October 8th, 2012
04:01 PM ET
Eating tomatoes in your daily salad or regularly enjoying a healthy red sauce on your spaghetti could help reduce your risk of stroke, according to research published this week in the journal Neurology.
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant that is good for brain health, the researchers say, and cooked tomatoes seem to offer more protection than raw.
"This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke," says study author Jouni Karppi, of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. "A diet containing tomatoes... a few times a week would be good for our health. However, daily intake of tomatoes may give better protection."
September 17th, 2012
12:05 AM ET
Children are eating as much salt as adults, according to a new report, and experts are concerned.
Most adults consume too much sodium and that can have serious health implications. Too much salt in a person's diet can raise your blood pressure; high blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.
In this new study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that if a child is overweight and eats as much salt as an adult, the risk for high blood pressure goes up dramatically.
August 16th, 2012
11:19 AM ET
Eating a little dark chocolate each day may be good for the heart, but only if you grab your running shoes in one hand and an apple in the other.
New research found that people who ate dark chocolate or cocoa for short periods of time saw a slight drop in blood pressure. But there is a caveat: If you eat these treats, you need to make sure you're doing all of the right things to stay healthy, such as exercising, eating right and - if you're on blood pressure medicine - taking that as well.
Scientists in Melbourne, Australia, curious about the role of dark chocolate in heart health, looked at 20 studies in which adults ate dark chocolate or cocoa. More than 850 people participated in the trials that generally ran from two to eight weeks.
July 16th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in the U.S. for kids. In fact, more than half of elementary school students will have cavities by the time they're in second grade, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Since the 1970s, dentists have been using tooth-colored fillings that contain derivatives of the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA), in favor of the metal amalgam fillings.
Now a new analysis on dental fillings in children suggests these non-metal fillings may contribute to behavioral problems. The study authors caution that their results only point to an association; they say their analysis does not prove that BPA causes any behavior changes.
June 18th, 2012
07:45 AM ET
American children are taking fewer antibiotics now than 10 years ago, but prescriptions to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, have increased, according to a new report by the Food and Drug Administration.
FDA researchers analyzed large prescription drug databases, looking at more than 2,000 drugs, to identify the top 30 medications most prescribed to children up to age 17.
They found 263.6 million prescriptions were filled for infant through adolescent patients in 2010 – down 7% compared to 2002.
However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that while prescriptions for some drugs went down, others were prescribed more often between 2002 and 2010. The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.
June 5th, 2012
04:01 PM ET
Receiving psychotherapy over the phone is showing promise for people with depression, according to new research. A study published Tuesday found patients counseled over the phone were less likely to drop out of treatment compared to those who got face-to face counseling. Researchers also found people who talked to their therapist on the phone got better at the same rate as those who spent time on the counselor's couch.
"This research gives us a pretty clear indication that providing therapy via technology can be a useful strategy," says Lynn Bufka, assistant executive director, practice research and policy at the American Psychological Association.
Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago conducted the study which was the first large trial comparing face-to-face therapy with telephone therapy. Their findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
June 2nd, 2012
12:17 AM ET
Babies born prematurely are at significantly increased risk of developing mental health disorders such as psychosis, depression, and bipolar disorder as adults, according to a new study.
Compared to babies born at full term, which is 37 to 42 weeks of gestation, babies who were born at less than 32 weeks were 7 times more likely to be hospitalized with bipolar disorder as adults. They were three times more likely to be hospitalized for depression and more than twice as likely for psychosis according to the study.
People born between 32 and 36 weeks also suffered from mental health conditions as adults, but with less severity than those born more prematurely. The research was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
May 11th, 2012
05:57 PM ET
Five years ago, California passed some of the strongest school-food legislation in the nation in hopes of combating childhood obesity.
These rules limit the kinds of unhealthy foods that students can buy in vending machines or at a snack bar, which aren’t offered as part of lunch in the school's cafeteria.
The state is well-known for leading the nation with health trends, so it's no surprise that its legislators are out front when it comes to cutting back on junk food in schools. A new study shows their efforts may be working: High school students in California are eating fewer calories and less added sugar and fat during the school day than students from other states.
April 19th, 2012
07:23 PM ET
Despite what doctors have been telling patients for the past few years, having gum disease does not make us more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, according to the American Heart Association. Treating gum disease does not appear to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease either.
Cardiologists, dentists, and infectious disease specialists reviewed more than 500 studies addressing the connection between the two diseases. The results were published Wednesday in a statement by the AHA.
The connection was made years ago when experts noticed that people with gum disease tended to have more heart attacks or strokes than people in better dental health. The thinking was that the bacteria causing the infection in the gums got into the blood stream and traveled to the fatty plaques in blood vessels where they attached and helped form blood clots which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
April 16th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
When young girls live in a stressful home where violence, depression or other disruptions are common they are more likely to become obese by age 5, compared to children raised in more stable homes. And when preschool girls witness a couple of bad events at once, they have an even higher risk of becoming obese, according to research presented in this week's medical journal Pediatrics.
The study did not find the same obesity patterns in boys. Researchers aren't sure why, but suspect that it's because boys may cope with stress, in part, by being more physically active.
So why are girls gaining weight when home life is stressful?
"Potentially families who are experiencing these stressors may be managing the eating habits of their children in a different way," says study author Shakira F. Suglia, Epidemiologist and Assistant Professor at Columbia University in New York.
But she says that's not the whole story.
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.