CanDrugstore's September 2011 Better Health News                           (Click here if you cannot read this page)
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Welcome Friends,

Summer is coming to an end and fall is following closely behind. Be sure to drink plenty of water and exercise outdoors while the sunshine is still here.

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Be Heart Health Smart

be health heart smart

We’ve all heard of the great benefits of exercise. Sure, it’s great for your body but what does it do to your heart and what is the best way to train your heart? According to Dr. Timothy Church, who studies exercise and disease at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, “Aerobic plus resistance is clearly the optimal program.”

Many researchers believe that by only doing aerobic exercise, it will not only help you lose weight but also drop inches off your waist while improving your heart’s health. Researchers say that aerobic exercise is a less time consuming option and benefits the heart’s health compared to those that only lifted weights. Aerobic exercise is defined as long in duration however low in intensity. Aerobic exercise helps increase the amount of oxygen available for the heart and lungs to use, while also enabling the heart to use oxygen more efficiently.

A study conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, assigned 196 overweight adults randomly, to three different exercise groups. One of the groups were assigned resistance training three times a week while working on eight different machines to target upper and lower body muscle groups. Rather than lose weight , many participants gained around 1.5 pounds and this had increased their waist line. In the end, their heart or diabetes risk factors remained the same without any change.

The second group was assigned two hours of aerobic training per week on different gym machines and had to complete an equivalent of about 12 miles on these machines over the course of the week. The results for the second group showed that they had lost an average of three pounds and half an inch from their waist.

Finally the third group was assigned to both weight training and aerobic exercise programs. Participants in the third group lost about four pounds and dropped one inch off their waistline; there was also a decrease in their diastolic blood pressure.

However, according to Dr. Timothy Church, who was not involved in the new study, says that it was difficult to interpret the data since more than one quarter of participants had dropped out of the study. Church does say however, that the information is consistent with what other researchers have found and previous studies have also shown that weight training had minimal effect for heart health. Lori Bateman, who is the lead researcher of the new study stated, “…If your overall goal is to...improve your diabetes and heart disease risks, our study would suggest that aerobic exercise is the best way to better those outcomes.”



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The Perfect Prevention of Allergies

prevent allergies

We often think that having pets in the house at a young age gives them exposure to allergies however, that myth is now being disproved. A recent study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found that children growing up with pets had cut their risk of developing pet allergies in half. Similarly, a 2010 study from the University of Cincinnati had shown that owning a dog had help lower the risk of eczema. Children that were exposed to animals at a young age had a lower chance of nasal allergies as adolescents. Similar patterns were shared in children who had grown up on farms. Research showed that early exposure to pets had significantly lowered a child’s risk to developing nasal allergies in their adolescents by 15%, if they had a cat or dog, and 30%, if they grew up on a farm.

In a new study, which was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers found that children who were exposed to other children also had a lower risk of nasal allergy. The more siblings a child had, the lower their odds of developing nasal allergies in their adolescents. The study had found that those who had an animal and multiple siblings had an even lower rate of developing nasal allergies than compared to those with just one of those factors.

Melanie Matheson of the University of Melbourne, who is the lead author of the survey project which looked at 8500 adults focusing on those who grew up around house hold pets or farm animals, state that the results were consistent in the 13 countries surveyed “…despite the differences in pet ownership and farming between countries.”

However, researchers in the survey only had information pertaining to exposure of animals before five. It is unknown if having pets or multiple siblings at an older age have the same effect as it does on children who were exposed to the same factors. According to Dr. Jonathan Bernstein, who is a professor of medicine at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a co-author of an earlier report on the same topic, the results are promising however, it is still too premature to advise parents that they should buy pets or have more children for them to avoid allergies. On the contrary, the results do show that by avoiding exposures to allergies, children may not be protected as thought to be. The perfect treatment for allergies may have to wait a little more before researchers know for sure if the results apply to adolescents.

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