InvitoHealth: Health News Headlines

E-Cigs Can “Radically” Reduce Death, Illness Caused by Tobacco Smoking

By Traci Pedersen
December 6th, 2021

In a new report, experts assert that electronic cigarettes are able to significantly lower the chances of death and illness caused by Britain’s biggest killer — tobacco. Professor John Britton at the University of Nottingham and his colleagues point out that nicotine causes little if any harm on its own and that it is the carcinogens, carbon monoxide, and thousands of other toxins in tobacco smoke that kill. Their findings are published in the journal The BMJ. Reviewing a new report by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) on the role of e-cigarettes in tobacco harm reduction, the authors write [More]

Complex Diets Prone to Failure

By Rick Naurert PhD
December 6th, 2021

Weight loss occurs if on a cumulative basis, more calories are used than are taken in. For most of us this means we have to diet. However, new research suggests it takes more than willpower to stick to the diet — and in this case, simplicity matters. Many people think the success of dieting, seemingly a national obsession following the excesses and resolutions of the holiday season, depends mostly on how hard one tries — on willpower and dedication. While this does matter, new research has found that a much more subtle aspect of the diets themselves can also have [More]

Study: Masculine Faces Are Seen as More Competent

By Traci Pedersen
December 6th, 2021

People tend to view masculine faces as more competent, according to a new study published in the journal Psychological Science. This correlation is also true for female faces, but only to a certain point, after which more masculine female faces are perceived as less competent. “Our research sheds light on the pernicious gender bias in how we perceive others — we judge masculine looking people as competent, a judgment that can affect our leadership choices,” said psychology researcher DongWon Oh of Princeton University, a doctoral student and first author of the research. Oh and coauthors Elinor A. Buck and Dr. Alexander [More]

Strong Dad-Daughter Relationship Can Ease Child Loneliness

By Rick Naurert PhD
December 6th, 2021

In a new study on child loneliness, investigators discovered girls tend to report less loneliness as they advance from first grade to fifth grade. However, loneliness declined more quickly among girls who had a closer relationship with their fathers. “The bond between fathers and daughters is very important,” said Xin Feng, co-author of the study and associate professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University. “We found that closeness between fathers and daughters tends to protect daughters and help them transition out of loneliness faster.” For the study, which appears online in the Journal of Family Psychology, researchers studied [More]

Older Moms Display Better Mental Prowess as Seniors

By Rick Naurert PhD
December 5th, 2021

Profound new research discovers women have better postmenopausal brainpower if they had their last baby after age 35. Moreover, later life cognition is improved if a women used hormonal contraceptives for more than 10 years or began their menstrual cycle before turning 13. The University of Southern California (USC) study is the first to investigate the association between age at last pregnancy, which can be a marker of a later surge of pregnancy-related hormones, and cognitive function in later life. “Based on the findings, we would certainly not recommend that women wait until they’re 35 to close their family, but [More]

Mouse Study Links Teen Stress to Adult Mental Illness

By Rick Naurert PhD
December 5th, 2021

New laboratory research on rodents suggests an elevated stress hormone in adolescence may be linked to severe mental illness in adulthood. Johns Hopkins researchers noted that adolescence is a critical time for brain development. During this stage, a hormone abundance could potentially cause genetic changes which could result in severe mental illness among individuals The findings, reported in the journal Science, could have wide-reaching implications in both the prevention and treatment of schizophrenia, severe depression and other mental illnesses. “We have discovered a mechanism for how environmental factors, such as stress hormones, can affect the brain’s physiology and bring about [More]

How The Dining Room Mirror Might Make You Eat More

By Janice Wood
December 5th, 2021

People rate food as tasting better, and eat more of it, when they eat with others than when they eat alone. According to researchers, this “social facilitation of eating” is a well-established phenomenon, but how it works is unknown. Researchers at Nagoya University in Japan have discovered that the same effect can be achieved in individuals eating alone by providing a mirror to reflect them while they eat. “We wanted to find out what the minimum requirement is for the social facilitation of eating,” lead author Dr. Ryuzaburo Nakata said. “Does another person have to actually be physically present, or is [More]

High Levels of Brain Protein Tied to Depression Found in Pre-menopausal Women

By Janice Wood
December 5th, 2021

Women nearing menopause have higher levels of a brain protein linked to depression than both younger and menopausal women, according to a new study. The study’s findings may explain the high rates of first-time depression seen among women in this transitional stage of life, known as perimenopause, according to researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Canada. “This is the first time that a biological change in the brain has been identified in perimenopause, which is also associated with clinical depression,” said Jeffrey Meyer, M.D., Ph.D., a senior scientist at CAMH’s Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute. [More]

UK Study: Many Former ICU Patients Report Anxiety, Depression Months Later

By Traci Pedersen
December 4th, 2021

Patients who have survived a critical illness after staying in the intensive care unit (ICU) frequently report symptoms of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or depression a few months to a year after discharge, according to a new U.K. study published in the open access journal Critical Care. The findings show that former ICU patients who reported symptoms of depression, in particular, may be at greater risk of death. The researchers say that depression following ICU care may be a marker of declining health and that health care workers should consider this during follow-up appointments. For the study, researchers from [More]

Conquering the Fear of Cancer Recurrence

By Traci Pedersen
December 4th, 2021

Among cancer survivors, the fear of disease recurrence can be so distressing that it significantly affects medical follow-up behavior, mood, relationships, work, goal setting, and quality of life. In fact, about half of all cancer survivors and 70 percent of young breast cancer survivors report moderate to high fear of recurrence. Still, there are very few interventions designed to tackle this important issue. In a new study, a psychological intervention called Conquer Fear was shown to substantially reduce fear of recurrence immediately after the therapy as well as three and six months later. General anxiety, cancer-specific distress, and quality of [More]