I *Heart* Chocolate
A few days after Valentine’s Day, the guilt of all that chocolate you ate begins to set in. Now, as if you actually need another reason to love chocolate, there’s a new study that brings a whole new meaning to the “chocolate heart.” An international team of researchers pinpointed a chemical compound found in certain cocoas and chocolate products that have heart-healthy benefits.
According to this new study reported in the online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “epicatechin”, one of a group of chemicals known as flavanols (present in cocoa), was directly linked to improved circulation and other hallmarks of cardiovascular health. (You had me at hello!)
It still may be a long-shot that your doctor will prescribe a box of Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses to kiss-off heart troubles, but it sure doesn’t hurt to dream!
Taking Your Temperature Accurately: Freeze–Did you just Down a Frozen Latte?
Uh-Oh. Something wicked is brewing. You’ve got the chills, aches and pains all over, and feel like you’re burning up. You slip the thermometer under your tongue, wait patiently, and read the results. NORMAL? You think: “Hey that can’t be right!”. Well, maybe it’s not. Did you just down a cold drink?
According to a new study, thermometer accuracy CAN be affected by food and drink. On average, participants in the study consuming cold beverages required 15 minutes for their temperature to return to baseline. And a whopping 23 minutes– for those sipping hot beverages.
Beth Quatrara, research project coordinator at the University Of Virginia Health system said in a statement:
“Taking an accurate temperature is one of the most basic, yet at times complicated, pieces of data that we can collect to monitor our health and the health of our loved ones. With the cold and flu season upon us, this change in practice could not only apply to patients in a hospital setting, but to parents tending to sick children.”
Her advice to get the most accurate temperature reading as possible: Don’t participate in activities that may change body or mouth temperature, such as exercise, smoking, or chewing gum.
At Work: Who’s Got Your Back?
When it comes to lo lower back pain you feel on the job, you’re on your own! You probably reach into your top drawer and pull out a Tylenol for some much needed comfort. But before you pop another pill, you might want to consider this:
Reported in the December issue of The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine is a John’s Hopkins study that suggests low-level heat wrap therapy (those neat little heat patches you can find at any pharmacy) significantly reduces acute low back pain in patients with physically demanding jobs.
With the use of continuous low level heat wrap therapy (or CLHT), along with pain management education, patients experienced rapid and significant reduction in pain intensity.
So the next time your struggling with back pain, before you pop another pill, you might want to give an alternative therapy,(like ThermaCare Heat Wraps) a try.