It’s easy to see where the claim that activated charcoal can detoxify the body comes from: it is used in emergency medicine to reduce the toxic load when someone has consumed poison or overdosed on medication. Charcoal binds to poison in the gastrointestinal tract and stops it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. The toxins are then passed out of the body in the stool. However...
Fall is the season that transforms our forests with a beautiful display of colour and fills our kitchens with the smell of pumpkin pie and apple cider. It also brings something far less pleasant to our forests and hiking trails — blacklegged ticks.
This report provides a snapshot of Americans’ health up to 2016, revealing several key trends – including that Americans who don’t finish high school continue to lag behind. Again and again, the trends across educational levels indicate that adults with no high school diploma or GED are consistently at the greatest risk for the leading causes of disease and death.
The World Health Organization recently published its latest noise pollution guidelines for Europe. The guidelines recommend outdoor noise levels that should not be exceeded for aircraft, road and rail noise and two new sources: wind turbine and leisure noise.
The number of adults currently using e-cigarettes in the UK is close to 2.9m, many of whom will have turned to the devices to quit smoking. While certainly they may help people kick the habit, there is a big problem with e-cigarettes: we don’t actually know for certain whether they are safe or not.
Chances are, this question "Why do I feel so tired?" has crossed your mind more than once... You felt the wave of fatigue come crashing over your body, and the question hit you like a ton of bricks. But having neither the energy to figure out why nor the time to let yourself be tired, you grabbed another cup of coffee...
Many cancer patients could soon be spared the unnecessary side effects of chemotherapy after having surgery. A blood test being trialled at more than 40 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand aims to detect whether there are any cancer cells remaining in the body after surgery, which could lead to the cancer returning.
We all know making physical activity a regular habit is important for health and well-being. But health promotion messages are often aimed at children and young people, with less focus on the importance of physical activity for older people. However, older age is a crucial time for being active every day.
Bacteria are everywhere, including in and on our bodies. There are estimated to be as many bacteria in a human body as there are human cells. Much like Pig Pen in the comic strip Peanuts, we actually carry around a cloud of bacteria in the air surrounding us.
Normal aging comes with many changes in brain structure and function. As individuals approach the age of 65 years and above, they experience normal aging, which encompasses the universal processes that occur to the brain in the absence of disease.
New research finds an association between some popular heartburn treatments and iron deficiency. Heartburn is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux, which hydrochloric acid rising into the throat causes. This condition affects more than two million Australians. Many people take medications that suppress acid secretion to treat it.
More than 30m people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia. Unfortunately, there is no cure, only drugs to ease the symptoms. However, my latest review, suggests a way to treat the disease.
The heart rate monitor built into the new Apple Watch has sparked sharp debate over its risks and benefits, even though the feature was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.
Despite overall lower levels of harmful emissions from power plants and vehicles throughout the year, winter air pollution in the Eastern United States remains high. A new study explains why.
For many, menopause conjures up feelings of embarrassment, hot flashes, mood swings and sleep disturbance. It doesn’t usually conjure up thoughts about the workplace.
The legalization of cannabis for adult use in Canada is one of the biggest national public policy shifts that many of us will ever witness in our lifetimes.
Edible wild greens could help improve food security, boost public health and make communities more resilient to disaster. Edible wild greens are consumed globally, particularly during food shortages, and many are used medicinally in teas, poultices and supplements.
“Exercise isn’t really important for weight loss” has become a popular sentiment in the weight loss community. “It’s all about diet,” many say. “Don’t worry about exercise so much.”
Our society seems to have accepted that gaining weight is an inevitable consequence of growing up in a place with easy access to calories and where physical activity plays a declining role in our professional and private lives. Aging just makes weight loss even more difficult.
Chewing gum may be an effective delivery system for some vitamins, according the new research. Nearly 15 percent of all chewing gum varieties sold promise to provide health-enhancing supplements to users, so researchers studied whether two vitamin-supplemented products were effective at delivering vitamins to the body.
Women who are marginalized by poverty may be reaping the greatest benefits from midwifery care. This is the finding of a large study that we published with colleagues this week in the British Medical Journal Open.
Stress is great. It makes us faster, stronger, more agile and our brains have better recall and flexibility. That’s why people are willing to put themselves in stressful work situations or engage in extreme sports.
Many children may snore at some point in their lives, especially during bouts of colds or when their allergies are acting up. It’s often a passing phase, but how do parents know if it’s an issue requiring treatment?
