What we eat can help maintain brain health or speed brain aging. So what foods are good for the brain? We know from experience that some foods do make us more alert, and some foods can make us feel sleepy. But what does science say? To maintain brain health we need to eat a very specific type of fat. Consuming the wrong types of fat can be damaging to our brains.
CNN reports that a study found that people with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids have smaller brains corresponding to about two years of brain aging.
Most of the wrinkles and aging we see on our skin is caused by daily, ordinary sun exposure. Sunburns early in life are associated with developing dangerous melanoma later in life, and a lifetime of cumulated sun exposure often leads to non-melanoma skin cancers and damaged skin.
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study (including a picture) showing what years of sun exposure can do. The story is of a 69 year old man who drove a truck for 28 years. There is marked aging on the left-side of his face.
Many of us are diligent about avoiding toxic household products, but perhaps do not realize that products we use on our skin have the potential of being absorbed into our body and may affect our health. Last month USA Today reported on a University of California, Berkeley study that tested thirty-two commonly sold lipsticks and found that they contained lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum, and five other metals.Cadmium is a known carcinogen.
But impurities in lipsticks are not our only concern. Medical Daily reports on research showing that chemicals in some cosmetics and plastic may be causing early menopause. Early menopause increases risk factors for cardiovascular disease and bone loss. Some of the chemicals in question are phthalates.
Autoimmune diseases can affect any part of the body. They occur when the immune system attacks the body's own cells. Scientists have identified more than 80 autoimmune diseases. Some autoimmune diseases and symptoms can be mild; others can be very disabling, and are a leading cause of death. Having one autoimmune disease makes a person prone to developing other autoimmune diseases. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health lists some of the most common autoimmune diseases.
Scientists report that the incidence of autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes has been steadily growing. Identifying the presence and cause of autoimmune diseases can be very difficult. Genetics, along with environmental factors, are believed to be part of the cause. The director of the Environmental Autoimmunity Group at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences notes that some 80,000 chemicals are approved for commercial use, but that very little is known about their immune effects.
Regularly we hear reports of infectious outbreaks caused by E.coli, H1N1, Salmonella, Influenza, and MRSA. Currently scientists are watching the possible emergence of a SARS-like virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Washing our hands and keeping our environment clean continues to be a very important means of prevention.
Bleach, with its toxic fumes and caustic, poisonous nature, will disinfect, but it is hazardous to people and pets. It is particularly hazardous to persons with asthma and other breathing problems. Combining bleach with other ingredients can produce a very poisonous gas.