HealthWise at 5 From 4.16 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/16/04

HealthWise at 5 From 4.16

  • Alcohol Arthritis

If you end your day relaxing with a few brews, you could end up aching later because of it. A new study has confirmed the long suspected link between alcohol and the most common form of arthritis in men, gout. The study of nearly 50,000 men finds those who had a couple of beers a day were 50% more likely to develop the painful joint condition compared to men who didn't drink. Liquor also increased the risk, but not as much as beer. They found no link among wine drinkers but the study in the British medical journal Lancet, determined that liquor and especially beer increases the body's production of the chemical uric acid which can settle into the joints causing the hallmark symptoms of gout, usually in the feet and ankles.

  • Benefits of Meditation

They say it's not a cult or a religion, but it may be good medicine especially to teens when it comes to relieving stress and lowering blood pressure. It's transcendental meditation or TM as reported in the American Journal of Hypertension. The report explains that high blood pressure is a silent killer, especially among African Americans. Diet and exercise can help. But a new study indicates that black teens can lower their blood pressure with just two 15-minute sessions a day of TM.

"There's some evidence to suggest that it is affecting the blood vessel tone itself and it probably is, it seems also to be affecting the heart rate and the amount of oxygen we're taking in and breathing out," explains Dr. Gary Kaplan, neurophysiologist.

In this study, students who meditated lowered the top and bottom numbers of their blood pressure by an average of nearly 4 points. While students who didn't practice TM had no significant change in their pressures. Other types of meditation and relaxation may also help. But Neurophysiologist Gary Kaplan says TM has the most scientific evidence behind it. That's why some doctors are encouraging schools to offer TM to students hoping it will help kids deal with stress and keep their blood pressure down now and later in life.

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