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Health News You Can Use | Vol. 29 No. 1 | Nov-Dec 2018


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Volume 29 No. 1


In the US, stores that sell e-cigarettes cannot sell to people younger than 18, or give free samples to customers of any age. Despite these laws, “vaping” among teens has become an epidemic. Nicotine in e-cigarettes is just as addictive as nicotine from chewing tobacco, cigarettes, and cigars. Studies show that teens who “vape” are more likely to start using traditional sources of nicotine, and that fruity and candy-like flavors (chemicals) added to attract users might in themselves be harmful.
Because of this, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down hard on e-cigarette availability to minors. “This is the largest single enforcement action in agency history. It’s aimed at retail and online sales of e-cigarettes to minors,” said FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb in a recent press conference. The FDA has now sent 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers in “a large-scale, undercover nationwide blitz” and may take e-cigarettes “off the market” altogether to decrease teen access to them and to halt a teen public health crisis. “E-cigarette use is an ‘epidemic,’ FDA chief says,” NBC News,, Sept. 12, 2018.


A new study that appeared in the journal Cell Metabolism suggests that eating all calories within a ten-hour window (eating all food between 7 am and 5 pm, for instance) can help to both prevent and reverse diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia. When the body’s natural rhythms of activity and rest get out of balance, it can result in serious, life-threatening, chronic diseases. These “circadian rhythms” work best when we practice a daily pattern of eating and fasting, among other things. “The good news, say the researchers, is that…eating all food within ten hours can restore balance, stave off metabolic diseases, and maintain health.” “Eating in 10-hour window can override disease-causing genetic defects, nurture health,” Science Daily,, Aug. 31, 2018.


A diet high in dietary fiber has been shown to decrease the incidence of brain inflammation, dementia, and Alzheimers’ by increasing gut levels of sodium butyrate. Dietary fiber is found exclusively in plants and promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut, among other health benefits. When these bacteria digest fiber, they produce short-chain-fatty-acids (SCFAs), including butyrate, as by-products.
“Butyrate is of interest because it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties on microglia [brain immune cells] and improve memory in mice when administered pharmacologically,” says Rodney Johnson, co-author on the study. “People are not likely to consume sodium butyrate directly, due to its noxious odor,” Johnson says. “A practical way to get elevated butyrate is to consume a diet high in soluble fiber.” “Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging,” Science Daily,, Sept. 14, 2018.


You don’t need to train for a triathlon to reap far-reaching benefits from exercise. Even a little activity can do a body good. Researchers tracked more than 139,000 adults for 13 years. Those who fitted in just two hours of walking per week were 26 percent less likely to die early than sedentary people. “When you go from doing no activity to any amount, you see a marked decline in the risk of premature death from any cause,” says Alpa Patel, Ph.D., strategic director of the Cancer Prevention Study-3 at the American Cancer Society. “Then you see a continued added benefit with additional amounts.” Another study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that people who were inactive had 44 percent greater odds of developing depression than those who were physically active for just one to two hours a week. Depression is a leading cause of cognitive decline in older age. “How Much Exercise Do You Need to Get Healthier?” Consumer Reports,, Aug. 10, 2018.

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Other Articles

Q&A, Vol. 29 No. 1

In the Ten Commandments and other Bible passages, why does God portray Himself as a “jealous God”? How can a holy God also be jealous?

The Genesis of Modern Science, Vol. 29 No. 1

Today, belief in a supernatural creation is rejected by the scientific establishment, but its concepts helped jumpstart the 17th century Scientific Revolution. By Gillian Bethel, PhD Who cares about creationists? They don’t know anything!” quipped militant atheist...

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