eNews on Prevention, Wellness & Lifestyle
Dec. 11, 2013

Sex as exercise
The New York Times
As far back as the 1950s, couples have been asked to strap on monitors, blood-pressure cuffs, oxygen masks and other paraphernalia and copulate, to scientifically quantify the impacts of sex. The focus is often on whether sex can kill you by precipitating a heart attack. Happily, these studies generally show that heart rates rise during intercourse, but tolerably. In a 2008 study, middle-aged subjects' heart rates jumped at the point of orgasm by only 21 beats per minute in men and 19 in women, about the same response as if they'd just done a few jumping jacks. More

This holiday, catch the fitness bug
USA Today
It's the best of times for holiday revelers, the worst of times for the fitness faithful. No sooner have we recovered from marshmallowed sweet potatoes than we face an orgy of holiday parties. Who has time for Pilates or Zumba? Those 90 minutes of Power Yoga? Sorry, got to shop. Our regular slot at the gym? Nope, got to get out those Christmas cards. Here's one consolation. Staying in shape can be a year-round challenge, especially if you've got an eye on the research. More

Regular exercise could boost creativity
The Huffington Post
Here's one more thing people who regularly exercise can add to their brag list: They may be more creative. A new study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience shows that regular exercisers do better on tests of creativity than their more sedentary peers. Specifically, researchers noted that regular exercise seems to be associated with improved divergent and convergent thinking, which are considered the two components of creative thinking; the former involves thinking of multiple solutions for one problem, while the latter involves thinking of one solution for a problem.More

Study: Healthy eating costs extra $1.50 a day
CBS News
Healthy eating is constantly urged by health officials, but they're not the ones typically footing the bill. A new study finds eating a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts costs significantly more than a typical U.S. diet filled with processed foods, meat and refined grains. Americans would pay approximately $1.50 extra a day — about $550 a year — to eat the way health officials recommend to stave off chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.More

Is your diet holding you back?
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once famously said the following: "There are known knowns; there things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns — that is to say we know there are some things we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the things we don't know we don't know."More

Diet sweetener aspartame is safe in cola
The Associated Press via ABC News
The European Food Safety Authority has found that the artificial sweetener aspartame is safe for people to consume at the levels currently used in diet soft drinks. After conducting a major review of evidence, the agency said it has ruled out any "potential risk of aspartame causing damage to genes and inducing cancer."More

Sex as exercise
The New York Times
As far back as the 1950s, couples have been asked to strap on monitors, blood-pressure cuffs, oxygen masks and other paraphernalia and copulate, to scientifically quantify the impacts of sex. More

The power of a daily bout of exercise
The New York Times
This week marks the start of the annual eat-too-much and move-too-little holiday season, with its attendant declining health and surging regrets.More

Short fasts for weight loss vs. traditional diets
The Wall Street Journal
In an effort to make losing weight — and keeping it off — easier, researchers are studying what happens to the body when people eat next to nothing every few days.More

Vitamins' old, old edge
The New York Times
Today, a huge amount of research goes into understanding vitamins, but most of it is focused on how much of them people need to stay healthy. This work does not address a basic question, though: How did we end up so dependent on these peculiar little molecules? Recent research is providing new answers. It appears that vitamins were essential to life from its earliest stages some four billion years ago. More

What does protein supplementation after exercise do to your heart?
Everyday Health
T. Jared Bunch writes: "On Black Friday I showed up early to my community gym to work off some of the effects of a great Thanksgiving meal. My gym was holding its own Black Friday sales event. Lining the gym halls were numerous displays of supplements, training tools, workshops and personal trainers offering seasonal discounts on products and services. Of the many options, protein supplements seemed to be in almost every display. Protein was available in almost every type of food source imaginable and carefully packaged with a picture of massively toned muscles." More

Vitamin D supplements won't help prevent disease
HealthDay News via WebMD
Low levels of vitamin D have been implicated as a potential cause of diseases ranging from cancer to diabetes. Now an extensive review suggests it's really the other way around: Low levels of the "sunshine vitamin" are more likely a consequence — not a cause — of illness. In their review of almost 500 studies, the researchers found conflicting results. More

Viagra for women? Blue pills may help alleviate menstrual cramps
Los Angeles Times
Viagra may no longer be just for the gentlemen. A new study suggests that those little blue pills may also help women, though not in the way you might think. Researchers have found that sildenafil citrate, the main ingredient in Viagra, Revatio and other drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction, can also be used to alleviate moderate to severe menstrual cramping in women. More

Is organic milk better for you? It might be
Bloomberg Businessweek
Into the already muddy debate over the benefits of organic food comes new research that suggests organic milk has more heart-healthy fatty acids than conventional milk. The study, published in the online journal Plos One, was based on tests of nearly 400 samples of organic and conventional milk over an 18-month period; it is a bold counterclaim to last year's widely discussed Stanford study that found little evidence supporting the idea that organic food was more nutritious.More

Father's diet may influence long-term health of offspring
Fox News
When it comes to ensuring the future health of a newborn, a lot of emphasis is placed on the mother's lifestyle — as numerous studies have found that a mother's weight and diet can heavily influence a fetus's development in the womb. But it may not just be mom's eating habits that can affect an unborn child. More