This Week in Health: Asthma risk higher if your grandma smoked while pregnant
Check out this week's latest health news.
Study location: Sweden
Results: New research out of the European Respiratory Society found that women who smoked while pregnant with their daughters between 1982 and 1986 have a 10 to 22 percent higher risk of having a grandchild with asthma. Even if the child's mother was a non-smoker, the association is still there.
Significance: “We found that smoking in previous generations can influence the risk of asthma in subsequent generations,” study author Dr. Caroline Lodge, a research fellow at the University of Melbourne, said in a press release. “This may also be important in the transmission of other exposures and diseases.”
Location of study: U.S.
Study subjects: Rats
Results:Incorporating dried plums into your diet might reduce your risk of developing colon cancer, researchers speculate. The theory is based on the idea that the dried fruit promotes "the retention of beneficial bacteria throughout the colon." In a recent study, they found the antioxidants in dried plums to counteract dangerous changes brought on by cancerous cells.
Significance: “Dried plums contain phenolic compounds, which have multiple effects on our health, including their ability to serve as antioxidants that can neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals that can damage our DNA,” Dr. Nancy Turner, study author and professor in the nutrition and food science department of Texas A&M University, said in a press release.
Study location: U.S.
Results: The fact that soda and sugary drinks are bad for you isn’t exactly a novel finding, but new research confirms just how unhealthy it is. Taking a hard look at both fructose and sugary drinks, researchers say they may seriously up the odds for weight gain, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. “The metabolic effects that we discuss really pertain to high fructose corn syrup and sucrose, which is common table sugar,” says co-author Dr. Vasanti Malik, a research scientist in the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Significance: “There’s this misconception that high fructose corn syrup is really bad, but both sugar and high fructose corn syrup are just as bad as each other,” Malik adds. Researchers say that despite the fact that overall consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been declining over the last decade, the consumption rate is still dangerously too high. How high? Fifty percent of Americans consume these kinds of drinks on a daily basis.
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