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Dr. Brad’s Weekly Health Update: A popular spice can improve learning & 3 risk factors for dementia

Cinnamon can improve learning

Cinnamon can improve learning.

A new animal-based study found that adding cinnamon to the diet of mice that appeared to be poor learners improved their cognitive performance. Lead researcher Dr. Kalipada Pahan noted, “Individual difference in learning and educational performance is a global issue. We need to further test this approach in poor learners. If these results are replicated in poor learning students, it would be a remarkable advance.” Neuroimmune Pharmacology, July 2016

Too much sitting time is harmful for all but the most active adults.

Using data collected from over one-million individuals who took part in sixteen studies, an international team of researchers reports that spending three or more hours watching TV each day increases the risk of early death in all but the most active adults (those who get more than 60-75 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day). These results shine on a light on societies where an increasing portion of the workforce has to sit for long hours, and may inform future public health recommendations. Lancet, July 2016

Three factors that increase dementia risk.

German researchers followed 3,547 older adults for over six years and found that smoking, physical inactivity, and high blood sugar readings were each independently associated with an increased risk for developing dementia. BMC Neurology, July 2016

Red meat linked to kidney failure?

A recent study found that adults who consumed the highest amounts of red meat had a 40% greater risk for developing end-stage kidney disease than participants who ate the lowest amounts of red meat. The study also found that replacing one serving of red meat with poultry per day reduced the risk of kidney failure by up to 62%. Researchers noted that patients with chronic kidney disease or those who are worried about kidney health might consider switching some of their protein intake to plant-based sources or, if they still choose to eat meat, choose fish/shellfish or poultry instead. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, July 2016

Take breaks from smartphone use every 20 minutes.

Researchers asked participants in a new study to sit and use their smartphones for varying lengths of time while they measured the muscle activity in their neck and shoulders, as well as whether or not they felt any pain. They found that participants experienced significant fatigue in the muscles the neck and upper back when they used their phones for more than twenty minutes. Additionally, the longer participants used their phone, the greater their risk for developing neck and/or shoulder pain. The researchers conclude it would be appropriate to recommend taking a break every 20 minutes to allow the muscles in the neck and shoulders to relax before resuming smartphone use. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, June 2016

Our mission is to help our patients to live longer, healthier, happier, pain-free lives.

Yours in health,

Dr. Brad Butler, DC