The Health Blog

April '18 Health Bulletin

Coffee and Cancer

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/30/health/coffee-cancer-court-decision-warning-label-california/index.html

I often am asked about whether or not they should drink coffee. There seems to be evidence on both sides and it really depends on what perspective you take. Recently, California has decided that coffee may need warning labels about possible cancer risk. The issue specifically is related to acrylamide, a compound that is created when the coffee beans are roasted. It's a compound that's also associated with smoking and found in certain types of cooked foods. As always with this sort of issue, do your research and make the best decision for yourself. 


Common Medication linked to increased risk of Stomach Cancer

https://www.sciencealert.com/acid-reflux-drug-proton-pump-inhibitors-medication-risk-stomach-cancer-helicobacter

Daily long term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPI's) for acid reflux issues can lead to a increased risk of stomach cancer. The study is not conclusive and the risks are not significant (four additional incidences for 10,000 cases), but worth noting since there is a safer alternative. H2 blockers, which also help with acid issues, demonstrates no such increase in risk.


Crap Capsules

https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/creating-crapsules-is-faeces-in-a-pill-the-cure-for-our-ills-20180319-p4z53z.html

There has been a lot of focus recently on gut health; the huge increase in probiotic and kimchi consumption speaks to that. Generally, the idea is to help improve the healthy population of gut bacteria which is essential for good health. The more aggressive way to improve the gut is to transfer fecal matter from a healthy gut to a unhealthy one. Seems like it works so well, they're putting it into a capsule form now.


Longevity

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/04/02/598295025/scientists-say-you-may-live-longer-by-severely-restricting-calories

File this under the "fountain of youth" section. Research on animals has shown that cutting calories leads to longer life. A study has now examined whether this holds true for humans. The reduction of calories did result in slower metabolism, leading to less oxidative damage to our body's tissues. Whether this reduction in cellular damage leads to longer life is unknown, but the study did show that it does result in healthier biochemical markers (cholesterol, blood pressure, etc).


Gabapentin

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/americas-heroin-epidemic/health-officials-are-sounding-alarm-drug-gabapentin-it-s-not-n861111

Hot on the heels of the opioid epidemic, an opioid-alternative drug is making headlines. Gabapentin, also used for chronic pain issues, is being abused increasingly to increase the effects of other drugs. Getting a higher "high" is a problem as there is a greater risk of death.


Chocolate and Nutrifluff

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/25/chocolate-the-dark-truth-is-it-good-for-you-health-wellbeing-blood-pressure-flavanols

Taking a look at scientific research on chocolate and how the information can be skewed to promote a product. It's not isolated to a specific industry, but this article in particular looks at chocolate. 


Depression and Diet

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/03/the-diet-that-might-cure-depression/556742/

"Several studies show that healthy eating is connected with better mood" - can't make it any simpler than that right? We're now seeing that there is a link between diet and emotional/cognitive issues. Specifically studied is the DASH diet - Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension - which emphasizes "vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy foods - and moderate amount of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts" (source: Mayo Clinic - https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/dash-diet/art-20048456)




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