Many people believe that low-fat dairy products are healthier than high-fat dairy products. Indeed, many public health guidelines recommend low-fat dairy over high-fat dairy.
Many current suicide prevention interventions focus on raising awareness of suicide or on preventing it only at the point just prior to it occurring. But despite decades of government investment in suicide awareness programs, the rate of deaths by suicide in Australia is the second highest it’s been in ten years.
Women who faced sexual abuse in childhood or adolescence benefit significantly from a kind of therapy that focuses on reducing psychological distress through resolving interpersonal conflicts and strengthening social relationships, according to a new study.
When someone is diagnosed with a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety, first line treatments usually include psychological therapies and medication. What’s not always discussed are the changeable lifestyle factors that influence our mental health.
A quarter of children have dental decay by the time they start school. This occurs when bacteria in the mouth break down sugar to produce acid, which attacks and dissolves the teeth.
A new study finds a strong link between the depression and opioid-related deaths. Nearly one in 12 adults in the US is depressed and opioid-related deaths are skyrocketing.
Have you ever smelled odours other people can’t smell? If you have, you may have experienced phantosmia – the medical name for a smell hallucination.
Dementia is the is the leading cause of death among Australian women and the third most common cause of death among men. While dementia is not a normal part of ageing, the biggest risk factor for dementia is advancing age. Given ours is an ageing population, estimates suggest dementia cases are set to almost triple by 2050.
Drinking a daily glass of wine for health reasons may not be so healthy after all, a new study suggests.
It was established a decade ago that testing for the presence of HPV – the virus that causes cervical cancer – is a better cervical screening test than the Pap smear. Yet in England, the Pap smear is still used, and it’s costing lives.
It may surprise you to discover how far reaching the benefits of reflexology can be. Not only is it a truly holistic treatment, but it is also an extremely pleasant experience. People get hooked on the good experience of the treatment and the health benefits that they gain from it.
Attempts to replicate classical scientific studies have been failing. These alarming failures have hit psychology, the life sciences and other fields, calling major findings into question. Scientists agree: questionable research practices are rife in many disciplines.
The word pain is derived from the Latin word poena, which means "punishment". Whether pain should be thought of as a punishment is debatable, but we know that it certainly hurts to have it. Pain is nature's way of making you take notice...
The global obesity crisis shows no signs of abating, and we urgently need new ways to tackle it. Consuming fewer calories and burning more energy through physical activity is a proven way to lose weight, but it’s clearly easier said than done.
Sleep has become widely recognised as playing a really important role in our overall health and wellness – alongside diet, stress management and exercise. Recently, researchers have been learning more about how poor sleep influences our dietary choices, as well as how diet influences sleep quality.
Could your medical treatment one day be tailored to your DNA? That’s the promise of “personalized medicine”. This concept is based on the idea that small genetic differences between one person and another can be used to design tailored treatments for conditions as diverse as cancer and schizophrenia.
This quote from an anonymous patient sums up the experience of millions of sufferers of a health problem that’s rarely recognized or even discussed, yet has a major impact on their lives. Simply put, these people can’t catch their breath.
More than a quarter of commercial honey brands have potentially been watered down with sugar cane, corn syrup or other products, according to our new analysis of 95 products from local food markets and supermarket shelves.
Physical Education (PE) is often viewed as a marginal subject within the curriculum. And many secondary schools actively reduce PE time to make way for what are deemed more “serious” or “important” subjects.
It was March 2014 when I received a phone call as I was working in my office. The person on the other end introduced herself as Dr. Linda Houston-Feenstra, chief cardiac nurse of Loma Linda University SACHS Heart Clinic. She said that she has heard about my work on persuasive technology, in particular how it can influence attitude or behavior change in people. She wanted me to assist her with her heart-failure patients.
We’re beginning to treat cancer in a whole new way. Rather than killing cancer cells directly with chemo or radiotherapy, the latest treatments are designed to promote the body’s natural immune control over the disease.
We’ve known for a long time that certain patients in the intensive care unit recover faster and have better clinical outcomes if they receive enough nutrition.
Schizophrenia is one of the world’s top ten causes of disability. It develops between the ages of 16 and 30 and often persists for life. It affects between 100,000 and 200,000 Australians. Symptoms include delusions and hallucinations (“psychotic” symptoms), diminished emotional expression, poverty of speech and lack of purposeful action (known as “negative” symptoms), and incoherent speech and disorganised behaviour (“disorganised” symptoms).
