Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

5 Jan

Smart Fuel

Smart Fuel, just in time for the weekend!

End the work week on a healthy note with some piping hot green tea. Green tea (and in fact, all tea) is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. These little nutritional buddies are great for your cardiovascular system and love your liver. The polyphenols in green tea – catechins, theaflavins and thearubigins – are not only fun to try and pronounce, they’re really potent free radical killers.

Here’s how to get the most from your tea:

- Steep for as long as possible. The longer you steep, the more you reap.

- Use loose-leaf tea if you can. If you use bagged tea, make sure the leaves get good and soaked. Be aggressive with your spoon. The tea won’t care.

- Avoid bottled green tea. Not only does it make a barrel of crude oil look affordable, but it’s not the best way to get antioxidants. Different companies have different steeping standards, and quality varies greatly. Plus, there’s usually sugar and other junk added in.

tea
4 Jan

Carb-Free News

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

What’s up, Apples? All kinds of great health news for you today. Here’s the latest you’ll want to click:

1) Fine…But It’s Still a Frankenfat

So, we don’t really have a comment on this. What goes on with this line of reasoning? Who thinks this stuff up? “Take bad fake fat. Fake it some more so it has some good in it. But it’s still bad fat. Sort of.” Huh? Here’s an idea: stop playing God with food! Oh yeah. Sorry. We promised no comment. People may never stop eating potato chips; should scientists just try to make them slightly less terrible for you? We just don’t believe this is the best humans are capable of. We’re only bees, of course…

chippers

2) Never Too Late to Feel Great with Folate

After it became common knowledge that women needs lots of folate to prevent birth defects, things started to improve. For a while. The government has conducted two back-to-back long-term studies to see if women are getting enough folate.

Surprisingly, levels are way back down again despite all the folic flapping. The researchers think it’s a combination of obesity rates increasing and supplementation rates decreasing. The moral? Stay lean, eat greens, and take a multivitamin, for goodness’ sake. (If for no other reason than to make us quit with the folate rhymes!)

patch

3) We Knew It!

This just in: soap and water are just as good at removing germs as all those fancy-schmancy hand sanitizers. Repeat: soap and water are just as good. Hand sanitizers are the bottled water of the germ-conscious set.

Here are the facts for all you beloved germophobes:

- Alcohol-based sanitizers do a good job of killing bacteria IF you use a lot of the goop. Most people only use a little squirt and that’s not really enough. Also, these hand sanitizers kill good bacteria along with the bad. We would die without good bacteria, so it’s something to think about. Besides, remember that most of the really nasty stuff is viral, not bacterial (flu, colds, HIV, meningitis, tuberculosis, etc.).

- Which brings us to the next fact: while sanitizers will not always kill viruses, hand-washing will. That’s because soap isn’t a killer – soap is just a slimeball (literally). Soap helps bacteria and viruses slide right off your hands, which is why you need to “soap up” for at least 10 rigorous seconds before rinsing. Soap doesn’t kill, it just gives germs the slip.

girlwashinghands

More clickativity from around the web:

Crazy But True

Bad Days Continue for Big Pharma: 8,000 people aren’t wrong.

4 Jan

The Sisson Spoof

MCGriddle

It was cool to learn that they love the MDA over at USA Today. There’s probably not so much love for us at McDonald’s right now. Can’t please everyone!

4 Jan

Clickativity

101 Great Anti-Aging Tips

ChanceAgrella
4 Jan

Parkinson’s Politics = Pressure Cooker

Here is a razor-sharp example of excellent, detailed, honest medical research reporting. Unfortunately, with words like ergot and agonist, it’s also as relentlessly boring as a Del Monte fruit cup without the little pink “cherries”. No wonder people are confused about the latest medical findings! Where are the resources to interpret this jargon?

Oh yeah, here, that’s where! Whew.

And here. (An anonymous MD’s personal take on medical practice. Often quite interesting.)

And here. (Ok, so this one’s a little dry, but you can scope where we review studies.)

Anyway, this example in particular found that certain types of Parkinson’s drugs may cause major heart problems in certain types of patients. The good news is that a more effective Parkinson’s drug appears to be near completion thanks to the KDI breakthrough from last year (KDI is a protein that appears to play a role in preventing certain neurological problems). KDI treatment may even help prevent ALS and strokes.

There’s another huge issue surrounding Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases that I want to draw particular attention to, because it’s infuriating. According to this article, scientists are having a hard time effectively researching potential causes and cures because industry lawsuits – from chemical companies to welding groups – jump all over medical studies that link environmental causes to these diseases. This is something you can personally help to change with this clickativity. It will take about 45 seconds. I think it’s more than worth it.

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