home
RSS
5 studies you may have missed
Despite their high fat and calorie content, nuts are better for you than diet sweets, experts say.
June 5th, 2014
09:07 PM ET

5 studies you may have missed

Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that can give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Hope for people with Parkinson’s
Journal: Cell Reports

Scientists at Harvard University say they see promising signs from their study on an experimental treatment for Parkinson's disease. The researchers transplanted tissue from fetal dopamine cells into the brains of patients with Parkinson’s in Canada.

Patients with severe symptoms experienced 50% fewer symptoms in the years after surgery. People who had been taking medication to control their Parkinson’s but found that the medicine no longer worked also saw significant improvements after surgery.

Looking at the brains of five patients after they died from non-Parkinson’s related illnesses, the scientists found that the transplanted cells stayed healthy. Earlier research led scientists to hypothesize that the cells would become corrupted, but the cells remained functional for at least 14 years after the patients got them. This is the first proof that this kind of transplant method could work.

"Though it is encouraging and even exciting to see some PD cells survive over a decade following a human transplant, we are still humbled by the challenges in developing a viable therapy," Dr. Michael Okun, national medical director for the National Parkinson Foundation, cautioned. "All transplants for Parkinson's disease remain hampered by an inability to constitute a complex multilevel brain circuitry."

Next, researchers will see whether they can replicate the success of this procedure using stem cells instead of the more controversial fetal cells.

Read more from Harvard

To lose weight, stop counting calories
Journal: JAMA

The key to losing weight is not about “dietary bookkeeping" - meaning you can’t merely eat less and exercise more. "Most people will lose that battle,” write Dr. David Ludwig and Mark Friedman in the latest edition of JAMA.

The two world-renowned obesity experts say that effective weight loss should be more about what you eat. That is because different food interacts differently with your body.

A real diet should not focus solely on how much fat or how many calories are in that food, the experts say. For instance, nuts are good for you despite their high calorie and fat content. But an ice cream sandwich is not. It may be low in calories, but it also has a significant number of refined carbohydrates, which will cause your insulin level to spike.

Because of the way insulin impacts you at your cellular level, fat cells will absorb the calories. But there aren’t enough nutrients in that ice cream sandwich to give your body the energy it needs, so your body craves more food, thinking it is still hungry.

Read more from Time magazine

The munchies and sleepless nights: Marijuana may hurt your sleep
Journal: Sleep

Often people will say they smoke pot to relax, but a new study found that most marijuana users have trouble getting a good night's sleep.

The study comes from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania who looked at the drug history of 1,811 participants who responded to the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The adults were from 20 to 58.

All marijuana users reported increased problems with sleeping through the night, feeling sleepy during the day and had trouble falling asleep.

Marijuana users who started using before age 15 had the most trouble. They were twice as likely to be sleep deprived as the others.

Read more from Time Magazine

Heart-stopping pollution: What bad air might do to you
Journal: Heart

Pollution can create more than a bad asthma day for people who live in smoggy areas.

In a new study, scientists looked at data that tracked hospital admissions in Wales and England from 2003 to 2009. They combined data on people who had heart attacks or strokes, and death data, with data collected on pollution.

The good news is there is no evidence that short-term exposure to air pollution increases your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Nor was there a clear link between pollution and cardiac deaths with one exception: Deaths because of irregular heartbeats and blood clots in the lungs did go up with high pollution.

Scientists also found more people were admitted to the hospital on days there were high levels of nitrogen in the air.

Read more from Science World Report

E-cigarettes send an increased number of callers to poison hotlines
Journal: JAMA

Poison centers are getting busier as more people use e-cigarettes.

Public health investigators compared data from poison centers around the country from September 2010 and February 2014. What they found was more calls about e-cigarette exposure; these e-cigarette-related problems made up about 41% of the calls.

The majority of the calls about regular cigarettes involved kids younger than 5. The e-cigarette calls were split between children and adults.

Most callers had questions about exposure to the e-cigarette from inhaling it or having the chemical come into contact with a person’s eyes or skin. About 58% of the callers had a bad reaction, compared with 36% of those exposed to regular cigarettes.

People who didn’t feel well after exposure to electronic cigarettes reported problems with eye irritation, vomiting and nausea.

Read more from AAPCC


soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. StupidOrWhat

    "To lose weight, stop counting calories" dumbest advise ever... Calories matter the most. It's rather simple, if you intake(eat) more energy than your body needs on a daily basis then you will start storing fat so yes calories matter.

    June 5, 2014 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim jimson

      absolutely correct – but then you and I probably aren't being paid by the food industry/big pharma to make outlandish claims are we?