It is well known that eating a balanced diet is of vital importance for maintaining good health and well-being. It is also one of the great social pleasures of life. Yet, far too many young people in prisons are consuming a poor diet, lacking in nutrition.
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve probably heard that crash dieting isn’t the best way to go about it. Although you may lose lots of weight initially, you won’t be able to keep the weight off and may even end up being heavier than you were before. But our latest research suggests that this isn’t always the case.
But it’s much harder to estimate how many are within a healthy weight range but have poor diets or sedentary lifestyles. These can cause significant health problems that will often be missed because the person appears to look “healthy”.
Being depressed can negatively affect your appetite and what you eat, but can bad eating habits bring your mood down? Our latest study, a systematic review of the best available evidence, found a clear link between the quality of a person’s diet and their risk of depression. And it goes beyond the effect of diet on body size or other aspects of health that can affect mental health.
It can often be tempting to jump on a bus for a short journey through the city, especially when it’s raining or you’re running behind schedule. Where there are dedicated bus lanes in place, it can feel as though you speed past gridlocked traffic. But as city authorities begin new initiatives to get people walking or cycling, that could all change – and so could you.
The Fountain of Youth may still be a myth, but a longer life expectancy is now a reality. In fact, life expectancy at birth in the U.S. has risen by more than 30 years in barely more than a century to a current 78.6 years.
If you have ever broken an arm and had to wear a cast or splint for a few weeks, you will be familiar with the alarming loss of muscle and uneasy feeling of weakness experienced after removing your cast. Most people do not do much exercise while a broken arm is healing and can struggle with this loss of muscle for many weeks after the injury.
It can be difficult to find reliable information online on timing and how to introduce foods – and how to balance that with breastfeeding. Here’s what the recommendations say, and the science behind them.
Baby boomers, who once viewed themselves as the coolest generation in history, are now turning their thoughts away from such things as partying and touring alongside rock bands to how to they can stay healthy as they age. And, one of the most important parts of healthy aging is avoiding a fall, the number one cause of accidental death among people 65 and older.
If you plan to try and quit eating junk food, expect to suffer similar withdrawal-type symptoms—at least during the initial week—that addicts experience when they attempt to quit using drugs, according to new research.
New research with mice may upend our understanding of the connection between the gut and the brain, as well as appetite. If you’ve ever felt nauseous before an important presentation, or foggy after a big meal, then you know the power of the gut-brain connection.
Tonight ABC’s Four Corners will air the first of a two-part investigation into the often shocking treatment of the elderly in aged care homes around Australia.
Ancel and Margaret Keys, an American husband-and-wife team, first reported on the Mediterranean diet’s health benefits in 1975. Since then, the diet has become particularly well known for its effect on cardiovascular health. What is less well known is whether the diet has different benefits for men and women. Our latest study sheds some light on the matter.
In our survey of yogurts sold in the UK, we found that less than 10% were low sugar – almost none of which were children’s yogurts. We also found that organic products, often viewed as healthier options, contained some of the highest levels of sugar.
Carbon monoxide (CO), like many gases, cannot be detected by our human senses. We cannot see it, smell it or taste it. But unlike many gases, small amounts are extremely harmful to us.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, medicines shouldn’t be your first option. Exercise regularly, cut back on coffee (and other caffeinated drinks) after midday, eat less in the evening, ease up on “screen time” before, and in, bed, practise meditation and try to have a quiet, dark bedroom dedicated mostly to sleep.
Obesity changes how airway muscles function, which increases the risk of developing asthma, a new study suggests. The prevalence of asthma and obesity—as both separate and coexisting conditions—has grown considerably in the United States in recent years.
Legalized cannabis is just a month away, but Ontario won’t have any cannabis stores until April. That’s due to the province’s recent decision to have cannabis outlets run by businesses rather than a government agency, although the agency will still open a retail web site Oct. 17.
Keeping household surfaces clean is a daily chore for most families, but there may be unseen consequences for children’s health. Overusing cleaning products can increase the risk of childhood obesity, according to new research, as exposure causes changes in the bacteria which live in children’s guts.
When my brother and I were kids back in the ‘80s, we loved going to Long John Silver’s. But it wasn’t just for the fish. It was for the vinegar – malt vinegar. We would uncap a bottle at the table and swig that tangy, delicious nectar of the gods straight.
