February 20th, 2013
05:04 PM ET
Drinking coffee and tea rich in antioxidants may not lower your risk of dementia or having a stroke, according to a new study published Wednesday in the online journal Neurology.
The study may call into question other research suggesting a diet high in antioxidants helps reduce the risk of dementia and stroke.
Researchers followed approximately 5,400 people aged 55 years and older for nearly 14 years. The participants had no signs of dementia when they began the study and most had never had a stroke. They were questioned about how often they ate 170 foods over the course of the past year and they were divided into three groups based on the levels of antioxidants in their diet - low, moderate or high.
February 12th, 2013
04:03 PM ET
Taking folic acid before pregnancy, and through the first several weeks of pregnancy, may help reduce the risk of autism for those children, according to a new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Researchers in Norway looked at data from 85,000 pregnancies, and found that women who took the supplement four weeks before pregnancy, and through the eighth week of pregnancy, were 39% less likely to have children with autism.
The Norwegian study is the largest to date on the benefits of folic acid for autism prevention, and marks one of the first tangible things a woman can do to reduce her risk of giving birth to a child with the disorder. FULL POST
February 5th, 2013
04:02 PM ET
Weekend sports warriors take note - that pain radiating out of your elbow may be tennis elbow. But don't be so quick to ask your doctor for a cortisone shot.
Research has shown cortisone, or corticosteroid shots, can alleviate the pain in the initial weeks, but have little effectiveness in the long run, and do nothing to reduce recurrence rates.
Doctors have prescribed physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, in conjunction with the shots, hoping to increase the cortisone's long-term effectiveness, but a new study in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association finds that the physical therapy doesn't aid the cortisone shots at all. FULL POST
February 4th, 2013
06:32 PM ET
Semen quality is a much-discussed subject among scientists these days. Data suggests sperm concentration has been declining in Western countries over the past couple of decades - and reasons for the decline are debatable.
The lead author of a new study on the subject, Audrey Gaskins, has been studying the effects of diet and exercise on semen for several years as a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her latest research shows a lack of physical activity – and too much time in front of the television - may impact sperm count and concentration.
Previous studies have shown a link between physical activity and decreased levels of oxidative stress, Gaskins says. “Oxidative stress” is stress placed on the body as it tries to get rid of free radicals or repair the damage caused by them. Exercise may protect certain male cells from oxidative damage, Gaskins says, leading to increased sperm concentration.
Those findings led Gaskins to complete an observational study on young men’s exercise and TV habits as they relate to semen quality. The results were published online Monday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
January 31st, 2013
11:10 AM ET
There's a lot said about how to lose weight. As it turns out, a lot of what's said may not be true.
To sort fact from fiction, a group of doctors and nutritionists researched the medical evidence behind common claims and presented their findings Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Beyond academia, however, the doctors and nutritionists also have deep ties to industry, receiving grant support and consulting fees from food, drug, and diet companies, raising questions about how wide a net of inquiry the authors were willing to cast.
Still, here are what the researchers say are the seven myths about obesity:
January 30th, 2013
04:01 PM ET
Obese girls are at greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis or MS-like illness, according to a new study published Wednesday in the online journal Neurology.
Researchers looked at body mass index (BMI) data from more than 900,000 children from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Children's health study. Seventy-five of those children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 18 were diagnosed with pediatric MS. More than 50% of them were overweight or obese, and the majority were girls.
According to the study, the MS risk was more than one and a half times higher for overweight girls, almost two times higher in moderately obese girls and almost four times higher in extremely obese girls.
January 29th, 2013
05:01 AM ET
Losing weight may not be just about WHAT you eat but WHEN you eat it, according to a new study. Participants in the study who ate a bigger meal later in the day lost less weight than those who ate earlier.
Study authors Marta Garaulet and Dr. Frank Scheer, director of the medical chronobiology program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, followed 420 people in Spain during a 20-week weight loss treatment program.
The participants were split into two groups – early eaters who ate lunch before 3 p.m. and late eaters who ate lunch after 3 p.m. In Spain, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, comprising about 40% of a person’s daily calories.
The early eaters, on average, lost 25% more weight than the late eaters over the course of the study, according to Scheer.
January 28th, 2013
04:56 PM ET
Doctors have a new set of guidelines when treating children diagnosed with type II diabetes. It's the first time recommendations have been issued for children aged 10 to 18, a sign that childhood obesity continues to have a broad impact.
More children are developing type II diabetes "largely due to the increase in obesity and overweight (patients) in the pediatric population, as well as the overall population and the decreased activity we are seeing in our young people," said Dr. Janet Silverstein, co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and chief of endocrinology at the University of Florida's Shands Hospital.
Type II diabetes affects 90% to 95% of the 26 million Americans with diabetes, while it's still rare in children and adolescents, it's being diagnosed more frequently among minority populations including American Indians, African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Asians/Pacific Islanders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FULL POST
December 17th, 2012
12:33 PM ET
If you want to burn fat and lose weight, aerobic exercise may be your best workout option, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
It was more effective than a weight-lifting routine, and about as beneficial as workouts combining cardio and strength training, researchers found.
"If a person is going to give me three hours of exercise a week,the most effective way to lose fat is to spend that time doing aerobic training," says lead study author Leslie Willis, an exercise physiologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.
If you lift weights, this doesn't mean you should stop, but if your time is limited and your main goal from exercise is to lose weight, cardio may be better than weight training, according to Willis. FULL POST
December 3rd, 2012
02:43 PM ET
Editor's Note: This time last year, Dr. Sanjay Gupta selected seven lucky viewers to be part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. Nancy Klinger, from Minnesota, was one of those viewers, and successfully competed the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in September. Want to be a part of the 2013 team? Apply here.
If you have 15 minutes (and I know that you do), go ahead and send in a video submission to CNN to become part of the 2013 CNN Fit Nation team. (You know that you want to.)
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.