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Will Coffee Shop Culture Survive COVID-19?  - web md

Will Coffee Shop Culture Survive COVID-19?

The days of lounging in comfy chairs or at tables inside coffee shops as soothing music plays in the background, tip-tapping on your laptop or reading a newspaper, appear to be a thing of the past, at least for now.
web md - 2 days ago
Are Boomers Less Sharp Than Previous Generations?  - web md

Are Boomers Less Sharp Than Previous Generations?

Looking at two decades' worth of data on U.S. adults, the study found generational differences in tests of cognitive function. That refers to essential mental abilities such as remembering, reasoning and problem-solving.
web md - 3 days ago
School, camp, daycare, and sports physicals: What to do in the time of COVID-19 - harvard

School, camp, daycare, and sports physicals: What to do in the time of COVID-19

Summer activities are underway and some schools will be reopening come September. Does your child need a physical exam, or a form from the pediatrician? Here's how to think through the options for fulfilling these requirements. The post School, camp, daycare, and sports physicals: What to do in the time of COVID-19 appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 5 days ago
Young Black Americans at High Risk of Hypertension  - web md

Young Black Americans at High Risk of Hypertension

The study, of 18- to 44-year-olds in the United States, found that high blood pressure was prevalent across all racial groups: Among both white and Mexican American participants, 22% had the condition.
web md - 6 days ago
Wondering about goosebumps? Of course you are - harvard

Wondering about goosebumps? Of course you are

What are goosebumps? Why do we get them? Do they serve a purpose? Some of these questions can be answered, others can’t. But a recent study in mice links goosebumps to stem cells responsible for the regeneration of hair. The post Wondering about goosebumps? Of course you are appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 6 days ago
Another Effect of COVID: Lasting Hearing Problems?  - web md

Another Effect of COVID: Lasting Hearing Problems?

When the patients were asked if they had any changes in their hearing, 13% said it was worse. Eight patients said their hearing had deteriorated and eight said they had tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
web md - 1 week ago
Study Reveals How Coronavirus Travels Indoors  - web md

Study Reveals How Coronavirus Travels Indoors

For the study, they created a model of how these aerosols travel in indoor spaces such rooms, elevators and supermarkets. They also compared how the virus did in various types of ventilation and with different spacing of people within a room.
web md - 1 week ago
Pandemic Could Complicate Hurricane Season  - web md

Pandemic Could Complicate Hurricane Season

The average hurricane season has about 12 named storms, but up to 20 storms are being predicted this season, according to Marshall Shepherd, director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia.
web md - 1 week ago
New Study Shows Kids Are COVID Spreaders, Too  - web md

New Study Shows Kids Are COVID Spreaders, Too

Coronavirus testing performed in Chicago in March and April shows that children and teens tend to have as much virus in their nasal passages as adults, according to a research letter published online July 30 in JAMA Pediatrics.
web md - 1 week ago
One Disease Mosquitoes Don

One Disease Mosquitoes Don't Spread: Coronavirus

The researchers found that the new coronavirus can't replicate in three common species of mosquitoes -- Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus -- and therefore cannot be transmitted to humans.
web md - 1 week ago
Common Diabetes Meds Tied to Complication Risk  - web md

Common Diabetes Meds Tied to Complication Risk

People taking a class of diabetes medications called SGLT2s have up to three times the risk for a serious complication called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) compared to people taking another drug, new research reveals.
web md - 1 week ago
Yet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are Safe  - web md

Yet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are Safe

Vaccine hesitancy among Americans has been highlighted as a potential problem in the nation's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with some experts concerned that too many folks simply won't get a coronavirus vaccine even if one proves safe and effective.
web md - 1 week ago
Concussion Ups Odds for Many Brain Conditions  - web md

Concussion Ups Odds for Many Brain Conditions

The study of more than 186,000 Canadians found that those who suffered a concussion were more likely to develop any of several conditions, including: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); depression or anxiety; Parkinson's disease; or dementia.
web md - 1 week ago
Survivors

Survivors' COVID Antibodies May Be a Powerful Gift

These antibodies are among the most potent against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and could be produced by drug companies in large quantities, according to a team from Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
web md - 1 week ago
WebMD Poll: Most Would Wait on COVID Vaccine  - web md

WebMD Poll: Most Would Wait on COVID Vaccine

Fewer than half of people plan to get a coronavirus vaccine in the first year it’s available, and an even smaller group -- fewer than a third -- say they’ll get it in the first 90 days, a new WebMD reader poll finds.
web md - 1 week ago
In Rush to Publish, Some COVID Studies Not Reliable  - web md

In Rush to Publish, Some COVID Studies Not Reliable

Only 75 out of 664 clinical trials for COVID-19 -- about 11% -- have all the hallmarks of a scientific study that could be expected to produce solid results, according to the study published online July 27 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
web md - 1 week ago
Doctors Worry About COVID

Doctors Worry About COVID's Effects on Hispanics

While race and ethnicity data about the coronavirus isn’t complete, the reported numbers so far suggest Hispanic American adults of any race are disproportionately represented in certain coronavirus measures:
web md - 1 week ago
Will COVID Vaccine Trials Reflect U.S. Diversity?  - web md

Will COVID Vaccine Trials Reflect U.S. Diversity?