      June 5, 2014 at 22:44 | Report abuse |
    • mickeymommy

      That's a HUGE oversimplification of the issue. The thing is, there really is a limit to how little you can and should eat because bodies have great capabilities in preserving the energy it has and storing. So someone that may be a complete work-a-holic and put in 80+ hours a week, though at a desk, while not lazy by any means, simply isn't expending energy at a rate to counter what little they may be eating. Its a vicious circle and it all ties in w/ many-eating disorders. I wish people would understand that is FAR more complicated than eat less and move more. There IS a bottom line and going below that really does horrible things to your body, just as being overweight does.

      June 5, 2014 at 23:43 | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Wrong. Cut the sugar. Limit yourself to 25 g per day. Eat fresh fruits and veggies. Cook your meals, no processed foods. You'll drop weight like a bad habit. I lost weight this way.

      June 6, 2014 at 00:17 | Report abuse |
    • Jellin

      Naw, I think this study has it about right and explains it well. If I have a large salad for lunch OR I have an ice cream sandwich, one is going to fill me up a lot better than the other – the salad. I think we can all relate to eating junky food and then feeling hungry about 10 minutes later and so go on go eat more.

      June 6, 2014 at 00:18 | Report abuse |
    • wadej420

      whatever dude not all calories are the same, if your not eating foods that are a whole source of nutrition, you know whole foods. actual food not crap out of a package, then die already stop pushing up medical costs

      June 6, 2014 at 00:46 | Report abuse |
    • LJ

      A frequent debate – nutrition vs. calories.
      The bottom line is – THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING!

      Calories – your means to under stand how the laws of physics are at work in your body. No energy can be created or destroyed – only converted. Calories are a unit to measure energy. Energy in (eaten) vs. energy out (metabolism & exercise) – the difference between the two is how much weight you gain or lose. PERIOD! The laws of physics do not have exceptions!! You want to lose weight? Count your energy intake vs. output! (Calories!)

      Nutrition – the nutrients an building blocks your body will use to repair and create and maintain your body. Our bodies are awesome machines – they have self-repair cycles, and need materials to complete this task. That's where nutrition comes in. Nuts instead of ice cream gives your body something to work with. Vegetables instead of fast food, etc. provides vitamins, minerals, carbs/protein/fat your body needs to function. Want to have a well functioning (healthy) body? Nutrition!

      Exercise – builds muscle. This can be your heart (cardio) or your biceps (weight lifting) - but the main thing exercise is for – is muscles. They will atrophy unless you use them, and will never increase unless you push them. Want a well toned body or cardio stamina? Exercise!

      So – want all 3?? – very simply – the advice we've all heard our whole lives – "eat well balanced diets (nutrition) of reasonable portion sizes (calories) and exercise (muscle tone) to be healthy"... is all you need. Ignore all the other articles that spin things to make it look like there's a "secret way to shortcut/make it easier".

      And don't forget to drink lots of water. It helps EVERYTHING.

      June 6, 2014 at 07:32 | Report abuse |
    • reimann

      The only "unpredictable" factor in the whole equation is genes. You cannot control it and you cannot say in which way or whose genes (maternal, paternal etc) is dominant. The nutrition+calories factor is crucial and probably something we can decide and control but genes, you are stuck with it.

      June 6, 2014 at 08:45 | Report abuse |
    • Shannon L.

      Yeah, I don't get these new studies, either. Of course, calories from a salad are better for you than calories from ice cream, but I just lost 75lbs (went from a tight size 16 now to a comfortable size 4 jeans from the same company) and I did it by measuring my portions and counting calories. If I wanted one portion of ice cream for dessert, then I ate that many fewer calories at dinner. Now, suddenly that doesn't work? Something doesn't make sense there. I would think that if you loved fruit and chicken and ate too much of it daily, you'd gain weight anyway if you weren't paying attention to portions and calories (like when I gained 5lbs very quickly after finding the fresh fruit stand not far from my house and began eating fruit non-stop).

      June 6, 2014 at 09:36 | Report abuse |
    • ayawwetwet

      Hi, handsome! Are you seeking for interracial dating and relationship ?♥ BlackMenDatingWhiteWomen(.)o r g ♥ is an online personals for black women,white men,black men,white women for black white dating. Thousands of black&white singles are looking for someone like you! If you are interested in black women dating white men, white women looking for black men, you have reached the right place. xcvxvwetwet

      June 12, 2014 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
    • waldonfsxcbcxb

      Unbelievable…… My friend Lucy has just married to a handsome black man.
      They met through ~~ ♥M i x e d L u v. Ćom ♥~~Here is the best, largest and most successful Interracial online dating site for black and white singles share your life and love with friends online. it is a nice dạting service for Interracial singles to find their romantic soul mate.. You can meet (lawyers,busy professionals, CEO,benefactors. models, celebrities, etc….). If you are single ,have a try. vvvvvvxvzx

      June 17, 2014 at 22:42 | Report abuse |
  2. jim jimson

    There is NO proof that eating certain foods makes you more or less overweight than any other. The ONLY determinant is calorie intake – calories expended.
    As for some foods making you ill/healthier again there is actually NO proof of any of that despite the constant claims (8 glasses of water anyone?). Eat less and you will lose weight. Take exercise and eat less and you will lose weight and improve your health. Simple really.