Researchers have developed a way to reliably predict which chronic pain patients will respond to a sugar placebo pill based on brain anatomy and psychological characteristics. Doctors may one day prescribe placebos that work as effectively as any painkiller for certain patients, the researchers’ new study suggests
Taking low-dose aspirin daily doesn’t preserve good health or delay the onset of disability or dementia in healthy older people. This was one finding from our seven-year study that included more than 19,000 older people from Australia and the US.
While the ageing of society has become one of the givens in today’s world, less is made of the lived experience of the very elderly in society.
Researchers have discovered evidence of the earliest brewmasters to date, a finding that might stir an old debate: What came first, beer or bread? In a cave in what is now Israel, scientists found beer-brewing innovations that they believe predate the early appearance of cultivated cereals in the Near East by several millennia.
Two of every three US consumers surveyed report eating less of at least one type of meat, according to new research. “Many Americans continue to have strong preferences for meat,” says Roni Neff, an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Imagine you tell your 55 year-old mom you’re going to get married and she’s too disorganized to help you with the wedding preparations. Or you put your kids on the bus to elementary school and the 57 year-old driver forgets the route. These are real scenarios, drawn from my clinical work with patients who have young-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
It isn’t surprising that people are confused about nutrition when the media presents different findings as gladiatorial battles: vegetarian versus carnivore, high-fat versus low-fat diets and, more recently, low-carb diets versus high-carb. But, when you dig down into the data, many of these studies are reporting surprisingly similar things – and this is the case with the latest studies reporting on carbohydrates and health.
Night has always been a difficult realm for humans: we’ve had to learn to cope with the cold and the dark to thrive in it. Since the industrial revolution we’ve found ways to adapt our homes and cities to operate during the night. But as our conquest of the dark continues, the border between night and day is becoming increasingly blurry.
The credibility of scientific findings hinges on their reproducibility. As a scientist, it is therefore disastrous when you are unable to replicate your own findings. Our laboratory has found itself in just this situation several times; in each instance, unintended environmental exposure distorted our data. Our first accidental foray into toxicology 20 years ago convinced us of the need to understand the reproductive effects of environmental chemical contaminants. The latest twist in our journey down that road adds a new dimension to an old concern, BPA.
The link between gut microbes and health is now well established. As a result, researchers have been investigating the effects of probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics on various diseases.
India has a reputation as a vegetarian nation, and Indians certainly consume far less meat than the global average. But the view of India as a predominantly vegetarian nation may not be quite accurate.
The ways in which we currently age have been programmed into us, and we have accepted this idea as a reality. We believe that we all will get old, sick, senile, frail, and die -- in that order. This does not have to be the truth for us any longer.
Walking significantly lowers the risk of heart failure in older women, a new study shows. The study of more than 137,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 is the largest and most comprehensive to date that has evaluated physical activity within the context of heart failure prevention.
The sensation of sound occurs when the vibrations from sounds enter our ear and cause little hairlike structures – called hair cells – within our inner ear to move back and forth. The hair cells transform this movement into an electrical signal that the brain can use.
Suicide rates in the United States have increased by 25-30 percent since 1999. This is particularly true for youth ages 12-24, with increases of approximately 30 percent over the same period. In Alachua County, Florida, where I teach and practice at the University of Florida, the base rate for suicides among youth ages 12-17 had been about five per 100,000 for many years, below the base national rate of 13 per 100,000. However, in the year 2017 that rate of completed suicides increased to 27 per 100,000, and for 2018 we are at a pace that will likely equal 2017.
Ever been in a situation where passing wind is going to be hugely embarrassing and you’ve had to hold in a fart? Let’s face it – we all have. Trying to hold it in leads to a build up of pressure and major discomfort. A build up of intestinal gas can trigger abdominal distension, with some gas reabsorbed into the circulation and exhaled in your breath. Holding on too long means the build up of intestinal gas will eventually escape via an uncontrollable fart.
The idea that healthy food costs more than junk food is something I hear a lot. Students tell me they’d like to eat better but can’t afford to. There is a strong belief that cooking from scratch costs a fortune, and with takeaway meals priced as low as £1, they have little incentive to change their behaviour.
