Science Stories For The Rest of Us

Bob Dylan + CAM

Are most writers and editors too creative in their coverage of science, health and medicine? Steve Myers’ commentary offers some great insights into why it is so hard to write about science, including complementary and alternative medicine, psychology, and other topics covered on alternahealthgrrrl. One example:

This is why reporters are constantly making science out to be what it isn’t, and why scientists are almost always unimpressed with journalists reporting on their work. The point is, this messiness of science, with its endless years of research, cannot be summed up in a few hundred words and neatly tied with a bow harboring a big idea or mindblowing theory.
Read more here, Science writers: Jonah Lehrer’s scientific errors worse than fabricated quotes

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Chemical Sensitivity, Simplified

Alternahealthgrrrl followers have to know that I’m a huge fan of Dr Leo Galland and his smart website, Pill Advised. Don’t miss his recent post, Are Chemicals Making You Sick? The Hidden Health Problem of Chemical Sensitivity on the Huffington Post Healthy Living channel.

People who are intolerant of chemicals in everyday products or the environment often find their problems ignored or brushed aside by other people, even their doctors.

Over the past 30 years I’ve routinely asked patients about intolerance to chemicals, foods and drugs and found a normal bell-shaped curve of distribution: Most people in my medical practice have some degree of chemical intolerance, a small percentage are sensitive to just about anything that’s synthetic and a small percentage report no sensitivity at all.

Where a person sits on that curve may change, depending upon numerous factors, which include infection, toxic exposures, nutritional depletion, and life stress. (More)

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Mindfulness Trend Makes News

Congressman Tim Ryan’s book on the benefits of meditation prompted all sorts of trend stories, including this segment on PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.  Lucky Severson produced a pretty nice piece, and it features interviews with Ryan as well as Jon Kabat-Zinn. Check it out:  Mindfulness Going Mainstream

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Can Pinterest Help You Lose Weight In A Healthful Way?

Cynthia SassHere’s an enlightened body image blog entry.  In this week’s Shape weight loss column, Cynthia Sass, RD, author of S.A.S.S! Your Self Slim, talks about dietsporational boards on Pinterest.

In Pinterest Dietspo: Motivational or Menancing?, she writes:

In addition to being a whole lot of fun, when kept in balance (I know, easier said than done!), I think Pinterest can be a great tool for supporting a healthy lifestyle, as I wrote about in a previous post How Pinterest Can Help You Lose Weight. But many of the dietspo or dietsporational boards really bum me out. Rather than viewing nutrition as a means of restriction or deprivation, I look at it as a strategy that allows me to feel well, have energy, nourish my body, manage stress, look better (hair, skin, etc.), sleep well, and be healthy, both physically and emotionally, and I want my clients to feel the same. That’s why pins like ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ make me sad.>>> Read more here.

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Dr Weil’s 5 Holistic Health Secrets


Meditation Is Prevention: Meditating Helps Fight Colds, Flu

 

Sick of getting sick?  Start meditating. New research supports the theory that meditation, like exercise, protects the body from cold and flu.

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers looked at the impact of meditation and exercise on how often people got a cold or flu, as well as how bad the bug got and how long it lasted.  They found that both meditation and exercise offered plenty of protective power. The conclusion: Meditation and exercise can reduce the incidence, duration and severity of colds and the flu by about 30 percent to 60 percent.



What a Relief! Constipation-Causing Vitamins Aren’t So Needed During Pregnancy

 

Iron supplements

Fewer iron supplements during pregnancy work just as well for preventing anemia, according to a new Cochrane review. This is nice news for pregnant women, who very often experience uncomfortable side effects such as nausea and constipation when they follow the recommendation to take the prenatal supplements everyday.

Lack of iron can cause anemia in pregnant women, potentially increasing the risk of complications at delivery. It may also be harmful to their babies, through increased risk of low birth weight and even delayed growth and development later in life. The researchers analyzed data from 18 trials involving a total of 4,072 pregnant women who took iron supplements alone, with folic acid or with multi-vitamin and mineral supplements. According to the results, women who took iron supplements once, twice or three times a week on non-consecutive days were no more likely to suffer from anemia by the end of their pregnancies than those who took them daily, and their babies were no more likely to be born early or have a low birth weight. See the study details

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