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Health News

  • Collagen Supplement May Help Reduce Cellulite

    Wednesday, June 19, 2019
    New Science
    Collagen Supplement May Help Reduce Cellulite

    There’s nothing more normal than cellulite (the majority of women have it, and many men do too). Even though it’s so common, many try to reduce its appearance by using exercise, massage, and topical treatments. How effective these treatments are varies from person to person, but one study suggests another treatment option that may be effective. The study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, found a branded collagen peptide supplement (Verisol®) improved the appearance of cellulite. The study included 105 women ages 24 to 50 with moderate cellulite. For six months, the women were randomly assigned to receive either 2.5 g/day of the collagen supplement or a placebo. Researchers evaluated the participants’ degree of cellulite before starting the treatment, and after three and six months. Here is what they found:

    • In women who had a normal body mass index (BMI), the collagen supplement led to a 9% decrease in their cellulite, compared with the placebo. These women also had around an 11% decrease in thigh skin-waviness.
    • In women who had a higher BMI, the collagen supplement led to a less pronounced decrease in cellulite (4%). These women also had an 8% decrease in thigh skin-waviness.

    A few things are important to keep in mind when considering these findings. First, this study was done using a branded ingredient—more research needs to be done using non-branded ingredients to confirm these results for other products. Second, cellulite is caused by many factors, including genetics, age, and pregnancy—in other words, it’s natural and not necessarily something to worry about. And of course, if you are looking for ways to get rid of your cellulite, talk with your healthcare practitioner first.

    Source: Journal of Medicinal Food

  • Nail Down Your Lunchtime Workout

    Friday, June 14, 2019
    Nail Down Your Lunchtime Workout

    Thinking about maximizing your productivity by sneaking in a lunchtime workout? You can do it! Because it can be a little tricky, here are tips from the Washington Post to help make a midday workout work for you:

    • Make a plan. Since time is limited, a good plan can help you stay on track. Pack a light bag with a change of underwear and personal care items the night before. You can also stash shoes and toiletries at your desk so everything you need is close at hand. Showering can be a time sink, so if you can skip the shower, bring wet wipes for a speedy clean-up. If you need to shower, try using dry shampoo or throwing your hair in a ponytail to make it quick.
    • Fuel up. Let the intensity of your workout dictate what you eat for lunch. For a high-intensity workout, like running or jump squats, plan to eat a hearty breakfast beforehand and a balance of carbs and protein, like a smoothie or peanut butter sandwich, afterwards. For lighter workouts, you can probably eat a banana, or half your lunch, beforehand.
    • Go workout. Going for a run is a great midday workout if you have a park nearby; or, hit the gym and run on the treadmill. Try alternating one-minute sprints with 30 seconds of jogging. If you’re confined to your building for your lunch hour, four or five sets of calorie-burning, muscle-building compound exercises may be the way to go. For example, you could grab a pair of dumbbells and do squats with a bicep curl or do lunges with a lateral raise. If you need help planning your workout, there are also several apps that have 30-minute cardio and strength training routines.

    Source: Washington Post

  • Have Diabetes? Follow These Stay-Cool Tips

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019
    Have Diabetes? Follow These Stay-Cool Tips

    Summer can be a time for lots of outdoor activities and for relaxing with family and friends. But the warmer months also pose special challenges to people with diabetes; for example, high heat and humidity can affect your ability to control your blood sugar levels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a set of recommendations to help people with diabetes prepare for the higher temperatures.

    • Drink water before you get thirsty. Thirst is a sign that you are already somewhat dehydrated. Avoid sugar-sweetened soft drinks. If your healthcare provider has recommended restricting your water intake, talk with them about what to do if it gets hot.
    • Dress to stay cool. That means choosing loose-fitting, light-colored, lightweight clothing. Don’t get burned. Use sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen if you need to spend time in the sun.
    • Choose cool places. If you don’t have air-conditioning at home, try to spend time in air-conditioned public spaces such as the public library or the mall.
    • Exercise carefully. Choose the coolest times of day—early in the morning or later in the evening—for physical activity, or exercise in air-conditioned places.
    • Learn about your medications and medical devices. One of the challenges facing people with diabetes during times of high heat is that high temperatures can change the functioning of medications and devices that help you manage your blood sugar.
    • Learn to recognize symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, a life-threatening emergency. People with diabetes are more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke and have a higher number of heat-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths than people without diabetes.

    If you experience any of these symptoms during a time of high heat, stop any physical activity, get to a cool place, and drink water. If your symptoms worsen or persist for more than an hour, or if you have a fever of 104°F (40°C) or higher, seek immediate medical attention.

    Source: CDC

  • Stay Up on Supplement Expiration Dates

    Friday, June 07, 2019
    Stay Up on Supplement Expiration Dates

    You may have noticed that some supplements have expiration dates (also called “use by” or “best by” dates) while others don’t. That’s because, unlike prescription and over-the-counter meds, companies aren’t legally required to put expiration dates on supplement labels. However, companies can choose to print expiration dates on their products. If they choose to do so, they're required to have data proving the products will contain all of the ingredients—in the amounts listed—until the date on the label.

    Most ingredients do break down over time, which can make supplements less potent; however, companies often include slightly higher amounts of ingredients than what's on the label to ensure the label is accurate by the expiration date. Storing supplements away from heat, humidity, and light, may help maintain their potency for about two years after the date of manufacture. Other products, like probiotics, may only last on the shelf for a year and may need to be refrigerated. Check labels for special storage instructions.

    Source: New York Times

  • Organic Diet May Reduce Pesticide Exposure in Children

    Wednesday, June 05, 2019
    New Science
    Organic Diet May Reduce Pesticide Exposure in Children

    Research supports the old adage, you are what you eat—specifically, as it applies to your kids. One study found that children who ate an organic diet had lower levels of pesticides in their bodies. The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, included 40 Mexican-American children, aged three to six. Half of the children lived in an urban setting and half lived in agricultural communities. Researchers placed the children on a 16-day diet: they ate conventionally grown food for the first four days, organic food for the next seven days, and conventionally grown food for the remaining five days. Researchers tested the children’s urine throughout the study for metabolites of various commonly used pesticides. The researchers also took into account the children’s pesticide exposure associated with where their homes were located. Here is what they found:

    • While the children ate the organic diet, levels of metabolites from two commonly used pesticides and one herbicide were significantly reduced by 40%, 49%, and 25%, respectively. Levels of other frequently occurring pesticide metabolites also decreased, but the changes were not statistically significant.
    • During the 16 days, six of the 13 pesticide metabolites measured were detected in more than 50% of the children’s urine samples, while the other seven pesticide metabolites occurred less frequently.
    • For children living in the agricultural areas, levels of certain pesticide metabolites were higher.

    This study’s findings suggest that eating an organic diet may reduce children’s exposure to some pesticides. However, more research is needed to understand the health outcomes from exposure to these dietary and environmental pesticides. It’s important to note that eating conventionally grown foods is generally considered safe, and that a diet full of fruits and vegetables is a healthy choice for the entire family.

    Source: Environmental Health Perspectives

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2019.