Your body’s internal clock – the circadian rhythm – regulates an enormous variety of processes: when you sleep and wake, when you’re hungry, when you’re most productive. Given its palpable effect on so much of our lives, it’s not surprising that it has an enormous impact on our health as well. Researchers have linked circadian health to the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration. It’s also known that the timing of meals and medicines can influence how they’re metabolized.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
How you feel about yourself may actually affect the way your body defends itself against the various stresses and infective organisms that surround it. A high level of self-esteem, or a stronger sense of self, can lead to more vigorous immune response.
Your Mind tells the body -- even down to the tiniest cell -- what to do. Thoughts held long and intensely enough are actualized in flesh! What thoughts, you wonder? Endless possibilities! but you would do well to ask Self what beliefs have been most creative in your own life...
No matter how much we try to minimise our exposure to respiratory viruses, it’s far more difficult in winter when we spend so much time in close proximity to other people.
Leftovers may be throwing off your sense of how much you’ve actually eaten and how much you need to exercise, particularly as portion sizes—and therefore leftover portions—increase, according to a new study.
The brain has no nociceptors – the nerves that detect damage or threat of damage to our body and signal this to the spinal cord and brain. This has led to the belief that the brain feels no pain. A belief that has entered popular culture.
In the 2001 movie Hannibal, there is a gut-twisting scene in which the eponymous Hannibal Lecter cuts out part of the brain of an FBI agent who is fully awake, though drugged, and seated at a dinner table.
Worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975, with 1.9 billion adults considered overweight. The condition now kills more people across the globe than underweight and malnutrition.
One of the NHS’s biggest cost burdens, a staggering 70% of UK adults are expected to have overweight or obesity by 2034. Obesity is a problem of energy balance.
Nine in ten young women experience the cramping or stabbing of period pain just before their monthly bleed or as it starts.
Period pain (also called dysmenorrhoea) can be divided into two main types – primary or secondary dysmenorrhoea – depending on whether there’s an underlying problem.
Last week I had a shocking cold. Blocked nose, sore throat, and feeling poorly. This made me think about the countless vitamins and supplements on the market that promise to ease symptoms of a cold, help you recover faster, and reduce your chance of getting another cold. When it comes to the common cold (also called upper respiratory tract infections) there is no magic cure (I wish) but some supplements may deliver very minor improvements. Here is what the latest research evidence says.
Increasing the amount of exercise is one way to use the energy stored in fat cells, or to ‘burn’ fat. Many of us may be considering “burning some fat” so we feel better in our bathing suits out on the beach or at the pool. What does that actually mean, though?
The number of studies that have found a link between a disease and a specific gut microbiome composition seems to be ever increasing. Until recently, though, almost all these studies have looked at single diseases in isolation. But most people tend to have more than one health complaint at a time – “comorbidities”, in medical parlance.
Alcohol producers and retailers have long argued that their goal is a world where everyone drinks responsibly and heavy drinking is a thing of the past. As a result, the alcohol industry claims to be part of the solution to the UK’s drink problem rather than part of the problem. In our latest research, published in Addiction, we examine the credibility of this claim.
Members of a small women’s rights group, Liverpool ReSisters, have declared that “women don’t have penises”. They seem to be very confident of this point, having gone as far as to paste stickers claiming as much onto the genital areas of some of the statues that make up Anthony Gormley’s artwork Another Place on Crosby Beach near Liverpool. It’s an attention-grabbing stunt. But are they right? Well, it depends on what they mean by “women”.
Timing our meals can fend off diseases caused by bad genes or bad diet. Everything in our body is programmed to run on a 24-hour or circadian time table that repeats every day. Nearly a dozen different genes work together to produce this 24-hour circadian cycle. These clocks are present in all of our organs, tissues and even in every cell. These internal clocks tell us when to sleep, eat, be physically active and fight diseases. As long as this internal timing system work well and we obey them, we stay healthy.
We are still in love with vitamins a century after they were discovered, with half the US and UK population taking a supplement. Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin – is the favourite and is believed to have the most proven benefits. Governments, including the UK government, have said that the evidence for vitamin D’s health benefits is so overwhelming that every adult should take it as a supplement for at least six months of the year.
A solid white mass found in a broken jar in an Ancient Egyptian tomb has turned out to be the world’s oldest example of solid cheese. Probably made mostly from sheep or goats milk, the cheese was found several years ago by archaeologists in the ancient tomb of Ptahmes, who was a high-ranking Egyptian official. The substance was identified after the archaeology team carried out biomolecular identification of its proteins.