Health Advice



Sleepless and Alone

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A new study of 9,430 adults aged 50 and older found a significant link between loneliness and insomnia symptoms, such as difficulty falling and staying asleep or waking up too early in the morning.

Loneliness can spark insomnia symptoms through different pathways, such as increased stress, anxiety and heightened vigilance (an elevated state ...Read more

Horse Sense

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A new study reports that adolescents who are inpatients at opioid addiction treatment centers are more likely to be offered horseback riding therapy than given full access to a common, highly effective addiction medication called buprenorphine.

The study found just 10.6% of facilities offered buprenorphine initiation and continued treatment ...Read more


Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

In the ongoing war against obesity, we're losing -- and that's a good thing. New research shows that in high-income countries, the obesity rate has slowed slightly. Rates are still rising, but not quite so fast. (Rates have tripled since 1976.)

The less good news is that 42% of the adult U.S. population is obese, based on body mass index ...Read more

Dead on Arrival

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Maternal deaths during pregnancy or in the year after childbirth are on average 10 times higher in the United States than in similar countries. The rate is more than 20 times higher for Black and Native people. And a recent JAMA study said maternal mortality more than doubled from 1999 to 2019.

Those numbers, though, may soon disappear, but ...Read more

Weight, Weight, Don't Sell Me

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Next-generation weight loss drugs such as Ozempic (originally developed to treat diabetes) are in high demand. Until, perhaps, people see the price tag. A new study suggests that even if people have health insurance coverage, high copays can deter them from staying on such drugs.

In the study, conducted before Ozempic was approved to treat ...Read more

Fly by Night, or a Mice Night's Sleep

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A nice cut of filet mignon won't soon serve as a recommended alternative to warm milk or a dose of melatonin for insomnia, but new research adds to the plump pillow of evidence indicating that protein intake influences how soundly we sleep.

In a study of arousability in flies and mice (both require sleep as much as humans), Harvard Medical ...Read more

Runner's Sigh

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

People who run marathons are indisputably to be admired, and the best of them possess a sort of loping grace as they bound 26.2 miles from start to finish. Sometimes, though, that finish line does not come soon enough.

Among marathoners, it's called "catching the gingerbread man," a picturesque term for what is also known as runner's diarrhea...Read more

Bath to the Future

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The benefits of bathing have long been appreciated, despite colorful depictions of past cultures and predecessors literally wallowing in their aversion to hygiene.

Egyptians were known for their cleanliness. Babylonians invented a form of soap; ancient Greeks created a kind of shower. Romans favored public baths.

In a recent paper ...Read more

Electronic Skin

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The headline seems like an odd combo, but researchers have taken the first steps toward creating soft, flexible, sensitive skin capable of producing electronic signals that can trigger an underlying nerve response.

The material, known as e-skin, was tested on a rat model. When the e-skin was touched, nerve cells began firing in the rat's ...Read more

PTSD as in Physical

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Post-traumatic stress disorder has long been considered a psychological illness, but a new study describes how PTSD leaves behind physical indicators throughout the body.

In analyses of blood samples from active-duty soldiers and veterans deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, researchers found molecules activated by inflammation, oxidative stress...Read more

Fly Benight

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Humans aren't the only animals aware of mortality. Elephants are known to grieve their dead. Crows conduct a sort of funeral for lost flock. Communal insects such as bees, ants and termites designate only certain members of the colony to be six-legged morticians.

Add to this list fruit flies who, in newly publicized research, apparently ...Read more

Something Fishy About Hair Loss

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Fish oil consists mostly of fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, whose consumption is touted as a way to reduce the risk of conditions ranging from asthma to arthritis to heart disease.

It appears, however, that consuming too much fish oil might also cause hair loss. Well, at least among mice.

A new study revealed that mice on a high...Read more

Leaking Toilet

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Smart toilets may one day be able to use various technologies to assess their user's health, such as detecting whether the person is pregnant, if they have cancer or what their levels of medication are based on excreted biomarkers.

That ability may offer more than just passing benefits to users, but it also raises concerns about personal ...Read more



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