Does the world’s most widely used broad-spectrum weed killer cause cancer? A number of studies have come to different conclusions. But now a comprehensive new analysis in the journal Mutation Research – Reviews in Mutation Research has looked at all the evidence, including a test of more than 50,000 licensed pesticide applicators. The study concludes that yes, the chemical glyphosphate raises the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by as much as 41 percent. Glyphosphate is the primary ingredient in the weed killer Roundup.
If you’re a middle-aged man and can do 40 pushups without stopping, you’re at a 96 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who can do only 10. A study in the journal JAMA Network Open finds that the pushup test may be the most reliable and inexpensive way to judge a man’s heart health over his next 10 years, even more reliable than treadmill tests. But if you can’t do 40 pushups, don’t despair. Heart disease risk is lower to some degree as long as you can do 11 or more.
And finally… gardeners will tell you that playing in the dirt makes them happy, and the reason? There’s a natural antidepressant in soil that acts much the same way as Prozac, but without side effects. A study in the journal Neuroscience shows that gardeners inhale a soil microbe called Mycobacterium, which acts to raise serotonin in the brain, increasing feelings of relaxation and happiness for as long as three weeks.
New surveys show that as many as 80 percent of people omit information, stretch the truth or outright lie to their doctors. Experts discuss why it happens, consequences, and methods that might reduce the amount of less-than-truthful answers to doctors’ questions.
Dr. Andrea Gurmankin Levy, Associate Professor of Psychology, Middlesex Community College
Dr. Marícela Moffitt, Professor of Medicine and Director, Doctoring Curriculum, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
Fatigue in the workplace carries enormous costs in loss of productivity and injury. Experts are beginning to measure its precise effects in real time using wearable motion sensors, with some surprising results that will shape solutions. An expert who has studied this shares insights.
Dr. Lora Cavuoto, Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Buffalo
Antibacterial soaps are common today, as are antibacterial toothpaste, mouthwash, cosmetics, and even clothing and baby toys. But a new study finds that the active ingredient in most of those things could actually be making bacteria more able to withstand medications. The study in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy shows that the chemical triclosan (trick-lo-san) does kill some microbes, but those that are left are substantially more resistant to antibiotics.
Men who have enlarged prostates may worry about prostate cancer, too. But a new study suggests that enlarged prostates actually protect against prostate cancer. The key is that the prostate sits in a confined space. Scientists believe that as the prostate becomes enlarged, it’s squeezed tightly, impeding the growth of cancer cells inside. The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
And finally… over the last decade, many laws have locked up most of your sensitive medical data. But a new study shows that “shadow” health records generated just by living your life can tip off a lot about your health, and those records are wide open. The study in the journal Science Translational Medicine finds that using a fitness tracker, smartphone health app, or DNA ancestry test leave a health information trail. Shopping for a health-related item online or even searching the internet for health information leaves clues for savvy data gatherers.
Heart attacks that produce few if any symptoms may be mistaken for indigestion or simple malaise, but they can be more serious than heart attacks that bring crushing pain because they often don’t bring a victim to the hospital for lifesaving help. Experts discuss.
Dr. Martha Gulati, cardiologist, University of Arizona and Editor-in-Chief, American College of Cardiology patient education initiative
Dr. Robert Vogel, Professor of Medicine and Cardiology, University of Colorado and co-author, The Pritikin Edge
Children with serious chronic diseases often have a tough time transitioning from pediatric care, which has much support built in, to adult care, which has to be managed by the patient. Experts discuss how parents can make it easier with a gradual transition.
Dr. Maria Ferris, pediatric nephrologist and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Dr. Miranda van Tilburg, gastroenterologist, hematologist and Associate Professor of Medicine, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill