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The Basics of Good Health Is the Subject of New E-Book–Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

While many of us strive to live healthy lives, the task can be daunting and the information overwhelming. Should we be more concerned with our diet or with keeping our weight down? How important is exercise? What kinds of diseases should we really be worried about? In this eBook, “Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy,” we’ve [...]

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Food Matters

Antioxidant Supplements: Too Much of a Kinda Good Thing

Emergen-C

There appears to be a continued public misconception (encouraged by the supplement industry) that free radicals are bad, and that antioxidants are good. Of course, like most phenomena affecting our health, it’s not that simple. Free radicals are molecules or atoms containing an unpaired electron. Unpaired electrons are attention seekers. They really don’t like being [...]

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Food Matters

What if we all just stopped trying to lose weight? (video)

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By focusing on weight, we may be missing the broader picture of what it means to be healthy. Brian Mattson is not the picture of health. Few would look at him and say: “There’s a healthy fellow.” But that’s a shame, because Mattson is a pretty healthy guy. In fact, by a number of measures, [...]

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Food Matters

Coffee on the run

Feb 2 photo iStock_000023054784Small

Recently I’ve talked with several long distance runners —­­ think half-marathon or marathon — and have been surprised to hear how many down a mug of coffee before they race. After all, doesn’t coffee cause dehydration, something runners would like to avoid? A PLOS ONE study published in early January suggests the answer is no, [...]

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Food Matters

Biased But Necessary: Single Case Studies

Like a kid who skips the copyright information that precede iPad games, I go straight to the clinical cases in the New England Journal of Medicine whenever I get my hands on a copy. Recently I browsed through a bunch of cases in the online archives. In 1823, the journal called these vignettes “hospital reports.” [...]

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Guest Blog

Project Superhero: Using Pop Culture to Inspire Kids’ Interest in Science

Jesse as Batgirl. (Illustration: Kris Pearn)

In my pop-sci writing, mainly here, at Psychology Today, and in the books Becoming Batman and Inventing Iron Man, I use superheroes as foils for communicating science. I have encouraged other scientists to pursue similar approaches in articles such as “From Claude Bernard to the Batcave and Beyond: Using Batman as a hook for physiology [...]

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Guest Blog

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: America’s Greatest Health Risk of 2015?

Micrograph of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The liver has a prominent (centrilobular) macrovesicular steatosis (white/clear round/oval spaces) and mild fibrosis (green). The hepatocytes stain red.  Macrovesicular steatosis is lipid accumulation that is so large it distorts the cell's nucleus. (Credit: Nephron/Wikimedia Commons)

Today, up to 25 percent of people in the U.S. are living with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to the American Liver Foundation. NAFLD is a medical condition associated with obesity that can eventually lead to other liver conditions or even liver failure. In less than a decade, NAFLD will likely become the number [...]

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Guest Blog

Reducing Lifestyle Diseases Means Changing Our Environment

The gym. (Health Gauge/Flickr)

I’ve always found gyms a bit strange. Think about it: Dozens of people sweating in close proximity, running on conveyor belts going nowhere, lifting and dropping heavy objects for no reason. There’s a guy grunting as he flings a barbell to the ground, a woman repeatedly leaping on and off a stack of boxes, and [...]

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Guest Blog

How Overeating May Contribute to a Metabolic “Traffic Jam”

Oooh, donut! (Mark H. Anbinder/Flickr)

In what has been dubbed “The Great Crawl of China”, in August 2010 commuters in Beijing accumulated along a 74.5-mile-long stretch of road for a preposterous 11 days straight. No mere rush-hour delay, the absurdity of this pile-up—one of the worst in recorded history—suggests that multiple factors were to blame. Just as fewer cars and [...]

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Guest Blog

Lifestyle Choices Could Affect Gene Sequences That Code for Cancer

Couch potatoing. (Credit: El Alvi via Flickr)

It’s no secret that diet and exercise can directly impact our health. But for many people, genetic predisposition to disease – be it hypertension or diabetes or cancer – is often perceived as a risk that is out of their hands. New findings in the field of epigenetics, however, suggest that we may have more [...]

