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Health

Health
We Have a Dental Care Crisis. Medicare for All Could Solve It.
Natalie Shure: Guaranteed dental coverage would finally put an end to the deep inequities in U.S. oral health. ... the incorporation of oral health into a broader vision for universal healthcare is emerging as a distinct social justice issue. ... dental inequality is even more extreme in America than inequality in other areas of healthcare. Twice as many children lack dental coverage as conventional health coverage. Some 800,000 ER visits a year stem from dental issues, many of which could be avoided with routine management. More Americans report financial barriers for dentistry than any other type of healthcare. ... Indeed, poor oral health has been linked to heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other serious ailments... Visit Website ]
Jul 11, 2019, 2:54pm

Health
Congress Loves Socialized Health Care — For Itself
Jim Hightower: For $3.5 trillion a year, shouldn’t we Americans have a world-class health care system? ... No surprise, then, that Medicare for All is now backed by 85 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of independents, and (get this) 52 percent of Republicans! ... So — why isn’t Congress responding to this overwhelming public demand for universal coverage? ... I suspect that one big reason for Washington’s big yawn over the people’s plea for sweeping reform is that our lawmakers don’t personally feel the financial pain and emotional distress that are inflicted on millions of regular Americans by a system built on private greed. ... Called the Office of the Attending Physician (or OAP), it provides a complete range of free medical service for lawmakers. No appointment needed and no waiting — they walk in and doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, and other professionals tend to them right away... Visit Website ]
Jul 11, 2019, 2:10pm

Health
High Cost of Nukes Even Higher If Medical Expenses Included
Joseph Mangano: Natural gas, now the most common U.S. electricity source, is cheaper than nuclear – as are solar and wind power, now the fastest-growing sources of electricity. But nuclear power operators are not giving up just yet. ... But the true costs of nuclear vs. other sources are not simply a matter of cost per kilowatt hour. Medical costs are a huge factor and must be added to the public discussion. ... Nuclear reactors emit a mix of over 100 chemicals, each radioactive and cancer-causing. These chemicals do not exist in nature but are only found in operating reactors and exploded atom bombs. ... Studies of local disease and death rates from cancer and other diseases have been ignored and hotly contested by government officials. ... Salem County, New Jersey Nuclear Plant --- cancer death rate --- the highest of the state’s 21 counties... Visit Website ]
Jul 9, 2019, 4:30pm

Health
Is Bottled Water Safe to Drink Every Day?
Robert Hunziker: Trump’s innate distrust of science is already starting to impact health risks; e.g., according to Consumer Reports (“CR”) excessive levels of arsenic are found in some bottled water that should have been spotted by federal regulators, and not by Consumer Reports ... We found that several popular brands sell bottled water with arsenic levels at or above 3 ppb; current research suggests that amounts above that level are potentially dangerous to drink over extended periods of time. ... For the third year in a row, the Trump administration proposed deep cuts to EPA. These reductions would allow more lead, toxic chemicals, and contaminated water... Visit Website ]
Jul 2, 2019, 11:23am

Health
Two-hour ‘dose’ of nature significantly boosts health – study
Damian Carrington, The Guardian, UK: A two-hour “dose” of nature a week significantly boosts health and wellbeing, research suggests, even if you simply sit and enjoy the peace. ... The physical and mental health benefits of time spent in parks, woods or the beach are well known, but the new research is the first major study into how long is needed to produce the effect. If confirmed by future research, two hours in nature could join five a day of fruit and veg and 150 minutes of exercise a week as official health advice. ... The researchers were also surprised that it did not matter whether the two hours in nature were taken in one go or in a series of shorter visits, or whether people went to an urban park, woodlands or the beach. ... The study did not attempt to find out why being in nature was so beneficial, but White suggested a sense of tranquillity could be the key... Visit Website ]
Jun 13, 2019, 12:05pm

