TV time may affect toddlers’ sensory behaviors
Health in a Heartbeat
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
2w ago
Many years ago, the television set was dubbed “the electronic babysitter.” And what parent hasn’t used it for that purpose, if only to get a short respite? Now, new research suggests there’s a downside to putting your toddler in front of the TV too often. Toddlers and babies who get too much TV time may be more likely to show atypical behaviors such as disengagement from activities. They also tend to crave more intense stimulation and are more likely to get overwhelmed by bright lights and loud sounds than children who get less screen time. That’s the upshot of a study by Drexel University res ..read more
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Fruit bats could offer lesson for human diabetes
Health in a Heartbeat
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
2w ago
Envy the fruit bat. They can eat twice their body weight in sugary fruit without spiking blood sugar endangering their health. In fact, you’ll see a unicorn in the wild before you find a fruit bat with diabetes. We humans aren’t so lucky. Unlike our batty friends, we must watch what we eat. Those of us with diabetes avoid sugary treats. The bats have evolved to accommodate their diet. A world of chocolate bars and high-carb food is a relatively modern trend. We humans can’t wait a hundred million years for a natural adaptation to fix that. So, scientists look to the fruit bat. What’s going on ..read more
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Compounds from soy, other plants improve breast cancer survival rates
Health in a Heartbeat
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
2w ago
Don’t forget to eat your vegetables. And your tofu. Oh, and drink your soy milk. Whether it’s in its humble bean form, disguised as a meat alternative, or serving as a dairy substitute, soy continues to wow with its health benefits. A recent analysis looked at how soybeans, cruciferous vegetables, green tea and lignans [LIG-nans] — compounds found in many plants, nuts and seeds. The scientists specifically looked at how those foods and compounds impact breast cancer recurrence and mortality. In the analysis, soy isoflavones [i-so-flave-ins] were associated with a 26% reduced risk of breast can ..read more
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The risks associated with shoveling snow
Health in a Heartbeat
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
2w ago
Spring is nearly here, but some parts of the country may still see some snow. You may not think of shoveling snow as that tough a task. But the American Heart Association says shoveling snow in cold temperatures can be dangerous. Their research indicates that the physical strain of shoveling snow may lead to an increased risk of heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest. The cold temperature exacerbates the strain because cold air causes blood vessels to constrict throughout the body. By constricting, your blood vessels raise your blood pressure. As you might imagine, shoveling snow depends on you ..read more
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Bottled water can contain a staggering amount of nanoplastics
Health in a Heartbeat
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
3w ago
The public is increasingly conscious of the teeny-tiny particles called microplastics that are turning up everywhere from snow-capped mountains to the ocean. They’re even getting into our food and drinking water. Now Columbia University scientists have figured out how to measure microplastic’s tinier cousin — nanoplastics. Their findings are unsettling. Nanoplastics are so small they can pass through intestines and lungs and go directly into the bloodstream, and then into our organs. The research team, using a new microscopic technique, found that a one-liter plastic bottle of water contains a ..read more
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Could a clue from the ancient past explain modern dementia?
Health in a Heartbeat
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
3w ago
Did the ancient Greeks and Romans get age-related dementia? The answer is, surprisingly seldom. A new study suggests severe cognitive decline was not a significant societal problem 2,000 or more years ago. Indeed, the Greeks seem largely free of the condition. And it’s not because the average lifespan is much longer today. A team led by University of Southern California researchers analyzed ancient Greek and Roman texts dating from 2,000 to 2,500 ago. They looked for descriptions of severe dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms in older adults. They found few mentions of severe memory loss, indicat ..read more
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Not just any muffin
Health in a Heartbeat
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
3w ago
Norwegian researchers entered the laboratory, labored over their instruments and eventually emerged with the latest scientific breakthrough. A muffin. Not just any muffin. This might be the healthiest muffin on the planet. And investigators even named it, as if it were a puppy hanging out near the centrifuge. We introduce you to Roselle [Rose-ELL]. Roselle also happens to be the name of a flowering plant traditionally used for its medicinal qualities. It produces a tart and pleasantly acidic taste. In science-speak, the study, published in the journal Foods, notes the muffin was developed usin ..read more
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Study: Mosquitoes in rainy places have higher heat tolerance
Health in a Heartbeat
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
3w ago
Some people love the heat, counting down the days until frigid winter evenings turn into sweltering summer nights. Others simply tolerate it. Now, a new study suggests that there’s another being with its own variation in heat tolerance — the persistent, and resilient, mosquito. That’s right. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered that some mosquito populations are more heat-tolerant and better equipped to survive heatwaves than others. The study points out that most scientific models used to predict the spread of vector-borne diseases assume that all mosquito populat ..read more
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Merrier
Health in a Heartbeat
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
3w ago
It’s beginning to sound like a broken record, but the United States has a problem with obesity. Almost half of adults over the age of 20 live with the disease, which also comes in as the country’s second-leading cause of preventable death. Only smoking cigarettes carry more health risk. Obesity brings a slew of other health problems, like a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke or heart disease. Even worse, losing weight is hard. There’s a reason so many diets, fitness programs and apps are marketed for those trying to make a lifestyle change. Now, a new study from the Un ..read more
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Does pollution make people lazier?
Health in a Heartbeat
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
1M ago
The dangers of air pollution are all too familiar. It heightens the risk of respiratory infection, heart disease and, of course, lung cancer. Long-term exposure can damage other organs, including the brain. If that weren’t bad enough, British researchers have found that pollution might make us lazier. They found a proportional association between the concentration of pollution and the time people spent being inactive, or sedentary. That’s the time when we’re lazing around on our duffs. It’s relaxing to sit around and do nothing. And there’s nothing wrong with lazy time. Doing so for too long ..read more
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