Friday, May 28, 2010

Link Between Oral Hygiene and Cardiovasculas Disease

Results of a study published in the May 27,2010 issue of BMJ indicate a strong association between oral hygiene and cardiovascular disease. Based on a survey of 11,869 Scottish men and women, those with poor oral hygiene had a 70% increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Those who brushed their teeth infrequently also had an increased concentration of C Reactive Protein in their blood. C Reactive Protein is a measure of inflamation in the body. It has been speculated that long-term exposure to body wide, low level inflamation promotes cardiovascular disease.

In addition to daily exercise, it is a good idea to brush our teeth twice a day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Walking Helps Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

In a study led by Peter T. Katzmarzuk and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the number of steps taken each day can help improve your cardiovascular health.

The cardiovascular risk factors measured in the study are

  • Abdominal obesity (waist size)
  • High levels of triglycerides
  • Low level of HDL or good cholesterol
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • And Elevated fasting glucose

According to the study, more steps per day taken was associated with significantly lower odds of having at-risk cardiovascular disease profiles. On average, for each additional 1000 steps per day taken, was associated with a 8 to 13% reduction in the odds of having a large waist circumference, low level of HDL and high levels of triglycerides.

Those that took 10,000 or more steps each day had 72% lower odds of having the cardiovascular risk factors compared to those that took less than 5000 steps each day. This agrees with the recommendation to walk 10,000 steps each day for chances of optimum health.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Elderly Daily Exercise and High Blood Pressure Treatment May Help to Prevent Falls

A study published in the May 18, 2010 issue of Neurology states that daily exercise and treatments for high blood pressure may help to prevent the risk of falls among the elderly.

The study conducted by Farzaneh Sorond, M.D. at the Institute for Aging Research concluded that seniors with the smallest blood flow change in the brain had the greatest risk of falls. The findings show that low changes in blood flow to the brain is associated with slow gait and the development of falls in the elderly. Only 18 percent of 85 year old seniors have a normal gait. These gait abnormalities are strongly associated with falls.

Daily exercise and high blood pressure treatment can improve blood flow to the brain, and decrease the risk of falls.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Benefits of Long-Term Exercise

HealthDay has just released an excellent article titled " With Long-Term Exercise, Being 80 Is Just a Number " and written by Jenifer Goodwin.

Lawrence Golding of the University of Nevada, started a lunchtime exercise program for men, which lasted for about 20 years. " Some of those men, aged 30 to 51 when the class began, stuck with the program for more than 20 years. And today they're reaping the benefits of that commitment. Now graying and many of them grandfathers, they have cholesterol and triglyceride levels that are better than when they were younger, and their aerobic capacity, flexibility and strength have not shown expected age-related declines. "

This agrees with similar results of the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, which the results were discussed by Steven Blair in an interview with The New York Times. It is those results that the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association has based their recommendations for Physical Activity guidelines for those over 18 years of age.

In conclusion, " Along with a healthy diet, staying mentally active and socially engaged, exercise is emerging as one of the key ways of staving off chronic diseases and, in general, staying healthier in old age, experts say. "

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Eating Nuts Reduces Total Cholesterol and LDL

In a recent press release, a new study shows that eating a third of a cup of nuts a day can reduce total cholesterol by 5.1 percent and LDL levels by 7.4 percent. Also, the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol was improved by 8.3 percent, and caused a decrease in triglyceride levels by 10.2 percent.

The results were reported by researchers at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California after analyzing data on 583 men and women who had participated in 25 nut consumption trials.

Even though most nuts will produce the same beneficial results, the best evidence for the beneficial effect came from the studies of walnuts and almonds.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Does Brain Training Improve Cognitive Abilities?

Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains does a good job on his commentary about the results of a recent brain training experiment in Britain, in his article titled " BBC 'Brain Training ' Experiment: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly ."

The good is that brain games do not improve cognitive function in general. These games will help you improve at doing one particular task, but will not improve your overall brain health. For example, doing cross-word puzzles will help you improve at doing cross-word puzzles, but nothing else.

The bad of this experiment in Britain is that the experiment was poorly designed and lacked adequate quality control. The amount of training time was very low, and there was no quality control as participants did their testing at home with no supervision.

The ugly is that the researchers made a large conclusion from a single negative findings of a flawed experiment.

If people truly want to improve their cognitive abilities, I believe that they must seriously work at it. Simply playing games will not help much. We should focus on