Tag Archives: health

Pass the Salt, Please?

It seems every day the medical establishment is telling us something different about what we should or shouldn’t do regarding our health. Usually its just refinements, and not wholesale changes in the message. Once in a while, though, everything changes. How many times have you heard that a low salt diet is good for you? Have you ever chosen the low sodium option in the supermarket, because it’s “better”? I hate to break it to you, but the science is most emphatically not in:

That’s the beauty of the salt debate: there’s so little reliable evidence that you can imagine just about any outcome. For all the talk about the growing menace of sodium in packaged foods, experts aren’t even sure that Americans today are eating more salt than they used to.

The experts don’t have anything approaching a consensus regarding how much of the tasty stuff we’re supposed to take in. Pretty soon, they’ll be saying butter isn’t bad for you. (And bacon!) Good reporting from the New York Times, as they’re not pushing a particular view here. Read the whole thing.

The funny thing is back in the 90’s, there was as show called Crusade. It takes place a couple hundred years in the future. A character on the show is sitting down to eat a meal, and is putting a bunch of salt on their food, and says, “Do you realize that people in the 20th century used to think salt was bad for you?” That quote might go down as the most portentous line in the whole 13 episode series.

Good News for IPA Drinkers

Now, I like IPA (India pale ale, which is a light, extremely hoppy type of beer, for the non-beer drinkers reading this), but I’m more of a porter or stout kind of beer drinker. I have some friends that are much bigger IPA fans than me, though, so this news should make them pretty happy:

A beer a day could keep brittle bones at bay. That’s because beer is rich in silicon, an element that has been linked to bone health. But what type of beer should you drink?

Previous studies have shown that silicon can aid bone growth, and that moderate beer drinking is linked to increased bone density. Now Charles Bamforth and Troy Casey at the University of California, Davis, have discovered how much silicon each type of beer contains.

They analysed 100 beers from around the world and found that the brews contained between 6.4 and 56 milligrams of silicon per litre, with an average of 29 milligrams per litre. Looking at the silicon levels in beer’s ingredients, they found that most of it comes from the husks of malted barley.

The pair found that lighter-coloured beers made from pale malted barley and hops, such as pale ales, are richest in silicon, while low-alcohol beers contain the least, along with stouts, porters and wheat beers.

Maybe I’ll up my light/dark ratio a bit. You know, for my health. You can never start too early to keep your bones nice and strong! Thanks to Instapundit for the news filtering for the day.

Booze is Good For You

From Instapundit today:

MODERATE ALCOHOL INTAKE reduces Alzheimer’s demential risk. On the other hand, high alcohol intake makes it hard to tell the difference anyway…

First coffee, now alcohol. I guess that makes me a health food nut! Hold the wheat grass tonic, please…

Coffee: The Wonder Drug, Now Treating Alzheimer’s

Now researchers find that drinking 5 cups of coffee a day can actually reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Wow. This is fantastic news, and now it’s up to people to use the new knowledge.

First, unless you have some minority, pre-existing issue, everyone should drink some coffee and drink a glass or two of red (or the occasional beer, whiskey, etc. when you get bored with wine) every day. No exceptions. Given the state of the research, this is really a no brainer.

Second, if you have a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, are they drinking coffee regularly? If not, try to get them to start. Buy them some good ground coffee and go over and make it for them. Maybe they only remember some nasty 1950’s version, they gave it up, and never looked back. It’s never too late to press them to start new things, especially if it saves their brain.

You’re Welcome!

From FuturePundit yesterday, this story: Neurotic Men Improve Health of Women. (And no, the reverse doesn’t seem to be true, unfortunately for dudes out there.) You’re welcome, my wife! I can feel you getting more and more healthy every day.

From the linked article:

Conscientiousness is a good thing in a mate, researchers report, not just because it’s easier to live with someone who washes the dishes without being asked, but also because having a conscientious partner may actually be good for one’s health. Their study, of adults over age 50, also found that women, but not men, get an added health benefit when paired with someone who is conscientious and neurotic.

How about making the bed without being asked? Is that a sign of a neurotic man? And how does neurotic map to obsessive-compulsive?