Health Capsules – Oct. 10
New research lends credence to the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” if the doctor is a cardiologist.
In a study of healthy, middle-aged adults, eating an apple a day for a month led to a 40 percent reduction in blood levels of a substance linked to hardening of the arteries. Taking capsules containing a type of antioxidant found in apples had a similar, but less impressive, effect.
The study, which took place at Ohio State University and was funded by an apple industry group, found that apples lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL – the “bad” cholesterol.
“When LDL becomes oxidized, it takes on a form that begins atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries,” said Robert DiSilvestro, lead researcher and a human nutrition professor at Ohio State. “We got a tremendous effect against LDL being oxidized with just one apple a day for four weeks.”
Teens getting gallstones
It should be a rarity for a teen to have gallstones, but doctors are treating more teens of the hardened, cholesterol-laden lumps in the gallbladder.
Corinna Koebnick, a California research scientist, looked at medical records of 766 10- to 19-year-olds with gallstones and found the risk for gallstones was much higher in obese young people.
“Obese youth have a much higher risk – up to eight times higher – than their normal-weight counterparts,” Koebnick said.
Post-stroke exercise may improve memory
A new study suggests that for stroke patients, six months of exercise can improve memory, language, thinking and judgment problems.
Canadian researchers found that the proportion of stroke patients with mild or worse cognitive impairment dropped from 66 percent to 37 percent during their study on the impact of exercise on the brain.
Forty-one patients, 70 percent of whom needed a cane or walker to walk, followed an adapted aerobic and strength resistance training program five days a week. Researchers reported “significant improvements” in overall brain function at the end of the program, particularly in the areas of attention, concentration, planning and organizing.
Although the study did not include a control group of patients who did not exercise, lead researcher Susan Marzolini, of the Tornoto Research Institute, said that results provided “compelling evidence that by improving cardiovascular fitness through aerobic exercise and increasing muscle mass with resistance training, people with stroke can improve brain health.”
According to Marzolini, modified exercise programs are desperately needed for people with stroke related impairments.
Education and events
“Radiology: It’s More Than Just X-Rays” will be held from 7-8:15 p.m. (registration starts at 6:15 p.m.) on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the Jewish Community Center’s Staenberg Family Complex. Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital will present talks from Washington University radiologists, Drs. Andy Bierhals, James Duncan and Jennifer Demertzis, who will share the many ways radiology is used to diagnose and treat diseases, including recent advances. For more information, visit barnesjewishwestcounty.org.
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An Alzheimer’s support group will meet from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Parc Provence, 605 Coeur De Ville Drive in Creve Coeur. Call (314) 542-2500.
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“What Doctors Cannot Tell You: Clarifying Our Conversations in Medicine” will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at St. Luke’s Institute for Health Education. Kevin B. Jones, M.D., cancer surgeon, scientist and author, will explore the uncertainty of medicine and how best to interact with one’s physician in order to make better-informed decisions. To register, visit stlukes-stl.com or call (314) 542-4848.
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St. Luke’s Hospital will present “Spirit Girls’ Night Out” from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25 at the Doubletree Hotel & Conference Center in Chesterfield. The program will include lifestyle tips, health screenings, stress management tips, chair massages, and a mini-makeover. Appetizers, cocktails, dessert and a chance to win attendance prizes also will be featured. Call (314) 542-4848 to RSVP or visit stlukes-stl.com.