Today in Medicine: Drink this to soothe your muscles

Hey, if you make yours into a cocktail, we won't judge. Credit: Metro File
Hey, if you make yours into a cocktail, we won’t judge.
Credit: Metro File

Watermelon juice soothes sore muscles

Location of study: Spain

Study subjects: Seven students of sport sciences at the University of Murcia

Results: Athletes have long suspected that watermelon juice relieves post-exercise muscle soreness, and a new study adds more evidence supporting that theory, according to a report in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Watermelon juice, which contains the amino acid L-citrulline, helped reduce the recovery heart rate and muscle soreness athletes felt after 24 hours.

Significance: The compounds in fruits and vegetables may help the food industry create new natural products instead of relying on synthetic compounds from the pharmaceutical industry, says study author Encarna Aguayo.

 

Moms worry, dads not so much

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: 500 families living in eight urban and suburban communities across the United States

Results: Thinking about family matters throughout the day is stressful for working mothers, but not fathers, according to a report presented at the American Sociological Association’s 108th Annual Meeting. Study author Shira Offer, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, looked at the “mental labor” of worrying about tasks, rather than the physical aspect of performing them.

Significance: “I assume that because mothers bear the major responsibility for childcare and family life, when they think about family matters, they tend to think about the less pleasant aspects of it, such as needing to pick up a child from day care or having to schedule a doctor’s appointment for a sick kid, and are more likely to be worried,” says Offer.

 

Breast-feeding may protect nonsmokers

Location: Spain

Study subjects: 504 female patients aged 19-91, diagnosed and treated for breast cancer

Results: Breast-feeding for more than six months may help nonsmoking mothers guard against breast cancer, according to a study conducted at the University of Granada in Spain and published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing. However, it was not found to protect mothers who smoked.

Significance: Unfortunately, the results don’t say that nonsmoking mothers who breast-feed are impervious to the disease — just that nonsmoking mothers who breast-feed were more likely to be diagnosed at a later age than smoking mothers who breast-feed.

 

‘Watch and wait’ approach gets support

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: More than 1,000 people who were diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1982 and 2004 and surgically treated

Results: Low-grade prostate cancers rarely progress to a higher grade over time, says a study in the American Association for Cancer Research’s journal, Cancer Research. This adds more evidence to the theory that men diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer can take a “watch and wait” approach to their disease instead of getting treatment right away.

Significance: “Men with low-grade disease at diagnosis should seriously consider talking with their doctors about active surveillance,” says Kathryn Penney, Sc.D., an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.



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