RateMDs Health Blog https://www.ratemds.com/blog Doctors You Can Trust Fri, 27 Mar 2015 01:00:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Grab a Bowl of Cereal for a Long Life https://www.ratemds.com/blog/grab-a-bowl-of-cereal-for-a-long-life/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/grab-a-bowl-of-cereal-for-a-long-life/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 01:00:29 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=7417

If you love a good bowl of cereal, you could be feeding your health as well as your hunger. Eating a hearty amount of whole grains could contribute to living a longer life, new research suggests.

In fact, eating large amounts of cereal fibers could contribute to a reduced risk of death from conditions such as cancer and diabetes by as much as 20 percent, according to a study by the Harvard Medical School and published in BMC Medicine.

For the study, a team of researchers assessed over 367,000 healthy people over an average of 14 years who were taking part in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. The analysis excluded people who suffered from conditions including heart or kidney disease, stroke and diabetes.

Participants were asked questions regarding their diets and exercise habits as well as being monitored for health conditions and mortality. The researchers found that those who ate 1.2 ounces of whole grains per day had up to a 17 percent reduced risk of death, compared to those who ate much less. Those who ate the most cereal fiber had up a 19 percent reduced risk.

 

 

 

 

Sources: BMC Medicine
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Flexible Work Hours Could Improve Sleep Health https://www.ratemds.com/blog/flexible-work-hours-could-improve-sleep-health/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/flexible-work-hours-could-improve-sleep-health/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:04:54 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=7353

Falling asleep on your commute? Feeling drowsy at your desk? New research looks into just how much your job and working life affect your sleep health.

Having flexible working hours could be the answer and may be the key to balancing your work life and your sleep life, according to study by the Work, Family and Health Network published in Sleep Health.

For the study, researchers followed 474 employees who were given a more flexible work schedule to assess how it would impact the rest of their lives. These workers were able to sleep in and work from home which removed the stress of having to deal with rush hour commutes and other factors such as time zone differences. Also, the employees were not judged or assessed in any way for not being at their desks all day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Researchers found that, after a year of study, the workers were getting an hour more sleep each week and said they were also having a better nights’ sleep overall. Not only were they sleeping better but the researchers believe that the flexibility of working hours could also lead to better productivity too as work and family conflicts can lead to increased insomnia and other sleep problems.

 

 

 

Sources: Sleep Health
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Could a Pill Make You More Kind? https://www.ratemds.com/blog/could-a-pill-make-you-more-kind/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/could-a-pill-make-you-more-kind/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 01:00:28 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=7282

What if our emotions and behaviors, such as kindness, could be influenced by simply taking a pill?  Researchers have looked at how chemicals in the brain could be manipulated to affect social interaction in a new study.

People can become more compassionate and even act in a more giving manner socially by manipulating a brain chemical, according to researchers at University of California Berkeley and University of California San Francisco and published in the journal Current Biology.

For the study, researchers tested at 35 men and women who were either given a pill with levels of dopamine or a placebo. Dopamine is a hormone that plays a role in cognition and reward-motivated behavior.

The participants were asked to split an amount of money between themselves and a stranger and found that those who took the dopamine drug were more likely to share the money fairly and equally compared to those who took the placebo.

The results have led the researchers to believe that behaviors like social interaction could be affected by changing basic biological systems in the brain.

 

 

 

Sources: Current Biology
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Exercise Could Cut Heart Health Risks in Half https://www.ratemds.com/blog/exercise-could-cut-heart-health-risks-in-half/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/exercise-could-cut-heart-health-risks-in-half/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 01:00:45 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=7257

If you’re at risk for heart problems, whether it be due to blood pressure or age, exercise could mean the difference between cutting that risk in half, new research suggests.

People who have better cardiovascular health could have up to a 50 percent reduced risk of dying early compared to those how have poor cardiac health, according to a study by Henry Ford Hospital as part of the Ford ExercIse Testing Project, or FIT Project.

The study involved patients who underwent treadmill stress testing between 1991 and 2009 and using the results researchers measured both how the hearts transport blood and how the body uses oxygen as patients walked progressively faster and at steeper inclines.

Factoring in other risk factor for cardiovascular health such as age, gender, cholesterol, race, systolic blood pressure, smoking and diabetes, they were able to categorize the patients into three groups: low-, moderate- and high-risk.

Overall, from all three of the categories they found that participants with better cardio performance had a 50 percent reduced risk of dying compared to those with poor cardio performance.

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When Does Your Brain Hit its Peak?   https://www.ratemds.com/blog/when-does-your-brain-hit-its-peak/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/when-does-your-brain-hit-its-peak/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 13:28:39 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=7233

So you know that old adage that the older you get the wiser you get? With age comes wisdom and all that. Well, researchers have looked into when our brains actually reach their cognitive peak.

It’s assumed that the older we get, the more our brains deteriorate but some of our brain processes can actually be sharper at older ages throughout life, according to a study published in Psychological Science.

For the study, researchers compiled results from just under 50,000 online questionnaires and also took into account previously-published results of memory and IQ tests taken by people between the ages of 16 and 89.

It was found that while some cognitive abilities can peak in early adulthood and then begin to decline, some people do not reach their peak until they are in their 40s. Information recall is usually best in the late teens and through the 20s and elements such as vocabulary can continue to peak even into the early 70s.

Other discoveries included visual short-term memory tasks were strongest in the 30s as well as the ability to perceive other people’s emotions in the 40s and 50s. The researchers concluded that there isn’t an exact age at which all humans cognitive abilities

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If You Have This Pet Peeve You Could Be a Genius https://www.ratemds.com/blog/if-you-have-this-pet-peeve-you-could-be-a-genius/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/if-you-have-this-pet-peeve-you-could-be-a-genius/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 13:23:22 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=7201

Chomp, chew, slurp, gulp – If your ultimate pet peeve is people who chew loudly it could mean that you are a creative genius, new research suggests.

