Health & Spirit

D for Don't Know

Scott LaFee on

For a long time, it's been debated whether taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy provide particular health benefits. Advocates, backed by some studies, say vitamin D reduces the risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Others, backed by some studies, say there's no convincing proof. A new analysis of 43 randomized, controlled trials on vitamin D found that, well, the debate will go on. The analysis concluded that many past studies were too small or flawed to produce reliable findings one way or another.

A Pregnant Pause

A global initiative, launched in 2012, to improve access to contraceptives for women living in the world's poorest nations appears to be bearing fruit. A new report published by Family Planning 2020 says more than 309 million women and girls are now using a modern method of contraception in 69 targeted countries, up 38.8 million women over the last five years. The biggest gains were in Africa. Researchers say the increased use of contraceptives has prevented millions of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions and thousands of maternal deaths.

Body of Knowledge

On average, a person's left hand does 56 percent of typing, which makes it more worthy of picking up that Big Mac. (See Life in Big Macs below.)

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An estimated 6 million American adults have Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment, which sometimes is a precursor to AD. The National Institutes of Health predicts that number will jump to 15 million by 2060 as the population ages.

These numbers are higher than previous estimates. Researchers used new methodology that included people with biomarkers or other evidence of possible preclinical AD, but who were not yet impaired by dementia.

Life in Big Macs

One hour of typing burns 102 calories (based on a 150-pound person) or the equivalent of 0.1 Big Macs.


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