Actually, the good news isn’t just that you can make a dent in your cancer risk by losing weight—it’s that you may only need to drop 5 percent of your total weight to get the benefit, according to this study, published in the journal Cancer Research. Overweight or obese women who exercised and counted calories and fat saw a significant drop in markers for inflammation, which is related to several types of cancer. Despite the fact that the women did not achieve a healthy weight during the study, they still saw marked improvements in inflammation levels.
We certainly hope the answer is yes. Forget superfoods and surgery: Drinking red wine is a much more appealing way to stave off the effects of aging. Researchers found that the compound resveratrol in red wine activated a certain aging-related genes in a group of mice fortunate enough to be assigned to this study. Unfortunately, because the study was in animals and not humans, it’s far from definitive. But the finding, scientists say, is intriguing and may spark future research (sign us up!).
There’s no doubting the power of Facebook: it made Betty White a comeback kid, turned “friend” into a verb and now, it’s joining the effort to stem the shortage of organs (lungs, kidneys, hearts—not Wurlitzers) available for the hundreds of thousands of people needing transplants. Within a day of debuting a feature that allows people to declare that they are organ donors as part of their Facebook status, tens of thousands of users did so, and 18,000 used a provided link pointing to a registry (although we don’t know how many actually did). What issue will Zuckerberg take on next? (We hear the country has a little problem with the economy …)
Speaking of the power of Facebook: A Northern California man launched an FB movement called Lose a Pound, Feed the Needy, to encourage folks losing weight to donate one pound of food (or one food item) for every pound lost. SUCH a cool idea, and a perfect way to make your weight loss real and concrete.
In case anyone doubts the connection between the mind and emotions and the body, check out this research from Cornell University looking at cardiovascular response and recovery in a group of young adults ages 18-30 and a more mature group aged 65-80. The groups were given a questionnaire beforehand to determine how socially connected they were, and then were asked to give a speech. Haunting quote: “The cardiovascular response of the lonely young adults to the social stressor task [the speech] looked more like that of the nonlonely older adults,” said lead author Anthony Ong, associate professor of human development in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology and co-author of the study. The authors suggest that loneliness could set you up for health problems later in life. So, go phone a friend!!