October 2016 Health Trends
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The latest study of zinc as a cold remedy found that between 75 and 100 mg daily, in zinc acetate lozenges, reduced the length of a cold by nearly 3 days-close to half the 7-day average. The study, which compared a placebo and zinc lozenges among 199 people with colds, was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. It found comparable benefits among men and women of all ages.
20%: Women who use birth control pills, patches, or rings containing estrogen have, on average, 20 percent higher blood levels of vitamin D, according to an NIH study of 1,662 women. When birth control is stopped, there is a risk that vitamin D levels will drop.
How to Feed Happiness
Eating more fruits and veggies boosts happiness, according to a study at the University of Warwick in England. By following more than 12,000 people, researchers found that happiness increases with each extra portion of such foods, leveling out at 8 servings a day. After consistently eating that amount for 24 months, the researchers estimate, the boost in life satisfaction could equal that of getting a job after a period of unemployment. The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Spirulina Boosts Energy
Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, can reduce both mental and physical fatigue, according to a study of 17 men at The Ohio State University in Columbus. Researchers compared the effects of a placebo and 3 grams daily of spirulina, and found that the algae supplement improved performance on aerobic gym equipment and in math tests.
Are you under the influence?
Of store signage, that is. Big signs pointing to the produce section can make shoppers buy more fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a study by New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
In different types of neighborhoods, some grocery stores had a series of large arrows on the floor, each 6 by 3 feet, with messages such as “Follow green arrow for health,” and pictures of fruits, vegetables, and positive emojis. In all types of neighborhoods, the results were the same. The signs didn’t increase overall spending, but a significantly bigger percentage of grocery budgets was spent on healthy, fresh produce. In conventional supermarkets, store signs are often used to provoke shoppers to buy unhealthy processed foods and snacks. Buyer beware!