The evaluation of more than 1,400 MRI scans suggests that biologically unmistakable sex differences don’t extend to the structure of the brain. Though the brain is home to a mix of masculine and feminine characteristics, researchers found the brains of males and females tend not to stand apart in terms of gray matter, white matter, or connections inside the brain. Lead author Dr. Daphna Joel writes, “Our results undermine the entire concept of boy/girl brains.”
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 2015
Health Alert: Coal Burning Pollution Very Damaging to Health.
Using data gathered from 450,000 people in the United States, investigators found that particles from burning coal contribute five times more to the risk of death from heart disease than other air pollution particles of the same size. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution kills approximately three million people worldwide each year. The authors of the analysis write that coal emissions are a major factor in this public health crisis, and these emissions must be reduced to lower the number of deaths caused by air pollution.
Environmental Health Perspectives, December 2015
Diet: Caffeinated Energy Drinks May Raise Teens’ Diabetes Risk.
Highly caffeinated “energy shots” appear to trigger short-term insulin resistance in teens. In a recent study, researchers observed that teens who drank a highly caffeinated energy shot experienced a 25% increase in both blood sugar and insulin levels that was not observed when they consumed a decaffeinated version. Researchers speculate that the high dose of caffeine might directly interfere with insulin’s ability to control sugar levels, or it might hamper the function of insulin by promoting the release of hormones, like adrenaline, that work counter to insulin.
World Diabetes Congress, December 2015
Exercise: Reduces Age-Related Arterial Stiffening!
The hardening or stiffening of the arteries can increase an individual’s risk for cardiac events like a heart attack or stroke. Among a sample of 470 healthy adults, those with the highest cardiorespiratory fitness levels over a period of two years experienced less arterial stiffening than those who exercised the least. This finding adds to the large body of research that associates physical fitness with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease.
Journal of Clinical Hypertension, December 2015
Chiropractic: Head Posture and Muscle Endurance Associated with Neck Pain in Teens.
Portuguese researchers analyzed the posture and neck muscle function of 35 teens with neck pain and 35 of their asymptomatic peers. They found a distinct difference in cervical posture between the two groups and also detected less neck flexor and extensor endurance among the teens with neck pain.
Manual Therapy, October 2015
Wellness/Prevention: Keep Safe While on the Road.
When traveling in your car, whether it’s for your daily commute or a long trip, it’s important to protect yourself. The American Red Cross recommends: never drive when impaired, use your seatbelt, make sure to stay alert and are well-rested, never use cell phone while driving, pay attention when driving in a work zone, follow the speed limit and road rules, respect other drivers, make sure all your lights work, keep your windows/windshield clean, and turn on head lights at dusk and any time you need to use your windshield wipers.
American Red Cross, December 2015