Chocolate Calms Fluttering Hearts
Atrial fibrillation, the medical term for irregular heart rhythms, is associated with stroke, heart failure, dementia, and earlier death, but high-cocoa chocolate can reduce the flutters. A study tracked more than 55,000 Danish men and women for about 13 years and found that eating chocolate two to six times per week reduced risk of flutters by 20 percent, likely because chocolate contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and antiplatelet nutrients, and magnesium. However, researchers warned against eating large amounts of the treat.
Is Your Job Low-Vitamin D?
People in certain jobs are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D, Canadian
researchers concluded after analyzing 71 studies with a total of more than 53,000 subjects. These were the percentages of vitamin D-deficient people in different types of occupations:
- Shift workers: 80%
- Indoor workers (non-healthcare): 77%
- Healthcare students: 72%
- Medical residents: 65%
- Outdoor workers: 48%
- Practicing physicians: 46%
- Nurses: 43%
The study was published in the journal BMC Public Health.
The longest study comparing an organic crop to a conventional one, lasting 6 years, found that organic onions contained significantly higher levels of beneficial antioxidants and flavonols, nutrients that help to prevent common diseases. Because of its length, this study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, likely gives a more accurate picture of organic benefits, compared to earlier, shorter studies that sometimes had conflicting results.
Group Exercise Beats Solitary Workouts
According to a study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, people working out in a group lowered stress and significantly improved quality of life, compared to those who exercised individually. Those participating in group exercise spent 30 minutes at least once a week in a core strengthening and functional fitness training program. At the end of 12 weeks, their mental, physical, and emotional scores improved significantly. They also reported a 26.2 percent reduction in perceived stress levels. By comparison, solitary exercisers worked out twice as long, and saw no significant changes, except in mental quality of life (11 percent increase). “The communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues, and doing something difficult, while encouraging one another, pays dividends beyond exercising alone,” concludes Dayna Yorks, DO, lead researcher on this study.