similar to the ingredients in craft-brewed beers, so he tried the two together. The result is called BRUBAR Energy Bars, an all-natural combination of ingredients sweetened primarily with all-natural barley malt. BRUBAR has been successful, especially among athletes who not only think the bars taste good, but the combination of dates, barley malt and rolled oats provide a more sustainable energy source because they are absorbed by the body at different rates. D’Souza will be exhibiting his creation at the National Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. The bars are also available at www.brubar.com and at Amazon.com.

More at PR Newswire | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Energy Drinks Help Young Athletes

Tags: Improved Endurance, Whole Grains, Young Athletes, Energy Bars, Sports Performance, Beer

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (39%) / No! (61%)

Burn Body Fat

9 Chili Pepper Extract to Be Added to Some UK Foods

An extract made from chili peppers will soon be added to a range of UK foods intended to support weight loss. The ingredient, called dihydrocapsiate (DHC), is currently sold in the US and Japan in the form of a dietary supplement, but this is the first time it will be used as a food additive. Tokyo-based food company Ajinomoto will add the ingredient, which will be made synthetically as chili peppers only produce a small amount, to foods including desserts, confectionery, cereals, and drinks. The product has been approved as safe by Britain’s Food Standards Agency and studies indicate that DHC can increase the burning of body fat and overall calorie expenditure. The European Commission has the final say on whether DHC can be added to foods, but usually follows the lead of the FSA.

More at UK Telegraph | Hat tip to Fox News | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Hot Peppers Help You Lose More Weight

Tags: Capsaicin, Chili Peppers, Dihydrocapsiate, Metabolism, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Foods

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

West Virgina at Bottom

10 Hawaii Tops List As Nation's Happiest State

In a telephone survey conducted by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index between January 1 and December 31, 2010, Hawaii ranks as the top of the list in well-being among all US states. The survey, which included data from over 350,000 adults, looked at six categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment/job satisfaction, physical health, healthy behavior, and community satisfaction which included an assessment of access to healthcare. The rest of the top five states in order are Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska, and Colorado. The states at the bottom of the well-being index are West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama. The authors say that the states falling short in well-being need to increase residents’ access to good jobs and basic necessities.

More at Fox News | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Access to Internet Brings Happiness, Middle Age Brings Happiness and Contentment

Tags: Happiness, Well-Being, Happiest States

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

New Approach to Treatment

11 Drug Clears Amyloid Plaques in Rat and Mice Cells

A new drug called SMER28 works by clearing out debris from proteins, including the beta-amyloid plaques that are seen in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s. Researchers decided to look at drugs that could increase the cells’ ability to remove the protein aggregates. Cultured rat and mice cells were exposed to different compounds to determine which ones would induce a process known as “autophagy,” in which cells remove unwanted materials from themselves. SMER28 was found to be most effective. It was then tested on cells whose genes involved in autophagy were inhibited or knocked out to determine which gene was activated by SMER28. Researchers believe that new compounds such as SMER28 may offer new insight into treating both Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.

More at Science Daily | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Eat Heart Healthy Food for a Healthy Brain

Tags: Alzheimer’s, Autophagy, Beta-Amyloid Plaques, SMER28

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

Royalty Found Underground!

12 700-Year-Old Mummy Unearthed in China

Road workers in the city of Taizhou, China discovered a wooden tomb last month containing a remarkably well-preserved 700-year-old mummy. Chinese archeologists claim that the corpse is that of a high-ranking, and possibly noble, woman from the Ming Dynasty. Incredibly, her skin, hair, eyelashes and even clothing were mummified with such skill and care that the corpse had an appearance of someone who had only recently been buried. Chinese archaeologists from the Museum of Taizhou handled the excavation of the tomb. Also uncovered were two smaller nearby tombs. The discovery in Taizhou is a first in the Jiangsu province of China and is sure to bring a lot of archeological excitement to the area.

More at Weird Asia News | Posted 7 years ago by Brian Randles

Previously: Malaria Likely Killed King Tut

Tags: China, Ancient Mummy, Found, Royalty, 700 Year Old Mummy, Archaeology

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (39%) / No! (61%)

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