Standing Desks Are No Replacement For a Workout

Planting your behind in a seat for hours at a time has been squarely linked to an increase in health problems, from shorter lifespans to a slew of diseases, including cancer. Concerned office workers have leapt to standing desks as healthier alternatives. But prolonged sitting may be getting a bum rap, a new study suggests.

Source: Standing desks are no replacement for a workout

The moral of the story is still this: go out and get some exercise.

No gym membership needed. Go out and run. Or walk at first if you can’t run. Or try cycling. Or try rowing. Or swimming. Can’t swim? Even better- you’ll go on a great journey just learning how to swim crawl correctly.

What – winters are bad where you live? Cross country skiing.   Endurance exercise has the power to change your life.

Advertisements

The Problem With BPA-free: Alternatives are just as Troubling

BPA-free labels, blazoned on baby toys and beverage holders, are supposed to allay fears about the notorious chemical, previously used in sturdy plastics and epoxy resins. After all, bisphenol A (BPA) has been shown to impersonate hormones such as estrogen, and it is associated—though not definitely linked—to a broad range of health problems, including cancers and cardiovascular disease.

But the “BPA-free” label may simply be a meaningless marketing ploy.

Source: The problem with BPA-free: Alternatives are just as troubling

DOI link?  DOI link!

Glass bottles might make a comeback – borosilicate is awesome stuff, but nothing about the aluminum containers that came available.

The FDA Just Approved Transgenic Chickens That Make Medicine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the thumbs up to a genetically modified chicken that produces a drug in its eggs. It’s the latest addition to a growing area in medicine known as “farmaceuticals.”

Source: The FDA Just Approved Transgenic Chickens That Make Medicine

Neither the chicken or the egg will be allowed to enter into the food supply.  Too bad, might’ve made an interesting omelette 😉

This isn’t the first so-called “animal drug”.  The FDA has already approved GM goats that produce an anticoagulant in their milk, and a drug for treating hereditary angioedema that’s produced by transgenic rabbits.

The Man Who Wants to Beat Back Aging

On a blazingly hot morning this past June, a half-dozen scientists convened in a hotel conference room in suburban Maryland for the dress rehearsal of what they saw as a landmark event in the history of aging research. In a few hours, the group would meet with officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a few kilometers away, to pitch an unprecedented clinical trial—nothing less than the first test of a drug to specifically target the process of human aging.

Source: The man who wants to beat back aging

Metformin is a standard medication for diabetics, taken by millions since 1957.  One would think its anti-ageing powers would have been revealed by now…  They give no logic behind how they arrived at the 120 year lifespan.  I can only assume they extrapolated from worm and certain mice strain models – this methodology has been shown to be extremely flawed.

Research Says Your Body Shape Could Be Worse for You Than a High BMI

Your body mass index (BMI) is a helpful tool to measure how under- or overweight you are—but may be of little use when it comes to determining potentially serious health risks. Researchers have found that individuals with a normal weight BMI, but a higher waist-to-hip ratio, face a higher risk of death—especially death from a cardiovascular disease.

Source: Research says your body shape could be worse for you than a high BMI

I’ve never been a fan of BMI because it generalized too much to have any real value.  The waist/hip ratio is better, but I’m still concerned about false positives.  Body fat percentage is notoriously subjective, the experience for determining the percentage can be harrowing for those who are in the double digits… But I still can’t help but think it’s a personal and better assessment of health with respect to what the study provides for implications of body fat.

It’s a fine line to cross before it becomes fat shaming (which doesn’t work).  But it is about preventative measures to minimize load on the health care system.  Everybody wins when it works.

Cancer Myths About Antioxidant Supplements Need to Die

The essence of a healthy diet is a bit of a mystery. Everyone knows that a diet full of plant foods—fruits, vegetables, and nuts—is good for you, as it can lower the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other ailments. But scientists, being scientists, want to know the exact reason, and they have long eyed antioxidants. These chemicals, found in high amounts in some plants, quench harmful molecules that can run amok in cells, fatally damaging DNA and the cellular machinery.

As the hypothesis that antioxidants offer health benefits took root in the minds of consumers, however, it shriveled in labs. Mounds of studies, conducted over decades, have found no conclusive link between antioxidants and lower disease risks. And, this month, two studies add to evidence that antioxidants may actually increase the spread and severity of some cancers.

