Is Sitting the New Smoking? Not Quite

Click the link below and you’ll find that young adults in the United States are sedentary for 6-8 hours a day, while adults 60 or older spend 9 hours a day sedentary.

From MedicalNewsToday:

“Sedentary behavior can raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions, even among people who are physically active. This is according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association.

Sitting too much is detrimental to health, regardless of physical activity levels, say researchers.In recent years, there has been an increasing number of studies documenting the harms of sedentary behavior – defined as any waking activity that involves sitting or lying down, such as watching TV or working on the computer.

Research has repeatedly linked sedentary behavior with increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and more.A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine earlier this year estimated that prolonged sitting is responsible for 430,000 all-cause deaths over 54 countries, and a more recent study claimed that sedentary behavior is a leading risk factor for mortality, second only to smoking.”

Source: Prolonged sitting: ‘Exercise does not offset health risks,’ say AHA – Medical News Today

Obesity-related cancer risk increased by overweight duration

MedicalNewsToday has all the details you need:

“The study found that being overweight for a longer duration as an adult significantly increased the incidence of all obesity-related cancers by 7 percent for every 10-year increase in overweight adulthood period. An increase in risk was also seen for postmenopausal breast cancer, by 5 percent, and endometrial cancer, by 17 percent.

After adjusting for the intensity of overweight – how overweight individuals were – these figures rose to 8 percent for postmenopausal breast cancer and 37 percent for endometrial cancer for every 10 years spent with BMI ten units above normal weight.

The findings highlight that the duration a woman spends overweight, and how overweight they are, play important roles in their risk of cancer, which emphasizes the importance of obesity prevention at all ages from early onset.

The authors write: “We found that longer durations of overweight and obesity were significantly associated with an increased incidence of obesity-related cancers, postmenopausal breast cancer, and colon, endometrial, and kidney cancer.”

Source: Obesity-related cancer risk increased by overweight duration – Medical News Today

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Two diet books in one

Book Readers Live Longer 

P.D. Mangan has all the pertinent details:

“A recent study found an association between the reading of books and longevity. Compared to people who read no books, those who did experienced a 20% reduction in mortality.”

Source: Book Readers Live Longer – Rogue Health and Fitness

I’ve always thought my books help people live longer.

DHA, an Omega-3 Fatty Acid, Is Again Linked to Alzheimers Disease

Dead whole fish aren't very appealing to many folks

Dead whole fish aren’t very appealing to many folks

Linked in a good way.

It’s a little complicated.

DHA is an essential fatty acid. Our bodies need DHA, and certain fish are a good sources for us.

A recent small study found that people with higher levels of bloodstream DHA have less accumulation of amyloid in their brains. Amyloid deposition is a marker of Alzheimers disease. As the dementia starts and progresses, amyloid builds up in the brain. We don’t know if the amyloid is actually causing harm to brain tissue, or is simply a bystander to some other primary disease process. Some researchers think that if we can prevent amyloid build-up, we can prevent Alzheimers.

A recent MedPageToday article reviews the new study I mentioned above:

“So what’s a clinician to do? Quinn asked. “Maybe the best advice is to adhere to the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, each of which recommend eating fish two to three times per week, primarily for vascular health,” he suggested.

Source: Role for Fatty Acid Metabolism in Preclinical AD? | Medpage Today

I’ve been recommending at least that level of consumption since 2007. Follow my Advanced Mediterranean Diet or Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet and you’ll get plenty of DHA.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Fish with decent levels of DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, herring, and albacore tuna.

I’ve Long Known That Exercise Is Powerful Medicine, But Didn’t Expect This…

Physical activity improved brain function in schizophrenics:

“The researchers note that a number of previous studies have hailed exercise for its neurocognitive benefits, but that to date, there has not been a comprehensive analysis of how physical activity might affect the cognitive functioning of people with schizophrenia.

With this in mind, the team conducted a meta-analysis of 10 controlled trials involving a total of 385 individuals with schizophrenia. All trials looked at how exercise – predominantly aerobic exercise – affected patients’ cognitive functioning.

The analysis revealed that schizophrenia patients who completed around 12 weeks of aerobic exercise – alongside their usual schizophrenia treatment – had better cognitive functioning than those who did not engage in aerobic exercise.In detail, the team found aerobic exercise significantly improved the attention, social cognition – the ability to understand social situations – and working memory of individuals with schizophrenia.”

Source: Schizophrenia symptoms eased with aerobic exercise – Medical News Today

We’re So Confused: The Problems With Food and Exercise Studies

From Gina Kolata at the New York Times:

“Nearly everything you have been told about the food you eat and the exercise you do and their effects on your health should be met with a raised eyebrow.

Dozens of studies are publicized every week. But those studies hardly slake people’s thirst for answers to questions about how to eat or how much to exercise. Does exercise help you maintain your memory? What kind? Walking? Intense exercise? Does eating carbohydrates make you fat? Can you prevent breast cancer by exercising when you are young? Do vegetables protect you from heart disease?

The problem is one of signal to noise. You can’t discern the signal — a lower risk of dementia, or a longer life, or less obesity, or less cancer — because the noise, the enormous uncertainty in the measurement of such things as how much you exercise or what exactly you eat, is overwhelming. The signal is often weak, meaning if there is an effect of lifestyle it is minuscule, nothing like the link between smoking and lung cancer, for example.”

Source: We’re So Confused: The Problems With Food and Exercise Studies – The New York Times

Gina and the experts she quotes are right about much of this.

Mediterranean diet may slow cognitive decline, prevent Alzheimer’s 

But we’ve know this for years…

“A new review concludes that a Mediterranean diet is good for the brain, after finding that people who follow the diet are less likely to experience cognitive decline and develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers say greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet may benefit cognitive function for younger and older adults.Lead author Roy Hardman, from the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, and his team publish their findings in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

The Mediterranean diet incorporates a high intake of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, while limiting intake of red meat and replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil.The diet also emphasizes eating fish or poultry at least twice a week and using herbs and spices rather than salt to flavor food.”

Source: Mediterranean diet may slow cognitive decline, prevent Alzheimer’s – Medical News Today