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Guest Blog

For Diabetics, Healthy Habits Trump Medicine

syringe sticking up from a pile of granulated fine sugar

Against the backdrop of a government shutdown precipitated by healthcare issues and the rollout of the insurance exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act, a conference called Diabetes + Innovation 2013 took place in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. The gathering, organized by The Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School, focused on prevention and [...]

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Guest Blog

Can sitting too much kill you?

We all know that physical activity is important for good health—regardless of your age, gender or body weight, living an active lifestyle can improve your quality of life and dramatically reduce your risk of death and disease. But even if you are meeting current physical activity guidelines by exercising for one hour per day (something [...]

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Observations

Why Do You Exercise?

  Exercise has always been something of an afterthought for me. Books, not sports, were my passion growing up. But I’ve also always enjoyed travel, exploring both cities and natural wonders. And it’s become increasingly clear to me that if I want to continue doing so, I need to stay in good physical shape. The [...]

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Observations

Some Barefoot Runners Tip Orthodoxy Back on Heels

barefoot running rear foot strike

Barefoot, five-finger, super-minimal, zero-drop. Whatever joggers embrace as the approach-du-jour for improving form, most of these trends stem from one physiological principal: people who grow up running sans footwear—the way our ancestors did for hundreds of thousands of years—run by landing on their fore- or mid-foot. A new study finds, however, that not all habitually [...]

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Observations

Early Childhood Obesity Rates Might Be Slowing Nationwide

early childhood obesity decrease

About one in three children in the U.S. are now overweight, and since the 1980s the number of children who are obese has more than tripled. But a new study of 26.7 million young children from low-income families shows that in this group of kids, the tidal wave of obesity might finally be receding. Being [...]

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Observations

Dana Vollmer’s Butterfly Stroke Features Dolphinlike Moves [Video]

U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer’s record-setting performance in London in the 100-meter butterfly is sure to be a model for aspiring Olympians. Vollmer’s edge in butterfly competition comes from her uncanny ability to closely mimic the underwater undulation and kick of nature’s greatest swimmer—the dolphin. The 24-year-old Syracuse, N.Y., native worked with a team of motion-capture [...]

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Observations

Statins Are Linked with Fatigue

statins fatigue energy exertion

Cholesterol-lowering statins have been credited with preventing countless heart attacks among at-risk adults. More than 20 million U.S. adults now take statins daily, making them some of the top-selling drugs of all time. Recent research, however, has indicated that they might sometimes contribute to cognitive problems, such as confusion and memory loss. And new findings [...]

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Observations

Ultra Marathons Might Be Ultra Bad for Your Heart

extreme endurance exercise heart

If getting some exercise is good for you and getting lots is even better, then hours upon hours of intense exercise must be best, right? Perhaps not. Many people feel obligated to hit the gym or the trail every now and then to help keep off the extra pounds. But people who run ultra marathons [...]

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Observations

U.S. Cancer Rates Could Be Cut in Half Today Based on What’s Already Known

doctor writing

More than half a million people died from cancer in the U.S. in 2011. We have many astounding advances in medicine to thank for that number not being higher. But that grim figure could also be a lot lower even without a breakthrough drug for breast or lung cancer. In fact, more than 280,000 of [...]

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Observations

Risk of Heart Disease Underestimated, Researchers Say

Heart disease is the leading killer in the U.S., and more than 27 million Americans currently have a cardiac condition. But what is your risk of developing heart disease at some point in your entire life? It might be a lot higher than you think, according to a new paper published online Wednesday in The [...]

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Observations

How Exercise Might Help Our Cells Help Us

In addition to helping us get fit, exercise seems to play a disproportionate role in fending off chronic diseases, such as diabetes. A new study suggests how activity on the cellular level might be keeping us healthy when we get activity on the macro level. The process in question is autophagy, a series of actions [...]

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Observations

Newly Discovered Hormone Boosts Effects of Exercise, Could Help Fend Off Diabetes

Hormones aren’t just for sex—they help control everything from the times when we feel hungry to the timing of our heart beats. Dozens have been described, but there is now a new one on the scene. It might help explain some of the health benefits of exercise and point the way to preventing obesity and [...]

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