Health Salad: a Roundup of Health News

Health Salad: a Roundup of Health News

In the past two days, I've bookmarked a lot of interesting health-related articles.  They run the gamut from the brain to weight to cancer... in other words, a holistic health salad looking at all parts of the human body.

Meditation

LifeHacker takes a look at what happens to your brain while you meditate.  The author starts the habit by mediating for two minutes at a time.  Two minutes -- even I can fit that into a day.  A side note: if you have trouble getting started with meditation, there are apps such as Do Nothing by Calm.com (also a website) that help you build tiny breaks into your day and are set for two minute intervals.  The article recommends another app called Headspace which comes with a free 10-day trial.

Even during brief moments of meditation, the brain slows down.  Lifehacker reports:

The more we meditate, the less anxiety we have, and it turns out this is because we're actually loosening the connections of particular neural pathways. This sounds bad, but it’s not.

It's simple enough to set an alarm that goes off daily at noon to remind me that it's time for my two minutes of meditation.  I'm going to try it and see if daily meditation starts lessening my daily anxiety over time.

meditation

Image: Moyen Brenn via Flickr

Obesity

Aeon magazine got my attention with their subtitle:

As the American people got fatter, so did marmosets, vervet monkeys and mice. The problem may be bigger than any of us.

Since it's unlikely that marmosets are partaking in super-sized McDonald's, I was instantly interested in reading about the rise in obesity around the globe; not just in wealthy nations.  Pointing out problems in Mayor Bloomberg's ban of large sized sugary drinks, the author David Berreby states:

Yet the scientists who study the biochemistry of fat and the epidemiologists who track weight trends are not nearly as unanimous as Bloomberg makes out. In fact, many researchers believe that personal gluttony and laziness cannot be the entire explanation for humanity’s global weight gain. Which means, of course, that they think at least some of the official focus on personal conduct is a waste of time and money.

When you learn that even lab mice are getting larger, it makes you sit up and want to read on to figure out what is happening in the world.  Hint: things we haven't considered such as chemicals, light, and even temperature may play a role in our weight.

Ovarian Cancer

NBC News has a report on a new test that can detect ovarian cancer in its early stages.  A simple blood test looking at the levels of a protein called CA-125 can tell doctors whether there is a possible ovarian tumour.  Ovarian cancer isn't usually caught in an early stage when it is treatable, so this new find may turn around ovarian cancer treatment rates.

Hearing

Lastly, io9 has a cool video that explains how your hearing changes over time.

I personally couldn't hear beyond the first two sounds, how about you?  How old are your ears?

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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