Although racial minorities, older people and those with underlying medical conditions are most at risk from COVID-19, they’ve historically been the least likely to be included in clinical trials for treatments for serious diseases. Will that change with COVID-19?
web md - 1 week ago
Another COVID Mystery: Why Some Fall Ill  Twice  - web md

Another COVID Mystery: Why Some Fall Ill Twice

Experts are puzzling over cases where people have had COVID-19 twice. There’s been no comprehensive study of cases like this, and no one knows yet whether reinfection is possible, especially so soon after someone has recovered.
web md - 2 weeks ago
Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s disease? - harvard

Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s disease?

It has been known for some time that air pollution causes heart and lung diseases. Now, results from three different studies on populations in different parts of the world show an association between higher levels of air pollution and greater risk of cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. The post Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s disease? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
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Olive oil or coconut oil: Which is worthy of kitchen-staple status?

Olive oil or coconut oil: Which is worthy of kitchen-staple status?

harvard - 1 month ago

Coconut oil has developed a cultlike following in recent years, with proponents touting benefits ranging from body fat reduction to heart disease prevention. Sadly for devotees, the evidence to support these assertions remains rather sparse.

But there is plenty of research to suggest that other plant-based oils have advantages over their animal-derived counterparts, particularly when it comes to heart health. So which is best? While no specific type should be hyped as a panacea, one variety isnt getting the press it deserves: olive oil.

The case for olive oil continues to grow

Olive oil is a staple fat in the Mediterranean diet, and its previously publicized benefits have largely relied on examining its use by European populations. This information is useful, but looking at olive oil within the context of American diets provides us with stronger data to guide dietary choices here at home.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology looked at adults in the United States and found that replacing margarine, butter, or mayonnaise with olive oil was associated with reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. This is particularly notable because Americans tend to consume less olive oil than our European counterparts. In the US, high consumers averaged a little less than one tablespoon of olive oil a day, whereas daily intake in studies examining Mediterranean populations has been as high as three tablespoons.

After taking demographic and lifestyle factors into consideration, those consuming more than half a tablespoon per day had a reduced risk of developing CVD compared to those using olive oil infrequently (less than once per month). Consuming more olive oil was also associated with a decreased likelihood of dying from CVD. Even slight increases in olive oil consumption, like replacing roughly a teaspoon of margarine or butter each day with a similar amount of olive oil, had advantages.

Olive oil was also correlated with a reduction in inflammatory compounds that may contribute to the progression of CVD. Olives contain plant chemicals called polyphenols that may help reduce inflammation. Using virgin olive oil, which is extracted through mechanical rather than chemical means, is thought to offer higher levels of protective plant compounds than refined olive oils. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a product of the preferred, mechanical processing.

Though we need more research, these polyphenols may also extend benefits to other areas of the body, like the brain. For instance, along with other healthy diet habits like eating leafy greens, primarily using olive oil when cooking has been associated with combating the decline in brain function that happens as we age.

How does coconut oil compare?

Proponents of coconut oil cite the medium-chain fatty acids it contains as a benefit because of the unique way these fats are digested. Its claimed these fats offer advantages related to weight loss and cholesterol, though these assertions remain controversial. Regardless, lauric acid, the primary fat found in coconut oil, is thought to behave differently from other medium-chain fats, and may not deliver as promised.

In a recently published study in the journal Circulation, which compiled data from a variety of trials, coconut oil did not show benefits related to waist circumference or body fat compared to other plant-based fats. Coconut oil, a tropical plant oil, also did not fare as well as nontropical plant oils, like olive oil, with respect to reducing other cardiac risk factors. In fact, coconut oil increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the kind associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Coconut has been an important fat in a variety of traditional diets in Asia, and is touted to impart health benefits within these communities, including fewer cardiac complications and premature deaths. However, these diets often feature minimally processed coconut products, like coconut flesh, which are also higher in nutrients like fiber. Lifestyle habits in these Asian communities also typically include eating more fruits, vegetables, and fish than in many American diets.

That said, extra virgin coconut oil, which can be purchased in the United States, is arguably less processed, and often refined in a manner similar to EVOO. A recent trial published in BMJ Open looking at extra virgin coconut oil did not show an increase in LDL cholesterol when compared to EVOO during a four-week period. (Both oils performed better than butter.) Unfortunately, there are not enough human studies involving extra virgin coconut oil to support its use as a primary fat in our diets. Nor do we have information about its long-term effects here in the US.

And the winner is olive oil

The benefits of using nontropical plant-based oils remain very promising, making olive oil a natural choice in the kitchen. Try oil and vinegar on a fresh summer salad, or in place of mayo in potato or tuna salad. Consider a drizzle of olive oil instead of a pat of butter or margarine when cooking vegetables. And keep coconut fat to occasional use, say, to enhance the flavor of a vegetable curry, or as a substitute for butter in baked desserts.

The post Olive oil or coconut oil: Which is worthy of kitchen-staple status? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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