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Milk may increase prostate cancer risk

If you grew up in the 50’s to 70’s, chances are you heard the constant refrain of “drink your milk, it’s good for your bones.” Starting in the 1930’s, dairy companies started adding vitamins to milk as well as it began to become a morning breakfast staple. For those of us over 45, milk was always there. Along with Apple Jacks, SugarCrisp and all those other sugary cereals we wouldn’t go near today! Some new research indicates that milk can also increase the risk of prostate cancer. The new study comes out of Loma Linda University in California. They conducted a long-term study to investigate the links between diet, lifestyle and disease focused on members in the Seventh-day adventist church. And that’s not the only study. Another was done in 2016 by the American Cancer Association. The advantage with studying this particular group of men is that around 40% of

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Mind

The science behind laughing

Laughter boosts immunity, mental health, learning and more. Seriously. Exercise, sleep, diet and stress-management are critical for immunity. But there’s a lesser known way you can boost your health (plus a whole lot of other things). In these uncertain times, laughing yourself silly may just be a smart thing to do. The science of laughter—though still preliminary—suggests that it has benefits for our health and psychological well-being. Here are just five examples from this emerging research: Physical Health. A review of the existing research suggests that humor and laughter may boost immune function.  Another study found that even just anticipating a funny event decreases potentially detrimental stress-related hormones. In another study, laughter was found to lower stress and inflammation and increase good cholesterol.  Mental Health. Laughter is wonderful for stress relief.  A review of research on laughter therapies suggests they can reduce anxiety, depression and perceived stress. Laughter makes you

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Health

Dangers of artificial sweeteners in new research

Saccharine, aspartame sucralose. They’re in just about every “diet” soft drink and all kinds of other everyday beverages from fruit drinks and many foods as well. Some new research recently published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences is now the first to show the pathogenic effects of these widely used sweeteners. It appears that they have a significant effect on two types of gut bacteria, E. coli (Escherichia coli) and E. faecalis (Enterococcus faecalis). Senior author of the paper Dr. Havovi Chichger, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “There is a lot of concern about the consumption of artificial sweeteners, with some studies showing that sweeteners can affect the layer of bacteria which support the gut, known as the gut microbiota.  “Our study is the first to show that some of the sweeteners most commonly found in food and drink – saccharin, sucralose and

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Health

COVID-19: What would Churchill do?

“Watch out now. Take care, beware the thoughts that linger Winding up inside your head. The hopelessness around you…” Beware of Darkness – George Harrison When Prime Minister Churchill made his radio broadcasts during the Battle of Britain during the Second World War, he told his audience, in effect, to chill. Britain might not be winning the war, yet, he admitted, but they had the right stuff. They were tough. They were brave. They could laugh at adversity. The forces of good would win over evil. It would not be easy, but it would happen. Attitude would be a key part of this. Keep a stiff upper lip. Don’t take all this too seriously. Today, we get the opposite message from those in power — not without some justification. Just today I was speaking to two accomplished women. They are talented, responsible, and well balanced. But they have a problem.

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Resonance

Walking backwards

The more we do something, the easier it becomes. In fact, with repetition the brain grows neural pathways. It’s called learning. It also keeps us stuck in our ways. Consider one of our most basic skills — walking. It was hard to learn as a child. But kids don’t give up. Wobbly at first, after many lunges and falls children learn to walk. It becomes automatic. Eventually they run. They climb. By the way, I have observed how my two grandchildren Oscar (heading for 4) and Gwen (9 months) perform yoga asanas (poses) to sit and stand up. Now consider this: We almost always move forward, not backward or sideways. Like most predators, our eyes are in the front of our heads; we have the binocular vision needed to stalk prey. Not only that, but we tend to look at the front of other people, their faces, their eyes. We

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Health

Can some drugs delay ageing?

Research into pharmaceuticals that can extend life is ramping up. Some existing drugs are proving interesting. In late 2014, a group of world renowned scientists in the study of ageing gathered in Toledo, Spain to discuss this very topic and they’re out to prove it can work. We’re not talking about those fictional stories of dialing back the clock to your twenties, coupled with all that learned wisdom that we’d like to do. This is research into putting on the brakes or at least slowing down the effects of ageing. The focus is mostly around age-related diseases and conditions. Drugs that can delay ageing or stop some diseases from progressing or even starting, could add many healthy years to a person’s life. That has social and economic benefits, including reducing the burden on health care and enabling people to live more productive lives longer. One such hot drug is the

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Health

Research starts into COVID-19 and Long-Term Care Homes

As most Canadians know, COVID-19 has hit long-term care facilities (LTC) across Canada hard. From Halifax to Vancouver. The data shows that LTC’s account for about 60% of deaths from the virus and 70% if we include retirement homes. And it’s not just the residents that are getting the virus, it’s the care workers as well. As we seek to understand why, the federal government, through the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) is providing $5.8 Million to support two studies that will investigate the various aspects of immunity and how people are responding to vaccines in LTCs. For now, these studies are focusing on Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. Although Atlantic Canada was hit hard in LTCs it would seem that part of the country, as usual, is not being included in the studies, which is odd given Nova Scotia itself has one of the highest ageing populations in Canada.

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Health

How sleep cleans your brain

We all love a good night’s sleep and nothing feels better than feeling rested and pumped for the day. We know that sleep is important for us too and now new research could show just how important sleep is! When we sleep, we go through several phases starting with light, then deep then REM (Rapid Eye Movement) which many of us are familiar with. Until now, not much research has been done on the deep sleep phase. And what this research reveals is very interesting indeed! Turns out, that essentially, our spinal fluid goes into our brain and cleans out the toxins that get into our brains during the day! The research was conducted by Dr. Laura Lewis of Boston University and her research was released in the journal Science on October 31st. Dr. Lewis studies deep sleep or the non-REM phase. Research believes that during the non-REM phase, the

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