Health
Processed foods are a much bigger health problem than we thought
Julia Belluz: They’ve been linked to disease and overeating. Could our microbiome explain why? ... What if there’s something unique about ultraprocessed foods that primes us to overeat and leads to bad health? ... A new, intriguing hypothesis offers a potential answer. Increasingly, scientists think processed foods, with all their additives and sugar and lack of fiber, may be formulated in ways that disturb the gut microbiome, the trillions of diverse bacteria lining our intestines and colon. Those disturbances, in turn, may heighten the risk of chronic disease and encourage overeating. ... ultraprocessed foods are created in factories. They’re pumped full of chemicals and other additives for color, flavor, texture, and shelf life. This processing generally increases the flavor and caloric density of the foods, while stripping away the fiber, vitamins, and nutrients.... Visit Website ]
Jun 11, 2019, 4:50pm

Health
Racism is a Public Health Crisis
Jessicah Pierre: Racism is often viewed as an action performed by individuals. But even if we got rid of all America’s prejudiced individuals, racism would still exist in the systems they built. ... As governments struggle to address (or even acknowledge) these racial inequalities, officials in Milwaukee, Wisconsin decided to take a unique approach by declaring racism a public health crisis. ... By declaring such racism a public health crisis, Milwaukee County officials are committing to put racial equity at the core of all city procedures, to advocate for policies that improve health in communities of color, and to train their employees on how racism impacts residents. ... Finally, they hope to encourage other local, state, and national officials to recognize racism as a public health issue... Visit Website ]
Jun 8, 2019, 5:01pm

Health
8 health benefits of the marvelous mushroom
Melissa Breyer: In a 2012 study looking at the role of culinary-medicinal mushrooms on human welfare, the authors describe mushrooms as part of the fungal biota “characterized by wonder.” ... Wonder indeed. ... Of course mushrooms have some magical connotations, thanks to those that inspire hallucinogenic reveries or provide cover for woodland fairies. ... But they are also little eco powerhouses. As the above-mentioned authors note, “They rise up from lignocellulosic wastes: yet they become so bountiful and nourishing. Mushrooms are environmentally friendly. They biosynthesize their own food from agricultural crop residues, which would otherwise cause health hazards.” ... Consider: They lack the bad things ---- Mushrooms offer vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and a host of health benefits – but they are notably lacking in high calories, cholesterol, and sodium... Visit Website ]
May 18, 2019, 3:25pm

Health
Scientists are grappling with our biggest limitation in spaceflight: our own bodies
Brian Resnick: We’ve sent people to space for decades — but we’re only beginning to learn what that means for their health. ... All these grand ideas, potential missions, and dreams of a long-term human presence in space depend on one thing: that our feeble human bodies can handle it. But the truth is, no one knows what happens to a body when it spends more than a year in space. ... Issues: 1) How does the human body respond to radiation in space? ... 2) Is there an upper limit for the amount of time a person can spend in space? ... 3) How does the human mind cope with the isolation and loneliness of space travel? ... “The greatest unknowns, and perhaps the most dangerous,” says J.D. Polk, NASA’s chief medical officer, “are those we have not considered or are unaware of, colloquially termed the ‘unknown unknowns.’”... Visit Website ]
May 14, 2019, 3:18pm

Health
Why Dancing is Good for Your Health
Cesar Chelala: It has been known for a long time that physical activity –including dancing and exercises- can have several positive effects on people’s bodies and minds, leading to better cardiovascular health, fewer migraine headaches, and a sharper brain. ... The Einstein Aging Study carried out in the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, found that dancing helps prevent both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia ... Agnieszka Burzynska, an assistant professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies published a study showing the effect of dancing in the “white matter” in the brain. ... “white matter” can be considered as the brain’s wiring, similar to cables connecting discs in a computer ... dancing has a very positive effect on the “fornix”, an area of white matter that carries a bundle of those “wires” and that plays an important role in memory... Visit Website ]
May 11, 2019, 2:13pm

