Good Stuff To Know December 2015

good stuff to know this monthProcessed meat can cause cancer

Researchers have evaluated the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat. They classified the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans, based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect. Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans.

Restoring testosterone rather than replacing it helps safeguard a man’s fertility

Restoring testosterone production in men may be as effective as replacing it, without compromising their fertility. Two phase III clinical trials show that a drug that restores the body’s natural production of testosterone has no negative effect on a man’s sperm count while a topical testosterone gel causes a significant drop. The findings could change the way men are treated for low testosterone.

Older beats younger when it comes to correcting mistakes

Findings from a new study challenge the notion that older adults always lag behind their younger counterparts when it comes to learning new things. The study shows that older adults were actually better than young adults at correcting their mistakes on a general information quiz.

Prevention of mental disorders through physical activity

Adults who perform high or mild levels of total physical activity present higher levels of mental health than those performing low levels of physical activity, a study concludes. They also found that the level of exercise performed in leisure time is inversely related to vulnerability to mental disorders.

Government to Pay Doctors to Tell Patients to Kill Themselves?christmas_tree

The federal government is about to pay doctors who speak with patients about the type of medical care they want when they are “near death.” The rule announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid service will reimburse, starting January 1, 2016, healthcare providers if they have conversations with Medicare patients about advance planning–also known as end-of-life discussions, reports WSJ.

Keeping gut bacteria in balance could help delay age-related diseases, UCLA study finds

Why do some people remain healthy into their 80s and beyond, while others age faster and suffer serious diseases decades earlier? New research led by UCLA life scientists may produce a new way to answer that question — and an approach that could help delay declines in health.

Health risks of saturated fats aggravated by immune response

High levels of saturated fat in the blood could make an individual more prone to inflammation and tissue damage, a new study suggests.

First, do no harm: Hospital patients given anti-heartburn drugs have higher risk of dying, study finds

Right now, in any American hospital, about half of the patients have a prescription for an acid-reducing drug to reduce heartburn or prevent bleeding in their stomach and gut.

Not so happy old age? Depressive symptoms increase with age

The notion that older people are happier than younger people is being challenged following a recent study. In fact it suggests that people get more depressed from age 65 onwards.

Today’s disposable society: Pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern

An increasing amount of drugs taken by humans and animals make it into streams and waterways, and pharmaceutical pollution has had catastrophic ecosystem consequences despite low levels of concentration in the environment. The effect of pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern on the environment has been the focus of recent research.

Going barefoot: Strong ‘foot core’ could prevent plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and other common injuries

Barefoot activities can greatly improve balance and posture and prevent common injuries like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, bursitis, and tendonitis in the Achilles tendon, according to one expert.

The unwanted extras in your morning filter coffee

New research examines chemical leaching into coffee from filter coffee machines and electric kettles. The alarming results suggest that caffeine consumption is not all we have to worry about in our coffee culture.

Being at ‘high risk’ of ill health has become a disease in its own right

Classifying an individual as being at ‘high risk’ of developing a particular condition/disease has become a disease in its own right, and is turning the healthy into the sick, argues an expert in a new editorial.

People with Parkinson’s walk again after promising drug trial

A cancer drug may be the first treatment to reverse Parkinson’s disease, and has allowed bedridden people in a small trial to walk again

White matter damage caused by ‘skunk-like’ cannabis, study shows

Smoking high potency ‘skunk-like’ cannabis can damage a crucial part of the brain responsible for communication between the two brain hemispheres, according to a new study

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