New research is shedding light on the role iron plays in keeping seniors healthy. The study at Penn State finds even healthy seniors with low iron have impaired immune system function. Researchers measured blood iron levels in 72 elderly women who were part of a Meals on Wheels program, then, they put their individual cells through an immune system response test. They found the cells of women with low iron had lower immune responses to infection compared to women with normal iron counts. The researchers say iron deficiency is often mistaken as a normal sign of aging, but it's not.
If you're trying to lose weight, you might want to start your next meal with a salad. A new study found people who ate a salad before their meals consumed fewer overall calories than those who didn't. But of course, it's the type of salad you eat that's important. Women who ate salads full of veggies and low in cheese and dressing lowered the total calorie count of their meal by up to 12%. On the other hand, those who ate salads full of cheese and fatty dressings increased their calorie intake by almost 20%. The study is published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
People are expanding their definition of the weekend to include Fridays and that extra day of splurge dining is expanding America's waistline. Research from the University of North Carolina found that Friday, Saturday and Sunday have become equally sinful when it comes to celebrating the weekend with extra food and drink. In fact, researchers found most of the added calories are from alcohol and fat, enough to pack on more than five pounds a year, just by adding a Friday night to the weekend package. Researchers suggest if we pack more food and drink into a longer weekend, we need to plan more time on the weekend for exercise.