Health
Researchers Now Have Even More Proof That Air Pollution Can Cause Dementia
Aaron Reuben: “I have no hesitation whatsoever to say that air pollution causes dementia,” says Caleb Finch, gerontologist and the leader of USC’s Air Pollution and Brain Disease research network, which has completed many of these new studies. In terms of its effects on our health and welfare, Finch says, “air pollution is just as bad as cigarette smoke.” ... In counties that had to quickly comply with the new air quality standards, older people developed Alzheimer’s at lower rates than their peers in counties where the new rules didn’t apply. ... When you inhale pollutants, the smallest particles, emitted by cars, power plants, and other places where fuel is burned, lodge in your lungs’ sensitive tissue or else pass into your blood stream. In those places they trigger an immune response ... that response generalizes to what we call “systemic inflammation,” ... Systemic inflammation appears to be the primary way that air pollution harms the brain... Visit Website ]
May 2, 2019, 3:01pm

Health
Glyphosate Worse Than We Could Imagine
F. William Engdahl: New independent study shows that those with highest exposure to glyphosate have a 41% increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) cancer ... Further, they stated that glyphosate “alters the gut microbiome,” and that that could “impact the immune system, promote chronic inflammation, and contribute to the susceptibility of invading pathogens.” .... While most attention is understandably drawn to the human effects of exposure to glyphosate, the most widely used agriculture chemical in the world today, independent scientists are beginning to look at another alarming effect of the agrochemical– its effect on essential soil nutrients. In a study of the health of soils in the EU, the online journal Politico.eu found that the effects of spraying of glyphosate on the major crops in European agriculture is having disastrous consequences on soil health in addition to killing weeds. ... Visit Website ]
Apr 15, 2019, 11:32am

Health
Mystery Killer Spans the Globe
Robert Hunziker: Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recently labeled a fungus called Candida auris or C auris an “Urgent Threat.” This Nightmare Bacteria is a brutal killer that’s unstoppable and flat-out travels fast. ... The CDC claims antibiotic resistance is “one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.” ... Nowadays, the dangers of “Nightmare Bacteria” are growing out of control. The latest concern is that C auris will begin spreading to healthier populations, even though healthy people are normally not at risk. .... It is drug-resistant, tenacious and nearly impossible to exterminate and travels the globe looking for innocent victims, killing people mostly in hospital settings. ... researchers estimate that up to 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to healthy food animals to artificially expedite their growth and compensate for the effects of unsanitary farm conditions... Visit Website ]
Apr 13, 2019, 1:58pm

Health
Just 20 minutes of nature significantly lowers stress hormones
Melissa Breyer: Have you heard about "nature pills" and "nature prescriptions"? After repeated studies have concluded that contact with nature reduces stress and improves well-being, doctors have started "prescribing" time spent outside. ... But while we know it works, the parameters have been a bit murky: What kind of nature works? How often should one spend time in nature? And for how long? With this in mind, researchers from the University of Michigan set out to discover the relationship between the duration of a nature experience (NE), and changes in two physiological biomarkers of stress – salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase. ... What they found was that just a twenty-minute nature experience was enough to significantly reduce cortisol levels. And even better, if you bump that up to between 20 and 30 minutes, cortisol levels dropped at their greatest rate. After that, de-stressing continues, but more slowly... Visit Website ]
Apr 7, 2019, 3:47pm

Health
Asthma alley': why minorities bear burden of pollution inequity caused by white people
Hazar Kilani : Mott Haven in the South Bronx is a classic example where black and Hispanic residents experience a particularly insidious ‘environmental inequality’ ... Daniel Chervoni looked out at the busy street from the small community park he tends as a gardener in the South Bronx and clenched his fist as another Fresh Direct diesel truck roared by, spewing exhaust as it took a popular short-cut through the neighborhood. ... Residents inhale the emissions of the hundreds of daily trucks going in and out of the nearby Fresh Direct warehouse, and exhaust emitted by constant traffic on the four nearby highways, as well as from the printing presses of the Wall Street Journal, a parcel depot and sewage works not far away. ... They need asthma hospitalizations at five times the national average and at rates 21 times higher than other NYC neighborhoods. ... “The hospitals put a bandaid on your asthma by giving you an inhaler. We should be fixing the root cause of this problem – the environmental inequality”... Visit Website ]
Apr 4, 2019, 3:55pm


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