Good Stuff To Know August 2017

* * * Highlights * * *

No detectable limit to how long people can live * * * Surprising trend in extramarital sex in America * * * Smelling your food makes you fat * * * Popular heartburn drugs linked to higher early death risk * * * Marijuana and vulnerability to psychosis * * * Vitamin D may improve sunburn, according to new clinical trial * * * Cocoa and chocolate are not just treats — they are good for your cognition * * * Diabetes causes shift in oral microbiome that fosters periodontitis, Penn study finds * * *  * Daily crosswords linked to sharper brain in later life * * * Estrogen therapy may prevent gum disease in women over 50 * * * Diet quality matters not just quantity in mid-to-late-adulthood


No detectable limit to how long people can live

By analyzing the lifespan of the longest-living individuals from the USA, the UK, France and Japan for each year since 1968, investigators found no evidence for such a limit, and if such a maximum exists, it has yet to be reached or identified.

Surprising trend in extramarital sex in America

Older Americans are cheating on their spouses more than their younger counterparts, with 20 percent of married Americans over age 55 reporting they’ve engaged in extramarital sex. Just 14 percent of those under age 55 say they’ve cheated.

Smelling your food makes you fat

Researchers developed ways to temporarily eliminate the sense of smell in adult mice, and discovered that those mice that lost smell could eat a high-fat diet and stay a normal weight, while littermates that retained the sense of smell ballooned to twice normal weight. Supersmellers gained more weight than did normal mice on the same high-fat diet. Smell-deficient mice burned excess fat instead of storing it, suggesting a link between smell and metabolism.

Popular heartburn drugs linked to higher early death risk

Millions of U.S. residents take proton pump inhibitors which are widely prescribed to treat heartburn, ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems. Now, a new study shows that long-term use of the popular drugs carries an increased risk of death.

Marijuana and vulnerability to psychosis

The link between marijuana use and psychotic-like experiences has been confirmed in a Canadian adolescent cohort.

Vitamin D may improve sunburn, according to new clinical trial

High doses of vitamin D taken one hour after sunburn significantly reduce skin redness, swelling, and inflammation, according to double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Cocoa and chocolate are not just treats — they are good for your cognition

Researchers have examined the available literature for the effects of acute and chronic administration of cocoa flavanols on different cognitive domains. It turns out that cognitive performance was improved by a daily intake of cocoa flavanols.

Diabetes causes shift in oral microbiome that fosters periodontitis, Penn study finds

People with diabetes are susceptible to periodontitis, a gum infection that can result in tooth loss. New research helps explain why: Diabetes triggers changes in the oral microbiome that enhance inflammation and the risk of bone loss

Expecting the worst: People’s perceived morality is biased towards negativity

People who are believed to be immoral are unable to reverse individuals’ perception of them, potentially resulting in difficulties in the workplace and barriers in accessing fair and equal treatment in the legal system, a new study reports.

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18

Young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence, found a study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth.

Hospitalizations and cognitive decline in older adults

Emergency and urgent hospitalizations are associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in older adults, report researchers. The results of their study suggest that hospitalization may be a more of a major risk factor for long-term cognitive decline in older adults than previously recognized.

Artificial sweeteners linked to risk of weight gain, heart disease and other health issues

Artificial sweeteners may be associated with long-term weight gain and increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, according to a new study.

Daily crosswords linked to sharper brain in later life

The more regularly people report doing word puzzles such as crosswords, the better their brain function in later life, a large-scale and robust online trial has found. Experts analyzed data from more than 17,000 healthy people aged 50 and over, submitted in an online trial.

Estrogen therapy may prevent gum disease in women over 50

Treatment for osteoporosis may also help prevent gum disease, according to new research that examined the prevalence of periodontitis in postmenopausal women.

New supplement can repair, rejuvenate muscles in older adults

Whey protein supplements aren’t just for gym buffs according to new research. When taken on a regular basis, a combination of these and other ingredients in a ready-to-drink formula have been found to greatly improve the physical strength of a growing cohort: senior citizens.

A changing society: 100 is the new 80

When it comes to aging successfully and remaining in good health, are centenarians the perfect role models? Researchers have been studying illness trajectories in centenarians during the final years of their lives. According to their findings, people who died aged 100 or older suffered fewer diseases than those who died aged 90 to 99, or 80 to 89.

Day-to-day experiences affect awareness of aging, mood

A study of older adults finds an individual’s awareness of aging is not as static as previously thought, and that day-to-day experiences and one’s attitude toward aging can affect an individual’s awareness of age-related change — and how that awareness affects one’s mood.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don’t go well together

Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat.

Social media: Simplifying surveillance

The controversial Snap Map app enables Snapchat users to track their friends. This is the latest in a series of monitoring tools to be built on social media platforms. A new study assesses the benefits and risks associated with their use.

How physical exercise prevents dementia

Physical exercise seems beneficial in the prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia in old age, numerous studies have shown. Now researchers have explored in one of the first studies worldwide how exercise affects brain metabolism.

Study finds 90 percent of American men overfat

Researchers reported earlier this year in the journal Frontiers of Public Health that up to 76 percent of the world’s population may be overfat. Now these same researchers have focused their efforts on data from 30 of the top developed countries, with even more alarming findings that up to 90 percent of adult males and 50 percent of children may be overfat.

Pattern of marijuana use during adolescence may impact psychosocial outcomes in adulthood

A pattern of escalating marijuana use in adolescents is linked to higher rates of depression and lower educational accomplishments in adulthood.

Raccoon roundworm: Hidden human parasite?

The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess. More likely than not, it also contaminates your yard with parasites — most notably, raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis).

Diet quality matters not just quantity in mid-to-late-adulthood

A new study has investigated the impact of diet quality in mid-to-late-adulthood on visceral and liver fat not solely relying on Body Mass Index (BMI). Four different measures of diet quality were used to evaluate dietary intake of the multiethnic population over a twenty-year span. Maintaining a high quality diet during mid-to-late adulthood may prevent adverse metabolic consequences related to visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL).