Looking Back – Top Health News of 2017 Part 1

This is Part 1 of 3. Looking back at the top natural health news of 2017. Subscribe to our Facebook Page to stay on top of the latest health and wellness news.

1. Heartburn in Pregnancy

Common antacids like Pepcid or Nexium, when taken during pregnancy, increase the risk of Asthma in the offspring. This increase in risk is large, up to a 50% greater risk. There are many other more safe and effective ways of dealing with heartburn, like DGL, that don’t have these risks.

2. Movement and Mood

The more people moved, the happier they felt according to this study. This study tracked peoples movements with a fitness app on their smartphone. The more they moved, the more likely they were to say they were happy.

3. Exercise and Aging

Older women who exercised for at least 30 minutes per day had cells that were 8 years younger then the women who didn’t. The sweet spot for exercise seems to be around 20-30 minutes per day.

4. Nature and Mood

We are wired to be outside, to spend time in nature. Being outside in nature results in an elevated mood. Find some time to spend outside at a local park.

5. Lou-Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) Risk and Fish Consumption

Eating large amounts of mercury containing fish almost doubled the risk of having ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Mercury is a neurotoxin the accumulates in fish at the top of the food chain like Shark or Mackerel. Use this guide to figure out which fish are healthy for you and which fish you should avoid.

6. Gender Prediction and Blood Pressure

A mom’s blood pressure before conceiving a child may influence the gender. This study showed that women with higher blood pressures tended to have boys, while women with lower blood pressure tended to have girls.

7. Vitamin D and Respiratory Tract Infections

Vitamin D supplementation can help prevent colds and even pneumonia. Doctors routinely forget to screen for vitamin D deficiency. It’s an easy blood test, and adequate levels may save you from a cold or worse.

8. Type 1 Diabetes, Gut Bacteria, and Inflammation

People with type 1 diabetes had much higher levels of inflammation in their intestines then normal people. They also showed lower than normal levels of some bacteria called Proteobacteria and higher than normal levels of a different bacteria called Firmicutes. It’s been known that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, but it’s looking like there is a clear connection to gut inflammation and the gut microbiome.

9. Exercise and Fertility

Around 1 in 3 couples have trouble conceiving because of poor sperm quality. Exercise has been shown to increase sperm quality in a number of different ways: by increasing volume, improving shape, and improving motility. The best routine for improving quality is a moderate level of exercise – running on a treadmill for 25-30 minutes, 3-4 days per week. To maintain improvement, the exercise has to be continued, otherwise the quality will drop back to pre-training levels in around 30 days.

10. Diet and Major Depression

Around 1/3 of people with major depression were cured just by changing their diet. They were encouraged to reduce sweets, junk food, processed food, and fast food, and to eat more fruit, vegetables, olive oil, lean meats and nuts. Major depression can be debilitating and reduces quality of life. To know that a medication-free intervention, just changing your diet, can eliminate depression in many cases is a significant finding.

11. Exercise and Major Depression

This is older research, but it’s a good follow up for the new research on diet and depression. This series of studies that shows that exercise is as good as Zoloft (sertraline) for depression and better at keeping depression at bay (in remission). The patients that did both exercise and Zoloft surprisingly were worse off (had higher levels of relapse) then the patients who just exercised.

12. Antibiotic Use and Cancer Risk

There is a strong link between long term antibiotic use and risk for colon and rectal cancer. This finding from the Nurses Health Study found that women who used antibiotics for over 2 months had a greatly increased risk. Long term antibiotic use is common in conditions like recurrent urinary tract infections. In the short term, antibiotics can be lifesaving, but we’re finding that there are consequences to their use, especially when used long term.

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