Source: Cancer myths about antioxidant supplements need to die

What I’m missing in this story is whether free radicals can actually promote the growth of cancer cells as healthy cells are damaged. Yes, I get that the downside is that antioxidants can protect growing cancer cells, but what about before cancer cells develop? In other words, can the antioxidant protection against free radicals help prevent the formation of cancer cells in the first place? Or is there no link?

I’d like to point out another medical truism: if men were mice, we’d have cured cancer a long time ago.

Mortality Gap: Why Women Live Longer than Men

In every single country on the planet, women live longer than men. In response to this unpleasant fact, men are fond of replying, “That’s because we have to put up with women.” Humorous though it may be, that’s not the actual reason women live longer than men. In fact, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th Century that the “mortality gap” between men and women became so striking.

To investigate the underlying reason for the gender gap in life expectancy, a team of researchers examined mortality data for people born between 1800 and 1935 in 13 developed countries. Using this data, they were able to determine changes in the male-female mortality ratio, as well as determine when and why women began to outlive men.

Source: Mortality Gap: Why Women Live Longer than Men

The over 40 sample is great because it eliminates the two biggest gender specific dangers – childbirth and war.  I would really like to see a study comparing the life spans of childless women, compared to those with children.  One advantage of pregnancy prior to age 30 is a reduced risk of breast cancer.  But pregnancy increases risk for osteoporosis associated complications.

The Dangerous Power of Health Media: 28,000 Quit Statins After Scare Documentary

Unbalanced and poorly researched health reporting is often criticised for the effect it can have on people’s health choices. That effect can be very difficult to quantify, but a paper published this week in the Medical Journal of Australia estimates that an extra 28,000 Australians stopped taking cholesterol-lowering statins after an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) documentary.

Statins are widely-prescribed drugs that are used to lower the levels of dangerous LDL cholesterol in the blood. According to the Australian government’s most recent estimate, they were the most commonly prescribed drug in Australia in 2011. Any change in the number of people taking statins therefore has a huge impact, affecting thousands of people.

Source: The dangerous power of health media: 28,000 quit statins after scare documentary

Let us not forget the ever-decreasing threshold that doctor’s use to prescribe statins, despite little evidence that the demands for extremely low LDL are actually beneficial.

And that’s all totally ignoring the fundamental issues with the ‘cholesterol hypothesis’ generally — it is possible that elevated LDL is a byproduct of metabolic syndrome or other inflammatory conditions, not vice-versa, and also that total LDL alone is a poor measure of cardiovascular risk. Doctor’s need to consider HDL and triglyceride levels, as well as certain ratios of these lipid levels, and even that is imperfect.

Just remember, folks: researchers and doctors, all too often, inappropriately draw narrow conclusions that are not adequately supported by their data. For example, for decades we’ve been told that dietary cholesterol is bad for our health, and raises LDL — except that it doesn’t, and the data has never adequately supported this conclusion. It was only this year that the FDA finally admitted “oh yea, turns out cholesterol is tightly regulated by the body [which we’ve known for awhile], and dietary cholesterol doesn’t matter” and they removed restrictions on cholesterol in the diet.

The Heart Attack Risk Factor Millions Deal With Every Night

It’s no secret that sleep is a basic function that plays a vital role in overall health and well-being. However, new research presented at EuroHeartCare 2015 says poor sleep is linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Source: The Heart Attack Risk Factor Millions Deal With Every Night

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

…A chemist by training with a doctoral degree in food science, Behnke became Pillsbury’s chief technical officer in 1979 and was instrumental in creating a long line of hit products, including microwaveable popcorn. He deeply admired Pillsbury but in recent years had grown troubled by pictures of obese children suffering from diabetes and the earliest signs of hypertension and heart disease. In the months leading up to the C.E.O. meeting, he was engaged in conversation with a group of food-science experts who were painting an increasingly grim picture of the public’s ability to cope with the industry’s formulations — from the body’s fragile controls on overeating to the hidden power of some processed foods to make people feel hungrier still. It was time, he and a handful of others felt, to warn the C.E.O.’s that their companies may have gone too far in creating and marketing products that posed the greatest health concerns.

Source: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

It’s an incredibly long read about the various ways the food industry worked to make products more appealing.  The “vanishing caloric deficit” is said to be present in Coca-cola, that you can drink lots without feeling full.  That’s besides the desire to have more…