HealthWise at 5 From 8.18 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/18/03

HealthWise at 5 From 8.18

  • Riding With A Drunk Driver

By now every teen has heard the saying 'Don't drink and drive'. A new phrase may be coming... 'Don't ride with a drinker'. Results of a new study suggest more attention needs to be given to the risks to the passenger when their driver takes the wheel after having a drink. The study surveyed more than 1,500 15 to 20-year-olds and found that half reported riding with a driver who had been drinking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adds that in 2000, 21% of young drivers who were killed in crashes were intoxicated. While there are strict penalties for teens who drink and drive, researchers say riding with a drinking driver has been a gray area. Despite campaigns to curb underage drinking and driving, it remains a major public health threat.

The study was conducted by the Prevention Research Center and is published in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

  • The Power of Creatine

It helps improve muscle performance, and now new research suggests the dietary supplement Creatine may also boost your brain power! This is a small study from the University of Sydney, but 45 volunteers who added Creatine to their diet for six weeks were found to be better at remembering telephone numbers compared to those who got a placebo. The average dose used in the study was five grams. Researchers believe Creatine works by increasing the energy supply to the brain. But they caution that consuming too much Creatine over long periods of time have been linked to a number of side effects, everything from bad breath to kidney problems.

Creatine is a compound made up of three amino acids and is found naturally in meat and in the human body. It is also sold as a dietary supplement, but it's not regulated by the FDA. The study was conducted by the University of Sydney in Australia and Macquarie University in Australia and will be published in a forthcoming Proceedings B, a journal published by the Royal Society.

  • Link Between Snoring and School Performance

Before you packed your child off for that first day back at school, did you take notes on how he or she slept last night? New research adds to the growing body of evidence that links snoring with poor performance in school. The study of more than a thousand students in Germany and Austria finds those who were chronic snorers had lower grades in math, science and spelling compared to their peers who didn't snore. Along with taking a snoring history, researchers also measured blood oxygen levels, which can drop when the airway becomes blocked. Chronic low levels of blood oxygen have been linked with a number of health and memory problems. Even so, researchers say they were surprised to find that even in kids whose oxygen level was normal, if they snored every night their grades were lowest across the board.

Researchers say the findings send a message to parents and doctors about the need to look at sleep habits when a child is doing poorly in school. The study appears in the second issue for August 2003 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and critical care medicine. The study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Neonatology, University Hospital of Tuebingen, Tuebingen; Departments of Pediatric Pulmonology and Neonatology, and Epidemiology, Social Medicine and Health System Research, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany; and Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Vienna General Hospital, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

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