Health Headlines in the News

If you're like me (and lots of other people out there), these recent weeks have been tough ones in the news due to the Boston Marathon bombings and other tragedies around the world. However, there's also been some encouraging news on the health front.

Perhaps you'll find something here that is important to you or to share with someone you love.

Kidney Stones and Calcium
For years, people who suffered from kidney stones were told to cut their calcium intake.  Now, new research finds that people who have already had one kidney stone and consume more calcium in their diets are 20 percent less likely to have a repeat kidney stone episode. The calcium isn't just limited to dairy products; foods like sardines and kale are valuable and productive sources, too. However, calcium supplements do not appear to extend that same protective benefit.

Breast Cancer and Alcohol
Women have long been told that drinking alcohol as it relates to breast cancer mortality is a no-no. Now, a new large study states that moderate alcohol consumption does not affect breast cancer mortality. The study also found that women who consumed alcoholic beverages—especially wine—in moderate amounts were 40 to 50 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.

READ MORE: Breast Cancer

What Is It About the Heart and the Mediterranean-Type Diet?
A large study by Spanish researchers of thousands of participants at high risk for heart disease (they had either type 2 diabetes, or at least three other risk factors including smoking, high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, obesity or a family history of early heart disease), found that olive oil and nuts were most beneficial for a heart-healthy diet.  The risk of heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death was reduced by about 30 percent. The test subjects consumed about four tablespoons of olive oil a day and a handful of nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds.

READ MORE: Another Study Says Mediterranean Diet Good for the Heart

Mushrooms and Vitamin D
Vitamin D is very tough to get through foods. You usually need sunshine and supplements or foods fortified with the vitamin to achieve adequate levels. Good news if you're a mushroom lover: New research finds that mushrooms appear to be a good source of this important nutrient. Scientists surmise it might be the fact that mushrooms are exposed to the ultraviolet light that makes vitamin D2, D3 and D4.

Vitamin D is needed for the absorption of calcium and is used—alone or in combination with calcium—to increase bone mineral density and decrease fractures. Some research also suggests it may provide protection from osteoporosis, cancer, hypertension and some autoimmune diseases.

READ MORE: Vitamin D May Help Prevent Uterine Fibroids


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