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Processed food linked to lower kids' IQs
February 7th, 2011
06:35 PM ET

Processed food linked to lower kids' IQs

If a 3-year-old eats too much processed food, it might lower his or her  IQ by the age of 8, a new study suggests. Researchers in Britain tracked what 14,000 children ate and drank at the ages of 3, 4, 7, and 8.5 years of age, by asking parents to complete questionnaires detailing their child's diet.

The study authors suggest their study found some evidence that when 3-year-old children eat a diet rich in foods that are high in fat, high in sugar and are processed, their IQ may find a small decrease in their IQ five years later.   On the flip side, this new study suggests eating a healthy, nutrient rich diet may be associated with a small increase in IQ.

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Marijuana use may speed psychosis
February 7th, 2011
05:56 PM ET

Marijuana use may speed psychosis

Using marijuana, or cannabis, may cause psychosis to develop sooner in patients already predisposed to developing it, and in other patients the drug may even cause psychosis, according to a new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

"This finding is an important breakthrough in our understanding of the relationship between cannabis use and psychosis," according to the study. "It raises the question of whether those substance users would still have gone on to develop psychosis a few years later."

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Heart therapy good for men, great for women
February 7th, 2011
05:03 PM ET

Heart therapy good for men, great for women

For the first time, a therapy to prevent heart failure has proved to be more effective in women than men.

Cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D), a treatment designed to prevent sudden cardiac death by using a defibrillator to shock the heart back into rhythm, provided a significant benefit to women over men, a study shows. Women had a 70% reduction in heart failure compared with 35% in men. Women had a 72% reduction in death the study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found.

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Today's parenting: Quirky, or conscious?
February 7th, 2011
04:09 PM ET

Today's parenting: Quirky, or conscious?

In recent weeks, writer, cancer survivor and mother of two young children,  Amanda Enayati has written about pursuing a healthy life for her family by cutting excessive sugars, bad fats, dyes, preservatives and pesticides from their diet and reducing her household's "toxic burden." Today, she reflects on modern parenting and her willingness to be considered different.

Am I really that extreme about health? I don’t know that I am.

It’s possible that my pediatrician groans whenever he sees me coming. Perhaps he is a touch annoyed that I don’t let him stack my kids’ vaccinations on top of each other, that I make him spread them out over the course of months, that I demand mercury-free vaccines, that I tend to hold off on giving my children antibiotics until it’s absolutely clear that there’s no way around them.

So maybe I’m a tad eccentric.

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Filed under: Children's Health

Triathlons saved my life
February 7th, 2011
11:57 AM ET

Triathlons saved my life

This week we’re kicking off the 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. Six CNN viewers, dubbed the “6-Pack,” have been chosen to race the Nautica New York City Triathlon with Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. You'll meet them in the coming days on The Chart, CNN's health and medical news blog.  The sport of triathlon has grown more than 50 percent in the last two years, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. Today, Dr. Joseph C. Maroon, 70, a neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a veteran of more than 70 triathlons, including seven Ironmans, shares his story of how the sport saved his life.


Twenty-five years ago my father died suddenly of a heart attack, my marriage came apart and I quit neurosurgery - all within the same week. The week before I was doing complicated brain surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and the week after I found myself filling up 18-wheelers in my father’s near-bankrupt truck stop trying to help my mother. I was overcome by stress, depression and a totally unbalanced life.

After three months of barely existing, a well-meaning friend called and said, “Joe, how about going for a run - it may help you?” Having done nothing physical for several years because of total commitment to my profession and 25 pounds overweight, I apprehensively joined him at the local high school track. Talking as we walked and jogged I was totally exhausted but completed a full mile. For me, at the time, it was equivalent to Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute barrier. But that night was the first night I slept in months!

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February 7th, 2011
08:51 AM ET

I'm pregnant. Can I sleep on my back?

Question asked by Priti of Atlanta, Georgia:

I'm 6 months pregnant, and I've heard that I shouldn't sleep on my back anymore. Is this true, and why?

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Can allergies prevent tumors?
February 7th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Can allergies prevent tumors?

Whether it's sneezes or hives or a potentially fatal closing of the throat, allergies generally don't bring positive effects.

But some research indicates that having allergies carries at least one health benefit: More than dozen small studies have suggested that people with allergies are less likely to develop gliomas, which are tumors that begin in the brain or spine, and are the most common type of brain tumor.

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Feeding babies solids too early may make fat toddlers
February 7th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Feeding babies solids too early may make fat toddlers

Feeding a baby solid foods too early in life may increase his risk of becoming obese before reaching preschool, according to a new study in Pediatrics.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that new mothers breast-feed their babies for at least six months and introduce solid foods between 4 and 6 months. This new study finds that among formula-fed babies, those who were given solid foods before age 4 months had a higher risk of becoming obese.

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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