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Health News You Can Use

Mild Fevers Can Be Beneficial

Do you reach for medications when you feel a fever coming on? Not so fast, research suggests. That fever may be beneficial, as long as it’s mild.

Mild fevers often resolve on their own, and the body has the capability to induce them and later shut them down. In this way, the body activates its defenses against infection, and also controls inflammation and helps repair damaged tissues.

Research on fish showed that fever helps clear infection in half the time of those not allowed to fever. And since the fever process is similar across animal species, it is expected that humans experience similar patterns. But treating fever with over-the-counter medications prevents these natural responses.

A Mild Fever May Clear Infection Faster,Medscape, July 5, 2023.

Use Caution with Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols are touted as being healthier alternatives to both real and artificial sugars. In comparison to artificial sugars like Splenda and NutraSweet, which are chemically compounded, sugar alcohols are made from natural ingredients and can seem like better options. In comparison to refined sugar, they contain about half the calories and have little effect on insulin levels.

Some common sugar alcohols include xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol, and maltitol. Xylitol, in particular, appears to be the safest sugar alcohol option and boasts health benefits as well. Besides a low glycemic index, xylitol may also help improve dental health, aid in the prevention of ear and yeast infections, boost collagen production, and help stave off osteoporosis. But in some individuals, xylitol can cause adverse gastrointestinal issues. It is also highly toxic to dogs.

And while sugar alcohols are not chemicals like artificial sweeteners, they are still highly processed and their effects—both positive and negative—are still being studied.

Xylitol: Everything You Need to Know,” Healthline, Oct. 4, 2018.

What You Should Know About Sugar Alcohols,” Cleveland Clinic, Apr. 11, 2023.

Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet for Treating Diabetes

A recent study from the American Journal for Lifestyle Medicine shows that a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet is a viable alternative to medication for treating type 2 diabetes. This is due to the diet’s lower total fat and lower total energy compared to normal diets. Decreasing caloric intake is associated with healthy blood sugar levels—which is important for diabetics. This depends on three factors: “decreasing fat, increasing fruits and vegetables, and increasing water content”—all of which are inherent within a WFPB diet.

This is just one of many studies which reveal that following a WFPB diet can “prevent, halt, or even reverse the negative health effects of Type 2 diabetes.” And lifestyle interventions in general—diet, exercise, proper rest—can have similar outcomes to standard pharmaceutical interventions.

New Study Confirms Plant-Based Diet Can Promote Type 2 Diabetes Remission,” Forks Over Knives, July 13, 2023.

Houseplants Fight Viruses

We all know that plants help to clean the air—but it turns out they may do more for us than we think. Research from the University of Victoria shows that houseplants can help prevent bacterial and viral infections. During the process of photosynthesis, plants produce hydrogen peroxide. This is then released into the air via tiny droplets, helping to disinfect the air and neutralize viruses. Plants also produce hydrogen, which helps cleanse and improve air quality, acting as a natural air filtration system.

Fill your home or office with plants and enjoy the health benefits!

Having Plants Can Help Prevent Colds,” Medscape, May 4, 2023.

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