General Health

Daily Dose: 2/26/13

dailydoseWatch Those Whistles: Referees and other people who regularly use whistles may suffer hearing loss from repeated exposure to the loud, shrill noises. A study performed by an audiology student (who happens to work as a basketball ref in his spare time) and his professor suggests that referees are more likely to experience ringing in their ears and to be hard of hearing than others in the same demographic group. Ringing in the ears is a temporary problem, but one that can become permanent if the noise exposure is repeated. Athletes and other people that regularly attend sporting events may experience similar issues, but since they are further away from the noise, it is not as pronounced. To prevent hearing loss in the future, be careful to avoid too much exposure to noises such as shrill whistles and ear-piercingly loud music on your iPod.

Start Eating More Mediterranean: Many studies have suggested that a Mediterranean diet may decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes, but a recent study had dramatic results with the same conclusion. A study in Spain randomly assigned participants to follow a Mediterranean diet, consisting of olive oil, wine, fruits, salad, lean meat and fish, and cheese. The participants were all at high risk for heart disease, and in the five years of the study those who followed an ordinary low-fat diet were more likely to have heart attacks and strokes than those who were on the special diet. Olive oil and nuts are especially beneficial, as they contain monounsaturated fats, which is better for the health of your arteries, and are high in fiber and certain vitamins and minerals. Doctors advise following this delicious diet to improve your heart health.

“Superfoods” May Not be All That Super: Antioxidant-rich foods, like blueberries, pomegranates, and avocados, have many benefits: they can lower your risk of cancer, slow down aging, and give your immune system a boost. But new research suggests that these “superfoods” can’t do everything. Over 5,000 participants, age 55 or older, were followed for fourteen years, with researchers keeping track of the food they ate. At the end of the study, approximately 600 people had suffered from strokes or been diagnosed with dementia, and there was found to be no difference in the level of risk for these diseases with a diet high in antioxidants versus one low in antioxidants. Researchers have concluded that it is not about the amount of antioxidant-rich foods you eat, but which of those foods you choose. Read more about the study and which antioxidants are most affective here.