A Mineral That May Help Women Live Longer and More Health News

A new fix for back pain, a fruit juice that fends off muscle soreness, surprising snoring cure, life in the slow (bicycle) lane 

by Nancy Stedman
milk image
Photograph: Shutterstock.com

Calcium Helps Women Live Longer
Taking in high amounts of calcium—from either food, supplements or a combination—appears to increase the lifespan of women, but not men, according to a 10-year study done at McGill University in Montreal.  The benefits wore off, however, if supplementation exceeded 1,000 milligrams a day. Vitamin D pills, which were also studied, had no effect on longevity.
Read more on Medpage Today

New Fix for Back Pain
The odds are good that you’ll end up with an aching back at some point in your life—four out of five Americans do. Now a preliminary study reported in the European Spine Journal finds that treatment with antibiotics can boost the chances that some sufferers will find relief. The subset helped by an antibiotic regimen had slipped discs accompanied by bone swelling in the adjacent area. Antibiotics relieve pain because they zap the inflammation-causing bacteria that invade injured discs. While definitive studies have yet to be done on the bacteria/back-pain connection, some doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are trying this therapy out on suitable patients, according to Michael Roizen, MD, chief wellness officer at the Clinic (and frequent Dr. Oz collaborator).
Read more on the Pain Research Forum

Watermelon Juice Fends off Muscle Soreness
Drink two cups of watermelon juice an hour before intense exercise, and your muscles will thank you the next day. So says a small Spanish study reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that measured muscle soreness 24 hours after physical activity. Watermelon juice seems to reduce pain because it is high in an amino acid called L-citrulline that increases blood flow to tissues. Make your own juice by putting watermelon cubes in a blender.
Read more on Men’s Journal

A Cure for Snoring
Up all night because of snoring—yours or your partner’s? A British study found that three months of daily singing exercises substantially reduced snoring and improved sleep quality in a group of chronic snorers and people with sleep apnea (which involves stopping breathing several times in the night). The singing exercises, which are available on CD improve the tone of muscles in the soft palate and upper throat.
Read more on Medical News Today

Life in the Slow (Bicycle) Lane
Love to bike but have no interest in speeding around wearing Lycra and fiddling with gears on an incredibly complicated piece of equipment? Then the Slow Bicycle movement is for you. Devoted to riding simple equipment at a leisurely pace, slow bike clubs have sprung up in cities such as Huntsville, Alabama, Boston and Chicago. “There was even a Slow Bike Race last month in Newburyport, Mass. The last one to cross the finish line won,” writes the Wall Street Journal.

Photo courtesy of Loredana Cirstea /Shutterstock.com
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First Published August 26, 2013

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