The controversy over energy drinks rages on with a statement recently released by a group of radiologists who determined that consumption of energy drinks leads to increased heart contraction rates.
“We’ve shown that energy drink consumption has a short-term impact on cardiac contractility,” said Dr. Jonas Dörner in a statement released by the Radiological Society of North America on Monday.
The results come on the heels of an ongoing national debate over the potential dangers of energy drinks. A 2013 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that the number of ER visits related to energy drink consumption has nearly doubled since 2007, with 20,783 patients admitted in 2011.
Researchers tested the effects of energy drinks on individuals’ hearts in a small study involving 18 men and women. Each participant underwent a cardiac MRI one hour before consuming an energy drink. Then they underwent a second MRI one hour after consuming an energy drink that contained 400 milligrams of taurine and 32 milligrams of caffeine, two main ingredients of energy drinks.
Results showed that one hour after drinking, the participants experienced significant increased heart contraction rates in the left ventricle. The left ventricle pumps blood to the aorta, which then distributes it to the rest of the body.
Good to know: There are 53 types of nuts in the world. Even better: The more you eat them, the more likely you’ll live longer.
That’s according to a study published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine that found an inverse association with the frequency of nut consumption and mortality over the course of the study. In fact, those who ate nuts seven or more times per week lowered their death rate by 20 percent.
The study followed 76,464 women and 42,498 men for 30 years, updating each participant’s diet and lifestyle variables whenever possible. To adjust for potential confounders, researchers excluded participants with a history of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or stroke, as well as those who had ever smoked or who had a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 or more than 40.
Results showed that those who reported eating nuts more frequently were leaner, less likely to smoke, and more likely to exercise, take multivitamins, and eat fruits and vegetables. Nut consumers were also less likely to gain weight.
The most surprising finding, however, was the significant inverse association observed between nut consumption and mortality. In addition to the 20 percent lower death rate among nut consumers, researchers noted inverse associations for most major causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases.
Although researchers noted that further study is needed to determine an exact cause-and-effect relationship, they noted that the findings join a “wealth” of data that support the health benefits of nuts for various chronic diseases. Past research has determined that thanks to nuts’ nutritional qualities—healthy fats, protein, fiber, and vitamins—consumption is associated with reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes, plus antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support.
Although the Potomac River has slowly become healthier and cleaner, it still has a long way to go, according to the Potomac Conservancy, which recently gave the river a C in overall health.
Yesterday the conservancy released its seventh annual State of the Nation’s river report, which bumped up the Potomac’s health rating from a D to a C. “The grade-point average shows that the river’s progress is excelling in some areas, but troubling signs are on the horizon in others,” said president Hedrick Belin in a statement.
The Potomac River provides drinking water for almost 5 million people and draws about 40 percent of residents in Washington to its waters for kayaking, standup paddleboarding, and rowing. However, it’s long struggled with polluted runoff produced by agriculture, landowners, and wastewater treatment plans. In fact, last year the group American Rivers deemed the Potomac America’s most endangered river.
Potomac Conservancy’s report stated that there have been some noteworthy improvements to the river’s overall health that warranted it an upgrade. In particular, there’s been a growth of the American shad fish within the past year. As of 2012, population of shad in the Potomac River has surpassed 100 percent of the goal established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The river also garnered an A grade for its increased focus on wastewater management and its efforts to designate protected lands. The Potomac River contains 1.8 million acres of protected land.
The full report is available at Potomac Conservancy’s website.
See also: What's in the Water We Drink?
While millions of runners latched onto the half marathon last year, new research suggests that the 10K may be the new popular distance to tackle.
Researchers at Northwestern University have determined that since 2002, the 6.2-mile race has become increasingly appealing to not just elite runners and high school athletes, but everyday runners, too. Even more, runners are finishing 10Ks at faster times.
If you haven’t yet received the flu shot, surprising new research may finally convince you to get one.
Results from the study, the first of its kind, suggest that the influenza vaccine prevents more than just the flu. It can also protect against heart disease and stroke.
I never run with music.
Shocking, I know. “Don’t you get bored?” people always ask me. “I’d die without my music.”
Okay, let’s all calm down.
My argument? I hate running with earphones, or anything that will distract me while I’m in the zone. Even a stray hair can send me into a tailspin.
This dreary weather is just asking for you to do some serious damage to that bottle of wine waiting at home. But if you’re worried about the aftermath, researchers have a new suggestion: Drink some Sprite.
Chinese researchers conducted a study that tested 57 different types of beverages and their effects on preventing a hangover. Xue bi, or Sprite, was the clear winner.
If you needed one more study to prove that exercise—even something as simple as walking—is good for you, here it is: Walking can reduce one’s breast cancer risk by as much as 14 percent.
The research comes just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month and adds to increasing evidence that physical activity can help prevent breast cancer in women.
All fruits are not created equal, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, the United Kingdom, and Singapore have discovered which fruits are specifically associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and whether drinking their juiced counterparts provides the same nutritional benefits. The verdict? Blueberries for win. Cantaloupes, not so much.
It’s like clockwork: At the end of every single yoga class I attend, as I lie in savasana, I start dreaming.
Somehow, even if it’s just for five to ten minutes, I’m able to sleep like a baby. And I’m not alone. At a recent Sunday night class, a fellow student said she “savasana’d so hard” she fell asleep, as well.
The jury is still out on whether yoga actually helps the general population sleep better, but a new study suggests it helps at least one group catch some Zs: cancer survivors.