A new study shows exposure to diesel exhaust may hurt your heart, even after only an hour of exposure. Researchers exposed non-smokers for one hour to diesel exhaust while they exercised. They say the exhaust level was comparable to what can be found if you're standing beside a busy street. The study in the Journal Circulation found the exhaust exposure caused a significant decrease in blood vessels' ability to dilate, thereby decreasing levels of an enzyme that prevents clots from forming. Even worse, the effects lasted from two to six hours after exposure to the exhaust. Researchers used 30 healthy, non-smoking men who were 20 to 38 years-old. The test was done in a specially built diesel chamber. The men were exposed to diesel exhaust or filtered air for an hour while they rode a stationary bike. Diesel engines create 100 times more pollutants than gasoline engines. Past studies have shown a link between air pollution and cardiorespiratroy disease and heart attack.
Cell phones can make you more accessible, but a new study suggests there's a price to pay for that convenience. They could affect your mental health by increasing your level of stress. Researchers found people who regularly used cell phones and pagers showed an increase in psychological distress and reduced family satisfaction. The theory is that cell phones allow job worries to spill over into home life and they found that for women especially, it's a double whammy because among women, the problems at home were also more likely to spill into work. Published in the Journal of Marriage and Family Life.
More proof that dark chocolate is good for you, even if you smoke. Researchers tested the effects of dark and white chocolate in 20 male smokers. The study published in the Journal Heart found after eating dark chocolate, arterial blood flow improved, and the antioxidant levels went up. Again, we're talking about dark chocolate. The study group eating white chocolate showed nothing positive except a smile. Researchers looked at smokers because they are at risk for heart vessel constriction, so the benefits of antioxidants would be apparent. Dark chocolate significantly improved flow mediated dilation in the brachial artery. The study was led by researchers at University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland