There may be some truth behind the old wives’ tale that people should keep warm to avoid catching colds. A new study finds the immune system is less effective when it is colder, allowing a common cold virus to enter the nose and replicate more easily. The finding suggests that varying the temperature influences host immunity, rather than the virus, leading the researchers to conclude “cooler temperatures can enable replication of the common cold virus, at least in part, by diminishing antiviral immune responses.”
PNAS, January 2015
Mental Attitude: A Happy Childhood is Good for Heart Health Later in Life.
The findings of a new study reveal that adults who had a stable and healthy childhood are more likely to have better cardiovascular health than their peers who had less-stable childhoods. The research team found that adults with the most psychosocial advantages in childhood were 14% more likely to have a normal weight, 12% more likely to be a nonsmoker, and 11% more likely to have healthy blood sugar levels – all of which are connected to better heart health. Examples of psychosocial advantages include being in a family with good health habits, being in a financially secure family, and being taught proper social skills during childhood. Senior study author Dr. Laura Pulkki-Raback adds, “The choices parents make have a long-lasting effect on their children’s future health, and improvement in any one thing can have measurable benefits.”
Circulation, January 2015
Diet: Study Identifies Common Food Allergen Levels that Cause Allergic Reactions.
Individuals with common food allergies are often confused and uncertain if they should eat a food product with vague food labeling such as “may contain nuts.” In the United States, approximately 15 million people have food allergies, with children accounting for about six million of these cases. In a new study, investigators found that participants who were the most sensitive to food allergens needed to consume between 1.6-10.1 mg of hazelnut, peanut, or celery protein, 27.3 mg of fish, or 2.5 grams of shrimp protein to stimulate an allergic response. The research team hopes their findings will better inform food allergy sufferers of the allergen doses that may trigger a reaction and contribute to improved food product labeling in the future.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, January 2015
Exercise: Does Exercise Slow the Aging Process?
Older amateur cyclists who have participated in their sport for decades demonstrated muscle strength, lung power, and exercise capacity similar to non-cyclists about 25 years their junior. This finding underscores the importance of staying physically active well into retirement age.
The Journal of Physiology, January 2015
Chiropractic: Your Eye Doctor Gets Back Pain Too!
There’s a growing body of research that back and neck pain can affect individuals in all job types, even ophthalmologists. A survey completed by 518 ophthalmologists in the United Kingdom found that 50.6% suffered from back pain and 31.8% suffered from neck pain during the previous twelve months, with a total of 62.4% having experienced either one or both. The researchers suspect that awkward and prolonged working postures may be at least partially to blame, and modifications to the work environment may decrease the risk of musculoskeletal injuries among members of this professional group.
International Ophthalmology, January 2015 (If you have back pain, call us! Even if you’re not an eye doctor 🙂
Wellness/Prevention: Vitamin D May Play Role in Colon Cancer Survival.
Advanced colon cancer patients with higher vitamin D levels respond better to chemotherapy and targeted anti-cancer drug treatment than patients with lower vitamin D levels, according to a study that included over 1,000 patients. Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society writes, “These findings are interesting, and show that vitamin D may have a role in improving outcomes in cancer care.”
Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, January 2015