    June 5, 2014 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paleo 4 Life

      There is actually a mountain of scientific evidence that proves the kind of calorie is far more important than that amount.

      This study helps prove Paleo is the way to go.

      June 6, 2014 at 00:41 | Report abuse |
  3. mickinmd

    "To lose weight, stop counting calories..."

    Bull! It's ALL about Calories (food Calories are properly spelled with a capital C).

    I went from 307 to 294 lbs in 2 years trying to "eat better." Then I started a Calorie Counting diet and I've lost 63 lbs to 231 lbs in the past 19 months.

    I went to the free sparkpeople.com (fitnesspal.com is similar), entered personal height, weight, exercise, etc. info and how much I wanted to weigh and when and it told me how many calories to consume: 2000. I began to eat just a 250-500 Calorie breakfast and a 210-320 Calorie lunch (often frozen foods like Jimmy Dean's Breakfast Bowl or Lean Cuisine Spaghetti and Meatsauce). That typically leaves me with about 1300 Calories left so if I have a low-Cal dinner, I can snack in the evening. If I'm good for a few days, I can grab a double footlong hotdog with chili, mustard, and onions. I also try to eat a little more Mediterranean – more fish, veggies, etc. but I enjoy myself.
    At 6'3", I'm no longer obese according to the BMI charts and am 32 lb away from being NOT overweight!

    June 5, 2014 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mickeymommy

      I honestly don't have the answers, but I wanted to give you a HUGE kudos for your loss! I've been working on overcoming an eating disorder for the last year and now that that is under control, I'm working weekly w/ my nutritionist to address the weight. Even to her, it's very compacted and it will be very frightening to me. Frightening because I'm very tempted to slip back into one of my disorders of starving again. Good job!

      June 5, 2014 at 23:48 | Report abuse |
    • xemmanuelgoldsteinx

      Congrats on the weight loss! At 35 I have just recently taken an interest in getting my weight down. I was always skinny and an athlete in HS and college and would often ask myself how people could "let themselves get that big". Then one day I woke up at 5'7"185 with a fat face and a gut. What is most amazing to me now that I watch what I eat is how many things that I used to think were good for me were actually bad. I thought I was being good if I had a Snapple instead of a coke, but it turns out they are the same. After a few weeks I am down to 170 with a goal of 155 by summer end, but it really is hard to resist a chocolate and peanut butter fudge sundae sometimes, but so far so good. The really scary thing is how much processed sugar is in EVERYTHING in the USA! Experts say you should have at most 35-50 grams per day which is one soda. I have been buying no sugar food products (or very low sugar) but you really have to look hard and it can be expensive, but I am finding that cooking more myself and finding good natural products, the food is even more tasty than the processed junk.

      June 6, 2014 at 00:15 | Report abuse |
  4. Sand

    Perhaps a better way to say it would be to eat healthier, less processed foods rather than attempt a starvation style diet. Of course a bigger problem is how few people really know what is healthy and what is not. Think more along the lines of fresh veggies, fresh seafood and lean cuts of meat served with grains like rice or barley rather than boxed 'Health' food.

    June 5, 2014 at 23:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. MysteriaKiito

    Complete bull. I count calories but still treat myself as long as it's within my calorie limit for the day and I have exercised. Before getting pregnant I had lost 145 lbs that way. I'm post pregnancy and just now starting to seriously diet again to lose the weight I gained during pregnancy(didn't want to mess with my supply while nursing my baby, he's more important than my vanity). I plan to count calories again because it worked for me before!

    June 5, 2014 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. tick

    I'm on-board with the no-counting thing when it comes to refined sugars and carbs. I've been emphasizing protein and veggies in my diet: my sugar cravings dropped off practically overnight. Almost like flipping a switch. And I've been losing weight, too. So, yeah, that ice cream sandwich might have the same calories as a couple chunks of cheese... but that sandwich will trigger cravings that I just don't need. Not that I don't have a treat day occasionally, but calories aren't all the same when it comes to healthy eating.

    June 5, 2014 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mickeymommy

      Makes sense to me. When I'd cut back on sugar severely, my cravings for it went away. It was a hard struggle to get through and it comes back again and again when I slip and just have that one Coke. sigh

      June 5, 2014 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
  7. brainwashedinchurch

    Study du Jour. Eat with your left hand. Think of purple zebras when you eat. Don't eat any food starting with a vowel after 2PM. Wear bright socks when you eat.

