As the days get shorter, we all start complaining about how early the sun sets. One thing that we started doing at the office is counting down the days until we hit the winter solstice, when the days start getting longer (December 21). Somehow it helps. So, by my calendar on the wall here as I’m writing this, we have 41 days to go. Hang in there.
Health Alert: No Proof Vitamin D Prevents Development of Type 2 Diabetes.
Previous research has suggested that high levels of vitamin D may protect individuals from developing type 2 diabetes; however, a new study has found no evidence that high levels of vitamin D can prevent type 2 diabetes and that the only proven way to prevent type 2 diabetes is through a combination of diet and exercise. Study author Dr. Nita Forouhi writes, “Our findings suggest that interventions to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by increasing concentrations of vitamin D are not currently justified. Observational studies that show a strong and consistent higher risk of type 2 diabetes with lower levels of vitamin D may do so because they have thus far not been able to adequately control for distorting or confounding factors, such as physical activity levels.”
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, September 2014
Diet: Organic Foods May Offer Greater Health & Safety.
A survey of prior research concludes that organically grown foods are about 48% lower in cadmium than conventionally grown foods. Cadmium is a heavy metal that has become a major cause of vascular disorders, common cancers, osteoporosis, kidney disease, and can damage the reproductive and neurological systems. Researcher Dr. James J. DiNicolantonio adds, “For years, nutritionists and consumers have struggled with the question, ‘is organic really better?’… What analysis of this research reveals is that, due to the serious health impacts of cadmium exposure and the markedly lower levels of [cadmium] in organically grown foods, the long-term consumption of such foods is likely to be notably protective with respect to a wide range of common pathologies.”
British Journal of Nutrition, September 2014
Exercise: Exercise Less Daunting When Focused on Target.
Physiology researchers have found that having your ‘eye on the prize’ makes exercise less of a chore. They found that when walking, individuals who stay focused on a specific target ahead of them feel the distance is shorter and they walk faster towards it. Researcher Dr. Shana Cole writes, “Interventions that train people to keep their ‘eyes on the prize’ may play an important role in health and fitness. When goals appear within reach, and when people move faster and experience exercise as easier, they may be especially motivated to continue exercising. Given the alarming obesity epidemic in America, strategies that encourage or improve exercise may be particularly important for aiding the nationwide effort to combat obesity and promote healthier living.”
Motivation and Emotion, October 2014
Chiropractic: Joint Stiffness Associated with Higher Risk for Disability in Older Population.
Using data provided by 680 seniors (age > 70 years) regarding mobility limitations and joint stiffness upon waking, researchers say that morning joint stiffness more than one body site is associated with a 64% greater risk developing new or worsening mobility problems over the following 18 months. The authors of the study recommend that doctors discuss strategies for improving joint mobility with their patients to prevent or slow the progression of age-related disability.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, October 2014
Wellness/Prevention: Living Close to a Highway May Raise Your Blood Pressure.
If you have high blood pressure and you live close to a major highway, you may want to move. According to a new report, participants in a study who lived within 109 yards (~100 meters) of a busy road had a 22% higher risk for developing high blood pressure compared with those who lived at least a half a mile away (~.8 km). Further research is needed to determine if reducing exposure to traffic noise and traffic-related air pollution can reduce a nearby resident’s risk of high blood pressure.
Journal of the American Heart Association, October 2014