Loud eating and its ability to distract you could have something to do with a link between sensory responses and creative intelligence, according to a study from Northwestern University in Illinois.

Researchers discovered that a reduced capacity to filter out conflicting sensory information, such as loud eating, is a common trait in well-known creative geniuses such as Charles Darwin, Anton Chekhov and Marcel Proust.

For the study, they looked at 100 participants and tested them with different measurements for creative thinking including a ‘divergent thinking’ test as well as a ‘Creative Achievement Questionnaire.’ For the thinking test the participants had to think up as many answers as they could to a number of unlikely scenarios in a limited amount of time. The questionnaire was used to record the participant’s real-life creative achievements.

It was shown that those who had creative achievements also showed a reduced ability to filter peripheral noises and to block those noises from their awareness.

So don’t let that loud eating co-worker get you down, you could, in fact, be a bit of a creative genius.

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Keep Your Arteries Clear with…Coffee? https://www.ratemds.com/blog/keep-your-arteries-clear-withcoffee/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/keep-your-arteries-clear-withcoffee/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 01:00:40 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=7161

Not just a pick-me-up in the morning, having a few cups of coffee a day could be give your heart health a boost as well, new research suggests.

Drinking coffee throughout the day could help to decrease the chance of clogging your arteries, which is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease, according to a study by researchers in South Korea and published in the journal Heart.

For the study, over 25,000 participants underwent routine health checks which included scans to assess their heart health. It was found that those who drank three to five cups a day were less likely to have early signs of heart disease.

They looked for tiny deposits of calcium in the walls of the coronary arteries, which are one of the early indicators of developing heart disease. After comparing the test results, the researchers concluded that people who drank a few cups of coffee a day were less likely to have these calcium deposits present in their coronary arteries than those who drank more or no coffee at all.

The daily limit for consumption of coffee should be three to five cups a day, according the recent 2015 Scientific Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. One cup of coffee generally contains around 100mg of caffeine.

 

 

 

Sources: Heart
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Are Men More Narcissistic Than Women? https://www.ratemds.com/blog/are-men-more-narcissistic-than-women/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/are-men-more-narcissistic-than-women/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 13:18:25 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=7129

Men, regardless of age, tend to be more narcissistic and have more of a sense of entitlement than women, according to new research.

In a study, from the University at Buffalo School of Management and published in the Psychological Bulletin, researchers looked at data collected from more than 475,000 participants over a 31 year period.  From their tests, the researchers discovered that men consistently scored higher for narcissism.

More specifically, they assessed gender differences present in three aspects of narcissism including leadership and authority, exhibitionism and entitlement.

The participants provided responses to various questions and researchers found that there was a significant difference in the responses between the men and women for the categories of leadership and entitlement.  They believe this could suggest that men are more likely than women to feel entitled to privileges and opportunities.

Men were also found to exhibit more assertiveness and a desire for power when compared to women which the researchers believe could be a result of gender stereotypes that are learned when younger.

 

 

 

Sources: Psychological Bulletin
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How Your Smartphone Might Be Ruining Your Life https://www.ratemds.com/blog/how-your-smartphone-might-be-ruining-your-life/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/how-your-smartphone-might-be-ruining-your-life/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 01:00:37 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=7098

Before you download that new app…The perils of too much screen time is not a new notion these days but have you ever considered just how your smartphone might be hurting you?

Well, some researchers not only looked into exactly how your health might be affected but as a result they also suggest that the devices should come with a warning.

It was found that too much smartphone use could be damaging your quality of life and even go as far as contributing to addictive behavior and narcissism, according to a study by the University of Derby and published in the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning.

For the study, the researchers assessed the survey responses of 256 smartphone users.  The participants were asked questions about their device use and personality traits. The results showed that 13 percent of the participants were “addicted” to their smartphones and spent close to 4 hours a day on the devices.

The majority of time wasted on their devices was on social networking sites (87 percent of users) followed by instant messaging apps (52 percent) and news apps (51 percent.)

Contributing factors that lead to a decrease in quality of life as a result of device addiction included lack of communication with family and friends and hindering other areas of daily life such as employment and studies.

 

 

 

Sources: IJCBPL
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This Household Chore Could Help Prevent Allergies https://www.ratemds.com/blog/this-household-chore-could-prevent-allergies/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/this-household-chore-could-prevent-allergies/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 01:00:37 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=7050

Good news for parents looking for ways to convince their kids to do their chores as new research suggests that washing dishes could help prevent the development of allergies.

Kids whose families wash their dishes by hand were shown to have fewer allergies, according to a study by researchers at Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden and published in the journal Pediatrics

For the study, researchers assessed surveys of the parents of 1,029 children aged 7 to 8 and found that in households where families hand-washed their dishes instead of using a machine kids were less likely to have allergies.

The results showed that while 38 percent of kids in households that used machine dishwashers had a history of eczema (commonly found in families with a history of other allergies), only 23 percent of children in households that used hand dishwashing had a history of eczema.

This could be related to the exposure to more bacteria that hand-washing brings, as machine dishwashers have been shown to kill more bacteria than the manual method. The researchers noted that if you are exposed to germs early in life this can help the immune system to become more tolerant of microbial exposure and lessen the chance of developing allergies.

This recent study adds to the list of factors that have been linked to reducing the risk of allergies including having pets, eating peanuts, etc.

 

 

 

Sources: Pediatrics
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