Nearly everyone has looked at selfies posted on social media in which the people in the photo look extremely happy. Using an online survey, researchers found that the more often people viewed other people’s selfies, the lower their self-esteem and life satisfaction became—possibly suggesting their own life is less fulfilling. The research team hopes their findings can help people understand the potential consequences of their online behaviors. Journal of Telematics and Informatics, October 2016
Exercise with a support system.
Building a network of friends and loved ones who can support your fitness goals can be very important to your success. The American Council on Exercise recommends the following to help form your support system: talk to your partner, friends, and family about your commitment to better health; ask someone to be your accountability partner to help you stay on track; find a workout buddy; find someone from work and home who can check in with you regularly and keep you motivated; identify potential pitfalls, such as doughnuts at work or a smoking spouse, and determine how to deal with these challenges. American Council on Exercise, October 2016
Can omega-3 fatty acids help prevent lupus?
Michigan State University researchers have found that an essential fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can stop a known trigger of lupus—a systemic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s skin, joints, and organs. It is considered a genetic disease and can be triggered by inhaling crystalline silica toxicants or other environmental factors, such as sun exposure. The researchers discovered that DHA blocked the activation of lupus 96% of the time when it was triggered by crystalline silica. DHA can be found in fatty, coldwater fish and is produced by the algae that fish eat and store in their bodies. Fish oil supplements can also supply this essential fatty acid. PLOS ONE, August 2016
Are you ready for a flood?
If flood waters threaten your home and family, take precautions to help keep them both safer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the following: gather emergency supplies in advance; tune into local TV channels or radio stations for updates; keep all immunization records in a waterproof container; sanitize sinks and bathtubs, then fill each to ensure a clean water supply or fill gallon jugs and plastic bottles with drinking water; secure all outdoor furniture; and if you must evacuate your home, shut off the main power switch and the main gas valve. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 2016
Low vitamin C linked to spinal pain.
Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, a key element of ligament, tendon, and bone quality. Researchers recently analyzed data on over 4,700 adults and found a link between suboptimal blood levels of vitamin C concentrations and a greater risk for both neck pain and low back pain with pain below knee in the preceding 3 months. The associations between vitamin C and spinal pain warrant further study to determine the possible role of vitamin C in the treatment of patients with back and neck pain. Pain, November 2016
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