Does This Daily Herbal Supplement Benefit Your Body? A new study from BMC Medicine indicates that a large amount of supplements do not even contain the advertised herb or contain more filler than the herb. Some supplements to think twice include:
- St. John’s Wort: Shown to treat non-severe depression, the BMC study found that their St. John’s Wort samples didn’t even contain the named ingredient and instead contained a lot of an herb that acts as a laxative.
- Gingko biloba: While most of the samples tested contained the supplement, some also contained black walnuts without a warning label for people with nut allergies. Gingko biloba is used to treat cognitive decline, heart disease, and more.
- Acai: These berries were part of a major health craze due to their supposed ability to promote weight loss. But there is no reliable scientific information to support the safety of acai as a supplement, according to the National Institutes of Health.
When deciding whether or not to take a supplement, be sure to check what is in it and whether or not it may interfere with prescription medications. Consult a doctor or pharmacist before starting anything new.
Dental health linked to cognitive health
Not only are tooth loss and bleeding gums a sign of poor dental hygiene, they can also be a sign of declining thinking skills.
According to a study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, people with severe gum disease and with fewer teeth had lower cognition. The researchers found that scores on memory and thinking tests such as word recall, word fluency, and number fluency were lower in those without teeth compared to those who did. The reasons for this link are still unclear.
“It could be that poor dental health reflects poor diet and that a lack of so-called antioxidant-rich ‘brain foods’ could then be contributing to cognitive decline,” study co-author Gary said. Slade, professor in the department of dental ecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “It could also be that poor oral health leads to avoiding certain foods, thus contributing to cognitive decline. It could also be that dental disease, especially gum disease, causes inflammation not only of the gums but in the the whole circulatory system, ultimately affecting cognition, “he said.
Lower complications of diabetes in seniors
The number of older people suffering from complications from diabetes has declined dramatically, according to a study by JAMA Internal Medicine.
For every 1,000 elderly people followed in the study, there were about eight cases of heart disease in those under 70, 11 cases in those under 70, and 15 cases in those 80 and over. Ten years ago, there were approximately 182 cases of heart disease per 1,000 elderly people followed.
Cases of dangerously high blood sugar have declined by about ten times since 2002, and the incidence of amputations is about three times lower.
Safe Holiday Treats for Kids with Dietary Restrictions
For kids with celiac disease, nut allergies, and other dietary restrictions, a holiday season full of cookies, candy, and other goodies can be hard to get through.
Check out our recipes for gluten-free pumpkin bars, vegan orange and chocolate chip cookies, banana-flavored and nut-free vanilla cupcakes, and more.
Erinn Connor is a writer for Health Matters with Dr Sanjay Gupta