    June 5, 2014 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. BREAKTHRU

    My experience is that counting calories will cause weight loss, but it leaves too much room to eat a lot of low calorie junk foods in place of high quality fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. A better (more holistic) approach is to remove foods high in salt or sugar (ie. processed foods) because your body will naturally prevent you from overeating high quality fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. Both strategies cause you to loose weight, but only one imposes better nutrition as well.

    June 6, 2014 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Tom in Virginia

    I think the reported issues with calorie count failing to address weight loss might be due to self-deception and poor research controls.

    In my experience, some overweight people will not admit how much they are really eating. Those people will go to a doctor and tell him they can`t lose weight regardless of what they cut out of their diet. Then they go to their car and pull out a chocolate bar from their hidden stash.

    June 6, 2014 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • crittermom2

      My mom had the opposite problem. This was back in the 70s. She went on such a restricted diet (500-600 calories a day) in a desperate try to lose some weight. She must have had some kind of metabolic problem, but her doctor didn't believe her. I remember seeing her in tears after an appointment. I can tell you for sure, she had no "secret stash" anywhere. The closest thing we had in the house to junk food was raisins.

      June 9, 2014 at 08:57 | Report abuse |
  10. anaximander3

    I am sorry. But the only way I ever succeeded in loosing weight was by counting calories and exercising. In fact, by counting how much I reduced my calorie in-take each day, and how many calories I burned during exercise each day, I was able to calculate exactly how much weight I should loose, using 9 calories per gram of fat. The prediction was approximately correct. Nevertheless, the author is correct that one reduces calorie intake by *eating healthy*: If you give the body what it needs, which includes fat every once in a while, it will stop asking you for more food. But eating healthy is not something you do *instead of* eating fewer calories - rather, eating healthy is a *way to* eat fewer calories.

    June 6, 2014 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jen

    It really is pretty simple. Add more protein and veggies, cut out sugar, and actually COOK and prepare your meals ahead of time. Stay away from processed foods! Counting calories did nothing for me personally but whatever works for the individual... As long as you're eating the right foods that are healthy and keep you satiated the weight will come off. Oh yeah, and add more exercise. Get your body moving every day.

    June 6, 2014 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Chris

    I think those who are spouting crap about it just being calories in vs calories out should only eat ice cream sandwiches all day, every day to reach their calorie level, and see what their health is like after a few months. Lower weight doesn't = healthy.

    June 6, 2014 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. omegaknight

    The issue with calorie counting is that it's not sustainable in the long run. Losing weight isn't suppose to be a process that makes you feel horrible, because if it does you're almost guaranteed to revert to your previous weight after you stop the diet.

    June 6, 2014 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. kenny

    Eat less.

    June 7, 2014 at 03:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. nike feel free sko

    Such coordination has long been suspected in legislative races but has been difficult to prove,nike free 3.0 v5 sko. The Voters for a New California probe is believed to be the first time the FPPC has been able to levy a fine for a violation,nike free 3.0 l?besko. No other charges are expected in the case. Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville,nike free 3.0 black, agreed to the settlement with the Fair Political Practices Commission, which meets to consider the matter Nov. 14. In April, Joaquin

    June 8, 2014 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RTRETERT345234

    ARE YOU A ROBOT DC – NEUROLOGIST WHY DONT YOU BELIVE IN A BOOK.
    VOLTAIC STEEMS AND PROGRAMATION RUTINES.
    ADN POLITICO.
    hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhWWW.ADNPOLITICO.COMhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    June 8, 2014 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. barb'sbarb

    Would love to see this treatment work out well for folks with Parkinson's –

    June 9, 2014 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nonovyerbeezwax

      Second that. But so often "new treatments" for Parkinson's don't quite live up to the media hype. It's very disheartening for those suffering from this awful disease.

      June 10, 2014 at 07:11 | Report abuse |
  18. horscarfozxvxv

    Unbelievable…… My friend Lucy has just married to a handsome black man.
    They met through ~~ ♥Mixëd L u v. com ♥~~Here is the best, largest and most successful Interracial online dating site for black and white singles share your life and love with friends online. it is a nice dạting service for Interracial singles to find their romantic soul mate.. You can meet (lawyers,busy professionals, CEO,benefactors. models, celebrities, etc….). If you are single ,have a try. xzvzxv

    June 9, 2014 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. moncler paris store

    "These findings have implications for cancer treatment decision-making since optimum functional status is a key factor considered in treatment selection," study author Dr. Cynthia Owusu said in a journal news release. "At-risk groups for functional disability,doudoune montclaire, such as older African-Americans, may be less likely to tolerate standard treatment and therefore interventions ought to be developed to improve their physical function." The study was published online Sept. 23 in the jo

    June 11, 2014 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. hd

    good [http://bahanbakuherbal.com jual bahan baku propolis]

    July 18, 2014 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
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.