It's no secret advances in living conditions help people live longer, but now researchers believe they've found another key to longevity. Researchers say avoiding some infectious diseases during childhood, like malaria and tuberculosis, could be the key. They believe these infectious diseases cause chronic inflammation that could lead to heart disease, cancer and even Alzheimer's disease. The study published in the Journal Science says researchers are now looking into whether other diseases like the flu may also cause problems later and if preventing inflammation from the flu might also guarantee us a longer life.
Finally, women are catching on that if it is possible for them to get pregnant they should be taking a multi-vitamin that includes folic acid. A survey of more than 2,000 women of child bearing age was conducted by the Gallup organization for the March of Dimes and it found that a record 40% of women today say they are taking a vitamin with folic acid. Folic acid is an essential vitamin known to prevent spina bifida and other neural tube birth defects. The March of Dimes and several physician organizations recommend that women of childbearing age take vitamins containing at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day beginning before pregnancy.
Guys, you know that bulging belly isn't helping your heart. Now new research says it's making it harder for you to breathe, too. Doctors at the University at Buffalo collected body measurement from men and women, and also determined lung capacity. Men with the most abdominal fat had lung function reduced by nearly 16%. Women carrying a spare tire also had lower pulmonary function, but not as severe as the men.