Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In the news today:

You shouldn't blow your nose when you have a cold.

Blowing your nose to alleviate stuffiness may be second nature, but some people argue it does no good, reversing the flow of mucus into the sinuses and slowing the drainage. Counterintuitive, perhaps, but research shows it to be true.

E: But isn't constant sniffling the most annoying noise in the world?

Daily multivitamins do no good.

In a study of 161,808 women who were part of the government-funded Women’s Health Initiative research effort, doctors from 40 centers around the country collected data on multivitamin use. While research shows that people who eat nutrient-rich diets filled with fruits and vegetables have lower rates of heart disease and cancer, it hasn’t been clear whether taking a daily supplement results in a similar benefit.

After following the women for about eight years, they looked at rates of various cancers and heart problems among the 42 percent of women who were regular multivitamin users, and compared them to those who didn’t take vitamins. The researchers found no evidence of any benefit from multivitamin use in any of 10 categories studied, including no differences in the rate of breast or colon cancer, heart attack, stroke, blood clots or mortality.

“I don’t want to disparage people who take multivitamins — it’s their choice as a consumer,” Dr. Neuhouser said. “What we’re presenting is the science showing it’s neither beneficial nor harmful. If they want to choose to spend their dollars elsewhere this might be a good place to do so. Perhaps they can buy more fruits and vegetables.”

E: Vitamins are far inferior to food for delivering nutritional content. They are food with all the food removed, that is, not food. In January I committed to eating fruits and vegetables for dinner every weeknight for three weeks. I felt great and lost 8 pounds.

Mediterranean diet is good.

Mediterranean Diet May Prevent Mental Decline
A Mediterranean-style diet appears to be good for the brain as well as the heart.

E: I don't know this diet, but I'm guessing fruits and vegetables and olive oil.


Sir Saunders said...

Yes! The Med. diet is one I follow and have been following for quite some time, so did my Dad and grandparents (Grandparents lived to 93's). It's rich in nuts, vegs, fruits, olive oil, and most importantly, Wine!

Tom said...

Well, if it has wine. . .

Dude said...

I love Mediterranean food. It is easy to find it in California and it never gets boring, unlike Italian and Mexican. Californian cuisine has a strong med influence.

I read many years ago that the only thing vitamins could do for you is make your pee more expensive. I've never bothered with them. You can't take food and reduce it to one ingredient and suppose it will make you live forever. All foods are hundreds of chemical compounds subtly interacting with one another. Reductionist science doesn't preserve the magic.

I only get colds occasionally now and they are much less severe than they used to be. The only thing I do differently is I sleep sitting up whenever I have a cold. I blow my nose to avoid sniffling and I will sometimes take Benadryl as a decongestant/sleep aid. But seriously, the main fix is that I make a monkey nest out of pillows so that my head stays above my chest when I sleep or watch TV and I never ever reach the coughing stage that used to last for weeks.

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