July 1st, 2010
05:36 PM ET

Study: Fit teens make smart seniors

Being a physically fit teen may increase your chances of becoming a mentally fit senior.

A new study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that older women who had exercised consistently (at least one period of moderate physical activity– jogging, tennis, etc. a week) during their teen years were sharper mentally than women who got less than that exercise in their youth.


July 1st, 2010
05:34 PM ET

As triathlon nears, athlete feels real change

Back in January, CNN selected six lucky viewers to compete alongside Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the Nautica New York City Triathlon this July. Among the "six pack" was Linda Fisher-Lewis, a retired police officer from Mollala, Oregon.

When Linda sent her video application, she told of a tragic car accident that forced her to give up a 20-year career in law enforcement. That, in combination with the loss of her brother the following year put Linda into somewhat of a funk.


July 1st, 2010
05:26 PM ET

Can Twitter trigger 'cuddle' hormone?

Using social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook may have more in common with "real" interactions than you think, the experience of one writer suggests.

The brain chemical oxytocin has been known to be associated with emotional bonds. Oxytocin is heightened in a variety of behaviors that involve people connecting with one another, including orgasm, birth, breastfeeding, and pair bonding. That's why it gets nicknamed "the cuddle hormone."


July 1st, 2010
05:04 PM ET

Do genes determine lifespan?

Genes are telling us even more about our health. Research out today suggests that there are about 150 genetic variations associated with living to 100, and that scientists could tell with 77 percent accuracy whether you will become a centenarian one day.

The study is in the journal Science, comes from Boston University Medical Center and Boston University School of Public Health. Study author Thomas Perl says more research is needed to figure out how exactly the genes associated with longevity work. If scientists can understand more about what those genes do, they might be able to one day create a medical therapy to imitate that function, so that more people could live longer.

But genes aren't everything - lifestyle choices such as diet, fitness, and avoidance of smoking are still important in determining how long you will live.

Read more from CNN.com

July 1st, 2010
03:22 PM ET

Swine flu vaccine tossed

An estimated 40 million doses of H1N1 vaccine expired Wednesday and will be thrown away, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,  says. Federal officials say the expired vaccine accounts for nearly 25 percent of the 162 million doses of swine flu vaccine that were available for public use. The vaccine will be crushed and then incinerated.


July 1st, 2010
01:18 PM ET

Screening for prostate cancer reduces deaths by half

PSA tests look for evidence of prostate cancer, pictured above at the microscopic level, in the blood of men. Men who score high on the test may often have an early form of the disease. Evidence as to whether this type of early detection actually works to dramatically lower the prostate cancer death rate has been mixed, but a new study in the British medical journal the Lancet Oncology suggests the test leads to life-saving treatments that reduce deaths from the disease by nearly half.

Swedish researchers screened 10,000 men between the ages of 50 and 65 years old for prostate cancer every two years for 14 years. They studied the group against a similar population of men who were not screened. The screenings turned up more cancers and prevented nearly twice as many deaths as compared  the control group.


July 1st, 2010
11:08 AM ET

Does microwave cooking rob food of nutrients?

As a feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers' questions. Here's a question for Dr. Gupta.

From Adam Balkcom, Atlanta, Georgia

Dr. Gupta,

I am a personal trainer devoted to bringing my clients into optimum fitness and nutrition.

Something I have been hearing a lot lately is that microwaving kills a lot of the nutrients in the food. I now cook everything in a toaster oven. Is this overkill?

My clients and I appreciate you helping us clear up confusion over getting the most from the foods we eat.


Filed under: Expert Q&A • Healthy Eating

July 1st, 2010
10:34 AM ET

At 60 pounds, woman is unable to gain weight

The latest medical mystery in the news is the story of a 21-year-old Texas college student with a disorder that makes her incapable of gaining weight. Reports that Lizzie Velasquez needs to eat every 15 minutes to survive are inaccurate,  according to her father.  She has a healthy appetite, he says, but does not  eat as frequently as widely reported.

Velasquez, a Texas State University student, says on her website: “What the syndrome causes is that I'm not able to gain weight."  She reportedly weighs around 60 pounds.


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.