Periodontal Disease May Aggravate Respiratory Disease (Dr. Bicuspid)

The list of systemic conditions influenced by periodontal disease appears to be growing longer every day. Now a new study has found an association between respiratory disease and periodontal disease (Journal of Periodontology, August 2011, Vol. 82:8, pp. 1155-1160).

Respiratory infections, such as pneumonia and the exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, involve the aspiration of bacteria from the oropharynx into the lower respiratory tract, the study authors noted.

If periodontitis enhances the risk of respiratory disease, dentists and periodontists could play a significant role in overall prevention, they added…MORE

Poor Sleep Linked to High Blood Pressure (Consumer Reports)

Older men who regularly miss out on deep, restorative sleep have an 80 percent increased risk of developing high blood pressure, according to a study out this week in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension…MORE

High Salt, Low Activity Also Bad for Brain Health (USA Today)

Canadian researchers studied the salt intake and physical activity levels of 1,262 healthy men and women ages 67 to 84 over three years and found those with the highest levels of sodium (3,091 milligrams a day and greater) and the lowest levels of exercise tended to show poorer cognitive performance than those with a low sodium intake and an active lifestyle. The findings were published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging…MORE

Dieting Beats Exercise for Diabetes Prevention, Combination Is Best (MedicalXpress)

Lifestyle changes that include dieting to lose weight and exercise can help prevent type 2 diabetes, but researchers were uncertain which element contributes more. A new study suggests that, in postmenopausal women at least, dietary weight loss alone is effective while exercise alone is not effective, and both together are best of all.

“The effects seems to be additive,” said Caitlin Mason, Ph.D., lead study author. “The women who did both diet and exercise together had the greatest weight loss and greatest improvement in insulin and blood sugar control.” In light of the additional benefits of exercise, such as preserving muscle mass during weight loss, “a combined program is the way to go,” said Mason, a postdoctoral fellow in public health sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center…MORE

Does Eating Right Have to Be Expensive? (Salon)

The headlines Friday on a new report published in Health Affairs all agreed. As USA Today wrote, “The high cost of healthy eating [is] out of reach for many,” The New York Post added that “Eating right comes at a big fat price!” Even NPR, that bastion of green-tea sipping granola heads, declared, “USDA’s Advice For Eating Right Is Hard On The Wallet.” Stupid broccoli. You taste like broccoli AND you’re expensive? Well, pass the Fritos, because I guess there’s nothing to be done. Nutrition costs too much! Resistance is futile!

But let’s consider a few things before running out for another Taco Bell value meal…MORE

Stress Can Affect Future Offspring (ScienceDaily)

Rats exposed to stress during early development inherit the effects of that stress to their offspring, largely expressed in behavior impairments but also characteristics of resilience, shows a new study from the University of Haifa, published in the journal Developmental Psychobiology.

Providing environmental enrichment to the future mother rats had a remedial role on some of the negative effects. “The similarities between rats and humans raise the question of whether similar effects might transpire in humans; for example, exposure to war or natural disasters might have heritable effects,” explains Prof. Micah Leshem who headed the study…MORE

At Last, a Reason Why Stress Causes DNA Damage (MedicalXpress)

For years, researchers have published papers that associate chronic stress with chromosomal damage.

Now researchers at Duke University Medical Center have discovered a mechanism that helps to explain the stress response in terms of DNA damage.

“We believe this paper is the first to propose a specific mechanism through which a hallmark of chronic stress, elevated adrenaline, could eventually cause DNA damage that is detectable,” said senior author Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D., James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at Duke University Medical Center…MORE

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