June 1-7, 2012 - Original Health Articles

"Brain-Boosting" Supplements: Truth or Trend?

A variety of nutritional supplements, sold as "brain boosters," claim to enhance your memory and help you maintain focus. Can vitamins and other nutrients really keep your mind sharp as you age? While there's no "cure" for aging, it is now conventional wisdom that diet and exercise play keys roles in determining not only how long you live, but how well you live as you get older.

Chocolate: A Cardiovascular Hero...or Not?

To some, believing that chocolate has health benefits is akin to believing a man in red fur will bring presents next December. It's just too good to be true. And in some ways, those skeptics are correct. The chocolate you find in your Christmas stocking or your corner candy store, for instance, are not likely to do more than satisfy your sweet tooth.

Cosmetics, Parabens, and Cancer: What Are the Facts?

If you're confused about the potential link between parabens and cancer, you're not alone. The evidence is inconclusive and professional opinions vary widely about whether there is, in fact, a connection. Parabens are chemicals that manufacturers use to inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold in lotions, sunscreens, cosmetics, toothpaste, pharmaceutical drugs, shampoos and conditioners, and shaving gels.

Heart Transplant Update

It had all the makings of a science fiction story when, nearly half a century ago, surgeons implanted a chimpanzee heart into a human. That heart kept the patient alive for only an hour and a half, but the groundbreaking procedure brought us one step closer to today and a world where approximately 2,000 patients in the United States will receive new human hearts this year, and where the majority of those recipients can expect to live at least another 10 years.

How Strong is Your Sexual Self-Esteem?

Who's hot and who's not? That's the question men and women are bombarded with through television, movies, magazines, and other media outlets every day.  Far too many people place themselves in the "not" category because they suffer from low sexual self-esteem.

How Is Mental Illness Tested and Diagnosed?

You've been feeling sad and anxious lately. Is it just a phase or could you be suffering from some type of mental illness? When in doubt, it's always a good idea to see your doctor and get a formal diagnosis. Evaluating Mental Health Problems When something seems to be bothering you or your mood and energy level has changed recently, your doctor or mental health practitioner will likely want to perform a diagnostic evaluation to try to get to the root of what ails you.

How to Protect Your Hair From Sun Damage

Exposing your hair to the sun can cause bleaching, brittleness, and split ends. The sun's UV rays break down hair's outer layers, penetrating into the layers of pigment and melanin and sapping hair of its strength, color, and moisture. To make matters worse, the things you do to care for your hair—washing, shampooing, and blow-drying—can amplify the damage.

Nightmares From Eating Before Bed?

Have you ever eaten an unusually late dinner or snack and found that you had exceptionally vivid dreams—or even nightmares? You may have wondered if it was the food that caused the dreams. While scientific evidence on the food-dream connection is modest at best, anecdotal evidence and at least one small study suggest that it may exist.

The Dangers of a Dirty Humidifier

Whether you suffer from seasonal allergies, asthma, or you simply cannot stand the sore throat that's associated with the dry heat from your vents, a humidifier can be a blessing. Dry air can pose a variety of problems ranging from dry nasal and throat passages to even asthma attacks.

8 Digestive Health Myths

1. Spicy foods cause ulcers. Ulcers—open sores located in the stomach (gastric ulcers) or small intestine (duodenal ulcers)—are not caused by certain foods, according to the experts at the American College of Gastroenterology. Though certain foods can irritate an ulcer that is already there, they don't cause the sore.

Even a Good Job Can Cause Depression

Work, even enjoyable work, can cause extreme stress, which may lead to mood disorders and depression. Some researchers suspect that growing worker stress may be associated with the increasing prevalence of depressive disorders and suicide, but they are still trying to unravel whether it's coincidence or cause and effect.

Silver Lining: High Fuel Prices Are Good for Your Health

The cost of gasoline has currently ranged from $4 to $5 a gallon in some parts of the U.S. While your budget may be stretch, your lungs may feel better thanks to the effect of car fuel economy on air quality. Here's why high fuel prices may actually be good for your overall health: It helps to break the asthma and air pollution cycle: High gas prices can translate to fewer cars on the road.

Why Sjogren's Syndrome Is Underdiagnosed

Sjogren's (SHOW grins) Syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks healthy tissue, mistaking it as a harmful invader. Up to four million Americans may suffer with this disease. It primarily strikes people older than 40 and women are nine times more likely than men to develop Sjogren's.

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